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dave talbott - one story, many myths


Space - The Latest, Greatest Surprises (Part 1)
by David Talbott

December 30, 2008
In the history of scientific discovery nothing has been more central to progress than the value of successful predictions. Predictive success in the sciences does not just mean the ability to anticipate a future discovery. It really signifies the degree to which all relevant observations and quantified behavior become predictable when viewed in the light of a defined theory.

But when it comes to the forces that shape new directions in the sciences, nothing is more powerful than the successful prediction of new findings that were not expected, or were considered implausible, or even thought impossible under prior theory.

This is why advanced predictions registered by Wallace Thornhill and his colleagues are having such an impact today. Thornhill has consistently anticipated space age findings that were the farthest thing from the minds of NASA scientists. To get a first impression of what this might mean, go to the "Predictions" page at

Thornhill and others associated with the Thunderbolts Project believe that something is fundamentally wrong in the space sciences today. A single assumption, gathering momentum through most of the twentieth century, confined theoretical imagination to a narrow field of view. The majority of astronomers, astrophysicists, cosmologists, solar physicists, and planetary scientists have assumed that interplanetary, interstellar, and intergalactic space are electrically inactive. Perhaps this assumption was understandable before the space age, even if numerous pioneers of todayís electrical knowledge suggested otherwise. But decades of direct exploration, including long distance probes and new telescopes reading the full electromagnetic spectrum, have changed the earlier picture completely. Electric currents and the resulting magnetic fields - at all scales of observation - can no longer be rationally denied.

An extraordinary fact has emerged from recent investigation. Almost all of the major discoveries are coming as great surprises to scientists conditioned by the twentieth century dogma of electrical inactivity in space. And these surprises have consistently revealed electrical events where nothing electrical was expected.

So what does it mean when a steady stream of "surprises," all leaving astronomers grasping for explanations, are not surprises from an electrical perspective? Perhaps we can draw closer to the needed shift in perception by simply listing "The Latest Greatest Surprises" that have greeted astronomers and planetary scientists.

No. 1óThe Comet-Like Moon Enceladus

"Ice jets" from Saturnís moon Enceladus
Ice jets from Saturnís small moon Enceladus explode from the surface in cometlike fashion,
to feed material into Saturnís E ring.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
[Click on image to enlarge]
It seems that Saturnís little moon Enceladus continues to astonish NASA investigators. No one had expected anything like the active "geysers" discovered on the small moon, about the size of Iowa, in 2005. “We're amazed to see ice geysers on this little world that was thought to be cold and dead long ago,” said one NASA investigator. In mechanical terms, no such activity is really plausible on a frozen rock. And certainly tidal flexing from gravitational interactions with Saturn - even if that were sufficient to warm ice beneath the surface - would not concentrate the energy in the south polar region, from which the plumes arise.

For Wal Thornhill and proponents of the Electric Universe, all of the evidence suggests that the plumes are electric discharge jets, created as the moon moves through Saturnís electrified domain. These theorists compare the plumes of Enceladus to similar collimated (narrowly confined) jets of comets as they move through the radial electric field of the Sun.

In March, 2008, the Cassini probe plunged into the Enceladus plume, and its Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) measured the ion, or positively charged particle, composition for the first time. Surprisingly, the measurements indicated a considerable abundance of organics - “beyond what we expected,” according to INMS lead scientist Hunter Waite of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, US. “And the composition is very like the composition of a comet.” [emphasis added]

The New Scientist website reported on the surprise:
“This is very exciting,” says Cassini scientist Julie Castillo of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, US. “It indicates that Enceladus and comets were made of the same initial materials, and/or affected by similar internal processes.” she told New Scientist.

That is rather puzzling because comets are thought to have formed far from the Sun, out in the region of Uranus and Neptune, says INMS co-investigator Roger Yelle of the University of Arizona in Tucson, US. Enceladus, on the other hand, is thought to have grown within the "Saturnian subnebula" - the cloud of gas that coalesced into Saturn and its major moons.

“The temperature and pressure should have been very different, so you should get different gases,” Yelle told New Scientist.
But readers familiar with the Electric Universe hypothesis know that there is no surprise here. In this interdisciplinary and radical re-envisioning of solar system history, comets are not formed independently from planets. Rather, they are fragments of planets and moons produced in episodes of intense solar system catastrophe in the past.

Thus, the prediction inherent in the Electric Universe hypothesis: the more thoroughly the plume of Enceladus is investigated, the more clearly its electrochemistry will reveal a signature of electric discharge and surface sputtering by proton beams. Indeed, investigators now report an apparent dominating presence of the ion H3O+, at least eight times the abundance of other ion species (including H2O+, OH+, O+). The instruments did not observe appreciable ion abundances just outside the plume, so the electro-chemistry of the plume itself is clearly distinguished from its surroundings, as the electric model would predict. And the question posed by the investigators themselves could well settle the matter once and for all: What dynamic process will explain a “plume ionosphere in which ion-neutral chemistry rapidly converts virtually all ions species into H3O+ ions”?

It should go without saying that this baffling chemistry is never going to be explained in the absence of electric discharge events.

But will the specialists seeking to answer this question explore the chemistry of electric discharge acting on an icy surface? Or will they simply strain more mightily to find new ways to hold on to a theory that is not working? Surely, if NASA investigators will allow into their lexicon the word "electricity," a new pathway of discovery will open in planetary science. But to put this possibility into perspective, try a web search for "Enceladus" and "electric." Almost all of the returns you will get point to articles and observations on websites devoted to explorations of the Electric Universe - sites entirely ignored by NASA officials.
Saturn's magnetic field
The graphic above illustrates the magnetic field observed by Cassini,
as well as the "deflection" of the cloud being vented from the south pole of Enceladus.
Credit: NASA/JPL
[Click on image to enlarge]
In this web search you will find almost nothing from NASA--but with one exception. It seems that on three flybys of Enceladus in 2005 - Feb. 17, March 9 and July 14 - the magnetometer on Cassini detected something unusual. The instrument was designed to measure the magnitude and direction of the magnetic fields of Saturn and its moons. According to a Cassini team report, the instrument “detected a bending of the magnetic field around Enceladus due to electric currents generated by the interaction of atmospheric particles and the magnetosphere of Saturn.”

That sounds like the discovery of electric currents and the solution are all wrapped up, doesn't it? Of course, the interpretation is based entirely on a theoretical assumption - that the dynamo action of Saturn's rotating magnetosphere can "explain" the electric currents above Enceladus. But is that sufficient? The outbursts from Enceladus are like those of comets, which are not subject to Saturn's magnetic field. The Electric Universe provides the unifying concept of surface electric discharge to explain the jets on comets, the hot 'geysers' on Enceladus and far-flung Neptune's moon, Triton, and the much hotter 'volcanoes' on Io. Thus, the Electric Universe requires a fundamental readjustment in viewpoint such that electric currents and circuits in space are seen as the cause, rather than the effect of magnetic fields.

In the absence of this larger field of view, NASA scientists will continue to ignore electric currents, even when their presence is undeniable. Thus, it is not surprising that neither NASA investigators nor scientific media saw a story in the recent discovery, and the findings simply disappeared from discussion. And it seems that no one has yet wondered if electric currents could have anything to do with the dramatic conversion of Enceladus' plume ions into H3O ions.


Enceladus Cracks and Creaks (tpod)

Enceladus Plumes Explained? (tpod)

The Moving "Geysers" of Enceladus (tpod)[a][b]

NEXT: "The Earth-Sun Connection"

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David Talbott
David Talbott is the founder of the Thunderbolts Project, a Comparative Mythologist and Executive Editor of the Thunderblogs.

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