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Sulfur-rich soil churned up by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell.

The Quest for Life
Sep 16, 2010

Sulfur is an abundant element on Mars. Is it a sign that life once existed there?

"My hour is almost come, when I to sulphurous and tormenting flames must render up myself."
Hamlet: Act 1 Scene 5
--- William Shakespeare

According to the Electric Universe theory, diversity exists among the Sun's planetary family because they were created from electric discharge events. A gas giant planet or a brown dwarf star ejected the rocky planets because plasma instabilities within the parent body caused it to become overcharged, akin to a short circuit within its structure.

In the conventional view known as the Nebular Hypothesis, after stars condense from a diffuse cloud the remaining clumps of dust and gas that are not absorbed by the newly minted star swirl around, attracting more stray bits, until they also condense, but this time into planets. It is said that our own Solar System was created in that way billions of years ago.

As has been discussed in previous Pictures of the Day, when a star is under extreme electrical stress it might undergo a process known as "stellar fissioning," so that its surface will increase, absorbing the additional load. When those splits occur, gas giants might form, then smaller planet-sized objects, then moons, then asteroids, and so on. Assuming the fundamental principles of Electric Universe theory to be true, this method of parturition is a credible alternative to the problems associated with the Nebular Hypothesis.

Stellar electric discharges are also efficient at sorting elements based on their critical ionization velocities, which can help to explain why planets do not contain the same elemental ratios. Plasma discharges also release neutrons that can form short-lived radioactive elements when they bombard more stable nuclei. Such discharges are also powerful enough to cause transmutation.

A recent press release states that certain sulfur compounds might be found on Mars, which will signify that life once existed in the now frozen desolation of its surface. Since microbes on Earth are capable of metabolizing sulfates into sulfides, especially the lighter isotopic compounds, researchers suggest that, if the same materials are found on Mars then they were probably created by bacteria.

As the press release states, in 2012 NASA plans to launch the Mars Science Laboratory, with a spectrometer sensitive enough to detect the light isotopic sulfides that are found on Earth. They contend that those mineral deposits will be the signature of biological activity.

Sulfur has been found throughout the Solar System. The Galileo space probe discovered it on Jupiter's moons Io and Europa. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit found several deposits on the Red Planet, as well. Does electricity have anything to do with those revelations?

As the MER A Spirit traveled through an area of deep powder on the way to "McCool Hill" in 2006, its rear wheel became jammed, causing it to drag instead of spin. The locked wheel churned the ground, uncovering soil high in magnesium sulfate, commonly called "Epsom salt," a white, crystalline compound.

The majority of the sulfur on Mars is bound up with iron and magnesium into sulfates that seem to indicate a "long soak in water." Since Mars is conventionally presumed to have been a wet planet at some time in the past, the sulfates provided planetary scientists with a potential confirmation.

On Mars, deep channels, ripples and other structures are thought to be the remains of water flowing on the surface, eroding it in the same way as water is believed to erode our planet. It has been proposed that there were oceans of water millions of years ago, so chemicals that form on Earth in the presence of water are presumed to have formed on Mars in the same fashion. Despite the contradictory evidence of mineral deposits that would be destroyed by water, such as olivine, the flowing water hypothesis continues to guide theories of Martian geology.

It has been suggested many times in these pages that electric arcs could have sculpted what we see on Mars. Valles Marineris, Olympus Mons, the vast 900 kilometer crater in Argyre Planitia, the terraced mounds in Arabia Terra, as well as both Martian poles demonstrate strong support for the electric discharge theory.

In other articles, we concluded that the same powerful electric discharges on Mars could have transmuted silicon into iron and reformed silicon dioxide rock layers into the vast fields of hematite spherules that litter the landscape.

Because electric arcs are capable of such transmutation effects, it has also been suggested that Jupiter's electrically active moon, Io, has experienced the transmutation of oxygen from water ice into sulfur, resulting in the gigantic sulfur "volcanoes" that mar its surface. In reality, according to Electric Universe advocates, the "volcanoes" on Io are the touchdown points where the plasmasphere of Jupiter completes its electrical circuit with its moon.

The sulfur on Mars could be from a similar cause, without the need for microbial lifeforms. Mars has no plasma sheath to protect it from solar wind radiation. Instead, electric currents from the Sun impinge directly. If those currents were stronger in the past, all the chemical compounds that have been attributed to water might have appeared when the current flow pulverized the materials, compressed them in z-pinch zones, exposed them to intense shock and magnetic force fields, and then finally deposited them in layers following rapid cathode sputtering.

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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  Follow the stunning success of the Electric Universe in predicting the 'surprises' of the space age.  
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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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Professor of engineering Donald Scott systematically unravels the myths of the "Big Bang" cosmology, and he does so without resorting to black holes, dark matter, dark energy, neutron stars, magnetic "reconnection", or any other fictions needed to prop up a failed theory.
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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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EXECUTIVE EDITORS: David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Michael Armstrong, Dwardu Cardona,
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