My hopes and for astronomy in the 2020's.


Feb 5, 2002
Mt. Shasta, California
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It seems to me that "hope springs eternal", particularly at the start of a new year, and a new decade, in a relatively new century.

My personal love of astronomy began as a young child who grew up in the 1960's and followed the Gemini and Apollo missions with keen interest. Watching us landing human beings onto another celestial body in space was absolutely amazing, particularly for a 9 year old. The feeling that I had during that first moon landing was wonderful. For the very first time in history, human beings the world over were 'one' humanity, and capable of achieving almost anything by working together. We all stopped to watch TV with with awe and pride, and scientific wonder at that impressive human achievement. We all got to look back at our small blue planet from a whole new perspective. The whole Earth and every human being was living on a small blue ball in space. It looked so small from the surface of the moon. Every human being on Earth was living on that single ball in space. There was also a realization that humans chose what to do, and we chose what to do with our planet. We could choose to war against one another, we could continue to pollute and destroy the planet, or we could choose to join together and work together to protect our planet and to explore space. Anything and everything seemed 'possible' back then, and technology was growing by leaps and bounds. One of the first supercomputers were put to work on our great endeavor to explore the moon and space, and the microprocessor was built and used to make it happen.

Today, an ordinary cellphone has many times the processing power of those early supercomputers, and we can program them with our fingers rather than punch cards. :) A 2020 cell phone even makes our early 60's vintage "star trek communicators" look rather primitive. :)

The technology that we apply to space has *never* been more powerful, and it's never returned more useful scientific data.

The problem in astronomy in 2020 is not a lack of technology or useful data, but rather a lack of any ability to openly question the big bang theory, particularly as it relates to the inclusion of electrical current in space, possible causes of photon redshift (tired light/plasma redshift), and alternatives to exotic forms of matter.

I must say I was a tad disappointed and disillusioned by the first round of Parker Solar Probe papers. I guess I hoped they would 'see the light' in terms of the electric fields and current flow patterns in interplanetary space. Unfortunately astronomy remains stuck into the 2020 equivalent of Ptolemy. Nothing can change unless astronomers are ready to openly embrace scientific alternatives to relatively primitive 1960's beliefs about the universe.

I can't even look at a 2020 SDO image of the sun in the x-ray spectrum without seeing blindingly obvious "evidence" of electrical currents that run through the solar atmosphere. It's the electrical current, and electrical resistance to that current which "heats up" the coronal plasma and coronal loops, and heats up the million degree plasma filaments which are observed to be traversing that plasma medium.

The magnetic field orientation changes in the solar atmosphere cannot be properly understood *without* understanding the current flow patterns, and orientation of those current flow patterns in the interplanetary plasma medium.

Astronomer's conscious effort to avoid discussing and describing those current flow patterns in space has created a scientific crisis in that particular field of science. Rather than embracing empirical physical explanations which have worked in the lab for more than a century, today's astronomers rely upon mythical forms of matter and energy, and magical magnetic fields that do the impossible and which simply do not work in the lab.

There is no such thing as a 'magnetic switchback'. There are magnetic "fields" (3D, not 2D topology lines), but fields are simply oriented in various *three* dimensional ways, and those 3D orientations change over time, which also induces current in the surrounding conductive plasma.

It's still amazes me that Kristian Birkeland knew more about solar atmospheric physics in 1920 than virtually all of the solar physicists today in 2020, save perhaps the likes of Anthony Peratt and Donald Scott and people who aren't even professionally employed in the field of solar physics.

We can't accurately describe events in the solar corona without understanding the current flow patterns that direct the plasma, and which generate the heat (resistance), which in turn generates the x-rays we observe in SDO images.

In a hot, electrically active plasma environment as we see around the sun, the current flow patterns in the plasma cause the various "magnetic field lines" to form, sustains those fields over time, and causes them to change over time, including all the magnetic field topology changes observed over time.

The recognition of the role of that electrical current is the key to understanding solar atmospheric physics, not *just* MHD theory.

I hope that the Parker Solar Probe team eventually comes out of the closet on this topic, but alas, I was not impressed by their first attempt. It seemed like a last desperate effort to avoid dealing with the electrical elephant in the room and the electrical aspects of solar physics. It's really a pre-Tesla/Birkeland understanding of the universe.

The universe is *not* a vacuum medium as it was thought of in the 1960's. It's a *plasma* medium, and specifically it is a *current carrying* plasma medium.

With that single "realization", it's instantly possible to explain and replicate in the lab, solar coronal loops, sustain a hot solar corona, and replicate all the things we see in space in the lab on smaller scales.

I hope professional astronomers do a little soul searching the 2020's because a 1960's view of a sterile vacuum universe simply won't cut it anymore. It's useless as an explanation for anything in the plasma of space.

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy new year and new decade. I look forward to the possibilities in astronomy this decade and throughout this next century.

I think the last decade will be seen as the decade of particle physics research at CERN in LHC experiments. We learned a lot about the particle physics part of our universe over the last decade, including the completion of the standard model of particle physics, along with the elimination of many different non-standard models.

It's important to point out that in all those efforts in particle physics research, no evidence was found to support any non-standard particle physics model, and no evidence of new forms of matter or energy were observed.

IMO the PSP team is in best position to revolutionize astronomy as we understand it, or it can choose to wallow around with a concept that Hannes Alfven described as "pseudoscience" till the day he died, and which fails to work in the lab to produce any of the important relevant aspects of solar physics. I sure hope they choose to turn on the electrics fields and electrical current soon, and return to the lab, and explanations that actually work in the lab.