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Radio lobes extending from the "active galaxy" Centaurus A.
Credit: (Optical) Hubble Space Telescope and (radio) the Very large Array.



Noisy Space—Electric Space
Sep 03, 2009

A recent press release announced the measurement of background radio noise over six times what was “hoped for” based on data from a NASA-funded high altitude helium balloon.

Space scientists from NASA and UC Berkeley recently announced that the Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Diffuse Emission (ARCADE) findings uncovered unexpectedly high radio emissions from the cosmic background. There is no mistaking the unmitigated surprise from the investigators at this discovery.

The researchers had expected to identify weak background radio noise from early star formation after the Big Bang. However, in the words of the principle investigator, Alan Kogut, “Instead of the faint signal we hoped to find, here was this booming noise six times louder than anyone had predicted.”

According to the investigators, there are no theories to explain the unusually high background signal level. But what if the space between galaxies is a source of synchrotron radio emissions?

Built to rise to 120,000 feet, ARCADE is the first instrument sensitive enough to detect this radio signal. The radio receivers are immersed in 500 gallons of liquid helium, which keeps them at 2.7 Kelvin (2.7 degrees above absolute zero) to enhance their sensitivity.

In determining background radio noise, the researches must subtract out known sources to arrive at a true background value. This is difficult, besides being rife with assumptions and potential errors. However, what if the space between galaxies is not “radio-neutral” and there’s a source they have not allowed for?

What if the galaxies are formed, powered and connected by Birkeland currents stretching billions of light-years? These field-aligned Birkeland currents are a predictable and inevitable formation of diffuse plasma. The currents are proposed to have magnitudes ranging up to a billion billion Amperes (Peratt, 1990).

According to Peratt (1990), the diameter of a typical current can be in the range of 100,000 light-years and separated from a neighboring current by about the same distance. The length of the currents (based on laboratory analogues) can be upwards of 10 billion light-years with an average length of 100 million light-years.

As Peratt points out in his paper, the currents, which coalesce and twist around each other into “magnetic ropes,” are not observable themselves. But they can be detected by the matter that they pull in to form filaments along their lengths. Very tenuous cosmic plasma will self-organize into a cellular plasma structure with filamentary surface currents that concentrate diffuse matter.

It is reasonable to predict that the unusually high background radio noise observed by ARCADE should be higher than expected because there is a potential source that has not been subtracted out: the intergalactic Birkeland currents. As long as astronomers continue to visualize galaxies as separate islands in space, they will miss a large piece of the puzzle.

There is an immensely large volume of space between the galaxies that could be electromagnetically active. The Birkeland currents between the galaxies emit synchrotron radiation, not nearly as intense as the more energetic z-pinches of the galaxies and stars, but there nonetheless.

As Philip Lubin, one of the team members of the ARCADE study, said, "The universe continues to amaze us and provide us with new mysteries. It is like a large puzzle that we are slowly given pieces to so that we can eventually see through the fog of our confusion."

A large part of that confusion arises from not learning from our terrestrial aurora that Birkeland currents across a wide scale of magnitudes are a very active component of the electrical life of the Universe.

By Tom Wilson




SPECIAL NOTE - **New Volumes Available:
We are pleased to announce a new e-book series THE UNIVERSE ELECTRIC. Available now, the first volume of this series, titled Big Bang, summarizes the failure of modern cosmology and offers a new electrical perspective on the cosmos. At over 200 pages, and designed for broadest public appeal, it combines spectacular full-color graphics with lean and readily understandable text.

**Then second and third volumes in the series are now available, respectively titled Sun and Comet, they offer the reader easy to understand explanations of how and why these bodies exist within an Electric Universe.

High school and college students--and teachers in numerous fields--will love these books. So will a large audience of general readers.

Visitors to the site have often wondered whether they could fully appreciate the Electric Universe without further formal education. The answer is given by these exquisitely designed books. Readers from virtually all backgrounds and education levels will find them easy to comprehend, from start to finish.

For the Thunderbolts Project, this series is a milestone. Please see for yourself by checking out the new Thunderbolts Project website, our leading edge in reaching new markets globally.

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Authors David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill introduce the reader to an age of planetary instability and earthshaking electrical events in ancient times. If their hypothesis is correct, it could not fail to alter many paths of scientific investigation.
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EXECUTIVE EDITORS: David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Mel Acheson, Michael Armstrong,
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Ian Tresman, Tom Wilson
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