What are Birkeland currents? How are Birkeland currents formed? What do Birkeland filaments have to do with space plasma?
Why does astronomy and science refer to these twisting spiralling charged plasma phenomena as magnetic ropes, Flux Transfer Events (FTE’s), space tornadoes?
Are the confirmed Birkeland plasma currents in our solar system, connecting the planets to the sun, evidence of an Electric Universe?
You can read more about the discoverer of them, Kristian Birkeland.
Birkeland filaments, plasma z-pinches (zeta pinch) and plasma double layers also seem to be a common plasma partnership in space.
SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.everythingselectric.com/birkeland-currents/
For the first time, researchers have discovered supersonic plasma jets in Earth’s upper atmosphere, and they’re responsible for some pretty extreme conditions, including temperatures near 10,000°C (18,032°F) …
More than a century ago, Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland proposed that vast electric currents powered by solar wind were travelling through Earth’s ionosphere by the planet’s magnetic field …
Known as Birkeland currents, they carry up to 1 TW of electric power to the upper atmosphere – about a third of the total power consumption of the US in a year. They’re also responsible for the aurora borealis and aurora australis that light up the poles of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres …
satellites detected incredibly large electrical fields, which are generated in the ionosphere where upwards and downwards Birkeland currents are interacting above the planet … the satellite trio has discovered what these electrical fields are driving – extreme supersonic plasma jets that have been dubbed ‘Birkeland current boundary flows’.
Supersonic Plasma Jets Have Been Detected in Earth’s Atmosphere for the First Time | Science Alert
Birkeland filaments and Earth
Equatorward of each current sheet, Triad noted a parallel sheet almost as intense, flowing in the opposite direction
When in 1973 the navy satellite Triad flew through this region in a low-altitude orbit, its magnetometer indeed detected the signatures of two large sheets of electric current, one coming down on the morning side of the auroral zone, one going up on the evening side, as expected. Because Kristian Birkeland had proposed long before currents which linked Earth and space in this fashion, they were named Birkeland currents (by Schield, Dessler and Freeman, in a 1969 article predicting some of the features observed by Triad). Typically, each sheet carries a million amperes or more.
But that wasn’t all. Equatorward of each current sheet, Triad noted a parallel sheet almost as intense, flowing in the opposite direction: those field lines were no longer open, but closed inside the magnetosphere.
It thus seemed that most of the electric current coming down from space (about 80%) did not choose to close through the ionosphere across the magnetic poles. Rather, it found an alternate way: it flowed in the ionosphere a few hundred miles equatorward and then headed out again to space, where the currents (presumably) found an easier path.
Electric Currents from Space | NASA
Birkeland currents connect the ionosphere to the magnetosphere and channel solar wind energy to Earth’s uppermost atmosphere
Birkeland currents connect the ionosphere to the magnetosphere and channel solar wind energy to Earth’s uppermost atmosphere
When the supersonic solar wind hits Earth’s magnetic field, a powerful electrical connection occurs with Earth’s field, generating millions of amperes of current that drive the dazzling auroras. These so-called Birkeland currents connect the ionosphere to the magnetosphere and channel solar wind energy to Earth’s uppermost atmosphere. Solar storms release torrential blasts of solar wind that cause much stronger currents and can overload power grids and disrupt communications and navigation.
Now for the first time, scientists are making continuous, global measurements of the Birkeland currents, opening a new window on our understanding of our home planet’s response to solar storms. Using the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment, based on the 66 Iridium satellites orbiting Earth, authors of a Geophysical Research Letters study have discovered that Earth’s response to onsets in forcing from the solar wind occurs in two distinct stages.
Currents first appear near noon in the polar regions and remain steady for about half an hour. Then the second stage begins, when strong currents appear near midnight and eventually join the initial currents near noon. Most of the solar wind energy is deposited in the polar atmosphere by processes initiated in the second stage. The authors note that scientists are working to understand how the delay between the first and second stages could give near-term warning of impending space weather disruptions.
Observing the Birkeland currents | Science Daily
DC and AC currents
Field-aligned currents (FACs) appear on a wide range of scales from large-scale Birkeland currents of hundreds to a thousand kilometers width, to scales that extend down to a few hundred meters … Case studies of the magnetic field polarization suggest that the DC-currents are organized in sheets, but that the AC-components are randomly oriented, reflecting the filamentary structure of the small-scale component.
Small-scale, field-aligned currents at the top-side ionosphere | Wiley Online Library
Mercury Birkeland currents
Flux transfer events or Birkeland filaments?
During its second flyby of the planet on October 6, 2008, MESSENGER discovered that Mercury’s magnetic field can be extremely leaky indeed. The spacecraft encountered magnetic “tornadoes” – twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting the planetary magnetic field to interplanetary space – that were up to 500 miles wide or a third of the radius of the planet.
“These ‘tornadoes’ form when magnetic fields carried by the solar wind connect to Mercury’s magnetic field,” said Slavin. “As the solar wind blows past Mercury’s field, these joined magnetic fields are carried with it and twist up into vortex-like structures. These twisted magnetic flux tubes, technically known as flux transfer events, form open windows in the planet’s magnetic shield through which the solar wind may enter and directly impact Mercury’s surface.”
Magnetic Tornadoes Could Liberate Mercury’s Tenuous Atmosphere | NASA
Mars plasma FTE’s
Huge magnetic rotations that were flying out thousands of miles into space
The slow destruction of the planet’s atmosphere was caused by huge rope-like tendrils of magnetic rotations, scientists say, as they reveal data that showed that Mars has huge aurora akin to the Earth’s northern lights
… Instruments on board the Maven craft found that ions were escaping from the planet at a much quicker rate during solar bursts, or coronal mass ejections. Watching one such event in March, it saw huge magnetic rotations that were flying out thousands of miles into space — and that ions were spewing out into space along those huge magnetic ropes.
Nasa Mars announcement: Red Planet’s atmosphere was blown away by huge bursts of gas from the Sun, scientists suggest | Independent
Plasma Flux Transfer Events between Jupiter and the Sun
A twisted magnetic field structure, previously never seen before at Saturn, has now been detected for the first time … When the Sun’s magnetic field interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field (the magnetosphere), a complex process occurs called magnetic reconnection which can twist the field into a helical shape. These twisted helically structured magnetic fields are called flux ropes or “flux transfer events” (FTEs) and are observed at Earth and even more commonly at Mercury … It is also estimated that the flux rope could be up to 8300 kilometers wide.
Magnetic Rope observed for the first time between Saturn and the Sun
Birkeland currents in an Electric Universe
Below are some quotes on Birkeland currents, more detailed explanations will be added over time. Some of the information will be from Electric Universe theory (EU theory sites) and some from standard science websites.
Birkeland currents form scalable plasma structures that can transmit electric power all around the galaxy
A new image of the (Mon R2) nebula confirms that it is filamentary in nature, leading to the conclusion that Birkeland currents are present. The filaments that spiral through and away from Mon R2 are named after Kristian Birkeland, who first proposed their existence in the late 1800s. Those currents form scalable plasma structures that can transmit electric power all around the galaxy.
Gas cannot be heated until it gives off intense radiation (extreme ultraviolet and X-rays) without electrical input. Waves of ionized particles detected by ESA comprise the flow of electric charge, so Birkeland currents can form, causing electromagnetic Bennett pinches (z-pinches) that can squeeze plasma with such force that it rapidly compresses. Electric charge flowing into those regions can then force the plasma to erupt in a discharge. Nebulae are plasma formations behaving as the laws of electric discharges and circuits dictate.
No further study is required when one considers the Electric Star hypothesis. Rather than mechanical action (heated gas), Mon R2’s radiation is due to electric currents powering its interior stars. Electrical sheaths (double layers) that are normally invisible receive greater input from galactic Birkeland currents in which they are immersed, entering the “glow discharge” state.
In conclusion, increased flux density pulls matter from the surrounding space (and other stars) into Birkelend current filaments that electrically ignite nebular gasses in Mon R2.
Mon R2 | thunderbolts TPOD
Electricity moves along charged Birkeland current filaments that bind the Sun to its family of planetary bodies
Massive lightning bolts could be going off deep below the clouds on Neptune, creating colossal eruptions of plasma into its upper atmosphere. Those electric discharges could create the conduits, called “Birkeland currents”, that would allow a direct plasma connection from Neptune to space.
… Electricity moves along charged Birkeland current filaments that bind the Sun to its family of planetary bodies. Electric charge flows most strongly into the giant gas planets because their charge differential with the Sun is greater than that of their smaller, rocky cousins. The “electric Sun” is what drives the energetic meteorological phenomena on the planets. Electric circuits power the Sun and initiate the “anomalous heating” that has been found on the gas planets and some rocky bodies that have been examined.
Thermal Axes | thunderbolts TPOD
Two axial currents that are moving in the same direction will attract each other if they are parallel
In a Birkeland Current, each particle follows the magnetic field which is present at its particular location. The movement of charged particles in these magnetic fields, also results in the particle creating its own magnetic field.
The further away a particle is from the central axis – the more circular its path. The helical rotation outward from the axial current creates further electromagnetic forces that contribute to the stability of the Birkeland Current. Birkeland Currents almost always occur in pairs. Currents that often spiral and twist around each other.
Their interaction is governed by Ampère’s force law. Two axial currents that are moving in the same direction will attract each other if they are parallel. This attractive force is inversely proportional to their distance apart. Birkeland Currents create a long-range attractive force from the axial currents, but a short-range repulsive one from the radial spiralling currents between filaments.
Robert Johnson: Plasma Behavior in the Floating Water Bridge & Biology | Thunderbolts youtube
The twisted pairs that exist in space create a field-aligned current flow that follows the magnetic field
Electromagnetic disturbances (geomagnetic storms) are observed when bright aurorae are seen. In 1903, Birkeland’s Arctic expedition found electric currents from the Aurora Borealis flowing parallel to the auroral formation. Because those electric currents must flow in a circuit, and the auroral glow appeared to result from events in space, he proposed that they flowed down from space at one end of the auroral arc and back out to space at the other.
In 1973, when the magnetometer onboard the U.S. Navy satellite Triad found two gigantic electric current sheets carrying a million amperes or more, one descending from the aurora’s morning side and the other ascending from the evening side, they were named “Birkeland currents,” since it was his research that predicted them.
Birkeland’s polar electric currents are known today as “auroral electrojets” and are connected to electric currents that follow Earth’s geomagnetic field into and away from the Arctic region. They have been called a “new” discovery by NASA scientists who continue to ignore Birkeland’s work. The words “plasma” and “currents” are often used in NASA press releases, but they are usually paired with “impacts,” “collisions,” and “streams.”
… Birkeland revealed that electric currents travel along filaments that are constrained by magnetic fields. His experiment confirmed that parallel linear currents experience a long-range attractive force that is orders of magnitude greater than gravity. As plasma filaments get closer together, however, they do not coalesce, they rotate around each other in a helix. A short-range magnetic repulsion occurs, preventing them from “shorting out.” Instead, they remain isolated from each other.
The closer that electric filaments (Birkeland currents) get to one another, the faster they spin. The pairs of “transmission lines” become a twisted electrical tornado, or plasma vortex, that scales by several orders of magnitude. The twisted pairs that exist in space create a field-aligned current flow that follows the magnetic field, permitting electric power to travel vast distances.
Electrodynamic Duo Part Two | thunderbolts TPOD
The polar “circuit” is composed of concentric cylinders of parallel Birkeland current filaments
This beautiful example of a “planetary nebula” shows the classic features of a plasma z-pinch. The current density in the Birkeland current filaments is sufficient to cause the plasma to enter “glow mode.” The polar “circuit” is composed of concentric cylinders of parallel Birkeland current filaments. The polar double layers are regions of high electric field and radio “noise.” The cylinders pinch down at the star in the characteristic hourglass shape.
Assembling the Solar System | holoscience
the helical shape characteristic of Birkeland currents is known, since it can be seen
Glowing, braided filaments are sometimes visible in “jets” that blast out from stars and some galaxies. Those filaments are called Birkeland currents, and they are the visible portion of enormous electric circuits that form a large-scale structure in the Universe. The circuits generate magnetic fields that can be mapped, so the helical shape characteristic of Birkeland currents is known, since it can be seen.
Electromagnetic Fire | thunderbolts TPOD
Electrons moving along a Birkeland current may be accelerated by a plasma double layer
Birkeland currents are also one of a class of plasma phenomena called a z-pinch, so named because the azimuthal magnetic fields produced by the current pinches the current into a filamentary cable. This can also twist, producing a helical pinch that spirals like a twisted or braided rope, and this most closely corresponds to a Birkeland current. Pairs of parallel Birkeland currents will also interact due to Ampère’s force law: parallel Birkeland currents moving in the same direction will attract each other with an electromagnetic force inversely proportional to their distance apart whilst parallel Birkeland currents moving in opposite directions will repel each other. There is also a short-range circular component to the force between two Birkeland currents that is opposite to the longer-range parallel forces.
Electrons moving along a Birkeland current may be accelerated by a plasma double layer. If the resulting electrons approach relativistic velocities (i.e. if they approach the speed of light) they may subsequently produce a Bennett pinch, which in a magnetic field causes the electrons to spiral and emit synchrotron radiation that may include radio, optical (i.e. visible light), x-rays, and gamma rays.
Birkeland current | wikipedia
Material from some galactic jets travels more than 30,000 light-years
When plasma moves through a dust or gas, the cloud becomes ionized and electric currents flow. The currents generate magnetic fields that confine themselves into coherent filaments known as Birkeland currents. Birkeland currents squeeze galactic plasma into thin filaments that remain collimated over great distances. Astronomical observations reveal that the material from some galactic jets travels more than 30,000 light-years.
The charged particles that compose the currents spiral along the magnetic fields, appearing as electrical vortices. Surprisingly, Felix Aharonian of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies suggested that “… there could be a ‘tube’ of magnetic field lines extending between the source and our solar system, funnelling the cosmic rays towards us.”
Cosmic Ions | thunderbolts TPOD
Plasma behaves according to the laws of electricity
Gases obey Newtonian laws of kinetic motion with molecules bumping into each other or accelerated by “shock waves” imparted by other particles. Plasma, on the other hand, behaves according to the laws of electricity. Stars are born within twisting Birkeland currents that flow around a circuit through the galaxy. The z-pinch effect squeezes plasma inside those filaments, igniting stars and forming toroids of electricity around stellar equators.
Back to Plasma | thunderbolts TPOD
Auroras indicated electric currents essentially parallel to the magnetic field lines
It was Dr. Alex Dessler in 1967 who discovered the electric currents in space that Birkeland had predicted. He suggested that the transverse magnetic field components found in the Earth’s magnetosphere and auroras indicated electric currents essentially parallel to the magnetic field lines. Dessler called them ‘Birkeland currents,’ a term which is now generally accepted and sometimes generalized to mean all currents flowing parallel to the ambient magnetic field.
The ‘Spiral Galaxy’ at Saturn’s Pole | holoscience
The Milky Way is formed in the central plasma column of the Z-pinch
The long-range (1/r) electromagnetic interaction between pairs of intergalactic current filaments, known as “Birkeland currents,” attracts matter from a vast volume of space. Where two filaments intersect, they form a spiral galaxy through the powerful electromagnetic “Z-pinch” effect. This concept has been tested in the lab and by ‘particle-in-cell’ supercomputer simulations. It shows that the extremely weak and limited-range (1/r2) force of gravity has negligible effect in forming a spiral galaxy. It requires no dark matter or MOND!
Formation of the Milky Way galaxy in a cosmic Z-pinch offers a simple explanation for the discovery of satellite galaxies rotating in the same sense in the plane of the Milky Way galaxy.
The immense scalability of plasma phenomena allows us to use the dramatic example of the effects of a plasma Z-pinch on a stellar scale in supernova 1987A to explain what happens on a galactic scale. The Milky Way is formed in the central plasma column of the Z-pinch. Surrounding the Milky Way axially are a number of interacting plasma filaments arranged in concentric cylinders that have the potential to produce satellite galaxies. The number of filaments follows a characteristic pattern that suggests they will not be found “in hundreds.” Peratt writes:
“Because the electrical current-carrying filaments are parallel, they attract via the Biot-Savart force law, in pairs but sometimes three. This reduces the 56 filaments over time to 28 filaments, hence the 56 and 28 fold symmetry patterns. In actuality, during the pairing, any number of filaments less than 56 may be recorded as pairing is not synchronized to occur uniformly. However, there are ‘temporarily stable’ (longer state) durations at 42, 35, 28, 14, 7, and 4 filaments. Each pair formation is a vortex that becomes increasingly complex.”
The rotating “vortexes” of the Milky Way and its satellites are driven electrically and will be in the same sense and roughly coplanar.
Cosmology in Crisis—Again! | holoscience
Form an axial sump of plasma, segregated radially by Marklund convection
The image shows the telltale polar jet aligned with the z-pinch column. The glowing “ionization front” is not principally a photo-ionization or collisional effect but the glow of a plasma double-layer, energized by electric current. The nearby Herbig-Haro object, HH399, exhibits the typical thin polar corkscrew jet seen in more detail in the Herbig-Haro 49/50.
The heated, glowing plasma in these jets can extend for trillions of miles. They do not explosively dissipate in the vacuum of space because of the electromagnetic “pinch effect” of the electric current flowing along the jet. The spiral shape is that of Birkeland current filaments, which are the universal power transmission lines.
Birkeland current pairs have been shown by both experiment and supercomputer simulations to form an axial sump of plasma, segregated radially by Marklund convection. Marklund convection causes helium to form a diffuse outer layer, followed by a hydrogen layer, then oxygen and nitrogen in the middle layers, and iron, silicon and magnesium in the inner layers. So electric stars should have a core of heavy elements and an upper atmosphere mostly of hydrogen.
Birkeland currents align themselves with the ambient magnetic field direction. The hourglass z-pinch shape has been confirmed in the magnetic field of a star-forming region. (See SCIENCE Vol 313 11 August 2006). And in laboratory z-pinch experiments, the plasma tends to form a number of “beads” along the axis (see HH34 above), which “scatter like buckshot” once the discharge subsides.
Assembling the Solar System | holoscience
Local radio “fog” from interacting Birkeland filaments
The evidence is available that shows the “cosmic microwave background” (CMB) radiation is not “background” at all. It is a local radio “fog” from interacting Birkeland filaments within the Milky Way.
Cosmology in Crisis—Again! | holoscience
Birkeland current performs a scavenging effect, gathering and concentrating whatever (neutral or ionized) elements it passes near
In the Electric Universe (EU) model, twisting streams of electrons and ions form filaments that span vast regions of space. Where pairs of these spaghetti like structures interact, the particles gain energy and, at narrow pinch regions (called z-pinches), produce the entire range of galaxy types as well as the full spectrum of cosmic electromagnetic radiation.
… Any time charges are accelerated (as they are in the case of a Birkeland current) “synchrotron” electro-magnetic radiation at various frequencies occurs – typically from microwaves through
hard x-rays. Thus, a Birkeland current performs a scavenging effect, gathering and concentrating whatever (neutral or ionized) elements it passes near. The result is analogous to a cosmic coaxial cable transmission line.
Fig. 4. Elements form into concentric cylinders in a Birkeland current. Radii are proportional to their ionization voltage.
Cosmic (Birkeland) Currents | Donald E Scott (link to PDF)
Electrons spiral in the resulting magnetic field, creating synchrotron radiation that can shine in all frequencies
Electric fields freely accelerate charged particles, which move outward in opposite directions, activating an electric current that follows the Sun’s magnetic field. The THEMIS satellites found “space tornadoes” (Birkeland currents), electrified plasma vortices rotating faster than 1,600,000 kilometers per hour, about 64,000 kilometers from Earth. The THEMIS satellites, together with Earth-based stations, verified that those charged plasma formations are connected to the Sun.
Since plasma is composed of charged particles, any movement constitutes an electric current, which generates a magnetic field. Electrons spiral in the resulting magnetic field, creating synchrotron radiation that can shine in all frequencies, as well as preserve initial power output from the Sun.
Solar Plasmoids | thunderbolts TPOD
The heavy elements (“metals” in astrophysics-speak) are concentrated on-axis and must therefore constitute the core matter of stars rather than hydrogen!
That parallel currents attract each other was known already at the times of Ampere. It is easy to understand that in a plasma, currents should have a tendency to collect to filaments. In 1934, it was explicitly stated by Bennett that this should lead to the formation of a pinch.
… 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. In a circuit the current must be the same in the whole filament although the current density within the filament may vary due to the Bennett pinch effect.
Therefore, the electromagnetic scavenging effect on matter from the molecular cloud, called Marklund convection, is constant along each current filament, which 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.
Figure 3 shows the true nature of the filaments inside the molecular cloud. The electric field vector (E) and helical magnetic field configuration (B) are shown. Inward Marklund convection of ions at velocity, V, across a temperature gradient VT is a mechanism for rapid filament formation and chemical separation in cosmic plasma. In consequence, the heavy elements (“metals” in astrophysics-speak) are concentrated on-axis and must therefore constitute the core matter of stars rather than hydrogen!
Stars in an Electric Universe | Wal Thornhill (link to PDF)
Birkeland currents are electromagnetic, they isolate regions of opposite charge and prevent them from neutralizing
When plasma moves through a cloud of dust and gas, some of the neutral molecules in the cloud are ionized, initiating electric fields, and thereby creating magnetic fields that tend to align and constrict the charge flow. Since Birkeland currents are electromagnetic, they isolate regions of opposite charge and prevent them from neutralizing. Planetary nebulae are spun from intricate webs of lighted tendrils. Herbig-Haro stars and energetic galaxies emit braided jets. Some galaxies look “hairy,” with threads of material extending from them.
… In an Electric Universe, large-scale plasma discharges form coherent filaments that exhibit electrodynamic behavior. Gravity and kinetic energy do contribute to the behavior of star clusters and galaxies but it is not their fundamental energy source. Stars in galaxies can form like silver beads on a string, lining-up for great distances.
Star Wires | thunderbolts TPOD
The filamentary nature of the cosmos was one of Herschel’s most important contributions to the study of plasma phenomena in space
Stars can form like silver beads on a string, threading through galaxies for great distances. The filamentary nature of the cosmos was one of Herschel’s most important contributions to the study of plasma phenomena in space. When plasma moves through a cloud of dust and gas, the cloud becomes ionized, initiating an electric field and the flow of electric charge. Electricity moving through any substance forms magnetic fields that tend to align and constrict the current flow. Those fields create what are known as Birkeland currents.
“The greatest surprise was the ubiquity of filaments in these nearby clouds and their intimate connection with star formation.”
Birkeland current filaments carry electric charges through space. They isolate regions of opposite charge and prevent them from neutralizing. Almost every body in the Universe displays some kind of filamentation. Planetary nebulae form elaborate webs of tendrils; Herbig-Haro stars and energetic galaxies emit braided jets.
Since the various loads in galactic circuits radiate energy, they must be powered by coupling with larger circuits. How large those circuits are is not known. However, since galaxies, like stars, can also occur in strings, and are joined together by filaments, it seems as if their proportions are truly universal.
“…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.”
Electric Reticulation | Thunderbolts TPOD
Birkeland currents and black holes
When charge density is too high, double layers form, catastrophically releasing their excess energy in bursts of X-rays or flares of ultraviolet light
Closer to the black hole, heat generated by molecular collisions tears atoms apart and the disk glows in extreme ultraviolet and X-rays. This is what is referred to as a black hole’s “corona”.
No direct evidence exists for matter compressed to nearly infinite density. Instead, it is Z-pinches in plasma filaments forming plasmoids that energize stars and galaxies. When charge density is too high, double layers form, catastrophically releasing their excess energy in bursts of X-rays or flares of ultraviolet light.
That electric charge flow in plasma generates magnetic fields that constrict the current channel. Pinched electric filaments remain coherent over long distances, spiraling around each other, and forming helical structures that can transmit power through space. Those filaments are the jets seen in galaxies and stars.
Flash in the Pan | Thunderbolts TPOD
Birkeland clusters of galaxies
New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the intricate structure of the galaxy NGC 4696 in greater detail than ever before. The elliptical galaxy is a beautiful cosmic oddity with a bright core wrapped in system of dark, swirling, thread-like filaments.
NGC 4696 is a member of the Centaurus galaxy cluster, a swarm of hundreds of galaxies all sitting together … These filaments knit together and spiral inwards towards the centre of NGC 4696, connecting the galaxy’s constituent gas to its core
Tangled threads weave through cosmic oddity | Phys Org
SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.everythingselectric.com/birkeland-currents/