Author Archives: Stephen Smith

Does Recession Exist?

  Jul 24, 2014 Cosmologists still have no idea what dark energy is. In 1998, two astronomical research teams independently discovered what is now called “dark energy.” Saul Perlmutter of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Brian Schmidt from the … Continue reading

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Bacterial Batteries?

  Jul 23, 2014 More electric biology. A previous Picture of the Day described the way that some single-celled organisms make use of charge exchange in order to drive their flagella. Rather than the conversion of ATP, they move protons … Continue reading

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Stars in the Plasma Focus

  Jul 22, 2014 Supernovae are what Hannes Alfvén called them: exploding double layers. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is relatively small, irregular galaxy approximately 168,000 light-years from Earth. The distance is approximate, because different parallax values are obtained when different measuring sticks are … Continue reading

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Minerals on Mars

Jul 21, 2014 Extensive deposits of various compounds are found on Mars. The idea that there might once have been liquid oceans on Mars has been bandied about for hundreds of years. The Mars Science Laboratory, known as Curiosity, was … Continue reading

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Rosetta Update

Jul 18, 2014 Some surprises as the spacecraft closes in. The Rosetta Cometary Probe is rapidly approaching Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. To the research team’s surprise, it appears to be made of two distinct lobes. As the catalog of small objects … Continue reading

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Electric Charge vs. Hot Gas

  Jul 17, 2014 Astronomers have detected a strand of galaxies and gas flowing into a remote cluster. Today’s predominant cosmological hypothesis is based on a gravity-only paradigm. Moving masses and heat are the only factors allowed to operate in … Continue reading

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An Ordinary Star

Jul 16, 2014 “The Sun is new each day”. — Heraclitus For a long time it was thought that the anomalous multimillion degree temperature in the solar corona resulted from “steady heating”, therefore, coronal loops at a certain temperature should … Continue reading

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Shaping What Is

  Jul 15, 2014 Galaxies are the luminous children of electrical parentage, not the darkling spawn of invisible forces. “Hear one side and you will be in the dark. Hear both and all will be clear.” — Lord Chesterfield “Galaxies … Continue reading

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Pearly Blues

Jul 14, 2014 A helix of stars surrounds a pair of galaxies thought to be colliding. Galactic evolution occurs as large-scale plasma discharges form spinning wheels of coherent filaments that display electrodynamic behavior and not merely that which gravity alone … Continue reading

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Saturn Supernova

Jul 11, 2014 Shockwave: a compressional wave of high amplitude caused by a shock (as from an earthquake or explosion) to the medium through which the wave travels. The plasmasphere of Saturn is highly energetic, enough so that, when the Cassini orbiter … Continue reading

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