legacy page  
     homeaboutessential guidepicture of the daythunderblogsnewsmultimediapredictionsproductsget involvedcontact

picture of the day

chronological archive               subject archive


Galaxy NGC 4666, thought to be about 80 million light-years from Earth. Credit: ESO.

Double Layer Acceleration
Mar 01, 2011

Instead of gaseous "superwinds," astronomers are witnessing the acceleration of particles from plasma double layers.

A recent press release states that NGC 4666 (above) is blowing a “superwind” of hot gas outward from the galaxy's energetic central bulge. It is so hot, according to astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), that it is emitting copious X-rays and radio waves. Since those wavelengths are not visible to the naked eye, the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton space telescope saw them first, prompting ESO to capture a visible-light image with its Wide Field Imager located in Paranal, Chile.

According to ESO, "A combination of supernova explosions and strong winds from massive stars in the starburst region drives a vast flow of gas from the galaxy into space."

To say that gas can be heated until it emits X-rays that "blow like a wind” indicates a serious lapse on the part of ESO's research team. Molecules of gas cannot remain intact at million degree temperatures because electrons are stripped from the atomic nuclei, causing them to become ionized. Instead of hot gas, the galactic surge should be referred to by its proper name: plasma.

Irrespective of their source, X-rays in space are not created by gravitational fields regardless of how strong they are theorized to be. Since plasma is composed of charged particles, the particles are accelerated by electric currents and spiral in the resulting magnetic fields, creating synchrotron radiation that can shine in all high energy frequencies, including extreme ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.

Electric power flows along the spiral arms of a galactic circuit where it is concentrated and stored in a central plasmoid within the galactic bulge. When the current density reaches a critical threshold, it discharges along the galaxy’s spin axis as an energetic jet of plasma. That phenomenon has been replicated in the laboratory with a plasma focus device.

When plasma moves through a dust or gas, the cloud becomes ionized and electric currents flow. The currents generate magnetic fields that confine themselves into coherent filaments known as Birkeland currents. The charged particles that compose the currents spiral along the magnetic fields, appearing as electrical vortices. The forces between these spinning Birkeland currents pull them close together and wind them around each other into ‘plasma ropes'.

Birkeland currents squeeze galactic plasma into thin filaments that remain collimated over great distances. Indeed, ESO's observations reveal that the material from NGC 4666 travels more than 30,000 light-years from its source, but that estimate could be off by a significant factor because of problems with redshift distance estimates. Jets usually end in so-called "radio lobes" that extend for many times a galaxy's diameter and, as mentioned, radiate copiously in radio frequencies. The diffuse current then flows back around toward the galaxy’s equatorial plane and spirals into its nucleus.

Don Scott, author of The Electric Sky, wrote about the way plasma acts in the Universe:

“Plasma phenomena are scalable. Their electrical and physical properties remain the same, independent of the size of the plasma. In a laboratory plasma, of course, things happen much more quickly than on, say, galaxy scales, but the phenomena are identical—they obey the same laws of physics. In other words we can make accurate models of cosmic scale plasma behavior in the lab, and generate effects that mimic those observed in space. It has been demonstrated that plasma phenomena can be scaled to fourteen orders of magnitude. (Alfvén hypothesized that they can be scaled to 28 orders or more!) Electric currents flowing in plasmas produce most of the observed astronomical phenomena that remain inexplicable if we assume gravity and magnetism to be the only forces at work.”

Hannes Alfvén identified the "exploding double layer" as a new class of celestial object. Double layers in space plasmas form most of the unusual structures we see.

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.

  This free site search script provided by JavaScript Kit  
  FREE update -

Weekly digest of Picture of the Day, Thunderblog, Forum, Multimedia and more.
*** NEW DVD ***
  Symbols of an Alien Sky
Selections Playlist

An e-book series
for teachers, general readers and specialists alike.
(FREE viewing)
  Thunderbolts of the Gods

  Follow the stunning success of the Electric Universe in predicting the 'surprises' of the space age.  
  Our multimedia page explores many diverse topics, including a few not covered by the Thunderbolts Project.  

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.
More info
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.
More info
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.
More info

The opinions expressed in the Thunderbolts Picture Of the Day are those of the authors of
the material, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Thunderbolts Project.
The linking to material off-site in no way endorses such material and the Thunderbolts
Project has no control of nor takes any responsibility for any content on linked sites.

EXECUTIVE EDITORS: David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Mel Acheson, Michael Armstrong,
Dwardu Cardona, Ev Cochrane, C.J. Ransom,
Don Scott, Rens van der Sluijs,
Ian Tresman
WEBMASTER: Brian Talbott
© Copyright 2011:
top ]

home   •   picture of the day   •   thunderblogs   •   multimedia   •   resources   •   forum   •   updates   •   contact us   •   support us