Seven Sisters

The Pleiades. Credit: NASA / ESA / AURA / Caltech

December 23, 2020

The Pleiades cluster contains more than 1000 stars, although only 14 are visible to the naked eye.

The Pleiades is embedded in a cloud of gas and dust, otherwise known as a nebula, that consensus astronomers say evolved from thousands of blue-white stars “millions of years ago.” The constellation was known to the ancients, deriving its name from Greek mythology: the “seven sisters” were the daughters of Atlas, the Titan.

According to consensus astronomers, the giant stars exploded in the deep past “compressing gas and dust” in nearby regions, which jump-started the formation of other bright stars in a 2000 light-year wide ring called “Gould’s Belt”. The halo of ionized material also includes the Orion Molecular Cloud and the Bug Nebula, along with the Pleiades and several star clusters in the constellation Scorpius.

Astronomers think that the reason for the tendril-like formations within the cloud surrounding the Pleiades is starlight “pushing” on tiny dust grains. Smaller particles experience a greater repulsion than larger ones, so they are thought to sort themselves according to their inertia.

In previous Picture of the Day articles, it was argued that nebulae and star formation are not the result of compression, shock waves, coalescence, or any other gravity-centric models. There is no adequate mechanism in modern astronomical theories that can form nebulae and their energetic emissions. Astrophysicists do not know how stars “eject” their outer layers, thereby causing gas clouds to form other stars. The reason for that lack of understanding is that nebulae are not composed of inert gas, cold or hot, but of plasma.

About 75% of the interstellar medium (ISM) is composed of hydrogen (molecular or atomic), and the remainder is helium. The ISM is partly neutral atoms and molecules, but a portion of it includes charged particles. If portions of a dusty gas cloud are ionized, then charge separation will build-up in nearby regions, forming a plasma.

As written many times in these pages, when plasma moves through a cloud of dust and gas it initiates an electric field and the flow of electric charge. Electricity moving through any substance forms magnetic fields that tend to align and constrict the current. In an Electric Universe, plasma and magnetic fields form electric stars through enormous field-aligned currents that power the galaxy, preventing plasma from dispersing inside their light-years long helical coils. When electric charge density inside those filaments gets high enough, the plasma glows and “pinches” into plasmoids that could become stars.

When electrical stress is low and the plasma cloud also possesses some dust, only the stars in a nebula “light up” in arc-mode discharge. Where electrical stress is greater, as in M45, filaments, jets, and surrounding gas can also light up. Of course, dust clouds can reflect the light from nearby stars, but the Pleiades filaments and cell-like behavior are characteristic of plasma in laboratory experiments.

Stephen Smith

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