Langmuir’s Bubbles

In this new view, the heliopause is not a continuous shield that separates the solar domain from the interstellar medium, but a porous membrane with fingers and indentations. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab.

March 5, 2020

The Sun’s heliosheath is spherical.

The Interstellar Medium (ISM), through which the Solar System and all other stars in the galaxy are moving, is primarily composed of hydrogen and helium, with some dust particles that are less than one-tenth of a micron in size, making them smaller than the frequency of blue light (0.450 microns).

An important characteristic of the ISM is that it contains ionized particles. Those electrons and positive ions are critical to understanding how the Solar System interacts with it. Although the ISM is extremely diffuse, if charge separation takes place in different regions, a weak electric field will develop. An electric field, no matter how weak, initiates an electric current.

On August 20, 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 2 mission on a multiyear journey to the outer Solar System. Voyager 1 was launched on a faster, shorter trajectory on September 5, 1977. Voyager 1 passed through the Sun’s termination shock in December 2004. Voyager 2, traveling a different path, did the same in August 2007.

Voyager 1 experienced “unusual events” as it approached the boundary between the Sun and the ISM. Electric Universe advocate Wal Thornhill explained that the spacecraft was entering a “double layer”, or Langmuir plasma sheath, between the solar plasmas and the plasmas of the ISM. Since there are detectable magnetic fields, electric charge must be flowing through the ISM in order to create those fields.

A dark mode electric discharge radiates from the Sun in all directions, traveling to the edge of the Solar System at 700 kilometers per second. Heat and pressure cannot explain how charged particles are accelerated as they pass by the planets on their way to the heliospheric cathode.

Electric Sun theory presupposes that the Sun is a positive terminal, or anode, in a complex interstellar circuit. The Sun’s negative pole, or cathode, is a field of charged particles surrounding the Sun’s electric discharge billions of kilometers away. Double layers at the heliosphere’s edge isolate the Sun’s plasma from the ISM.

Earth’s magnetospheric “bubble” is known among plasma physicists as a “Langmuir sheath”. Langmuir sheaths are electrically charged double layers of plasma in which opposite charges build up near each other, creating an electric field between them.

Those conditions are most likely present where the solar magnetosphere, or heliosphere, meets the dissimilar charge of the Interstellar Medium (ISM). Two regions of dissimilar plasma form a Langmuir sheath between them, which leads to a potential “bubble” formation.

Plasma in a laboratory isolates itself with thin walls of oppositely charged double layers, so it is probable that the same thing is happening around the Sun and around Earth. By extension, the same thing is most likely occurring around our galaxy, the galactic clusters, and the superclusters. At every scale, plasma behaves in the same way. Proving that case will be impossible for centuries to come, no doubt, because there is no way to know except by placing a Langmuir probe into each location and measuring the current differential.

Stephen Smith

The Thunderbolts Picture of the Day is generously supported by the Mainwaring Archive Foundation.

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