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Thread: "Electric Comet" Theory and Deep Impact

  1. #1
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    "Electric Comet" Theory and Deep Impact

    I'm sure that there has been discussion in this forum about the "Electric Universe" model of comets. The idea that comets are electrically charged bodies obviously does not fit with the "mainstream" model, which describes comets as "dirty snowballs." I would hope that the Deep Impact event might provide an opportunity to settle the issue once and for all.

    I'm very interested to see what folks in this forum expect will ultimately be revealed by Deep Impact. Also, what specific discoveries will either refute or support the "electric comet" hypothesis? (BTW, I chose to start a new thread independent of the existing Deep Impact ones, because I felt that the "electric comet" controversy probably needed to stand alone.)

    Here is a review of the controversy from the vantage point of the electric model. http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/20...met-theory.htm

    I would appreciate if proponents of the accepted model of comets could respond to this alternative theory, and offer their own expectations of the Deep Impact event.

    BTW, at Thunderbolts.info the electric theorists have promised a complete review of expectations and predictions prior to Sunday evening's impact event (10:52 PM PDT.)

    --Brian S.

  2. #2
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    I can't get to it. Does that make it controversial?

  3. #3
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    I'm assuming that this link is the intended one.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    {with bated breath}

    will they publish something sufficiently precise that whatever happens we can make comparisons?

    will what they publish be sufficiently different from 'the mainstream' that what happens will help to show they're wrong (or that the mainstream is wrong)?

    if they're wrong, will they admit it?????

    stay tuned for the next exciting episode of 'comets and copper, electrifying! (a study of modern angst, ancient myth, and the Norwegian Blue)', coming soon to a movie theatre near you!!

  5. #5
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    and here's me thinking all them probes what got sent up in '86 were going to solve the mystery once and for all . . . .
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid
    {with bated breath}

    will they publish something sufficiently precise that whatever happens we can make comparisons?

    will what they publish be sufficiently different from 'the mainstream' that what happens will help to show they're wrong (or that the mainstream is wrong)?

    if they're wrong, will they admit it?????

    stay tuned for the next exciting episode of 'comets and copper, electrifying! (a study of modern angst, ancient myth, and the Norwegian Blue)', coming soon to a movie theatre near you!!
    What's funny (or disturbing), I was going to write the responses that they would probably use after the probe didn't show any electrical activity, but they pretty muched covered themselves.

    Unfortunately, Tempel 1 is not a very active comet. It's elliptical orbit keeps it between Jupiter and Mars. So its radial motion with respect to the Sun is limited and electrical activity is likely to be subdued. The copper impactor may hit as planned without first suffering an electric discharge from the comet nucleus. The most likely anomalies will then be found in the motion of the impact ejecta, which will move under the influence of electrical forces rather than gravity and not form the expected fallout pattern. It will also give wrong estimates of the nucleus material's density. This kind of thing has happened in the past, where rocky looking asteroids appear to have the density of fluff.
    So if nothing at all electrical shows up, we know it's because of it's elliptical orbit. How convenient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metricyard

    So if nothing at all electrical shows up, we know it's because of it's elliptical orbit. How convenient.
    Well, I think they're saying that Tempel doesn't have a sufficiently elliptical orbit, so it's not a good candidate for testing their theory. A better candidate would be a comet that goes far out and then passes close to the sun, so there would be a greater electric differential, if such a differential exists.

    But come to think of it, it would seem that this might lead to a prediction. If the electric comet theory is correct, then comets with more elliptical orbits ought to have bigger tails than those that have orbits that are close to circular. Seems like a feasible test to me.
    As above, so below

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    It is depend on material of the comet and its electric capacity. If it is a frozen water only then the capacity is small.
    Ionized hydrogen or oxygen can not create a crystals of the ice.

    There might be another material additionally with higher capacity and such a condenser might be charged.
    If there is more (+) charge then might be a repulsive force between Comet and Sun (The Sun is charged (+) by Cosmic Rays, I think).
    The tail of the Comet would indicate it probably.

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    For anybody who is interested, here are the predictions posted at thunderbolts.info. They make some predictions about x-ray release and stuff like that, which I suppose should be testable.

    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/20.../00current.htm
    As above, so below

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    Pbbbt. More McCanney-style nonsense.

    The giveaway for me is their claim that more X-rays will be seen than expected "exceeding any reasonable model for X-ray production through the mechanics of impact". The mechanics predict no X-rays. However, once the material is ejected, it is exposed to the Sun, which produces X-rays as well as a solar wind, which will make X-rays from the coma. Scientists not only predict that, but they're using Swift to observe those X-rays.

    McCanney (and that site) will no doubt once again claim there should be no X-rays at all, and say this is further evidence of their model. I already debunked this kind of stuff on my McCanney page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bad Astronomer
    Pbbbt. More McCanney-style nonsense.
    Is there anything within their prediction that could actually be seen as a prediction? I guess a huge lightning bolt striking and melting the impactor would be something measurable.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bad Astronomer
    McCanney (and that site) will no doubt once again claim there should be no X-rays at all, and say this is further evidence of their model.
    Before:

    X-ray Eyes on Tempel 1



    This false-color image shows comet Tempel 1 as seen by the Chandra X-ray Observatory on June 30, 2005, Universal Time.
    Waiting for after.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bad Astronomer
    Pbbbt. More McCanney-style nonsense.
    Electric Universe supporters have little if anything to do with McCanney. They did once mention him on one of their pages, but only in passing.

    I have met Thornhill and one or two others, and they seem like a reasonable and down-to-earth bunch. McCanney on the other hand can best be described as somewhat eccentric.

    The page in questions makes the following predictions. Each of the points is dealt with in more detail on the actual page.

    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/20.../00current.htm
    ELECTRIC MODEL PREDICTIONS FOR DEEP IMPACT:

    An abundance of water on or below the surface of the nucleus (the underlying assumption of the “dirty snowball” hypothesis) is unlikely.

    Tempel 1 has a low-eccentricity orbit. Therefore its charge imbalance with respect to its environment at perihelion is low. (It is a “low-voltage” comet.) Electrical interactions with Deep Impact may be slight, but they should be measurable if NASA will look for them. They would likely be similar to those of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 prior to striking Jupiter’s atmosphere: The most obvious would be a flash (lightning-like discharge) shortly before impact.

    The impactor may form a sheath around it as it enters the coma, becoming a “comet within a comet”.

    Electrical stress may short out the electronics on board the impactor before impact.

    More energy will be released than expected because of the electrical contributions of the comet. (The discharge could be similar to the “megalightning” bolt that, evidence suggests, struck the shuttle Columbia).

    Copious X-rays will accompany discharges to the projectile, exceeding any reasonable model for X-ray production through the mechanics of impact. The intensity curve will be that of a lightning bolt (sudden onset, exponential decline) and may well include more than one peak.
    If the energy is distributed over several flashes, more than one crater on the comet nucleus could result—in addition to any impact crater.

    Any arcs generated will be hotter than can be explained by mechanical impact. If temperature measurements are made with sufficient resolution, they will be much higher than expected from impact heating.

    The discharge and/or impact may initiate a new jet on the nucleus (which will be collimated—filamentary—not sprayed out) and could even abruptly change the positions and intensities of other jets due to the sudden change in charge distribution on the comet nucleus.

    The impact/electrical discharge will not reveal “primordial dirty ice,” but the same composition as the surface.

    The impact/electrical discharge will be into rock, not loosely consolidated ice and dust. The impact crater will be smaller than expected.
    I have their permission to quote from the site. Edits: Grammar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens
    Well, I think they're saying that Tempel doesn't have a sufficiently elliptical orbit, so it's not a good candidate for testing their theory. A better candidate would be a comet that goes far out and then passes close to the sun, so there would be a greater electric differential, if such a differential exists.
    Something like the Halley comet, visited by five probes in 1986, of which Giotto was the closest?

    (I actually remember Giotto from TV news...
    Oh no! Now I feel old!)

  15. #15
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    Electric Universe supporters predicted electrical (Lightning like) flashes shortly before impact.

    You can download a movie from this NASA page
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/de...-05-movie.html
    ...The outbursts appear as flickers or bursts of light. The movie ends during the middle of the final outburst.
    Does this support their prediction?

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    Electric Universe supporters predicted electrical (Lightning like) flashes shortly before impact.

    You can download a movie from this NASA page
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/de...-05-movie.html
    ...The outbursts appear as flickers or bursts of light. The movie ends during the middle of the final outburst.
    Does this support their prediction?
    Nope.

    The 3 "bursts" were seen more that 2 weeks (June14th) before impact, another one about a week later (June 22nd), and one 2 days before impact (July 2nd). No flashes were seen "shortly before impact".

    edit to add:

    Seeing that the impactor took pictures literally at ground zero, and no electrical flashes were observed, I think that pretty much puts the Electric Comet theory to rest.

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    What do people mean by 'The latter stages of approach'? Minutes, hours, days, or weeks?

    How do we account for these flickers or outbursts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    Does this support their prediction?
    No, but it supports a "theory" i've had for quite a while...

    The electric universe folks don't have a "clue" as to how the Universe actually works.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    How do we account for these flickers or outbursts?
    Pockets of ice sublimating.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F.
    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    How do we account for these flickers or outbursts?
    Pockets of ice sublimating.
    These outbursts seem to be very bright ... and surround the whole comet. Does sublimating ice adequately account for these observations?

  21. #21
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    Personally, I reserve judgement pending the release of further, more detailed information.

    News releases hint at a few surprises, but nothing substantive as yet.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...E29098,00.html
    The 371kg Impactor probe - which vaporised - caused a greater collision than scientists had been anticipating, though they will not know exactly how big until later today when more pictures are analysed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F.
    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    How do we account for these flickers or outbursts?
    Pockets of ice sublimating.
    These outbursts seem to be very bright ... and surround the whole comet. Does sublimating ice adequately account for these observations?
    We have a bit of an advantage in that there is a spectrometer on board. Have a look at this page.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by papageno
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens
    Well, I think they're saying that Tempel doesn't have a sufficiently elliptical orbit, so it's not a good candidate for testing their theory. A better candidate would be a comet that goes far out and then passes close to the sun, so there would be a greater electric differential, if such a differential exists.
    Something like the Halley comet, visited by five probes in 1986, of which Giotto was the closest?

    (I actually remember Giotto from TV news...
    Oh no! Now I feel old!)
    no, I remember that, too--in fact, I referenced it above. (no one ever pays attention to me on science threads!) but am I right in saying that all those probes should've long-since demolished the "theory"?
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens
    Well, I think they're saying that Tempel doesn't have a sufficiently elliptical orbit, so it's not a good candidate for testing their theory. A better candidate would be a comet that goes far out and then passes close to the sun, so there would be a greater electric differential, if such a differential exists.
    Something like the Halley comet, visited by five probes in 1986, of which Giotto was the closest?

    (I actually remember Giotto from TV news...
    Oh no! Now I feel old!)
    no, I remember that, too--in fact, I referenced it above. (no one ever pays attention to me on science threads!)
    I must have been too subtle. :-?
    The only reason I brought up Giotto was your reference to 1986.
    Next time I will put in a :wink: for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren
    but am I right in saying that all those probes should've long-since demolished the "theory"?
    Well, I have not seen reference to these probes by "electric comets" proponents, but I have not done an extensive research about it.

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    The Electrc Universe supporters are claiming plenty of initial support for their theories, but await further more detailed analysis.

    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/20.../00current.htm
    We also eagerly await the first pictures of the impact site, which have not been seen due to a huge surprise: The energy of the “impact” was much greater than NASA scientists had expected and—as predicted by Wallace Thornhill—was strongly reminiscent of the early Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact events at Jupiter. (We've inserted a larger picture of the impact site here) Indeed, the luminous glow that persisted occluded the impact site to a degree that shocked observers and will make it difficult to determine the size of the resulting crater through the glare. Of course, a prime aim of the experiment was to observe the crater before the spacecraft had moved out of the required position. So here we see another example of the potential cost of asking the wrong questions.

    We had said that the flair or explosion would be more energetic than expected, due to the contribution of electrical energy from the charged comet. NASA scientists were astonished and expressed their amazement on camera and in no uncertain terms: The blast was “considerably more energetic than I expected.” “The big question is how did we make such a big splash.” “I’m at a loss to explain it.”

    The reaction was universal. From Softpedia News: “The impact was bigger than everybody would have expected."
    The "instantaneous" brightening of the coma, larger than the Earth, is also an essential subject for us. Could distribution through the kinetics of explosion account for this? Then the coma continued to brighten to eleven times its prior brightness. These findings also echo the surprises from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9’s encounter with Jupiter. We live in an electrified solar system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    The Electrc Universe supporters are claiming plenty of initial support for their theories, but await further more detailed analysis.
    Halley's comet was visited by five probes in 1986.
    Do the results fit with the theories of "electric Universe" proponents?

    (This has been brought up already.)

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    From the site P.Asmah referenced:
    After the event, the Thunderbolts crew was scurrying to find reliable data on the timing of the flare, to see if it actually began microseconds before the impact. Thornhill had predicted an advance flash following the intensity curve of lightning. Whether the cameras will answer the latter question is uncertain, but it appears that a flare did indeed precede the main flash. Pete Schultz of Brown University, suggested that the first flare "indicates a layered structure for the comet.… My guess is there was soft layering on top, [the impactor] went down, and finally got in contact with ices."

    Obligatory guesses of this sort can only add to the exasperation of the electrical theorists. The comet was approaching the impactor at 23,000 miles per hour. A soft surface layer, which various guesses have put at perhaps ten feet or so, would have no measurable effect on the timing of an impact flare, and it would not separate a flare into two phases as appears to have occurred.
    So they expect a flash microseconds before the impact, but a surface layer of 10 feet wouldn't have an impact on the timing.
    Let me calculate: 23,000 miles per hour = 6.4 miles per second = 10 km per second = 10 metres per millisecond = 10 millimetres per microsecond.
    It would take about 300 microseconds to pass that first layer. I guess something going that slow (relatively) would have a considerable impact on the timing of the impact flare (measured in microseconds), contrary to what they claim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by papageno
    Halley's comet was visited by five probes in 1986.
    Do the results fit with the theories of "electric Universe" proponents?
    We are not talking about Comet Halley. I am not aware of EU supporters making any predictions in this regard.

    Do you care to comment on all the surprises expressed by NASA in relation to Deep Impact?

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    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    Quote Originally Posted by papageno
    Halley's comet was visited by five probes in 1986.
    Do the results fit with the theories of "electric Universe" proponents?
    We are not talking about Comet Halley. I am not aware of EU supporters making any predictions in this regard.
    They do not need to make predictions, just to analyze the data taken nearly twenty years ago and see whether they can be interpreted in their "electric Universe" picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by P.Asmah
    Do you care to comment on all the surprises expressed by NASA in relation to Deep Impact?
    So, the scientists were surprised.
    That's what research is about: discovering new and unexpected things.

    Does it support "electric Universe"? I doubt it, and the proponents of "electric Universe" have not provided anything vaguely better than the mainstream.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbolts.info
    Thornhill had predicted an advance flash following the intensity curve of lightning. Whether the cameras will answer the latter question is uncertain, but it appears that a flare did indeed precede the main flash. Pete Schultz of Brown University, suggested that the first flare "indicates a layered structure for the comet.… My guess is there was soft layering on top, [the impactor] went down, and finally got in contact with ices."
    Quote Originally Posted by Fram
    So they expect a flash microseconds before the impact... ?
    Yes, but we need some clarification here.

    They just showed a slow motion clip of the impact on The BBC, and there appears to be a bright electrical-arc like flash before any actual impact with any surface materials.

    Again, I await further, more detailed analysis ... before the mainstream theory about the first flash resulting from thin surface layers can be confirmed or denied.

    For the time being, all we really have is NASA officials expressing their surprise.

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