On the Visual Images that Galaxies Create
|Title||On the Visual Images that Galaxies Create|
|Author(s)||Cynthia Kolb Whitney|
|Journal||Proceedings of the NPA|
The visual image of a spiral galaxy is one of the most tantalizing images in Nature. And it is very pervasive. Whether large or small, young or old, heavily or sparsely populated with stars, galaxies usually show spiral arms. And this is true despite the fact that galaxies are not rigid bodies, so any particular structure ought to unravel over time, and so ought not to appear pervasive at any moment in time. The mechanism that creates and sustains the pervasive spiral galaxy form is presently a subject for debate. Candidate mechanisms include both gravitational and electromagnetic ones. With several candidates on the table, I feel free to add another. It is my belief that common results usually arise from common causes. So what else is common in cosmology? Two-body systems are. I believe the common mechanism behind spiral galaxy structure is provided by a super-massive two-body system at the heart of every such galaxy. If there is any non-infinite speed associated with gravity, then the same kind of analysis that my first paper discusses for electromagnetic stability in atoms and charge clusters also applies to galaxies. A super massive two-body system at the heart of a galaxy leads to a spiral shaped background field that the normal sized stars of the galaxy fall into, thereby creating the spiral appearance. I first began writing about this subject in the 1980?s, but have so far not reprised it for this audience. My thanks go to Alexander Scarborough for rekindling my enthusiasm.