Thunderblog - Michael Goodspeed
home  •   thunderblogs  •   forum  •   picture of the day  •   resources  •   team  •   updates  •   contact us

Another Thornhill Prediction Confirmed - Saturn's Hot Spot


On February 5, 2005, Australian physicist Wallace Thornhill, co-author of The Electric Universe and Thunderbolts of the Gods, published on his website ( his analysis of scientists' discovery of a "warm polar vortex at Saturn's south pole." Thornhill offered a detailed electrical interpretation of the phenomenon, and chastened investigators for referring to the "vortex" as "the first to ever be discovered in the solar system."

He wrote:

"Keck researchers don't seem to have done their homework. Or maybe things that can't be explained get forgotten! Saturn's 'warm polar vortex' is not 'the first to ever be discovered.' The Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) discovered a warm 'giant vortex of surprisingly complex structure and behaviour located in the middle atmosphere at the north pole of the planet, with a similar feature presumed to exist at the south pole also.'"

On the question of Saturn's strange polar "hot spot," Thornhill offered an explicit prediction: "The Electric Universe also predicts, experimentum crucis, that both poles should be hot, not one hot and the other cold."

On January 3, 2008, the Reuters news service published the science headline, "Scientists find hot spot on Saturn's chilly pole": "Saturn's chilly north pole boasts a hot spot of compressed air, a surprising discovery that could shed light on other planets within our own solar system and beyond, researchers said on Thursday.

"Scientists already knew about a hot spot at Saturn's sunny south pole but data from the Cassini spacecraft now shows that the winter pole drenched in darkness also has a hot spot, said Nick Teanby, a planetary scientist, who worked on the study."

"We didn't expect it to have a hot spot at the north," said Teanby of the University of Oxford.

Saturn's north polar "hot spot" is a total "surprise" to planetary scientists, because the pole has been deprived of sunlight since its winter began more than twelve years ago! Baffled investigators can only propose a strange theory based on the mechanics of wind and water: "The hot spots are the result of air moving polewards, being compressed and heated up as it descends over the poles into the depths of Saturn," said Leigh Fletcher, a planetary scientist from the University of Oxford, England, and the lead author of the Science paper. "The driving forces behind the motion, and indeed the global motion of Saturn's atmosphere, still need to be understood."

But in the minds of electric universe proponents, no understanding of these "surprising" atmospheric phenomena is possible for scientists if they continue to deny all things electrical. The idea that the "hot spot" is due to the compression of air is of course just a wild guess, because the theorists have no other resort than standard gas laws. Yes, when air is compressed within a container, it gets warmer; when pressure is released, it gets cooler. But they never anticipated such a phenomenon on Saturn, nor does it appear that they've measured such a thing, either.

From the electrical perspective, it is not coincidental that the hot spot is located "smack dab in the center of the north pole vortex." Like Venus' polar vortexes, Saturn's north polar hot spot -- and the vortex structure in which it is located -- is created by a flow of electric current along magnetic field lines to the pole. It's also worth noting that NASA scientists could not apply their explanation of the north polar anomaly to the counterpart at the south pole. The boundaries between temperature regions at the south polar vortex were entirely enigmatic. The original Keck release wrote: "...both the distinct boundary of a warm polar vortex some 30 degrees latitude from the southern pole and a very hot 'tip' right at the pole were completely unexpected." Of course, no one could plausibly suggest that such sharp temperature boundaries could be due to "atmospheric compression."

It has been said that the credibility of any hypothesis lies in its predictive record. While mainstream planetary scientists are "surprised" at the discovery of Saturn's north polar "hot spot" (just as they never anticipated the twin Venusian polar vortexes), the hot spot was explicitly predicted by Thornhill, the leading proponent of the Electric Universe.

Many within the Thunderbolts circle are wondering what it will take to shake mainstream astronomers and planetary scientists from their refusal to consider the viable, testable hypotheses of the Electric Universe. This latest confirmed prediction by Thornhill is only one in a long series of such successes. These include:

Venusian lightning

For decades, most scientists believed that Venusian lightning was precluded due to the density of the planet's atmosphere (a report in 2001 declared "No Lightning" on Venus). Many in the mainstream argued that the apparent detections of lightning on Venus -- dating back to the 1970's -- must have been illusory since the available technology, they claimed, could not differentiate between lightning and other ionospheric processes. But for well over 10 years, Thornhill argued that Venus showed substantial evidence of electrical interaction with its environment, and that lightning on Venus was expected in an electric universe. (To see Thornhill's debate on Venusian lightning with Tim Thompson, see the May 21, 1997 edition of THOTH).

The Deep Impact event

In October 2001, after the announcement of NASA's 2005 Deep Impact mission, Thornhill wrote:

"Given the erroneous standard model of comets it is an interesting exercise to imagine what surprises are in store for astronomers if the plan is successful. The electrical model suggests the likelihood of an electrical discharge between the comet nucleus and the copper projectile, particularly if the comet is actively flaring at the time. The projectile will approach too quickly for a slow electrical discharge to occur. So the energetic effects of the encounter should exceed that of a simple physical impact, in the same way that was seen with comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 at Jupiter."

Twenty-four hours before the impact event, in collaboration with the group, Thornhill predicted that an electrical "flash" might precede the impact and explosion, and that the explosion would be far more energetic than NASA anticipated. And this is precisely what happened on July 4, 2005, much to the astonishment of NASA and astronomers around the world.

Other successful Thornhill predictions included:

  • a lack of increase in water production in the cometary coma (indicating a lack of subsurface water anticipated by astronomers);

  • an unexpected lack of ice on the comet nucleus, or water in the immediate ejecta from impact;

  • a sculpted comet surface with sharply defined craters, valleys, mesas, and ridges (the precise opposite of what one expects of a "dirty snowball");

  • a rearrangement of the comet's jets due to charge distribution.

Jupiter's Electric Moon Io

Following the lead of earlier investigators Dr Thomas Gold (The Journal Science, Nov 1979), Dr. Anthony Peratt and Professor AJ Dessler (Astrophysics and Space Science, no. 144 - 1988), Thornhill insisted that the so-called "volcanoes" on the Jovian moon Io are actually electric discharge plumes. Prior to the Galileo probe's 1996 arrival in the Jovian system, Thornhill registered these advance claims:

  • the vents of Io's "volcanic" plumes will be much hotter than lava;

  • the plumes are the jets of cathode arcs, and they do not explode from a volcanic vent but move around and erode the periphery of dark areas (called "lava lakes" by planetary geologists);

  • the "lava lakes" themselves are merely the solid surface of Io etched electrically by cathode arcs and exposed from beneath the "snow" deposited by continuous discharge activity. Therefore, they will not reveal the expected heat of a recent lava flow.

Each of these predictions received stunning confirmation. Io's "volcanic" hot spots were not only hotter than any lava on Earth, but were too hot to be measured by Galileo's instruments (no "lava flow" ever recorded has produced temperatures as hot as seen in the original Galileo image). Also as predicted by Thornhill, the discharging was found to be focused on the edges of the so-called "lava lakes," though the rest of these dark fields are comparatively cold. None of the expected volcanic vents could be found. Rather, some of the "volcanic" plumes are actually MOVING across the surface of Io! The plume of the "volcano" Prometheus has moved more than 80 kilometers since the Voyager mission.

Inspiring further astonishment amongst mission scientists, the "volcanic" plumes emit ultraviolet light -- something inconceivable under normal conditions of volcanic venting. But ultraviolet light is of course characteristic of an electric arc.

More recently, observations have added direct confirmation to the electrical connection between Jupiter and Io. A recent image of the Tvashtar "volcano" near the north pole of Io reveals a plume extending 290 kilometers above the surface. The language of the NASA report strikingly features the language of the electrical theorists:

"The remarkable filamentary structure in the Tvashtar plume is similar to details glimpsed faintly in 1979 Voyager images of a similar plume produced by Io's volcano Pele. However, no previous image by any spacecraft has shown these mysterious structures so clearly." (emphasis added).

"Filamentary structure" simply does not belong in "volcanic" plumes, but as noted by Gold, Peratt, and Dessler, it is a distinctive feature of the "penumbra" of an electric discharge.

Martian Dust Devils

In the Thunderbolts Picture of the Day for November 9, 2005, “When Dust Storms Engulf Mars,” a claim was asserted flatly contradicting the theoretical assumptions of conventional astronomers, meteorologists, and planetary scientists. Taking a pointer from Thornhill, the Thunderbolts group stated that the global dust storm that engulfed the planet Mars in August and September of 2001, involved a packed assembly of “dust devils” carrying great volumes of Martian dust into billowing clouds.

Since publication of that TPOD, a review of dust storm images from the Mars Global Surveyor and from THEMIS, together with a systematic study of related phenomena on Mars, has confirmed that the statement was accurate. And yet it is also clear that the concept of compact “dust-devil congregations” could only appear absurd to conventional schools. In standard theory an atmospheric vortex requires a vastly larger circulation of wind, a condition that precludes what seems clearly to be seen in edge-on pictures of "storm fronts" on Mars.

The image above, released December 30, 2003, shows apparent vortices (a word that would not be used by NASA scientists) rising into billowing clouds from the margins of the south polar ice cap in the Martian summer. The caption accompanying the release, reads: "Like billowing smoke from a brush fire, clouds of dust are seen streaming off the edge of the Martian south polar cap. The southern hemisphere is in the middle of its summer season and experiencing a multitude of small dust storms like this one. The net effect is an increasingly dusty atmosphere across the whole planet and with it, warmer atmospheric temperatures."

Here again, as noted in the May 7, 2007 TPOD, planetary scientists imply that it is the raised clouds themselves that produce the warmer temperatures. For this claim there is simply no evidence. But the dramatic rise of temperature simultaneously with large regional, or global storms, cannot be disputed. It is the cause that remains a mystery to NASA scientists.

Saturn's Moon Titan

In December of 2004, Thornhill predicted that spidery ravine networks ("Lichtenberg" forms) would be seen on Titan, not unlike the "arachnoids" on Venus. He also stated it was unlikely that large craters would be observed, although mainstream investigators were expecting them in abundance. In the standard view of Titan, the moon is billions of years old, allowing plenty of time for massive impacts to scar the surface. In Thornhill's opinion, Titan shares a similar history to that of Venus -- both were born very recently by electrical ejection from a gas giant. A recent birth also removes the need for a global hydrocarbon ocean to supply, over billions of years, the methane observed in Titan's atmosphere (methane is destroyed in the atmosphere by sunlight). That too was born out when the Huygens probe landed on a solid surface in what looked conventionally to be a drainage basin. However the channels leading to that basin have the distinctive apearance of surface lightning scars. They were not carved by a flowing liquid.

To date, images returned of Titan reveal that large craters are almost non-existent. What they do show are the very Lichtenberg patterns of electrical discharge Thornhill had anticipated.

The above explicit predictions by Thornhill are in addition to a seemingly endless string of recent discoveries and observations that follow logically from the Electric Universe model. These include:

  • The Electric/Sun Earth Connection - NASA's THEMIS spacecraft recently observed giant, "magnetic ropes" that reached all the way from the earth to the Sun. But the "ropes" to which mainstream investigators referred are commonly described in plasma science as electrical Birkeland currents.

  • Great Cosmic "Voids" - Scientists' recent observation of an "impossibly" huge "void" only highlights the Big Bang theory's inherent implausibility. While the discovery of the apparent "void" has left the mainstream to ponder such bizarre, esoteric explanations as "parallel universes," such "voids" are best explained as cellular plasma voids.

  • The "Mystery" of ultra-high-energy Cosmic Rays - Standard theory has never succeeded in explaining the rays, which are thought to originate from far beyond our galaxy yet somehow make it all the way to Earth. Two scientists have proposed that the rays are "powered" by "magnetised cocoons of plasma" that were formed by jets of high-speed particles supposedly emitted by a "supermassive black hole." But in the Electric Universe, they almost certainly originate in our own cosmic neighborhood, within the Milky Way, as a result of electrical discharge events well-modeled by plasma cosmologists.

  • The "Amazing" Outburst of Comet Holmes 17P - "This is truly a celestial surprise"..."Absolutely amazing," said Paul Lewis, director of astronomy outreach at the University of Tennessee.

    This was a typical reaction of the astronomical mainstream to the sudden, unfathomable brightening of Comet Holmes 17P. In the span of a few days, the comet's coma grew to such an enormous and bright disk that it could be seen with the naked eye, though it never gets as close to the Sun as the planet Mars, and when it suddenly erupted, it was moving AWAY from the Sun. As the structure of the coma clarified itself, jets appeared streaming away from the center. The source of the jets was entirely enigmatic, if not preposterous through the lens of the usual comet assumptions. Nor can scientists, using the puny force of gravity, explain the ability of the comet to hold in place its colossal spherical coma, which grew bigger than the Sun to well over 2 million miles in diameter.

The purpose of this compilation is to illustrate that the Electric Universe hypothesis has a powerful record of both explicit and logical predictions -- unlike the esoteric, mathematically "elegant" inventions that dominate mainstream astronomy, which have successfully predicted virtually nothing. No excuse remains for astronomers and science media to plead ignorance of the model's successes. If a New Year's resolution is in order for the scientific mainstream, it is to finally take proper notice of the Electric Universe and its ability to foresee space age discovery.


Permalink to this article.

Public comment may be made on this article on the
Thunderbolts Forum/Thunderblogs (free membership required).

For a highly-acclaimed 60-minute video introduction to the Electric Universe, see Thunderbolts of the Gods on Google Video.

Michael Goodspeed
Michael Goodspeed is a freelance journalist who lives in Beaverton, Oregon

My Archives

Chronological Archives

Archives by Author

Archives by Subject

Thunderblogs home

  FREE update -

Weekly digest of Picture of the Day, Thunderblog, Forum, Multimedia and more.


An e-book series
for teachers, general readers and specialists alike.

(FREE viewing)
  Thunderbolts of the Gods

  Symbols of an Alien Sky


  Our NEW Multimedia page explores may diverse topics not traditionaly covered by the Thunderbolts Project.  

  Follow the predictions of the Electric Universe.  

[ top ]
Disclaimer - The opinions expressed in the Thunderblog are those of the authors of
the material, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Thunderbolts Project.
The linking to material off-site in no way endorses such material and the Thunderbolts
Project has no control of nor takes any responsibility for any content on linked sites.
home  •   thunderblogs  •   forum  •   picture of the day  •   resources  •   team  •   updates  •   contact us