cosmic tunnel?

Aug 27, 2020
Dear all,

I've heard research suggests the Earth is travelling in an 'enormous cosmic tunnel'.

Over thirty years ago I tried to express an interconnectedness between galaxies using only paint and feelings.

I called the painting Nodes of Creation i.e. were 'tunnels ' met and galaxies formed.

It's only and idea expressed on a canvas .....


[ housewife - common or garden variety]
Jan 27, 2020
Thank-you, Marjorie, for suggesting this interesting topic. Let me flesh it out a bit...

Earth in a tunnel? Decades-old mystery unfolds
Sky Earth blogspot
October 18, 2021


Earth in a tunnel would mean a tunnel-like structure in our sky. We could see it, these astronomers said, if our eyes were tuned to the “light” of radio waves. The Van-Gogh-like lines here show the orientation of the tunnel-like structure’s magnetic field. Notice the bright star in the center of the image. That star is Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, which marks the solar apex, or direction of the sun’s motion through the Milky Way galaxy. Image via Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory/ Villa Elisa telescope/ ESA/ Planck Collaboration/ Stellarium/ J. West./ University of Toronto.

An astronomer at the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto said on October 14, 2021, that our solar system may be surrounded by what she describes as a magnetic tunnel, visible in radio waves. Jennifer West is an expert in magnetism in galaxies and the interstellar medium, that is, the material that fills the space between the stars. She is making a scientific case for the existence of this tunnel. West and her team believe that two known structures – seen on opposite sides of Earth’s sky and previously considered to be separate – are instead connected as a tunnel. She described the tunnel as “rope-like filaments” some 1,000 light-years long. West said:

"If we were to look up in the sky, we would see this tunnel-like structure in just about every direction we looked – that is, if we had eyes that could see radio light."

West and her colleagues are able to study this magnetic tunnel surrounding us in space because they’re using telescopes and other instruments that see in the radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum. On one side of Earth’s sky, they see the North Polar Spur of our Milky Way galaxy. That’s a ridge of gas sticking out at an angle to the star-rich plane of our galaxy. Last spring, Monica Young at described one way of looking at the Milky Way’s North Polar Spur. She said astronomers were proposing it as part of what they call the Local Bubble around our solar system, a cavity in space some 300 light-years across.

The Local Bubble contains the stars nearest to our sun and is thought to have been blown out long ago by supernova explosions. Maybe the North Polar Spur and the Local Bubble are connected, and maybe West’s view of a tunnel-like structure in this same region of the galaxy – our region, our neighborhood of space – is also connected somehow.

On the opposite side of Earth’s sky, astronomers also see a part of the galaxy they call the Fan Region. It’s not as well studied, but astronomers look toward it because it’s bright in the polarized radio sky. In West’s view, the Fan Region is part of the tunnel-like structure around our solar system, too.

West and her team published the data results of the study in the peer-reviewed Astrophysical Journal (see below).

This illustration shows the same part of the sky as in the illustration at top. See the bright star Vega near the center? Our sun moves toward Vega in its journey around the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Image via Stellarium/ J. West/ University of Toronto.

Astronomers have known about the North Polar Spur and the Fan Region since the 1960s. But most scientific explanations have focused on them – and still do focus on them – individually. West and her colleagues are proposing something entirely new. They believe they’re the first astronomers to connect these two opposing sides of the sky as a unit.

West and team see these regions – which consist of charged particles and a magnetic field – as being shaped like great cosmic ropes about 1,000 light-years long. West explained:

"That’s the equivalent distance of travelling between Toronto and Vancouver two trillion times."

A statement from the Dunlap Institute said that West has been thinking about these features on and off for 15 years, since she first saw a map of the radio sky. Dunlap explained:

"More recently, she built a computer model that calculated what the radio sky would look like from Earth, as she varied the shape and location of the long ropes. This model allowed West to ‘build’ the structure around us [on a computer], and showed her what the sky would look like through our telescopes. It was this new perspective that helped her to match the model to the data."

Dr. Jennifer West, Research Associate at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto. Image via Jennifer West/ University of Toronto.

West said:

"A few years ago, one of our co-authors, Tom Landecker, told me about a paper from 1965, from the early days of radio astronomy. Based on the crude data available at this time, the authors (Mathewson & Milne*), speculated that these polarized radio signals could arise from our view of the Local Arm of the galaxy, from inside it.

That paper inspired me to develop this idea and tie my model to the vastly better data that our telescopes give us today."

To explain it further, West uses the Earth’s map as an example:

"The north pole is on the top and the equator is through the middle. But, of course, we can always re-draw that map with a different perspective. The same is true for the map of our galaxy. Most astronomers look at a map with the north pole of the galaxy up and the galactic center in the middle. An important part that inspired this idea was to remake that map with a different point in the middle."

Illustrated map of our Milky Way galaxy shown with the position and size of proposed filaments. Inset shows a more detailed view of the local environments, and the position of the Local Bubble and various nearby dust clouds. Image via University of Toronto.

West said she looks forward to the next possible discoveries within this research. She said:

"Magnetic fields don’t exist in isolation. They all must to connect to each other. So a next step is to better understand how this local magnetic field connects both to the larger-scale galactic magnetic field, and also to the smaller scale magnetic fields of our sun and Earth."

In the meantime, West agrees that her new model – depicting a magnetic tunnel surrounding our solar system – brings new insight to the science community. And it’s also a ground-breaking concept for the rest of us. She commented:

"I think it’s just awesome to imagine that these structures are everywhere, whenever we look up into the night sky."

A curving tunnel, with lines formed by the tunnel lights and road lane markers, illustrating how these lines appear to converge in the distance. This is a similar geometry to the model. Arrows included to aid the eye. Image via Pixabay/wal_172619/ J. West/ University of Toronto.

The Milky Way galaxy seen in radio waves in the conventional view with the galactic center in the middle of the image. Image via Haslam et al. (1982) with annotations by J. West/ University of Toronto.

Bottom line: A new model from astronomers at Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto connects local structures in our neighborhood of the Milky Way and depicts Earth in a tunnel in space.

A Unified Model for the Fan Region and the North Polar Spur: A bundle of filaments in the Local Galaxy
by J. L. West ,1 T. L. Landecker ,2 B. M. Gaensler ,1,3 T. Jaffe ,4 and A. S. Hill 5,2

1Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada
2National Research Council Canada, Herzberg Research Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, PO Box 248, Penticton, V2A 6J9, Canada
3David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada 4NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
5Department of Computer Science, Math, Physics, and Statistics, Irving K. Barber School of Science, University of British Columbia,
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7, Canada
(Received June 2021; Accepted October 1, 2021)
Submitted to AstroPhysical Journal


By D. S. MATHEWSON* and D. K. MILNE* ( )

As Dr. Jennifer West explains, "Magnetic fields don’t exist in isolation. They all must to connect to each other." And it appears that our interconnectedness seems to grow with each discovery.

I wonder if this vast magnetic tunnel in space in which we are traveling is somehow related to the rotation of the galaxies in huge filaments that connect the cosmic web?

Afterall, Noam Libeskind, initiator of the project at the AIP, has said that, "Despite being thin cylinders—similar in dimension to pencils—hundreds of millions of light years long, but just a few million light years in diameter, these fantastic tendrils of matter rotate. On these scales, the galaxies within them are themselves just specks of dust. They move on helixes, or corkscrew-like orbits, circling around the middle of the filament while traveling along it. Such a spin has never been seen before on such enormous scales, and the implication is that there must be an as-yet unknown physical mechanism responsible for torquing these objects."

I now wonder if the if the spin is caused by the same process which Dr. West has found in our area of the Milky Way?

See my article and work:
Largest structures in the universe show clear light-shifted signal of rotation
Last edited:
Mar 4, 2020
One needs to be very careful when listening to explanations, of measurements, of outer space. When we observe and measure events on earth, all the objects and energies of the event, have the same time stamp and therefore interact together in our frame of mind.

But objects and radio waves out in space, have different time stamps. Therefore, the act of space objects working an illusion.

It comes from observing things here on earth. Everything on earth, works at the same time. But not space objects.......even though we see them at the same time......they are not there at the same time.

We can only see where a star use to be. We can not see where the star is now.