Martian glass: Window into possible past life?

June 8, 2015
Researchers have found deposits of impact glass preserved in Martian craters like Alga (above) using data from NASA's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). Green indicates the presence of glass. (Blues are pyroxene; reds are olivine.) Such deposits could be a good place to look for signs of past life. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/University of Arizona

Researchers from Brown University have used satellite data to detect deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. Though formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, the glasses just might provide a delicate window into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet.

Over the last few years, several research groups have shown that, here on Earth, ancient biosignatures can be preserved in impact . One of those studies, led by Brown geologist Peter Schultz and published last year, found organic molecules and even plant matter entombed in glass formed by an impact that occurred millions of years ago in Argentina. Schultz suggested that similar processes might preserve signs of life on Mars, if indeed they were present at the time of an impact.

"The work done by Pete and others showed us that glasses are potentially important for preserving biosignatures. Knowing that, we wanted to go look for them on Mars and that's what we did here," said Kevin Cannon, a Ph.D. student at Brown and the lead author of the new research. "Before this paper no one had been able to definitively detect them on the surface."

Cannon and co-author Jack Mustard, professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences at Brown, showed that large glass deposits are present in several ancient yet well-preserved craters scattered across the Martian surface. The study suggests that glass deposits are relatively common impact features on Mars and could be targets for future exploration.

The research is published online in the journal Geology.

A possible Martian site (white circle) is the Nili Fossae trough. The blue-tinted Hargraves crater at the right (blue indicates a low topography) is known to contain impact glass. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University

Picking out the glassy deposits was no easy task. To identify minerals and rock types remotely, scientists measure the spectra of light reflected off the planet's surface. But impact glass doesn't have a particularly strong spectral signal.

"Glasses tend to be spectrally bland or weakly expressive, so signatures from the glass tend to be overwhelmed by the chunks of rock mixed in with it," Mustard said. "But Kevin found a way to tease that signal out."

In the lab, Cannon mixed together powders with a similar composition of Martian rocks and fired them in an oven to form glass. He then measured the spectral signal from that glass. Once he had the signal from the lab glass, he used an algorithm designed to pick out similar signals in data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), which flies aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Mustard is the deputy principal investigator for the instrument.

The technique was able to pinpoint deposits around several crater central peaks, the craggy mounds that often form in the center of a crater during a large impact. The fact that the deposits were found on central peaks is a good indicator that they have an impact origin.

Knowing that impact glass can preserve ancient signs of life—and now knowing that such deposits exist on the Martian surface today—opens a potential new strategy in the search for ancient Martian life, the researchers say.

"We think these could be interesting targets for future exploration," Mustard said. In fact, Mustard and Cannon have a particular spot in mind.

One of the craters found to contain glass is called Hargraves, and it's located near the Nili Fossae trough, a 400-mile-long depression that stretches across the Martian surface. The region is one of the leading landing site contenders for the Mars 2020 rover, a mission that aims to cache soil and rock samples for possible future return to Earth.

Nili Fossae trough is already of scientific interest because the crust in the region is thought to date from when Mars was a much wetter place. The region is also rife with what appear to be ancient hydrothermal fractures, warm vents that could have provided energy for life to thrive just beneath the surface.

"If you had an impact that dug in and sampled that subsurface environment, it's possible that some of it might be preserved in a glassy component," Mustard said. "That makes this a pretty compelling place to go look around, and possibly return a sample."

Explore further: Meteorite may represent 'bulk background' of Mars' battered crust

More information: Preserved Glass-rich Impactites on Mars, Geology, geology.gsapubs.org/content/ea … 04/G36953.1.abstract

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Careaga
3 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2015
In a 1966 sci-fi short, "Light of Other Days," Bob Shaw created "slow glass"
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2015
I must have missed it.
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2015
Impacts don't form glass, electric discharge forms glass. Whether on Earth or Mars.
denglish
5 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2015
Impacts don't form glass, electric discharge forms glass. Whether on Earth or Mars.

Wrong. Glass is formed under high temperature.
Vietvet
5 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2015
"diaplectic glass — A natural glass formed by shock tranformation from any of several minerals without melting. It is found only in association with meteorite impact craters and crater ejecta."
http://www.lpi.us...ry.shtml

"The scorching heat produced by asteroid or comet impacts can melt tons of soil and rock, some of which forms glass as it cools"
https://news.brow...actglass

"Despite its size, clues about the crater weren't found until 1983, when a layer of fused glass beads indicating an impact were recovered as part of a core sample. The site itself wasn't found until nearly a decade later."
http://www.space....cts.html

@cantdrive

Learn more at:https://www.googl...steroids
Solon
1 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2015
How does lightning make glass?
http://sciencelin...key=2119
Lex Talonis
5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2015
Life has been found on Marrs years ago...

Duh.

https://www.youtu...y7v30FOg

Gilbert Levin, Arizona State University and former team leader of the Viking Mars Landing mission, presents the argument that their 1976 experiment with the Viking lander discovered life on Mars.
This speech was delivered at the 2013 Humans to Mars Summit, May 7 at George Washington University.

For more see, http://www.gillev...mars.htm
Vietvet
4.5 / 5 (8) Jun 09, 2015
How does lightning make glass?
http://sciencelin...key=2119


The only type of glass made by lighting are fulgurites and are nothing like the glass made by impacts.

http://en.wikiped...ulgurite
HannesAlfven
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2015
Declarations that glass can only be formed from messy impacts appear to completely ignore the existence of the Libyan Desert Glass here on Earth, which for anybody who takes the time to look will discover that it is far too pure for an impact.
jonesdave
4.5 / 5 (8) Jun 09, 2015
Declarations that glass can only be formed from messy impacts appear to completely ignore the existence of the Libyan Desert Glass here on Earth, which for anybody who takes the time to look will discover that it is far too pure for an impact.


I think you need to read this: http://www.scienc...13004998
barakn
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 09, 2015
...the Libyan Desert Glass here on Earth... is far too pure for an impact. -HannesAlfven

The best theory to fit the evidence is of a comet exploding in mid-air, not an impact, so apparently you have erected a strawman to beat lightly.
Solon
1 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2015
Declarations that glass can only be formed from messy impacts appear to completely ignore the existence of the Libyan Desert Glass here on Earth, which for anybody who takes the time to look will discover that it is far too pure for an impact.


I also have samples of yellow and green glass taken from peaks in the Pacific Northwest. The peaks are not shattered as would happen with arc mode discharge, and these glass patches will be formed when the vertical electric field gradient is sufficient for glow (observed) and dark mode discharges.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2015
I think you need to read this


If your claim is that a z-pinch cannot create diamonds, then please use the language of plasma physics to make your claim ... because what you seem to be suggesting is that there is only way to create a diamond.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2015
The best theory to fit the evidence is of a comet exploding in mid-air, not an impact, so apparently you have erected a strawman to beat lightly.

For those who are not subject to hypotheses -- but rather judge competing hypotheses as objects -- "best" or "simplest" are both relative terms that entirely depend upon the initial hypothesis. When people claim that there is only one "best" or "simplest" answer to controversies like this one where there are quite obviously two competing worldviews at play, it's truthfully a tell that they do not understand the underlying concepts sufficient to back out of the one worldview they have permitted themselves to learn. Psychologists call this a "socialized mindset"; be aware that there are two levels of thought above this:

... the self-transforming mindset (where people learn to question the dominant view), and
... the self-authoring mindset (where peole learn to question their own views)
barakn
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 10, 2015

If your claim is that a z-pinch cannot create diamonds, then please use the language of plasma physics to make your claim ... because what you seem to be suggesting is that there is only way to create a diamond.

No, as usual your reading comprehension is abysmal. The delta 13 C values for the nanodiamonds were outside of terrestrial limits as well as bearing non-terrestrial signatures in trapped noble gases. The nanodiamonds are clearly from an extraterrestrial object that plummeted into our atmosphere, regardless of how they got made.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2015
The delta 13 C values for the nanodiamonds were outside of terrestrial limits as well as bearing non-terrestrial signatures in trapped noble gases. The nanodiamonds are clearly from an extraterrestrial object that plummeted into our atmosphere, regardless of how they got made.


Why, again, would such observations disqualify a large-scale electrical event? Your approach is to simply point to observations, but what is the argument -- based upon observations of laboratory z-pinches -- that such observations cannot be explained? It is not enough to simply point to observations. If your objective is to rule out the alternative cosmology, then you need to actually explain why you are able to do that.

From what I am gathering, you do not imagine that you actually have to understand the paradigm you are trying to discount. For those you are arguing against, this is far more obvious than you imagine.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2015
It might help to take a closer look at Herschel's recent definitive observations that matter can be accreted along filaments ...

From http://sci.esa.in...lky-way/

"astronomers have detected what appear to be accretion flows, with the most prominent filaments drawing matter from their surroundings through a network of smaller filaments. A striking example of such processes is seen in the Taurus Molecular Cloud, where the B211/B213 filament exhibits a series of so-called 'striations' perpendicular to the main filament."

Given that gravity is not at all prone to forming branching filamentary structures, can you observe from this quote why you are not able to disqualify electricity as a cause for these gases and nanodiamonds?

Not only can z-pinches create the nanodiamonds, but these filaments can accrete and transport any gas that might be observed.

This is what plasmas do when they become highly charged.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2015
Now, who again has the reading problem? And what again is the actual point of your disparaging comments on physorg in light of your own refusal to clue into the implications of recent observations?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2015
What is the value that you provide, barakn, beyond reminding us of the dominant view? From what I can gather, you simply create an enormous amount of noise on issues you've put no effort into understanding. People have to wade though this mess you create. Can you explain why you thought that nanodiamonds and gases ruled out an electrical plasma inference?

You could opt to simply speak to your knowledge, but you consistently extend your comments beyond your actual knowledge. Why?

Please stop this pretense of knowledge.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2015
No doubt you are trying to figure out some reason to disbelieve the ESA Herschel results right now. But, as you are noticing, the findings are far more supportive of electrical cosmology than I let on. You surely want to say that the filaments are caused by dark matter, but that would expose your bias against the more classical inference of electricity in space -- which I suspect you by now fully realize also forms branching filaments.
Captain Stumpy
4.5 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2015
the more classical inference of electricity in space
@hannes
you mean like the "electric sun"??

http://www.tim-th...sun.html

or do you mean like cd's conjectures about moon craters, the grand canyon, and Shoemaker-Levy 9 ??

perhaps you are referring to the argument that your "eu" is more predictive and knowledgeable of stars and our Sun than modern helioseismology?

and knows more about the Sun than the published studies by astrophysicists?
(as cd has claimed)

perhaps you mean the "eu" position on black holes?

please be more specific so that we can actually know what you are referring to:

especially the evidence proving eu to be superior to the existing models and knowledge as utilized by modern astrophysicists

there are SO MANY claims from the acolytes of eu here!

thanks!
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2015
Wow, all over the map there.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2015
Stumpy, are you also going to pretend that Herschel has not confirmed ubiquitous filaments? Or, do you prefer to call them dark matter filaments?
Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2015
Wow, all over the map there.
@alfven
not really... i am trying to get you to produce "the more classical inference of electricity in space" proof... you made the claim, but you didn't provide validation or links

historically, your posts lack references to legitimate science (Except your argument about style of thinking blah blah blah, but that is also debatable)

SO please clarify - and validate - your claims
thanks
Stumpy, are you also going to pretend that Herschel
i'm not going to pretend or even conjecture on it yet as i've not finished reading it
Also, i've not completed my investigations into Herschel (and your link), either

Until i can get validation of the claims, i will not make any statements about it

Also, this is how i view ALL science

just because a study/paper/claim is made, it doesn't mean it is valid:
validation is a process
not just a claim
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2015
Re: "Until i can get validation of the claims, i will not make any statements about it"

You keep waiting for that.

Meanwhile, in this particular lifetime ...

"Herschel is the only space observatory to cover a spectral range from the far infrared to sub-millimetre."
animah
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2015
electric discharge forms glass

Wow, I didn't know the manufacturing process behind my glass objects required electric discharges!

HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2015
Wow, I didn't know the manufacturing process behind my glass objects required electric discharges!

Do you have anything of substance to add to the conversation?
Vietvet
4.5 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2015
Wow, I didn't know the manufacturing process behind my glass objects required electric discharges!

Do you have anything of substance to add to the conversation?


Do you have anything besides pseudoscience to offer?
TehDog
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2015
There's a striking absence of numbers in this thread. I wonder why?
mreda14
1 / 5 (1) Jun 11, 2015
"The scorching heat produced by asteroid or comet impacts can melt tons of soil and rock, some of which forms glass as it cools"
I mean if it can melt soil and rock , what about any organic compound present. I would say these organic compounds would be disintegrated. The formation of such glass could have been formed only 10 years ago by impact of an asteroid on crater formed by another previous asteroid impact of different origin.formed few 1000 years ago.

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
animah
5 / 5 (7) Jun 12, 2015
I would say these organic compounds would be disintegrated

I understand your surprise, but the reason for their conjecture is that organic material has already been found in meteor impact glass on Earth. See for example:

http://www.astrob...d-glass/
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Jun 12, 2015
You keep waiting for that
@hannes
unlike you and your reptilian brain, i don't assume something is correct without validation
I also don't take someone's word just because

like i told you time and again, i am an investigator:
unless i can validate something, then i don't speculate on the answers because it causes BIAS (in fact, your "brain" thought process study actually talks about this, or did you miss that?)

just because you want something to be true doesn't mean it is true, real, valid or in any way reality, hannes

what i require is something more substantial than YOUR bias confirmation or someone's word

singular studies are not necessarily valid, regardless of the great math or hard work involved - until it is validated by other sources and repeated, etc,

this is the biggest, most prevalent plague of eu and pseudoscience

you got conned because you trusted the person conning you
barakn
4.6 / 5 (9) Jun 12, 2015
Why, again, would such observations disqualify a large-scale electrical event? -HA
I never said they did. But the evidence shows a comet-type impactor was involved. If you want to add a lightning bolt to the comet, go ahead.
From what I am gathering, you do not imagine that you actually have to understand the paradigm you are trying to discount. For those you are arguing against, this is far more obvious than you imagine.
Don't try to imagine what's going on in my head. I've been studying EU arguments for years. There's actually very little to it because there is no rigorous theoretical framework, no mathematical structure to it. Physics became a mature, quantitative theory centuries ago. The merits of various alternative theories can be weighed by measuring -quantitatively - how closely they come to observations. Much of EU "theory" consists of conflating analogy for reality. It looks somewhat like a z-pinch, so it must be a z-pinch!
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2015
The Sun's calculated internal temperature actually corresponds to the CNO cycle, and not the proton chain. CNO are much heavier than H and He, so it is easy to see how the interior of the Sun could in fact have more of CNO than H and He. Either way, the interior is tens of times denser than terrestrial iron, so the density alone gives no clue of what it's made of. Heavier, denser elements would be more likely to sink than would be Hydrogen and Helium, therefore if we see an abudance of H and He on the surface does not prove that the interior is primarily composed of those two elements.

We can see that the standard model of the Sun is found lacking some things, and again the evidence for this si that the calculated internal temperature corresponds to the CNO cycle.

What does this have to do with Mars? Not much, EXCEPT that it shows how fallacious are many scientific theories which are scandalously taught as "settled" and borderline "law".
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2015
Looking for microbial fossils encased in glass from a volcano or meteorite would seem to be quite a lot harder and luck-based as compared to finding an insect or frog encased in Amber.

Expecting to find such a fossil or its chemical signature via a few robots dropped in ancient impact craters is really quite foolish and naive.
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
Anywhere there is a useful form of energy which can be converted to work in a controlled manner, and there is a stable form of chemistry to make mechanisms which can use that energy in a controlled manner, I suppose some manner of life could be sustained. However, claiming such a life form is inevitable or that it happens by random chance, such as in abiogenesis, that is nonsense.

I think some of you grew up taking Star Trek too literally, assuming there would be life on every planet and asteroid in the universe just because you saw it on television.

Star Trek had one thing right when they produced the idea of the "Crystal Entity", a super-advanced life form so alien that it was inherently dangerous to all other life forms, because it grew by absorbing the energy.

It seems to me that an alien life form is just as likely to be something like the Crystal Entity as anything else we could imagine.
Returners
1 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2015
Consider this:
On Earth there is one group we call "life" (a Dominion) and it is composed of cells with lipid membranes. Viruses share every characteristic of "life" except that they cannot reproduce 100% on their own, and they have a protein capsule instead of a membrane. The protein capsule serves most of the same functions, separating the DNA/RNA from the surrounding environment to isolate chemistry, but the difference is a Virus can't reproduce on its own. Well, so what? A human can't reproduce on their own either, they need a mate.

Almost every morphological form one can imagine exists on Earth, either in the fossil record or else still alive on Earth today, particularly in the deep ocean where there are animal life forms which don't have brains as we know them, but yet are motile and have tentacles or other apendages to move around, grasp the floor of the ocean or their prey, bodies that are essentially all mouth and stomach and swallow prey whole, etc, etc.
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
I find that interesting that such a primitive being which has neither eyes nor brain can nevertheless capture and eat fish through both passive and active predation.

Bear that in mind, whoever may be the first astronauts in the far flung future to set foot on an exoplanet. The Sarlac from Star Wars is not an exaggeration, as so many life forms on Earth, in the ocean, follow a very similar model, such as tube worms and shellfish, and countless creatures who's names are forgotten because nobody ever talks about them.

If you set down on such a planet, and there is a forest, or a river, or a lake, be afraid, be very afraid, especially if there is a forest. If there is a forest there is likely something that eats plants, and if there is something that eats plants, there is likely something that eats mankind, and we know that some plants have various forms of predation.

What do you do if there is a Rancor on your exoplanet? You are lunch, that's what.
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
Sound far-fetched, but the Rancor and the Sarlac are actually two of the most realistic aliens in the history of science fiction. You are much more likely to encounter something like that, rather than a peaceful, intelligent mentor alien who wants to teach you the secrets of the universe.

Predators that size lived on Earth on land 65 million years ago, and there are still a few aquatic predators about that size, but not as smart.

On the other hand, you might also encounter fields of acid-producing bacteria-like organisms who metabolize Chlorine and make HCl. Be careful your equipment doesn't get dissolved by their waste products. Yes, there are bacteria like that on Earth in some remote caves; Very nasty stuff that is so alien you could die just from accidentally falling in a pool of water with it.
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
"1" me person.

Do you really want to find alien life?

I'm describing to you life which is already "alien" and exists and originated right here on Earth, and some of it is just as creepy as the fictional monsters in movies.

Imagine, you are an astronaut landing on an exomoon which has forests of some sort of apparently tree-like life form. You land on the surface and begin exploring the area. The atmosphere seems breathable. You decide to climb one of the "trees" to get a better vantage point. About 20 feet up your hand touches something soft and sticky. You come trapped in your position. It seems the forest floor is rising to meet you, and you look around and notice you are caught in a carnivorous plant, closing on top of you. It was too big and alien to be recognized as such by you, because it was disguised as part of the forest floor.

That's alien, but all I did was scale up a real-world organism from Earth.
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
See? You don't really want to find alien life, it'll scare the hell out of you.

I encountered an alien being like the "grey", but a little different, one time in a dream about a year and a half or two ago. Nothing too big of a deal, it was similar to any other night terror, except this time it was like this:

I woke up, but was actually still in a dream lying in bed. I was paralyzed, so it could be a hypnogogic dream, or it could be more, I don't claim to know, but alongside of the bed was this humanoid being which was greyish and maybe a tint of brown, big eyes and a small mouth. It wasn't as disproportionate as the classical gray you see on television alien conspiracy shows, but they eyes were large, dark and almond shaped. It also had tentacles, more like the Independence Day alien, and it grabbed me with one of the tentacles. Then I tried to ask what it wanted. It replied simply, "Aliens are destroying your people," and then the dream ended.
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
I have wondered whether the dream is symbolic of something like illegal aliens or other immigrants, as the term "alien" can just mean a foreigner, but then why would my mind project an illegal alien onto a space alien if it was just a dream? If it was not just a dream, but a divine message of some sort, then it would seem that one group of alien beings was informing me that another group of aliens is hurting humanity.

The reply was not spoken by the alien. The reply was communicated to me telepathically and I felt my own lips speak the words of its reply out loud.

Whether or not this experience was real, I am glad it happened while I was asleep, because had it happened whilst I was awake I would have most likely shit myself.

If we take the dream literally, it indicates that there really is some sort of war being waged between two or more races of alien beings, one associated with "angels" and the other associated with "demons", and they are not just "big humans in the sky".
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
Whatever they are, whether they can pass between planets and dimensions "spiritually" without the aid of technology, or whether they are just two ridiculously advanced flesh and blood alien races, I don't know, but which ever is the case, they are so far advanced beyond human beings as to be a joke.

Their minds are ridiculously powerful. That thing spoke through me as if I were but an extension of its own will, like beyond Jedi mind trick level.

Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
Like for example, you can't actually verify what their physical bodies look like. If they are communicating telepathically then they are just using an image that we understand when we see them, but for all I know their true form may be quite different. Maybe that's what they really look like, or maybe the "alien" just used that form because it knew that was a meme in our culture now. If you were to read the Bible, you'll find that "angels" appeared as "men", but there was some quality about them that viewers allegedly recognized as not being human. You'll also find other types of "angels" which took the appearance of animals, or a being covered in eyes, etc. This is a symbol of some sort to communicate to that culture what they understand. We have the idea of a space alien developed now, so the being, whatever it is, used the image of a space alien to communicate. Maybe that's what it actually looks like, but I don't think so. It just picked an image that captures the concept.
Returners
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2015
No comment though, "1".

Hehe.

I didn't believe in space aliens either before this happened. I thought there was no way the aliens could be coming here in ships from another star, because I figured the fuel costs would be too much given even anti-matter, but apparently they travel here using some method that is so advanced that it costs them next to nothing to come here.

I don't know whether they warp space and time and come through a wormhole, or they teleport here somehow, or maybe they aren't physically here at all, maybe the telepathy is able to communicate all the way from another star system.
barakn
4 / 5 (8) Jun 15, 2015
It might help to take a closer look at Herschel's recent definitive observations that matter can be accreted along filaments ...

From http://sci.esa.in...lky-way/
-Hannes Alfven

From the same link: "But there is more: these observations revealed that filaments, which may extend to several light-years in length, appear to have a universal width of about one third of a light year. This suggests that something fundamental is lurking underneath." And yet the Church of EU has always insisted that electrical phenomena are scalable from the smallest lab experiment to the largest galaxy cluster. The universal width of filaments flies in the face of this notion. And it adds a note of comic relief to the idea that one of these squeezed itself down from 1/3 ly to several hundred miles so that it could target a rather boring section of the Libyan desert.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2015
Re: "And yet the Church of EU has always insisted that electrical phenomena are scalable from the smallest lab experiment to the largest galaxy cluster. The universal width of filaments flies in the face of this notion."

This is painful to read. You're just trying way too hard to not understand. After all, lightning itself has a typical width.

And to be clear, the filamentary nature of plasmas is indeed fundamental. It's even observed in Tokamaks.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2015
Re: "Don't try to imagine what's going on in my head. I've been studying EU arguments for years. There's actually very little to it because there is no rigorous theoretical framework, no mathematical structure to it. Physics became a mature, quantitative theory centuries ago. The merits of various alternative theories can be weighed by measuring -quantitatively - how closely they come to observations. Much of EU "theory" consists of conflating analogy for reality. It looks somewhat like a z-pinch, so it must be a z-pinch!"

Yes, and there have been vocal critics of this highly mathematical approach to astrophysics for centuries now, as it is often to the detriment of experimental observations.

See the historical review by Rens van der Sluijs at https://www.thund...ought-2/

It's not that people have not tried to model the plasmas. It's that the plasmas have resisted the best attempts by all.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2015
I've yet to see any of the critics of the Electric Universe take a break from their never-ending quest to sideline the legacies of Alfven and Birkeland sufficient to explain how to mathematically model a non-homogeneous, branching filamentary medium which can switch between quiescent gravitational and the far more dynamic electromagnetic modes. If this is truthfully a failure of the current electrical cosmology group, then where are these models which are apparently so easy to build? I've not myself seen any similar model.

To my eye, a lot of time is being wasted with crude critiques by people who themselves are incapable of solving the very problems which the electrical cosmologists are struggling to model, themselves. The real issues only pop up when the models derive from actual astronomical or laboratory observations.
barakn
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 17, 2015
Buried in your word salad I see one strong thread. You have no explanation for the universal 1/3 light year width of filaments in Herschel data, so you instead deny that quantitative measurements have value. As for the paper https://www.thund...ought-2/ , the author's thesis is that math is wrongly displacing observation. However, we are discussing Herschel data, a triumph of observation of infrared and submillimeter wavelengths normally obscured by our atmosphere. So let's try this. Give us your best qualitative, non-mathematical, hand-wavy explanation for why these filaments have a preferred width.
JeanTate
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 17, 2015
@HannesAlfven:
Given that gravity is not at all prone to forming branching filamentary structures
Wrong. See, for example, astro-ph/0504097
[re Herschel observations] can you observe from this quote why you are not able to disqualify electricity as a cause for these gases
Easy. Per Peratt, the filaments are Birkeland currents (plus, perhaps, pinches), and emit a great deal of synchrotron radiation (Ref: e.g. Peratt 1986, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science V PS14). No such filamentary radiation is observed (Ref: hundreds of papers; e.g. see the Planck Collaboration papers, e.g. arXiv:1502.01588).
And to be clear, the filamentary nature of plasmas is indeed fundamental
As is its emission of synchrotron radiation. Which, to repeat, is not observed from 'the Herschel filaments'.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2015
Re: "You have no explanation for the universal 1/3 light year width of filaments in Herschel data ..."

Let me help you, as you appear to have trouble figuring out Google searches ...

Google "holoscience herschel filament". That first link has a potential answer:

"The constant width over vast distances is due to the current flowing along the Birkeland filaments, each filament constituting a part of a larger electric circuit. And in a circuit the current must be the same in the whole filament although the current density can vary in the filament due to the electromagnetic pinch effect. Therefore the electromagnetic scavenging effect on matter from the molecular cloud, called Marklund convection, is constant along each current filament, which simply explains the consistency of widths of the filaments. The stars form as plasmoids in the Bennett-pinches, also known in plasma labs on Earth as Z-pinches."
JeanTate
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
@HannesAlfven:
the current electrical cosmology group
Who (or what) is this group, may I ask?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2015
Re: "Given that gravity is not at all prone to forming branching filamentary structures ... Wrong. See, for example, astro-ph/0504097"

A sign of the times that a simulation involving a yet-undiscovered form of matter is apparently sufficient to make a case that the force of gravity is sufficient to create filamentary, branching structures even though it's fundamentally a radial force.

Re: "Easy. Per Peratt, the filaments are Birkeland currents (plus, perhaps, pinches), and emit a great deal of synchrotron radiation (Ref: e.g. Peratt 1986, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science V PS14). No such filamentary radiation is observed (Ref: hundreds of papers; e.g. see the Planck Collaboration papers, e.g. arXiv:1502.01588)."

And yet, the filaments in your novelty plasma globe are not emitting synchrotron, right? Yet, they are filaments.

Astounding!

Or, is it?

You're aware that plasmas can form filaments in a dark mode, right? It's very common.
JeanTate
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 17, 2015
@HannesAlfven:
Google [...] first link has a potential answer: [...] The stars form as plasmoids in the Bennett-pinches, also known in plasma labs on Earth as Z-pinches
Which, in those same labs, are strong emitters of sychrotron radiation. Per the scalability relations of plasmas (refs? Alfven, Peratt, et al.), it is straight-forward to estimate the expected flux of sychrotron radiation from such proposed star-forming pinches. I am not aware of anyone who has modeled this (e.g. Peratt hasn't, IIRC), can you give references please HA? As in papers, preferably published in relevant peer-reviewed journals.

True, synchrotron radiation is observed coming from star-forming regions in galaxies; however, high resolution observations, plus those within the Milky Way, show this as coming from supernovae remnants, not the locations where stars are forming.
JeanTate
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 17, 2015
@HA:
A sign of the times that a simulation involving a yet-undiscovered form of matter is apparently sufficient to make a case that the force of gravity is sufficient to create filamentary, branching structures even though it's fundamentally a radial force.
Clearly you did not understand what you read. The *simulation* makes no assumption about the form of matter; all it simulates is how a huge number of 'particles' interact, 'by gravity' alone. Did you actually read the paper?
And yet, the filaments in your novelty plasma globe are not emitting synchrotron, right? Yet, they are filaments.
But are they the Birkeland currents and pinches Alfven, Peratt, et al. write about, in their published papers?

Key question for you HA: what is the density of the gas/plasma in those globes? How does it compare with that of the Herschel filaments? Using plasma scaling relationships, can you show that these two kinds of filament are the same?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 17, 2015
It's really just incredible how much lazy, malformed noise is created in the physorg comments on the subject of plasmas. Marklund convection, synchrotron emissions and the reasons for and characteristics of filamentation in laboratory-observed plasmas are all topics I was well aware of in my first 1 or 2 years of studying these subjects as a layperson.

The approach of hypothesizing an imaginary form of matter so that gravity can remain the fundamental force, while ignoring the laboratory-observed behavior of plasmas, is a malformed approach which will obviously fail. The language used to describe the Earth-Sun environment has very steadily transitioned to E&M ever since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts. This trend is bound to continue unabated, and all of the closed-minded noises on physorg comments will mean nothing to future generations -- who will view you guys as quaint for rejecting what will be obvious to them.
JeanTate
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 17, 2015
@HA:
You're aware that plasmas can form filaments in a dark mode, right?
Tell me more please. I'm particularly keen to learn about the relationship between such filaments and those which Bostick, Peratt (and many more) studied in their labs.

Also, if plasmas can form filaments in a dark mode, what is it that is emitting the FIR/sub-mm radiation Herschel detected?
JeanTate
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
@HA:
It's really just incredible how much lazy, malformed noise is created [...] The approach of hypothesizing an imaginary form of matter so that gravity can remain the fundamental force, while ignoring the laboratory-observed behavior of plasmas [...] This trend is bound to continue unabated, and all of the closed-minded noises on physorg comments will mean nothing to future generations
This is what earned your comment my downvote.

Instead of discussing the scientific content - preferably with references to primary sources - you post an opinion?!?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 17, 2015
Re: "Clearly you did not understand what you read. The *simulation* makes no assumption about the form of matter; all it simulates is how a huge number of 'particles' interact, 'by gravity' alone. Did you actually read the paper?"

"... Here we present a novel framework for the quantitative physical interpretation of such surveys. This combines the largest simulation of the growth of dark matter structure ever carried out ..."

"... To track the formation of galaxies and quasars in the simulation, we implement a semianalytic
model to follow gas, star and supermassive black hole processes within the merger
history trees of dark matter halos and their substructures (see Supplementary Information).
The trees contain a total of about 800 million nodes, each corresponding to a dark matter
subhalo and its associated galaxies ..."

Waste of time.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2015
Re: "Also, if plasmas can form filaments in a dark mode, what is it that is emitting the FIR/sub-mm radiation Herschel detected?"

There is a lot of confusion about these emissions which stems from the fact that the astronomers and theorists working with these observations are not thinking in terms of rotating filaments with neutral cores which act as an electromagnetic ion sump on the surrounding matter. These are very complex structures which in some instances will involve multiple layers of opposite charges rotating in opposite directions. A lot of time is being wasted by people who want to find a way to dismiss the application of laboratory observations in the discipline of astrophysics. But, these people can only point to fairy tales about imagined matter to fill in the gaps they create. It's fundamentally an anti-empirical perspective which will make all of us look like fools to future generations.
JeanTate
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
@HA:
There is a lot of confusion about these emissions which stems from the fact that the astronomers and theorists working with these observations are not thinking in terms of [...] These are very complex structures which in some instances will involve[...] A lot of time is being wasted by people who want to find a way to dismiss the application of laboratory observations in the discipline of astrophysics.
Do you consider the attendees at the International Workshop on the Interrelationship between Plasma Experiments in Laboratory and Space to be wasting time? How about those who attended the LANL Plasma Astrophysics Workshop(s)? Those at PPPL, Princeton's IAS, etc (working on plasma astrophysics)? Those who are authors of KTH's Alfvén Lab publications?
JeanTate
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
@HA:
[me]Also, if plasmas can form filaments in a dark mode, what is it that is emitting the FIR/sub-mm radiation Herschel detected?
[you]There is a lot of confusion about these emissions [...] A lot of time is being wasted by people who want to find a way to dismiss the application of laboratory observations in the discipline of astrophysics. But, these people can only point to fairy tales about imagined matter to fill in the gaps they create
In other words, you don't know. Nor can you provide any references (primary sources) which address this question.

Is that correct?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2015
It really depends on whether or not their approach is fundamentally closed-minded. After all, Tim Thompson -- one of the world's fiercest critics of Electric Universe concepts -- has already admitted that large swaths of astrophysicists refuse to read IEEE's Transactions on Plasma Science. Yet, they nevertheless reserve the right to criticize the ideas.

See his admission at http://www.intern...EF%BB%BF

There exists a very lengthy history of refusing credit to Kristian Birkeland's laboratory work. See an MIT PhD recount the attempts here, at the bottom of the page ...

https://en.wikipe...hfj/test

We still do not even teach the graduate students that Alfven used the occasion of his 1970 Nobel acceptance speech to distance himself from the way in which astrophysicists were applying his models ...

https://plus.goog...uHGL16ur
JeanTate
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
For those readers who are interested in a quick overview of the scientific work being done in plasma astrophysics, the 2010 Workshop on Opportunities in Plasma Astrophysics reports are a good place to start IMHO: http://w3.pppl.go...dex.html
JeanTate
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
@HA:
[re the Millennium Simulation] Waste of time
What is the key characteristic of CDM? That it interacts only via the gravitational force.

How do the particles in the Millennium Simulation interact? Via the gravitational force alone.

What is the basis for my statement? From the paper:
Since the dominant mass component, the dark matter, is assumed to consist of weakly interacting elementary particles that interact only gravitationally, such simulations use a set of discrete point particles to represent the collisionless dark matter fluid
Would you care to try again, HA? Perhaps you could read the paper more carefully, and find the places where the simulation does something other than approximate 'gravity only' interactions between ~10^10 point particles?
JeanTate
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 17, 2015
@HA:
It really depends on whether or not their approach is fundamentally closed-minded [...] There exists a very lengthy history of refusing credit to Kristian Birkeland's laboratory work [...] We still do not even teach the graduate students that Alfven used the occasion of his 1970 Nobel acceptance speech to distance himself from the way in which astrophysicists were applying his models ...
In other words, you view Birkeland and Alfvén's work as inerrant?

No one - including Peratt, Bostick, and even Alfvén - has done laboratory work similar to that done by Birkeland?

Nothing has changed in the way astrophysicists apply Alfvén models since 1970?
JeanTate
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
@HA: I'm really struggling to understand what you are trying to convey re the 'Herschel filaments'; I hope you can clarify, please.

I've read, and re-read, your comments here, and it seems to me that what you have said boils down to something like "Herschel detected filaments, filaments are ubiquitous features of plasmas, therefore 'electricity' is the likely cause" (there was also the 'gravity alone cannot form branched filaments', but that was a statement based on ignorance, I suspect; gravity alone can do exactly that).

Is it true that your claim is based on nothing more than apparent morphological similarity?
RealityCheck
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 17, 2015
Hi cantdrive. :)
Impacts don't form glass, electric discharge forms glass. Whether on Earth or Mars.
Please don't make patently ridiculous claims like that, mate. It diminishes your credibility for when you may be correct on some point, even if you may be incorrect on other points. You know perfectly well that the necessary heat and pressure may be produced by a number of means. Even that Libyan Desert 'glass' my be either from hypatia incorporated in bolide from originating 'source' planet in destruction by early/late planetary evolution phases. Or it may have been produced on-the-spot at mid-air explosion of massive carbonaceous bolide (like some industrial/experimental explosives-compressed methods for producing unusual alloys/forms).

Please avoid being so dogmatic about your 'take' in order to 'exclude' other 'takes'. It all depends on details/conditions being observed/discussed. It's not all 'you and them' in science. Have regard for ALL the factors. :)
barakn
4 / 5 (8) Jun 18, 2015
"The constant width over vast distances is due to the current flowing along the Birkeland filaments, each filament constituting a part of a larger electric circuit. And in a circuit the current must be the same in the whole filament although the current density can vary in the filament due to the electromagnetic pinch effect. Therefore the electromagnetic scavenging effect on matter from the molecular cloud, called Marklund convection, is constant along each current filament, which simply explains the consistency of widths of the filaments.
Marklund convection occurs when the magnetic field is approximately force free, which means (amongst other things), the electric current is either zero or parallel to the magnetic field. A magnetic field produced by a current is perpendicular to the current, so you've just proclaimed that your filaments either have no current or are dominated by external magnetic fields going in the wrong direction for a z-pinch. Go fish.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2015
Re: "I've read, and re-read, your comments here, and it seems to me that what you have said boils down to something like "Herschel detected filaments, filaments are ubiquitous features of plasmas, therefore 'electricity' is the likely cause" (there was also the 'gravity alone cannot form branched filaments', but that was a statement based on ignorance, I suspect; gravity alone can do exactly that)."

Again, this is so much noise. If gravity can cause filaments without the need for dark matter, then just explain how. Don't dance around it.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2015
Re: "so you've just proclaimed that your filaments either have no current or are dominated by external magnetic fields going in the wrong direction for a z-pinch."

It's not clear to me the source of your confusion, but here is Alfven on Marklund convection:

"elements with the lowest ionization potential are brought closest to the axis, and form concentric hollow cylinders whose radii increase with ionization potential [..] The drift of ionized matter from the surroundings into the rope means that the rope acts as an ion pump, which evacuates the surroundings . Regions with extremely low densities can be produced in this way."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2015
Marklund on Marklund convection:

"In my paper in Nature the plasma convects radially inwards, with the normal E x B/B2 velocity, towards the center of a cylindrical flux tube. During this convection inwards, the different chemical constituents of the plasma, each having its specific ionization potential, enter into a progressively cooler region. The plasma constituents will recombine and become neutral, and thus no longer under the influence of the electromagnetic forcing. The ionization potentials will thus determine where the different species will be deposited, or stopped in their motion."

It should be pretty clear that this ion sump mechanism can very easily explain branching filaments. There are no tricks necessary to get the plasma to do this ... no creation event, no invisible black hole, no hypothetical dark matter. This is the 4th state of matter just doing its thing.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2015
Re: "Is it true that your claim is based on nothing more than apparent morphological similarity?"

No, there are also quite widespread observations of critical ionization velocities associated with these filaments that perfectly match the universe's most common elements, based upon a careful manual extraction of overlapping filaments by the well-known radio astronomer, Gerrit Verschuur. CIV's are what one gets when charged particles are slammed into neutral matter at sufficient velocity to create ionization.

In fact, Verschuur has been complaining for some time now about the use of the term "cloud" to describe these structures -- complaints which are ignored.

In Verschuur's book, he runs through the story of how when radio waves were first observed coming from the galaxy, astronomers assumed it was either a hoax or a mistake.

See that story here:

https://plus.goog...4Q5Ceggb
JeanTate
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 18, 2015
@HA:
Again, this is so much noise.
That got you my downvote
If gravity can cause filaments without the need for dark matter, then just explain how.
That too. Already did. If you're interested, there are plenty of other 'gravity only' simulations besides the Millennium one, and they also produce the same result - 'gravity alone' can form branching filamentary structures.
Don't dance around it.
Quite.
JeanTate
3.7 / 5 (6) Jun 18, 2015
@HA:
No, there are also quite widespread observations of critical ionization velocities associated with these filaments
More downvotes.

I explicitly asked you about the Herschel filaments; Verschuur's papers do not reference them (how could they? As far as I could tell, Verschuur's latest paper was written before the Herschel observations were published).

Here's the first sentence from my comment:
I'm really struggling to understand what you are trying to convey re the 'Herschel filaments'; I hope you can clarify, please.
And the question again:
Is it true that your claim - *about the Herschel filaments* (added) - is based on nothing more than apparent morphological similarity?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2015
Re: "I explicitly asked you about the Herschel filaments; Verschuur's papers do not reference them (how could they? As far as I could tell, Verschuur's latest paper was written before the Herschel observations were published)."

Hey, if you focus hard enough on the smallest slice of information you can get your hands on, it is that much easier to avoid seeing the bigger picture of what's going on -- which seems to be your intent.
JeanTate
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 18, 2015
@HA:
Hey, if you focus hard enough on the smallest slice of information you can get your hands on, it is that much easier to avoid seeing the bigger picture of what's going on
So you don't know? Or it's true that your claim is based on nothing more than apparent morphological similarity. Don't dance around it
which seems to be your intent
You may imagine anything you like about my intent, I can't stop you.

The reality, however, is that it's a simple, straight-forward question, and entirely reasonable starting point for investigating this claim of yours further.

But hey, if you dissemble, dodge, and distract hard enough, it's possible to avoid seeing the bigger picture of what's going on -- which seems to be your intent.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (5) Jun 18, 2015
Hi JeanTate. :)

What's the point in downvoting someone you are in contention with....other than making it clear you are prejudiced against the person before the full discussion comes to some mutual objectively comprehended reality which both must agree with if objective? Again, try to resist the temptation to become a 'vote troll' in a 'metric' which lost its legitimacy long ago due to the very same type of 'vote trolls' and especially the bot-voting idiot still at it....on a science site. Remain aloof from the ratings page 'games', JeanTate, for the sake of proper science discourse and mainstream argument credibility not compromised by the obvious prejudice which such ratings 'games' betray.

I long ago observed for the benefit of these types of conflicts: BOTH gravity and Electro-magnetic forces/features/processes are at play. The important thing is to tease out which is the most 'dominant' in particular evolutionary phase of the observed phenomena/feature. FEEDBACK. :)
JeanTate
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 18, 2015
@RealityCheck:
What's the point in downvoting someone you are in contention with
Clearly you did not read and understand the comments where I explicitly said 'downvote'.

My only 'contention' (actually contentions) is/are incivility, and (obvious) obfuscation and avoiding the topic. As you would know if you read what I wrote.

Please, no more gratuitous advice.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Jun 19, 2015
Hi JeanTate. :)
@RealityCheck:
What's the point in downvoting someone you are in contention with
Clearly you did not read and understand the comments where I explicitly said 'downvote'.

My only 'contention' (actually contentions) is/are incivility, and (obvious) obfuscation and avoiding the topic. As you would know if you read what I wrote.

Please, no more gratuitous advice.
Clearly I did read them. Which is why I pointed out the futility of 'downvoting' in a 'metric' which is long compromised as I described. As a scientist you should understand that whatever your reason/excuse (real or imagined) for your 'downvotes' of your interlocutors, it ends up as counter-productive because the metric is kaput and the prejudice made transparent before the full discussion puts matters beyond any further contention. Until then, your 'downvotes' appear tactical/egotistical and futile. Why join that Uncle Idiot bot-voter in his gaming of the ratings pages? It's irrational. :)
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 22, 2015
The reply was not spoken by the alien. The reply was communicated to me telepathically and I felt my own lips speak the words of its reply out loud
This reminds me of the character Jack, played by peter otoole
https://www.youtu...6f258RKY

@2:30

-He knew he was god because when he prayed he found he was talking to himself.

Sane people have hallucinations from time to time but have learned to recognize them for what they are. Looneys have similar hallucinations and, because they think they are singularly blessed, see them as messages from the divine or visitations from ET which they alone are entitled to receive.

You are one such looney Lrrrkrrrrr. One of many such mundane, unremarkable, and totally forgettable, looneys.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Jun 23, 2015
Whether or not this experience was real, I am glad it happened while I was asleep, because had it happened whilst I was awake I would have most likely shit myself
@returners
1- dreams are entirely subjective and you cannot state with any authority that because you had a dream it is evidence of anything other than your internal issues

2- considering your own personal rants here on PO about your inability to find a job for whatever reason, it is far more likely that your "dream" is representative of your current condition (or the conditions which were current during your dream occurrence)

lastly- there is nothing empirical or even scientific about your interpretations of dreams here on PO (again - subjective and can mean any myriad of things even to YOU, let alone someone else. put the dream interpretations book down and get outside into reality)

eyewitness testimony is the WORST kind of evidence- and you have NO other eyewitnesses even!

see also: otto above

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