How can spirals persist?
- Cite this article as:
- Whitney, C.K. Astrophys Space Sci (1995) 227: 175. doi:10.1007/BF00678078
The image of a spiral galaxy is one of the most tantalizing images in nature. It demands that we ask: why do so many galaxies present this morphology? We currently have two main schools of thought concerning galaxy morphology, one based on gravitational effects and the other based on electromagnetic effects. The older gravitational models can explain how spirals might form, but they also predict that the spirals would quickly disintegrate. And the observed pervasiveness of spirals seems to imply not only their formation, but also their persistence over time. The newer plasma cosmology model is an improvement in that it explains how spirals might form and persist so long as plasma persists. But the formation of charge-neutral stars seems to return the scenario to the gravitational domain, and to subsequent dissolution. Clearly we need an additional idea to account for pervasive and persistent spiral galaxy structure. The present paper attempts to uncover a previously unrecognized gravitational mechanism that can serve as a viable candidate for sustaining persistent spiral galaxy structure.