Galactic Superwinds

Starburst galaxy NGC 253. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton and B. Williams (University of Washington)

Starburst galaxy NGC 253. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton and B. Williams (University of Washington)

Apr 15, 2013

Radial filaments within galaxies identify them as plasma phenomena.

“If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him.”
— Seneca

The irregular galaxy M82—otherwise known as the Cigar Galaxy—forms a pair with M81, Barnard’s Galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. M82 is also referred to as a “starburst galaxy,” because it is thought to form new stars at a rate 10 times greater than the Milky Way. Rapid star formation is said to have dramatically affected M82. So called “stellar winds” from new stars and the shock waves from supernovae have caused hot hydrogen and nitrogen (with temperatures more than 10 million Kelvin) to fan out from the galactic core for several thousand light years.

According to the tenets of Electric Universe theory, galactic evolution can be explained in terms of large-scale plasma discharges that form spinning wheels of coherent filaments. Stars in galaxies tend to coalesce in long arcs like beads on a string, one of a hundred mysteries that conventional cosmology must confront. No gravity-only theory can explain star formation, in general, but the barred spirals and the tremendous elliptical whirlpools that congregate in million-light-year clusters are beyond any conventional definition.

When plasma moves through a cloud of dust or gas, the cloud becomes ionized and electric currents flow. When electricity flows through any substance it forms a magnetic field. One aspect of magnetism in plasma is that it creates what are sometimes called “plasma ropes.” Magnetic fields surround the plasma, confining it into a coherent system known as a Birkeland current.

In previous Picture of the Day articles, we noted that many structures in the Universe are active energy sources, such as M82. Such galaxies are often observed to eject charged matter from their poles. Plasma cosmologists have long known that the ionized lobes extending far above the poles of “radio” galaxies are the signature of electrical activity.

Almost every body in the Universe displays some kind of filamentation. Comet ion tails are filamentary. Planetary nebulae resolve into intricate webs. Herbig-Haro stars and energetic galaxies emit jets that resolve into braids. The spiral arms of some galaxies look “hairy” with threads of material extending from them.

Every element in a galactic circuit radiates energy, and it must be powered by its coupling with larger circuits. The extent of those larger circuits is indicated by the observation that galaxies occur in strings.

Stephen Smith

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