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Electric Comets Re-write Space Science
by Michael Goodspeed

January 09, 2010
On January 3rd, 2010, the SOHO satellite captured images of a comet disintegrating as it approached close to the Sun. The comet was what's known as a "Sungrazer" -- comets whose orbits lead them very near the Sun. Although one would not get the impression from science news reports on the comet, Sungrazers present an unresolved puzzle for astronomers.

For many decades, astronomers have held firm to the position that comets are loose aggregations of ice and dust, typically characterized as "dirty snowballs." The very fact that some comets can fly so close to the sun before disintegrating seems a logical challenge to the dirty snowball model. In the recent TPOD "Sungrazers," Steve Smith points out:
Sungrazers tend to reaffirm the Electric Universe opinion about comets....Comet NEAT swung close by the Sun in 2003, apparently initiating a CME eruption that appeared to impact the comet. Astronomers at the time discounted any relationship between the two events because of the size differential between the comet and the Sun. However, several other sungrazers have been associated with violent flares.... When comet 96P/Machholz circled the Sun, it came so close that if it were composed of ice with a small percentage of rock and dust it would have certainly disintegrated. It did not rapidly dissipate, however. Instead, its intense charge differential caused a gigantic CME to discharge from the Sun, blasting out for millions of kilometers.
The truth is, almost all conventional beliefs about comets have been refuted by the landmark comet discoveries. On many occasions on these pages, and now permanently archived on the Thunderbolts Predictions page, we have compared the record of the "dirty snowball" model to the comet model of the Electric Universe. The most memorable of these predictions -- Wal Thornhill's series of predictions prior to NASA'a celebrated Deep Impact mission of 2005 -- received stunning confirmation, but no notice whatsoever from the mainstream scientific media.

Nor did the "astonishing" flare-up of Comet Holmes 17P in 2008 as, it was headed away from the Sun, provoke a reevaluation of comet theory. Indeed the history of comet science as a whole provides numerous examples of common sense losing out to pure supposition. The layman can simply look at the best images of comets and see that they look nothing like dirty snowballs. They appear to be burned out rocks with sharply carved relief, not the smooth ice balls expected from mainstream theory.

In the Electric Universe model, a comet is an electrically charged body. During its long period in the outer reaches of the solar system, it acquires a strong negative charge with respect to the Sun. Then, as it approaches the inner limits of its orbit, accelerating through the electric field of the Sun, it will begin to discharge to the plasma surrounding it, producing the familiar bright coma and tail.

The electric comet is thus tied to the electric view of the Sun:
  1. The Sun has an electric field and interacts electrically with comets and planets, including the Earth;
  2. The Earth, like all of the planets, is a charged body;
  3. The Sun is not powered by some mysterious, internal "nuclear furnace", but rather externally by electric currents flowing along the arms of the Milky Way;
  4. 99.9% of the universe consists of PLASMA, a conducting medium that has been found to exhibit strong electrical properties. All of space is teeming with charged particles;
  5. All evidence for the electric comet is therefore evidence for the electric Sun and for the electrical nature of stars.
A few of the more persistent comet "mysteries" are listed below:

Comet "Water"

Cometary comas often exude an abundance of what scientists interpret as "water." In fact, what they measure as water is the hydroxyl radical OH, the most abundant cometary radical, which they assume is formed by the breakdown of water from solar UV radiation. It is this radical's presence that leads to their estimates of the amount of water ice sublimating from the comet nucleus.

Electrical theorist Wallace Thornhill offers a different interpretation, consistent with the surprising discoveries of recent years. He notes that space probes have detected the negatively charged oxygen atom, or negative oxygen ion, close to cometary nuclei. Additionally, spectral analysis of neutral oxygen (O) shows a 'forbidden line' indicative of the presence of an 'intense' electric field. Negative ions near a comet nucleus puzzled investigators because such ions are easily destroyed by solar radiation. Thus, investigators reviewing the findings at comet Halley noted, “an efficient production mechanism, so far unidentified, is required to account for the observed densities” of negative ions.

As stated by Thornhill, “...the intense electric field near the comet nucleus is inexplicable if it is merely an inert body plowing through the solar wind.” But the electric model resolves the mysteries: “The electric field near the comet nucleus is expected if a comet is a highly negatively charged body, relative to the solar wind. Cathode sputtering of the comet nucleus will strip atoms and molecules directly from solid rock and charge them negatively. So the presence of negative oxygen and other ions close to the comet nucleus is to be expected. Negative oxygen ions will be accelerated away from the comet in the cathode jets and combine with protons from the solar wind to form the observed OH radical at some distance from the nucleus.”

If Thornhill is correct, the OH does not require water ice on, or in, the comet. Though it would be irrational to categorically exclude the possibility of ice, our probes have revealed scorched surfaces looking more like burnt rocks than dirty snowballs. They are, in fact, barely distinguishable from ice-free asteroids.

Comet Origins

Astronomers continue to maintain that comets were born in the theoretical "Oort cloud," about 4.6 trillion miles from the Sun. Until fairly recently it was as simple as that. But a few years ago, cometologists began to adjust the theory, postulating that only long-period comets were born in an ultra-remote cloud. Scientists have not reached a consensus on where they think short-period comets originate. “Maybe there are other reservoirs of comets yet to be discovered,” says astrophysicist David Jewitt.

Proponents of standard theory have long claimed comets are "Rosetta stones" that can help us decipher the origins of the solar system. But the notion was dealt a devastating blow by the findings of NASA's Stardust Mission. The tiny fragments of comet dust that the mission brought back to Earth did not accrete in the cold of space, but were formed under "astonishingly" high temperatures. Mineral inclusions ranged from anorthite, which is made up of calcium, sodium, aluminum and silicate, to diopside, made of calcium, magnesium and silicate. Formations of such minerals requires temperatures in the range of thousands of degrees.

NASA curator Michael Zolensky said, “That's a big surprise. People thought comets would just be cold stuff that formed out ... where things are very cold....It was kind of a shock to not just find one but several of these, which implies they are pretty common in the comet.”

Researchers were forced to conclude that the enigmatic particle material formed at a superheated region either close to our Sun, or close to an alien star. “In the coldest part of the solar system we've found samples that formed at extremely high temperatures,” said Donald Brownlee, Stardust's principal investigator. “When these minerals formed they were either red hot or white hot grains, and yet they were collected in a comet, the Siberia of the Solar System.”

Some scientists speculated that perhaps something occurred in or very near the Sun in its formative phase, flinging immense quantities of material out to the periphery of the Sun's domain (far, far beyond the orbit of Pluto), all the way to the Oort cloud. Then the researchers reminded themselves that this would produce a mixing and contradict the zoning that is evident in the asteroid belt. “If this mixing is occurring, as suggested by these results, then how do you preserve any kind of zoning in the solar system,” Zolensky asked. “It raises more mysteries.”

But a 2007 report states, quite unequivocally, that parts of Wild 2 formed in an area close to the Sun. The site writes:
The X-ray and isotopic analyses point to gas acquisition in a hot, high-ion flux nebular environment close to the young sun.
The startling bottom-line is that comet scientists cannot give us any reliable story of comet formation. And the glaring contradictions are barely acknowledged, if at all. The "mysteries" of the Stardust mission -- which are not mysterious under an electrical model of comets -- are not even mentioned in the report. Obviously, the question of comets' origins is profoundly affected by the discovery of abundant minerals that only form under super-hot temperatures.

The Electric Universe puts forth a very different hypothesis on the origins of both comets and asteroids. In an epoch of planetary instability in our solar system, many planets and moons, moving through the electric field of the Sun and immersed in an electrically dynamic environment, experienced electrical interactions with one another. Electric arcs shattered small moons and raked across planetary surfaces, producing the most dramatic scarring features we see on planetary bodies. These electrical scars include Valles Marineris, the stupendous chasm that stretches more than 3000 miles across the Martian surface. In this view the comets and asteroids we observe are leftovers from these violent electric discharge events. And the composition of comets is from the same material that planets and moons were formed.

This vision of planetary history would help explain the presence of main-belt comets , a mystery to mainstream astronomers. A 2007 report asks the question, “Why are comets so close to the Sun?” The report reads, “Until their discovery, researchers had largely supposed no comets could have lasted that close to the sun without getting baked away after a few centuries or millennia.” But then again, if the electrical theorists are correct, comets have not been around for billions of years, not even millions of years. They are the residue of catastrophe in the recent history of the solar system.

The Absence of "Interstellar Comets"

The above-cited story attempts to answer the question of speculative "Interstellar comets." It reads:
As our solar system formed, calculations predict the gravitational pull of the planets would have scattered 90 to 99 percent of all comets that once orbited the sun away toward the stars, never to be seen again. “If every star does that, you would expect some of their comets to come toward us, but no such object has ever been seen,” Jewitt said.
This admission only reinforces the failure of the standard model, confirming that virtually nothing discovered in recent decades has matched theoretical expectations. But in electrical terms, the idea of comets wandering interstellar space was never a viable concept. If comets are the remnants of electrical discharge activity within the solar system, then their short-term and long-term orbits are the results we should expect. considers the above mysteries to be the greatest puzzles for conventional comet theory. We can only urge them to more carefully consider the following comet discoveries, none of which are expected by a dirty snowball model, though both explicable and predictable by the electrical one:

Cometary Jets

Supersonic jets have been seen exploding from comets' nuclei. From the mainstream perspective, these jets are eruptions of subsurface gas and water from solar heating. But again and again, this theory has been refuted by observation. In the case of Comet Wild 2, some of its nearly two dozen jets emanated from the dark, unheated side of the comet. And as seems to be the case with most comet jets, they remained intact across great distances -- they did not disperse in the fashion of a gas in a vacuum (an anomaly left unresolved, and not even addressed by most mainstream theorists). Consider also the jets of comet Hale-Bopp, which began discharging (seven jets) while it was still too far from the Sun for a "snowball" to melt.

Amazingly, as far as back as the early 20th century, the Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland demonstrated experimental evidence for the electric comet theory. He was able to emulate cometary jets from a cathode in a vacuum tube -- Birkeland wrote: “From a cathode of graphite there came long, steady pencils of light, which greatly resembled the so-called eruptions or jets in comets.” (See Comets: Kristian Birkeland's Theory)

From the Electric Universe perspective, comet jets arise from the interaction between the electric charge of the comet and the solar discharge plasma. The comet spends most of its time far from the Sun, where the plasma charge density is low. The comet moves slowly and its charge easily comes into balance with that region. On the other hand, as the comet approaches the Sun, the nucleus moves at a furious speed through regions of increasing charge density and varying electrical characteristics. The comet's surface charge and internal polarization, developed in deep space, respond to the new environment by forming cathode jets and a visible plasma sheath, or coma. The jets flare up and move over the nucleus irregularly, and the comet may shed and grow anew several tails. Or the comet may explode like an overstressed capacitor (see below), breaking into separate fragments or simply giving up the ghost and disappearing.

Cometary discharging may also occur due to any disturbances of its electrical plasma sheath as it passes through regions of varying electric potential. This seems to have occurred in the recent "totally surprising" outburst of Comet Holmes 17P as it moved away from the Sun's domain.

Comets Breaking Apart or Exploding

The unexpected break-up of comets, some at considerable distances from the Sun, has long baffled comet investigators. In 1976, Comet West never approached closer than 30 million kilometers from the Sun. So when the comet suddenly split into four fragments, astronomers were shocked.

More recently, the explosive break up of Comet Linear in the summer of 2000 provoked even greater amazement. The event occurred well over a hundred million kilometers from the Sun.

In fact, eighty percent of comets that split do so when they are far from the Sun, according to Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, authors of the book Comet. Comet Wirtanen fragmented in 1957 a little inside the orbit of Saturn, and something similar occurred to Comet Biela/Bambert.

But other comets have approached much closer to the Sun and not broken apart. The perihelion of the Great Comet of December 1680, studied by both Newton and Halley, was less than 100,000 kilometers from the Sun, but it did not split.

We can also point to the astonishing disintegration of Comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3, whose catastrophic fate remains unexplained by the scientific mainstream. Some proposed that the comet disintegrated due to "thermal stress" resulting from the rapid transfer of heat through thousands of feet of insulating material -- something inconceivable even if one ignores the deep freeze of the vacuum through which the comet is moving, with its sunward face continually changing due to rotation. Other explanations included "the outburst of trapped volatile gases," and the suggestion that the comet flew apart from "rapid rotation of the nucleus." One astronomer even proposed that the comet "was shattered by a hit from a small interplanetary boulder." This is yet another instance where scientists' lack of consideration for an electric model has left them unable to explain what they're seeing.

Many other "mysterious" comet discoveries and observations of comet behavior are best explained as electrical phenomena. These include:
  • Unexpectedly high temperatures and X-ray emissions from cometary comas (something never anticipated by mainstream theorists);
  • The sharply carved relief of comets -- the exact opposite of what astronomers expected under the dirty snowball model;
  • The unexplained ability of a relatively minuscule comet nucleus to hold in place a highly spherical coma, up to millions of miles in diameter, against the force of the solar wind (a phenomenon graphically displayed by Comet Holmes 17P);
  • Ejection of larger particles and "gravel" that was never anticipated under the idea that comets accreted from primordial clouds of ice, gas, and dust;
  • A short supply or complete absence of water and other volatiles on comets' nuclei;
  • The predicted occurrence of an advance flash prior to the impact of a projectile into the nucleus of Comet Tempel 1 (Deep Impact). Recently, the journal Icarus published a report confirming that the advance flash did indeed occur, "upstream" (and slightly off-course) of the projectile -- exactly as one might expect of an electric discharge just prior to impact.

In Conclusion

The Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyic Lenin once said, “You cannot make a revolution in white gloves.” Without question, the Electric Universe will force a painful revolution within the sciences that will affect the lives and livelihood of countless specialists. It seems unlikely that such uncomfortable change will be welcomed much less inspired by those who have the most to lose. It is those outside of politicized, institutionalized science, including the general public, that are carrying the torches for this intellectual revolution.
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Michael Goodspeed
Michael Goodspeed is a freelance journalist who lives in Beaverton, Oregon

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Authors David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill introduce the reader to an age of planetary instability and earthshaking electrical events in ancient times. If their hypothesis is correct, it could not fail to alter many paths of scientific investigation.
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Professor of engineering Donald Scott systematically unravels the myths of the "Big Bang" cosmology, and he does so without resorting to black holes, dark matter, dark energy, neutron stars, magnetic "reconnection", or any other fictions needed to prop up a failed theory.
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In language designed for scientists and non-scientists alike, authors Wallace Thornhill and David Talbott show that even the greatest surprises of the space age are predictable patterns in an electric universe.
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