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Coronal loops 450,000 kilometers high erupting from the Sun. Credit: NASA/Stanford
Lockheed Institute for Space Research and the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer
(TRACE) spacecraft.


The Gorgon's Head
Jul 27, 2010

Looping magnetic fields are the result of electric currents flowing through circuits.

Algol is the English transliteration of the Arabic "Ra's Al Ghul", the Demon's Head. It is the brightest star in the constellation Perseus, and is set in the forehead of Medusa, the Gorgon decapitated by the Greek hero. Although many star constellations bear Greek names, a large percentage of the stars within them are identified by Arabic words. In Perseus, star names such as Mirfak ("elbow") and Menkib ("shoulder") are from the Arabic language.

Algol, otherwise known as Beta Persei, has been of interest to the astronomical community for hundreds of years, because every 68 hours and 49 minutes the star diminishes in apparent magnitude and then returns to normal brightness. The Italian astronomer Geminiano Montanari first identified the star's variability in either 1667, 1669, or 1670 depending on the historical source material. Irrespective of the date, Algol was most likely seen as a variable star for millennia, since its periodic changes in brightness can be observed with the naked eye.

Algol is an eclipsing binary star located 93 light-years from Earth, as measured with the Hipparcos satellite using baseline parallax techniques. There is also a third stellar companion (gamma) in the system that orbits the alpha and beta pair every 21 months. New spectrophotometry data indicates a possible fourth star in the group, as well, making for unique orbital parameters.

According to a recent press release from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), a looping coronal prominence has been detected as it arcs outward from the poles of the less massive beta star toward the larger member of the pair. There is nothing particularly unusual about coronal loops, as indicated by the picture of our parent star at the top of the page, but this is the first time that a prominence has been observed anywhere other than the Sun.

There are repeated mentions of the "magnetic field", "magnetic loops", and "magnetic features" in the NRAO announcement. Noticeably absent is any reference to the electric currents that must be generating those magnetic phenomena. Magnetism cannot exist without electricity.

The surface of the Sun generates coronal arches and multiple loop structures that rise up from its surface and penetrate the chromosphere. The chromosphere is a plasma sheath, or double layer region of the Sun, where most of its electrical energy is contained. When the current flowing into the Sun's plasma sheath increases beyond a critical threshold it can trigger a sudden release of that energy, causing solar flares and enormous prominence eruptions.

As Electric Universe advocate Don Scott has repeatedly pointed-out, powerful looping electric currents generate secondary toroidal magnetic fields that surround the loop. When the current grows too strong, the plasma double layer is destroyed. That event interrupts the current flow and the stored electromagnetic energy is blasted into space as a solar flare.

It should come as no surprise that electric stars behave in the same way as the electric Sun. Stars are not self-powered thermonuclear fusion reactors, they are elements in galactic circuits that receive their power externally. The coronal loops observed on Algol are doubtless common occurrences on many stars.

"As I visualize the electric Sun, the cosmic space within which the Solar System is embedded possesses a net negative charge per unit relative to the Sun's charge per unit. As the Sun 'burns', it acquires increasing negative charge. The Sun's radiative lifetime will extend until the solar charge density equals that of its galactic surroundings."

--- Earl Milton, Associate Professor of Astronomy, Lethbridge University, Alberta, Canada "The Not So Stable Sun" Kronos, Vol. V No. 1 (1979).

Stephen Smith



"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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