Best Picture of a Europan
Context and analysis
of a rope-like furrow on Jupiter’s moon Europa suggests a
lightning trench, not a “fracture” of an ice sheet.
For proponents of the Electric
Universe, the Jovian moon Europa provides more than one
example of what has gone wrong in the theoretical sciences.
Discoveries in space almost never fulfill the predictions of
the prevailing models. Popular theoretical frameworks in
cosmology, astrophysics, geology, and planetary science are
rooted in thinking prior to the space age, and those
formulating these approaches lacked a knowledge of plasma
science, particularly the study of plasma discharge.
The picture above is from a relatively small
region on Europa at about 16 degrees south latitude, 195
degrees west longitude. It was imaged on November 6th, 1996
and shows a surface entirely covered by filamentary,
rope-like and “paintbrush” imprints. Theorists of
the “Electric Universe” are aghast at the tenacity with
which NASA’s investigators have held to the interpretation
of these parallel grooves and furrows as “cracks” in the
ice, a theory maintained in the absence of any evidence that
ice fracturing could generate such patterns. (See “Europa—Dynamics
of Rille Formation”
The inset in the picture above
presents a section of the rope-like surface imprint, in
three-dimensional perspective. The picture combines high
resolution images obtained from two different viewing
angles, creating a scene in much the same way that our
brains construct an image when both eyes view something from
two angles. The resulting picture has a resolution of 26
meters per picture element. It does not show a crack in the
ice. Rather, it shows what appears to be an explosively cut
furrow, with levees or ridges on both sides reaching up to
300 meters (red) in height above the surroundings (purple).
The two ridges are separated by a valley about 1.5 kilometer
In the electric model, the
material excavated from the trench can be accounted for by
that found in the levees. Of course, this is not what we
should expect from repeated opening, closing, and
compression upwards of slushy material from a crack in the
ice. From the electric viewpoint, the furrow should be
compared to the V-shaped form of lightning trenches. This
model envisions a traveling underground discharge
explosively excavating the loose material in the ridges.
Then the melted ice along the heated lightning track at the
base of the furrow relaxes back to a level close to that of
the surrounding surface.
Of course the phrase
“lightning-carved furrows” has no place in the lexicon of
official planetary science today. And so the conventional
picture of Europa is constituted almost entirely of
paradoxes, contradictions, and unanswered questions.
For context of this “Picture of the Day”,
Europa—Caught in the Middle
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