tpods of 2017 archive

← 2016 tpods

Plasma Guns

Feb 21, 2017 Space and time do not bend. "Gravitational lensing" theory is used to explain the arcs of glowing material surrounding some galaxies. They also use it in conjunction with other theories to help deal with puzzling observations. One of those puzzles involves the so-called expanding Universe. Combining data ...
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Twisted Topology

Feb 20, 2017 A curled torus is thought to exist in the center of the Milky Way. "Ring out the false, ring in the true." --- Alfred Lord Tennyson A previous Picture of the Day discussed the twisted ring of material surrounding the nucleus of Galaxy Centaurus A. NGC 5128, ...
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Galactic Attraction

Feb 17, 2017 Is the Universe expanding? Modern astronomers believe that galaxies are receding from each other because they received "inflationary energy" imparted by the Big Bang. They estimate the recession to be about 71 kilometers per second for every 3.3 million light-years of spatial distance. This "dilation of space-time" ...
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Star Links

Feb 16, 2017 The Sun's activity drives Earth-based phenomena. Picture of the Day articles point out that there are linkages between galactic electric currents, solar electric currents, and terrestrial electric currents. Earth is connected to a circuit that flows through the cosmos, but that circuit is difficult to perceive. Charged ...
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Over a Cloud Bridge

Feb 15, 2017 Ionized hydrogen is a primordial source for many structures in the Universe. The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is around 200,000 light-years from Earth, as astronomers gauge distance. Its diffuse nature means that it is no more than a smudge of light in the southern sky. Its companion, ...
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X-ray Lightning

Feb 13, 2017 Earth displays its celestial nature. Intense lightning in thunderstorms can interact with electricity (cosmic rays) coming from space. When the right conditions in Earth's atmosphere occur, lightning causes giant particle accelerators to form above the clouds. Cosmic rays are high energy sub-atomic particles, mostly protons, that can ...
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Sun Triggers

Feb 10, 2017 Comets can influence solar behavior. If we can see the tails of comets fly off in the direction opposed to the Sun with an accelerated velocity, and if we believe these tails to be matter and not optical illusions or mere tracks of vibrating disturbance, then we ...
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Second to the Right, and Straight on till Morning

Feb 9, 2017 Stars do not age according to modern ideas. "It is reasonable to hope that in the not too distant future we shall be competent to understand so simple a thing as a star." — Arthur Eddington, Astrophysicist T Tauri stars take their name from the original star ...
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Slip Sticks and Wrong Theories

Feb 8, 2017 A slide rule hangs on the wall of my office, a dual-base vector hyperbolic log-log slide rule. A mere 40 years ago it was a state-of-the-art calculating machine. It reminds me that technology progresses not only by incremental improvements but by extinction and speciation: My aluminum slip-stick ...
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Galactic Plasma Gun

Feb 7, 2017 Does electricity energize the galaxies? In the cosmos there are regions where stars range in thousand light-year lines. Elsewhere, rings of stars can be found, along with galaxies stretching in filaments for enormous distances. The Milky Way contains over 200 billion stars in its spiral arms and ...
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Solar Fibrils

Feb 6, 2017 The Sun is a charged body seeking equilibrium with its surroundings. The electric charge flow into and out of the Sun can sometimes increase to the point where it releases plasma discharges called solar flares. Conventional scientists think that solar flares occur when magnetic loops “reconnect” with ...
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Ultraviolet Mars

Feb 3, 2017 Mars glows in high frequencies. NASA launched the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) on November 18, 2013. Maven is investigating the upper atmosphere of Mars, its ionosphere, and the dynamics of solar wind interactions. Several onboard instruments are monitoring various phenomena: * Solar Wind Electron ...
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Wired Together

Feb 2, 2017 Supernova remnants align with the Milky Way. Recently, astronomers found a connection between what they refer to as supernova remnants (SR) and the rest of the galaxy. When data from several instruments was inserted into their computerized model-maker, it was found that bipolar SRs, in particular, are ...
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Big and Little Science

Feb 1, 2017 What science produces is neither universally true nor real, but is created by the observer and is relative to his predispositions and equipment. As a result, it is not complete but selected, not objective but subjective, and not unique but partial. This produces an observer-created reality, says ...
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Cryptic Ellipse

Jan 31, 2017 Are spiral galaxies really elliptical? Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, a plasma physicist and protégé of the Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvén, studied plasma formations in the laboratory for many years, monitoring short-duration z-pinch effects, as well as creating particle-in-cell animations using the best supercomputers available. He concluded that ...
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Battered Ice Ball

Jan 30, 2017 Tethys is an electrically scarred moon. The plasmasphere of Saturn generates lightning a million times more powerful than anything on Earth. Saturn also emits twice the energy than it receives from the Sun, including 90 megawatts of X-rays. In part, Saturn's energetic fields exist because Saturn is ...
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At Any Scale

Jan 27, 2017 Plasma phenomena are similar no matter how big or how small. Almost ten years ago, astronomers discovered an energy signature they called a “Fast Radio Burst”, or FRB. The event lasted five milliseconds, reportedly releasing more energy than the Sun puts out in a month. Distance to ...
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Mountain Building on Io

Jan 26, 2016 Does tectonic activity form the mountains on Io over eons of time? South Boösaule Montes is approximately 18 kilometers high and covers 17,900 square kilometers, making it one of the tallest mountains in the Solar System. It happens to be located on Jupiter's moon, Io. How did ...
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Black Wreckage

Jan 25, 2017 Black holes are said to collide. NASA launched the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) aboard a Pegasus rocket on June 13, 2012. A new X-ray image highlights a "monster of a galactic mashup": two colliding galaxies, known as Arp 299, with "supermassive black holes" inside them. According ...
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Ion Beams

Jan 24, 2016 Electricity is the active agent on Enceladus. A previous Picture of the Day announced that the Cassini space probe, currently orbiting Saturn, was about to fly through one of the plumes of vapor that erupt from the southern plains of its moon, Enceladus. Enceladus is a small ...
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Explosive Mystery

Jan 23. 2017 Electricity plays a role in Solar System dynamics. Mimas is a small moon, only 397 kilometers in diameter. It is similar in size to Enceladus and to one of Neptune's moons, Proteus. As the image at the top of the page highlights, a giant crater dominates one ...
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Twin Tails

Jan 20, 2107 Two types of pulsars. The basic idea is to shove all fundamental difficulties onto the neutron and to do quantum mechanics in the nucleus. — Werner Heisenberg: Letter to Niels Bohr, June 20, 1932. Quoted in Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg (1992) by David ...
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The Truth Will Out

Jan 19, 2016 Astronomical research tends to instigate foregone conclusions. The Picture of the Day never considers questions that requires a search for subjective meaning in the Universe. Analyzing the observations from NASA and others is enough, in most instances, to draw correspondence between theories in peer-reviewed journals and the ...
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Drought To Deluge

Jan 18, 2017 The quiet Sun. Thy fate is the common fate of all; Into each life some rain must fall. --- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow In an Electric Universe, the Sun is an anode, or positively charged terminal, with an invisible virtual cathode, called the heliopause, at the farthest limit ...
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A Fox in the Henhouse

Apr 17, 2016 Electromagnetism rules the Universe. Birkeland currents transport electric charges through space along twisting electromagnetic filaments that can span intergalactic distances. They are seen at all cosmic scales because almost every celestial object in the Universe is filamentary. Planetary nebulae are webs of lighted tendrils; energetic galaxies emit ...
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