picture of the day
Jul 10, 2007
Mysterious Ring of Stars
Although black holes are entirely constructed
from theoretical assumptions, they are no longer questioned in
conventional astronomy. But the plasma focus effect, which can be
studied in a laboratory, better accounts for the cosmic effects
attributed to black holes.
The caption to
the above images explains:
using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have identified the
source of a mysterious blue light surrounding a
super-massive black hole in our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy
(M31). Though the light has puzzled astronomers for more
than a decade, the new discovery makes the story even more
mysterious. The blue light is coming from a disk of hot,
young stars that are whipping around the black hole in much
the same way as planets in our solar system are revolving
around the Sun. Astronomers are perplexed about how the
pancake-shaped disk of stars could form so close to a giant
black hole. Andromeda and its complex core can be seen in
the illustration and two images [above]. The illustration
[lower, right] shows the disk of blue stars nested inside a
larger ring of red stars. The Hubble photo [upper, right]
reveals Andromeda’s bright core. The image at left shows the
for granted today that black holes are as real as apples in
the supermarket. The long history of developing, modifying,
adapting, amending, revising and redesigning the idea of a
black hole goes unnoticed. This habit of not noticing was
established early on when an announcement that a black hole
had “at last” been discovered was quietly disregarded after
the newly discovered object was found to have properties
that contradicted those attributed to a black hole. Usually
these properties involved the release of unexplainable
amounts of energy.
But when finally
the idea of a black hole was refashioned from an object that
sucks everything in to an object that spits everything out,
astronomers had an explanatory blank check with which they
could pay for every ultra-high-energy event—galactic jets,
quasars, ultra-luminous objects, even a ring of hot gas
“whipping” around the black hole.
This ring of hot
gas in the Andromeda galaxy, however, complicated the
picture. It appears to have condensed into stars—over 400 of
them. But condensations shouldn’t be able to form that close
to a strong gravitational source: Tidal forces should tear
any condensation apart.
The ring is only
one light year across. It appears to be in the same plane as
a larger (five light years across) disk of red stars. The
speed of the blue stars is calculated to be about a thousand
kilometers per second, which allows astronomers to declare
that the mass of the black hole is “proved conclusively” to
be 140 million suns, three times that of previous estimates.
Astronomers wonder if these rings might be fairly common:
They have discovered signs of similar stars close to the
core of our Milky Way.
blue-light-emitting ring of knotted material that’s a light
year in diameter and situated at the core of a galaxy
doesn’t perplex astronomers who are familiar with plasma.
They can generate a miniature version of it in a plasma lab
plasma focus device: It is the plasmoid that
forms and stores energy at the focus of the discharge. When
the plasmoid reaches a critical energy level, it discharges
its energy in a collimated jet along its axis in the form of
electromagnetic radiation and neutrons. Being unstable
outside a nucleus, the neutrons soon decay into protons and
electrons. The electrons are held back by the
electromagnetic field, and the high-speed protons are beamed
At the galactic
scale, this is the likely mechanism that produces the
collimated jets streaming from the cores of active galaxies.
The masses of ejected protons may make up the quasars that
are associated with these galaxies and could be the basis
for the quasars’ intrinsic redshifts.
This plasmoid at
the core of the Andromeda galaxy is not now discharging. But
this suggests that it has discharged in the past and could
discharge again. In this regard,
Halton Arp’s discussion of the Local Group of
galaxies (in Quasars,Redshifts and Controversies, pp.
128-132) is of interest. The Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the
largest member of the group (of which our galaxy, the Milky
Way, is also a member). All the other members of the group,
as well as several intergalactic hydrogen clouds, are strung
out in a
line along M31’s spin axis.
The Local Group
is arbitrarily limited to objects whose redshifts are less
than an indicative velocity of 300 km/sec. If higher values
are admitted, over a dozen other objects in that quadrant of
the sky come under consideration. All occur along the same
line. One of these objects is 3C120, the radio galaxy with a
jet that appears to be moving at six times the speed of
light—if the galaxy is at it’s conventional redshift
distance. But if the galaxy is a member of the Local Group
and is one of the ejecta of M31 whose redshifts are
intrinsic, the jet is moving at only four percent
the speed of light.
Are the Local
Group objects—including the Milky Way—the “children” of M31,
“born” by ejection from the blue ring at the center of M31?
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