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X-ray and optical images of Galaxy M82 (NGC 3034). Inset: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Tsinghua Univ./H. Feng et al.; Full-field: X-ray: NASA/CXC/JHU/D.Strickland; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA/The Hubble Heritage Team; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of AZ/C. Engelbracht


Eject This
Nov 23, 2010

This image of the bright core of the active galaxy M82 depicts the twisting axial filaments and equatorial toroid current of a galactic sized plasma discharge.

In the 1960s astronomers discovered quasi-stellar objects, better known as quasars, or QSOs. They have extremely large redshifts, indicating to the consensus astronomical community that they are far out in deep space, near the edge of the observable Universe.

Quasars are referred to as "quasi-stellar" because they are small, often little more than a light-year wide at their assumed distance. However, they shine so brightly that they are the most powerful continuously radiant objects in the Universe, provided they are really as far away as proposed.

The only other sources detectable at such distances are so-called "gamma ray bursters" (GRB). However, GRBs last for mere minutes, while QSOs are continuous. They remain as bright as when they were first discovered.

Some astronomers discovered that QSOs are associated with spiral galaxies (like M82) and appear to be near the galaxy instead of billions of light-years distant.

The quasar distribution also appears to be nonrandom. They form a tight cone stretching to the southeast of M82. The southeastern group aligns with a point near the center of M82. The QSOs to the northwest of M82 occupy a wide arc. There are no quasars to the Southwest.

The quasars to the Northwest are brighter than those to the Southeast, with lower redshifts. They are arranged in an arc rather than the tight cone seen in the group to the Southeast. Those observations suggest that the northwestern quasars are between the observatory and the M82 galaxy, while those to the Southeast are farther than M82. The southeastern grouping is fainter because light travels through M82 before reaching the observatory. The northwestern QSOs have a lower redshift because they are traveling toward the Milky Way.

Wider fields of view show the axial filaments in M82 to be helices, confirming that they are giant Birkeland currents. To the Southeast, in the direction of the red cone extending from the galaxy’s center, lie four quasars. The farthest is about 10 minutes of arc away. Nearer to the center is a radio source and X-ray emissions.

In line with this ejection cone but on the opposite side of the center lie two compact X-ray sources. The inset shows that they are very close to the center. Their spectra have not been identified, but it is likely that they are quasars, as so many galactic X-ray sources turn out to be. If so, their closeness to the center suggests that they are recent ejections—baby quasars just emerging into an Electric Universe.

Mel Acheson and Stephen Smith



"The Cosmic Thunderbolt"

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


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