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A steamer where it shouldn't exist!

The most recent publicly posted Hubble Space Telescope image to date -- 7/26/98 -- is of a cluster of stars in Small Magellanic Cloud, sometimes called "the Blob."

Another stunning image! The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts that a very large star is decaying here. It is decaying into smaller balls-of-light and gas and dust. Most of the gas and dust has been pushed away from the central cluster. This is probably due to the strong radiation pressure from the central stars -- especially from the Wolf-Rayet star -- the largest of the central stars -- that is probably what is left over from the "mother" of the other stars in the cluster. Anyhow, what is the most puzzling feature in this image? Look at that amazing streamer of gas and dust! And it is located right smack dab in the middle of where it shouldn't be -- according to traditional theory.

Zooming in on the details:

The main streamer angles in from the lower left. According to the Ball-of-Light Particle Model it is created by a decaying ball-of-light most likely ejected from a split decay mode from a larger ball-of-light -- the original mother star. There is a small branch shooting off from the main branch in an upward direction. (These are like the streamers in a bubble chamber.) Traveling up the main streamer, another branch seems to be appearing arcing down and to the right. Is that a decaying ball-of-light at the end of that streamer? Or is that a star that coincidentally appears at the end of the streamer? Future images will animate this event! There will be no doubt as to what is happening when time has allowed events to progress.

Finally, note the bulge at the end of the main streamer. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if this object decays explosively after it slows more.

The key detail is: how can the stream of dust be where it is? If radiation expelled the surrounding gas and dust, creating the very bubble that allows us to see in, then why hasn't this very radiation pressure expelled these streams of gas and dust? The answer most likely is the bubble was created first, then the streams of gas and dust were created by a decaying ball-of-light shooting through this bubble like a rocket.

Can gas and dust be created by a decaying ball-of-light?

In this image, a star has split in two. One half shooting away from the site of the explosion -- where nothing remains -- down and to the left. The other half is shooting away up and to the right. (Some astronomers believe there really is a star left in the center hidden behind dust because a star splitting in two and shooting in opposite directions is unimaginable.)

Zooming in on the upper right half:

In this image, you can almost see the decaying ball-of-light. As it decays, it is giving off a trail of gas and dust. This object is obviously moving. It is not an example of a collapsing cloud of gas and dust. The cloud is not collapsing rapidly up and to the right! The dust and gas is obviously being made by this decaying object -- known as "HH1."

NGC 55

NGC 55 is an irregular, edge-on spiral galaxy visible in the constellation Sculptor.

The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts that the cores of stars are decaying balls-of-light. If this is correct then stars make gas and dust -- not, gas and dust make stars. When the core of a star induces the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, a helium atom, or any other atom, this nucleus is not surrounded by an electron shell. The core of stars also induce electrons. After the atomic nuclei and electrons are created by the core of the star, then they may combine into normal atoms. Before this process happens, the atomic nuclei are without their electrons -- they are "ionized." The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts that very unstable stellar cores will create ionized clouds of atomic nuclei. Furthermore, the Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts that the cores of stars are initially created when the core of a galaxy -- a massive ball-of-light -- ejects the stars in the first place. As these stellar cores are ejected from a galaxy's core, and as the travel away from the galaxy's core, they will leave behind trails of ionized gas and dust. The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts there are two types of stars ejected from a galactic core: smaller, more harmonic stars that surround the core of the galaxy in halo; and massive, high-speed stars that are ejected along the arms of spiral galaxies. These larger stars have a varying stability. Initially, when they are ejected, they are relatively stable and leave behind a trail of ionized gas and dust. However, the Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts, as they slow, they become less stable. When this happens, these larger stellar cores: can explode, can decay into smaller stars, and can create huge bubbles of ionized gas and clouds of dust. (See also Wolf-Rayet stars)

(This image -- before I added the boxes to emphasize the streamers -- was courtesy of Annette Ferguson, who exhibited this picture at the June 1996 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. It appeared on page 14 of the November 1996 edition of Sky and Telescope, and in Scientific American at some point. I found the GIF version of this at Scientific American's web site --

The text from Sky & Telescope states:

Supergalactic Streamers

"This view of NGC 55, an irregular, edge-on galaxy in Sculptor, reveals many enigmatic filaments of glowing gas that reach 3,000 to 5,000 light-years above and below the galaxy's plane. Using the 1.5 meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, Annette M. Ferguson and Rosemary F. G. Wyse (Johns Hopkins University) and Jay Gallagher (University of Wisconsin) imaged NGC 55 at the 6563 angstrom wavelength of the hydrogen-alpha line. They then subtracted the galaxy's starlight to highlight ionized gas. While the features' true nature is unclear, the astronomers believe the complex bubbles and ribbons formed when energy and material from young massive stars ran into surrounding hydrogen gas."

November 1996, Sky & Telescope, page 14

First of all, the upper right box that is highlighted in the image shows a bright knot -- a decaying ball-of-light -- at the end of a long stream of ionized gas. This is a trail left by this decaying object. (See also, Ejected ball-of-light?, or Planet?)

Second, how can streamers of ionized gas 3,000 to 5,000 light years long be made ejected material colliding with preexisting gas? This very same explanation is used to explain many phenomena such as the bright X-ray "knots" in the expanding shell from Cassiopeia A. In Cass A's case, streamers are not "made." Instead, compact "knots" are made. The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts these knots are simply large parts of the original star's core. Powerful electromagnetic waves are sweeping across each of these decaying balls-of-light creating the X-rays. In NGC 55's case what is decaying is not parts of a stellar core, but parts of a galactic core.

The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts the glowing bubbles are created from massive decaying stars that have slowed and split into smaller stars. These new stars are, in general, very unstable and induce massive volumes of ionized atomic nuclei. Due to their inherent instability, these new smaller stellar cores sometimes decay in the form of Planetary Nebula, or explode in the form of Supernova. This process helps to expand the bubbles of ionized nuclei.

An important problem that is image poses to the classical view of galaxy formation is how these streams of 3,000 to 5,000 light years are made "above" and "below" the galactic plane! The classical explanation for explaining the long spiral arms in a spiral galaxy uses gravitational waves. This can not possibly work to explain these streams that are at right angles to the supposed gravitational waves.

Also, this image may indicate how globular clusters and small satellite galaxies that surround larger galaxies are made. In the upper right box of in the image is an arrow pointing along a streamer to a bright point source. If this is a very massive ejected ball-of-light, then it may decay into smaller objects, creating a new globular clusters. (This is easy to visualize. It reminds me of fireworks. One type of popular fireworks explodes in the center, ejecting smaller explosive charges that leave behind a trail of sparks. After the smaller ejected parts travel a certain distance they create smaller explosions.)

Finally, this image just does not support the notion that galaxies are formed by collapsing clouds of gas and dust. The streams of ionized gas that are 3,000 to 5,000 light years long -- above and below the galactic plane -- especially contradict classical theory. These streams are completely compatible with, and easily predicted by, the Ball-of-Light Particle Model.

NGC 891

NGC 55 is not a fluke. Nor is the details of the long filaments due to some imaging technique. Another edge-on spiral galaxy, NGC 891 shows similar details.

First of all, I would like to point out that I think this is one of the most beautiful images of a galaxy that I have ever seen. I first came across the image in the November 1997 Sky & Telescope on pages 56-57. The image was taken by J. Christopher Howk and Blair D. Savage of the University of Wisconsin using the 3.5 meter WIYN Telescope at Kitt Peak. This image and their paper can be found at: Their paper is called:

Extraplanar Dust in the Edge-On Spiral NGC 891
J. Christopher Howk & Blair D. Savage
1997, Astronomical Journal, v. 114, pg. 2463

Part of the abstract for their paper states:

"Some of the dust features seen in NGC 891 suggest supernova-driven galactic fountain or chimney phenomena are responsible for their production and are clearly associated with ionized gas structures thought to be tracing the violent disk-halo interface of this galaxy. However, other structures are not so readily associated with these energetic processes. We discuss several mechanisms which may produce high-z dust structures such as those seen in the WIYN and HST images presented here. It is, however, less than clear which of these mechanisms are primarily responsible for the extensive extraplanar dust structures seen in our images."

Conservative words at best. The November 1997 Sky & Telescope articles states:

A dust-choke spiral

"Frothy and nebulous, NGC 891 in Andromeda was recently found to have one of the dustiest inner halos of any known galaxy. The prominent dust lane running along the midplane of this archetypical edge-on spiral is well known -- hints of it can be seen in a 12-inch telescope under good seeing conditions. But it took the 3.5-meter WIYN Telescope on Kitt Peak and 0.65-arcsecond seeing to reveal the extent of the tremendous dust clouds, some as large as 2,000 light-years across, that permeate NGC 891's inner halo.

When dust is found in the halo of a galaxy, astronomers often point to supernovae as the culprits. Massive stars end their lives in these violent explosions, which blow dust-forming heavy elements into the interstellar medium and reshape the gas and dust that are already there. Supernovae can blow holes all of the way through a galaxy's disk of interstellar matter, sending streamers of dust and gas out into the halo.

But NGC 891 has astronomers scratching their heads and rethinking this scenario. The WIYN image here, taken as part of a study of dust structures lying outside the planes of galaxies, shows so many streamers above and below the plane that researchers J. Christopher Howk and Blair D. Savage of the University of Wisconsin were surprised at their find. They conclude it is unlikely that supernovae alone could have propelled the galaxy's tremendous network of murky clouds into place -- or at least not in the straightforward manner described above. They hypothesize that perhaps some gentler process, such as the pressure of starlight, have "polluted" NGC 891's inner halo with dust. Regardless of this puzzle, Howk and Savage's image provides a fascinating look at the outflow of matter from a galaxy's disk."

Page 57, November 1997 Sky & Telescope

Again, conservative words. A close-up look of some of the details of these "towers and chimneys" reveals the dust is not very thick after all.

The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts these streamers of gas and dust were created by large balls-of-light that are decaying. These balls-of-light where either ejected from the core of the galaxy, or were ejected from secondary explosions. (For a more complete description, see Zones of Instability.) Briefly, how this process works is like this: the core ejects massive stars (10s to 1,000s of solar masses) at high speeds (at least 100s km/s) along the spiral arms; these massive stars are mostly stable at these high speeds but leave trails of dust in the spiral arms; as these massive stars slow they become less stable (they have a smaller component of induced gravity -- which helps stabilize the ball-of-light); when the massive stellar cores slow sufficiently they can decay in split modes or explosive modes; when the large stars explode or split then the smaller balls-of-light are often ejected at right angles to the plane of the galaxy. These smaller balls-of-light can travel for 100s or 1,000s of light-years trailing the massive streamers of gas and dust that are evident in NGC 55, NGC 891 and other galaxies.

(If the process of balls-of-light ejecting other smaller balls-of-light such tremendous distances seems unlikely to you, then be sure to visit the page on Radio Galaxies.)

In essence, the decaying balls-of-light create the gas and dust -- not the gas and dust creates stars.

Where is the primordial cloud of gas and dust?

The Ball-of-Light Particle Model predicts it will never be found.

(See also, The Massive Decaying balls-of-light in the Cartwheel Galaxy)