The Ornament Not Seen

Supernova Remnant 0509: X-ray in blue and green, optical in red.

Supernova Remnant 0509: X-ray in blue and green, optical in red. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.Hughes et al, Optical: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Dec 22, 2011

This image of the Christmas Ornament nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud looks the same to Electric Universe and Gravity Universe proponents alike. Their radically contrary descriptions of what it is result from their ideas about what they don’t see.

Gravity Universe proponents describe a star that exhausted its thermonuclear fuel and exploded. It blasted its outer layers into a rarified interstellar gas, generating spherical shock waves that compressed and heated the gas to the extent of emitting x-rays. They call the nebula a supernova remnant.

It helps to know ahead of time that they’re looking for spheres because, at that distance, everything looks flat to the human eye. They don’t see depth. Depth is constructed from the assumptions and calculations of some theory. It also helps to know ahead of time that they’re looking for hot gas because, at that distance, they can’t stick a thermometer into it. Temperature is constructed similarly to depth. So it is with most of the other elements of the description.

Electric Universe proponents describe an hourglass-shaped z-pinch in a galactic Birkeland cable—a tubular configuration of current filaments rotating around an axis. Such a configuration is the “wiring harness” of all stars, which is usually invisible. In stars that are under heightened electrical stress, the plasma in the harness is pushed into glow mode and emits optical and x-ray light. Z-pinches viewed down the axis—as is this one—appear as rings. From the side, they appear as hourglasses, and from other angles they may appear as entangled circles or even as squares.

The red sheath around the outside of the cable, excited to emit optical light, appears as a ring. The brighter region at upper left is where the electrical stress is greatest. Significantly, a diocotron instability—the curlicue bend in the ring—is developing there.

The inner filaments, in which current carriers spiraling in the magnetic field emit x-ray synchrotron radiation, appear as the 26 x-ray “spots.” The number 26 is typical in electrical discharges in plasma—which is the Electric Universe description of stars. They tend to pair up—as seen especially in the “hot region” at upper left.

Another characteristic feature of such glow mode cables is the braided appearance of the ring currents. Also, the ring is actually two concentric rings but with only half of each emitting light—the outer one at upper left, the inner one at lower right. A similar configuration exists in the auroral circuit around Earth’s poles: the luminous half of each ring corresponds to current flowing in one direction; the dark half to current flowing in the other.

It helps to know ahead of time that they’re looking for 26 spots because the x-ray image is not all that clear. They don’t see 26. Differentiating the several pairs of spots and the occasional single one is constructed by analogy with lab experiments and repeated trial-and-error counting. It helps to know ahead of time that they’re looking for concentric rings of current because they can’t stick an ammeter into them. Current flows are constructed similarly to paired spots. So it is with most of the other elements.

The important observation (for this essay) is what’s not seen. If explanations were limited to only what’s seen, they would make little sense. Sensation (data) gives only glimpses: a theoretical model composed of things not seen provides context, a bigger picture, that enables us to do things, or at least to do more things and new things. Mere facts tend to be merely confusing.

The sprockets of a theoretical model into which the cogs of facts can fit animate the machine. Because cogs and sprockets can be fit together in more than one way, we have the opportunity to see and to do new things. The choice of a model, then, as Karl Popper and many others since have claimed, is a decision directed by what we want to do.

Mel Acheson


Print Friendly, PDF & Email