Projecting Nuclear Fusion onto the Sun
Jan 06, 2006

from Thuntherbolts Website

What is the source of the Sun’s light and heat? Throughout history people have proposed answers to this question that have always reflected human experience. The Sun was a shining god or a “spark” cast off in the creation.


Later it was a pile of burning sticks or coal.

By the nineteenth century, astronomers had become accustomed to thinking that gravity was the dominant force in the heavens. So they began to conjecture that the energy of the Sun might be due to “gravitational collapse”, a compression of solar gases by gravity. This simple hypothesis, its proponents claimed, could provide the required energy output for a few tens of millions of years.

By the late 19th century, however, geologists were confident that Earth was much older than the astronomers’ model would allow, and the conflict between astronomy and geology continued for several decades. Then, in 1920, the British astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington combined the principle of gravitational collapse with an exciting new principle in the physical sciences—nuclear fusion. He proposed that at the core of the Sun, pressures and temperatures induced a nuclear reaction fusing hydrogen into helium.

In 1939 two astrophysicists, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Hans Bethe, working independently, began to quantify the gravitational collapse and nuclear fusion hypothesis. Bethe described the results of his calculations in a brief paper entitled "Energy Production in Stars”, published in 1939.

The model that followed the work of Eddington, Chandrasekhar, and Bethe described a “nuclear furnace” responsible for igniting stars. And for decades now cosmologists, astronomers, and astrophysicists have accepted the basic concept as fact.

In the early formulations of the “standard model” of star formation, it was said that the gravitational force within a primordial cloud leads to its progressive compression into a “circumstellar disk”, as the outer material in the cloud “falls” inward, and gravity gives birth to a star-sized sphere, whose core temperature continues to rise under increasing pressures.


Collisions of atoms within the core eventually become so energetic that electrons are stripped from their nuclei, leaving free electrons and hydrogen protons (a plasma as we now understand it). In stars roughly comparable to our Sun, with envisioned core temperatures less than 15 million Kelvin, the nuclear reaction begins when hydrogen protons are joined or stuck together in the “proton-proton fusion” of hydrogen into helium.

Critics, however, pointed out that the temperatures given by standard gas laws are not sufficient to provoke nuclear fusion. They cited the “Coulomb barrier”, in this case the electric repulsion between two protons, or like charges. Once protons are fused, they could be held together by the strong nuclear force, but that force dominates only at short distances.


To achieve fusion, it would be necessary for protons to cross the barrier of the repulsive electric force, which is sufficient to keep the protons apart forever. But Eddington’s successors accomplished the impossible by something called quantum tunneling, enabling an extremely small percentage of protons to simply “appear” inside the barrier at any particular time.

It is ironic that the early objections to the fusion model of the Sun focused on the powerful electric force. This was long before arrival of the space age with its discovery that the charged particles of plasma permeate interplanetary and interstellar space, and long before any systematic investigations of plasma and electricity in space.

Advocates of the “nuclear furnace” made a series of fundamental assumptions common to astronomy long before the emergence of a nuclear model of the Sun. The credibility of these assumptions was not an issue to them. They assumed that diffuse clouds of gas in space would collapse gravitationally into star-sized bodies. They assumed that the Sun’s mass could be calculated simply from the orbital motions of the planets. They assumed that Newtonian calculations of mass, coupled with standard gas laws, enabled them to determine the pressure and temperature of the Sun’s core.

The pioneers of the nuclear furnace also followed another assumption common to astronomy in their time—that the Sun and planets are electrically neutral. They gave no consideration to the role of electricity and no consideration to the role of the magnetic fields that electric currents generate.

Are the assumptions made in the first half of the twentieth century still warranted after decades of space exploration? Those proposing an electrical perspective, based on more recent data, insist that the earlier conjectures are not only unwarranted, but discredited by direct observation and measurement. They emphasize that every feature of the Sun as we now observe it, defies both the gravitational assumptions and the standard gas laws relating to pressure, density, temperature and relative motions of gases.


The deepest observable surface of the Sun yields a temperature of about 6,000 degrees Kelvin. As we peer into the darker interior of sunspots we see cooler regions, not hotter. But moving outward to the bottom of the corona, the temperature jumps spectacularly to almost 2 million degrees. Thus, the superheated shell of the Sun’s corona reverses the expected temperature gradient predicted by models of internal heating.

It seems that the Sun does not even “respect” gravity. The mass of charged particles expelled by the Sun as the solar wind continues to accelerate beyond Mercury, Venus, and Earth. Solar prominences and coronal mass ejections do not obey gravity either. Nor does sunspot migration. Nor does the movement of the atmosphere, since the upper layers rotate faster than the lower, reversing the situation predicted by theory, while the equatorial atmosphere completes its rotation more rapidly than the atmosphere at higher latitudes, another reversal of predicted motions.


If the Sun’s atmosphere were subject only to gravity and the hot surface, it should be only a few thousand kilometers thick instead of the hundred thousand kilometers or more that we measure. Even the shape of the Sun defies the expectations of theory. The revolving Sun should be an oblate sphere. But it is a virtually perfect sphere, as if gravity and inertia have been overruled by something else.

For the electrical theorists, the “something else” should be obvious from the dominant observed features of the Sun (in contrast to things assumed but never seen).


The anomalies facing the standard model of the Sun are predictable features of a glow discharge, as we shall demonstrate in coming Pictures of the Day.

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The Electric Glow of the Sun

Apr 27, 2005

from Thuntherbolts Website

A little known fact: Popular ideas about the Sun have not fared well under the tests of a scientific theory. The formulators of the standard Sun model worked with gravity, gas laws, and nuclear fusion. But closer observation of the Sun has shown that electrical and magnetic properties dominate solar behavior.

For centuries, the nature of the Sun’s radiance remained a mystery to astronomers. The Sun is the only object in the solar system that produces its own visible light. All others reflect the light of the Sun. What unique trait of the Sun enables it to shine upon the other objects in the solar system?

Today, astronomers assure us that the most fundamental question is answered. The Sun is a thermonuclear furnace. The ball of gas is so large that astronomers envision pressures and densities within its core sufficient to generate temperatures of about 16 million K—producing a continuous “controlled” nuclear reaction.

Most astronomers and astrophysicists investigating the Sun are so convinced of the fusion model that only the rarest among them will countenance challenges to the underlying idea. Standard textbooks and institutional research, complemented by a chorus of scientific and popular media, “ratify” the fusion model of the Sun year after year by ignoring evidence to the contrary.

A growing group of independent researchers, however, insists that the popular idea is incorrect. These researchers say that the Sun is electric. It is a glow discharge fed by galactic currents. And they emphasize that the fusion model anticipated none of the milestone discoveries about the Sun, while the electric model predicts and explains the very observations that posed the greatest quandaries for solar investigation.

More than 60 years ago, Dr. Charles E. R. Bruce, of the Electrical Research Association in England, offered a new perspective on the Sun. An electrical researcher, astronomer, and expert on the effects of lightning, Bruce proposed in 1944 that 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 the most positively charged object in the solar system, the center of a radial electric field. This field, he said, lies within a larger galactic field. With this hypothesis, Juergens became the first to make the theoretical leap to an external power source of the Sun.

Juergens proposed that the Sun is the focus of a "coronal glow discharge" fed by galactic currents. 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 nearly neutral, with almost equal numbers of protons and electrons.


In this view, the charge differential at the Earth’s distance from the Sun is smaller than our present ability to measure—perhaps one or two electrons per cubic meter. But the charge density is far higher closer to the Sun, and at the solar corona and surface the electric field is of sufficient strength to generate all of the energetic phenomena we observe.

Today, the electrical theorists Wallace Thornhill and Donald Scott urge a critical comparison of the fusion model and the electrical model.


Given what we now know about the Sun,

  • Which model meets the tests of unity, coherence, simplicity, and predictability?

  • Why did so many discoveries surprise investigators and even contradict the expectations of the fusion model?

  • Is there any fundamental feature of the Sun that contradicts the glow discharge hypothesis?

Our closer looks at the Sun have revealed the pervasive influence of magnetic fields, which are the effect of electric currents. Sunspots, prominences, coronal mass ejections, and a host of other features require ever more complicated guesswork on behalf of the fusion model. But this is the way an anode in a coronal glow discharge behaves!

In the electrical model, the Sun is the “anode” or positively charged body in the electrical exchange, while the "cathode" or negatively charged contributor is not a discrete object, but the invisible “virtual cathode” at the limit of the Sun’s coronal discharge. (Coronal discharges can sometimes be seen as a glow surrounding high-voltage transmission wires, where the wire discharges into the surrounding air). This virtual cathode lies far beyond the planets. In the lexicon of astronomy, this is the “heliopause.” In electrical terms, it is the cellular sheath or “double layer” separating the plasma cell that surrounds the Sun ("heliosphere”) from the enveloping galactic plasma.

In an electric universe, such cellular forms are expected between regions of dissimilar plasma properties. According to the glow discharge model of the Sun, almost the entire voltage difference between the Sun and its galactic environment occurs across the thin boundary sheath of the heliopause. Inside the heliopause there is a weak but constant radial electrical field centered on the Sun. A weak electric field, immeasurable locally with today's instruments but cumulative across the vast volume of space within the heliosphere, is sufficient to power the solar discharge.

The visible component of a coronal glow discharge occurs above the anode, often in layers. The Sun’s red chromosphere is part of this discharge. (Unconsciously, it seems, the correct electrical engineering term was applied to the Sun’s corona.) Correspondingly, the highest particle energies are not at the photosphere but above it. The electrical theorists see the Sun as a perfect example of this characteristic of glow discharges—a radical contrast to the expected dissipation of energy from the core outward in the fusion model of the Sun.

At about 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the photosphere or visible surface, we find the coldest measurable temperature, about 4400 degrees K. Moving upward, the temperature then rises steadily to about 20,000 degrees K at the top of the chromosphere, some 2200 kilometers (1200 miles) above the Sun's surface. Here it abruptly jumps hundreds of thousands of degrees, then continues slowly rising, eventually reaching 2 million degrees in the corona. Even at a distance of one or two solar diameters, ionized oxygen atoms reach 200 million degrees!

In other words the “reverse temperature gradient,” while meeting the tests of the glow discharge model, contradicts every original expectation of the fusion model.

But this is only the first of many enigmas and contradictions facing the fusion hypothesis. As astronomer Fred Hoyle pointed out years ago, with the strong gravity and the mere 5,800-degree temperature at the surface, the Sun’s atmosphere should be only a few thousand kilometers thick, according to the “gas laws” astrophysicists typically apply to such bodies. Instead, the atmosphere balloons out to 100,000 kilometers, where it heats up to a million degrees or more. From there, particles accelerate out among the planets in defiance of gravity. Thus the planets, Earth included, could be said to orbit inside the Sun's diffuse atmosphere.

The discovery that blasts of particles escape the Sun at an estimated 400- to 700-kilometers per second came as an uncomfortable surprise for advocates of the nuclear powered model. Certainly, the “pressure” of sunlight cannot explain the acceleration of the solar “wind”. In an electrically neutral, gravity-driven universe, particles were not hot enough to escape such massive bodies, which (in the theory) are attractors only. And yet, the particles of the solar wind continue to accelerate past Venus, Earth, and Mars. Since these particles are not miniature “rocket ships,” this acceleration is the last thing one should expect!

According to the electric theorists, a weak electric field, focused on the Sun, better explains the acceleration of the charged particles of the solar wind. Electric fields accelerate charged particles. And just as magnetic fields are undeniable witnesses to the presence of electric currents, particle acceleration is a good measure of the strength of an electric field.

A common mistake made by critics of the electric model is to assume that the radial electric field of the Sun should be not only measurable but also strong enough to accelerate electrons toward the Sun at “relativistic” speeds (up to 300,000 kilometers per second). By this argument, we should find electrons not only zipping past our instruments but also creating dramatic displays in Earth’s night sky.

But as noted above, in the plasma glow-discharge model the interplanetary electric field will be extremely weak. No instrument placed in space could measure the radial voltage differential across a few tens of meters, any more than it could measure the solar wind acceleration over a few tens of meters. But we can observe the solar wind acceleration over tens of millions of kilometers, confirming that the electric field of the Sun, though imperceptible in terms of volts per meter, is sufficient to sustain a powerful drift current across interplanetary space. Given the massive volume of this space, the implied current is quite sufficient to power the Sun.

Look for more details on the drift current, solar magnetic fields, nuclear reactions, and many other features of the Sun in upcoming Pictures of the Day.

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The Wayward Sun

by Rens van der Sluijs
Jan 07, 2005

from Thuntherbolts Website


ABOVE: Our Milky Way Galaxy as photographed in Infrared by NASA's COBE Spaceprobe.

The sun courses along the zodiac and has no direct connection to the Milky Way. Yet various cultures claim that the sun formerly moved on the Milky Way. This theme is particularly prominent in tropical Africa. For example, the west-equatorial Pygmies assert that the Milky Way is Kmvum's or Mvum's road to the sun in order to renew himself.


They call it dzi ko or nwa ko, "road" or "path of the sky".


The Rundi tighten the connection of the Milky Way and the sun even further, calling the Milky Way inzira y'izuba, "the sun's track". On condition that such folkloristic "wisdom" is not always meaningless, a possible explanation for such traditions could be that they preserve memories of some other bright object moving over the Milky Way, an object bright enough to qualify as a sun.


This solution is recommended by the version of the Fiote of the Loango Coast, that involves a large luminary other than the sun journeying over the Milky Way:

"The Star Way [Galaxy] is the road for a funeral procession of a huge star which, once, shone brighter from the sky than the Sun."

That such curious traditions can hardly be dismissed as nonsensical oddities follows from the existence of a precise parallel within the confines of ancient Greece. Among the most obscure elements of the teaching of the Pythagoreans, including Philoponus, Oenopides and Metrodorus of Chios, was the belief that the sun was once on a different course: the Milky Way.


This former sun was identified as Phaethon. Phaethon, of course, was the tragic hero who aspired to succeed his father Helius, the sun, but failed to manage the solar chariot and fell from the sky amid a catastrophic fire that set the world ablaze. Aristotle and a handful of later authors identify Phaethon the mock sun as the luminary that moved on the Milky Way.


Aristotle wrote:

"The so-called Pythagoreans give two explanations. Some say that the Milky Way is the path taken by one of the stars at the time of the legendary fall of Phaethon: others say that it is the circle in which the sun once moved. And the region is supposed to have been scorched or affected in some other such way as a result of the passage of these bodies."

The above is just one of scores of anomalous yet universal themes that cry out for an explanation. It is likely that the "sun" and the "Milky Way" were metaphoric replacements of some other objects formerly observed in the sky that are currently lost. For example, the former "sun" could have been a giant comet, as the Jesuit scholar Kugler proposed long ago, and the "Milky Way" that was produced in its trail could be based on an increased zodiacal light, such as proposed by Clube et al. Alternative explanations can be proposed.


The plasma model advocated on this website includes the possibility that many myths trace to an episode in which the magnetosphere of the earth was once visibly glowing as a semi-permanent “aurora”.


If such conditions really prevailed in the Holocenic past, it stands to reason that myths of a former sun treading the Galaxy derived from genuine memories of a turbulent sky.

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The Pedestal of the Sun

by Rens van der Sluijs

Dec 14, 2004

from Thuntherbolts Website

The image shown here is described as a "drum pilaster capped with a wheel". It was produced in the 3rd century A. D. in the north-Indian settlement of Amaravati. The so-called "wheel of the law" on the top of the column was a popular Vedic expression of the supreme sun god.


Ananda Coomaraswamy, one of the best authorities in the field of Buddhist iconography, explained that this and similar images portrayed Buddha in his aspect as a pillar of fire, surmounted by a central sun.


The relief is relatively late and could easily be dismissed as an interesting curiosity, were it not that some of the earliest civilizations spoke of the first sun in similar terms.

Some passages of the old Egyptian Pyramid Texts make it clear that the sun god Ra‘ was located in the circumpolar region of the sky. This is odd considering that the sun never ventures close to the pole. Even stranger is the tendency to place this sun god on the summit of an elongated object.


At Hermopolis, the sun god was represented as standing on the primordial mound, which was the Egyptian version of the cosmic mountain as the first object to be created. At Heliopolis, the sun god was held to rise daily from the fire that burned at dawn on the top of the holy sky-filling Ashet - or Persea-tree. In this capacity, the sun god was better known as the Benu or Bennu, the solar bird rendered Phoenix in Greek.


And an informative, yet cryptic paean to Ra‘ composed in Thebes attributes the cycle of day and night to the sun god's entry and exit of his "circle". The reference to the deity's outstretched wings shows that this circle must be thought of as the ring one sees in the image of the winged disc.


Moreover, this winged disc is located on top of a pillar:

"Thou spreadest out thy wings …
… thou performest thy acts of creation in thy Great Disk.
Praise be unto thee, O Ra, exalted Power, thou World-soul who
resteth on his high place …
… Thou sendest light unto thy Circle, thou makest darkness to be in thy
Circle …thou enterest thy Circle...
… Thou goest in and comest out, thou comest out and goest in to thy
hidden Circle …
… lord of souls who art in the house of thine obelisk … Sphinx-god,
Obelisk-god …"

There is no escaping the fact that the composer of this hymn thought of Ra‘ as the winged red disc placed motionless "on his high place", the obelisk. This means that the subject of veneration here and in those passages in the Pyramid Texts was another sun than the ordinary sun which crosses the sky.


It appears that the earliest form of the sun god worshipped by the Egyptians was a radiant, stationary sphere placed atop a glowing column. Only in subsequent times was this sun god assimilated to our revolving sun.

This analysis is supported by a multitude of similar accounts found in early sources from around the world. In many cases the abode of the motionless sun and his pedestal is identified as the cosmic centre and the axis mundi. For example, one of the sacred Indian writings asserts that the sun 'never leaves Meru' and an epigraphical text describes Meru as the support of the sun.


Meru was the Vedic equivalent of the cosmic mountain, which was explicitly located at the polar centre of the earth. The upshot is that the archetype of the stationary sun is best explained as a memory of a luminous object that appeared for some time on the axis mundi. But this requires that the ancients experienced a different, more turbulent sky than the one presently seen.

The model advocated here involves the hypothesis that the cosmic axis was once visible as a stupendous, heaven-reaching column in the "centre" of the world. It was formed of glowing plasma that was produced by high-energy disturbances in the geomagnetic field and an increased influx of charged particles from the solar wind.


Plasma physicist Anthony Peratt has produced a detailed analysis of the evolutionary sequence of this plasma column. His research indicates that the topmost toroids of the column at some point merge and produce the image of a cusp or cup enclosing a central sphere.


This central sphere bears all the hallmarks of the stationary sun born of the "lotus flower" that the myths hint at.

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