OC404: Vortex Stars and Vortex Radiation
Ben Franklin Centre for Theoretical Research
PO Box 27, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia.
This is Number 4 in a suite of web articles about the Oort Cloud, the volume of space immediately outside our Solar System.
What are Vortex Stars?
It was mentioned previously that Planck's Radiation Law applies to "normal" bodies in the Universe -- stars on the Main Sequence on the Hertzsprung-Russell star diagram (Figure F1 in OC401), and planets, moons, and smaller bodies in Oort Space. It does not apply to White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and a whole zoo of what are sometimes called quasi-stellar objects, including Seyfert Galaxies, Pulsars, Quasars, Magnetars, and Blazars.
In this book, if the "normal" bodies are massive enough to produce their own light using energy from Hydrogen Fusion, they may be called Fusion Stars. We now go on to examine what we will call Vortex Stars, which includes all the above except for the Fusion Stars.
Vortex Stars produce their emissions of electromagnetic energy (and sometimes matter particles) in a totally different way to Fusion Stars. As a class, they are typically massive but very condensed objects, rotating at enormous speeds. Their emissions are channelled into extremely narrow beams, emitted from both ends of their axes of rotation.
Fig. OC404-F1. Artist's impression of jets from a Vortex Star. From [D2].
These Vortex Beams are sometimes called "Relativistic Jets", because they contain particles travelling at a high percentage of the speed of light, and so are subject to relativity effects.
Perhaps the best known examples of Vortex Stars are the AGNs (Active Galactic Nuclei or Super-Massive Black Holes) which lie at the hearts of galaxies such as our Milky Way. The Milky Way is a rotating disc, described as a barred spiral galaxy. It has a diameter of 150,000--200,000 light-years, and is estimated to contain 100--400 billion stars [D3]. Its AGN is believed to have a mass of about 4.1 million Suns.
Fig. OC404-F2. Galaxy UGC 12158, thought to resemble the Milky Way in appearance. From [D3].
Figure F1 is an artist's impression, used to give a visual feel for the nature of Vortex Beams. Real Vortex Beams differ from the picture in a number of important ways. First, their light is constrained within a virtually parallel path (the jargon calls this "collimated"), so they do not spread like a normal light beam, say from an electric torch.
This means that Vortex Beams are not subject to the laws of emissions from ordinary celestial bodies such the Sun, which essentially radiate in all directions, and so have radiation energies which fall off as the square of the distance from the source -- we saw in OC403 how the temperatures of the planets fall with distance from the Sun (Figure OC403-F9).
Because of this, the highly-collimated Vortex Beams can travel very great distances and still be detectable, as long as you are aligned close to their Emission Axes. During the early discoveries about Vortex Stars, they were put into various classes, such as Quasars, Radio Galaxies, Seyfert Galaxies, and Blazars, according to their appearance and apparent energies. All these objects are essentially individual galaxies, sometimes very distant.
Fig. OC404-F3. Viewing AGN Vortex Stars from different angles. From [D1].
It was later realized that all these entities were actually the same sort of object, with the apparent differences due to the angle at which they were viewed, as in Figure F3. In most cases, telescopes were picking up secondary effects from the Vortex Beams, of relatively lower power. Only when viewed directly along an axis, at right angles to the plane of the rotating galaxy, was the high-energy primary beam being picked up, and the galaxy put in the highest-radiation class, a Blazar.
Second, the Vortex Beams may contain matter particles, as well as the electromagnetic waves (photons), especially when the Vortex Star is a powerful energy source. Typically, these particles are hydrogen nuclei (free Protons) and Electrons, sometimes helium nuclei (the next heaviest atom after hydrogen). There may also be a proportion of antimatter particles -- Antiprotons and Positrons.
The two Vortex Beams from all Vortex Stars may be expected to be of similar intensity from the two axes of the star. Under the name "relativistic jets", the secondary effects have actually been photographed in some cases, but the two jets may look different because of differences in the medium encountered. The two beams may be expected to be polarized, with opposite polarities.
The primary Vortex Beam is made up of photons, travelling at the speed of light. These photons, travelling in their tightly-collimated paths, may occasionally encounter an atom stuck in their path and give rise to a tiny flash -- almost like tracer bullets making visible the path of a missile to follow. But these photon collisions will be relatively infrequent.
Vortex Beam particles
The particles, however, are a totally different matter. They are all charged particles, carrying a positive or a negative charge, and may be caused to diverge from the tight collimation by the magnetic fields present in space, and so may interfere with each other, as well as with odd atoms in their path. Any antimatter particles in the beam are likely to pair up with their normal-matter equivalents and vanish with complete conversion into energy. All these secondary effects can make the primary Vortex Beams show up at all angles, as when a film-projector beam hits dust particles in the air.
Vortex-Beam particles travel at significant percentages of the speed of light, and so carry huge energies. They are recognized as Cosmic Rays. The highest-energy Cosmic Ray particles have many orders of magnitude higher energy than anything we can produce in accelerators on Earth -- a single high-energy cosmic-ray proton has been calculated to have the same energy as a cricket ball travelling at 90 km/hr.
As the Vortex Beam photons stay tightly on path, the galaxies which produce them are relatively easy to locate in the celestial sky if the viewer lies close to their axes of rotation. But cosmic-ray particle paths are diverted by magnetic fields, and so can't be traced back directly to their sources.
In the current scenario, all Vortex Stars, from White Dwarfs up to AGNs, are similar, differing only in magnitude. With increasing magnitude comes higher energy in the Vortex Beams, and if powerful enough, some of the energy will be in the form of particles. Stellar Black Holes, within our own Galaxy, will be the source of medium-energy particles and higher-energy photons (x-rays and perhaps gamma rays). These will provide much of the Cosmic Rays striking the Earth.
The highest-energy particles will all be from the AGNs of other galaxies which happen to have their Vortex Beams pointing directly at us. These beams contain colossal energies and could sterilize any worlds they encounter. Our own Milky Way will be producing such beams, but fortunately they are radiated into space at right-angles to the plane of the Galaxy, and don't come our way. These AGN Vortex Beams provide the higher-energy components of Cosmic Rays.
However, secondary effects of AGN Vortex Beams may be noticed at the galaxy level, as the beams gradually interact with the medium through which they pass. It is possible, that it is the flow of mass and energy within the Vortex Beams, colliding with material in its path, which gives rise to the Central Bulges of galaxies -- these vary considerably in size and may indicate the recycling stage the galaxy has reached.
Fig. OC404-F4. Image of our Galaxy showing central bulge. From [D5].
In the energy balance of the Universe, most of the radiation energy we see comes from Fusion Stars, which convert mass into energy. AGNs are the principal way in which energy is converted into mass, and so are an essential feature of how the Universe recycles galaxies to provide very-large-scale and very-long-period uniformity in space and time -- galaxies and their components are born, evolve, and die, while the big picture stays the same. There is more detail on these matters at UG101: Recycling the Universe: Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and the Science of Stuff [D4].
The "Brighter than 1000 galaxies" misconception
Lack of recognition of the fact that Vortex Stars emit their light as narrow beams has led to an unfortunate misconception about the energy emitted from distant objects, a misconception still common even among professional astronomers. Reporting on distant stars, observers have tacitly assumed that these radiate in all directions, like the Sun, and would reduce in strength as the square of their distance. So calculations of star distances from their apparent brightness have hugely over-estimated the real outputs of Vortex Stars, with claims that "Object X shines with the light of 1000 galaxies".
As an example, in [D6] it was claimed that "The brightest light in the universe" came from what's called a gamma-ray burst, and that "A typical burst releases as much energy in a few seconds as the Sun will in its entire 10-billion-year lifetime."
The "Nothing can escape from a Black Hole" misconception
Scientists have studied and evaluated the emissions from Black Holes for decades, and yet cling to the belief that calculations show that nothing can escape from them. Look in the dictionary for a definition of a Black Hole, and you might find "(astronomy) : A region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape".
Popular scientific articles are replete with terms such as "Event Horizon" and "Schwartzschild Radius", supposed to mark the outer boundaries of Black Holes, from which nothing can escape (though Hawking postulated a weak escape route, dubbed Hawking Radiation). In the real Universe, we have Black Holes as the main Recycling Factories of the Universe, spewing out vast amounts of energy and matter. What is going on?
The thing is, while the Schwartzschild calculations may be perfectly sound, they apply to a postulated massive body which is not rotating. No such bodies are known in the real Universe, and plausible formation routes are lacking. Instead, Black Holes fall in the class of Vortex Stars, which necessarily (from their structure) rotate at very high rates.
Formation of Vortex Stars
Following their initial aggregation from the Oort Soup, ordinary (fusion) stars follow an evolution path which largely depends on their initial aggregation mass. These evolutionary paths are well established in current astrophysics.
Fig. OC404-F5. Evolution of stars. From [D7].
All fusion stars, those on the Main Sequence in the Hertzsprung-Russell star diagram (Figure OCB-F1) spend the first part of their lives fusing Hydrogen into Helium and other heavier elements, and radiating off the energy produced as visible light. More massive stars have shorter times in the Fusion Phase, less massive stars longer -- our Sun, a mid-range star, is reckoned to be about half-way through its 10-billion-year Fusion Phase.
At the end of their Fusion Phase, all stars enter a Blowup (Expansion and Explosion) event, during which perhaps half or more of their mass is thrown off into space, leaving behind a remnant star. The thrown-off masses, the Explosion Fronts of Fusion Stars, are vaguely spherical objects which can be called Transition Stars. Expanding rapidly into space, they can form very bright and spectacular objects -- ones from larger stars are called Red Supergiants and then Supernovas, ones from smaller stars are called Red Giants and then Planetary Nebulas.
With a lower-mass star, the remnant object left behind is called a White Dwarf. Medium-mass stars leave behind a Neutron Star, higher-mass stars leave behind a type of black hole called a Stellar Black Hole. For a neutron star to form, the remnant mass must be more than about 1.5 solar masses, while Stellar Black Holes have masses of 5 to several tens of solar masses [D8]. This view is generally accepted and not liable to dispute.
However, the concept that the Blowup phases of Fusion Stars lead to different types of remnant, according to mass, may need re-thinking. It seems instead, that the remnant product of the Blowup phase of a Fusion Star (of whatever mass) is a Vortex Star -- there is a continuous range between White Dwarfs and Stellar Black Holes. All are vortexes, differing only in magnitude.
At the middle of the range is the Neutron Star, an object thought to consist entirely or almost entirely of neutrons. Isolated neutrons are rare in nature, because without any constraint they decay rapidly (in a few minutes) into a Proton and an Electron, plus a small packet of energy. The Proton and Electron can then combine into a Hydrogen Atom.
Fig. OC404-F6. Neutron decay into Proton + Electron + energy. From [D9].
An important point here is that the Hydrogen Atom is enormously greater in volume than the Neutron from which it was derived -- over 300 trillion times greater [D10]. When we earlier looked at the aggregation of celestial bodies (stars, planets, comets). it was mentioned that gravitational forces acting on larger aggregating masses could give them cores containing matter compressed to neutrons. This is called the Concore Model (COmpressed Neutrons at CORE).
Formation of Fusion Stars
As explained in XT807: The Concore Model of planet and star interiors [D11], the initial gravitational aggregation of more massive objects is assumed to give them a Core consisting entirely or partly of compressed neutrons (not forming parts of ordinary atoms). If, then, it is assumed that during the lifetimes of larger celestial objects, a proportion of the compressed neutrons at the surfaces of their Cores very slowly break down to yield hydrogen atoms of much greater volume, this picture gives a natural explanation of many things which have previously puzzled science.
First, it explains why Fusion Stars blow up at all. Second, it explains how such an explosion could leave behind a Neutron Star consisting entirely or almost entirely of neutrons -- it's just the Core of the star. The compressed neutrons represent an enormous store of energy, and couldn't have been formed from the explosion itself,
Next, it offers a reasonable explanation of how new stars are able to "ignite" (to begin the process of fusing hydrogen atoms from a "cold start"), which has previously been unexplained. An incipient star, consisting of a neutron-rich core together with a shell of mostly hydrogen, can expect to accumulate an increasing thickness and pressure in its hydrogen "atmosphere" as Core-surface neutrons decay into hydrogen atoms.
So at the Core surface, hydrogen under great pressure accumulates, adjacent to a source of neutrons. This is likely to be the trigger for star ignition. It is also likely to be the route for harnessing Hydrogen Fusion as a practical, sustainable energy source.
Formation of Planets
The same Concore model can apply to newly-aggregated objects which do not quite achieve star mass -- Black Dwarfs, Super-Jupiters, and planets of about the mass of Mars and above. Here "planet" can apply to any body in Oort Space or in a solar system, there need be no link between a planet and a star.
The above reasoning has been applied to the Earth, as an example of such a planet, in XT807 - The Concore Model of planet and star interiors. [D11]. It leads to a model of our planet which has 3 principal layers -- a neutron-rich Core, a surrounding Mesolayer where bulk transmutation of elements occur, and an upper layer of material, the Mantle, where transmutation of elements has ceased but the effects of Planetary Expansion are most rife. At the surface is the Crust, a relatively thin discontinuous layer of material where upper Mantle has been reworked by weathering and earth movements to give a mix of rock, atmosphere, and water bodies.
Fig. OC404-F7. The Earth, with Compacted Neutrons at its Core. From [D11].
This Model again provides a range of answers to questions where good answers have been elusive. It explains how the internal heat of planets is generated. It explains where the energy of earthquakes comes from -- and this earthquake energy is the second-largest item in the Earth's Energy Budget, after that of energy from the Sun. It explains how the conformation of the Earth's surface is continually undergoing change -- all the aspects of geomorphology, mountain creation and destruction, and variation in sea-levels.
It also explains how, in the Mesolayer or Element Kitchen of a planet, the essentially hydrogen-based material of the Oort Soup --the matter between the stars -- is transformed into solid rock, all-pervading water, and atmospheric gases. It gives a natural answer to the question of where heavy elements are formed.
In our study of the Oort Cloud, the most relevant parts of the above are probably the source of internal heating of planetary bodies, together with an understanding of why rocky material features so largely in their composition.
There is more detail on the above in EP303: The Earth-Expansion Model Part B -- Answers to A Hundred Puzzles. [D10].
The Chondrite Meteor mystery
The Concore Model also gives reasonable answers to two further puzzles concerning meteorites which have apparently, till now, remained unanswered. The first concerns Chondritic Meteorites.
Meteorites, rocks which fall to Earth from interplanetary space, are remarkably varied in their composition. Some meteorites are similar to rocks found on the surface of the Earth, but there is whole class of meteorites, with a great deal of variation between samples, which are totally unlike anything known from Earth's own rocks. This class includes specimens known as Chondrites or Chondritic Meteorites.
Fig. OC404-F8. A Chondritic meteor. From [D12].
The mystery, then, has been to know where these mysterious chondrites originate, and how they could appear in such variety. A common speculation has been that they originated from a planet (or planets) which formerly orbited in what's now the Asteroid Belt, lying between Mars and Jupiter. But even if evidence could be found to support this speculation, that in itself does not explain how the break-up of the planet, which we might call "Asteron", could produce such a variety of rocks, not known to be formed by any normal Earth processes.
The Concore Model gives reasonable answer to the first mystery. If the Planet Asteron was fairly large, maybe similar in size to Earth, it can be expected to have developed in a similar way to Earth. In particular, its structure would be expected to include its own Mesolayer or Element Kitchen, where transmutation of elements was occurring at the outer margin of its compacted-neutron core. Much of the Mesolayer volume would contain a "partially cooked" mix of elements and compounds, not yet reaching the "fully cooked" composition of MORB, the basaltic rock which underlies most of the Earth's crust,
If then the Planet Asteron was suddenly broken up into pieces by some catastrophic process, with the pieces presumably adding to or forming the modern Asteroid Belt, a proportion of these pieces would be of "partially cooked" materials from the Mesolayer. These would be the objects we know as Chondrites.
The second mystery concerns how, why, and when the postulated Planet Asteron could be broken up in such a fashion. The answer to this may include the gravitational influence of the giant planet Jupiter nearby. Jupiter is a jealous planet and does not tolerate rivals of any considerable mass in its vicinity.
But even accepting Jupiter's gravity as the source of Asteron's break-up does not explain why and when it might have happened. For this we need to look at another aspect of the Concore model, that a developing planet is expanding in size and so, with the same mass, is of increasingly lower density. Eventually the point would be reached where Asteron's increasing fragility would fall to Jupiter's gravitational might.
As to when, there is plenty of evidence, from dating studies of the age of chondrites [D10], that the big majority of them were formed in a single event, 0.5 billion years back. So this date, 500 million years ago, might be when Asteron ceased to exist as a planet.
All this might seem to be "drawing a long bow" (polite version) or perhaps more earthily, "BS". But as Sherlock Holmes said, "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? Better to have an explanation, however wild, which can be analysed and verified or disproved, than no explanation at all.
There is more detail on this in EP303: The Earth-Expansion Model Part B -- Answers to A Hundred Puzzles [D10].
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
References and Links
[D1]. Slide 43 -- The Eye of the Beholder. http://slideplayer.com/slide/1416294/ .
[D2]. Forums. http://www.wgt.com/forums/p/529951/3597146.aspx .
[D3]. Milky Way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way .
[D4]. David Noel. UG101: Recycling the Universe: Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and the Science of Stuff. http://aoi.com.au/Recycling/index.htm .
[D5]. 31.1 Milky Way Galaxy Diagram. http://www.quizlet.com .
[D6]. Astronomers spot the brightest light in the universe from a colossal explosion. https://australiascience.tv/astronomers-spot-the-brightest-light-in-the-universe-from-a-colossal-explosion/ .
[D7]. Ryan Anderson. The life and death of a star. https://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/07/evolution-of-stars-the-unusual-astronomy-of-mass-effect-halo-starcraft-ii/ .
[D8]. Stellar black hole. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_black_hole .
[D9] What light from yonder neutron breaks?. https://phys.org/news/2006-12-yonder-neutron.html .
[D10] David Noel. EP303: The Earth-Expansion Model Part B -- Answers to A Hundred Puzzles. http://www.aoi.com.au/EP/EP303.htm .
[D11] David Noel. XT807 - The Concore Model of planet and star interiors . http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/bkg3k.html .
[D12]. Ryan Anderson. Similarities & Differences - L3 & LL3 Chondrites. http://www.meteorites.com.au/odds&ends/Type3Chondrites.html .
Go to the Oort Cloud Home Page
Go to the previous article in the OC suite
Go to the next article in the OC suite
Version 1.0 published November 2019 as Segment B of the book "The Oort Cloud: Almost all the Universe". AOI Press, ISBN 9798614884314.
Version 2.0 placed on web at "AOI.com.au", 2022 Jun 24.