How do objects in our Universe form? In the unimaginably vast cosmos, at all scales, from comets and asteroids in our solar system to the vastest superclusters of galaxies stretching for hundreds of millions of light years, astronomers and astrophysicists imagine gravitational processes, and only gravitational processes governing these objects’ formation. But the objects we see tell a different story and demand new theoretical pathways. In our own solar system, one of the most puzzling forms is the double-lobed shape of most comet nuclei imaged to date, a weirdly similar form also seen in nebulae, and even in the peanut-shaped cross-section of the galactic bulge of our own Milky Way. In this episode, physicist Wal Thornhill explains why the pairing of celestial objects is a predictable effect of a Universe governed not by gravity, but by electromagnetism.
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