Thunderblog - Michael Gmirkin
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The Tangled Web of Today's Cosmology...


It seems that recent results from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II) have taken something simple and complicated it. Specifically, the Milky Way’s outer stellar halo has been mapped to higher precision, revealing tangled filaments of stars wrapped around the galaxy.

Are the stars of the Milky Way’s halo organized and energized electrically,
not unlike bulbs on a string of Christmas lights?

A recent news release about the latest results from the SDSS-II project offers some tantalizing revelations about the structure of our galaxy.

The halo of stars that envelops the Milky Way galaxy is like a river delta criss-crossed by stellar streams large and small, according to new data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II). While the largest rivers of this delta have been mapped out over the last decade, analysis of the new SDSS-II map shows that smaller streams can be found throughout the stellar halo.

The halo is apparently composed of “rivers” and “streams” of stars. What they’re saying is that the stars in the halo are organized along filaments. There is structure to the halo, as opposed to a simple random jumble of points. Moreover, the filaments are tangled and interconnected, like a web or a ball of Christmas lights.

"A jumble of pasta" is the way Columbia University researcher Kathryn Johnston described her theoretical models of the Milky Way's stellar halo.

However, the only model that most astronomers currently have to go on is a gravity-dominated paradigm of Einstein and Newton, eschewing any talk about the more powerful raw electric forces at play in the universe.

Under gravity-only assumptions, the filaments (much like x-rays, and peculiar galaxies in other astronomical settings) must arise from galaxy mergers, collisions or extremely close calls where the stars were gravitationally stripped from a nearby galaxy and laced around the outer fringes of ours.

In support of this idea, astronomers have alluded to the recently discovered “finger” of “hot gas” (plasma) connecting the Milky Way to the Large Magellanic Cloud (and possibly beyond). That’s all well and good, if one believes that the gravity-only model is the only model with something to say about the issue.

However, other opinions do exist.

Plasma cosmology recognizes the fact that 99.999% of visible matter in the universe is in the plasma state. Plasma is a highly conductive medium (though not a perfect conductor) through which electric currents can flow.

Magnetic fields are indicative of electric currents, as noted in the Wikipedia entry on electric current.

Electric current produces a magnetic field. The magnetic field can be visualized as a pattern of circular field lines surrounding the wire. Electric current can be directly measured with a galvanometer, but this method involves breaking the circuit, which is sometimes inconvenient. Current can also be measured without breaking the circuit by detecting the magnetic field associated with the current.

The strength of the magnetic field is dependent on the strength of the source electric currents, as noted in the succinct summary on the World Health Organization’s web site.

Electric fields are created by differences in voltage: the higher the voltage, the stronger will be the resultant field. Magnetic fields are created when electric current flows: the greater the current, the stronger the magnetic field.


If current [flows], the strength of the magnetic field will vary with power consumption but the electric field strength will be constant.

Magnetic fields are seen ubiquitously throughout the cosmos. By simple definition, plasma cosmologists understand that electric currents must therefore also flow throughout the cosmos. Keeping these basic facts in minds, plasma cosmologists believe that the universe is threaded with and structured by filaments of electrified plasma at all scales.

Plasma processes known from the lab can be scaled upward to cosmic dimensions according to specific scaling laws in order to give us insight into the physical processes taking place in remote locations observed by our modern optical, radio, UV, x-ray and gamma ray telescopes.

Plasma cosmologists recognize the filamentary strands threading the galactic halo as yet more anecdotal evidence for the electric currents they believe thread and energize the universe. However, one piece of evidence does not a convincing case make.

Luckily, there are plentiful other lines of evidence showing both the fractal and filamentary nature of the universe (on both small and large scales) and of electrical processes (with magnetic field byproducts) therein.

In our own solar system, “magnetic flux ropes” ( 650,000 Amp electric currents) connect the Earth and the Sun, energizing the auroras. Io is embroiled in a million Amp, 2 trillion watt “flux tube” (electric current) of its own with Jupiter, landing footprints in the high voltage auroras (10 million volts, 10 million Amps and 100 terawatts) of both hemispheres of the gas giant. Moreover, new research suggests that there is actually an electron beam transferring current from one hemisphere of Jupiter to the other. Furthermore, Europa and Ganymede have similar auroral footprints and are likely embroiled in similar electrical interactions with Jupiter to those of their sibling Io. Meanwhile, a prior Thunderblog has suggested that a similar interaction is occurring between Enceladus and Saturn.

Earth itself acts as a leaky, self-repairing spherical capacitor immersed in the sun’s plasma environment, as noted in a prior TPOD. Telluric currents flow underground through 6000 km of the Australian outback, from the pacific into North America and elsewhere. Lightning crackles between the clouds and the Earth. As well, upper atmospheric discharges (such as blue jets, gigantic jets, sprites, ELVES and TIGERs) reach from the cloud tops toward space.

With such evidence in hand, it should no longer seem strange to consider the idea that Earth inevitably interacts with the conductive plasma of space or that electric currents (such as Birkeland currents or “field-aligned currents”) can flow through it.

Since electric currents in plasma tend to adopt a filamentary structure, it should be little surprise that plasma cosmologists do not see “torsion waves along magnetic fields anchored in the accretion disk of a black hole” (treating magnetic fields like a slinky that can be shaken or twirled) when viewing images of the Double-Helix Nebula (sometimes called the DNA Nebula due to its resemblance to the double helix of DNA). Rather, they see a pair of electric currents spiraling around one another, not unlike the filaments of a novelty plasma lamp (scaled up to cosmic dimensions). The magnetic fields present are simply a byproduct of the pair of intertwined currents.

Beyond the galactic level, plasma cosmologists expect the universe to be a gigantic fractal web of interconnected filaments consisting of electrified plasma. Their contention is that galaxies are born along these interacting filaments. And, in fact, that appears to be borne out by recent discoveries. Moreover, even galaxy clusters appear to be connected one to the next by gigantic ropes of plasma.

A universe with fractal structure at the largest scales is a fatal problem for the standard model.

If this dissenting view is correct and the Universe doesn't become smoothed out on the very largest scales, the consequences for cosmology are profound. "We're lost," says Coles. "The foundations of the big bang models would crumble away. We'd be left with no explanation for the big bang, or galaxy formation, or the distribution of galaxies in the Universe."

It is, however, a prediction of plasma cosmology. Recent data, also from SDSS, appears to tentatively suggest a large-scale fractal distribution of matter in the universe.

In an amusing twist from the above article, astronomers attempt to stick their heads in the sand:

Many cosmologists find fault with their analysis, largely because a fractal matter distribution out to such huge scales undermines the standard model of cosmology.

Unfortunately that’s quite unscientific, tantamount to saying “I disagree without your data because your data falsifies my theory.” It’s also reminiscent of one of Einstein’s more unfortunate quotes:

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. [ ! ]

A dangerous doctrine indeed! One cannot set aside disconfirming data simply because one does not wish to be wrong.

In any event, a picture of the universe begins to emerge from the seeming chaos. The picture is one in which the universe is threaded by electrified filaments of plasma, birthing galaxies and within the galaxies their stars. If stars are the focal points of interstellar currents, they also appear to offload some of the current to their satellites (planets), which may well offload some of their received currents to their own satellites (moons like Io, Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, etc.). Planets and moons may also undergo internal or external energetic processes owing to the currents fed into them along their magnetic fields.

The recent release about the rivers and streams of stars (and most likely plasma as well) in the Milky Way’s stellar halo appears to fit neatly into the plasma cosmology model. It just remains for astronomers to take heed of the plasma cosmologists, plasma physicists and electrical engineers who would like to help them better understand the goings on “out there, ” and find real answers using the physics we’re already familiar with rather than postulating unproven “new physics” like dark matter, dark energy, inflation, et al.

Michael Gmirkin


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Michael Gmirkin
Michael Gmirkin is a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in exploring the electrical nature of the universe.

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