Thunderblog - Michael Gmirkin
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Phil Plait - Bad Astronomer vs. Good Science


There’s nothing like a good controversy! And this is nothing like a good controversy… Phil Plait opens his mouth and spews polemic nonsense. Furthermore, he exposes astronomers’ biased ignorance about the source of magnetic fields: electric currents.
NGC 1275
The gravity-defying plasma filaments of NGC 1275!
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)
-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
In a recent press release, it has been shown that the galaxy NGC 1275 emanates filamentary tendrils of plasma. Furthermore, magnetic fields have also been found in association with the tendrils.

However, nobody but the Thunderbolts group has thus far made the logical leap from a discussion of the magnetic fields to a discussion of the electrical processes that are required to spawn them.

In a highly unscientific dig at the Electric Universe model, by proxy, Phil Plait (something of a self-proclaimed expert on astronomy) has both shown his true colors and his ignorance. Rather than engaging in scholarly dialogue with the primary proponents of the Electric Universe model or citing primary sources, he has instead chosen to issue little more than straw man polemic nonsense couched in an otherwise seemingly scientific article.
Magnetism is a very important topic in astrophysics (despite some pseudoscientists lying and saying this force is ignored), but it’s not well-understood. It’s fiendishly complex, so much so that it’s a joke in astronomy: when giving a colloquium about an astronomical object’s weird features, saying it’s due to magnetism will always get a chuckle out of an audience. And it’s a standard joke that if you want to derail a talk, ask the speaker about the effects of magnetism. In three dimensions, magnetism is ferociously difficult to model.
[Emphasis added.]
In addition to the misrepresentative statements included in the polemic diatribe, Plait also exposed astronomy’s biggest blind spot. However, the blind spot isn’t magnetic fields, as he erroneously claims the Electric Universe model denies that the standard model studies, but electric currents in space (which the Electric Universe model does say have been more-or-less ignored by standard model astronomers and cosmologists like Plait).

In astronomy, the discussion of electric currents appears to be verboten. It is a standard joke around here that if you want to get banned in record time at just about any astronomy forum, mention the word "electricity" and apply its defined relationship with "magnetic fields" to space. Astronomers apparently don’t like having their blind spots pointed out to them.

However, that is precisely the thing that holds astronomy back from real answers. Plait is apparently unaware of the works of Maxwell, Ampere, Lorentz and Faraday, or he would recognize the source of the magnetic fields in the cosmos, which he and other astronomers have such a devilish time modeling.

Magnetic fields are predicated upon electric currents. In The Simplified Case for Cosmic Electrodynamics, readers learned that electric currents and magnetic fields are intimately related.
What Are Electromagnetic Fields?

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. An electric field will exist even when there is no current flowing. If current does flow, the strength of the magnetic field will vary with power consumption but the electric field strength will be constant.
Electric currents spawn magnetic fields. Magnetic field strength depends upon the strength of the electric current. That is the principle behind the modern electromagnet, Phil! Magnetic fields are also diagnostic for electric currents in the lab, when it’s impossible or inconvenient to interrupt a circuit and insert a measuring device directly.

Ignorance of this basic physical fact, or claims to the contrary (that electric currents don’t flow in space or "don’t do anything"), should embarrass Plait and his cohorts in the astronomical community who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the role of currents in space. They sorely need the counsel of a qualified electrical engineer and/or plasma physicist before the good name of the "queen of the sciences" is tarnished any further.

The simple fact of the matter is that the standard model of cosmology prefers not to deal with electric currents if at all possible and thus artificially creates its own blind spot. It speaks of magnetic fields as if they are a sole cause and not the byproduct effect of another process.

Ignorance of the work of Maxwell, Ampere, Faraday and Lorentz cannot be allowed to stand, if astronomy wishes to make any actual advances in our understanding of how the universe truly functions without reference to unproven, unobservable ‘new physics’ such as ‘dark matter,’ ‘dark energy,’ ‘inflation,’ etc.

In a prior Thunderblog, it was revealed that the Milky Way’s stellar halo is composed of "star streams" (filaments of stars). The standard model claims these filaments somehow survived intact or were created by the merger of one or more dwarf galaxies with the Milky Way, and were gently woven around it. From the Plasma Cosmology/Electric Universe point of view, such filaments are an expected feature of currents threading the plasma universe, wherein plasma and electrical processes scale from the smallest to the largest.

Now it would seem that NGC 1275 is yet another poster child for filamentation in cosmic plasma. In fact, it demonstrates the scalability of plasma processes and the fractal nature of the plasma filaments.
Long gaseous filaments stretch out beyond the galaxy, into the multimillion-degree, X-ray-emitting gas that fills the cluster.


Exploiting Hubble's view, a team of astronomers led by Andy Fabian from the University of Cambridge, UK, have for the first time resolved individual threads of gas that make up the filaments.
To paraphrase, the largest filaments are composed of smaller filaments (which are themselves most likely composed of yet smaller filaments and so on).
Dense plasma focus
Those who read the Thunderbolts TPODs or Holoscience news items may have seen one or another article mentioning the dense plasma focus.
Just as the dense plasma focus creates a hollow filament composed of sub filaments, it may be that the "gaseous filaments" observed by Hubble are derived from a common genesis: electric currents in plasma forming large filaments composed of smaller and smaller filaments.

Given that the filaments observed by Hubble are composed of more filaments, and all of it appears to be a good fit with electric currents in plasma, it should come as no shock that such currents would produce magnetic fields.

In a related bit of physics, the byproduct magnetic fields can interact with the original current in such a way as to make it more compact. This is commonly known as a "pinch" (also known as a "Bennett pinch," "Z-pinch," "electromagnetic pinch," "magnetic pinch," "plasma pinch" or the "pinch effect").

It seems that astronomers have gotten us half way to the answer. They have observed the magnetic fields involved and they have observed the filaments of plasma involved. They have hypothesized that "somehow" the magnetic fields hold the plasma filaments in place against gravity.
A new study published in the Aug. 21, 2008 issue of Nature magazine proposes that magnetic fields hold the charged gas in place and resist the forces that would distort the filaments. This skeletal structure is strong enough to resist gravitational collapse.
However, they have thus far failed to give electric currents in plasma their due.

This oversight seems silly to proponents of Plasma Cosmology or the Electric Universe model, in light of the very definition of the relationship between electric currents and their byproducts: magnetic fields.

To resolve the puzzle once and for all, it is necessary for astronomers like Phil Plait to definitively acknowledge the relationship between electric currents and magnetic fields as well as the role that electric currents play in the cosmos. It is necessary to understand that where magnetic fields are seen, by definition, we MUST consider what the source electric currents are doing if we wish to completely understand the processes that are going on. If we can determine the strength and direction of the magnetic fields involved, then we should be able to work backward and determine where the electric currents are located and their relative strengths. Then it’s simply a matter of mapping the electrical circuitry of the cosmos.

In fact, some efforts are already underway to map the cosmos. The results thus far show an interconnected web of plasma filaments and sheets with voids in between. Galaxies appear to be oriented non-randomly, implying they form along the observed filaments like beads on a string.

Other research also indicates that the universe may display a fractal distribution of matter at the largest scales, contrary to assertions that distribution should smooth out on the largest scales, according to the theory of "inflation." If this is so, it is a fatal blow to the standard model/big bang paradigm, since such large-scale structure should not have had sufficient time since the Big Bang to form. Such a fractal distribution is, however, predicted by Plasma Cosmologists.

It remains to be seen whether astronomers wish to continue in their befuddlement with magnetic fields whose genesis appears unknown to them, or whether they wish to acknowledge that electric currents play an integral role in the functioning of the universe. This simple understanding may be the pivot point upon which to turn an entire discipline.

Hint: Electromagnetism
Electric current [I] produces a magnetic field [B]. 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.
Once electric currents are readmitted to the astronomical lexicon and toolkit, many false notions will fall away shortly thereafter as the explanatory power of electrical processes unlock the secrets of many heretofore "mysterious" energetic processes that have been observed in the universe.

For now, we content ourselves to sit and watch with amusement as Plait and his astronomer friends trip over themselves in an attempt to understand those “ferociously difficult to model” magnetic fields.

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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