tpods of 2013 archive

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Galaxy clusters such as Abell 2151 in the constellation Hercules are powerful X-ray emitters.
Credit: Tony Hallas

Electrical Accumulators

Dec 31, 2013 What takes place in thunderstorms on Earth is most likely a smaller version of large scale phenomena. "I have always believed that astrophysics should be the extrapolation of laboratory physics, that we must begin from the present Universe and work our way backward to progressively more remote ...
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A ‘Spider Gorget’ from a mound of the Mississippian Culture 7 miles from St. Louis (St. Clair County, Illinois, United States of America) (C. 800-1500 CE).

The Worldwide Web—A Common Thread

Dec 30, 2013 Shell gorgets were found in mounds of the prehistoric Mississippian culture, often still reposing on the chest of the wearer. The spider is a recurrent theme on gorgets in mounds in Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee. The early anthropologist William Henry Holmes (1846-1933) observed that the above specimen ...
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Circinus X-1 in X-rays (blue) and radio (purple). Background is from the Digitized Sky Survey. Credit:
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison/S. Heinz et al; Optical: DSS; Radio: CSIRO/ATNF/ATCA

Circinus: an X-Ray Binary?

Dec 27, 2013 Neutron stars are not viable explanations for energetic objects. Recently, the Chandra observatory detected what they are calling the "youngest" X-ray binary star radiating massive amounts of energy into space. The radiation is in X-ray wavelengths, which non-electrical theories can only interpret as being generated by matter ...
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How a rotating flagellum anchors to the cell wall. Credit: David DeRosie

Flagellar Motors

Dec 26, 2013 Rotating motors propel some bacteria. Some bacteria can swim through their tiny worlds. They accomplish this feat with the aid of spinning propellors called "flagella". The species of bacteria with this capability that is most familiar to readers is probably Escherichia coli, or E-coli. E-coli possesses a ...
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Stars in this globular cluster are supposed to have evolved into a bright giant phase. Recent observations reveal that 70% of them didn’t. Credit: ESO

More Stars Than the Eye of Theory Can See

Dec 24, 2013 A second generation of stars in the globular cluster NGC 6752 stopped evolving. Perhaps they’re waiting for a better theory. The idea that stars evolve is one of those unjustifiable preconceptions with which observations are interpreted and understood. With that idea for ink, astronomers can draw explanatory ...
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abell 85_universe simulation

Dark Expansion

Dec 23, 2013 Observations better fit the Electric Universe theory. In previous Thunderbolts Picture of the Day articles about the existence of “dark matter” it was noted that it is primarily an add-on, or ad-hoc theory, so that the current gravitational model of the Universe can be preserved. The lack ...
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Image of CW Leonis, also known as IRC +10216, was obtained with the SPIRE and PACS instruments on the Herschel Space Observatory. It combines observations at wavelengths of 160 µm (blue; PACS), 250 µm (green; SPIRE) and 350 µm (red; SPIRE).

Water in Stars?

Dec 20, 2013 Some stars are said to be surrounded by haloes of hot water mixed with carbon dust. Astronomers using the Herschel infrared space observatory discovered a putative cloud of hot water surrounding a giant star in the constellation Leo known as IRC+10216. They were also puzzled by the ...
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The Eagle Nebula (M16). Credit: T.A.Rector (NRAO/AUI/NSF and NOAO/AURA/NSF) and B.A.Wolpa (NOAO/AURA/NSF)

Dusty Plasma

Dec 19, 2013 Spiraling filaments suggest electric currents in space. Dust at a temperature near absolute zero shows up in the image above as a blue fog deep in the heart of the Eagle nebula. The Eagle nebula, located in the constellation Serpens approximately 7000 light-years away, is supposedly an ...
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Putative most distant object in the visible Universe, labeled z8_GND_5296. Credit: V. Tilvi, S.L. Finkelstein, C. Papovich, A. Koekemoer, CANDELS, and STSCI/NASA.


Dec 18, 2013 The Big Bang theory dominates cosmological theories. A recent press release announced that astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope and the twin, 10-meter Keck telescopes, have found an object 13.1 billion light-years from Earth, making it "...officially the most distant object ever detected." Casey Papovich, an astronomer ...
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The Rotten Egg Nebula. Credit: NASA, ESA, William B. Latter (SIRTF Science Center/California Institute of Technology), John H. Bieging (University of Arizona), Casey Meakin (University of Arizona), A.G.G.M. Tielens (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute), Aditya Dayal (IPAC/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Joseph L. Hora (Center for Astrophysics), and Douglas M. Kelly (University of Arizona).

Electromagnetic Nebulae

Dec 17, 2013 The Universe behaves according to the laws of plasma dynamics. In every science journal discussing the behavior of planetary nebulae, the prevailing opinion usually involves gases and dust "blowing" through them, as well as "winds" created by "shock waves" from exploding stars. In many cases, the nebula ...
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Three X-class solar flares in one day. Credit: NASA/SDO

X Flares

Dec 16, 2013 An X-2 class solar flare recently missed a direct impact with Earth. Heliophysicists classify solar flares according to their brightness in X-ray wavelengths. C-class flares are the smallest on the scale, with X-ray measurements in the 10^-6 watts per square meter range (W/m^2), while X-class flares can ...
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Wallace Line

Can Kangaroos Swim? The Wallace Line

Dec 13, 2013 Between Bali and its neighbouring island, Lombok, is a slim ten mile sea channel. The channel is the start of the thousands-mile-long Wallace line. It is not only a dividing geological etching beneath the sea, it is also a biological division. On one side of the Line ...
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Galaxy cluster RDCS 1252.9-2927. Purple color indicates x-ray emissions.
Credit: X-ray NASA/CXC/ESO/P.Rosati et al. Optical: ESO/VLT/P.Rosati et al.

The Powers of Darkness

Dec 12, 2013 Was the early Universe powered by "dark matter annihilation"? According to modern cosmologists, the Universe is composed primarily of dark matter. More than 95% of all that exists is unseen and undetectable by the most sensitive instruments yet devised. Many astrophysicists claim that the earliest stellar formations ...
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Artist's impression of "magnetic bubbles" surrounding the Solar System

Magnetic Froth

Dec 11, 2013 "Bubbles" of magnetic energy are said to surround the Sun's heliosheath. "In all our quest of greatness, like wanton boys, whose pastime is their care, we follow after bubbles, blown in the air." --- John Webster Shortly after the event, astronomer Merav Opher of Boston University's Voyager ...
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Relaxation phase of a super-exploding double layer. Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/NCSU/K.Borkowski et al.); Optical (DSS)

Super Exploding Double Layer

Dec 10, 2013 NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory recently discovered this object, which the dusty plasma near the center of the Milky Way obscures in optical light. X-rays penetrate the dust: low-energy signals are red, intermediate-energy signals are green, and high-energy signals are blue. The white dots are stars from the ...
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Galaxy M61 displays hexagonal interlacing. Credit: Hillary Mathis, N.A.Sharp/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Galactic Hexagon

Dec 09, 2013 Some galaxies exhibit polygonal structures. The term "diocotron instability" is not generally well known. Its use is confined to the field of plasma physics and refers to the distortions that occur when two sheets of plasma flow past each other. It is often confused with the Kelvin-Helmholtz ...
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El Capitan, a giant granite monolith in Yosemite National Park. Image Credit: Mike Murphy.

Stone Monoliths Part Two

Dec 6, 2013 Stones as large as mountains could be physical evidence for interplanetary lightning bolts on Earth. In the last installment about immense solitary stones that are found all over the world, it was noted that several of them in Australia and Europe could be the result of tremendous ...
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Axial discharge from a galaxy’s central plasmoid emits high-energy X-ray and radio “light.”Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/A.Siemiginowska et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA

Gaslights in the Radio Age

Dec 05, 2013 Modern instruments enable astronomers to look at the universe in wavelengths of light beyond human biological limitations. Astronomers are surprised that the x-ray and radio images are different from what they expected. Although they’re looking in a different light, they’re still seeing—trying to understand—with the same concepts ...
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Ben Bulben, County Sligo, Ireland. Image: Andrew C. Parnell

Stone Monoliths

Dec 04, 2013 On every continent are examples of isolated stone mountains that are not easy to explain. Mount Augustus in Australia is an example of a sandstone monolith that could be the largest of those monoliths that also includes Uluru. Mount Augustus, or Burringurrah to the local Wadjari people, ...
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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Martian Linear Gullies and Further Questions

Dec 03, 2013 Experimenters slid blocks of dry ice down sand dunes and reproduced some of the features of the long straight grooves on Martian hillsides.* The smart folks at Jet Propulsion Laboratory are to be commended for not only thinking up an explanation for the linear gullies on Mars ...
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A galaxy plot indicating the theoretical “cold dark matter” structure of the universe
out to 1.8 billion light-years. Credit: M. White, University of California, Berkeley.

Holes in Space

Dec 02, 2013 In the gravitational model of the universe, “dark matter” attraction pulls galaxies into filaments. Birkeland currents could be a better explanation. A paper in the astronomical journals and popular press identifies an area of space as a “huge hole” completely empty of matter and energy. "Not only ...
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The Fornax galaxy cluster. ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA.
Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit.

Hide and Seek

Nov 29, 2013 Astronomers claim to have found the galaxies missing in their earlier observations. “Astronomers always knew they were missing some fraction of the galaxies in Lyman-alpha surveys, but for the first time we now have a measurement. The number of missed galaxies is substantial.” So states a press ...
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Strange weathering in basalt lava deposits. Image credit: Mike Weiss

Antarctica’s Anomalous Formations

Nov 27, 2013 Not all the Southern Continent is frozen. It has areas like other deserts in the world: barren, dry and lifeless. Antarctica is known for being an ice-bound continent covered with glaciers and sheets of ice four kilometers deep. Its only long-term inhabitants are seabirds, seals, whales and ...
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The Alps from space. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Earth Cycles

Nov 26, 2013 It is a commonly held belief that events on Earth progress according to cycles. One of the principle tenets of Electric Universe theory is that Earth and the Solar System have experienced catastrophic reordering and resurfacing perhaps as little as 5000 years ago. The time varies, but ...
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Artist rendition of the twin Van Allen probes studying Earth’s electromagnetic fields.

Juno Meets Van Allen

Nov 25, 2013 On October 9, 2013 the Juno spacecraft flew by Earth on its way to Jupiter, where its passage through the ionosphere was detected. NASA launched the Juno Mission to Jupiter on August 5, 2011. After traveling out past the orbit of Mars, the spacecraft returned for a ...
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