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Electric Universe Continues to "Baffle" Astronomers
By Michael Goodspeed

The 19th century humorist Josh Billings once said, "There is no greater evidence of superior intelligence than to be surprised at nothing." One wonders how today's astronomers and astrophysicists might feel about this statement. Space scientists continually express surprise and perplexity over new discoveries -- from the energetic outbursts of comets, to the electric sun/earth connection, to the anomalous motions of galaxies, to the vast, filamentary jets seen stretching over intergalactic distances, our increased technological ability to detect space phenomena has only increased astronomers' surprise and confusion.

But the real measure of a person's intelligence -- and integrity -- is how he or she responds to life's inevitable surprises. Does one deny and resist these revelations, clinging furiously to misguided beliefs? Or is one content to be proved wrong, perhaps suffering a blow to the ego but moving a step closer to real understanding?

Space scientists will admit to surprise or even astonishment, but this seldom prevents them from claiming to understand what they're seeing, even when the surprises refute their most basic assumptions. A good example of this is seen in astronomers' recent observations of a "baffling cosmic explosion" that "seems to have come out of nowhere." The explosion is a long duration gamma-ray burster. Astronomers have long believed that such a burst is powered by the death of a massive star. But satellite images reveal no galaxy anywhere near the proximity of the burst.

"Here we have this very bright burst, yet it's surrounded by darkness on all sides," said team member Brad Cenko of the California Institute of Technology. "The nearest galaxy is more than 88,000 light-years away, and there's almost no gas lying between the burst and Earth."

The report on the "explosion" reads: "Because the massive stars believed to produce GRBs live fast and die young, they don't have time to wander from their birthplace, which is usually dense clouds of gas and dust inside of galaxies. So the explosion raise [sic] the perplexing question of how a massive star could be found so far from a galaxy.

"If a massive star died far away from any galaxy, the key question is, how did it manage to be born there?' said team member Derek Fox of Penn State. 

Here we see investigators, though openly "baffled," still refusing to think outside their models, even when direct observation contradicts them. One radical possibility they're not considering is that their fundamental assumptions about gamma-ray bursters (GRBs) are incorrect -- they are not generated by the death of a massive star, their ideas about star formation and the nature of stars are incorrect, and the energies of the explosions are far less than standard theory calculates. This is, in fact, the position of proponents of plasma cosmology, and of the Electric Universe.

Astronomers' beliefs about GRBs have been thrown into disarray before. In July of 2005, a burst that lasted a tenth of a second was followed thirty seconds later by a 150-second x-ray flash. The location of the burst was pinpointed, and a few days later, the Hubble Space Telescope obtained an image of the optical afterglow and the "host" galaxy. According to conventional theories, the redshift of this galaxy determined its distance at about two billion light years. To appear as bright as it did, the GRB must have given off more energy in that one-tenth of a second than the entire galaxy gives off in a year! The only mechanisms imaginable in a gravity-dominated universe that could be this "energy-dense" are extreme supernovae and neutron-star or black-hole mergers. Because no supernova was observed and because the GRB occurred at the edge of the galaxy (most black holes are thought to reside in galactic cores) this GRB was considered to be the result of a merger of neutron stars.

But as repeatedly demonstrated on the pages of, redshift is not a reliable measure of an object's distance. As far back as the 1960's, astronomer Halton Arp began documenting instances where two or more galaxies and/or quasars were associated, or even physically connected, in contradiction of the assumption that their different redshifts meant that one should be millions or even billions of light-years farther away than the other. Therefore, the energy of the 2005 GRB was almost certainly much less than astronomers believe, and the "host" galaxy appears small and faint because it really is small and faint -- not because it's far away.

Likewise, the recently observed "baffling cosmic explosion" may not have "come out of nowhere." Although it cannot definitively be said from an electrical perspective what creates gamma-ray bursters, we can say with great confidence that they are not caused by the death of stars, and they are electrical in nature. Astronomers study GRBs based on their spectra and their time histories. The spectra indicate emission of X-rays from highly excited ions and from fast electrons. The time histories vary greatly but generally show a fast rise of energy and a gradual fading. Sometimes one or more lower-energy pulses precede the peak energy pulse; often other spikes, which also show the fast-rise-slower-decline profile, interrupt the decline in energy.

The excited ions, fast electrons, and range of energy curves are common properties of LIGHTNING. They occur -- at the appropriate energy levels -- in lab discharges, atmospheric lightning, solar flares, supernovae, and, now, in GRBs. To try and explain these energetic patterns, conventional theorists do what they always do when faced with the inexplicable -- they call on invisible, untestable, unmeasurable, super-powerful gravitational forces to do the hard way (or the IMPOSSIBLE way) what electricity does routinely. Experiments and computer simulations have shown that plasma phenomena can be scaled over many orders of magnitude -- that is, they behave in much the same manner and obey the same principles from the atomic scale to the galactic. In other words, the cosmic explosion that so "baffles" astronomers is not baffling to those familiar with experimental plasma science. It is exactly what it seems to be -- a plasma discharge in space.

So from where might this discharge have originated? In an Electric Universe, galaxies are not isolated objects -- they are connected electrically. Across the immense volume of intergalactic space, electric currents, minuscule across short distances, possess the power to organize galactic structure. Such currents, unrecognized by modern astronomy, are fully capable of producing rare instances of plasma instability -- a high-energy event provoked by converging currents in a "z-pinch." The electric discharges provoked by pinching currents have been studied in the plasma laboratory for decades. And the phenomenon is incomparably more efficient in producing GRBs than the untested, gravitational events envisioned by mainstream theorists. Moreover, evidence continues to mount that cosmological redshift is proportional to the electrical stresses in a discharge, in which case the measured redshift cannot reliably tell us the distance of an event.

The mainstream's bafflement over electrical phenomena in space cannot be resolved by ad hoc theoretical inventions that will only be refuted again in the future. Instead of "going back to the drawing board" to try and save failed theories, the time is long passed for astronomers to question WHY space discovery has so relentlessly "baffled" them, and to seek the PATTERNS consistent in the "surprises." When seen without ideological prejudice, these patterns tell us one thing -- we live in an electric universe.


For your best gateway to the Electric Universe, see And for a highly-acclaimed 60 minute video introduction to the Electric Universe, see Thunderbolts of the Gods on Google Video.



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