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Do Astronomers Have a Gas Problem?


An interesting story appeared on the site, titled "Million-Degree Plasma May Flow throughout the Galaxy" (02/07/08). Interesting from an electric universe perspective because, if interpreted correctly instead of through gravity-colored glasses, it speaks volumes about the electrical nature of space.

After reading it a (layperson) friend pondered the following point to me, and it got me to thinking:

"It makes you wonder why they don't find it strange that all that heat from a million-degree plasma isn't diffusing into/warming up the 'cold plasma' surrounding it."

Allow me to address this, if you will. (Disclaimer: these are the ramblings of a layman...)

Funny thing about that term "heat" - when relating it to plasmas and things in space, it's not necessarily describing 'high temperature' (though often termed x million degrees) so much as describing 'high energy'. Heat as we generally know it is caused by the movement of particles, that is, the more they move, the 'hotter' the substance they make up becomes. But plasmas in space are (mostly) so diffuse that to think of them as physically 'hot' may be a misdirection of thought, rather they are physically 'energetic', that is their particles are vibrating so hard or moving so fast that they show lots of 'temperature' without the whole medium 'feeling' hot, so to speak.

Where many folk think of a double-layer (DL) as being only a 'spherical' or perhaps 'spheroidal' object dividing one plasma from another, I tend to think of there being a DL 'surrounding' all current-carrying plasmas, including Birkeland currents. If we think of the Birkeland current as a 'wire', then it's 'surface' or outer edge, to me, forms a DL, effectively insulating it from it's surroundings. It is also this DL which prevents the two (or more) 'wires' from contacting each other, part of the 'long-range attraction - short-range repulsion' scenario.

So we're not really seeing a 'heaps hot' plasma surrounded by colder stuff so much as a 'heaps energetic' plasma surrounded by less-energetic stuff. So what is the energy we're seeing, if not 'heat' as we understand it? It is electrical energy, or current flow that we're interpreting as heat.

A quote from the article:

"On a large scale, the Milky Way is considered to be a vast cold region punctured with isolated hot clouds and star clusters. While much of this space is cold and empty, researchers have recently discovered the phenomenon of funneling hot plasma. Flowing plasma may funnel from one region to another through empty space, connecting otherwise isolated clouds and clusters throughout the galaxy."

This is a typically 'gravity-centric' interpretation of our electric universe. Allow me to punctuate it with a little laboratory-tested reality.

On a large scale, the Milky Way is considered to be a vast cold region punctured with isolated hot clouds plasma clouds and star plasma pinch clusters. While much of this space is cold and empty devoid of current, researchers have recently discovered the phenomenon of funneling hot plasma currents in space. Flowing plasma Electricity in space may funnel flow from one region to another through empty space Birkeland currents, connecting otherwise isolated clouds and clusters throughout the galaxy.

Once the article is read with this type of interpretation, it actually starts to make sense. The mechanical terminology can easily be replaced with electrical terminology (as indeed it should be), and suddenly the article moves from being one lump of wild and unverified conjecture after another, to a coherent explanation of what is actually going on.

Something we all should consider: Shouldn't a hot gas in a vacuum simply dissipate and cool rather rapidly? Of course it should, and make no mistake, it does. But this is not simply hot gas we are talking about, it's plasma. And so the language used leaves a lot to be desired, and they somehow manage to talk all about plasmas and X-rays without once mentioning electricity.

Now ask yourself, how do we create plasmas and X-rays here on Earth. With electric currents, naturally. If you think nature is going to go about it the hard way, think again! In fact is there a hard way? The hard way has never been verified, nor even coherently explained!

And don't be fooled by the line "but in outer space things work differently to here on Earth." Earth is in outer space. What is it that makes astrophysicists think electricity doesn't work in 'outer space' like it does right here on Earth? (Job security?...) Or, to put it another way, what makes the Earth so special that electricity only 'works' here, and nowhere else in the whole wide universe? Absolutely nothing, and to assert anything to the contrary is patently absurd.

"... The satellite’s cameras observed the x-ray stars, but it also picked up a separate, fainter emission in the extended parts of the nebula. Upon investigating the spectrum of this emission, the scientists discovered that the energy indicated a million-degree plasma. ...

[ ... ]

Not only did the researchers discover a new phenomenon, but they think they know what causes the super-hot, large-scale plasma. As the scientists explain, the energy required to heat such a monstrous gas is “severe.” The young stars in the Orion Nebula don’t seem capable of hosting such a hot, energetic structure.

But the researchers think that sufficient energy could come from the high velocity winds emitted by stars in a dense region in the nebula called the Trapezium – a small group of massive stars that is almost solely responsible for the optical light we see from the Orion Nebula. The winds from the Trapezium stars colliding with the surrounding gas could generate enough kinetic energy to create shock waves that can heat up the gas to millions of degrees."

Sure sounds like a hard way to me, and none of it has ever been lab replicated or tested. Talk of 'winds' and 'shock waves' is nothing short of ridiculous and is clearly a mechanical misinterpretation of events. This is somewhat understandable, as most astrophysicists learn very little about the nature of electricity during their training. But ask any Electrical Engineer how to generate X-rays and they'll likely tell you electric currents are the key, the one and only way we know of.

(Retired) Professor Donald E. Scott put it this way, in his book The Electric Sky p81:

"Astronomers are now reluctantly aware of the existence of cosmic plasma, but they attempt to describe its behavior by means of magnetism and equations that are applicable only to the flow of fluids. This is what [Nobel Laureate Hannes] Alfvén called "magnetohydrodynamics." They do not realize, as he did, that the prefix "magneto-" implies "electro-. " And that, in turn, explains why astrophysicists talk about stellar "winds," "vortex trails," and "bow shocks" instead of electric plasmas, currents, electric fields, z-pinches, and double layers. It also explains why they make incorrect claims about how magnetic fields "pile-up," "merge," and "reconnect" - they are simply unaware of, and are therefore mystified by, this now well-known area of engineering-science."

Incidentally for those interested in reading the paper which the PhysOrg article is based on, it's titled "Million-Degree Plasma Pervading the Extended Orion Nebula" M. Güedel et al. and a private reference copy can be downloaded from And even if you're not into reading scientific papers, there's some stunning imagery in there as well.


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Dave Smith (davesmith_au) is an independent researcher and Managing Editor of the Thunderblog.

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