fluctuations of “variable stars” have long puzzled
astronomers. Perhaps the similarity of their brightness
curves to those of lightning is the best indicator of the
What makes a
variable star vary? The conventional astronomer and the
plasma astronomer will give different answers, because a
conventional star and an electrically driven star are not at
such as Mira (photo above), fit well in the theory of
electric stars. Most have a brightness curve similar to that
of lightning, with a sudden rise time followed by a slower
exponential decay. You can see this curve in the charts of
two variables, Mira and of Delta Cephei above.
curve of Mira (upper diagram) follows the same sudden onset
and slow decay as lightning . The star varies over a period
of just under a year (the missing part of the brightness
curves are the times of the year when the star is not seen
at night.) The lower brightness curve is for Delta Cepheus,
the flagship star of the Cepheid variables. Cepheid
variables have a much shorter period than Mira variables,
but 90% of them have the lightning signature of a fast rise
and slow decay.
stars are regular and others are irregular. The irregular
ones seem to average power over the bursts. When the bursts
are more frequent, the energy per burst is less. This is to
be expected from an electric circuit where the trigger level
is variable and the power input is constant.
plasma cosmologist and retired professor of electrical
engineering, suggests that most, maybe all, variable stars
are binaries. Their variability is caused by electric
discharge between the two stars.
Scott says: “As
I see it, [variable] binaries operate generally as follows:
Each of the stars has an electrical capacitance. These two
capacitances are permanently connected by a plasma (cloud).
This plasma exhibits (as do all plasmas) a nonlinear
resistance. If one of the stars charges up to a high enough
voltage ... , then the plasma will go into the arc mode and
emit brilliant light, perhaps x-rays and gamma-rays.
Electrical energy will be transferred from the first
capacitor (star) to the other. It doesn't make any
difference which star is bigger.
between the two stars probably doesn't go away. After the
arc discharge is over (the voltage difference between the
two capacitors is dissipated), the plasma bridge goes back
into its normal glow or dark current mode and waits for the
relaxation oscillation circuit, some variable stars reduce
their variability and eventually come to equilibrium. We see
this happening to the north star, Polaris. Polaris is a
binary Cepheid variable whose brightness has increased over
the course of the last century, while the level of
variability has decreased and the length of time over which
it varies has became longer.
between a star and its companion also apply to
close-orbiting planets, as discovered recently in the tau
Bootes system. Here the “microvariability” of the star has
been correlated to the orbit of a close-orbiting planet.
Mainstream astronomers explain it as tidal interactions –
the planet pulls the star’s bright atmosphere around with
it. But observations show that starspots (sunspots on other
stars) and magnetic fields on the star are also related to
the planet’s positions. For a plasma cosmologist, that is an
indication that electrical interactions should be
Even our own Sun
is a variable star (see Wal Thornhill’s link below). It
varies over about an eleven-year period known as the sunspot
cycle. And, as shown in the 1950’s, that variability is
connected to the orbits of the largest planets in the
system, Jupiter and Saturn.
cosmologists, the study of variable stars is an opportunity
to better understand the way electrical circuits behave in
Please check out Professor Don Scott's
new book The Electric Sky.
READERS: Wallace Thornhill, David Talbott, and Anthony
Peratt will share the stage with other investigators of
planetary catastrophe at the British Society for
Interdisciplinary Studies “Conference 2007” August