HIDDEN PORTALS BETWEEN EARTH AND SUN
THUNDERSTORMS HURLING ANTI-MATTER (see below), A STAR 10 MILLION TIMES BRIGHTER THAN ANYTHING PREVIOUSLY KNOWN, SEEMS LIKE EVERY WEEK NOW NASA DISCOVERS SOMETHING THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY DEEMED "IMPOSSIBLE" TO EXIST.
GIANT STAR R136a1 REDEFINES HUGE.
Using NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, the research team found this rotating stellar object emitting pulses of X-rays that were brighter than any other pulsar ever observed in the visible Universe.
It was found to be 10 times brighter than any other pulsar ever observed.
It shines with the intensity of 10 million suns.
THOSE ARE NICE FINDS, BUT THE TWO I FOUND INTRIGUING TODAY ARE CALLED "THE SMITH CLOUD" (OR SMITH'S CLOUD) AND "LOCAL FLUFF"... BOTH ARE INTERSTELLAR HIGH VELOCITY CLOUDS THAT SHOULD HAVE DISINTEGRATED AFTER THEIR BRUSH WITH THE MILKY WAY MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO.
AND THE SMITH CLOUD IS ON A RETURN TRACK TO THE MILKY WAY GALAXY.
NASA HAS FOUND THAT BOTH HAVE A MAGNETIC FIELD THAT HOLDS THEM TOGETHER, AGAINST ALL ODDS.
THEY SIMPLY SHOULD NOT EXIST.
WE ARE GOING TO ENCOUNTER THEM AGAIN, AND THAT MAY BE A VERY BAD THING, BUT FULL IMPACT WITHIN OUR GALAXY IS MILLIONS OF YEARS IN THE FUTURE, NASA SAYS.
THE SMITH CLOUD
Discovered in 1963 by the Dutch astronomer Gail Bieger, the Smith Cloud is one of thousands of high velocity clouds flying around the outskirts of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The cloud is at least 2 million times the mass of our Sun. If it were visible to the naked eye, it would look 20 times wider than the full Moon.
Traveling at 130 km a second, the cloud is only 8,000 light-years from the Galaxy’s disk.
GBT H\,I image of Smith's Cloud
Approximate impact site inside Milky Way.
“Clouds like this may provide the fuel for our Galaxy to make stars. But they must be held together by something, or they’d disintegrate when they hit the warm outer part of the Galaxy – the halo.
They wouldn’t reach the Galaxy’s disk, where the star-making is going on,” explained Dr Alex Hill from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, who is the lead author of a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal (arXiv.org).
Dr Hill and his colleagues from the United States have found that the Smith Cloud has a magnetic field.
“It’s 50 000 times weaker than the Earth’s, but it’s probably still strong enough to keep the cloud together,” Dr Hill said.
“This is one of the few such clouds large enough for us to be able measure its magnetic field,” added senior author Dr Naomi McClure-Griffiths, also from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
“It seems the cloud is protected by a magnetic bubble, the same way the Earth’s magnetic field protects it from the solar wind.”
The Smith Cloud is probably either semi-primordial gas condensing from the halo of the Milky Way Galaxy or gas stripped from another galaxy.
The discovery also could help explain how high velocity clouds remain mostly intact during their mergers with the disks of galaxies, where they would provide fresh fuel for a new generation of stars.
“The Smith Cloud is really one of a kind. It’s fast, quite extensive, and close enough to study in detail,” said Nichols in a press release.
At its distance, the cloud (9,800 light years long and 3,300 light years wide) covers almost as much sky as the constellation Orion.
“It’s also a bit of a mystery; an object like this simply shouldn’t survive a trip through the Milky Way, but all the evidence points to the fact that it did,” said Nichols.
Previous studies of the Smith Cloud revealed that it first passed through our Galaxy many millions of years ago. By reexamining and carefully modeling the cloud, Nichols’ team now believes that it’s actually wrapped in a substantial halo of dark matter.
THAT'S BASICALLY THE SAME THING NASA SAID ABOUT "LOCAL FLUFF" IN 2009.
Voyager flies through the outer bounds of the heliosphere en route to interstellar space.
A strong magnetic field reported by Opher et al in the Dec. 24, 2009, issue of Nature is delineated in yellow.
Image copyright 2009, The American Museum of Natural History.
In the Dec. 24th issue of Nature, 2009, a team of scientists reveal how NASA's Voyager spacecraft have solved the mystery.
"Using data from Voyager, we have discovered a strong magnetic field just outside the solar system," explains lead author Merav Opher, a NASA Heliophysics Guest Investigator from George Mason University. "This magnetic field holds the interstellar cloud together and solves the long-standing puzzle of how it can exist at all."
Astronomers call the cloud we're running into now the Local Interstellar Cloud or "Local Fluff" for short.
It's about 30 light years wide and contains a wispy mixture of hydrogen and helium atoms at a temperature of 6000 C.
[WHY NOT JUST SAY IT'S AN INFERNO?]
The existential mystery of the Fluff has to do with its surroundings.
About 10 million years ago, a cluster of supernovas exploded nearby, creating a giant bubble of million-degree gas.
The Fluff is completely surrounded by this high-pressure supernova exhaust and should be crushed or dispersed by it.
"The observed temperature and density of the local cloud do not provide enough pressure to resist the 'crushing action' of the hot gas around it," says Opher.
So how does the Fluff survive?
The Voyagers have found an answer.
"Voyager data show that the Fluff is much more strongly magnetized than anyone had previously suspected—between 4 and 5 microgauss*," says Opher. "This magnetic field can provide the extra pressure required to resist destruction."
A working map of the local ISM within 10 light-years based on recent observations is shown above. These observations show that our Sun is moving through a Local Interstellar Cloud as this cloud flows outwards from the Scorpius-Centaurus Association star forming region. Our Sun may exit the Local Interstellar Cloud during the next 10,000 years.
Much remains unknown about the local ISM, including details of its distribution, its origin, and how it affects the Sun and the Earth.
WELL, WE'LL FIND OUT.
THREE OTHER "IMPOSSIBILITIES".
The rarely imaged phenomenon above is known as a red sprite and it can be seen, albeit faintly, just over the bright area on the image right. This bright area and the red sprite are different types of lightning, with the white flash the more typical type. Although sprites have been reported anecdotally for as long as 300 years, they were first caught on film in 1989 -- by accident. Much remains unknown about sprites including how they occur, their effect on the atmospheric global electric circuit, and if they are somehow related to other upper atmospheric lightning phenomena such as blue jets or terrestrial gamma flashes.
ABOVE, SOMETHING ELSE THAT WAS NOT IMAGINED WAS CAUGHT ON VIDEO BY FERMI...A THUNDERSTORM CREATING ANTI-MATTER.
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope recently found evidence that thunderstorms on Earth actually shoot antimatter particles into space.
"These signals are the first direct evidence that thunderstorms make antimatter particle beams," said Michael Briggs, who presented his team's findings on January 10 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
In a statement to National Geographic, Briggs said, "what seems to have happened is positrons created by the lightning were herded into a tight beam by Earth's magnetic field."
The beam funneled positrons from the Namibian storm to the Fermi spacecraft, a few milliseconds after hitting the spacecraft, the beam struck a more northerly section of Earth's magnetic field. This caused some of the positrons to bounce back the way they had come, hitting the spacecraft."
This [ALLEGED] NASA satellite image [above] from deep space shows a massive anomalous object that currently has not been identified.
LOOKS A BIT LIKE A SPRITE, AS SEEN ABOVE, DOESN'T IT?
Then there's the great void, a huge thing, "too big to exist".
Astronomers have discovered a curious empty section of space which is missing around 10,000 galaxies.
The ‘supervoid’, which is 1.8 billion light-years across, is the largest known structure ever discovered in the universe but scientists are baffled about what it is and why it is so barren.
AS "IMPOSSIBILITIES" ARE DISCOVERED MORE FREQUENTLY, PERHAPS SCIENCE WILL FINALLY ADMIT THAT "IMPOSSIBLE" WAS A MYTH AND THE REALITY IS ...WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S 'OUT THERE', BUT IT COULD BE ANYTHING.