NGC 1275

Energizing the Filaments of NGC 1275

Article written: 11 May , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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When examining clusters of galaxies, astronomers often find massive elliptical galaxies lurking at the centers. In some of these, long filaments of gas and dust extend outwards from the core. One of the best examples of this is the relatively nearby galaxy NGC 1275 which lies in the constellation of Perseus. In this galaxy these tendrils are exceptionally narrow, only about 200 light years across, but as long as 20,000 light years in length. While many groups have studied them, their nature is a topic of much debate. The structures tend to be far removed from star forming regions which can cause the gas to glow. So what energy source powers these gaseous ribbons?

Answering this question is the goal of a recent paper by a team of astronomers led by Andrew Fabian at Cambridge University. Previous studies have explored the spectra of these filaments. Although the filaments have strong Hα emission, created by warm hydrogen gas, the spectra of these tendrils are unlike any nebulae within our own galaxy. The closest resemblance to galactic objects was the Crab Nebula, the remnant of a supernova that was witnessed in 1054 AD. Additionally, the spectra also reveal the presence of molecules such as carbon monoxide and H2.

Another, previous challenge astronomers faced with these tendrils was explaining their formation. Since molecules were present, it meant the gas was cooler than the surrounding gas. In this case, the clouds should collapse due to their self gravity to form more stars than are actually present. But surrounding these tendrils is ionized plasma which should interact with the cold gas, heating it and causing it to disperse. While these two forces would counteract one another, it is impossible to consider that they would balance each other perfectly in one case, let alone for the numerous tendrils in numerous central galaxies.

This problem was apparently solved in 2008, when Fabian published a paper in Nature suggesting that these filaments were being columnated by extremely weak magnetic fields (only 0.01% the strength of Earth’s). These field lines could prevent the warmer plasma from directly entering the cold filaments since, upon interaction with the magnetic field, they would be redirected. But could this property help to explain the lesser degree of heating that still causes the emission spectra? Fabian’s team thinks so.

In the new paper, they suggests that some of the particles of the surrounding plasma do eventually penetrate the cold tendrils which explains some of the heating. However, this flow of charged particles also affects the field lines themselves inducing turbulence which also heats the gas. These effects make up the main bulk of the observed spectra. But the tendrils also exhibit an anomalous amount of X-ray flux. The team proposes that some of this is due to charge exchange in which the ionized gas entering the filaments steals electrons from the cold gas. Unfortunately, the interactions are expected to be too infrequent to explain all of the observed X-rays leaving this portion of the spectrum not fully explained by the new model.


In this article I’ve used the words “magnetic field”, “charge”, and “plasma” throughout, so of course the Electric Universe crowd is going to come flocking, declaring this validates everything they’ve ever said, just as they did when magnetic fields were first implicated in 2008. So before closing completely, I want to take a bit to consider how this new study conforms to their predictions. In general, the study agrees with their claims. However, that doesn’t mean their claims are correct. Rather, it implies they’re worthlessly vague and can be made to fit any circumstance that even briefly mentions such words as I listed above.

The EU supporters consistently refuse to provide any quantitative models which could provide true discriminating tests for their propositions. Instead, they leave the claims suspiciously vague and insist that complex physics is completely understandable with no more understanding than high school level E&M. As a result, the mere scale of their claims is horrifically inconsistent wherein they propose things like the paltry field in this article, or the slight charge on lunar craters are indicative of overwhelming currents powering stars and entire galaxies.

So while articles like this one do reinforce the EU position that electromagnetics does play a role in astronomy, it does not support the grandiose claims on entirely different scales. In the meantime, astronomers don’t argue that electromagnetic effects don’t exist (like EU supporters frequently claim). Rather, we analyze them and appreciate them for what they are: Generally weak effects that are important here and there, but they’re not some all powerful energy field pervading the universe.

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110 Responses

  1. I find it pretty ingenuous that you prohibit comments relating to EU or other so-called ‘pet theories’, (yet constantly your regulars pooh-pooh EU and their proponents and their comments are left to stand), and now you’re bringing EU into the body of your article albeit with a horizontal rule separating it from the main text. However I gather that with the use of the phrase “before closing completely” this attack does constitute part of the article itself, hence opens the door for EU discussion in this thread.

    • Torbjörn Larsson says

      Huh? I read a frank dismissal. The same as that astrology would get, which makes precisely as much sense as EUstrology (stars align – plasma emissions align; personality “explained” – universe “explained”).

      • Let’s just allow folks to compare your absurd statement with the factual content of material at Thunderbolts.info. The educational levels of the thousands of visitors to the site tower over those of Universe Today. Check out the figures at Quantcast. Let’s face it: at some point the ruse you are helping to propagate is going to collapse under the weight of pure fiction, garnished with empty rhetoric.

      • Hey David, I’ve warned the EU people in the past and I’ll do it again right now. Stop using UT comments to market your theories.

    • As Jon Voisey saw fit to link to Tom Bridgman’s “Dealing With Creationism in Astronomy” site, perhaps he will be so kind as to allow right of reply. Regarding that particular link please read my response, titled “Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy“.

      • Member
        Jon Voisey says

        Dave: Are you so incredibly dense that you think that’s an intelligent response? Let me go through a few of the major points to illustrate just how ridiculous it is:
        1) “The mathematics is all there” – The math for E&M is readily available. However, applying this in a novel fashion to explain anything isn’t. That’s the point being made. You’re just tossing out equations and calling them significant. It’s not.
        2) You cite Alfvén continuously, but as with (1) do nothing to expand on his work. You just say “it’s there!” and then go on to make arguments from authority. It’s a logical fallacy.
        3) You link to a “simulation of galaxy formation” from EU models. It has a vague similarity to the structure of a galaxy, but there’s no statistical analysis of the correlation. There’s no examination of finer features that gravitational models have accurately reproduced. It’s little more than claiming that there’s a rabbit in the room because someone can make hand puppets.

      • Member
        Jon Voisey says

        Dave: Are you so incredibly dense that you think that’s an intelligent response? Let me go through a few of the major points to illustrate just how ridiculous it is:
        1) “The mathematics is all there” – The math for E&M is readily available. However, applying this in a novel fashion to explain anything isn’t. That’s the point being made. You’re just tossing out equations and calling them significant. It’s not.
        2) You cite Alfvén continuously, but as with (1) do nothing to expand on his work. You just say “it’s there!” and then go on to make arguments from authority. It’s a logical fallacy.
        3) You link to a “simulation of galaxy formation” from EU models. It has a vague similarity to the structure of a galaxy, but there’s no statistical analysis of the correlation. There’s no examination of finer features that gravitational models have accurately reproduced. It’s little more than claiming that there’s a rabbit in the room because someone can make hand puppets.

      • Anonymous says

        As you indicated these EU guys promote ideas based on the fragmentary knowledge of electromagnetism. A couple of years ago I asked one of these guys to solve a basic problem with Maxwell’s equations. They could not do it — because they really do not know what they are talking about.

        I really think these EU posts and related “I have a theory” posts by people who clearly have no foundational education in physics should be deleted. The policy of not promoting a personal theory needs to be enforced much more strongly. Otherwise UT will become bogged down with this rubbish and many people who have no formal education in these matters will take them seriously. To let this gibberish persist is to permit disinformation.

        LC

      • Anonymous says

        As you indicated these EU guys promote ideas based on the fragmentary knowledge of electromagnetism. A couple of years ago I asked one of these guys to solve a basic problem with Maxwell’s equations. They could not do it — because they really do not know what they are talking about.

        I really think these EU posts and related “I have a theory” posts by people who clearly have no foundational education in physics should be deleted. The policy of not promoting a personal theory needs to be enforced much more strongly. Otherwise UT will become bogged down with this rubbish and many people who have no formal education in these matters will take them seriously. To let this gibberish persist is to permit disinformation.

        LC

      • iantresman says

        I think you will find that there are many people reading Universe Today, who do not understand much of science, period.

        However, the great thing about science, is that you can make a good scientific argument, including scientific evidence.

        Unfortunately I see many well-educated scientific people who don’t, and resort to the same fallacious rhetoric as those they criticise.

        If people expect a hight standard, they should use it themselves. In the old days, the police took short-cuts because they knew people were guilty.

        Lawrence, this is not a criticism directed as yourself, but a general observation.

      • Anonymous says

        “I think you will find that there are many people reading Universe Today, who do not understand much of science, period.”

        That is why one should always speak from known well established astrophysics, not merely unlikely, wrong or specious theory. Exploiting it is the art of many EU/PC proponents to gain support. Returning fallacious rhetoric seems the only thing to blunt their continuous attacks on the innocent novice.

      • Anonymous says

        “I think you will find that there are many people reading Universe Today, who do not understand much of science, period.”

        That is why one should always speak from known well established astrophysics, not merely unlikely, wrong or specious theory. Exploiting it is the art of many EU/PC proponents to gain support. Returning fallacious rhetoric seems the only thing to blunt their continuous attacks on the innocent novice.

      • Or deleting their posts and banning them from posting outright. Which is where I’m at right now. The EU folks have completely worn out their welcome here, in the same way they burned their bridges at BAUTforum.

        The EU people are abusing the Universe Today comment system as a marketing channel, and I’m done with it.

      • iantresman says

        The author of the article was “allowed” to discuss some theories which they said were consistent with EU. I am sure that if someone else had done so, they would have been banned.

        You simply need to specify some rules, but I can’t think how to make them fair, so that you don’t throw out the babywith the bathwater.

      • Member
        Jon Voisey says

        You missed the point by such a wide margin, I think it’s sailing past Pluto right now. Saying something is “consistent with” and endorsing it are two entirely different things. Notice that I specifically pointed out that it’s only consistent with in the sense that it’s worthlessly vague which isn’t an endorsement. It’s noting that the correlation is irrelevant in order to preempt the EU claims of vindication.

      • Anonymous says

        Sigh… The article contains a direct attack on the EU theory and proponents, whilst you want to prohibit comments related to it? What do you suggest the purpose of an article comment field is then? Only to dig the article?

      • Anonymous says

        EU here started as a bit of fun, but it has evolved into a disease and a real problem. Few novices have any chance about learning something about the current consensus on cosmology, astronomy and astrophysics, because these guys keep trying to deride the conversation to what is mostly pseudoscience.

        How can young people learn about what is mostly taught in schools regarding cosmology and astrophysics, if some organised and deliberate attack interferes every time one mentions magnetic fields, electric fields or ionic states of matter like plasma?

        All that is being requested is simply talk from what is known and accepted theory, and not go on the attack with already proven quite incorrect and wrong notions. I.e. plasma physics (which is not equivalent to electric universe.)

        Bottom line. Adapt or go away. It is that simple. If you cannot do that, then Thunderbolts.Info will gladly accept you among your own interests shared with others.

        Ta. Thanks for your input.

      • Anonymous says

        How can we get new scientific notions or models, if one aren’t allowed to revisit or try new approaches to what is uncertain? How can you state that the various notions are proven? Standard cosmology has a set of models (of stars/galaxies/compact matter) that uses a given approach with one set of parameters. New observations rise just as many questions as answers, and the theory as a whole doesn’t predict much. Really. Does that automatically prove EU notions correct? No. Does it indicate that we need new approaches? Yes. Also, I can pretty much confirm that most EU proponents knows a great deal about current consensus and mainstream cosmology. I, for instance, was a fan of Einsteinian and Hawking notions, which I today find rather speculative and non-physical for being scientifically accepted – before I read into different approaches. Thanks for your response.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        How? By stating interesting hypotheses. That means testability, so EUstrology disqualifies.

      • Member
        Jon Voisey says

        If the EU proponents wanted to say anything intelligent, then perhaps we’d allow it. But let’s review the comments that have been censored: They’ve all been comments of
        – “Were smart. Ur dum”
        – “Help! Help! I’m being oppressed! Conspiracy!”
        – “Let me lecture you and try to claim that a current in an ideal wire somehow equates to current in a near vacuum with uneven charge and field distribution that we haven’t even calculated.”
        – “Go look at this because he won a nobel prize for other work.”

        Every one of these comments is insipidly stupid. As I often say, I’ll be nicer when they be smarter.

      • Anonymous says

        I don’t know which comments were cencored, obviously, but that read like a somewhat childish summary. Not only have you misunderstood the notion of EU hypotheses (e.g. that wire example), but also the reasoning and source material behind it. Of course, I’m not going to lecture you within this small section, but you should look up source material (of which I’m surely not allowed to link or refer to). Have a nice day!

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        The point is that so far none of EU has risen to the point of “hypotheses”, as the proponents avoid to get nailed on something testable.

        This is much like astrology, conspiracy theories or what have you, that a) survive longer on obfuscation b) can mill any data for patterns.

        What has been plenty tested though is that alignment of plasma emissions are no more predicting features of the world than alignment of stars.

      • Member
        Jon Voisey says

        No. The wire comment was spot on. It was taken directly from an EU website which tried to create basic models using pictures and descriptions of currents in wires creating magnetic fields. Yep. Real smart.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        Quoth the man: “a frank dismissal. The same as that astrology would get, which makes precisely as much sense as EUstrology (stars align – plasma emissions align; personality “explained” – universe “explained”).”

        Do you _really_ mean we would need to discuss the “theory and proponents” of astrology after noting that it is simply bunk!? Please! This isn’t an “equal time” matter of public opinion, this is about the science of gas and dust filaments.

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        … I asked one of these guys to solve a basic problem with Maxwell’s equations. They could not do it — because they really do not know what they are talking about.

        Those guys (and it’s mostly men!) would not know Maxwell’s equations from Maxwell House coffee!

      • Anonymous says

        Giggle! 🙂

      • Anonymous says

        The EU/PC trend seems to have an agenda of some kind. I find it curious that people would volunteer to uphold something so patently false if they have a real interest in physics and astronomy. At least the creationists have an excuse for being far more concerned with their immortal souls in the face of a rather terrifying eschatology they believe. It is a neurosis IMO, but it can be sort of excused. EU/PC offers nothing of that sort, so I frankly have to ask the question, wuz up wid dat!?

        LC

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        I think that the “Electric Universe” brigade have the same mindset like unemployed punks, with to much time on their hands, who enjoy dubbing graffiti on newly painted walls instead doing something constructive.

      • Anonymous says

        IVAN, tsk, tsk. too much time, NOT to much time. I would expect much better from you. I’ll grab your coat and hat for you if you’d like…..

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        Thanks! That’s what happens when I post a comment before I’ve had my cup of coffee!

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        PATTERN SEARCH IZ TEH LAZY MANZ WAI 2 SIMPLE WURLD VIEW AN SIMPLE EGO BOOST BOTH.

      • Anonymous says

        These guys want to play scientist and go against the mainstream. There is an ego trip associated with this. It’s a self-satisfying rush. I can’t think of any other explanation on why people with no deep understanding of the science attack and promote EU/PC as they do. They don’t understand as much as they think they do and they don’t get this.

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        That’s because they are second-rate punks!

      • Anonymous says

        What is funny is that these none-science guys keep on coming back when they already know that they will be beaten up again. The equivalence of creationists are striking.

      • Anonymous says

        What is funny is that these none-science guys keep on coming back when they already know that they will be beaten up again. The equivalence of creationists are striking.

  2. Anonymous says

    The image introducing this article shows looks can be deceiving. Anyone looking at such images might instantly associate this with some lightening effect, but looks can be deceiving.

    I do strongly agree with Jon overall views on EU as stated here.

    Also, I do agree that you should prohibit comments relating to EU or other so-called ‘pet theories.’

    The deliberate trouble these guys have caused and the need for more drastic moderation says it all. These guys have an organised agenda and as soon as it realised they won’t get away with this anymore, the better. They want to confuse the novices read the story to make their crazy and unsubstantiated ideas as if it were ‘mainstream’.

    That new little flag will go along way to enforce that.

    Pity harmony has to be enforced here, and these individuals should think long and hard in what they say from now on. Thanks.

  3. Jon Hanford says

    Great article on a fascinating galaxy. Thanks for your coverage of this important work on one of my favorite objects.

  4. Jon Hanford says

    To find some truly mindblowing images of NGC 1275 I strongly urge readers to check out the 2008 paper by Fabian et al. Hi-res PDFs of the original Nature paper (& supplement) are here as well as hi-res versions of the images used in the paper. Simply astounding! (…and great science too). This is one of the rare astronomy papers where the illustrations have an aesthetic quality all their own.

    “Magnetic mystery of NGC 1275 revealed”: http://www-xray.ast.cam.ac.uk/papers/ngc1275/

    [btw, nice job with the disclaimer. Would be nice to have an in-depth discussion on EM topics as studied by astronomers and physicists w-o all the PU woo. One can hope.]

  5. Anonymous says

    No? Still it’s what they’ve been predicting though! i.e. Birkeland currents, DL’s so on and so forth. it’s like you are claiming that you have found new physics! As Jon Suggested how about a few of our mainstreamers here debate EM effects in the cosmos!

    • Anonymous says

      No. If you can’t make much sense over all these years, then what difference would some crazy “debate” have? Your words are already mud, and you’ve been shown the door. Let’s leave it that way.

      If you want to really debate then just go to Thunderbolts.info. At least there you will be heard!! (Make sure you read “a role for you” at the top of the page before asserting your anything like some “mainstreamer”)

      [The bad side is you can recruit anyone to the EU/PC nonsense, but then again, comment sites aren’t supposed to be for propaganda or manipulation!]

      Note: “Mainstreamers”, eh? Fringe pseudoscience is more like it.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        I’m rather more fazed with “our”. What has pseudoscience with science to do, it is rather anti-science in effect; making erroneous claims and drawing away potentially able persons from science.

    • ExcaliburClan says

      Solrey (i assume it is you):

      Predicting that ‘things will be strange’ is not really predicting, and the only way to keep it going is to fill in the details ‘after the fact’. and not really anything to debate either…

    • Torbjörn Larsson says

      So your answer to “they leave the claims suspiciously vague” is to leave the claims suspiciously vague?

      OK then. [/backs off slowly, slowly, slooowlyyy…]

  6. Anonymous says

    Nice article – a very interesting phenomenon. And DAMN that is a pretty picture.

    Well said on the whole EU BS btw. My own research focuses on (among other things) magnetic fields in active galaxies. Knowing the depth of intelligence of people in the real B-field game and the tremendous effort and diligence required to advance our knowledge on this front, it is tedious to watch the same old tripe peddled time and time again on these pages.

    Magnetic fields DO play an important role in many aspects of the functioning of the universe. Shame the EU/PC crowd can’t content themselves with the rapid progress of the field, and have gone barking up the wrong tree. Badly.

  7. Beautiful image of NGC 1275. I am a novice/amateur in this field and have little idea about the EU thing. Thanks for illuminating something new (even if it is sketchy science) for me to investigate. Also, just wished to see if this new Disqus thing worked.

  8. Beautiful image of NGC 1275. I am a novice/amateur in this field and have little idea about the EU thing. Thanks for illuminating something new (even if it is sketchy science) for me to investigate. Also, just wished to see if this new Disqus thing worked.

    • Edward Morbius says

      Stay away from EU and Plasma Cosmology. It’s pseudoscience and it will just lead you away from true science.

      • Anonymous says

        It will surely give a different perspective on the standard model of cosmology, which uses compacts states of matter and gravity as free and speculative parameters. Yet, it is regarded as some kind of fact, whilst science ideally should interpret observations with various approaches.

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        You mean like “alternative medicine”? Do you know what science calls “alternative medicine” that works? Medicine!

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        You mean like “alternative medicine”? Do you know what science calls “alternative medicine” that works? Medicine!

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        “speculative parameters” =science predictive, observed* parameters.

        * Sometimes indirect, which is like saying that an x-ray gives you an indirect image of your skeleton.

    • Edward Morbius says

      Stay away from EU and Plasma Cosmology. It’s pseudoscience and it will just lead you away from true science.

    • Anonymous says

      Just realize that there is a big difference in engineering electronics and electricity here on Earth and magnetic fields and moving charges in science.

      The flaw of EU is that they compare it with engineering electronics.

      In engineering electronics you have only moving negative charges (electrons). The positive charges are fixed and cannot move into the wires.

      In space both negative and positive charges moves and the combined effect makes them charged neutral over the length of time. (positive and negative charge will attract each other and eventually fuse as neutral. It is basically only a transient state.

      • Anonymous says

        I hope I am allowed to point to a video response to a similar subject, posted at YouTube, if you search for ‘Debunking Misconceptions about the Electric Universe’. Your description of the “flaw of EU” is wrong.

      • Anonymous says

        I don’t need another youtube clip.
        Tell me where I am wrong.

      • Anonymous says

        Ok, I’ll have a go…

        First of all, EU doesn’t strictly refer to electric currents (in space) as merely the movement of electrons. In fact, it is rather the debunkers of, say, the Electric Sun, who thinks the Sun the has to be bombared by electrons at hyper swift drift velocities. The speed of travelling electrons (or circuitry) in, say, a glow discharge tube doesn’t have to be fast at all – although we’re talking about a higher density gas than astrophysical plasmas. Electric currents is the movement of charges, and also arise when volumes of charged particles are differently charged in respect to eachother. The movement of those induce electric currents between them.

        Another point is that EU doesn’t separate electro- from -magnetism, in contrast to much of astrophysics – which talks about magnetic fields as separate entities from underlying electric currents of some form. Astrophysical plasmas don’t longterm polarize as a bar magnet. If there are magnetic fields/polarization within a plasma volume, there are electric currents maintaining them. Plasmas are extremely good conductors, but astrophysical plasmas aren’t perfect conductors and lose energy (which they radiate and can be measured). Hence, there are time factors proportional to size and distance, and there doesn’t have to be anything like “instant neutralization” of volumes of different charge. Here’s the point were the effects observed within plasmas are scalable and proportional. You also seem to refer to quasi-neutrality of (bulk volume) astrophysical plasmas, which isn’t the same as an absent of electric currents…

      • Anonymous says

        You may want to read my response to IanTresman a bit further down.

        In short: a magnetic field does not imply a current. This is just not true. And even if it were, even the best measurements of the structure of the magnetic field would make it really hard to get any information of the current.

        Btw: The approximation of ideal MHD is extremely valid in most astrophysical cases. Some special (and mostly violent) cases need more details and, especially, resistivity (magnetic reconnection). But they tend to be on very small scales compared to the rest.

        And one clarification: An electric current is the RELATIVE movement of opposite electric charges. A proton and an electron with the same velocity is not a current.

      • Anonymous says

        You do not have a current if both + and – charges move in the same direction. The charge cancels each other out in average making the gas neutral. Even if it is in a plasma state it is in no way a current it is just a moving gas.
        It cannot be a current since the number of + and – charges are equal and you cannot charge a distant object with it.

        Even when + and – charges move at different speeds in the same direction, you still have no current since that gas cancel each others charge out. You will have a transient effect when the – charges gets ejected first and then followed by the heavier + charges where you have a slight current for a tiny fraction of the time.

        Don’t confuse this with engineering electronics where gas in a tube will be shaken into a plasma state by flooding it with electrons. Negative charge only will flow through the plasma in one direction. The has + charge atoms will tend to move in the opposite direction where the most electrons are waiting to traverse the tube, once it gets there it stops. The + charge do not go into the wiring. You have a situation where you have only a moving – stream, not a steady state moving of + charges.

        Also do not confuse the + pole in engineering electronics which represents the lack of electrons with the – pole that represents an abundance of electrons.
        A plus-pole is not synonyms for + charge and minus- pole is no synonymous for – charge.

      • iantresman says

        “You do not have a current if both + and – charges move in the same direction. The charge cancels each other out in average making the gas neutral.”

        Take the Solar Wind, a typical cosmic plasma consisting of equal numbers of ions and electron. They moving in approximately the same direction. Do they cancel? No. They produce the heliospheric current sheet.

        Solar plasma also produces currents, likewise ionospheric plasma produces Birkeland currents.

        So can you provide some examples of cosmic plasmas whose ions actually move in the same direction?

      • Anonymous says

        Yes it is called solar wind

      • Anonymous says

        Do you actually claim that 3×10^9 amperes in this current sheet is actually worthwhile noting on the cosmic scales? It is tiny!

      • Anonymous says

        I just checked this 3,000,000,000 amperes is the equivalent of 0.017 kg moving mass of electrons per second or 30 kg moving mass of protons through the complete sheet!

      • iantresman says

        “It cannot be a current since the number of + and – charges are equal and you cannot charge a distant object with it.”

        Actually, neutral cosmic plasmas tend to charge objects negatively because the electrons are more mobile. This is a cause of spacecraft charging.

      • Anonymous says

        As usual taken out of context.
        Space crafts get charged because in LOW orbit caused by interaction with Earths atmosphere and it is moving in Earths magnetic field.

        Do spacecraft get charged when they are far away between 2 planets in outer space?

      • Anonymous says

        As usual taken out of context.
        Space crafts get charged because in LOW orbit caused by interaction with Earths atmosphere and it is moving in Earths magnetic field.

        Do spacecraft get charged when they are far away between 2 planets in outer space?

      • Anonymous says

        Olaf2: excellent and informative comments! Agreed, bulk movement of a plasma is not the same as a current. Except from the particular scenarios you described, there isn’t neccesarily a requirement for a plasma to be bounded for it to be conductive within its volume. If there is an uneven distribution of charge in one region versus another, there will occur electric currents between them. Then again, if the heliosphere is a double layer (a part of the Electric Sun hypothesis), the interplanetary medium is a bounded plasma.

        Since protons and electrons are of significantly different mass, they are accelerated unevenely, yet having the same and opposite value of charge. This causes continous and ‘organic’ distribution of charge – unless they recombined (which they don’t all of the time due to high velocities or an external ionization source, like a star / nucleus).

        Also, two or more intersecting volumes of plasma (with different degree of charge), that moves in respect to eachother, will induce electric currents. I think there was more I should respond to, but that’s it for now. Again, nice input!

      • Anonymous says

        It is amazing how you people use creationists methodology to shoehorn something that is nuts in something that appears to be logical.

        First step first, give us some real numbers. How much current are we talking about? How much mass of plasma are we talking about? How much forces are we talking about? How strong are these magnetic fields? I want real numbers not weasel words manipulating people.

        Explain to me where EU fails. How would you falsify EU. What experiment out there should be able to disprove EU?

      • Anonymous says

        Plasma is only a good conductor when it is forced in boundaries, like a test tube and you are feeding more electrons in than it carries + charges and the + charge cannot escape outside the boundaries.

        In space you have no such glass tubes, in space the sun is not a electron-only accelerator. It can’t be since every time an electron gets accelerated the sun becomes more positive and will pull back the ejected electrons when the positive charge becomes too powerful. It is a transient effect only, a tiny fraction of the the time.

        Also Plasma cannot stay in a plasma state without external power-source. It will automatically revert to a neutral state since it will attract the opposite charge. Again take away the external power and the plasma becomes gas again over a certain amount of time. Yes I am referring to Coulomb forces.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        Interesting observation.

        You would think that ionic chemistry of batteries, bodies and nerves, all who predates electronics in some way, would disabuse these nEUtters of the idea that everything is wiring. Alas.

      • Anonymous says

        Why do you even bother to comment on EU related material, when you obviously have no clue about what it is? You proudly comment as if EU theory doesn’t review the various electric circuitry within nature, from micro to macro, and as if no one has ever mentioned double layers of various kinds, and so forth.

    • Ian Tresman says

      You will find little on the Electric Universe in the scientific literature. But search for Plasma Cosmology or Plasma Universe in peer-reviewed literature such as using Google Scholar and then decide for yourself whether the criticisms are justified. This is not an endorsement.

      • Member
        Jon Voisey says

        Yes. You’ll find all sorts on plasma in astronomy. Because there’s real science that uses it. And I never claimed otherwise. What I pointed out in the article is that simple mentioning plasma is real, and so is E&M, doesn’t mean that “everything other than planets is an electric effect”. That’s a logical leap off a cliff.

  9. Both the article and comments from several debunkers of the EU include factual errors. Are we permitted to correct any of these errors? On the face of it, the entire policy toward Thunderbolts.info appears quite ridiculous.

  10. Both the article and comments from several debunkers of the EU include factual errors. Are we permitted to correct any of these errors? On the face of it, the entire policy toward Thunderbolts.info appears quite ridiculous.

  11. iantresman says

    The 2008 Fabian paper is abstracted below:

    A. C. Fabian et al, “Magnetic support of the optical emission line filaments in NGC 1275” Nature 454, 968-970 (21 August 2008)

    This paper is “suggesting that these filaments were being columnated by extremely weak magnetic fields”. Is this the same as a collimating field, which I believe consists of concentric circles (azimuthal magnetic field?), although I guess that a corkscrew, or spiralling magnetic field topology would also produce filaments.

    Since the magnetic field must be caused by moving charged particles, that would suggest that it is the plasma outside the filaments that cause it, which would have to be moving coherently to produce such a field topology. Although the filaments are described as cold gas, wouldn’t it make better sense if there were a cold plasma in the filaments, whose longitudinal motion is consistent with a azimuthal magnetic field.

    • Anonymous says

      The full arXiv paper is found at http://arxiv.org/abs/0808.2712

      They also importantly say; “The filaments are dragged out from the centre of the galaxy by radio-emitting ‘bubbles’ rising buoyantly in the hot intracluster gas, before later falling back.”
      See the image of Figure 1 & Supplementary Figure 3 on page 11.

    • Member
      IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

      Since the magnetic field must be caused by moving charged particles,…

      What do you mean by “must be caused”? A magnetic field can be produced by moving electric charges and/or by the ‘intrinsic’ magnetic field of elementary particles associated with the spin of the particle.

      … wouldn’t it make better sense if there were a cold plasma in the filaments,…

      What do mean by “cold plasma”? For plasma to exist, there has to be a source of ionization — e.g., heat, UV light, an electric current, etc. — to produce and sustain it; otherwise, it will revert to just neutral gas.

      • iantresman says

        I’m not aware of any cosmic plasmas whose magnetic field are caused by “the ‘intrinsic’ magnetic field of elementary particles associated with the spin of the particle”. There are amply charged particles around to be the cause.

        A cold plasma typically has a low degree of ionization, but a more detailed explanation can be found here in the chapter on Cold Plasma Model.

      • Anonymous says

        A magnetic field may be produced by some current, but after that it can live on its own! And, as a matter of fact, Maxwell’s equations say nothing about “where something came from”. All they say is: Magnetic fields and electric fields obey these laws. Nothing more and nothing less.
        What does it mean?
        Well: Assume a constant magnetic field (B=const.). This, in fact, obeys

        curl B = 0 ; div B = 0

        So, everything is fine. A constant magnetic field obeys Maxwell’s laws and needs NOTHING to exist. Not a displacement current, not moving particles, nothing.
        So, please: That we observe magnetic fields does not necessarily imply that there is always an underlying current somewhere. This might have been true for the “first magnetic field there is”, but as soon as it was there, no more currents are needed, necessarily. The magnetic fields could act on their own, and they still obey Maxwell’s laws.

      • iantresman says

        So do you know of any peer-reviewed paper which suggests that the intergalactic magnetic field is produced in a way which does not involved moving charged particles?

      • Anonymous says

        No.
        However, I also have no knowledge of any paper discussing this particular problem. This does not mean that they aren’t there, I just don’t know them.
        On the other hand, a German astrophysicist (who also made a TV show to popularize difficult physical topics — and he did very well!), Harald Lesch (professor at the LMU Munich) described it somehow like: differential rotation in a plasma (which is like a current in this case) caused the first magnetic field in the cosmos.
        All that was needed were these seed fields. After that the magnetic fields could reestablish themselves, so to speak.

        But that was not the point, I intended to make above. The major point is: The magnetic field does not care where electric currents are, once it is there. That’s why we can have “magnetic clouds” leaving the sun and crashing into earth’s atmosphere. That also means, although you observe a magnetic field, you cannot make any statements about an underlying current: where it is, how strong it is, and if it is there at all!

        Screaming out loud: “Magnetic field, therefore current!” is not necessarily correct. That was and is my point.

        Maybe I find the time, to make a calculation: Is there a solution to the equation div B = curl B, apart from the trivial one B = const.?

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        I think you are talking about a Δ • v = Δ × v = 0 non-compressible, non-rotational Laplacian vector field. Solutions to ∇2 φ = 0 are harmonic functions. As expected a lot of multi-pole structure without having currents or constant magnetic fields.

      • iantresman says

        “Magnetic field, therefore current!” is not necessarily correct. That was and is my point.”

        Based on what we know about astrophysical plasmas, only moving charging particles produce magnetic fields.

        You may be right that they can theoretically produced in other ways, but I am not aware of any astrophysical evidence for them.

        Space contain significant quantities of charged particles that will produce magnetic fields. There is no need to appeal to alternative theories, unless you have some evidence and peer-reviewed papers to support these theories.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        Also, diverse kinds of permanent magnet materials being excellent examples of needing (nearly) nothing, only magnetic moments and no currents.

      • Anonymous says

        I’m starting to doubt your title. How are permanent magnets manufactured? What causes their magnetic field, when you consider the atom level? Are bar magnets equivalent of a plasma?

      • Anonymous says

        No. They just show that you can have fairly strong magnetic fields without a current.
        That this is not directly relevant to plasmas is something else. It just aims to show “Magnetic field = Electric current” is not necessarily correct.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        It was a mistake to fill in the Disqus bio, since it appears with my avatar after a while. I just noticed that, but thanks anyway; it is now gone (as soon as it updates, sigh) as my credentials are neither here nor there for discussion of science in general.*

        [* But FWIW, if you really doubt them check my name in Google Scholar for my thesis and most other stuff.]

        I have relevant contextual text (for the web) prepared under the WordPress Gravatar connection; I may think of cloning it if not UT activates those nifty dynamical gravatars that I simply lurv.

        As for your Qs see DrFlimmer As.

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        It was a mistake to fill in the Disqus bio, since it appears with my avatar after a while.

        I made no such mistake in my bio!

      • Member
        Jon Voisey says

        Why are you now assuming manufacture? Is EU now backing ID?

      • Anonymous says

        My point is that manufactured and enhanced permanent (bar) magnets requires strong electric currents up front. Natural permanent magnets are also the result of a molecular structure with electron shells (distributed charge) alligned to form a uniform direction of polarization. A plasma (i.e. free charged particles), whether it is astrophysical plasma or a star, has no reason to form an overall steady structure with a uniform polarization and magnetic field. That requires electric currents. Therefore, observed magnetic fields = electric currents in some form. Again, even the magnetic fields “without electric currents” are the product of electric currents at the atom level, distributed in a way that won’t occur in plasmas or neutral gas if there are no electric currents. Induced magnetic fields will as a consequence force particles in modified paths. This is the basis for Birkeland currents, z-pinches and other plasma phenomena.

      • Anonymous says

        “A plasma (i.e. free charged particles)”

        Pure nonsense.

      • Anonymous says

        Read it in context. The charged particles are free, unless exposed to electric and magnetic forces. It’s certainly not a crystalized or metallic structure, like you can expect from permanent magnets.

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        According to Wikipedia, “[e]ven in a ‘cold’ plasma, the electron temperature is still typically several thousand degrees Celsius”; therefore, sources of plasma ionization heat the electrons more strongly than the ions.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        As you can also see in that context, the definition of “cold plasma” in the industry is a bit fuzzy, depends on the area quite simply. So it isn’t necessarily a good term in a general context, but explains somewhat where the writer comes from.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says

        No, but as for your general claim being wrong, the strongest known magnetic fields are from such effects: “Spin magnetic moment is responsible for the magnetic field of magnetars,” [Wp]

      • Anonymous says

        Not to complain too much, just as a small side note:
        Since matter in space is typically fairly thin, it takes quite a while for atoms to recombine. The plasma will therefore have a lot of time before it really ceases to exist. Next point is, the thin matter distribution also implies that you do not need many photons to get some reionisation.
        But you are right, of course, you always need an energy source, even if it’s a weak one.

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        Yes, I realize that; it’s similar to the afterglow that one observes, in the dark, on a CRT television/monitor or in a fluorescent tube/bulb after turning it off. However, it’s the persistent implying, by Mr. Tresman and his cohorts in the comments section, that any indication of a plasma or magnetic field in a nebula, galaxy, or what-have-you is the result of some bloody ubiquitous electric current in the cosmos, and that it somehow automatically ‘proves’ the “Electric Universe” hypothesis (I won’t use the term “theory” because that implies an established fact!), is what pisses me off.

      • Anonymous says

        I totally agree with you!

      • Anonymous says

        Me too…

    • Member
      IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

      Since the magnetic field must be caused by moving charged particles,…

      What do you mean by “must be caused”? A magnetic field can be produced by moving electric charges and/or by the ‘intrinsic’ magnetic field of elementary particles associated with the spin of the particle.

      … wouldn’t it make better sense if there were a cold plasma in the filaments,…

      What do mean by “cold plasma”? For plasma to exist, there has to be a source of ionization — e.g., heat, UV light, an electric current, etc. — to produce and sustain it; otherwise, it will revert to just neutral gas.

    • Anonymous says

      This linked paper says;

      “The observed full-width-half-maximum velocity dispersion of ~100 km^s-1 within a filament may be direct evidence of such waves as indeed expected for Alfvenic turbulence, where half the internal pressure is kinetic and half magnetic. A large field in filaments is also one interpretation of the high Faraday rotation measure seen against the tip of the jet at the centre of NGC 1275.”

      The weakish field is; “For the above values this corresponds to Bh ~ 24 ?G which is less than the equipartition value of 100 ?G so energetically possible.”

      This suggest any of the points you say are correct.

  12. Both the article and the comments that follow involve egregious misstatements of fact. Will anyone from Thunderbolts.info be permitted to correct them?

    • Anonymous says

      It was one that linked EU/PC proponents to Thundebolt.Info, which I did in fairness to those who wish to discuss those ideas. If you have a problem with me, then go for it, instead on the divisive means of painting everyone who disagrees with you with the same brush.

      Yet it is also good to see that you still seem to think it is perfectly OK for your supporters to spread their organised pseudoscience. Really. You guys have just ended up on trial here, mostly because of the continuous obnoxious behaviour in organised ‘selling’ or ‘peddling’ your ideas by a few of your supporters.

      The only truly thing egregious here is your ‘purer than white’ innocence, which is clearly not the case.

      In the end, I think you have two choices. Either discuss ideas from what we know about astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology here, or take your distortions elsewhere. I.e. Thunderbolts.Info or find another site to bombard.

  13. Anonymous says

    Here we go again, debunking, double-edged sword. What about getting some moderators and deleting it without reasoning?

  14. Anonymous says

    Also, while I’m at it – isn’t it apparent that others use the comment field as a way of attacking EU theory – such as the subtle “EUPC Exterminator”?

  15. Anonymous says

    The pseudonym and the tone of the comment have something missionary/inquisitional.
    I see that as regrettable.

  16. Anonymous says

    The pseudonym and the tone of the comment have something missionary/inquisitional.
    I see that as regrettable.

Comments are closed.