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Starburst galaxy M82 combining images from the Hubble Space Telescope and
the WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak, AZ. Credits: Mark Westmoquette
(University College London), Jay Gallagher (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Linda Smith (University College London), WIYN//NSF, NASA/ESA

Where the Star Winds Blow
Jun 08, 2010

Radial filaments within galactic "superwinds" identify them as plasma phenomena.

“If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him.”
--- Seneca

The irregular galaxy M82—otherwise known as the Cigar Galaxy—forms a pair with M81, Barnard's Galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. M82 is also referred to as a "starburst galaxy," because it is thought to form new stars at a rate 10 times greater than the Milky Way. Rapid star formation is said to have dramatically affected M82. So called "stellar winds" from new stars and the shock waves from supernovae have caused hot hydrogen and nitrogen (with temperatures more than 10 million Kelvin) to fan out from the galactic core for several thousand light years.

A recent press release from the Chandra X-ray Telescope identifies the superheated gases as a galactic "super wind."

According to the tenets of Electric Universe theory, galactic evolution can be explained in terms of large-scale plasma discharges that form spinning wheels of coherent filaments. Stars in galaxies tend to coalesce in long arcs like beads on a string, one of a hundred mysteries that conventional cosmology must confront. No gravity-only theory can explain star formation, in general, but the barred spirals and the tremendous elliptical whirlpools that congregate in million-light-year clusters are beyond any conventional definition.

When plasma moves through a dust or gas, the cloud becomes ionized and electric currents flow. When electricity pushes through any substance it forms a magnetic field. One aspect of magnetism in plasma is that it creates what are sometimes called “plasma ropes.” Magnetic fields surround the plasma, confining it into a coherent system known as a Birkeland current.

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 regions of opposite charge, keeping them from neutralizing each other.

In previous Picture of the Day articles, we noted that many structures in the Universe are active energy sources, such as M82. Such galaxies are often observed to eject charged matter from their poles. Plasma cosmologists have long known that the ionic lobes extending far above the poles of "radio" galaxies are the signature of Birkeland currents.

Almost every body in the Universe displays some kind of filamentation. Comet tails are often in pairs, one dusty and one composed of "stringy" ion filaments. Planetary nebulae resolve into intricate webs. Herbig-Haro stars and energetic galaxies emit jets that resolve into braids. The spiral arms of some galaxies look "hairy" with threads of material extending from them.

Every element in a galactic circuit radiates energy, and it must be powered by its coupling with larger circuits. The extent of those larger circuits is indicated by the observation that galaxies occur in strings.

Written by Stephen Smith from an idea suggested by Jim Johnson



"The Cosmic Thunderbolt"

YouTube video, first glimpses of Episode Two in the "Symbols of an Alien Sky" series.


And don't forget: "The Universe Electric"

Three ebooks in the Universe Electric series are now available. Consistently praised for easily understandable text and exquisite graphics.

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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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In language designed for scientists and non-scientists alike, authors Wallace Thornhill and David Talbott show that even the greatest surprises of the space age are predictable patterns in an electric universe.
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