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Plasma Galaxies June 2, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), Deep Space, JPL, NASA, Satellite, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, TPOD, Website.
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NASA/JPLCaltech/S. Willner(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)


Laboratory experiments, together with advanced simulation capabilities, have shown that electric forces can efficiently organize spiral galaxies, without resorting to the wild card of gravity-only cosmology–the Black Hole.

Many of astronomy's most fundamental mysteries find their resolution in plasma behavior. Why do cosmic bodies spin, asked the distinguished astronomer Fred Hoyle, in summarizing the unanswered questions. Plasma experiments show that rotation is a natural function of interacting electric currents in plasma. Currents can pinch matter together to form rotating stars and galaxies. A good example is the ubiquitous spiral galaxy, a predictable configuration of a cosmic-scale discharge. Computer models of two current filaments interacting in a plasma have, in fact, reproduced fine details of spiral galaxies, where the gravitational schools must rely on invisible matter arbitrarily placed wherever it is needed to make their models "work".

The photograph of spiral galaxy M81 above is one of the first images returned by NASA's new Spitzer space telescope, an instrument that can detect extremely faint waves of infrared radiation, or heat, through clouds of dust and plasma that have blocked the view of conventional telescopes. The result is the picture of striking clarity.

Beneath this photograph we have placed snapshots from a computer simulation by plasma scientist Anthony Peratt, illustrating the evolution of galactic structures under the influence of electric currents. Through the "pinch effect", parallel currents converge to produce spiraling structures.

To see the connection between plasma experiments and plasma formations in space, it is essential to understand the scalability of plasma phenomena. Under similar conditions, plasma discharge will produce the same formations irrespective of the size of the event. The same basic patterns will be seen at laboratory, planetary, stellar, and galactic levels. Duration is proportional to size as well. A spark that lasts for microseconds in the laboratory may continue for years at planetary or stellar scales, or for millions of years at galactic or intergalactic scales.

Plasma experiments, backed by computer simulations of plasma discharge, are changing the picture of space.  Plasma scientists, for example, are able to replicate the evolution of galactic structures both experimentally and in computer simulations without recourse to a popular fiction of modern astrophysics –the black hole. Astronomers require invisible, super-compressed matter as the center of galaxies because without Black Holes gravitational equations cannot account for observed movement and compact energetic activity. But charged plasma achieves such effects routinely

The Peekskill Meteor June 1, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Earth, Meteor, Peekskill, Planets, Space Fotos, TPOD.
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Jim Payette, Thunderbolts and Michael Armstrong


Bolides that flicker, flare up and explode as they streak toward the earth pose unanswered questions for scientists. Why do most meteors become visible to the eye when they are about 60 miles in altitude but a few appear at up to twice that height?  Why are some meteors accompanied by electrophonic sound that is simultaneous with their flaring up?

In the evening of October 9, 1992 a fireball appeared in the sky over West Virginia. This distinctively green-hued fireball traveled visibly over 700 km in 40+ seconds. Thousands of people saw it, and dozens reported observations that enabled scientists to determine its path and behavior. At least 16 different witnesses videotaped it.

At some point in its flight this meteoric fireball fragmented with significant longitudinal displacement of fragments and slight transverse displacement for some of the fragments, both of which can be seen in the photos above.  Before fragmentation, though, the meteoric fireball left a distinctly flickering wake trail. Also during its flight the fireball flared twice dramatically, reaching a brightness exceeding that of a full moon. Some witnesses describe an explosive before it burst into a rainbow of colors.

One observer commented: "When I saw it, it was still in one piece. It was an electric lime green with tendril-like extensions. It did not look like it was burning up so much as undergoing an electrical interaction. In the photo after fragmentation, one can notice the electric coma on the lead meteor."

Many witnesses described hearing electrostatic noises or "crackling" sounds just before and for several seconds after fragmentation. Since the fragmentation took place at an altitude of about 41.7 km (26 miles) in a vacuum where there is NOT enough atmosphere to carry sound, how did this electrophonic noise propagate for over 25 miles?

See  “Electrophonic sounds from large meteor fireballs”, Keay, Colin S.L., Meteoritics (ISSN 0026-1114), vol. 27, no. 2, June 1992, p. 144-148. Research supported by Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics, Queen Mary and Westfield College, and SERC.

 Quote from the abstract of the article given on:


“Anomalous sounds from large meteor fireballs, anomalous because they are audible simultaneously with the sighting, have been a matter for debate for over two centuries. Only a minority of observers perceive them. Ten years ago a viable physical explanation was developed (Keay, 1980) which accounts for the phenomenon in terms of ELF/VLF radiation from the fireball plasma being transduced into acoustic waves whenever appropriate objects happen to be in the vicinity of an observer. This explanation has now been verified observationally and supported by other evidence including the study of meteor fireball light curves reported here”.

Astrophysicists try to calculate the original mass of the Peekskill bolide from the total energy released. They present a value range from 2 to 25 tons, but these calculations give no consideration to electric charge and electric forces. In the Electric Universe view, any object coming far from the earth would be charged differently. As it encounters lower layers of the Earth's plasma sheath, the voltage between the object and the layer would increase and the object would begin to discharge visibly.

At first it would be surrounded by a “glow discharge”, a diffuse luminescence similar to St. Elmo’s fire or to high-altitude “elves”. As the voltage increased, the discharge would jump to “arc” mode, and the object would become an electrode at the focus of upper-atmospheric charge. At this point it would begin to ablate material in a discharge process as well as from velocity-caused air friction.

Since there is no indication of oxidizable elements associated with the recovered fragment, it is unlikely that the flareups were caused by chemical reaction. The most likely explanation is that of its running into a more highly charged region. Regardless, the total energy released would always be the combination of kinetic energy, chemical energy and electric energy.

One significant question needs to be answered. At about 50 km (31 miles) above the Earth's surface, is there enough material in space to begin a friction ablation process for an object traveling 14.7km/s (32.9 thousand mph)? If not, one is justified to conclude that electrical interaction took place to initiate the glow and flareups. Others have misgivings concerning the adequacy of friction ablation, also. See:


Luminescence above 100 km (60 miles) has been noticed not only with meteors but also with spacecraft. Russian scientists in the 1960s noticed the sudden appearance of infrared radiation and light around their rockets between 100 and 160 km (60 to 100 miles).

One proposed explanation, with which the Electric Universe would agree, is that meteors (and spacecraft) trigger the formation of instabilities in plasma layers. The energy of the flickering and flaring, as well as of the low-frequency radiation, comes more from the ionospheric plasma than from the meteoroid. The meteors that we’ve come to think of as “burning up in the atmosphere” may instead be the targets of mini-thunderbolts from the ionosphere.

Earth: A Self-repairing Capacitor May 31, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Earth, People, Planets, Space Fotos, TPOD, Wal Thornhill.
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Wal Thornhill, Thunderbolts Picture of the Day


One electrical device which serves as a model for cosmic plasma activity is the capacitor. A capacitor is a device for accumulating and storing electric charge. It is made of two conductors separated by an insulating medium. When charge is placed on one conductor it attracts charge of the opposite polarity on the other conductor. As a result, an electric field is set up between the conductors, a reservoir of electrical energy.

In both everyday electronics and advanced plasma research the capacitor is important for its ability to rapidly store and release electrical energy. Some of the highest energy experiments in the world are performed using large rooms full of charged capacitors to produce intense discharges.

As the charge on the capacitor increases, the electric field between the conductors will increase, placing a growing stress on the insulator. At some critical point, the insulator breaks down and the capacitor "short circuits," releasing the stored electrical energy suddenly. Such breakdowns may destroy a solid insulator and with it, the capacitor.

However, if the charging rate is slow and the insulator is air or liquid, the damage may repair itself as fresh insulating material rushes in. That is a "self-repairing" capacitor. If the current is strong or the insulator weak, current will pass between the conducting plates, either steadily or in bursts. This is called a "leaky capacitor."

Power transmission lines form large-scale capacitors with the air as insulator between the conducting wires. The geometry makes the electric field strongest at the wire surface, which is where the air is likeliest to "break down" and discharge. The hissing and crackling you hear when standing under a power line is just this intermittent leakage.

Many natural systems form capacitors as well. For example, the Earth's surface and its ionosphere are two conducting layers separated by air. The surface-ionosphere capacitor is of particular interest in the study of sprites. Small "leaks" in the form of lightning can trigger much larger "leaks" (sprites, etc.) at high altitudes above them.

In the electric universe, this effect can be traced via auroral circuits, through the circuitry of the solar system, and far into interstellar space. From this viewpoint sprites and lightning are merely leakage currents trickling off the galactic power line. But clearly, the degree to which electric potential from the galaxy powers thunderstorms on Earth has yet to be investigated.

Missing Air of Mars May 15, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Illustration, Mars, Planets, Space Fotos, TPOD.
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Missing Air of Mars 

Astronomers seek to calculate earlier atmospheric conditions on Mars based on the present rate of atmospheric loss. But such attempts are inevitably flawed. The wild card is the role of planetary catastrophe in the past.

Mars has an atmosphere only one hundredth as dense as the Earth's. Before space probes visited it, astronomers expected it to be ten or more times thicker than it is. ESA's Mars Express orbiter has come up with a possible explanation (see illustration above). The orbiter has been measuring how much atmosphere is being removed from Mars today by solar wind interactions. The total is about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) per second, or about 100 tons per day. That's not fast enough to have depleted Mars' atmosphere in the accepted length of Martian history, but presumably when there was more atmosphere, the process happened faster.

But the concept breaks down when you consider Venus. By standard theory, Venus, Earth and Mars have a common origin in the solar nebula. They must have received similar original amounts of air and water. Earth has held on to most of its air and water because it has a magnetic field to protect it from the solar wind. Neither Venus nor Mars have magnetic fields today (although Mars is thought to have had one early in its history). If Venus has been bombarded by solar wind for as long as Earth and Mars, then its atmosphere should have been depleted, too. But it isn't. Instead, Venus' atmosphere is 90 denser than Earth's atmosphere.

For the Electric Universe, there is no reason to think of Venus, Earth and Mars as siblings. Nor is it reasonable to think of them as moving along the same orbits for billions of years. Each planet had a separate birth, and even if some or all were born in the same set of plasma instabilities, their characteristics would be dependent on the composition and discharge history of the particular plasma cell in which they were individually formed.

After the birth event, the planets also have a history. Each of them took part in several catastrophic events, the most recent of which is commemorated by prehistoric humans in rock art and in myth. It isn't necessary to suppose that Mars has been losing 100 tons of air a day for billions of years because a few thousands of years ago Mars went through a major event that could have stripped it of its atmosphere and oceans all at once. Plasma interactions were undoubtedly involved; history remembers them as the magical thunder weapon of the warrior hero. But these plasma interactions were much more active than those described above by the Mars Express researchers.

Electric discharge will sometimes take away material (as in the 100 tons per day from the Martian atmosphere). But it can also deposit new material in sorted layers. Or even a whole new atmosphere. As space probes have returned data about density of atmospheres among our solar neighbors, astronomers have been surprised in many cases. Too much air on Venus and Titan; too little on Mars. Earth is considered the "just right" example of how much air a planet should retain for its mass. But electrically speaking, there is no standard initial atmosphere and subsequent changes are not necessarily slow or steady. No wonder the planetary atmospheres don't appear to comply with the astronomical texts.


A, B, C, D, Electric Solar System May 13, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Aurora, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Jupiter, NASA, Planets, SAO, Space Fotos, TPOD.
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NASA investigators now recognize that Jupiter's auroras are electrical phenomena. But they are struggling to understand the electrical connections of the aurora's "tails" to other bodies in the Jovian system—not just to Jupiter's closest moon Io, but also to its second moon Europa.

For almost two years now, we have been making the case in these pages that the "volcanic"plumes on Jupiter's moon Io are plasma discharge arcs from the moon's electrical transactions with the gas giant. In recent years a growing number of scientists have acknowledged the electrical exchange between the two bodies, as confirmed by Io's "footprint" in the Jovian aurora above.

But now a new study reports that one of the bright spots in this aurora is the footprint of a continuous electrical exchange between Jupiter and another moon, Europa. In October of 2005, the journal Geophysical Research Letters published a report from a research team headed by Denis Grodent of the University of Liège, Belgium, noting the team's discovery of a short auroral tail linking Jupiter to Europa. The report notes that this footprint is similar to that of Io, but less energetic. Grodent's team based its report on a study of 45 Hubble images of the Jovian aurora showing Europa's footprint and its swirling "tail".

In previous attempts to explain the electrical connection of Io to Jupiter, astronomers suggested that Jupiter's tidal influence on Io provoked the release of the observed charged particles in Io''s "volcanic" plumes. The particles then flowed as an electric current to Jupiter, as evidenced by the glowing electrical signature (footprint) in the gas giant's aurora. But in electrical terms this supposed one way transaction could not be valid, and it left Europa dangling in "neutral" space. How would its electric connection to Jupiter be explained?

"…Europa is not thought to be volcanic, so what could produce the electrical current that zips along and eventually gives rise to Europa's auroral footprint?" the writers of the report ask.

Here we meet an old dilemma once again. Standard astronomy begins its investigations with the assumption–usually unspoken—of an electrically neutral universe. So when investigators encounter electrical phenomena, they rely upon local "generators" no matter improbable. And they will ignore the evidence for larger electric circuits that have, in fact, already answered the question posed: the local transactions involve circuits, not one-way paths. And the local circuits are subsidiaries of larger circuits.

In the case of Jupiter, the larger circuit is that between the gas giant and the Sun. In the case of the Sun, the larger circuit connects the Sun to a spiraling arm of the Milky Way. And there is evidence aplenty that galaxies themselves are joined in still larger electrical exchange. Where the hierarchy ends, no one can say. But that it exists is substantiated by every line of investigation that has been opened up in recent decades. There are no isolated islands in space: All objects in space are connected in a web of cosmic circuitry.

An electrical interaction between Jupiter and its moons means that the bodies are charged. (As soon as you grant that one body is charged, the other body is also charged in relationship to it). Jupiter is not an island. It stands in a dynamic electrical relationship to the Sun, just as does the Earth. It is now known that charged particles from the Sun, not a terrestrial "dynamo", power Earth's auroras. The same thing can be said of Jupiter's auroras, though this was as contrary to astronomers' assumptions as was the confirmation of the Sun's input to terrestrial auroras. Work by scientists at the University of Leicester in the UK found “a strong correlation between the strength of the solar wind and the behaviour of [Jupiter’s] auroras". But this was "completely the opposite result to the one we were expecting from our predictions".

Of course, what is surprising or illogical from one vantage point may be "reasoning from the obvious" in another.

A: Jupiter interacts electrically with its moons.

B: Jupiter interacts electrically with the Sun, as does the Earth.

C: The planets in the Solar System are charged bodies.

D: The sun has an electric field.

Suddenly the elephant so long "hidden" in the living room of astrophysics is exposed. Since the sun gives off proton storms, and the protons in the solar wind are being accelerated away from the sun, it should have been obvious all along that the Sun is the center of an electric field…

E. Electrical transactions between the Sun, the planets, and the planets' moons are only to be expected in the Electric Universe.

Electrical connectivity is thus confirmed by every level of investigation; it is not just the reason for Io's "volcanic" plumes; it is the reason why Saturn's moon Enceladus similarly spews out icy particles in high energy jets; it is why Europa and other moon of Jupiter and Saturn and Uranus display vast networks of channels that can only be explained as electric discharge scars; it is why the planets have teardrop shaped Langmuir sheaths; it is why Mars, moving on an orbit more elliptical than Earth's, is periodically overtaken by global dust storms and Everest-sized "dust devils"; it is why the Earth discharges to space through sprites and elves; it is why remote comets discharge so brilliantly as they approach the inner solar system; it is why "asteroids" can become comets if their orbits are sufficiently eccentric; it is why comets sometimes break up as they move through the Sun's electric field.

Once admitted, the Electric Universe will not just alter a few imagined "islands" in space; it will change the picture entirely.

Luminous Crater Rims April 27, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Mars, NASA, Space Fotos, TPOD.
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Do the rims of the Martian craters in the picture above appear to be glowing electrically? They are not glowing, but they look that way for a good electrical reason.

Our picture for today comes from a high-resolution photographic strip taken by the Mars Global Surveyor. It is from the region of Meridiani Planum, on which the rover Opportunity landed in January 2004. (For convenience, we’ve rotated the picture 90 degrees clockwise; north is to the right).

The rover visited at least one of the craters in the region, and found that the bright rim is lighter surface material beneath a dark layer of fine sand, intermixed with millimeter-sized granules. In ways not yet understood by NASA scientists, the dark material is created and distributed by Everest-sized “dust devils” and by powerful dust storms on Mars.

The landscape exhibited here throws additional light on the electrical nature of the Martian “winds”. We have already observed that the dust devils on Mars “burn” the soil electrically, leaving dark tracks meandering across the Martian surface. The dark material resulting from electrical storms has covered large regions of Mars. Later, as new dust devils move across the darkened regions, they will often leave a lighter track by removing the darker surface material.

When a regional dust storm develops, its leading edge reveals a large complex of tornado-like vortices. In contrast to a single dust devil, a regional dust storm—sometimes growing to global proportions—can remove much more of the superficial surface material and deposit the darkened dust and grains over neighboring regions. And just as a Martian dust devil moving across a darker surface can create a lighter track, it appears that the more energetic dust storms can create eerie effects on such darkened areas as Meridiani Planum.

Little more than common sense scientifically is needed to see these effects in electrical terms. It is inconceivable that that a mere “wind”, in an atmosphere only one percent as dense as the atmosphere of the Earth, could remove dust and grainy material, then elevate them in the vertical fashion implied by pictures of the rope-like tornado columns on the edge of powerful dust storms.

In our Picture of the Day for March 24, we suggested, “Closer examination should show that these tornadoes form preferentially on high points and the sharp edges of craters or escarpments”. The effect is clear in the picture above. Material has been removed from the rims of craters in ways that would not be typical of the mechanical effects of wind alone. Note, for example, that the rims exhibit radial “rays” created by the removal of material. The rays extend in every direction around the craters—not in the one direction expected of a mechanical wind’s path. The result is a photographic image recording the electric discharge of the dust storm vortices—imitating the “glow” of the air-to-ground discharge in the contrasting light and dark material left behind.

Also significant is the “tangential” component of the darker streaks left by removal of dust from the rims. Many years ago, Ralph Juergens noted this function of a rotating electrical arc. The pattern suggests a counterclockwise rotation of an electrical vortex as it spins off the crater in the direction of the “wind streak” left behind. The familiar winds known to meteorologists do not create selective displacement of downwind material in this way.

If planetary scientists will examine these features objectively and in closer detail, they will see the signature of electrical discharge. Though electrical events today certainly cannot compare to the planet-altering events of the past, the tools now available should allow for definitive answers if planetary scientists will consider the electrical phenomena occurring episodically on the planet today

M15: A Great Globular Cluster December 16, 2005

Posted by jtintle in Deep Space, Space Fotos, TPOD.
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Credit: The Electronic Universe Project

Globular clusters are a particularly difficult problem for a gravity-only cosmology. They should not be where we see them, and their spherical configuration defies the expectations of standard theory.

Today, astronomers continue to wrestle with problems posed by exotic structures in space that appear to mock Newton’s elementary “laws?. In their attempts to account for unexpected galactic motions, astronomers have invoked invisible entities and forces: Black Holes, “dark matter” and “dark energy?, which are imagined to be far more powerful than anything actually seen. In stepping out on this lily pad, they have even speculated that as much as 99 percent of the matter in the universe is “dark? and can be measured only by “apparent gravitational effects?. It was this resort to unseen matter that caused Astronomer Halton Arp to observe in Seeing Red that “past 90% it [dark matter] begins to make observations irrelevant”.

Within our own galaxy, the Milky Way, globular clusters or spherical configurations of stars such as M15 above, are a particularly difficult problem for a gravity-only cosmology. By what mechanical magic does gravity hold a million stars together in this way, as a sphere rather than the familiar disk of gravitational models? Gravitationally, spherical configurations of stars simply hanging in space are absurd.

The problem is heightened by the fact that M15 is only one of about 100 known globular clusters associated with the Milky Way. Strictly speaking they are not a part of our galaxy as traditionally defined. Rather they appear close to the core of the galaxy as a spherical “halo? above and below the center of galactic rotation.

Yet astronomers rarely acknowledge the dynamic problems this creates. Theory states that clusters above the plane must move on orbital paths around the center of the dynamic system as a whole, and in completing an orbit each will intersect the galactic plane twice. Such an intersection with the plane would induce tidal distortions and disrupt the cluster.

The problem was recently noted by the physicist C. Johnson of the University of Chicago, “It is almost like physicists have been assuming they [globular clusters] just hover there like a swarm of bees. But that wouldn’t happen. They could NOT just follow elliptical paths above or below the Galactic Plane. Basic gravitational theory insists that their elliptical paths pass through the Galactic Plane, because the two halves of any path must be on opposite sides of that Plane?.

Johnson suggests that something is missing—and not a small piece of the puzzle. “It would appear that either our understanding of the Laws of Physics is sadly lacking, or our understanding of the geometry of the situation is greatly in error. The commonly accepted view of a halo of ancient, stable Globular Clusters hovering around the Core of the Galaxy, like a swarm of bees, is just not compatible with our current understanding of the Laws of Physics. Clearly, further research is necessary”.

The same quandary applies to the relative motions of stars within each cluster. And while Johnson accurately describes the gravitational dynamic, the rule he applies is a formula for chaos. As any gravitational simulation will demonstrate, it would quickly lead to some stars being accelerated out of the system, while others would lose energy and fall to an orbit closer in. Over time, the globular clusters would largely “evaporate”.

But from another vantage point, it is not unthinkable that the stars of globular clusters are “just hanging there?, both with respect to the clusters’ own center of gravity and the gravitational center of the galactic disk to which the clusters are symmetrically linked. In the electric universe model of stellar composition and energy, stars are concentrations of highly positive-charged material. For globular clusters, such a collection of stars with no other external distorting forces in play might indeed form a stable ball-of-stars formation. In fact, the new view of the universe provides many examples of star-sized masses—even galactic clusters—in symmetrical arrangements that gravitational theorists never dreamt of (including polar alignments). And as for the spherical form of globular clusters, the cosmic electricians suggest that the best analogy may come from something as unfamiliar to astronomers as ball lightning.


Mesas with Moats November 29, 2005

Posted by jtintle in JPL, NASA, Space Fotos, TPOD.
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Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteMost solid bodies in the solar system are pock marked with circular features that are heedlessly assumed to be “impact craters.? A more careful examination indicates that many of them are likely the result of electrical discharge activity.

In the Electric Universe most craters on celestial bodies are scars left by electrical discharges. Two or more filaments in a Birkeland current remove material from a surface as they rotate around the current’s axis. This action leaves a circular depression with steep walls. As the current varies, the depth of excavation will vary, ften producing terraces along the walls.

Just Another Small, Faint Galaxy November 7, 2005

Posted by jtintle in Deep Space, Hubble Telescope, NASA, Space Fotos, TPOD.
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Credit: NASA/ESA/R Hurt/Spitzer Science Center

Electric Sunspots October 13, 2005

Posted by jtintle in Solar Flares, Space Fotos, Sun, TPOD.
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Credit: Mandatory credit: Friedrich Woeger, KIS, and Chris Berst and Mark Komsa, NSO/AURA/NSF.

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