2008-Year of the Electric
Things have been happening. My
companion website, THUNDERBOLTS.INFO, has a new managing editor
of the Thunderbolts Picture of the Day (TPOD), Steve Smith, who
has expanded the daily news coverage with much new material. The
Thunderbolts website has grown to include a
forum and weekly update. More features are planned. The
impetus for expansion followed a June meeting in Las Vegas of
talented people inspired by the first rate interdisciplinary
science of an Electric Universe.
Miraculous Electricity Keeps
Mars Rovers Moving
It has been said that "In the
country of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." In the world of
space science, if a collective blindness has robbed
investigators of their sight, it is their inability or
unwillingness to ever think or speak in electrical terms, even
when electrical events are impossible to deny -- or quite
obvious to those who work regularly with electricity.
Continues to "Baffle" Astronomers
"The 19th century humorist Josh
Billings once said, "There is no greater evidence of superior
intelligence than to be surprised at nothing." One wonders how
today's astronomers and astrophysicists might feel about this
statement. Space scientists continually express surprise and
perplexity over new discoveries -- from the energetic outbursts
of comets, to the electric sun/earth connection, to the
anomalous motions of galaxies, to the vast, filamentary jets
seen stretching over intergalactic distances, our increased
technological ability to detect space phenomena has only
increased astronomers' surprise and confusion."
Electric Sun/Earth Connection Confirmed
"The day of this writing,
December 13, 2007, is the 140th anniversary of the birth of the
Norwegian-born physicist Kristian Birkeland. It was Birkeland
who correctly hypothesized in the early 20th century that
electric currents from the Sun power the earth's auroras."
Cassini Captures Best View Yet Of Saturn's Ring Currents
"Scientists have gotten
their best "look" ever at the invisible ring of energetic ions
trapped in Saturn's giant magnetic field, finding that it is
asymmetric and dynamic, unlike similar rings that appear around
The Craters Are Electric
"The most fundamental
"prejudice" that has directed the space sciences for decades is
the belief that space is electrically inert. Throughout the
Space Age, every new discovery has been interpreted through a
lens that views gravity and gravity alone as the force that
shapes the heavens."
Scientists See Nothing - Call It 'Parallel Universe'
"Why is cosmology in a state
of crisis? Some might doubt the tenability of this loaded
question, but to many critics of standard cosmology, the
question must be asked."
Odd Little Star has
"A dwarf star with a
surprisingly magnetic personality and a huge hot spot covering
half its surface area is showing astronomers that life as a cool
dwarf is not necessarily as simple and quiet as they once
First Stars Dark? Study: Dark Matter in Newborn Universe Doused
"Perhaps the first stars in
the newborn universe did not shine, but instead were invisible
"dark stars" 400 to 200,000 times wider than the sun and powered
by the annihilation of mysterious dark matter, a University of
Utah study concludes."
Spitzer Space Telescope Sees An Embryonic Star With Jets Flaring
"A developing star wrapped in a
black cocoon of dust is seen sprouting giant jets in a new image
from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope."
Earth-like Lightning On Venus, European Space Probe Confirms
"Venus is a hellish place of
high temperatures and crushing air pressure. The European Space
Agency's Venus Express mission adds into this mix the first
confirmation that the Venusian atmosphere generates its own
NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory
Discovers Cosmic Fireball
"One of the fastest moving
stars ever seen has been discovered with NASA's Chandra X-ray
Observatory. This cosmic cannonball is challenging theories to
explain its blistering speed."
How to make the
brightest supernova ever: Explode,
"A supernova observed last
year was so bright--about 100 times as luminous as a typical
supernova--that it challenged the theoretical understanding of
what causes supernovae. But Stan Woosley, professor of astronomy
and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz,
had an idea that he thought could account for it--an extremely
massive star that undergoes repeated explosions. When Woosley
and two colleages worked out the detailed calculations for their
model, the results matched the observations of the supernova
known as SN 2006gy, the brightest ever recorded."
When Astronomers Fall Into
a Black Hole
"The German philosopher
Arthur Schopenhauer once said, "The discovery of truth is
prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things
present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness
of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by
prejudice." The most fundamental "prejudice" that has directed
the space sciences for decades is the belief that, across cosmic
distances, space is electrically inert. Throughout the Space
Age, every new discovery has been interpreted through a lens
that views gravity alone as the force that shapes the heavens."
The puzzle of the variable
radio period of Saturn
White Dwarf "Sibling Rivalry"
Explodes into Supernova
"The auroral radio emission
of giant planets are usually used to estimate their rate of
internal rotation. But in the case of Saturn, these emissions
present important variations at the month scale, which cannot be
due to the rotation. A team of astronomers, led by the LESIA,
from Paris Observatory, just showed that these variations are
controlled by external mechanism, certainly related to the solar
"Astronomers at the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found
that a supernova discovered last year was caused by two
colliding white dwarf stars. The white dwarfs were siblings
orbiting each other. They slowly spiraled inward until they
merged, touching off a titanic explosion. CfA observations show
the strongest evidence yet of what was, until now, a purely
theoretical mechanism for creating a supernova."
The World Won't End The Way
You've Been Told
"Confronted on many occasions in
the past by the prospect of world- end, national elites have
often found themselves having to suppress public panic -- only
to discover, too late, that usual means of control commonly
fail. Thus an institutionalized science is expected to withhold
knowledge of the threat; a self-regulated press is expected to
make light of any disaster; while an institutionalized religion
is expected to oppose predestination and to secure such general
belief in a fundamentally benevolent deity as can be mustered."
Two more active
moons around Saturn
"Saturn’s moons Tethys and
Dione are flinging great streams of particles into space,
according to data from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini mission to
Saturn. The discovery suggests the possibility of some sort of
geological activity, perhaps even volcanic, on these icy
Did A Comet Hit Great Lakes Region 12,900 Years Ago?
"Two University of Oregon
researchers are on a multi-institutional 26-member team
proposing a startling new theory: that an extraterrestrial
impact, possibly a comet, set off a 1,000-year-long cold spell
and wiped out or fragmented the prehistoric Clovis culture and a
variety of animal genera across North America almost 13,000
Cassini 'Cat Scan' Maps Clumps In Saturn's Rings
"Saturn's largest and most
densely packed ring is composed of tightly packed clumps of
particles separated by nearly empty gaps, according to new
findings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft."
Scientists discover vast intergalactic cloud of plasma
"Combining the world's largest
radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico with a precision
imaging, seven-antenna synthesis radio telescope at the Dominion
Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO), a team of researchers
led by Los Alamos scientist Philipp Kronberg have discovered a
new giant in the heavens, a giant in the form of a previously
undetected cloud of intergalactic plasma that stretches more
than 6 million light years across."
Jupiter moon spews volcanic
plumes in new images
"New volcanoes, dramatic volcanic
plumes, a recent impact from a possible comet and the tops of
thunderhead clouds are the highlights in a scrapbook of images
from the New Horizons spacecraft's recent swing past Jupiter."
Icy Volcanoes Likely Shape
Saturn's Smooth Moon
"Saturn's icy moon Dione may have
much in common with its active sibling Enceladus, new research
using Cassini spacecraft data has revealed."
Radio Active Brown Dwarfs Are A
New Class Of Pulsar
"A study of brown dwarfs has
revealed that these "failed stars" can possess powerful magnetic
fields and emit lighthouse beams of radio waves thousands of
times brighter than any detected from the Sun. The brown dwarfs
are behaving like pulsars, one of the most exotic types of
object in our Universe."
PSI Scientists Find Migrating
Regolith on Tiny Asteroid Itokawa
images from the Hayabusa spacecraft, the first Japanese asteroid
mission, show unexpected evidence of the migration of gravels
covering the surface of asteroid Itokawa."
Cluster Sees Tsunamis in Space
"Cluster is providing new
insights into the working of a ‘space tsunami’ that plays a role
in disrupting the calm and beautiful aurora, or northern lights,
creating patterns of auroral dances in the sky."
Near-Perfect Symmetry Revealed
in Red Cosmic Square
"If symmetry is a sign of
splendor, then the newly discovered Red Square nebula is one of
the most beautiful objects in the universe."
sees remarkable eclipse of black hole
"A remarkable eclipse of a
supermassive black hole and the hot gas disk around it has been
observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This eclipse has
allowed two key predictions about the effects of supermassive
black holes to be tested."
X-ray satellites catch magnetar
in gigantic stellar ‘hiccup’
"Astronomers using data from
several X-ray satellites have caught a magnetar – the remnant of
a massive star with an incredibly strong magnetic field – in a
sort of giant cosmic blench."
Images Bizarre Hexagon on Saturn
"An odd, six-sided,
honeycomb-shaped feature circling the entire north pole of
Saturn has captured the interest of scientists with NASA's
star burps, then explodes
"Tens of millions of years ago,
in a galaxy far, far away, a massive star suffered a nasty
Astronomers Puzzled by Titan's Missing Craters
"The Cassini spacecraft’s
radar sweep of Saturn’s largest moon Titan in January revealed a
portion of what appears to be a 110 mile (180 kilometer)
diameter impact crater."
Iron-Fisted Space Bullets Give Scientists a Glow
"THEY are cosmic "bullets",
bigger than our solar system, far faster than the speed of sound
and filled with enough iron to satisfy China's needs for
Enceladus Geysers Mask the
Length of Saturn's Day
"In a David and Goliath
story of Saturnian proportions, the little moon Enceladus is
weighing down giant Saturn's magnetic field so much that the
field is rotating slower than the planet. This phenomenon makes
it nearly impossible to measure the length of the Saturn day
using techniques that work at the other giant planets."
Kuiper-belt Object Was Broken up by Massive Impact 4.5 Billion Years
Ago, Study Shows
"In the outer reaches of the
solar system, there is an object known as 2003 EL61 that looks
like and spins like a football being drop-kicked over the
proverbial goalpost of life."
NASA Mission Finds Link
Between Big and Small Stellar Blasts
"Proof that certain double star
systems can erupt in full-blown explosions and then continue to
flare up with smaller bursts has been spotted by the ultraviolet
eyes of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer."
A Hot Start Might Explain
Geysers on Enceladus
"A hot start billions of years
ago might have set into motion the forces that power geysers on
Saturn's moon Enceladus."
Mars Melt Hints at Solar,
Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says
"Simultaneous warming on
Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's
recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human-
according to one scientist's controversial theory."
The Milky Way’s Pinball
"In a cosmic game of
pinball, black holes fling high-energy protons into space, where
they zigzag around at near light-speeds before smashing into
low-energy protons, finds a new study."
Unlocking the Mysteries of the
"A team of scientists from
the University of Calgary is helping unlock the mysteries of one
of nature’s great spectacles, the northern lights."
century's closest, brightest supernova
"Twenty years ago next month, the
closest and brightest supernova in four centuries lit up the
southern sky, wowing astronomers and the public alike."
Black hole boldly
goes where no black hole has gone before
"Astronomers have found a black
hole where few thought they could ever exist, inside a globular
star cluster. The finding has broad implications for the
dynamics of stars clusters and also for the existence of a
still-speculative new class of black holes called
'intermediate-mass' black holes."
A New View
of Kepler’s Supernova Remnant
"NASA’s Chandra X-Ray
Observatory has created this amazing image of one of the
youngest supernova remnants in the galaxy. The supernova that
created it blazed in the sky more than 400 years ago, before the
telescope had even been invented. No problem, though, it was
bright enough that you didn’t need a telescope - it reached the
brightness of Jupiter at its peak. And one of the greatest
astronomers in history, Johannes Kepler was there to see it."
discovers light echo from the Milky Way's Black Hole
"Like cold case
investigators, astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray
Observatory to uncover evidence of a powerful outburst from the
giant black hole at the Milky Way's center."
Mission Findings Override Previous Beliefs
"Contrary to a popular scientific
notion, there was enough mixing in the early solar system to
transport material from the sun's sizzling neighborhood and
deposit it in icy deep-space comets."
Thunderstorms Could be the Cause for Saturn's Spokes
"The spokes that come and go on
Saturn's rings could be the result of thunderstorms in the
planet, according to German researchers."
Astronomy by Press
Release - News
from a Black Hole
Astronomer Halton Arp takes a
light-hearted look at today’s carnival of mathematical
speculations—with an emphasis on supposed “Black Holes,” a
favorite subject of popular scientific media.
"Hourglass Figure" Points to
Magnetic Field's Role in Star Formation
"Long predicted by theory, the
Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array has found the first conclusive
evidence of an hourglass-shaped magnetic field in a star
formation region. Measurements indicate that material in the
interstellar cloud is dense enough to allow it to
gravitationally collapse, warping the magnetic field in the
Comment by Wallace Thornhill (updated
Tornadoes as Electrical
Electric Universe: A Cosmology for the 21st Century
Wallace Thornhill writes: "Thanks to
Ian Tresman (Catastrophism.com)
for finding this gem from R.A. Ford, in his book Homemade
Lightning. I find the mention of a clay containing iron
oxide required to form the fireball as especially interesting
following upon my ideas on the formation of extreme ball
lightning in the presence of a heavy element catalyst."
Dust Devils—or Tornados?
Extreme Ball Lightning
Is it possible that science
is not just mistaken on some interesting theoretical possibilities, but
wrong on the most fundamental questions science can ask? The Electric
Universe changes the big picture and leaves almost nothing as science once
Why Neutron Stars are Impossible
The concept of the "neutron
star" was a baseless invention. It was proposed
because only such a dense material could make up a star that could stand
those outrageously high rotation speeds.
Neutron Star Refutes Its
The IEEE, Plasma
Cosmology, and Extreme Ball Lightning
Wallace Thornhill, Holoscience.com
It is engineers who have made space exploration
possible, and their precision probes and navigation skills have returned
data that routinely surprises space scientists.
Still Chasing the Ghosts of ‘Dark Matter’
and ‘Dark Energy’
Space Age technology has achieved wonders. But according to
critics, many theoretical adventures undertaken to explain unexpected Space
Age discoveries have set the theoretical sciences on a dead-end path.