Electrical connection between stars

My world is inspired by Electric Universe Theory where electricity is a force which can defeat the laws of physics (I'm also fine with calling it "magic that is analogous to electricity"). In the present-day of my world (several thousand years in our future) naturally occurring Birkland currents between stars facilitate near-casual interstellar travel. In a previous question I'd asked about a technology that can boost this electrical current. This follow-up question is about a cataclysmic event in the distant past which is attributed to an industrial accident under similar technology.

As a writer's note, the actual circumstances that triggered the plasma storm are debatable. It serves as a kind of unsolved ancient mystery but is ultimately "magic that is analogous to electricity", so how and why are not my focus here (but feel free to critique). I'm more concerned about the timeline of the event itself and it's recovery. These past events are baked in to my story and I need to make it pass the sniff test.

a Legend of Hubris and Disaster

Two star systems (A and B) had an unusually strong Birkland current connecting them. This natural phenomenon allowed them to become advantageous trading partners, and pioneers in exploiting the Birkland current technology. As the legend goes they attempted to artificially boost the connection, but created an electromagnetic surge strong enough to transfer plasma from one star to the other, a swirling burning mass of electromagnetic activity like an enormous plasma tornado.

Everyone within the two star systems were killed. Their homeworlds became uninhabitable. The diaspora of the two societies went to war, each blaming the other. A dark age of ignorance ended a once great society, and the exact nature of the cataclysm was lost to parable and fantasy.

Current conditions

By the time of my story the stars have stabilized, and the descendants of the diaspora have returned, but conditions are different:

Star A received the plasma. It now burns slightly hotter and brighter. The homeworld has been resettled but is less hospitable, essentially a dryer planet now but with some scarred pre-collapse ruins intact and a smaller ocean.

Star B surrendered its plasma, and went through a more catastrophic change. The star's horizon blurred or "burst" and has not fully recovered. The inner solar system including the homeworld is uninhabitable, but the outer system is riddled with commercial mines and fractured colonies, even out to the ice belt.

Why it's important

The two systems are my source of unobtanium. It's my origin story so I need to make it work, but the timespan is flexible.

Got any research?

Mass transfer between stars is an ongoing event between binary stars that ends in the death of one of the stars. My event is different because it is brief and then stops.

Electric Universe Theory is full of kooky ideas, often speculating on destructive cosmic phenomena which coincide with mythological "histories". My scenario is a nod to that tradition.

How long ago did the cataclysm happen?

I will make guess so you have an idea what I am looking for.

  • Distance between the stars: 3 lightyears? Close neighbors but not binary (maybe close enough to share a barycenter)
  • the technology (discussed in the previous question) involves connecting the stars with a synchronized electric current. Once the technology is running the artificial Birkland rope takes several years to develop (speed of light to the other star?). Once the plasma storm begins they cannot just shut it down. The phenomena lingers.
  • According to the "rules" of Electric Universe Theory (any amount of handwaiving is allowed as long as it looks like electricity) the plasma does not randomly dissipate. The electric current pulls the plasma storm across like a spark gap.
  • The plasma "storm" travels through space at different velocities. It leaves Star B over the span of weeks, but rains waves of plasma onto Star A for decades.
  • Mucho radiation for... centuries? Is there radiation?
  • I need a habitable before-and-after homeworld for Star A. Conditions are stressed afterwards, but probably due more to the plasma storm than the star being brighter. As a result it has been resettled for a few centuries.
  • Conditions on Star B are less specific, but the homeworld is uninhabitable, destroyed, or gone. An outer system still exists.
  • Star B has lost some overall mass but is it a cloud? a disc? Something less than a star? Could it be visibly different and still hold on to its outer system?

Rough estimate:

the cataclysm took place about 1000 years ago.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Aify, James, Hohmannfan, L.Dutch, kingledion Apr 1 '17 at 19:09

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    $\begingroup$ This is kind of a tough one to answer for two reasons. One, is that the light speed (or greater) transfer of plasma from one star to another is pretty far outside the realm of physics. Thats fine, you say as much in your introduction, but if we're ignoring that bit of physics, it is hard to say what other physics should apply that we can make a calculation from. The second part is that real life physics understanding of solar instabilities, like sunspots and flares, is minimal at best, making this question probably impossible to answer even if it did stick to just real world physics $\endgroup$ – kingledion Mar 31 '17 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ In conclusion, you might just want to make something up for this one. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Mar 31 '17 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah… :/ There is no info that I can find that describes "halfway novas" or anything that might give me a time frame on stars recovering from this sort of stuff. From what I've written here it doesn't seem like I need to be terribly specific about how much plasma "happens", I now realize the state of the stars don't matter that much, I can destroy the homeworlds in the event…. As far as I can tell the Electric Universe people are just making stuff up to fit their mythology timeline too, so… I guess it's not out of place. LOL $\endgroup$ – wetcircuit Mar 31 '17 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ The question is still unclear to me. Do you want a complete alternative universe which is not "realistic" but built with an "electric universe" as model or do you want a "real universe" where some phenomena are explained with "electric universe" lingo? $\endgroup$ – Thorsten S. Mar 31 '17 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, it matters If you simply want "Teslapunk", you can shamelessly plunder the works of Alfven, Birkeland, Velikovsky and Thornhill for concepts and build your alternative universe. Your main objective is then describe the atmosphere and the feeling of your world, scientifically soundness is your secondary concern and you are targeting more the fan or the avid non-technical reader. If you try to be more realistic, the stakes are higher. Technical people will point out unconvincing stuff and the avid reader may be clobbered with too much lingo he/she does not understand. $\endgroup$ – Thorsten S. Apr 2 '17 at 1:03