Filamentary My Dear
the visible universe exhibit features that are twisted and
“stringy”. From plume to prominence it is plasma
interactions that we see.
Thunderbolts Picture of the Day articles, there have been
many instances where we have identified formations
cut in stone or puffed-out in
clouds of ionized gas that are not easily explained by
conventional theories. Two such figures are shown at the top
of the page. One is said to be a volcano erupting on the
surface of Jupiter’s
active moon Io. The other is a massive flaring eruption
from the sun. How do both events relate to one another when
they occur in such disparate environments?
in the solar system is a charged body orbiting in a plasma.
There are many ways in which plasma interacts with dust or
atmospheric gasses no matter how hot or cold they are.
Spacecraft sent to other planets, as well as satellites
orbiting our own planet, have detected auroras, lightning,
tornadoes and dust devils.
Volcanoes on Earth have been found to “spit lightning”
from their vents. Global
dust storms on Mars are shown to be fed by thousands of
sky-high funnels. Further into the solar system remote
instruments are finding radio noise,
electrified comets, spokes in Saturn’s rings and many
other modes of electrical activity.
moves through a dust or gas, it tends to ionize the material
and cause electric current to flow. As was demonstrated by
Faraday more than a century ago, when electricity pushes
through any substance a magnetic field is created. One
aspect of magnetism in electrified plasma is that it creates
what are sometimes called “plasma
ropes”. The magnetic field surrounds the plasma,
confining it into a coherent system known as a Birkeland
currents are ionic filaments that transport charge great
distances through space along their tubular interiors. The
tubes are really double-walled, folded layers of
charge separation that isolate the positive and negative
potential, keeping them from interacting and neutralizing
The sun’s energy moves through
the solar system in Birkeland currents for billions of miles
as the solar wind – a name that is, unfortunately,
inadequate in its strictly mechanical definition. In
reality, there is a storm of ions blasting out of the sun
along gigantic filaments that prevent the discharge from
dissipating as it goes.
Universe theorists insist that
galactic evolution can also be explained in terms of
large-scale plasma discharges that form wheels of coherent
filaments. Why stars in galaxies tend to coalesce in long
arcs like bright beads on a line is one of a hundred
mysteries that conventional cosmology must confront. No
gravity-only hypothesis can resolve the issue of star
formation, in general, but the structure that has been seen
within the barred spirals and the tremendous elliptical
whirlpools that congregate in million-light-year clusters
continues to elude definition.
Don Scott, author of The Electric Sky and from whom the
title of this paper was stolen, wrote about the way plasma
acts in the universe:
“Plasma phenomena are scalable.
Their electrical and physical properties remain the same,
independent of the size of the plasma. In a laboratory
plasma, of course, things happen much more quickly than on,
say, galaxy scales, but the phenomena are identical -- they
obey the same laws of physics.
In other words we can make
accurate models of cosmic scale plasma behavior in the lab,
and generate effects that mimic those observed in space. It
has been demonstrated that plasma phenomena can be scaled to
fourteen orders of magnitude. (Alfven hypothesized that they
can be scaled to 28 orders or more!) Electric currents
flowing in plasmas produce most of the observed astronomical
phenomena that remain inexplicable if we assume gravity and
magnetism to be the only forces at work.”
By Stephen Smith
Please visit our new "Thunderblog" page
Through the initiative of managing
editor Dave Smith, we’ve begun the launch of a new
presentations of fact and opinion, with emphasis on
and the explanatory power of the Electric Universe."
new: online video page
The Electric Sky and The Electric Universe