May 12, 2006
A, B, C, D, Electric
investigators now recognize that Jupiter's auroras are electrical
phenomena. But they are struggling to understand the electrical
connections of the aurora's "tails" to other bodies in the Jovian
system—not just to Jupiter's closest moon Io, but also to its second
For almost two years
now, we have been making the case in these pages that the "volcanic"plumes
on Jupiter's moon
Io are plasma discharge arcs
from the moon's electrical transactions with the gas giant. In recent
years a growing number of scientists have acknowledged the electrical
exchange between the two bodies, as confirmed by Io's "footprint"
in the Jovian aurora above.
But now a new study
reports that one of the bright spots in this aurora is the footprint of
a continuous electrical exchange between Jupiter and another moon,
Europa. In October of 2005, the
journal Geophysical Research Letters published a report from a
research team headed by Denis Grodent of the University of Liège,
Belgium, noting the team's discovery of a short auroral tail linking
Jupiter to Europa. The report notes that this footprint is similar to
that of Io, but less energetic. Grodent's team based its report on a
study of 45 Hubble images of the Jovian aurora showing Europa's
footprint and its swirling "tail".
In previous attempts
to explain the electrical connection of Io to Jupiter, astronomers
suggested that Jupiter's tidal influence on Io provoked the release of
the observed charged particles in Io''s "volcanic" plumes. The particles
then flowed as an electric current to Jupiter, as evidenced by the
glowing electrical signature (footprint) in the gas giant's aurora. But
in electrical terms this supposed one way transaction could not be
valid, and it left Europa dangling in "neutral" space. How would
its electric connection to Jupiter be explained?
"…Europa is not
thought to be volcanic, so what could produce the electrical current
that zips along and eventually gives rise to Europa's auroral
footprint?" the writers of the report ask.
Here we meet an old
dilemma once again. Standard astronomy begins its investigations with
the assumption--usually unspoken—of an electrically neutral universe. So
when investigators encounter electrical phenomena, they rely upon local
"generators" no matter how improbable. And they will ignore the evidence for
larger electric circuits that have, in fact, already answered the
question posed: the local transactions involve circuits, not one-way
paths. And the local circuits are subsidiaries of larger circuits.
In the case of
Jupiter, the larger circuit is that between the gas giant and the Sun.
In the case of the Sun, the larger circuit connects the Sun to a
spiraling arm of the Milky Way. And there is evidence aplenty that
galaxies themselves are joined in still larger electrical exchange.
Where the hierarchy ends, no one can say. But that it exists is
substantiated by every line of investigation that has been opened up in
recent decades. There are no isolated islands in space: All objects in
space are connected in a web of cosmic circuitry.
interaction between Jupiter and its moons means that the bodies are
charged. (As soon as you grant that one body is charged, the other body
is also charged in relationship to it). Jupiter is not an island. It
stands in a dynamic electrical relationship to the Sun, just as does the
Earth. It is now known that charged particles from the Sun, not a
terrestrial "dynamo", power Earth's auroras. The same thing can be said
of Jupiter's auroras, though this was as contrary to astronomers'
assumptions as was the confirmation of the Sun's input to terrestrial
auroras. Work by scientists at the University of Leicester in the UK
found “a strong correlation between the strength of the solar wind and
the behaviour of [Jupiter’s] auroras". But this was "completely the
opposite result to the one we were expecting from our predictions".
Of course, what is
surprising or illogical from one vantage point may be "reasoning from
the obvious" in another.
interacts electrically with its moons.
interacts electrically with the Sun, as does the Earth.
C: The planets in
the Solar System are charged bodies.
D: The sun has an
Suddenly the elephant
so long "hidden" in the living room of astrophysics is exposed. Since
the sun gives off proton storms,
and the protons in the solar wind are being accelerated away from the
sun, it should have been obvious all along that the Sun is the center of
an electric field…
Electrical transactions between the Sun, the planets, and the
planets' moons are only to be expected in the Electric Universe.
connectivity is thus confirmed by every level of investigation; it is
not just the reason for Io's "volcanic" plumes; it is the reason why
Enceladus similarly spews out icy particles in high energy jets; it
Europa and other moon of Jupiter and Saturn and Uranus display vast
networks of channels that can only be explained as electric discharge
scars; it is why the planets have teardrop shaped Langmuir sheaths; it
is why Mars, moving on an orbit more elliptical than Earth's, is
periodically overtaken by
global dust storms and Everest-sized "dust
devils"; it is why the Earth discharges to space through
sprites and elves; it is why remote comets discharge so brilliantly
as they approach the inner solar system; it is why "asteroids"
comets if their orbits are sufficiently eccentric; it is why comets
break up as they move through the Sun's electric field.
Once admitted, the
Electric Universe will not just alter a few imagined "islands" in space;
it will change the picture entirely.
Thanks to Michael
Armstrong for the primary scientific content in this article.
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