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Electric Universe: A Cosmology for the 21st Century
2006 07 23

By Michael Goodspeed |

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

--Max Planck, German Theoretical Physicist

“Credibility is currency.” One day, this phrase popped into my mind, and thinking myself quite clever, I “Googled” it, hoping I might have originated it. Well, I had not. An author whose name I cannot find wrote, “Credibility is currency; it’s hard to get, and easier to lose.”

This statement applies to virtually every human endeavor, perhaps none more so than theoretical science -- an inherently idealistic endeavor to advance human understanding. A “credible” scientist can have the whole world’s ear, and nothing says “credibility” better than those three little letters -- PhD.

The work of scientists has an enormous impact on everyday life. We do not just rely on scientists to help us understand the natural world. We rely on their viewpoints to guide us in critical personal decisions, including health and lifestyle (remember the short-lived fervor around the Atkins’ Diet?) The respectable, bespectacled scientist whom the media cites as an “expert” has the power to change the way we think, and thus to change the world.

But credibility is a complex tapestry. In addition to the tangible requirements that any “credible” scientist must possess, there are intangibles such as honesty, integrity, and openness to new possibilities. On an individual level, most accredited scientists may indeed possess those traits. But one cannot judge the validity of a scientific opinion based on an individual’s “accreditation.”

I suspect that most people find little reason to question the scientific Establishment. Most of us just assume that the expert knows what he’s talking about and that he has no reason to deceive us. But few who are removed from the leading edge of science know that beneath the noble exterior of many institutions lie many tendencies toward political maneuvering and manipulation, often with highly destructive consequences. This state of things should not surprise us. Money, reputations, limited fields of view, and the momentum of earlier beliefs have always had the power to corrupt free inquiry and to subtly dissuade individuals from challenging institutionalized ideas.

But the more severe problem today is unique to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and it is inseparably tied to the centralized funding of scientific investigations. There are those who believe that science is not just mistaken on some interesting theoretical possibilities, but IRREDEEMIBLY wrong on the most fundamental questions science can ask. But to whom should we listen in order to sort all of this out? If the critics are correct, billions of tax dollars have been misdirected and/or completely wasted chasing chimeras. Your response might be, “OK...but who the heck are you?” The answer is, I’m a layperson who has followed discovery with a particular interest in the work of independent researchers who are skeptical of the current scientific consensus. But the term “skeptic” has been so debased and misused over the years that some interpret the word to mean an opposition to anything unconventional (i.e. “skepticism” of the paranormal, UFO’s, conspiracies, etc.). In reality, the word “skeptic,”

has the precise OPPOSITE meaning. As defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, it means “One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.”

In science today, the “generally accepted conclusions” are routinely presented as inarguable “facts”. From the Big Bang, to the evolution of planets, from the nature of comets, to highly speculative and hidden phenomena such as black holes, dark matter, and dark energy, the big cosmological picture is presented with such confidence that media in this country have almost never questioned it. But the picture may be much less clear than we have been led to believe. Far removed from the spotlight of scientific media, critics have suggested that a single, fundamental error has infected the theoretical sciences.

This error is the notion that the Universe is electrically neutral -- that electricity does not “do anything” in space. It is a perverse stance given the overwhelming importance of electricity in our lives.

The most dramatic recent discoveries have consistently challenged the interpretations of conventional theorists on this point. At the same time, they have fostered considerable interest in an alternative hypothesis -- the Electric Universe.

In the study of comets, for instance, researchers have been so confounded by unexpected discoveries that conventional comet theory no longer exists! Yet comets are touted as "Rosetta Stones" allowing us to decipher the formation of the solar system. The “dirty snowball”

hypothesis, considered theoretical bedrock for decades, has failed resoundingly at predicting comet behavior and, more recently, comet composition. The most dramatic surprises began in 1986, with the discovery of negatively charged ions in the coma of Comet Halley, the signatures of energetic electrical activity, and the absence of any proof of water on the nucleus. In subsequent years, comets have produced a steady stream of “mysteries” that have had astronomers heading back to the drawing boards. These include:

Highly energetic supersonic jets exploding from comets’ nuclei.

Narrowly confined, filamentary comet jets spanning distances that defy the expected behavior of neutral gases in a vacuum.

Comet surfaces with sharply carved relief the exact opposite of what astronomers expected under the “dirty snowball” model.

Unexpectedly high temperatures and x-ray emissions from comets’


A short supply or complete absence of water and other volatiles on comets’ nuclei.

Mineral particles that can only be formed under extremely high temperatures.

Comets flaring up while in "deep freeze", beyond the orbit of Saturn.

Comets disintegrating many millions of miles from the Sun.

Comet dust particles more finely and evenly divided than is expected for sublimating “dirty ices”.

Ejection of larger particles and “gravel” that was never anticipated under the idea that comets accreted from primordial clouds of ice, gas, and dust.

Minerals that can only be created at high temperatures.

All the above findings pose enormous difficulties for the “dirty snowball” model; all are predictable features of the electric model.

Nevertheless, the odds are pretty good that you have never even HEARD of the electric comet hypothesis! (But if you had lived at the end of the 19th century you could have). This is because the space sciences have been constructed throughout the 20th century on the theoretical assumption that bodies in space are electrically neutral. An electric comet would strike at the foundations of the theoretical sciences today.

If a foundational assumption is incorrect, the ramifications would reach far beyond comet theory. According to Wallace Thornhill and other proponents of the Electric Universe, the electric comet is inextricably linked to the electrical model of the Sun, a model with sweeping


Dr. Charles E. R Bruce of the Electrical Research Association in England set the stage for a scientific model of an “electric sun” in 1944. According to Bruce, the Sun’s "photosphere has the appearance, the temperature and the spectrum of an electric arc; it has arc characteristics because it is an electric arc, or a large number of arcs in parallel." This discharge characteristic, he claimed, "accounts for the observed granulation of the solar surface." Bruce’s model, however, was based on a conventional understanding of atmospheric lightning, allowing him to envision the “electric” Sun without reference to external electric fields.

Years later, a brilliant engineer, Ralph Juergens, inspired by Bruce’s work, added a revolutionary possibility. In a series of articles beginning in 1972, Juergens suggested that the Sun is not an electrically isolated body in space, but lies within a larger galactic field. With this hypothesis, Juergens became the first to make the theoretical leap to an external power source for the Sun.

Juergens proposed that the Sun is the most positively charged object in the solar system, the center of a weak radial electric field and the focus of a "coronal glow discharge" fed by galactic currents. This is why a comet, moving rapidly through the strengthening electric field as it approaches the Sun, begins to discharge under the electric stresses.

To avoid misunderstanding of this concept, it is essential that we distinguish the complex, electrodynamic glow discharge model of the Sun  from a simple electrostatic model that can be easily dismissed.

Throughout most of the volume of a glow discharge the plasma is "quasi"

neutral, with almost equal numbers of protons and electrons. A similar situation exists inside a fluorescent light tube. The current is carried primarily by a drift of electrons in a weak electric field toward the positive electrode (the Sun). It is only beneath the corona, close to the Sun, that the electric field becomes strong enough to generate all of the brilliant and energetic phenomena we observe on the Sun.

In the electric model, the Sun’s external energy source is the reason why temperatures rise SPECTACULARLY with distance from the surface of the Sun -- precisely the reverse of what one would expect if heat were radiating from the Sun’s core. From about 4400 degrees K at 500 kilometers (300 miles) above the photosphere, the temperature rises steadily to about 20,000 degrees K at the top of the chromosphere, some 2200 kilometers (1200 miles) above the Sun’s surface. At this point an abrupt increase occurs, eventually reaching 2 million degrees in the corona. And even farther from the Sun, the energetic activity of ionized oxygen atoms reaches an astonishing 200 million degrees! This is the last thing one would expect of a nuclear furnace hidden in the core of the Sun. But it is the observed nature of a corona discharge.

Electrical theorists point out some two dozen or more defining features of the Sun that pose problems for standard theory, ranging from “difficult” to “impossible” to explain. In each case, the observed feature follows logically from the glow discharge model. Perhaps the most telling illustration of this contrast is the issue of the solar wind. The Sun continually emits a stream of positively charged particles, but these particles are not only unaffected by the Sun’s gravity, they continue to accelerate away from the Sun. Since the discovery of this mysterious behavior decades ago, solar theorists have never set forth an explanation that could withstand scrutiny. They thought they had a partial explanation when they claimed that solar radiation (the light from the Sun) continued to push the charged particles outward. To the electrical theorists, this was not only a feeble explanation but also one that lacked any support in experimentation, which should be the first resort.

Electrical theorists are, in fact, disturbed by the inability of the scientific mainstream to see what they regard as obvious. All electrical engineers know that there is a simple way to accelerate charged particles -- they do it regularly with electric fields. If the Sun is a charged body at the center of an electric field, the acceleration of charged particles by this field is a given.

The most compelling example of this principle occurred between January 15th and 19th of 2005, when four powerful solar flares erupted from “sunspot 720.” Then on January 20th, the fifth explosion produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) with velocities well beyond the ability of any conventional model to account for. As summarized on the Thunderbolts Picture of the Day, “While it often takes more than 24 hours for the charged particles of a solar outburst to reach the Earth, this one was a profound exception. Just thirty minutes after the explosion, Earth (some 96 million miles from the Sun) was immersed in what NASA scientists called “the most intense proton storm in decades.”

It is particularly telling that it is almost impossible to find, in any mainstream attempt to explain the solar wind, any memory of this event.

The point here is not just that the electric model accounts for the most troubling difficulties faced by standard theory. The model is part of a larger, more unified picture of the cosmos. Just as the electric comet leads inevitably to the electric Sun, both the electric comet and the electric sun suggest a radically new perspective on all of the theoretical sciences reaching from planetary history to the origins of the cosmos.

Wallace Thornhill, for example, suggests that the electric comet offers the best model for comprehending the surface features of planets and moons. Unacknowledged evidence accumulated in the Space Age makes clear that planets are charged bodies. Unstable motions within the electric field of the Sun, or motions bringing planets into close encounters, would lead to devastating electrical discharge events, with planets themselves taking on possible “comet-like” attributes. It is essential, therefore, that an open reconsideration of planetary history be given a high priority. And this investigation must include the possibility that planets were, in earlier times, immersed in electrical discharge, their surfaces carved by high-energy electrical events. In other words, what is occurring on active comets is a direct pointer to the forces acting on planets in an earlier epoch of planetary evolution.

Space exploration has continually revealed features on planets and other rocky bodies that cannot be explained by impacts from space or familiar planetary geology (volcanism, water erosion, or surface

spreading.) Since we first pointed telescopes at the Moon, the single geologic feature that has most entranced astronomers is craters. For decades, the unresolved issue was whether craters on the moon were formed by volcanism or impact. With the Apollo space program, astronomers believed that the issue was settled. The dominating craters on the moon were created by celestial objects striking the surface, planetary scientists said.

This conclusion seemed so clear that virtually no one paused sufficiently to notice the litany of facts about lunar craters that throw the entire hypothesis into doubt. Once the impact model took hold, astronomers and geologists sought to replicate experimentally the unique patterns of cratering on the moon and elsewhere in the solar system. On occasion, news releases touted the “successes” of such experiments, but at a more fundamental and scientific level, where detailed cratering patterns demanded experimental confirmation, the experiments proved to be a failure. The features of high-velocity impact craters do not match the features of the lunar craters. Nor do they match up with the features of craters we observe so abundantly on the surface of Mars or on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn and other rocky bodies in the solar system. This failure of impact experiments, however, does not appear to have been the subject of any news releases.

The anomalies include (to name just a few):

remarkable circularity of almost all craters of all sizes. Oblique impacts should form many oval craters; lack of collateral damage expected if the crater circularity were due to a near-ground explosion like a thermonuclear detonation; flat-bottomed, melted crater floors instead of dish shaped excavation  from impact blast. Impacts and high-energy explosionseven atomic bombsdo not melt enough material to create flat floors.

many craters with steep walls rather than the shallow dish shape expected from a supersonic impact blast; unexpected terracing of large crater walls, with melted floors of some terraces; inordinate numbers of secondary craters centered on the rims of larger craters; absence of larger craters cutting through smaller craters; intricate chains of small craters along the rims of larger craters; far too many crater pairs and crater chains; minimal disturbance where one crater cuts into another; repeated, highly “improbable” associations of craters with adjoining cleanly cut gouges and rilles, from which material has simply disappeared; rays of “ejecta” tangential to the crater rim; concentric rings.

Rather than consider these challengers, planetary scientists have stopped asking the most important questions. Indeed, they have yet to consider a fact of overwhelming importance to the future of planetary

science: All of the primary cratering patterns in the solar system can be produced by electric discharge in the laboratory. This cannot be said of any other causative agent explored in the space age.

Our neighbor Mars, the most studied planet in the solar system (outside the earth) offers almost limitless examples. The Martian surface reveals global evidence of violent electric scarring.

The stupendous chasm Valles Marineris stretches across more than 3000 miles -- the equivalent of hundreds of Grand Canyons. In the early 70s, engineer Ralph Juergens posited that in an earlier period of planetary instability, electrical arcs between charged celestial bodies created many of the features on Mars. In 1974, Juergens wrote of Valles


“[T]his region resembles nothing so much as an area zapped by a powerful electric arc advancing unsteadily across the surface, occasionally splitting in two, and now and then weakening, so that its traces narrow and even degrade into lines of disconnected craters.”

More recently, Wallace Thornhill has argued that the entire VM region has identical morphology to the grandest electric discharge phenomenon in the universe -- the barred-spiral galaxy. (See Spiral Galaxies & Grand Canyons

At first, planetary scientists speculated that water erosion was the agent that created Valles Marineris, but this notion was refuted by higher resolution images. Now, some favor surface spreading and rifting. But upon close examination, no surface spreading is evident.

So what happened to all of the “missing” material? In the electrical hypothesis, it was excavated explosively by a process called electric discharge machining (EDM). And the resulting debris not only was strewn across the surface of Mars but also much of it was accelerated electrically into space. From this vantage point, it is not a coincidence that even today meteorites from Mars are falling upon the earth.

One of the most fascinating geologic anomalies on Mars is the presence of so-called “blueberries” -- blue-gray bb-sized spherules embedded in the iron-rich Martian soil. After spectroscopic analysis, the spherules were identified as “hematite concretions.” The formative process of the “blueberries” remains enigmatic to planetary scientists. Plasma physicist Dr. CJ Ransom of Vemasat Laboratories, however, conducted his own experiment to test the electrical explanation of concretions and Martian blueberries. He blasted a quantity of hematite with an electric arc, and the result was embedded spherules with features similar to the blueberries on Mars. No other laboratory experiment has produced a similar result. (See Martian “Blueberries” in the Lab,

A significant feature of electric discharge is its SCALABILITY -- what is observed on a small scale is also observed on larger scales. And the Martian “blueberries” may have a much larger analog in the form of domed craters on the planet. Orbiting cameras have found numerous craters with domes or spheres resting within them. These domed craters range in size from a hundred meters or less (the limit of the camera’s

resolution) up to a kilometer or more. The similarities between these domed craters and the laboratory “blueberries”, many of which form inside craters, are striking. This alone should be more than sufficient to encourage further investigation. (See Domed Craters on Mars,

To proponents of the Electric Universe, the geologic evidence of electric scarring on planets and other rocky bodies is a compelling testament to planetary violence and instability in the past. The notion of an unstable solar system in the recent past was put forth by Immanuel Velikovsky in his 1950 bestselling book Worlds in Collision.

Although Velikovsky was summarily dismissed by the scientific mainstream, the Space Age has done more to support Velikovsky than to refute him!

While Electric Universe proponents Wal Thornhill and his colleagues acknowledge that Velikovsky was wrong on several points, they agree with Velikovsky that electromagnetism was the key to an earlier epoch of planetary catastrophe. And today, evidence has become overwhelming that we live in an “electrically connected” solar system.

In the case of Jupiter, we see this electrical connectivity between the planet and its closest moon, Io. In 1979, Cornell astrophysicist Thomas Gold proposed in the journal Science that the “volcanoes” on Io were actually plasma discharge plumes. Gold’s hypothesis was dismissed in the same journal by Gene Shoemaker, et al. But in 1987, plasma physicists Alex Dessler and Anthony Peratt supported Gold’s interpretation in an article published in the journal Astrophysics and Space Science. Dessler and Peratt argued that both the filamentary penumbra and the convergence of ejecta into well-defined rings are plasma discharge effects that have no counterpart in volcanoes.

Later, the Galileo probe recorded amazing images of the “volcanoes” and found precisely what was predicted by electrical theorist Thornhill:

temperatures so high that they saturated the cameras; MOVEMENT of the “volcanoes” across the surface; and location of “volcanoes” along the cliffs of previously excavated valleys. It is now indisputable that the basis of Shoemaker’s “rebuttal” of the Gold hypothesis was incorrect.

It is also indisputable that Thornhill’s highly specific predictions were correct. And yet, neither the journal Science, nor any other scientific publication, has even revisited the question. (See Retrospective on Io,

On Mars, monstrous “dust devils” -- some ten times larger than any tornados on Earth -- have exposed planetary scientists’ disinterest in all things electrical. A NASA press release stated, ‘When humans visit Mars, they’ll have to watch out for towering electrified dust devils.”

But they attribute the electric fields of the “dust devils” to solar heating and the resulting mechanical energy of air convection (despite the fact that the Martian atmosphere is less than one percent as dense as Earth’s, and the mechanical ability of its air to move dust particles is at best improbable). In the Electric Universe interpretation, rotating columns of air and dust are a natural consequence of atmospheric electric currents. (See NASA on Martian Dust Devils -- “They’re Electrified!”

In meteorological phenomena on Earth, we witness planetary charge as well. It is no longer possible to think of the Earth as an isolated, electrically neutral body when we observe giant bolts of lightning from above storm clouds discharging INTO space. Since the early 1990s, investigators have been documenting forms of lightning called “sprites”

and “blue jets” leaping upwards from storms as much as 15 kilometers towards space. Some giant “jets” shot up to 80 kilometers. These investigators found that every time there was a “sprite” above the clouds there was a bolt of positive lightning below the clouds. They were each parts of a single discharge that stretched from space to the Earth’s surface. (See Giant Lightning to Space,

It has been said that mathematicians, when considering questions of physics, “have no principles.” They do not consider themselves bound by physics. And there is obvious glee when some “unexplained” phenomenon seems to offer the possible discovery of a “new” physical law or principle. This can be much more appealing than a straightforward answer from a discipline in which the mathematician is untrained. None of the evidence we’ve noted here, for example, is a violation of any existing physical law or principle. The patterns we’ve noted find ready explanations in electrical phenomena. Yet space science continues to ignore the electric force in favor of speculative solutions, clinging to assumptions that are no longer tenable.

At first, astronomers were convinced that space was a perfect vacuum, and electric currents seemed inconceivable. Then astronomers discovered that space is pervaded by charged particles, or plasma. In the face of this discovery, astronomers wrongly concluded that charge separation could not be maintained in space; any charge would be quickly neutralized by the movement of charge (electric current). But as every electrical engineer knows, that conclusion depends upon the current-carrying ability of the plasma. In the sparse plasma of space, current-carrying ability is undeniably present, but limited. The result is that cosmic scale currents generated by the relative movement of dissimilar plasma regions can be sustained over long time spans. The signature of such electric currents is their magnetic fields. But when magnetic fields were detected in space astronomers considered them to be "frozen in" to the plasma -- as if the plasma were superconducting

-- in order to maintain the notion of electrical neutrality. But space plasma is not a superconductor. External electrical energy must be supplied to maintain the observed magnetic fields in space.

 From the larger circuit of the Milky Way, currents flow into the Sun’s domain. At planetary distances from the Sun, the field is imperceptibly weak. But as the current “pinches down” toward the Sun, the electric power is sufficient to light the Sun. A comet spends most of its time in the weakest part of the field far from the Sun and may balance its voltage with that field. But as the comet accelerates nearer the Sun, it grows profoundly out of balance with its environment and begins to discharge. Astronomers have missed such fundamental points for a reason no one wants to admit: they are embarrassingly untrained in electrodynamics. This is why electrical engineers have a tremendous advantage in understanding electrical activities in space. An arc welder could more easily understand the rilles and craters on solid surfaces than a planetary scientist. But rather than expand their knowledge to include electricity, astronomers and cosmologists have instead contracted the space sciences into a narrow field of “elegant”

(pretentious or irrelevant) theories.

Every day we hear of great advances and discoveries in the quest to identify invisible -- and supposedly ubiquitous -- things such as dark matter, dark energy, neutron stars and black holes. These conjectures are necessary because cosmologists remain unaware of plasma's ability to organize structure in space. (See Plasma Galaxies,

And the WEIRDNESS of their conjectures continues to grow, to the point that the current picture of the cosmos resembles the most “spacey” Star Trek episodes.

It is tragic that the scientific Establishment -- working hand in hand with popular media -- has succeeded in convincing many that the largest cosmological questions are the sole domain of mathematicians. The very fact that mathematics is commonly looked to for a “theory of everything” reveals the blunder of this thinking. As Electric Universe proponent Thornhill writes, “The very notion that some scientists are within grasp of a ‘theory of everything’ is a fantasy on a par with the flat Earth theory. It is not possible to have a theory of everything until we know everything about the universe. And given the almost continual surprises from space, we evidently know very little.”

Thornhill continues, “Those who would aspire to a theory of everything are told they must undertake ‘the grueling complex and abstract mathematics’ required for the task. Who says so? Mathematicians, of course. It is a chronically narrow view, like looking through the wrong end of the telescope and imagining you see stars. This view has led to elitism in physics based on mathematical ability. Most bizarre have been those who claim to see God in their own image -- as a mathematician.”

It is not the least bit audacious for the common person to question the tenability of popular scientific theories. In fact, it is often the non-specialist, one who is less encumbered by prior beliefs and conflicts of interest, who can more easily discern what is before his eyes. This is particularly true when it comes to the challenges posed by the Electric Universe hypothesis. The electric theorists, as opposed to pure mathematicians, deal more strictly with what can be predicted, observed, and repeated. Thanks to the Space Age, the evidence is there for those willing to see it.

Increasingly, the public is expressing doubt about the directions of popular theory. What they get in response is assurances that the “pieces of the puzzle” are falling into place. But those who follow discovery with a “skeptical” eye see things much differently. The credibility of science cannot be sustained through self-congratulation.

And it is only in the best interest of scientific institutions to open the door to discussions long ago excluded. In fact, the future of science depends on it.

Article received from Michael Goodspeed

Related: Why The Electric Universe Matters

“Neutron Star” Refutes Its Own Existence

Velikovsky's Ghost Returns

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