Thursday, December 4, 2008

NASA Observes Comets Then Ignores The Observations

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." -- Sir Winston Churchill

NASA's Swift Looks To Comets For A Cool View.

ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2008) — NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Explorer satellite rocketed into space in 2004 on a mission to study some of the highest-energy events in the universe. The spacecraft has detected more than 380 gamma-ray bursts, fleeting flares that likely signal the birth of a black hole in the distant universe. In that time, Swift also has observed 80 exploding stars and studied six comets.

Comets? ... Comets are "dirty snowballs" made of frozen gases mixed with dust.
Comets are dirty snowballs? I wonder why they haven't melted in the sun during the past million years. It looks more like a unicorn than a snowball.

X-rays come from superhot plasmas.

What do cold comets have in common with exploding stars or the birth of black holes?
Good question. I suspect either plasma or else absolutely nothing.

"It was a big surprise in 1996 when the NASA-European ROSAT mission showed that comet Hyakutake was emitting X-rays," says Dennis Bodewits, a NASA Postdoctural Fellow at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "After that discovery, astronomers searched through ROSAT archives. It turns out that most comets emit X-rays when they come within about three times Earth's distance from the sun."
Hmmm, they emit x-rays but they don't melt. Sounds like the snowballs I know. A database full of comets observed and every time they emit x-rays it's a surprise? When will it stop being a surprise?

Bodewits is working with the Swift team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to study comets using data from the spacecraft's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) and X-Ray Telescope (XRT). "Swift is an excellent platform for studying dynamic processes in comets," he says.

Ultraviolet wavelengths let astronomers identify the chemical composition of the comet's atmosphere, observe the structure of dust emission, and identify the rotation of the comet's icy nucleus. X-rays reveal the structure of the comet's gas and the state of the solar wind, a stream of charged particles that flows from the sun at speeds upwards of 900,000 mph.
Plasma? What's that all about? Ah nevermind, just forget it. Let's talk about gravity some more.

Swift's UVOT captured a striking sequence that shows unresolved blobs of dust trailing from a crumbling comet.
Dust or plasma? Must be dust.


Raptor Lewis said...

Who knows? The Universe is mysterious place. Do comets go anywhere near the sun?

OilIsMastery said...

The article says comets start emitting x-rays at 3 Astronomical Units distance from the sun. Although, some comets certainly orbit much closer than that.

Anaconda said...


A comet has a highly eliptical orbit around the Sun, which means that during one portion of its orbit it is "streaking" towards the Sun at a very high velocity. According to Electric Universe theory, as the comet comes "diving" in toward the Sun, the charge differential quickly builds up and so then the Comet begins emitting X-rays.

This is one of many observations where Plasma Cosmology has a simply and evident explanation for physical observations.

The key is the quickly changing distance between the Sun and the comet in the face of the solar wind of charged particles (plasma).
The comet picks up these charged particles until a charge disequililbrium builds up then it emits X-rays.

There is hope that "big bang, black hole" astronomers who advocate the gravitational model of astronomy are being put on the "hot seat".

Surely, publishers and editors of science and astronomy journals and magazines have familiarized themselves with the Plasma Cosmology theory. That seems like a minimal requirement of an informed individual interested in astronomy, particularly when there are so many "surprising" observations that don't fit the gravitational model and the Plasma Cosmology theory, an alternative theory, has simple and straightforward explanations for the observed phenomenon.

It seems almost every week, there is another observation that "surprises" gravitational model advocates, but confirms Plasma Cosmology.

Surely, some level headed publisher or editor is catching on.

Anaconda said...


After reading the posted article in ScienceDaily, discussing X-rays and how "surprising" they are, read the following linked article. See if the linked article doesn't give a better explanation than the posted mainstream science media article:

Comet X-rays, August 24, 2004 ( -- "A comet is believed to be a dirty snowball slowly wasting away in the heat of the Sun. But this ROSAT image from March 27, 1996 reveals a comet radiating x-rays as intense as those from the x- ray stars that are ROSAT's usual target."


"Why point an x-ray telescope at Comet Hyakutake? Nothing in accepted theory would lead an astronomer to expect a comet to shine in x-rays. A comet is believed to be a dirty snowball slowly wasting away in the heat of the Sun. But this ROSAT image from March 27, 1996 reveals a comet radiating x-rays as intense as those from the x- ray stars that are ROSAT's usual target.

The x-rays flickered over a matter of hours like a failing fluorescent lamp. The Electric Universe contends that this is more than a simile: A comet is a light-producing load in the circuit of an electrically powered Sun.

The Sun's radial electric field is weak but constant with distance in interplanetary space. In a constant radial electric field, the voltage decreases linearly with distance. A comet on an elongated orbit spends most of its time far from the Sun and acquires a charge in balance with the voltage at that distance. But when a comet speeds inward for a quick spin around the Sun, the voltage of the comet becomes increasingly out of balance with that nearer the Sun." Click here for entire article.

Anaconda said...


Here is a detailed discussion of comets weighing the two opposing theories.

And that's the point: There are two opposing theores. As long a conventional astronomy (gravitational model) acts like there is NO ALTERNATIVE theory, they can get away with shoehorning all the "surprising" observations they want into a gravitational model because there is no competing theory in the public's consciousness that could be a rival explanation.

Comet Borrelly rocks core scientific beliefs, October 18, 2001 (

But there are two rival theories of cosmology: Plasma Cosmology theory and Gravitational model theory.

Most people are more familiar with the gravitational model ("big bang, black hole").

Funny thing (at least for me) was as I studied Plasma Cosmology and the explanations for cosmological observations, it seemed that Plasma Cosmology had much simpler and more convincing explanations than the gravitational model.

This article covers a whole range of issues surrounding comets.

Quantum_Flux said...

X-rays, neat, score one for electric cosmos. That plasma does make better sense to me than melting snowballs.