Interacting galaxy pair Arp 147.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/S.Rappaport
A Galactic Fairy Ring
Today’s image is
billed as a ring of black holes.
As such, it presents a fairy ring of
The first fairy dances a fantasy
overlooking half a century of
That puts the ring far away. For the
ring to appear as bright as it does,
a second fairy must dance a
Super Luminosity. To get
that much energy from the feeble
force of gravity, a third fairy must
support the others with the Dance of
Since the ring is constrained by
the Assumption of Equivalence of
Mass and Matter, a fourth fairy must
squeeze in—and be squeezed to a
density. She (or he, we
can’t tell at these densities) can’t
dance but can only quiver and quake.
When the other fairies bump into
her, she does emit X-rays. The ring
is the result of the crowded stage
and the bumping.
Fairy rings and fantasy dances
are entertaining, but when a theory
requires this much supernaturalism,
it would be wise to question
assumptions. Astronomers no longer
see what’s there but gaze with
incurious enchantment upon artists’
impressions of obsolete hypotheses.
The radiant energy and its
pattern of distribution indicates
the action of electricity, not
gravity; of plasma discharges, not
mass; of pinch and double layer
effects, not density; of
instabilities in a circuit, not
collisions and mergers. In other
words, it’s an entirely natural
event, no super-sizing needed.
In the first place, Arp 147 is
located in the
ejection cone from M31.
The “super-luminal” radio galaxy
3C120 is only a few degrees farther
along. (As an ejection from M31, the
galaxy would be nearby and its
super-luminal jet would have a
normal velocity for a plasma
discharge.) Arp 147 is likely
another high-redshift ejection from
M31: 400 thousand light-years would
be a better guess for its distance
than 400 million. Its radiant energy
would be 3 orders of magnitude less
than what the second fairy is
In the second place, an abundance
of energy is available. The ring and
the galaxy to the left that
supposedly bumped it would be
components in the same ejection
current from M31. They are loads in
the intergalactic circuit and
dissipate only a small part of the
total current. Much more energy will
be flowing through them to drive
other components (galaxies) farther
along the circuit.
In the third place, Arp 147 is
likely the galactic equivalent of
the rings around the axis of
SN1987a. As the current
pinches down in typical
hourglass form to power
the galaxy to the left, variations
in the plasma push the individual
filaments of current into glow mode.
Double layers accelerate the current
carriers, and they emit ultraviolet
and x-ray radiation.
As “mass and gas” astronomy
pirouettes to ever more fanciful
dances, plasma astronomy describes a
natural history of electrical
The Lightning-Scarred Planet Mars
Symbols of an Alien Sky
DVD episode 2
A video documentary that could change everything you thought you knew
about ancient times and symbols.
The Symbols of an Alien Sky video series will introduce you to celestial
spectacles and earth-shaking events once remembered around the world.
Archaic symbols of these events still surround us, some as icons of the
world’s great religions, though the origins of the symbols appear to be
In this second episode of Symbols of an Alien Sky, David
Talbott takes the viewer on an odyssey across the surface of Mars.
Exploring feature after feature of the planet, he finds that only
electric arcs could produce the observed patterns. The high resolution
images reveal massive channels and gouges, great mounds, and crater
chains, none finding an explanation in traditional geology, but all
matching the scars from electric discharge experiments in the
(Approximately 85 minutes) See: