Colliding Auroras Produce an Explosion of Light

From NASA
Colliding Auroras Produce an Explosion of Light
12.17.09

This three frame animation of THEMIS/ASI images shows auroras colliding on Feb. 29, 2008This three frame animation of THEMIS/ASI images shows auroras colliding on Feb. 29, 2008.
Credit: Toshi Nishimura/UCLA
› Larger Image
› View Animation

A network of cameras deployed around the Arctic in support of NASA’s THEMIS mission has made a startling discovery about the Northern Lights. Sometimes, vast curtains of aurora borealis collide, producing spectacular outbursts of light. Movies of the phenomenon were unveiled at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union today in San Francisco.

“Our jaws dropped when we saw the movies for the first time,” said space scientist Larry Lyons of the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), a member of the team that made the discovery. “These outbursts are telling us something very fundamental about the nature of auroras.”

The collisions occur on such a vast scale that isolated observers on Earth — with limited fields of view — had never noticed them before. It took a network of sensitive cameras spread across thousands of miles to get the big picture.

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency created such a network for THEMIS, short for “Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms.” THEMIS consists of five identical probes launched in 2006 to solve a long-standing mystery: Why do auroras occasionally erupt in an explosion of light called a substorm?

Twenty all-sky imagers (ASIs) were deployed across the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic to photograph auroras from below while the spacecraft sampled charged particles and electromagnetic fields from above. Together, the on-ground cameras and spacecraft would see the action from both sides and be able to piece together cause and effect-or so researchers hoped. It seems to have worked.

The breakthrough came earlier this year when UCLA researcher Toshi Nishimura assembled continent-wide movies from the individual ASI cameras. “It can be a little tricky,” Nishimura said. “Each camera has its own local weather and lighting conditions, and the auroras are different distances from each camera. I’ve got to account for these factors for six or more cameras simultaneously to make a coherent, large-scale movie.”

The first movie he showed Lyons was a pair of auroras crashing together in Dec. 2007. “It was like nothing I had seen before,” Lyons recalled. “Over the next several days, we surveyed more events. Our excitement mounted as we became convinced that the collisions were happening over and over.”

Locations and field of view map of the twenty all-sky imagers used in support of the THEMIS mission. Twenty all-sky imagers (ASIs) were deployed by researchers from the University of California Berkeley, the University of Calgary, and the University of Alaska in support of the THEMIS mission. This map shows their locations and field of view.
Credit: THEMIS/UC Berkeley.
› Larger Image The explosions of light, they believe, are a sign of something dramatic happening in the space around Earth-specifically, in Earth’s “plasma tail.” Millions of kilometers long and pointed away from the sun, the plasma tail is made of charged particles captured mainly from the solar wind. Sometimes called the “plasma sheet,” the tail is held together by Earth’s magnetic field.

The same magnetic field that holds the tail together also connects it to Earth’s polar regions. Because of this connection, watching the dance of Northern Lights can reveal much about what’s happening in the plasma tail.

THEMIS project scientist Dave Sibeck of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. said, “By putting together data from ground-based cameras, ground-based radar, and the THEMIS spacecraft, we now have a nearly complete picture of what causes explosive auroral substorms.”

Lyons and Nishimura have identified a common sequence of events. It begins with a broad curtain of slow-moving auroras and a smaller knot of fast-moving auroras, initially far apart. The slow curtain quietly hangs in place, almost immobile, when the speedy knot rushes in from the north. The auroras collide and an eruption of light ensues.

How does this sequence connect to events in the plasma tail? Lyons believes the fast-moving knot is associated with a stream of relatively lightweight plasma jetting through the tail. The stream gets started in the outer regions of the plasma tail and moves rapidly inward toward Earth. The fast knot of auroras moves in synch with this stream.

Artist rendering of the THEMIS satellite circling Earth The five spacecraft of THEMIS were built to answer fundamental questions about auroras.Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab
› Larger Image Meanwhile, the broad curtain of auroras is connected to the stationary inner boundary of the plasma tail and fueled by plasma instabilities there. When the lightweight stream reaches the inner boundary of the plasma tail, there is an eruption of plasma waves and instabilities. This collision of plasma is mirrored by a collision of auroras over the poles.

National Science Foundation-funded radars located in Poker Flat, Alaska, and Sondrestrom, Greenland, confirm this basic picture. They have detected echoes of material rushing through Earth’s upper atmosphere just before the auroras collide and erupt. The five THEMIS spacecraft also agree. Last winter, they were able to fly through the plasma tail and confirm the existence of lightweight flows rushing toward Earth.

Dr. Tony Phillips
Heliosphysics News Team

Original Story Here.

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83 Responses to Colliding Auroras Produce an Explosion of Light

  1. Jacob Livingston says:

    [snip] Be polite. ~dbs, mod.

  2. Paulmwho says:

    Typical of NASA to spend millions of dollar to find out something that has been know for 100 years. Maybe if they bothered to look at the work of Kristian Birkeland they would have saved the time and outrageous cost of this mission. Birkeland no only physically charted the aurora he actually proved experimentally, with his ‘terrella’ experiments 100 years ago, that it is caused by ELECTRICITY in space. Something NASA and orthodox astronomy cannot countenance because it will shatter everything they have falsely believed about the nature of space and the universe – “the universe is driven by electricity NOT gravity”. This gravity only dogma is as moribund their belief in global warming.

    Get the fact here:
    http://www.thunderbolts.info

  3. AdderW says:

    so the [snip- offensive, don't do it. RT - mod] has it all wrong then !?

  4. Ric Werme says:

    Paulmwho (04:34:16) :

    > something that has been know for 100 years.

    The issue is not whether aurorae are electrical phenomena, the issue is the interaction between pieces of aurorae. Your link goes to a home page that make no mention of that interaction. If you took the time to provide a relevant link it might be worth my time to read it.

  5. Richard says:

    My question is do Auroras have any influence on the weather? Why did the guys jaws drop? Was it just because the display was more spectacular than they had ever seen or was there any deeper significance?

  6. Jacob Livingston says:

    Think you’ll enjoy this picture,

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4256793548_f004a0fc8a_o.jpg

    it’s from the CBC, http://www.cbc.ca/photogallery/news/2874/ (picture 11 or 12..)

  7. DirkH says:

    “AdderW (05:11:05) :

    so the [snip] has it all wrong then !?”

    That wasn’t funny, even if Hawking (i suppose you mean him) should be wrong about black holes.

  8. Carlo says:

    This is useful visual discovery as it gives the observer a more complete image of how these electrical phenomena interact with the earth’s hemispheres. The recent discovery of connected birkeland currents from the sun to the earth was equally just as interesting.

    @Paulmwho – “that it is caused by ELECTRICITY in space”

    A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. There is no one thing that can be specifically describe as ‘ELECTRICITY.’ Even my professors at University were shy at trying to provide a simple explanation for this catch-all term we call electricity.

    I will give you this, however – the complex nature charged particles and its manifestation in complex plasmas in space is a woefully understood science and its this lack of knowledge that frightens many to include the possibilty that ‘electricity’ as you put it is a more profound force in cosmology. That said we must keep an open mind in all directions as to the nature of nature itself.

  9. Brian P says:

    Over geoligical time life seems deterimined to starve itself of carbon. I would prefer if we are going to be stupid that at least we could store CO2 in a manner that it is recoverable

  10. Brian P says:

    sorry wrong thread

  11. JonesII says:

    Paulmwho (04:34:16) : Time to change has come. That universe “De la Belle Epoque”, or more sarcastically, that “Flintstones Universe”, which considers particles as little stones, or pebbles, denies , for example, the principal characteristic of a proton to be what it is: the nucleus of an element known as hydrogen, and when that nucleus encounters the oxidized form of oxygen called ozone (commonly obtained by an electric arc-as those called AURORAS-) , water, yes water, is the product of such a chemical marriage.
    That dynamic and live interchange of charges pervades nature around us, making possible our own lives.

  12. Paulmwho (04:34:16) :
    Get the fact here:
    http://www.thunderbolts.info

    This is kind of pseudo-science we don’t need here, and BTW, Birkeland was completely wrong: the electric currents are produced in the Earth’s environment by changing magnetic fields [and do not come from the Sun, the Galaxy, or the Universe at large].

  13. JP says:

    I remember standing outside on the patio in Edmonton somethime around that night, certainly one of the more amazing nights of Northern Lights that I have seen at that low latuitudes…

  14. jack morrow says:

    Paulmwho 04:34:16
    I read about the electric universe too and for a layman it is easier to understand by far than the black hole,dark matter, big bang stuff. But, there is no real proof that is the theory of everything either. It probably is more complicated than anything that man can come up with at present,kinda like the climate.
    I for one am just going to sit back and watch and read with great interest all the new theories and developments and this site is where I start.

  15. climatebeagle says:

    I like that they set up a network of cameras to perform some science. Since 1988 when the AGW concern started has any agency set up a similar network of high quality thermometers in rural locations? By high quality I mean continuous electronically recorded and by rural I mean locations that are in fact guaranteed to be free of UHI, US national parks, arctic, etc.

  16. pwl says:

    In the (very cold) decade (70′s) I lived in Edmonton we were treated to spectacular auroras.

    This is really interesting.

    How does this phenomenon correlate with or influence the weather here on Earth?

    It’s interesting that the magnetic field can stretch that far and still have a flow of returning particles detectable.

    I wonder how the auroras factor into the Space Weather Calculations of Peirs Corbyn? (http://pathstoknowledge.net/2009/12/28/long-term-weather-forecasting-with-piers-corbyn)

    Oh as an aside, from what I understand from the slobbering guy in the wheelchair and from those not in the wheelchair the universe is driven by the four fundamental forces which interact in different ways. Plasma is part of that as is electricity and magnetic fields and gravity. To say that “the universe is driven” by any one of these forces seems to be a bit silly and beyond simplistic besides you’d have to define what you mean by driven. In fact, no driver has been identified. [:)]

  17. jack morrow (07:06:06) :
    Paulmwho 04:34:16
    I read about the electric universe too and for a layman it is easier to understand by far than the black hole,dark matter, big bang stuff.

    That is the allure of pseudo-science. Real science is often hard and takes work to understand. It is a lot simpler to believe that angels push the planets around in their orbits, than all that gravitational field, inverse-square laws, curved space-time, etc. stuff.

  18. JonesII says:

    The farthest from reality the hardest to comprehend.

  19. kuhnkat says:

    Leif Svalgaard,

    “This is kind of pseudo-science we don’t need here, and BTW, Birkeland was completely wrong: the electric currents are produced in the Earth’s environment by changing magnetic fields [and do not come from the Sun, the Galaxy, or the Universe at large].”

    When you and the rest of the “conventional physics” scientists can explain the recent observations of the comet missions we might have reason to believe your pronouncement. Until then we will continue to look to “pseudo-science” for explanations.

    The on-going SURPRISES in solar observations, especially the shape and interactions of the heliosphere should be a wake up call to you and the rest of the solar community!!! If your science can make no valid predictions it is WRONG!!!

    How has computing the orbits of the Voyagers been going for y

  20. kadaka says:

    Ah, science for science’s sake. No AGW angle, (apparently) no practical applications, just seeing exactly what is happening in our world so we may understand it better. How I have missed it!

    And science with pretty pictures! Bonus!

  21. Luboš Motl says:

    For the Eastern part of Europe and the Northern part of Asia, it’s too bad that the Auroras didn’t manage to crash before November 1917. ;-)

    If you don’t know, it’s the ship used by Lenin to start the communist revolution in Russia.

  22. kuhnkat says:

    PWL,

    “To say that “the universe is driven” by any one of these forces seems to be a bit silly and beyond simplistic besides you’d have to define what you mean by driven. In fact, no driver has been identified. [:)]”

    In fact conventional science HAS identified the primary driver as GRAVITY!! It is why they HAVE to postulate imaginary things like black holes, dark matter, dark energy to explain observations that they could not predict and can not explain!!!

    With only the gravity explanation the distribution of matter, fast rotating pulsars, CBR, X and Gamma rays, galaxies themselves… are not possible as observed. So we get a never ending series of fantasies to fill the gaps and which prevent real advances in our understanding of the universe.

    The FLATEARTHERS ALWAYS END UP IN CHARGE!!! Scientific advance is done by the lunatic fringe who are not wedded to conventional ideas and theories taught in institutions of propaganda and status quo. Why is that?? Because most of the Lunatic fringe ARE nuts. The rest of us can not tell who is and isn’t nuts until the conventional science has nearly caught up with them!!

    Most of what we see as scientific advance is technical achievement and engineering on top of the actual Science. A logical incremental application of those scientific theories that were considered nuts by the Science Community a few decades back!!

    Looking back through history, every time there was a real advance in our understanding, there were all those conventional types who COULD NOT ADMIT THEY WERE WRONG AND WORKED TO PREVENT THE ADVANCE FROM BEING ACCEPTED!!!

  23. Dave F says:

    http://www.livescience.com/space/091211-bts-Saturn-Titan-weather.html

    “Every morning I download and process that data to determine the amount of cloud cover on Titan. The result is that I get a daily weather report for Titan.”

    The whole story linked to is interesting, but the part that made me go ‘huh?’ was this statement. They can get daily cloud cover for Titan from only a few sample points?

  24. Dave F says:

    Nevermind on the above comment, I see in the pictures how they are doing it. Why can’t they do that with Earth?

  25. mikelorrey says:

    kuhnkat (09:08:17) : edit

    “Looking back through history, every time there was a real advance in our understanding, there were all those conventional types who COULD NOT ADMIT THEY WERE WRONG AND WORKED TO PREVENT THE ADVANCE FROM BEING ACCEPTED!!!”

    And yet the same sort of people who promote electric universe, iron sun, etc also tend to buy into debunked ideas like steady state universe, infinite size/age universe, hollow earth, Nibiru, etc etc.

    Just as correlation does not equal causation, being nuts doesn’t automatically make you right.

  26. shellback says:

    Three dimensional primates contemplating a multi-dimensional universe.
    Ground-bound, Ego impaired, often shrill and spittle flecked discourse,passing
    for “Reason”. IT IS AMAZING, ASTOUNDING, THAT WE UNDERSTAND ANYTHING.

  27. a jones says:

    Actually I think it is rather exciting, it is what real science is about. Here we have a natural phenomenon never observed before which we are going to have to continue to observe, measure and we hope eventually explain.

    How important it might turn out to be remains to be seen but as I said fascinating stuff.

    Kindest Regards

  28. jorgekafkazar says:

    I can get quite enough woo-woo science from the MSM. I don’t need any ‘electric universe’ coprolite science.

  29. JonesII (08:36:37) :
    The farthest from reality the hardest to comprehend.
    Is false, as you can see by rewriting it: “the easiest to understand, the closest to reality”. By that standard, the planet-pushing angels explanation or ‘the stork brings the babies’ wins hands down.

  30. Carla says:

    “Our jaws dropped when we saw the movies for the first time,”

    Maybe this is old hat for some (nothing wrong with old hat).
    But they say SEEING is believing. This would be new don’t cha think?

    WE SAW, wow that is cool.

  31. Allan M says:

    kuhnkat (09:08:17) :

    The FLATEARTHERS ALWAYS END UP IN CHARGE!!! Scientific advance is done by the lunatic fringe who are not wedded to conventional ideas and theories taught in institutions of propaganda and status quo. Why is that?? Because most of the Lunatic fringe ARE nuts. The rest of us can not tell who is and isn’t nuts until the conventional science has nearly caught up with them!!

    attributed to Niels Bohr:

    “Your theory is crazy, but it isn’t crazy enough to be true.”

  32. davesmith1au says:

    Leif Svalgaard (06:54:24) :
    Birkeland was completely wrong:

    Leif there are currently NO scientists, even mainstream ones, who would make such a sweeping statement of ignorance of the facts. Birkeland currents are, after all, not named after Leif Svalgaard…

  33. Paulmwho says:

    [“Looking back through history, every time there was a real advance in our understanding, there were all those conventional types who COULD NOT ADMIT THEY WERE WRONG AND WORKED TO PREVENT THE ADVANCE FROM BEING ACCEPTED!!!”
    And yet the same sort of people who promote electric universe, iron sun, etc also tend to buy into debunked ideas like steady state universe, infinite size/age universe, hollow earth, Nibiru, etc etc.
    Just as correlation does not equal causation, being nuts doesn’t automatically make you right.]

    I cannot believe that the bulk of these post.
    My god who are the deniers now.

    The vitriol is something I’d expect from Joe Romm or Al Gore but not from the supposedly open minded group of loyal followers of WUWT.
    Birkeland’s theory were confirmed by NASA 40 years ago. The “twisted ropes” of NASA are called Birkeland Currents and have been called that name for just as long.

    And who decides what is pseudo-science?

    Do you honestly think James Hanson and Gavin Schmidt are the only ones at NASA misrepresenting the underlying science.

    Electric Universe theory and Plasma Cosmology are part of mainstream science, a part of the Institute or Electrical and Electronic Engineers. These are the guys who work with and experiment on electric plasma every day and have done since the Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir discovered most of its properties and named it 70 years ago. This work was followed by Hannes Alfven who received the Nobel Prize in 1970 and considered by most as the father of plasma physics. His work was carried by Anthony Perratt who currently works at Los Alamo.

    Do you honestly think that; subversion of peer review, ad hom attacks by “expert” websites, denial of grants and job opertunities, misrepresentation of data and continual ad hoc addition to a theory that has no predictive capability are ONLY present in Climatology.

    Wake up and smell the deception.

    Why do you think the bulk of scientific bodies EXCEPT the IEE&E have all backed Global Warming; because they stand to lose just as much if the theory falls and the possibility that their own underlying theories and more importantly funding could be called into question.

    If modern cosmology/astronomy is so “settled” how come every time they point a new telescope at the cosmos or launch a new satellite on a far-flung mission they are constantly “amazed and surprised”, how it can’t be explained or it “back to the drawing board” (back to the computer models) to ad yet another ad hoc assumption to list of failures to predict an outcome.

    The current orthodoxy (Big Bang Theory) “can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.”

    Does this sound familiar?

    When people with open minds delved beneath the “pseudo-science” of Global Warming Skeptics they found a staggering amount of contrary evidence that was well researched and based on solid observational evidence.

    If the same open minds are truly open they will find that beneath the facade of orthodox cosmology they will find exactly the same modus operandi that exist in Climatology only it is more deep seated and has been going on for a lot longer that anyone could ever guess.

    Read this and see the list of signators.

    How many are crackpots, flat earthers or pseudo-scientists?

    http://www.cosmologystatement.org/

  34. davesmith1au (15:09:06) :
    “Birkeland was completely wrong”
    Leif there are currently NO scientists, even mainstream ones, who would make such a sweeping statement of ignorance of the facts. Birkeland currents are, after all, not named after Leif Svalgaard…

    I have read all of Birkeland’s papers, so my statement is not rooted in ignorance. The issue was not whether currents exists in the ionosphere. Every scientist in this field knows that currents flow easily along field lines, but not across them, and once the magnetosphere was discovered, field-aligned currents were a given [and BTW there are currents named after me :-) ] as the result of changing magnetic field in near-Earth space. The issue was the origin of these currents. And there is where Birkeland was completely and utterly wrong [as was pointed out by Lindeman already back in 1919]. Birkeland believed that the currents came from the Sun as streams or narrow beams of electrons [BTW, he got into a big discussion with another Norwegian giant in space physics: Stoermer, who believed the particles in the beam were of positive sign - they were both as wrong as one could be on this].

  35. Mike McMillan says:

    Geez, this thread is wandering. I thought the full moon had already passed.
    .

    Leif Svalgaard (08:23:51) :
    It is a lot simpler to believe that angels push the planets around in their orbits …

    They don’t ?
    .

    pwl (08:14:59) :
    In the (very cold) decade (70’s) I lived in Edmonton we were treated to spectacular auroras.

    I was based up in Minot, ND back then. The aurorae often folded like hanging draperies, and sometimes they drifted enough south that we got an edge-on view, really brilliant.

  36. Larry Butler says:

    Why has everyone forgotten about the HAARP weapon system in Gakona, AK? Something like this has HAARP written all over it.

    IT’s almost as if we have HAARP amnesia. Maybe HAARP’s mind controls work better than planned!

  37. Aris says:

    Funny, I thought Lindeman’s critique of Birkeland was invalidated…

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1958ApJ…127..731B

  38. Paulmwho (15:09:32) :
    Read this and see the list of signators.
    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Give me some more funding, and I might sign too. :-)

    too many of your statements are just plain wrong or half-truths, so I shall limit myself to just one: “Electric Universe theory and Plasma Cosmology are part of mainstream science”. This is clearly not the case as you yourself point out [mainstream science all corrupt, etc].

  39. Aris (18:07:32) :
    Funny, I thought Lindeman’s critique of Birkeland was invalidated…
    Bennett’s ideas was quickly invalidated by the discovery of the solar wind and in-situ measurements showing that his ideas didn’t hold. So, not ‘funny’ at all.

  40. Paulmwho (15:09:32) :
    Why do you think the bulk of scientific bodies EXCEPT the IEE&E have all backed Global Warming;

    From the IEEE website:
    IEEE to Host Free Workshop on Lowering Greenhouse Emissions Through Technology Standards 13 June

    16 May – The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) will host a free workshop on the use of technology standards to help lower greenhouse gases and fight global warming.

    The event, “IEEE Workshop on Standards to Help Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Global Warming, and their Impact on the Environment,” will be held Friday, 13 June 2008 at the IEEE Operations Center, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854.

  41. anna v says:

    kuhnkat (09:08:17) :

    The FLATEARTHERS ALWAYS END UP IN CHARGE!!! Scientific advance is done by the lunatic fringe who are not wedded to conventional ideas and theories taught in institutions of propaganda and status quo. Why is that?? Because most of the Lunatic fringe ARE nuts. The rest of us can not tell who is and isn’t nuts until the conventional science has nearly caught up with them!!

    I did go to the thunderbolt link given by somebody. The glaring statement that”

    “The naked electric force is 39 orders of magnitude (a thousand billion billion billion billion times) stronger than gravity. ”

    made me click off. Poor strong force !

    It is easy to see who is nuts and who is pushing unconventional theories against the current fashion, if you are versed in the current fashion. The true lunatics are hand wavers. The true innovators have hard differential equations and solutions to them. They may be ignored, and their proposals become accepted after the old guard dies off, or not, and become accepted by the force of the data.

    All innovations that I know of in physics have sprung from people who were very well versed in their current physics and simply thought out of the box. They presented their theories based in solid mathematics and physics of their time, with a different outlook.

    Hand waving science belongs to science fiction, enjoyable for a read maybe.

    Looking back through history, every time there was a real advance in our understanding, there were all those conventional types who COULD NOT ADMIT THEY WERE WRONG AND WORKED TO PREVENT THE ADVANCE FROM BEING ACCEPTED!!!

    This is true, a new theory goes against the current, but if it is a theory with all the necessary attributes, it will survive and if closer to data, will be vindicated.

  42. Ric Werme says:

    Larry Butler (17:05:47) :

    > IT’s almost as if we have HAARP amnesia. Maybe HAARP’s mind controls work better than planned!

    Not at all. I wondered when some idiot would bring it up but hoped everyone has moved on.

    http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/

  43. anna v (21:25:24) :
    It is easy to see who is nuts and who is pushing unconventional theories against the current fashion, if you are versed in the current fashion.
    Well said, anna. The situation is, however, a bit asymmetrical: if you are well-versed, spotting a nut is easy. It is harder for the nut to see the difference, because the ‘current fashion’ is unintelligible to him in the first place.

  44. Roger Carr says:

    Moderators: I believe you misssed a necessary snip here: AdderW (05:11:05) :
    [Fixed - RT - mod]

  45. anna v says:

    Paulmwho (15:09:32) :

    The current orthodoxy (Big Bang Theory) “can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.”

    There is a misunderstanding about the theory of epicycles. The misunderstanding is that it is not wrong. It is just a cumbersome inelegant method of describing the observed world. If one took the trouble to calculate a geocentric system, the epicycles are there in all their glory. True, they required new parameters every time a new planet was seen, but so does present gravitational theory: mass, angular momentum,.. Are these not new parameters?

    So it is only inelegance that makes us deride the epicycle model. One would not think that ineleganc has much to do with science, but it is one of the absolute guiding lights. Not only because it satisfies an inherent human desire for order and beauty, but because it clears the veils and one can see how one can make predictions rather than observations.

    Now it may be true that a lot of the niche assignments of new data withing the general theory of gravitation and big bang are a form of epicycles, i.e. that a higher more elegant theory will get rid of ad hoc assignments and offer greater predictive views. This remains to be seen.

    But it is also true that alternative theories have to offer an elegance not found in what is being offered here as the “electric or plasma” universe.

    Forces, ha!

    Modern mathematical tools are far removed from forces, which are just the final solutions of elegant derivations of differential equations. One starts with Action. Give me a link for the Action of a plasma universe.

  46. James F. Evans says:

    Old scientists don’t change their opinions with new evidence…they just pass from the scene and new scientists more open to new ideas take their place.

  47. Roger Carr says:

    [Fixed - RT - mod]
    May require a flow-on snip here: DirkH (06:11:16) :
    [Fixed again - thanks]

  48. anna v says:

    James F. Evans (23:20:40) :

    Old scientists don’t change their opinions with new evidence…they just pass from the scene and new scientists more open to new ideas take their place.

    It is almost a truism: Einstein against quantum mechanics, Feynman resisting QCD come to mind.

    There is a big BUT. Ideas are necessary for new breakthroughs but ideas are nut sufficient. For physics particularly solid mathematical derivations are the sine qua non for something to be considered a theory. We have progressed since the time of Demokritos. Both quantum mechanics and QCD come with the full rigorous panoply of mathematical modeling.

    It is not enough to say “the physics of the moon is consistent with its being made of cheese” and expect others to do the math for you. Otherwise you are positing a science fiction world, delightful, but not physics. I take great pleasure in reading and even rereading Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld series, where he has developed a completely zany amalgam of magic, science and anthropology/sociology. I do not confuse it with the physics of the world as I know it, though.

  49. beng says:

    Electric universe? Jeesh, I understand why Leif gets fed up at times.

    If you go over to:
    http://www.universetoday.com/
    some of these crackpots pollute those threads as well.

  50. James F. Evans says:

    anna v (00:36:38) wrote: “For physics particularly solid mathematical derivations are the sine qua non for something to be considered a theory.”

    Yes, mathematics is the language of Nature or at least it’s how Man quantifies the relationships of Nature in exact ways so we can predict and harness natural forces and relationships (technology).

    But before the mathematical relationships are established, observation & measurement of physical phenomenon is required, i.e., empirical science.

    Too many times, mathematicians act like mathematics can create its own reality. So-called “string theory” is an example.

    No observation & measurement supports it AT ALL.

    And, yet, respected peer-reviewed journals will publish this fantasy.

    beng (06:59:41):

    “Everybody in the community knows that these are plasmas, and so by definition dominated by electromagnetic forces.” — anonymous IBEX mission researcher for 4 years

    The game’s up and the cat’s out of the bag. Electric Double Layers, aka “magnetic reconnection”, has been documented by in situ satellite probes, that’s what causes the aurora ask Dr. Leif Svalgaard.

    Electric fields and electric currents are present in space plasma, again, ask Dr. Leif Svalgaard, he is on record on this website as acknowledging both.

    Get to know it.

    Or do you desire I provide his quotes?

  51. James F. Evans (10:45:53) :
    Electric fields and electric currents are present in space plasma, again
    what you fail to mention [and to understand] is that the currents are generated by neutral plasma moving across magnetic fields and are thus consequences rather than causes. Even Alfven knew this well. Birkeland did not, as Lindemann pointed out so long ago.

  52. James F. Evans says:

    No, Dr. Svalgaard, I already acknowledged on another post that such was the case, but you are free to qualify your position as you see fit.

    And as you already acknowledged from your perspective, Science doesn’t know what generates the magnetic field.

    I and others know that magnetic fields are generated by charged particles in motion, so when plasma flows, a consequence is magnetic fields.

    And as observation & measurement in our solar system shows by in situ probes, Electric Double Layers, aka “magnetic reconnection”, happens from the surface of the Sun, in the corona, within the solar wind, and when solar wind interacts with the magnetospheres of planets and likely moons as well.

    As Langmuir noted long ago, plasma has a self-organizing ability, indeed, that is why he coined the term “plasma” because from his perspective it mimicked living tissue.

  53. James F. Evans says:

    Speaking of the source of magnetic fields:

    From a university lecture on magnetic fields:

    “In conclusion, all magnetic fields encountered in nature are generated by circulating currents. There is no fundamental difference between the fields generated by permanent magnets and those generated by currents flowing around conventional electric circuits. In the former, case the currents which generate the fields circulate on the atomic scale, whereas, in the latter case, the currents circulate on a macroscopic scale (i.e., the scale of the circuit).” — Richard Fitzpatrick, Professor of Physics, The University of Texas at Austin

    http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/316/lectures/node77.html

    Perhaps the source of magnetic fields is not so mysterious after all.

  54. anna v says:

    James F. Evans (22:23:38) :

    Well, I am completely out of my region of competence in this but here are my two cents of the euro.

    When Leif explained that the magnetic field is carried by the plasma, I did use the analogy of the permanent magnets to understand the statement: in permanent magnets the topology of the electronic motion is such that an external magnetic field is manifest that moves with the magnet. I can see the plasma as a topology of internal currents embedded in matter (plasma) that manifest an external magnetic field that moves with the motion of matter.

    The electronic currents in the permanent magnet at some point in the creation of the lump of matter that composes it, became oriented in a particular direction, probably due to the external magnetic field provided by the earth. From then on it manifests a magnetic field that moves with it. Similarly the plasma at some point acquired the topology and became imprinted with a magnetic field, the sun’s in this case, which it carries along with its motion after ejection.

    I see no contradiction with the statements on magnetism you are quoting.

  55. davesmith1au says:

    Re: anna v (00:18:40)

    Anna you are attempting to describe magnetic fields “frozen in” to plasma, a concept originated by Alfven and then later refuted by the same scientist.

    When giving his Nobel acceptance speech in 1970 he implored astrophysicists to reconsider their theories, however some still cling desperately to the idea that somehow a magnetic field can be frozen into a space plasma, when experiments here on earth refute this idea.

    If it is easy to remove the residual magnetism in a rock or an iron bar by banging it with a hammer, think how much easier it would be for the sparse gas of a plasma to lose it’s magnetism, unless constantly kept in a magnetized state by electric currents.

  56. anna v says:

    davesmith1au (03:38:11) :

    If it is easy to remove the residual magnetism in a rock or an iron bar by banging it with a hammer, think how much easier it would be for the sparse gas of a plasma to lose it’s magnetism, unless constantly kept in a magnetized state by electric currents.

    This is called hand waving. I can hand wave right back. The plasma itself can have electric currents as it is composed of ions. Before the advent of quantum mechanics, i.e. the microscopic composition of matter, the origin of permanent magnet magnetism was unknown. To your hammer, I can counter indicate coherent effects that can and do happen macroscopically and in vacuum can last for a very long time.

  57. davesmith1au says:

    Re: anna v (06:41:38)

    Yes, we could wave at each other all day. I was simply supplying an analogy as you had, that is, I followed your handwaving example.

    Instead of burning the strawman, how about addressing the more important part of my post, about Hannes Alfven.

  58. anna v says:

    davesmith1au (08:15:54)

    As I said, I am not versed in astrophysics, so cannot evaluate Alfven’s theories or whether what you attribute to him is correct.

    Any knowledge I have accumulated has been garnered on this board during discussions and cursory checks on the net. I tend to trust Leif’s pov, though.

    By serendipity I will attend a lecture on the heliosphere on tuesday . I will come back to this if I get any wiser.

  59. mharratsc says:

    Wow… the double-talk. o.O

    Here’s the difference between the sentiments of the defenders of mainstream astronomy, and the proponents of EU:

    Astronomers cite mathematical certitudes about their theories, consensus of opinion across the field, and first-hand access to all the good data coming down the pipe.

    EU can cite only one thing, but they do it well- *** well-documented behaviors of plasmas in labs have been witnessed and experimented with for decades, and all effects displayed by charged plasmas are scalar over MANY orders of magnitude.***

    Citing mathematical formula as *proof* is backwards- mathematics needs to describe *observations*. However, even if the formula is elegant, they can be erroneous- for instance, look at black holes. HOW MANY TIMES has the Black Hole theory changed over the years? Remember not many years ago that “nothing could escape, not even light”? Now look at them- they’ve been stripped of their former glory to the point that they can’t even swallow the high speed winds of nearby young stars (re: Cas A). They emit charged particles and can’t just vacuum in their ‘accretion disks’ of matter, but for some reason STILL can’t emit photons of light… they’re not powerful, they’re just invisible. Like dark matter… and dark energy… and dark flow… and every other ad hoc explanation they come up with when observation doesn’t corroborate these 70-year old theories. :P
    To my layman perspective, saying that charged particles (ohh I mean ‘hot gas’) can escape from black holes sounds like an admission that EM forces can easily overcome gravity, just like the EU guys state.
    All I see from the mainstreamers these days seems to be surprise, shock… and lots of backpeddling on their descriptions of witnessed phenomena.

    Believing in Ockham’s Razor does NOT mean “believe angels push the planets”, pal.

    Oh, and the fact that Anna is defending Ptolemaic epicycles is just amazing- it shows nothing if not that most humans have an innate dislike of CHANGE. Anyone that so religiously defends what is apparently nothing but DOGMA is automatically suspect in MY book. And I find it truly laughable when those whom hold to the tenets of mainstream ‘mass-culture’ point at proponents of *empirical* science and yell “Creationist!”. Hah, that kills me! ;D

    I have no vested interest in Astronomy, nor Plasma Physics, but I can tell you this- it continues to appear to me that almost every observation made by experimental probes can be easily explained by current physics, and replicable in labratories. Astronomy & Astrophysics continues on a daily basis to try and convince me that new physics are necessary to explain the observations, but I say it’s just re-inventing the wheel and using different terms.

    I’ll continue to stand with Plasma Cosmology and Electric Universe for now, thank you very much. I guess I’m one of those gullible ‘sheep’ who believes what his eyes tell him, over someone explaining what his theory means but not being able to SHOW ME in a lab.

    Groucho Marx once said the line: “Who you gonna believe? Me? Or your lyin’ eyes?”

    Sorry Groucho… you’re just not that convincing.

  60. Detestable says:

    I believe that the astrophysicist don’t have any idea what they are talking about. I have just started looking into this matter, but I have already noticed that the standard model proponents have a lot of in common with the AGW people. The arguments always fall back to, “the models tell us this” and “it’s consensus” and a bunch of other explanations that have no proof to back them up.

    What I am starting to believe is that the problem isn’t with the science, but it is far more mundane and that is the fact the real problem and error lies in ego. It seems we as humans are fundamentally flawed and we “must” know everything and even if something happens that we can’t explain we turn to technology to help us stroke our ego’s to explain what in reality we can’t.

    But to take a scientific approach to the standard model and EU model, the standard model people seems to be in a constant state of shock and awe by what they observe. It seems their models are not right and the whole theory should be tossed in the trash bin of history, but too much money is invested to turn back now so they will continue on their path until one day a hundred years from now the standard model isn’t anything like it once was.

    Instead of some scientist manning up and saying we are wrong for the actually betterment of mankind they will let their ego’s get in the way and mankind will suffer because they can’t admit they were wrong.

  61. jjohnson says:

    Making accurate long-term predictions is not an activity likely to meet with a lot of success if one follows the examples in The Black Swan. Back in the 1980′s Anthony Peratt and others made real-time, large scale experiments involving plasma physics interactions, plus used particle-in-cell simulations working with the physics applications from those observations, and came up with movies, photos and graphic simulations which rather closely adhered to and produced a lot of the cosmic effects being seen increasingly clearly by our space probe instruments and vastly improved telescopes, both in space and on Earth. On the other hand, even the explanation of what powers our local star (fusion in the center being transmitted to the surface via a combination of radiative transfer (in an opaque medium) and cellular columns alleged to be like a boiling pot of water (although in a different state of matter – plasma ) and what makes galaxies behave more like rigid disks in their rotation characteristics than like Newtonian gravity (dark matter) are all based on by definition unobservable entities and phenomena. What the heck kind of evidence-based science is that? Why is dark matter (which is purported to be the missing mass, and which only interacts with normal matter gravitationally, but does not emit or reflect light) not distributed throughout the galaxy in precisely the same way as regular (visible by humans) matter, since it, too, is equally gravitationally bound. Instead the standard model has it that it is all clumped up in a central halo bunched around the center, and not even distributed in a disk like the rest of gravitationally bound matter. Wouldn’t the alleged but invisible black hole have rather quickly drawn a lot of this dark halo into its Deadly Clutches long before today, if it were so close? Where is the evidence other than “it makes the math work better and despite its apparent tacked-on quality, it’s actually a Very Elegant Solution.”

    Elegant Schmelegant! There are simpler, more plausible and more observable explanations than Black and Dark.

  62. James F. Evans says:

    The solar system is full of magnetism, the Universe is full of magnetism.

    The solar system is full of flowing plasma, the Universe is full of flowing plasma.

    When magnetism interacts with flowing plasma via Electric Double Layers, aka “magnetic reconnection”, electric fields and electric currents are the result.

  63. anna v says:

    Detestable (14:21:48) : | Reply w/ Link

    I believe that the astrophysicist don’t have any idea what they are talking about. I have just started looking into this matter, but I have already noticed that the standard model proponents have a lot of in common with the AGW people. The arguments always fall back to, “the models tell us this” and “it’s consensus” and a bunch of other explanations that have no proof to back them up.

    You are playing this backwards. Every body can have a theory. Theories cannot be proven, they can only be falsified. AGW is falsified by the data. Astrophysics not.

    Everybody can use mathematical models to model a theory. When the results of the mathematical solution are falsified, the theory is falsified. That is the scientific method in our days.

    There is nothing wrong in being a layman and enjoying playing with ideas. The problem starts when one begins thinking that ideas are enough to model the physical world. They are not sufficient , though they are necessary. In our times ideas have to be dressed in mathematics much more so than in Pythagoran and epicycle times.

    It is evident that people who do not understand that the epicycles were a cumbersome modeling of the then known universe cannot use mathematics to model their ideas either. So the discussion belongs in a science fiction thread, not this one. To bring in quantum mechanics to the black holes for people who barely get simple mechanics is futile.

    Ever since Newton’s time elegance and minimal assumptions have been the basis of mathematical modelings of nature. I do not see how this could change unless as a race we develop strong psychic powers and use higher senses to probe the universe. As long as we remain in our four dimensional universe we have to use the tools within it to describe it, and mathematics is the strongest tool.

  64. mharratsc says:

    You wouldn’t be ohhh… a mathematician yourself, would you Anna? o.O

    I really appreciate your last post, however. You’ve finally hit it the nail on the head when you said:

    “Theories cannot be proven, they can only be falsified.”

    This is where Mainstream keeps breaking the rules, I hope you realize. Do some research on black holes and see how many times their model and their formula SHOULD have been trashed by the falsifications provided by observations… and see how many times they just appended the theory to try and match the observations. It’s ludicrous, really.

    Of course- this is where you yourself err, by saying “Astrophysics not.” You deify the Mainstream with this comment, and it’s entirely unscientific (and rather foolish) to lump every theory currently held by Astrophysicists everywhere and say that ALL of the observations corroborate EVERY current theory ALL THE TIME. Theories get busted all the time, then you come up with a new one that better describes an observation and (hopefully) makes better predictions than the old one! *** This is how theories are supposed to work! ***

    For instance- the original mathematical ‘singularity’ that WAS a ‘black hole’ is no more. Observations have falsified that. It seems that astronomy and astrophysics just loved the *concept* too much to let the theory die, however, and we’re left with the great hodge-podge of contradictory mess that the black hole theory currently consists of.

    And what’s funny is- there are beautiful, elegant formulas written to describe every single bit of it!

    Mainstreams theories CANNOT BE FALSIFIED- because Mainstream will not ALLOW IT. They have concocted an entirely new type of faith-based ‘science’, and mathematical formulae are the religious symbols of it. If an observation comes in that falsifies and observation- just be patient! *Someone* will be able to come up with a workable appendation to the formula for it sooner or later… again, the ‘black hole’ fiasco.

    It changes nothing, however. If your understanding of the observation is *wrong*- then you will model a formula that is most likely *wrong* as well! The singularity of the ‘black holes’- dividing by 0- led to a very elegant formula that made such a profound impact on our society that almost everyone alive knows what a ‘black hole’ is supposed to be! Yet observations came in that immasculated the ravenous brutes, and toppled them from their former glory.

    Anna, I presume you were referring to me when you said:

    “It is evident that people who do not understand that the epicycles were a cumbersome modeling of the then known universe cannot use mathematics to model their ideas either.”

    Now WHY would I even WANT to mathematically model my ideas, anyway? You’re referring to my cosmological ideas? I would rather observe, predict, and experiment, and see if I was right or not. However, I’m not completely baseless, mathematically-speaking. The formulas have already been written- Georg Ohm and James Clerk Maxwell have done such an amazing job of describing electrical and EM behaviors, I doubt there is very much to bring to the table on that one. Once again- the beauty of Ockham’s Razor.

    You also stated Anna: “Ever since Newton’s time elegance and minimal assumptions have been the basis of mathematical modelings of nature.”

    I disagree.

    When it comes to application- 1. functionality, 2. consistency, 3. simplicity- those are the *universal* criteria of a successful mathematical formula, and the basis for Ockham’s Razor in a nutshell. I bet almost every engineer would agree with me on that one.

    As for the “best tools” for describing our Universe, mathematics are NOT our strongest tool… OUR SENSES ARE. Mathematics *assists* us in DESCRIBING what we PERCEIVE, and hopefully assists us in making accurate predictions thereby. The bizarre opposite imperative that seems to be primary tenet of current mainstream science- ‘Mathematics shall describe to us what we SHOULD perceive’ …
    Well, I think that will become a milestone in the record of human history that our species will look back on with incredulity and more than a little embarrassment.

  65. solrey says:

    Ok, want math? Chew on this for a while.

    Cosmic Electric Currents and the Generalized Bennett Relation

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-data_query?bibcode=1988Ap%26SS.144…73C&link_type=ARTICLE&db_key=AST&high=

    The articles on the thunderbolts site are written for a general audience. Support for these ideas comes from decades of research by dozens of scientists, which includes a lot of rigorous math, as well as observational data and laboratory experiments.
    Calling EU/PC pseudo-science for a lack of math is just simply an incorrect statement coming from the mis-informed.

  66. James F. Evans says:

    anna v (22:06:35) wrote: “When the results of the mathematical solution are falsified, the theory is falsified. That is the scientific method in our days.”

    Oh really?

    Example: It was discovered by observation & measurement that the edge of spiral galaxies and the core moved at the same speed.

    This FALSIFIED the “theory” that gravity controlled spiral galaxy motion because if gravity controlled spiral galaxy motion the edge would move slower than the core.

    But what was the response of mainstream astronomers & astrophysicists to this primary FALSIFICATION of their theory?

    Admit that the theory was wrong?

    Come up with a different theory?

    No.

    Instead, the “community” invented “dark matter” without ANY observation & measurement at all (other than the falsification of their model), and then plugged in the supposed “dark matter’s” gravity wherever they needed it to make the “gravity” only model work.

    But for the falsification of the “gravity” only model of spiral galaxy rotation, “dark matter” would never have been thought of (since it has never been observed & measured).

    Anna, are you going to put your money where your mouth is and call for conventional astronomers to acknowledge the “gravity” only model is wrong and should be abandoned?

    After all, the mathematical solution was falsified, and therefore “the theory is falsified”.

    Right?

    I’m just holding you to your own standard that I quoted at the top of my comment.

    I’m interested in your response.

  67. mharratsc says:

    Oh hey, Leif- you said:

    “This is kind of pseudo-science we don’t need here, and BTW, Birkeland was completely wrong: the electric currents are produced in the Earth’s environment by changing magnetic fields [and do not come from the Sun, the Galaxy, or the Universe at large].”

    Well read this, it’s ‘mainstream’ enough that you won’t soil yourself:

    http://www.universetoday.com/2009/04/23/new-finding-shows-super-huge-space-tornados-power-the-auroras/

    Your theory has been proven false, Leif… and after 100 years- Birkeland stands vindicated.

  68. anna v says:

    James F. Evans (10:35:20)

    My response is that you are talking to a particle physicists that has been working for years with models full of “dark matter”. Neutrinos for a simple example, so I see nothing strange in using it in a cosmological model . Missing mass and missing energy are signatures in looking for new particles at the LHC experiments which are exploring in the lab dark matter.

    You can think of it as adding epicycles, and if a newer rigorous mathematical model without dark matter will explain the cosmological data, and predict galaxy and cluster behavior better the present cosmology will go the way of the geocentric cosmology.

    Simple desire though will not do it.

    From your responses all over the threads I do not think that you have the knowledge to offer alternate mathematical models to explain the universe so we have to stop this discussion here.

  69. anna v says:

    mharratsc (07:56:41

    I am not a mathematician. I am a retired experimental particle physicist.

    The engineering mentality differs from the physics mentality.

    Now your 1. functionality, 2. consistency, 3. simplicity- are what I would call elegance with the addition of beauty. So we do not disagree there, if you have no appreciation of beauty.

    What is driving physicists is the “theory of everything” . This looked a far dream when I started my research career: a plethora of elementary particles, a multiplicity of forces and many theories. Then came gauge theories which explained weak and electromagnetic forces ( yes , Maxwells equations), then came QCD, which, lo and behold is another gauge theory. And they became very successful in organizing the data economically and predicting new data.

    It happens that general relativity is also a gauge theory but in trying to unify it with the other three forces infinities abounded, until string theories, which are the only theories that incorporate gravity and can quantize it without infinities and give a hope that the theory of everything (TOF) is around the corner.

    It might be a mirage but that is what is driving the physics research these past years and it is an all encompassing theory that is being sought.

    Now if a different school of thought comes up with a TOF that is more elegant, then the mainstream will change, maybe slowly, but it will change.

  70. anna v says:

    solrey (08:19:08)

    See my reply to mharratsc (07:56:41)

    The article you quote is a specific proposal and I cannot evaluate it. I know though that it is not a general theory.

  71. anna v says:

    Sorry
    Theory of Everything should be TOE :) (the line)

  72. mharratsc says:

    [snip]

    Anthony Peratt plugged Maxwell’s equations into a particle-in-cell simulation of two immense ionized clouds in space, and let the computer run through a couple million years. Know what the end result was? A barred-spiral galaxy, complete all the way down to the homogenous rotation of the edges with the center- just as we perceive today. No fictitious particles or matter or energy were needed.

    So hmm- what Maxwell already formulated was enough to do the trick.

    There used to be just as ‘electrically sterile’ of a view of the solar system as we perceive the vast cosmos to be today, however new experiments are showing that our solar system- out to the interaction of the heliosphere with the galactic medium- is electromagnetically *alive*. We are talking about the behavior of CHARGED PARTICLES here- their behaviors DO NOT CHANGE with distance from the Earth! Surely you MUST believe that, being a physicist!

    Every experiment that we do with fusion uses electricity… every x-ray machine in every doctor’s office uses electricity… linear accelerators… we’ve discovered no better ways to accomplish these things! After all the billions and billions of dollars we’ve invested in research of these things, we’ve not discovered any better way to get them done- what does that tell you??

    It takes no giant leap of logic for me to thus surmise that Nature gets it done *** exactly the same way ***!

    The Universe IS 99.9% PLASMA, after all.

  73. solrey says:

    anna v.

    From your responses all over the threads I do not think that you have the knowledge to offer alternate mathematical models to explain the universe so we have to stop this discussion here.

    Well, I’ll let James speak for himself on that one.

    However, you and I could continue if you choose. My understanding of math’s only go as far as calculus, though. I linked a paper in a previous comment that I think is in line with what you’re asking for.

    Here are two more.

    Advances in Numerical Modeling of Astrophysical and Space Plasma

    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/downloads/AdvancesI.pdf

    Advances in Numerical Modeling of Astrophysical and Space Plasma, Part II Astrophysical Force Laws on the Large Scale

    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/downloads/AdvancesII.pdf

    The math starts to kick in around page 16 in the first paper.

    In the second paper, I strongly encourage you to pay particular attention to Section 3.3 Rotation Velocities, beginning on page 15 in the pdf, which is original document page 65.
    The rotation curve, among many other features, including a CMBR, produced by the maths used in the PIC simulation match very neatly, the rotation curve, among many other features, including the CMBR, that is actually observed in spiral galaxies without the need of dark matter/energy/flow, black holes, or any other such mathemagics to fill in the gaps. Just simply giving electromagnetic plasma interactions equal consideration, along with gravity, to produce mathematical models using well established, proven formula’s, that match the little bits and pieces of important verification data collected by observation.

    anna, you keep asking so there it is. Mathematical models of a plasma universe that match observations without the need to invoke dark thingies.
    There are nearly 120 pages total so take your time. ;)

  74. mharratsc says:

    Ok. I am going to start off with an apology to you, Anna.

    You have explained yourself to be a ‘seeker of truth’ and thus a kindred spirit of mine- for that is all I’m after as well. I differ from you by feeling that the truth lies within the realm of what we already *know*, rather than in some hypothetical realm of thought that we haven’t ‘achieved’ yet.

    So- I apologize for getting bent out of shape with your comments, as I believed that I was faced off with another proponent of mainstream that refused to come out of the horse-and-buggy era of cosmological theory.

    As to your seeking a ‘theory of everything’… If you still believe that the answers to your questions have not yet been found, I challenge you to shift your focus and allow yourself to consider a different approach from a different discipline.

    If you care to, read the below article (at least this one of his):

    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=89xdcmfs

    It is speculative, as any hypothesis as to the true nature of gravity will be. However, I wonder if you wouldn’t find it particularly intriguing, being as you are- as you say- a physicist. I do not have as much education in physics as the author has, nor probably as much as you do. I did find the treatise to be very elegant, and an interesting synthesis of established physics with only a smattering of conjecture to make it seem very plausible and thought-provoking.

    Again, please pardon my brusqueness from earlier.

  75. James F. Evans says:

    anna v (11:46:21) wrote: “…you are talking to a particle physicist…”

    [snip]
    [ Turn it down a notch and try again. RT - mod]

  76. James F. Evans says:

    anna v (22:06:35) wrote: “When the results of the mathematical solution are falsified, the theory is falsified. That is the scientific method in our days.”

    The mathematical solution was falsified.

    But “dark matter” was invented.

    Of course, once the empirical scientific method is deviated from and “stuff” gets invented, to excuse such is to lead down a slippery slope to dogma and ultimately ignorance — but what’s worse, an ignorance we aren’t even conscious of — which makes it harder to overcome.

    anna v: Let me ask a question: Do you have an experiment that would falsify “dark matter”?

    Karl Popper stated if the theory can’t be falsified, it isn’t good science (because there is no way to prove it’s wrong).

    How do you falsify “dark matter”?

  77. mikelorrey says:

    James F. Evans: “How do you falsify “dark matter”?”

    You do the two experiments I’d previously linked to and which you ignored.

  78. davesmith1au says:

    My advice to those wishing to discuss EU on this site, would be to stick to the topic of discussion, in this case the auroras and how “colliding” ones may cause “explosions of light” (?!).

    It is not fair to Anthony Watts or to the other regular participants to be dragged into discussions of dark matter and such on this particular thread, or even on this forum except where brought up by the regulars here for some reason, and even then it’s best to avoid being sucked into such discussions if they’re not the topic of the originating article.

    Please respect the hosts of the discussion, as we would ask them to respect the rules of our own fora.

    In the interests of healthy and productive discussion, Dave Smith.

  79. James F. Evans says:

    Mikelorrey, apparently not on this thread. I checked.

    If you could refer me to where you linked, I’d be happy to take a look at them.

    Anyway, my question was for anna v.

  80. Carla says:

    James F. Evans (10:35:20) :
    Example: It was discovered by observation & measurement that the edge of spiral galaxies and the core moved at the same speed.

    This FALSIFIED the “theory” that gravity controlled spiral galaxy motion because if gravity controlled spiral galaxy motion the edge would move slower than the core.

    But what was the response of mainstream astronomers & astrophysicists to this primary FALSIFICATION of their theory?

    Admit that the theory was wrong?

    Come up with a different theory?

    No.

    Instead, the “community” invented “dark matter” without ANY observation & measurement at all (other than the falsification of their model), and then plugged in the supposed “dark matter’s” gravity wherever they needed it to make the “gravity” only model work.

    But for the falsification of the “gravity” only model of spiral galaxy rotation, “dark matter” would never have been thought of (since it has never been observed & measured).
    >>>

    You are serious. Yes .. you are serious about this.

    There’s some Don Henley, Dirty Laundry in here somewhere.

  81. anna v says:

    mharratsc

    No need to apologize. It is an open forum and a free for all, as far as the mods allow:)

    I will have a look at the links you give, but this will be my last on this thread.

    James F. Evans

    if you look at my precis above, anna v (12:24:31) , you will see that dark matter arose as a possibility from particle physics studies. That is how the neutrino was discovered and is living.

    Dark matter abounds in the string theories that I was touching upon above. There are many more dimensions than the four, and the force that lives in the other dimensions is gravity. Particles that react only with gravity will be dark matter for the world.

    If the coming experiments at CERN do not find traces of string theory inspired particles and behavior, the probability of string theories being the correct mathematical format for the TOE recedes and so does dark matter that is supported by them. This will force an upheaval in the pecking order for TOE and one would have to see what the better theory predicts while fitting existing data.
    But yes, dark matter can be falsified in experiments in the lab.
    Again, this is my last on the subject here.

  82. Carla says:

    this is my last on the subject here.

    I think this article compliments the original subject, so ..

    New Finding Shows Super-Huge Space Tornados Power the Auroras
    April 23rd, 2009
    ..A new finding by a cluster of five space probes – the THEMIS, or Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms show that electrical funnels which span a volume as large as Earth produce electrical currents exceeding 100,000 amperes. THEMIS recorded the extent and power of these electrical funnels as the probes passed through them during their orbit of Earth. Ground measurements showed that the space tornadoes channel the electrical current into the ionosphere to spark bright and colorful auroras on Earth.
    ..Space tornadoes are rotating plasmas of hot, ionized gas flowing at speeds of more than a million miles per hour, far faster than the 200 m.p.h. winds of terrestrial tornadoes, according to Andreas Keiling, a research space physicist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory.
    ..Both terrestrial and space tornadoes consist of funnel-shaped structures. Space tornadoes, however, generate huge amounts of electrical currents inside the funnel. These currents flow along twisted magnetic field lines from space into the ionosphere where they power several processes, most notably bright auroras such as the Northern Lights, Keiling said.
    ..The THEMIS spacecraft observed these tornadoes, or “flow vortices,” at a distance of about 40,000 miles from Earth. Simultaneous measurements by THEMIS ground observatories confirmed the tornadoes’ connection to the ionosphere.

    Keiling’s colleagues include Karl-Heinz Glassmeier of the Institute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics (IGEP, TU) in Braunschweig, Germany, and Olaf Amm of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

    The findings were presented today at the general assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna, Austria.

    http://www.universetoday.com/2009/04/23/new-finding-shows-super-huge-space-tornados-power-the-auroras/

  83. James F. Evans says:

    Carla (05:02:14) :

    Carla, you are on the right track — my apology to Mr. Watts and readers for my part in taking the thread off-topic.

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