Shaping a Spiral Galaxy


NGC 1068, or M77

Magnetic fields in NGC 1068, or M77, are shown as streamlines over a visible light and X-ray composite image of the galaxy from the Hubble Space TelescopeNuSTAR or the Nuclear Spectroscopic Array, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

The magnetic fields align along the entire length of the massive spiral arms — 24,000 light years across (0.8 kiloparsecs) — implying that the gravitational forces that created the galaxy’s shape are also compressing the its magnetic field.

This supports the leading theory of how the spiral arms are forced into their iconic shape known as “density wave theory.” SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, studied the galaxy using far-infrared light (89 microns) to reveal facets of its magnetic fields that previous observations using visible and radio telescopes could not detect.

Learn more: How to Shape a Spiral Galaxy

Image Credit: NASA/SOFIA; NASA/JPL-Caltech/Roma Tre Univ.Last Updated: Dec. 28, 2020Editor: Yvette Smith

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Paul Maxit
December 30, 2020 2:17 am

The beautiful and alternative Electric Universe theory explains it all.

Reply to  Paul Maxit
December 30, 2020 2:44 am

Beat me to it Paul.

“Sep 13, 2004
Plasma Galaxies

Laboratory experiments, together with advanced simulation capabilities, have shown that electric forces can efficiently organize spiral galaxies, without resorting to the wild card of gravity-only cosmology–the Black Hole”

Paul, Makes you think what caused this S shaped monster.

“The weather bureau radar detected the unusual shape around 30km west of Rottnest Island on Wednesday afternoon.”

Reply to  jmorpuss
December 30, 2020 2:53 am

Digitised imagery uses a variety of algorithms to prevent picture deformation caused by motion and repeating patterns, while still cutting down on information needed to reproduce and transmit. Noticed how aeroplane propellers on your TV all bend backwards these days?
I believe this monster of yours is probably one of those glitches, just too symmetrical to be natural.

Reply to  paranoid goy
December 30, 2020 9:45 am

Actually, I recently saw a Youtube video on why the blades appear to bend backwards. Modern CCD or CMOS video cameras record the data line-by-line in a roster scan, and the delay gives a sort of “time-lapse” within a single frame.

Charles Higley
Reply to  jmorpuss
December 30, 2020 4:26 am

It does appear that large cyclonic formation, such as hurricanes carry a lot of charge to Earth’s surfaces and the circuit completed not just by lighting but by surges of charge at other places on the surface. This can cause strange power surges that can cause power outages at the same time as the cyclones.

Reply to  Charles Higley
December 30, 2020 6:46 am

Many years ago, ~ 1955 or so, I placed a neon lamp across the spark gap above the ground rod on one of the lightening arrestors that were installed on our house. The next time we had a thunderstorm I went out to see if it was glowing, and sure enough it was. There was no lightening or thunder around, however as the book I had read on Benjamin Franklin had explained, the lighting rods were “Draining” electrical energy from the clouds.

Reply to  UzUrBrain
December 31, 2020 7:20 am

And the Sun is just a very big neon lamp.

Reply to  Charles Higley
December 30, 2020 10:49 am

Maybe electric effects partially explains weird weirdness after the storm. I had turned off the pool pump before the power went out and did not try to restart until utility power was on. Pump was totally dead, no whir, no smoke, no nothing. Thinking I got this; I took the cover off the start capacitor and had 3 dead roaches in the cover. Unfortunately it turned out the capacitor was fine and I had to replace the pump. The roaches had too have crawled through the pump to get into the capacitor cover…Never figured out what killed the pump.

To the electric universe, I’ve never been satisfied that gravity gels a bunch of dust into a planet. Dust if very staticey and seems it would repel pretty good even in space. Also most gravity theory ignores electricity which has 10 to 39th? more energy. The elephant in the dust?

Reply to  jmorpuss
December 30, 2020 10:23 am


Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Paul Maxit
December 30, 2020 4:53 am

from 2008 too. They will get no credit from the astronomical community who will claim the credit for themselves, carefully using different wording and terms to avoid giving credit.

Reply to  Paul Maxit
December 30, 2020 11:33 am

There certainly is a lot of magnetism afloat (pervading) the galactic structures of the Universe. Harder to find / see / image / confirm is whether there are substantial magnetic fields pervading the INTER-galactic space. It is thought to be so, remnants of the pre-galactic evolution of the earliest Universe. Oddly though, as a physicist who recognizes and holds that one cannot have magnetic fields without MOVING charge/electric fields, it does imply that there are some mighty currents of charged particles adrift.

Whether these confirm the convictions and hypotheses of The Electric Universe consortium, or not, is rather up for grabs. I tried to do some order-of-magnitude calculations and fell far short of the Electric Universe advocates’ great-forces-at-great-distances conjectures.

-= GoatGuy at Large =-

Peta of Newark
December 30, 2020 3:09 am

Guess what.
I’m struggling to figure what they think they’ve found here.
Apart from the pretty patterns you get with magnet, sheet of paper and some iron filings.

In the case of the A Galaxy, the iron filings are the stars and planets. There’s got to be a lot of iron out there, it’s the end point of all fusion and fission reactions.
The filings themselves create and are the magnetism.

Another case of Cause & Effect confusion.

And puhleeeeze, can we drop..
a) The endless requirements for Black Holes
b) The cringe-worthy and utterly fake self-deprecation, where everything has to be super, massive, kilo, supermassive.

Lets have one or more clouds of stuff drifting around in otherwise empty space
If 2 of them venture near each other, they will pull each other apart into a rough sort of filament via Gravity. The sides closest to each other will pull together faster,because gravity works a a square-law with distance.
As the first material from each ‘meets in the middle’, some bitswill overshoot via inertia but will slow, pull themselves around and try again to get to the gravitational centre of the 2 clouds
Thus the thing starts spinning
Stuff that was on the far sides of each cloud will arrive late to the party and in the form of a long trail and thus are the starting points for your (two) spiral arms
As very often seen.

So you say, why not more spiral arms or no spirals at all?
Surely, the 2 clouds must have been comparable in mass.
Otherwise when they ‘meet’ at their gravitational centre, they will be Off Balance’
Like when you get new tyres on your truk, the wheels need balancing.
Otherwise, as they spin, they will vibrate and given enough time will shake and vibtare your truck to bits.

So it will be with out-of-balance galaxies. They will throw themselves to peices and we will rarely or never see them.
But, gravity being the thing it is, the bits will re-assemble and try again and float around space looking to meet a ‘partner’ of similar size/mass
If they do, they will make a spiral. If not, they will break up and try again.

Hence obviously why the galaxies we do see, are nice neat twin arm spirals
We don’t need anything complicated and All Sciencey

[‘ve just made this up as I went along.
Somehow I just know, there will be a super duper kilo mega unprecented colour-deficient empty void/space inside it. There always is]

haha. See The Problem with Black Holes?
How can it be A Hole if its full of stuff?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 30, 2020 3:24 am

Holy cow, see what I’ve done?
Explained a major part of The Electric Universe, as was/is pointed to.

The ‘filaments’ described in that theory are the broken bits where spiral galaxies have tried to form from clouds of un-equal mass.
Even worse or better depnding what sex you are this morning (I don’t wanna know), small filamentary parts could get caught up in successful ‘cloud matings’ to give a random and genuinely unprecedented (unique) shapes & structures

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 30, 2020 7:04 pm

That’s because they aren’t holes at all. They are the only totally solid objects in the universe. While they contain enormous quantities of quantum particles there is no empty space between them and the mass attraction of all that stuff may even compress those quantum particles. Since there is no empty space in this object, which is better called a singularity than a hole, there can be no activity within it, which means its temperature is absolute zero. Any radiation seen coming from the vicinity of these singularities is not coming from them but from radiation created by the destruction of nearby stars and warping the courses of other radiation passing near them.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 31, 2020 8:07 am

But what exactly is gravity? What is matter made of? Atoms. And every atom is a mini solar system. If we look at a grain of salt how many solar systems are we talking about?

5.85×10-5 gr/ (29.25 gr / 6.02×1023) = 1.2×10 18 atoms

So every grain of salt is a mini galaxy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Robertvd
December 30, 2020 3:18 am

There is only one way to resolve the issue of galaxy form, and that is to get back to the lab, as Dr. Lerner from LPPFusion says.
Actually dealing with plasma for energy production, which has been de-funded (even though the latest stimulus bill looks at private fusion), will shed light on cosmology.
De-funding fusion has, as Goya noted, led to dark monsters while reason sleeps.

Reply to  bonbon
December 30, 2020 3:20 am

LPPFusion, an example of active fusion research, with the focus device :

Reply to  bonbon
December 30, 2020 9:51 am

I recently saw an article on LPP fusion, but, aside from the pretty pictures, the article gave NO information on the process or how it works. They made a claim that there would be no need to run a steam engine to generate electricity, but without explanation.

It is the drawback on modern fusion attempts that they are all heat sources for steam engines- but the stainless steel cooling jackets get brittle and HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE, then must be disposed.

Abolition Man
Reply to  bonbon
December 30, 2020 8:09 am

If only we could defund both dark matter research and climate catastrophism! Imagine all the money that could be used for dealing with real problems like actual pollution and helping fearful children overcome their paranoia of the Earth dying from imaginary man-made climate change!
Since the global elites seem to have successfully seized power here in the US, I think we can start saying; “Welcome to the Dark Ages 2.0!”

David A
Reply to  Abolition Man
December 30, 2020 10:16 pm

…and the dollar amount of dark matter research is ????
I am fairly convinced that CAGW research costs are several magnitude above dark matter research.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David A
December 31, 2020 7:01 am

Dark matter research can’t be compared to the huge amounts of money ($TRILLIONS) being wasted on Human-caused Climate Change/Global Warming.

Dark matter funding is a drop in the bucket. As to whether it is worthy of being funded is another question.

I think it is a valid area of research. We’ll learn something one way or another, and we won’t be destroying the planet’s beauty (by building hideous windmills and solar farms), and its economy, by doing so. I see no harm in funding dark matter research.

Mark - Helsinki
December 30, 2020 4:33 am

Who knew electromagnetism has a massive influence on the Universe eh.
I thought it was all gravity and explosions?!

Watch the field of Astronomy quietly accept what they have said was not true over the next 40 years or so.

Eventually they will admit that plasma in space means you don’t need all that energy for charge separation.

There is a very clear phenomenon now in science where those who were right all along never get credit, and the wording is changed to deny them the credit.

Take NASA’s “magnetic loops” for example, many decades after Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén had done the ground work, with NASA giving him no credit. What NASA was really talking about was a more modern termed Alfvén waves

Astronomy is one of the worst theoretical fields out there because the sheer capacity to just make stuff up that no one can disprove, makes it so easy to fill that field with complete bunk

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
December 30, 2020 6:28 am


And the plasma, protons et al coming at us from the Sun and out of the solar system have a tremendous influence on the Earth. Weather systems react, clouds form and even earthquakes go off. Cosmic rays and the solar wind coming in even have an effect on human health here on the ground. Another Carrington Event will be catastrophic and they happen every few centuries.

My prediction is over the next 50 years more and more “studies” will be done on how the electric universe effects us all and some of what will be discovered will be amazing. Our Earth’s magnetic field is decreasing allowing these external charged particles to effect us even more. None too soon in my opinion.

December 30, 2020 6:32 am

Next up is magnetism in the filaments of galaxy clusters–plasma universe.

December 30, 2020 6:35 am

What does this do to dark energy and dark matter estimates for galaxies if gravity is not the only focus.

Joseph Zorzin
December 30, 2020 7:13 am

Goes to show that not even astronomy, deeply rooted in the most hard core science, physics, is not “settled”- yet the climate change loonies think climate science is settled. Now if only politicians were better educated in the sciences- the loonies wouldn’t win any fights.

Rud Istvan
December 30, 2020 7:34 am

Well, Charles got me to go read the paper. Magnetic fields are invisible to ANY light wavelength. You want to make them visible, cover a magnet with a sheet of white paper and sprinkle on iron filings. Grade school,stuff. No paper, no iron filings in this galaxy.

Turns out there is an analogous astronomical trick. At least some of the ‘dust’ in the galaxy orients perpendicular to the magnetic fields if the dust is magnetically susceptible. So the far infrared detected dust orientation (field line perpendicular, else not) leaves a differential far infrared signal from which the field lines can be traced.

Richard G.
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 31, 2020 9:15 am
Tom Abbott
December 30, 2020 7:36 am

I’m still trying to get my head around how a magnetic field maintains its cohesion over distances of thousands of light years, when it is limited to the speed of light.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 1:37 am

Hi TomIt’s our old friend aether Einstein thought he killed it, but apparently without it, his GTR can’t survive. Astronomers gave it the ugly name ‘dark matter’.So what is ‘aeter’? According to Vuk’s hypothesis it’s not a ‘thing’ it is a dimension, the forth dimension of space, different from time..
A very happy new year to all.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Vuk
December 31, 2020 7:09 am

“According to Vuk’s hypothesis it’s not a ‘thing’ it is a dimension, the forth dimension of space, different from time..”

That’s interesting.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 1:40 am

My apology to mod, it appears that the word k..l drops comment into moderators bin,

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 7:19 am

The Sun’s magnetic field extends out past Pluto’s orbit, about 5.5 lighthours away from the Sun.

So what would happen to the Sun’s magnetic field, if we magically caused the Sun to disappear in an instant? What do the magnetic field lines out beyond Pluto “know” about the sudden disapperance of the Sun?

My assumption is these magnetic field lines remain intact for about 5.5 hours after the Sun disappears. Am I missing something?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 9:22 am

 Magnetic field (usually graphically represented in form of lines or described as such) is there because of presence of electrons and protons forming electric currents. There are two types of solar magnetic field: open and closed. Sun has no permanent magnetic field the way planets do, so solar magnetic field propagates at the rate of solar wind of about 400km/sec (1M mile/h) it may take up to a year to reach heliopause.
Sometime after the CME’s magnetic loop/rope has left the sun it detaches itself from it’s local source and it is self sustained  (magnetic cloud, see the NOAA animation link forecast for the next few days).
Intensity of electric currents in a loop can be millions of Amps, but the current density is low since the cloud spreads out as it drifts away from the sun.
Heliosphere is a magnetic bubble maintained by sun, If sun disappeared  the bubble would most likely collapse under the pressure from the intergalactic magnetic field, how long it would take I have no idea.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Vuk
January 1, 2021 5:43 am

“Sometime after the CME’s magnetic loop/rope has left the sun it detaches itself from it’s local source and it is self sustained”

I think that is something I should think about. A detached, self-sustaining magnetic field. Interesting.

Thanks for your input, Vuk.

Richard G.
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 9:56 am

From first principles, using Hydrogen as an example.
Atomic H has a balanced charge. Separating the electron creates ionized H+ and a free e-. This is described as Plasma, a charged ‘fluid/gas’.
Charge separation creates divergent and convergent Electric Fields around both charges.
Putting the charges in motion create Magnetic fields that wrap around the individual charge’s direction of motion. This creates discrete magnetic fields for each vector of momentum.
These charges carry their magnetic fields through out ‘space’.
As late as 1955 Einstein believed that ‘space’ was a vacuum.
In 1957 Sputnik ushered in the ‘space age’ and we soon learned that ‘space’ is populated with diffuse plasma and it’s associated Electric fields and Magnetic fields.
It is apparent that bulk motion (flow) of charged plasma creates bulk magnetic field.
Flow of Electric charge is called Electric Current.
Mega magnetic field structures are observed throughout the interplanetary, interstellar, and intergalactic ‘space’. These magnetic structures are artifacts of plasma currents. I.E. Electric currents.

Cheers and happy new year.

Reply to  Richard G.
December 31, 2020 3:17 pm

Richard, and a happy New Year to you as well
If you look at the electron cloud model instead of the Bohr model, I don’t think it’s hard to see, Earth as a molecule, surrounded by a cloud of electrons (electric potential) the aether Vuk talks about, because you can’t see the electron, it is dark energy (electron acting like a wave) and dark matter (electron acting like a particle) The first electron shell extends to the Earths first electromagnetic field line, the Tropopause, the glass ceiling so to speak, which allows the so called greenhouse effect to take place. This glass ceiling helps maintain 1 bar of pressure at the surface. What is electricity???
What are VOLTs, OHMs & AMPs? – YouTube
The biggest advancements in science is the Safire project. It looks like their producing gases using nothing but electricity.

Last edited 2 years ago by jmorpuss
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Richard G.
January 1, 2021 5:49 am

“It is apparent that bulk motion (flow) of charged plasma creates bulk magnetic field.”

Now we are getting somewhere! That might account for a galaxy-spanning magnetic field made up of numerous small magnetic fields all connected together.

Thanks for that, Richard.

Richard G.
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 1, 2021 10:39 pm

Every day is a gift.

Robert of Texas
December 30, 2020 10:49 am

Who would have thought I would see such a brilliant description of the belief in Climate Change while reading through comments to the magnetic structure of a spiral galaxy:

“The conformist propensity of social institutions is not the only reason that erroneous theories persevere. However, once embedded within a culture, ideas exhibit an uncanny inertia, as if obeying Newton’s law to keep on going forever until acted upon by an external force.”
—Henry Zemel.

(From posting by Paul Maxit)

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Robert of Texas
December 31, 2020 7:10 am

That’s interesting, too. 🙂

December 30, 2020 11:28 am

Dear Fearless Leader … 24,000 LY is actually 8 kiloparsecs, not 0.8… since that is a BIG galaxy in the image, it is unlikely to have 2,400 LY arms. 24,000 LY is about right. Therefore the typo is in the parsecs. There are approximately 3.27 LY per persec, 24,000 / 3.27 = 7,360 parsec. So, the ‘exact conversion’ would be 24,000 LY is 7.36 kiloparsec.

GoatGuy … from a foreign guest computer!

December 30, 2020 3:50 pm

It seems like a place of fantastic chaos. I wonder if it’s still there?

December 31, 2020 10:22 pm

I’ll bear this in mind the next time I shape a spiral galaxy.

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