Thursday, April 30, 2009

Philosophers In the National Academy of Sciences

Philosopher Allan Gibbard of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. (Hat tip: Jeff Helzner)

This makes him just one of 3 living philosophers in the academy and 1 of 9 to be so honored.

1. C.S. Pierce (1877)
2. John Dewey (1910) [Sophist]
3. Patrick Suppes (1965)
4. Ernest Nagel (1978)
5. Thomas Kuhn (19--)
6. Karl Popper (1986)
7. W.V. Quine (1994)
8. Brian Skyrms (1999)
9. Allan Gibbard (2009)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Banned From Universe Today

Censored and banned by Ian O'Neill for quoting Velikovsky. Here is the quote:

" was accepted that the solar system has no history at all. So it was created if not 6000 years ago, then 6 billion years ago. But then for 6 billion years there was no change. Whether it was created or came into being by tidal action of a passing star which would be catastrophic as the tidal theory wishes or it is growing out of a nebula, the nebular theory which goes back to Kant and Laplace, but since creation there was no change. But if what I am telling you is truth, then there were changes, and very many, and very recently too." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, cosmologist, 1966

Despite losing readers due to censorship enforcement, they are more concerned with information suppression than they are with inclusive discussion and diversity.

And for Nereid, here is George Gamow's failed prediction of 50 degrees kelvin made in 1961, just three years before it's actual discovery. He was only off by 4 orders of magnitude (10 x 10 x 10 x 10).

More Oil Discovered Onshore Zzzz

Bloomberg: Petrobras Finds More Oil in Onshore Espirito Santo Basin Block.

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, found more evidence of oil in an onshore block in the country’s Espirito Santo Basin, the Brazilian petroleum regulator said.

The discovery was made at well 4BRSA727ES in the ES-T-372 block, the National Petroleum Agency said on its Web site. The Corrego Cedro Norte field in this block was declared a commercial find in a filing dated Oct. 21, according to the agency’s Web site.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Universe Today Quotes Arp

Universe Today quotes Arp. Shock and awe: In Your Eyes - The NGC 4486 Jet by JP Metsavainio.

“The shred itself, however, is the object of most significance for establishing the reality of the ejection of the radio source. It is difficult to make a quantitative statement, but objects of this nature are not frequently seen. The inference is plain that the radio source has either left a wake behind it, (i.e. condensations along its track) or that this is some kind of jet or material associated with the ejection of the radio source form the parent peculiar galaxy.”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Solar Plasma Causes Asteroids to Age Faster Than Thought

Science Daily: Solar Wind Tans Young Asteroids.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 27, 2009) — A new study published in Nature this week reveals that asteroid surfaces age and redden much faster than previously thought — in less than a million years, the blink of an eye for an asteroid. This study has finally confirmed that the solar wind is the most likely cause of very rapid space weathering in asteroids.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Lord Was Not Just a Watchmaker

"...lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other, he [God] hath placed those systems at immense distances from one another." -- Isaac Newton, mathematician, 1687

" establish it [gravitation] as original or primitive in certain parts of matter is to resort either to miracle or an imaginary occult quality." -- Gottfreid W. Leibniz, polymath, July 1710

"But then if there were events of this character, discharges between planets and so on, I put one of the most outrageous claims before the scientific readers, that in the solar system and in the universe generally, not just gravitation and inertia are the two forces of action but that also electricity and magnetism are participating in the mechanism, so the Lord was not just a watchmaker. The universe is not free of those forces with which the man makes his life easy already more than 100 years. They were unknown practically or little known in the time of Newton in the second half of the 17th century. But today we know that electricity and magnetism, these are not just small phenomena that we can repeat as a kind of a little trick in the lab, that they permeate every field from neurology into botony and chemistry, and astronomy should not be free. And it was admitted by authorities that this was the most outrageous point in my claims. But the vengeance came early and swiftly. In 1960, already in 1955, radio noises from Jupiter were detected and this was one of the crucial tests that I offered for the truth of my theory. In 1958, the magnetosphere was discovered around the Earth, another claim. In 1960, the interplanetary magnetic field was discovered and solar plasma, so-called solar wind, moving rapidly along the magnetic lines and then it was discovered that the electromagnetic field of the Earth reaches the moon ." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, cosmologist, 1966

"It was only the downfall of Newtonian theory in this century which made scientists realize that their standards of honesty had been utopian." -- Imre Lakatos, philosopher, 1973

Wal Thornhill: Newton's Electric Clockwork Solar System.

We are told that gravity rules the cosmos. The story of the big bang, the origin of galaxies and stars, and our ultimate fate are founded on this belief. But the March 2009 Astronomy magazine carries the surprising headline, “Is there something we don't know about gravity?” The question should be, “why do we think that physicists know anything about gravity beyond mathematical descriptions of its observed effects?”

All that modern physics has done is to obscure the need for serious investigation of an unsolved problem. Even some effects attributed to the action of gravity, like the bending of light, need not have anything to do with gravity. Indeed, we are so far from understanding gravity that we don't know the right questions to ask.

For example, orbital dynamicists have long known that Newton's law of gravity applied to the solar system predicts chaos in the short-term—perhaps a few million years—not aeons-long clockwork stability. So the first question that must be asked is why does the solar system appear to run like clockwork? This is not done in the usual history of the solar system. A strict application of Newtonian dynamics would render retro-calculation of planetary histories impossible. How can you concoct a history if you have no idea where the group of actors were in the past? Without understanding the cause of stability of the planetary system, the foundation of geology and planetary science is missing! We cannot explain the origin of the solar system.
Though Hannes Alfvén has two books on the subject...=)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shedding Some Electricity On Jupiter

Planetary rings are electromagnetic and not gravitational.

Planetary rings orbit in a flat plane perpindicular to the lines of force of the local magnetic field.

Stephen Smith: Shedding Some Light On Jupiter.

Jupiter’s rings were unknown until about thirty years ago [Voyager 1]. Recent data analysis from the Galileo spacecraft reveals electric currents flowing around the planet, just as EU theorists predicted.

A recent announcement by scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA and the University of Maryland states that Jupiter’s rings are actually electrically charged. Douglas Hamilton, a planetary scientist from the University of Maryland wrote:

"On Jupiter's day side, the sunlight charges the dust particles positively, while on the night side the particles carry a negative charge. Different charges react differently to Jupiter's magnetic field, leading to changes in particle orbits, and when conditions are right, even the tilt or inclinations of the ring particles change.”
Said plainly, orbits are controlled by electromagnetism and not gravitation.

Jupiter's rings are formed out of a thin sheet of material encircling the planet. The ring structure is quite diffuse, making observations difficult unless they are in correct alignment with the Sun. The outer radius begins at 129,000 kilometers, almost the same distance as the moon Adrastea. The four small moons, Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea and Thebe, are said to influence the structure of Jupiter’s rings in the same way that the “shepherd moons” of Saturn govern the shape of its huge ring formation.

More than four years ago Picture of the Day articles addressed the "volcanic" plumes on Jupiter's moon Io and demonstrated that they are plasma discharges from the moon to the gas giant. Some planetary scientists later began to acknowledge the electrical connection between them when Io's "footprint" was seen in the polar aurora on Jupiter. In fact, all four of Jupiter’s largest moons were discovered to leave their marks in the aurora in the shape of “tails” flowing within the plasma column. Later, when NASA launched New Horizons on a mission to study Pluto and Charon, the “plumes” of Tvashtar, a gigantic volcano on Io, were found to be filamentary in structure with indications that they are actually corona arc discharges from the electric “hot spots” linking the moon with Jupiter.

Astronomers suggested that “tides” on Io from the “kneading” effect of Jupiter’s gravity cause the charged particles to be released in the "volcanic" plumes. The particles then flow as an electric current to Jupiter. Since electricity does not flow in one direction the one-way connection cannot be correct, so how is the electricity moving between Io and Jupiter?

Conventional theories assume that the universe is electrically neutral, so when observational evidence confirms electrically active plasma for instance, localized phenomena no matter how improbable are invoked. Tidal forces and volcanoes are presented as the cause for the activity seen on Io and the evidence for electric circuits is ignored. In the case of Jupiter’s rings, the same thing is happening. The ring charge is said to be caused by sunlight and shadow rather than by an electrically active circuit between Jupiter and the Sun.

Jupiter is connected with the Sun and the Sun is connected with the Milky Way – and the Milky Way is probably connected with the Local Group and then with the Cluster and so on and so on. That idea is what forms the basis of Electric Universe Theory that all things throughout the cosmos are composed of electrically quasi-neutral conducting plasma - extremely diffuse on the large-scale but capable of transmitting currents powerful enough to energize stars and the galaxies.

An electrical interaction between Jupiter and its moons means that they are charged bodies and are not electrically neutral. Jupiter exists in a dynamic electrical relationship to the Sun and it is now known that charged particles from the Sun and not “electric dynamos" power the planetary aurorae. Just like the aurorae, the ring system on Jupiter is probably behaving in similar fashion to what is seen on Saturn, so a similar explanation is most likely correct.

The gas giant planets all have rings in some form or another. The plasma torus that surrounds each of them and the electric currents flowing along the polar axes and then out the equatorial plane are the likely cause for their persistence. No one knows for sure how planetary ring systems are formed and maintained, but rather than seeking the answer in strictly mechanical action electricity and current flow through dusty plasma will provide more reasonable explanations.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stavros Tassos On L'Aquila Earthquake

Dear Brian

I show your post about the synthetic apperture radar interferogram in L'Aquila earthquake where you state: "I'm pretty sure this data shows the Earth growing. However they only provide two numbers (2.8 centimeters and 25 centimeters) and no vectors. Movement, but to where? It would be interesting if they told us what the interferogram data shows:"

Well, if you look carefully in the Science Daily post, which reads: "Each fringe of the interferogram, corresponding to a colour cycle, is equivalent to an Earth surface displacement of 2.8 cm along the satellite direction (the bold letters is by S.T.)." it is clear that this is vertical movement, i.e., uplift.

Now, since there are ~9 fringes, and each fringe represents 2.8 cm along the satellite direction, the total displacement-uplift at the center of a ~26 km by ~13 km dome is ~25 cm, which corresponds to a volume of ~3.3x10^7 m^3 or ~10^11 kg of Excess Mass. So here is your measured earth growth; and this is not theory. It is hard-core modern technology data.

This earthquake or volcano related doming-uplift, the size of which depends on the earthquake magnitude or volcano size, has been observed before, e.g., Izmit earthquake and Mount St Helens volcano.

As for the prediction of the L'Aquila earthquake be a bit cautious. The problem of earthquake prediction is not solved yet. Especially mainsteamers with their plate tectonics, elastic rebound, and static stress myths have a real problem understanding the physics of the earthquake source. This is why it is almost unanimously recognized that the physics of the earthquake source is not known. It follows that it is impossible to deterministically predict a phenomenon when you do not know the cause and effect relationships that govern the phenomenon itself.

Although there are various precursors, among which the increase in radon content, since an earthquake is a quantized phenomenon you never now if and when the necessary quantum-limit will be reached. It might never be reached or it might be reached within seconds. Then even if we have a swarm of small earthquakes, like in L'Aquila, in the 99% of the cases this is not followed by a much stronger earthquake. The real problem with L'Aquila and other earthquake hit areas is the quality of structures, and earthquake preparedness in general, and of course the reasons if they are not good.

Best regards

More Electrically Charged Particles In Space

Enceladus, yet another moon with blatant expansion tectonics, has a visible plasma corona just like the Sun.

Royal Astronomical Society: Charged dust from inside Enceladus. (Via Universe Today)

A team of planetary scientists working on the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens mission has discovered tiny, charged icy particles in the plume from Saturn’s moon Enceladus that offer a tantalising glimpse of the interior of this enigmatic world. Dr Geraint Jones and Dr Chris Arridge, both from University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, will present the results on behalf of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) instrument team on Wednesday 22nd April at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science conference at the University of Hertfordshire.

Cassini has been exploring Saturn and its moons since 2004. Five hundred kilometre (300 mile)-wide Enceladus, discovered from Slough in 1789 by William Herschel, has been found by Cassini’s suite of instruments to possess active jets near its southern pole that spew gas and water out into space over thousands of kilometres. During two particularly close flybys of the moon in 2008, skimming only 52 and 25 km from the surface at around 15 km per second (54000 km per hour), the CAPS instrument on the spacecraft was pointed to scoop up gas as it zoomed through the plume.

The CAPS instrument is designed to detect charged gas (plasma) ....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hannes Alfvén

"Hannes Alfvén is the central figure in the emerging electric plasma cosmology." -- Donald E. Scott, electrical engineer, 2006

"There is also the Plasma Model, first proposed by Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Hannes Alfvén in 1965. It is rapidly gaining wide international support from the scientific community, due in no small measure to it's rock solid empirical base and the weight of observational evidence on it's side. The predictions of Plasma Cosmology have passed every single test that has come from empirical evidence over a period of forty years. Makes you think, doesn't it?" -- Hilton Ratcliffe, astronomer, 2007

I have collected all six of his books now, some very difficult to locate.

Stephen Smith: Hot Gas Vs. Electric Currents.

Perhaps the lack of knowledge regarding electricity in space can account for the opinion that gases colliding produce x-ray and other energetic emissions. After all, perception comes through training and education, so without exposure to the theories of Kristian Birkeland and Hannes Alfvén regarding the behavior of electricity flowing through plasma no perception of its behavior can exist in the mind's eye.

Alfvén said: "The cosmical plasma physics of today . . .is to some extent the playground of theoreticians who have never seen a plasma in a laboratory. Many of them still believe in formulas which we know from laboratory experiments to be wrong . . . several of the basic concepts on which theories of cosmical plasmas are founded are not applicable to the condition prevailing in the cosmos. They are 'generally accepted' by most theoreticians, they are developed with the most sophisticated mathematical methods; and it is only the plasma itself which does not 'understand' how beautiful the theories are and absolutely refuses to obey them. . ."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

St. John's Defeats Navy 4-1

Was down in Annapolis for the biggest croquet event in the world.

Johnnies owned the Middies in the face 4-1. Woot!

Best party of the year in my opinion: Fancy fashion, haute cuisine hallmarks of annual croquet match.

Who will win this year? Or more importantly, how will the lawn parties fare?

The 27th annual Annapolis Cup will be held Sunday, pairing St. John's College and the Naval Academy against each other in an afternoon of croquet on the front lawn of the St. John's campus.

Through the years, the free event has grown to draw more than 2,000 spectators and evolved to include not only croquet but live music, fancy costumes and elaborate garden parties, complete with upscale hors d'oeuvres and signature drinks. And you don't have to have Johnnie or Midshipmen ties to attend.

"It's the greatest people watching you can do in Annapolis, and it marries perfectly the two collegiate atmospheres in the city," said Todd Lamb, a city resident who has attended the Annapolis Cup every year since 2001. "It gets back to the essence of a community event on a beautiful spring day."
And on Saturday Annapolis beat Santa Fe 22-5.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Is Lightning Caused By Gravity?

"The moving of negative electricity into the ground is due to the charge of the Earth." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, cosmologist, November 1942

Is lightning caused by gravity?

Where do the electrons go?

Do the electrons accumulate somewhere?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Sea of Holes

The holes are in their logic. Stephen Smith: A Sea of Holes.

A recent announcement by scientists from the Max Planck Institute has added another wrinkle to the fabric of black hole physics, the ejection of a “supermassive” black hole from its parent galaxy. Researchers in the department of Extraterrestrial Physics measured what appear to be gravity waves from the so-called “ejection event”.

According to conventional cosmological theories, black holes are formed when a star with a mass approximately five times that of our sun uses up its thermonuclear fuel and collapses under the force of its own gravity. Because the equations that describe gravity can be manipulated in irrational ways, some solutions imply that such a large star can contract into a zero volume containing infinite inertial mass. Astrophysicists have contended for years that black holes are real and that their effects can be observed, although they are invisible to detection.

As the theories suggest, black holes possess a gravitational attraction of such intensity that not even electromagnetic radiation can escape the event horizon. Thus, no direct evidence of a black hole’s existence can be measured, only the hypothetical effects of the extreme gravity. Such effects are said to be gamma ray emissions, x-rays and extreme ultraviolet radiation [note that all the effects are electromagnetic] from the gases and dust as they are compressed into smaller and smaller spaces before being drawn down into oblivion.

According to the team from Max Planck, gravity waves of colossal magnitude spread out from Quasar SDSS J092712.65+294344.0 as it ejected a few hundred million solar masses of gravitational energy from its nucleus. Gravity waves are another theoretical construct with no observational evidence to confirm their existence. They are inferred by the detection of broad-spectrum emission lines from the hot gas that surrounds the black hole – an indication of gravity waves compacting the gas as they ripple through the region. But is that what is actually happening?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Satellites Show How Earth Moved During Italy Quake

I'm pretty sure this data shows the Earth growing. However they only provide two numbers (2.8 centimeters and 25 centimeters) and no vectors. Movement, but to where? It would be interesting if they told us what the interferogram data shows: Satellites Show How Earth Moved During Italy Quake

"We produced an interferogram just a few hours after the Envisat acquisition by combining these data with data acquired before the earthquake on 1 February. We were pleased that we were able to immediately see the pattern of the earthquake," said Riccardo Lanari of IREA-CNR in Naples, Italy.

The Envisat interferogram, as explained by Stefano Salvi from INGV’s Earthquake Remote Sensing Group, shows nine fringes surrounding a maximum displacement area located midway between L’Aquila and Fossa, where the ground moved as much as 25 cm (along a line between the satellite’s orbital position and the earthquake area).

"By using available 3D ground displacements from five GPS location sites around the affected area, we were able to confirm the preliminary results obtained with Envisat data," Salvi said.

The COSMO-SkyMed constellation, which is currently made up of three satellites, allows for frequent data. This means new interferograms can be calculated every few days.

The COSMO-SkyMed data together with the Envisat data and possibly SAR data from other satellites will ensure a dense sampling of the ground deformation around the L’Aquila area in the next months, which could make this earthquake one of the most covered by SAR Interferometry measurements.

To ensure all scientists are able to contribute to the analysis of the earthquake, ESA is making its Earth observation dataset collected over the L’Aquila area freely accessible with an innovative fast data download mechanism. The dataset will be continuously updated with the newest Envisat acquisitions.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Intragalactic Electric Circuits

Stephen Smith: Bubble Magnets.

Astronomers say that exploding bubbles of magnetic energy might have helped form galaxy clusters.

A little over fifty years ago, before space shuttles, before the Hubble Space Telescope, and before satellite technology, electricity in space was not considered. Because the first teams of space scientists were "steely eyed missile men" with backgrounds in aeronautics and chemical fuel reactions, when evidence for electric current flow around Earth was found it was called a "radiation belt."

Although Kristian Birkeland had conducted experiments almost fifty years before the first science package was launched into Earth orbit, electricity remained unfamiliar to researchers conditioned to think in terms of gravity and mass. They had no concept of charged particles generating filamentary structures that could interact and create energetic phenomena—Birkeland's terella research and his study of Earth's aurorae were forgotten.

That lack of familiarity continues today when moving charged particles from the Sun are called a “wind” instead of an electric current. Charged particles impinging on a planet or a moon are referred to as a “rain” instead of an electrical discharge. Ionized particles moving within a helical magnetic field are called "jets of hot gas" instead of field-aligned flows of electricity. When abrupt changes in the density and speed of charged particles are observed, those changes are called a “shock wave” instead of a double layer. Birkeland continues to fret from beyond the pale.

Magnetic fields in space can be detected more easily than electric currents, so modern astronomers think that the fields are fragments left over from the Big Bang. They write a blank check based on that conclusion to explain how the primordial structures that make up the universe were formed. An analysis of data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory seems to indicate that "bubbles" over 60,000 light years in diameter are slowly percolating out of galaxy clusters. Within this cosmic fizz are supposed to be intense magnetic fields that are released when the bubbles burst. Research teams speculate that the fields detected in remote galaxy clusters are caused by the bursting bubbles.

Galaxy clusters are thought to be made of individual galaxies embedded in hot gases and dark matter, so astronomers were surprised to find the bubbles, or cavities, within the overall x-ray emissions detected by Chandra. Inside most of the cavities are bright radio sources that could be caused by the explosion of highly energetic particles, but the cause of the explosions and the source of the particles is not known.

Even so, according to Brian McNamara from Ohio University: "We've known for the past 15 to 20 years that magnetic fields exist [in galaxy clusters], but we didn't understand how they got there. This could be a viable mechanism."

The fact that moving charges constitute an electric current and that those currents generate magnetic fields has been known since the days of Michael Faraday. However, since "perception is reality," as the saying goes, a lack of knowledge means a lack of vision. As previously stated, charged particles in motion constitute an electric current and that current is wrapped in a magnetic field. As more charged particles accelerate in the same direction the magnetic field gets stronger. That is a familiar idea to electrical engineers, but when astronomers find magnetism in space they are mystified. They resort to ironic ideas about galaxy-wide voids with magnetic fields frozen inside them.

Another fact that is not considered when attempts are made to explain structure in the universe (or smaller-scale planetary examples) is that for charged particles to move, they must move in a circuit. Hannes Alfvén, the father of plasma cosmology, identified several interacting circuits in the Earth's magnetosphere. One of those circuits forms the polar aurorae due to electric current effects linking the Sun with our planet's charged environment.

On the largest scale of all, the universe, larger energetic events are not explained by reference to local conditions. The effects of an entire circuit—which may encompass clusters of galaxies—must be considered. For this reason, while the consensus scientific worldview only permits isolated galactic "islands" in space, the Electric Universe hypothesis emphasizes connectivity with a vast network of electrically active "transmission lines." That spatial wiring is composed of Birkeland currents.

Loops and filaments suddenly expand and explode, throwing off massive bubbles of plasma that can accelerate to near light-speed. Jets from opposite poles of a galaxy end in energetic clouds emitting copious radio and x-ray frequencies. These are facts based in plasma science and not the traditional theories of gas kinetics, gravity, or particle physics. Astrophysicists see magnetic fields, but they do not perceive the underlying electricity, so they are at a loss to explain them.
Plasma behaves in unfamiliar ways. Its similarities to hot gas are overshadowed by its differences. It is habitual perception that makes it difficult to see plasma as something different. By breaking free from a priori assumptions, the unfamiliar behavior of plasma will become familiar and astronomers will perceive a new universe.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Virtues of Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide, essential for life on Earth, makes up less than 0.039% of the Earth's atmosphere. We need more of it: Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927). (Via: Watts Up With That?)

He eventually made the suggestion that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels could be beneficial, making the Earth's climates “more equable,” stimulating plant growth, and providing more food for a larger population. This view differs radically from current concerns over the harmful effects of a global warming caused by industrial emissions and deforestation.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Milky Way Younger Than Thought

Science Daily: Some Massive Galaxies May Be Relatively New: Discovery Challenges Galaxy Formation Theories.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2009) — A team led by an Indiana University astronomer has found a sample of massive galaxies with properties that suggest they may have formed relatively recently. This would run counter to the widely-held belief that massive, luminous galaxies (like our own Milky Way Galaxy) began their formation and evolution shortly after the Big Bang, some 13 billion years ago.

Further research into the nature of these objects could open new windows into the study of the origin and early evolution of galaxies.

John Salzer, principal investigator for the study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, said that the 15 galaxies in the sample exhibit luminosities (a measure of their total light output) that indicate that they are massive systems like the Milky Way and other so-called "giant" galaxies. However, these particular galaxies are unusual because they have chemical abundances that suggest very little stellar evolution has taken place within them. Their relatively low abundances of "heavy" elements (elements heavier than helium, called "metals" by astronomers) imply the galaxies are cosmologically young and may have formed recently.

The chemical abundances of the galaxies, combined with some simple assumptions about how stellar evolution and chemical enrichment progress in galaxies in general, suggest that they may only be 3 or 4 billion years old, and therefore formed 9 to 10 billion years after the Big Bang. Most theories of galaxy formation predict that massive, luminous systems like these should have formed much earlier.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Greater and Greater Attractors

Stephen Smith: Greater and Greater Attractors.

Galaxy clusters are being pulled by a force emanating from "beyond the horizon" of the universe. Could electrified plasma be the culprit?

An analysis of data provided by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) appears to indicate an unknown gravitational mass lying over the cosmic event horizon. Far past any current instrument's detection ability is something with a force exceeding the combined mass of whole superclusters, inexorably drawing them out into the darkness.

Said Alexander Kashlinsky from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center: "The distribution of matter in the observed universe cannot account for this motion."

According to astronomers, the universe itself is expanding at an ever accelerating rate. Estimates for the rate of expansion vary, but contemporary theories suggest that galaxies are receding from us because they started out receding from us due to an inflationary event imparted by the Big Bang. Current estimates put the figure at approximately 71 kilometers per second for every 3.3 million light-years. This supposed dilation of space/time is called the Hubble flow, or the Hubble constant.

In the 1960s however, detailed redshift calculations of the galaxies near the Milky Way seemed to show a large-scale motion superposed on the Hubble flow. The Local Group, the Virgo supercluster, the Hydra-Centaurus supercluster, and other galactic superclusters are moving at 600 kilometers per second toward the constellation Centaurus. Scientists describe the motion as "a great river of galaxies" that is flowing into the gravity well of some gigantic gravitational source over 216 million light-years away. The massive structure is known as the Great Attractor.

The Great Attractor is thought to be composed of dark matter because it cannot be seen with any telescope. Astronomical observations uncovered a galaxy cluster known as Abell 3627 in the general vicinity, but found ten times too little visible matter for the effect. It is interesting that astrophysical studies demonstrate unexpected movement whenever new instruments with improved vision are implemented.

Almost from the start of modern astronomy it was found that the Andromeda galaxy is hurtling toward the Milky Way at over 320,000 kilometers per hour. Consensus opinion states that only gravity can exert the force necessary for Andromeda's speed, although there appears to be insufficient luminous matter between the two galaxies to account for it. A mass of ten Milky Way galaxies would be required to accelerate Andromeda, scientists postulate, but it remains unseen to this day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Charged Particles In Space...Gasp

A good title and first two paragraphs from Science Daily (note the use of quotation marks, a question mark (gasp), the reference to charged particles, and the use of the "so-called" qualifier: Scientists Pinpoint The 'Edge Of Space'.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2009) — Where does space begin? Scientists at the University of Calgary have created a new instrument that is able to track the transition between the relatively gentle winds of Earth's atmosphere and the more violent flows of charged particles in space – flows that can reach speeds well over 1000 km/hr. And they have accomplished this in unprecedented detail.

Data received from the U of C-designed instrument sent to space on a NASA launch from Alaska about two years ago was able to help pinpoint the so-called edge of space: the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space.
But then the article sort of falls on it's face because, as BF reminds us, the exact altitude fluctuates and changes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Unusual Micrometeorite Found In Antarctica

BBC: Tiny rock excites astrochemists. (Via: Universe Today)

A "unique" micrometeorite found in Antarctica is challenging ideas about how planets can form.

Detailed analysis has shown that the sample, known as MM40, has a chemical composition unlike any other fragment of fallen space rock.

This, say experts, raises questions about where it originated in the Solar System and how it was created.

It also means that astrochemists must expand their list of the combinations of materials in planetary crusts.

The detailed analysis of MM40 was led by Matthieu Gounelle from the Laboratory of Mineralogy and Cosmochemistry at the French Natural History Museum.

Published in PNAS, the analysis revealed the "unique" chemical composition of MM04 despite it being only 150 microns across as its widest point - about half the width of a written full stop.

Dr Caroline Smith, curator of meteorites at the Natural History Museum, London, UK, said the sample was important because of the role that the study of meteorites played in our understanding of Solar System and planetary formation.

MM40 was a basaltic achondritic micrometeorite, said Dr Smith.

Achondritic meteorites were formed when the Solar System's planets were coming into being. The substances in such meteorites and the processes they have undergone can give clues about how the larger bodies were formed.

By contrast, chondritic meteorites were formed during the the Solar System's early days before material had accreted into planets. They have not been altered by the melting and re-crystalisation that has utterly transformed the nature of, say, Earth rocks.

Dr Mahesh Anand, an astrochemist from the department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the Open University, said: "It is fascinating as to how much information can be retrieved about the processes involved in planetary formation from tiny fragments of extra-terrestrial material that routinely arrive on Earth anonymously."

For Dr Smith, the excitement of MM40 lay in the mystery of its origins.

"We have basaltic meteorites that are thought to come from an asteroid called 4 Vesta and we also have basaltic meteorites from the Moon and Mars," said Dr Smith.

"But [MM40's] chemistry does not match any of those places," she said. "It has to be from somewhere else."

While its ultimate origins are a mystery it does have implications for the ways that astrochemists thought planets could be formed. The analysis of MM40 showed that the "inventory" of such processes must be expanded, said Dr Smith.

"Micrometeorites are often seen as the 'poor man's space probe'," said Dr Smith "They land on Earth fortuitously and we do not have to spend millions of dollars or euros on a robotic mission to get them."
Gounelle, M., et al., A Unique Basaltic Micrometeorite Expands The Inventory of Solar System Planetary Crusts, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009

Micrometeorites with diameter ≈100–200 μm dominate the flux of extraterrestrial matter on Earth. The vast majority of micrometeorites are chemically, mineralogically, and isotopically related to carbonaceous chondrites, which amount to only 2.5% of meteorite falls. Here, we report the discovery of the first basaltic micrometeorite (MM40). This micrometeorite is unlike any other basalt known in the solar system as revealed by isotopic data, mineral chemistry, and trace element abundances. The discovery of a new basaltic asteroidal surface expands the solar system inventory of planetary crusts and underlines the importance of micrometeorites for sampling the asteroids' surfaces in a way complementary to meteorites, mainly because they do not suffer dynamical biases as meteorites do. The parent asteroid of MM40 has undergone extensive metamorphism, which ended no earlier than 7.9 Myr after solar system formation. Numerical simulations of dust transport dynamics suggest that MM40 might originate from one of the recently discovered basaltic asteroids that are not members of the Vesta family. The ability to retrieve such a wealth of information from this tiny (a few micrograms) sample is auspicious some years before the launch of a Mars sample return mission.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pseudoscientists Dismiss Accurate Prediction

Reuters: Scientists dismiss prediction of Italy earthquake.

Gioacchino Giuliani is at the center of a debate about the limits of seismology after Italian officials shrugged off his warnings last month that a devastating earthquake in the central Abruzzo region was imminent.

In fact Giuliani, who works at the National Institute of Physics, was even reported to police for spreading panic.

While many Italians are now more than ready to listen to whatever Giuliani has to say, geophysicists in Europe and the United States remain skeptical of his claims to have discovered an effective early-warning system. ...

"We can know when an earthquake is coming," Giuliani said in one of the flurry of interviews he has given to Italian media over the past 24 hours.

"To those who have not believed me, I'll just say that a scientist's dictionary should not contain the word 'impossible'. History has proven that to us."
Shou, Z., Earthquake Clouds: A Reliable Precursor, Science and Utopya, Volume 64, Pages 53-57, Oct 1999

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Missing Link Between Elliptical and Spiral Galaxies

Dramatically backlit dust in giant galaxy. (Via Universe Today)

The NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy on the border between spiral and elliptical galaxies.
My response was, "It’s no mystery if you have any clue who Fred Hoyle, Halton Arp, and Jayant Narlikar are.

Quasars, aka baby galaxies, are born and ejected from the active nuclei of Seyfert galaxies.

The quasars grow into elliptical galaxies and as their intrinsic redshift diminishes, the elliptical galaxies become spiral plasmoids."

To which I added a trolling "Duh." ... =)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Seismologist Who Predicted Italian Earthquake Was Silenced

Dogma = dead people.

Scientific retardation, censorship, and information suppression at it's finest: Italy muzzled scientist who foresaw quake.

ROME, April 6 (Reuters) - An Italian scientist predicted a major earthquake around L'Aquila weeks before disaster struck the city on Monday, killing dozens of people, but was reported to authorities for spreading panic among the population.

The first tremors in the region were felt in mid-January and continued at regular intervals, creating mounting alarm in the medieval city, about 100 km (60 miles) east of Rome.

Vans with loudspeakers had driven around the town a month ago telling locals to evacuate their houses after seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani predicted a large quake was on the way, prompting the mayor's anger.

Giuliani, who based his forecast on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas, was reported to police for "spreading alarm" and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet.

Italy's Civil Protection agency held a meeting of the Major Risks Committee, grouping scientists charged with assessing such risks, in L'Aquila on March 31 to reassure the townspeople.

"The tremors being felt by the population are part of a typical sequence ... (which is) absolutely normal in a seismic area like the one around L'Aquila," the civil protection agency said in a statement on the eve of that meeting.

"It is useful to underline that it is not in any way possible to predict an earthquake," it said, adding that the agency saw no reason for alarm but was nonetheless effecting "continuous monitoring and attention".
Italian earthquake: anger mounts over ignored warnings.

Giampaolo Giuliani told locals to evacuate their houses and posted a video on YouTube in which he said a build-up of radon gas around the seismically active area of Abruzzo suggested a major earthquake was imminent.

Several tremors had been felt in the medieval city of L'Aquila, around 60 miles east of Rome, from mid-January onwards, and vans with loudspeakers had reportedly driven around the city spreading the warning.

But instead of heeding Mr Giuliani's advice, the local authorities reported him to police for "spreading alarm" and he was told to remove his findings from the internet.

Even after he was proved right, civic leaders effectively dismissed him as a maverick whose accurate prediction was little more than a fluke.

As the row escalated yesterday, the Italian president, Silvio Berlusconi, was among those having to fend off angry questions about whether the area should have been evacuated in the light of the warnings.

Maria Francesco, a survivor of the earthquake who lives in L'Aquila, said: "It's a scandal what's happened. For the past three months there have been regular tremors, and they've been getting stronger and stronger. The authorities were well aware."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Black Hole at the Heart of Astronomy

Wallace Thornhill on the myth of gravitation and the myth of black holes: The Black Hole at the Heart of Astronomy.

"Astronomical fads have always involved miracle working to some degree, and their discussion in so-called workshops and in the streams of papers that pour into the journals have affinities to the incantations of Macbeth's witches on the blasted heath." -- Fred Hoyle, Home is where the wind blows

The so-called "queen" of the sciences, cosmology, is founded upon the myth that the weakest force in the universe - gravity - is responsible for forming and shaping galaxies, stars and planets. But even if this were true, gravity remains unexplained. How it works is a mystery.

Newton gave us a mathematical description of what gravity does. Einstein invoked an unreal geometry to do the same thing. Newton had the sense to "frame no hypotheses" about how gravity worked. Einstein made it impossible to relate cause and effect - which means that the theory of general relativity is not physics! How, precisely, does matter warp empty space? The language is meaningless. But this hasn't stopped scientists declaring a law of gravitation with a 'universal' physical constant—'G.'

For many years now, astronomers have been reporting that supermassive black holes - several million times the mass of the Sun - exist in nearly every galaxy.

The thoughtless followers of Einstein have fashioned God in their own image as a mathematician but "He" is much smarter and avoids high school howlers like the gravitational "black hole." Yes, a theoretical "black hole" exists - and it sucks the very heart out of astronomy and astrophysics. The astronomer Halton Arp articulated the math howler of dividing by zero to give a near infinite concentration of mass in a hypothetical black hole: “Since the force of gravity varies as the square of the inverse distance between objects why not make the ultimate extrapolation and let the distance go to zero? You get a LOT of density. Maybe it goes BOOM! But wait a minute, maybe it goes in the opposite direction and goes MOOB! Whatever. Most astronomers decided anyway that this was the only source that could explain the observed jets and explosions in galaxies.”

Precisely! And when the gravitational force is as close to zero as doesn't matter, in comparison to the electric force, you must be very careful (as any high school student knows) to not divide by zero, otherwise you introduce infinities. What does it mean for the radius of a physical object to tend to zero?

In the face of discordant data, a scientist is required to check the original works and assumptions that lead to the theory under test. But there are very few such scientists in this modern age. As Sir Fred Hoyle put it, today the pressure is on to “do what aging gurus tell them to do, which is nothing” and simply build on the consensus those gurus have established. A fellow Australian, Stephen Crothers, has shown mathematical theorists to be remarkably unintelligent and sloppy in the application of their talent to physical problems. It seems that most of them don't really follow the mathematical arguments anyway (which is not surprising) but are happy to extol the results of others, based on reputation, regardless of the principles of physics or commonsense.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Black Arts

Pseudoscientists use fantasy art to depict black holes because none have ever been observed (observation is a requirement of the scientific method).

Stephen Smith: BlackMax and Black Arts.

Black holes are undetectable by any instrument, so a computer simulation has been created for the Large Hadron Collider to act as a substitute for observations. ...

Most children are taught in elementary school that dividing by zero is not proper numerical manipulation.

Instead, a flight into the mathematical fantasy of General Relativity was required, where master calculators allowed black holes to become the reified monstrosities that so enamor modern cosmologists and astrophysicists. Cosmologists use the singularity product to describe conditions that existed before the Big Bang, while astrophysicists use it to overcome almost any problem that appears in galaxy studies.

Galaxies spin too fast for a certain theory? There must be a black hole hiding somewhere inside, providing additional, unseen gravitational power. Galaxies emit tremendous quantities of light energy or cosmic rays? There has to be a black hole inside the core, sending out light-years long jets because matter is being compressed and superheated before it falls down into infinite darkness. What else could it be?

Friday, April 3, 2009

NASA Produces More Doctored Photographs and Fake Dark Matter Evidence

Mel Acheson: Cluster Coupling. (Hat tip: Anaconda)

The image above reveals the merging of deception and prejudice.

The press release accompanying the image explains that it shows the collision of two galactic clusters, which separates gas from mass:

"Using optical images from Hubble, the team was able to infer the distribution of the total mass (colored in blue)—dark and ordinary matter—using a technique known as gravitational lensing. The Chandra data enabled the astronomers to accurately map the position of the ordinary matter, mostly in the form of hot gas, which glows brightly in X-rays (pink) … The separation between the material shown in pink and blue therefore provides direct evidence for dark matter…."

The deception lies in the blue glow juxtaposed with the pink: The pink came from detection of x-ray radiation; the blue came from computer modeling of a belief. The prejudice lies in equating that belief with “direct evidence.”

This merging has accompanied the ostracism of critics and dissenters and the neglect of data that is contrary to, even contradictory of, the consensual faith. The credo of falsification is recited in public and flouted in practice. The “technique” of gravitational lensing has become a desperate ploy to defend an uncritical and institutionalized faith in obsolete mechanistic theories against the space-age discoveries of electrical and magnetic activity in the previously unsuspected plasma that fills space.

Acknowledging that the universe is composed not of hot gas but of plasma provides direct interpretations of the image: The blue glow of computer-generated “faerie dust” disappears. The remaining images of optical and x-ray radiation indicate the proliferation of ejections, pinches, and other instabilities in plasma discharges. These phenomena can be generated and observed in labs and need not be taken on faith in extrapolations from theories whose applicability is doubtful.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Last Extinction

NOVA: Last Extinction. (Hat tip: Anaconda).

Watch it here.

"...12,900 years ago a comet slammed into the Earth. This cosmic catastrophe would have devastated the great land animals."

"This lead to wildfires over great areas."

"The larger the animal the more devastating the effects of this would have been. It would have been hell on Earth. And a very bad day."

Thus the extinction of the Biblical giants.

So how do the mathematicians react? By quoting Carl Sagan of course!

"'s just extraordinarily improbable. And when you're making an extraordinarily improbable claim you need extraordinary evidence. And I haven't seen any extraordinary evidence." -- Mark Boslough, physicist, 2009

Hmmm. So I guess mass extinction of giant megafauna isn't extraordinary evidence? What would constitute extraordinary evidence?

"You have improbability stacked upon improbability. We're talking about something that may happen only once in the entire age of the Earth." -- Mark Boslough, physicist, 2009

So what left giant impact craters all over the face of the Earth? And what wiped out the dinosaurs? And what caused the KT boundary? These science deniers are hilarious. It's amazing they're employed.

"And I have a hard time accepting something like that happened that recently." -- Mark Boslough, physicist, 2009

So what wiped out the megafauna? The tooth fairy?

"It seems a little far fetched. There's a lot of species that did not become extinct which would be hard to explain why weren't they afffected if all these other large mammals were why weren't deer and elk and bear affected? Why did they survive?" -- Gary Haynes, archaeologist, 2009

Hmmm. OK ... so I guess that means that there are no impact craters on the Earth. No impact craters on the Moon. No impact craters on Mars. Shooting stars are mass hallucinations. The tooth fairy wiped out the dinosaurs. And the KT boundary is actually Dark Matter.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bulgarians Descended From Macedonians

When Alexander conquered what is now modern Bulgaria (Thrace etc) the Macedonians mixed with the native Baktriyans to produce the Bulgarians. Somehow this doesn't really seem like "news" to me but I guess some people reject historical facts and deny the obvious no matter what: Inscription from the time of Alexander the Great - found in Baktria, land of origin of ancient Bulgarians. (Via rogueclassicism)

Baktra. Unique marble slab with the image of Alexander the Great and a passage of an inscription was discovered in archaeological excavations in the ancient Baktriya, Baktriya Press Agency informed.

The slab represents an ancient king on a horse heading Macedonian cavalry and Macedonian phalanx at the background.

An inscription written in an ancient language different from ancient Greek or ancient Egyptian languages, on which were written a large part of the stone inscriptions at the time of Alexander is placed from the right of the military arena. According to other assumptions the words of Alexander of Macedonia are written in baktriyan language protolanguage of today's Bulgarians.

According to archaeologists from the museum in the town of Balh – the baktriyan language is a language, which had been spoken by the soldiers of Alexander of Macedonia, which had unified languages and dialects in his multinational army. Found fragments of ancient Greek inscription at the same site, suggest a possible parallel text.
Inscriptions confirmed all my theses in the book Alexander of Macedonia and the Bulgarians.

Sofia. Inscriptions found in Baktria confirmed all my theses that I put in the book Alexander of Macedonia and the Bulgarians. Colleagues were able to assemble the parts of the inscription and read it. Director of the National History Museum Prof. Bozhidar Dimitrov told FOCUS News Agency.

Prof. Dimitrov told that the inscription really say that Alexander of Macedonia has failed to win Baktrian army and therefore his soldiers were married 10 thousand Baktrian girls thus the Bulgarian people had been formed. "In the Greek text soldiers who opposed the Alexander hadn’t been called Baktrian and have been called Bulgaro. The ancient Macedonians whatever they had been, had mixed with ancient Baktrians and so the Bulgarian people had been formed”, Professor Dimitrov announced.

Spintronics: Carbon Atoms Shot On Video

Science Daily: First Ever Video Of Dynamics Of Carbon Atoms Makes Spintronic-based Computing Look More Promising.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2009) — Science fiction fans still have another two months of waiting for the new Star Trek movie, but fans of actual science can feast their eyes now on the first movie ever of carbon atoms moving along the edge of a graphene crystal. Given that graphene – single-layered sheets of carbon atoms arranged like chicken wire – may hold the key to the future of the electronics industry, the audience for this new science movie might also reach blockbuster proportions.

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), working with TEAM 0.5, the world’s most powerful transmission electron microscope, have made a movie that shows in real-time carbon atoms repositioning themselves around the edge of a hole that was punched into a graphene sheet. Viewers can observe how chemical bonds break and form as the suddenly volatile atoms are driven to find a stable configuration. This is the first ever live recording of the dynamics of carbon atoms in graphene.

“The atom-by-atom growth or shrinking of crystals is one of the most fundamental problems of solid state physics, but is especially critical for nanoscale systems where the addition or subtraction of even a single atom can have dramatic consequences for mechanical, optical, electronic, thermal and magnetic properties of the material,” said physicist Alex Zettl who led this research. “The ability to see individual atoms move around in real time and to see how the atomic configuration evolves and influences system properties is somewhat akin to a biologist being able to watch as cells divide and a higher order structure with complex functionality evolves.”