The Cat’s Eye Nebula displays an abundance of
plasma-discharge properties that leave standard
gravity-and-hot-gas theories floundering.
The standard explanation of all so-called planetary nebulae, of which the Cat’s
Eye is an example, is “star death.” As a star burns itself up, it evolves into a
red giant that “boils off” a relatively slow-moving wind. At a critical stage,
it collapses into a white dwarf, blowing off its atmosphere at a high speed. The
high-speed wind catches up to the previous low-speed wind, collides with it, and
produces shock waves that form bubbles, hot gas, and x-rays.
Astronomers have come to realize that the expected spherical shells of gas are
hourglass-shaped structures and that the few spherical forms are the result
of viewing them “looking down the barrel.” Various ad hoc hypotheses are
appended to account for this bipolar symmetry, the filamentary structures, and
other anomalous features.
The Electric Universe understands the Cat’s Eye to be a far-from-equilibrium
electrical discharge in plasma. The evenly spaced radial filaments with
concentric rings of increased luminosity are typical of the
plasma focus discharge mechanism. The filaments tend to pair up, and several
exhibit the braiding that develops as pairs of filaments spiral around their
The central “bubble” region, in red (optical) and blue (x-ray), marks out the
rough “double helix” of Birkeland currents along the axis of the hourglass form.
The axis is slightly tilted and perhaps “bent” to the line of sight. As is
typical, the visible “ends” of the
double helix are forked
Thin double layers separate the cells of plasma from each other, and these
double layers accelerate charge carriers, primarily electrons, to high
velocities. In the blue region, these fast moving electrons spiral along the
magnetic field and emit x-ray synchrotron radiation. Standard theorists often
misinterpret this high-energy radiation as collisional emissions from a hot gas.
The image shown is the central region of the nebula. Outside this region lies an
outer shell of the hourglass form with even more pronounced filamentation.
The ring of luminosity that has formed where the threads of current have pinched
down to a threshold of current density emphasize the view “down the barrel” of