Do You Know the Way?

Signpost. Photographer unknown.

Signpost. Photographer unknown.


Jun 06, 2013

Electric planets exist in an electric Solar System.

“The main aurora oval on Jupiter we think should dim when the solar wind blows harder, but what we see is that actually gets brighter, which is totally counter intuitive and we still don’t know why.”
— Jonathan Nichols, University of Leicester

Jupiter is 142,984 kilometers in diameter at its equator. That distinction is important because Jupiter rotates so fast that a day lasts only 9.925 hours. That rapid rotational velocity means that its equatorial diameter is 9275 kilometers more than the distance between its poles.

The gas giant’s magnetosphere extends outward in a toroidal field for approximately 650 million kilometers, reaching beyond Saturn’s orbit. Energetic ions are trapped by Jupiter’s magnetic field, similar to the Van Allen radiation belts that surround Earth. However, the radiation emitted by Jupiter’s field is thousands of times greater, and would be instantly fatal to an unarmored cosmonaut. This means that any manned missions to Jupiter space would require a spacecraft with heavy shielding.

The Galileo spacecraft discovered electric currents flowing around the planet, just as Electric Universe theorists predicted. As the moon Io revolves around Jupiter, electrical power greater than 2 trillion watts is dissipated between them. This electric current travels along Jupiter’s magnetic field lines, creating lightning in the planet’s upper atmosphere, as well as intense aurorae at the poles.

Jupiter’s rings are formed out of a thin sheet of material encircling the planet, and were unknown until about thirty years ago. The ring structure is quite diffuse, making observations difficult unless they are in correct alignment with the Sun. The outer radius begins at 129,000 kilometers, almost the same distance as the moon Adrastea. The four small moons, Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea and Thebe, are said to influence the structure of Jupiter’s rings in the same way that the “shepherd moons” of Saturn govern the shape of its huge ring formation.

More than twelve years ago, Wal Thornhill addressed the “volcanic” plumes on Jupiter’s moon Io and demonstrated that they are plasma discharges from the moon to the gas giant. Some planetary scientists later began to acknowledge the electrical connection between them when Io’s “footprint” was seen in the polar aurora on Jupiter. In fact, all four of Jupiter’s largest moons were discovered to leave their marks in the aurora in the shape of “tails” flowing within the plasma column. Later, when NASA launched New Horizons on a mission to study Pluto and Charon, the “plumes” of Tvashtar, a gigantic volcano on Io, were found to be filamentary in structure with indications that they are actually cathode jet discharges from the electric “hot spots” linking the moon with Jupiter.

Astronomers suggested that “tides” on Io from the “kneading” effect of Jupiter’s gravity cause the charged particles to be released in the “volcanic” plumes. The particles then flow as an electric current to Jupiter. Since electricity does not flow in one direction the one-way connection cannot be correct, so how is the electricity moving between Io and Jupiter?

Conventional theories assume that the Universe is electrically neutral, so when observational evidence confirms electrically active plasma for instance, localized phenomena no matter how improbable are invoked. Tidal forces and volcanoes are presented as the cause for the activity seen on Io and the evidence for electric circuits is ignored. In the case of Jupiter’s rings, the same thing is happening. The ring charge is said to be caused by sunlight and shadow rather than by an electric circuit between Jupiter and the Sun.

An electrical interaction between Jupiter and its moons means that they are charged bodies and are not electrically neutral. Jupiter exists in a dynamic electrical relationship to the Sun and it is now known that charged particles from the Sun and not “reconnecting magnetic field lines” power the planetary aurorae. Just like the aurorae, the ring system on Jupiter is probably behaving in similar fashion to what is seen on Saturn, so a similar explanation is most likely correct.

The gas giant planets all have rings in some form or another. The plasma torus that surrounds each of them and the electric currents flowing along the polar axes and then out the equatorial plane are the likely cause for their persistence. No one knows for sure how planetary ring systems are formed and maintained, but rather than seeking the answer in strictly mechanical action electricity and current flow through dusty plasma will provide more reasonable explanations.

Stephen Smith

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