Snowball Solar System

This work in progress addresses unresolved and ‘problem’ areas in geology and astrophysics:

  • Galaxy, star, planet, and planetesimal formation;
  • The nature and formation of cold dark matter in galactic halos and its effect on the solar system;
  • Aqueous differentiation of comets and dwarf planets due to planetesimal collisions or binary spiral-in mergers;
  • Plate tectonics, the granite problem, the mantled gneiss-dome problem, and the dolomite problem; and
  • Icy-body impacts vs. rocky-iron impacts, endothermic chemical reactions in impacts,


Special Definitions:

- Aqueous Differentiation:
When binary planetesimals formed by GI (TNOs and comets) spiral in and merge to form contact binaries, the dissipated orbital energy may cause cause internal melting of water ice (aqueous differentiation), creating salt-water oceans in contact-binary cores. Aqueous differentiation also occurs in planetesimal mergers. In addition to melting, aqueous differentiation also implies precipitation of mineral grains which may form sedimentary cores, which may undergo diagenesis, lithification and metamorphosis if the salt-water ocean freezes solid, building tremendous pressure due to the expansion of ice as it freezes.

- Asteroids:
High-density volatile-depleted planetesmials ‘condensed’ by GI from the Type II, LRN debris disk just beyond the Sun’s magnetic corotation radius at about Mercury’s orbit. Asteroids may have thermally differentiated (melted, forming iron-nickel cores) due to short-lived r-process radionuclides formed in the spiral-in solar merger at 4,567 Ma. Large asteroids, including 4 Vesta, may be hybrid accretions of smaller asteroids with the planet Mercury as the largest hybrid-accretion asteroid. Then orbit clearing by the terrestrial planets evaporated asteroids into Jupiter’s inner resonances.

- Chondrites:
Medium-density volatile-depleted planetesimals condensed by GI (most likely in Jupiter’s inner resonances) that have not thermally differentiated due to late formation without live radionuclides. CI chondrites without chondrules, however, may have condensed the super-intense solar wind of the common-envelope phase of our former binary-Sun, accounting for their ∆17O more similar to Type I, presolar Mars than Type II, CAIs.

- Close Binary:
‘Hard’ close-binary pairs (planetesimals, planets, moons or stars) tend to spiral in due to external perturbation, becoming progressively harder over time, sometimes merging.

- Comets:
Circa 1–20 km planetesimals condensed by GI beyond the snow line from highly-volatile, Type II LRN-debris ice and dust following 4,567 Ma. Comets (may of which fragmented into binary pairs)may have condensed in circum-trinary orbits beyond our former binary Companion in the extended scattered disc (ESD), likely in both prograde and retrograde orbits which were subsequently shepherded into the inner Oort cloud (IOC) by the Companion as its apoapsis spiraled out from the SSB, fueled by its own binary core collapse.

- Core Collapse:
Orbit clearing is a form of core collapse whereby high-mass planets tend to clear their orbits of lower-mass planetesimals by ‘evaporating’ them into higher orbits. Similarly, close-binary stars may evaporate smaller companion stars into higher wide-binary orbits, transferring energy and angular momentum from more-massive close-binary orbits to increasing the wide-binary separation. Binary-binary perturbation may be particularly efficient, causing the rapid spiral-in merger of our former binary Sun.

- Dwarf Planets:
Objects formed by ‘hybrid accretion’ of smaller planetesimals condensed by GI. Dwarf planets may mix Type I presolar planetesimals, generally TNOs, and Type II LRN-debris planetesimals, generally comets.

- Extended scattered disc (ESD):
(Textbook), A population of ‘detached objects’ (DOs), not gravitationally influenced by Neptune, with perihelia greater than 50 AU and aphelia less than about 1,500 AU and a semi-major axis in the range of 150-1,500 AU

(First hydrostatic core) forms following an initial, nearly-isothermal contraction as the material in the center becomes opaque and no longer freely radiates away its heat, during which phase the compression becomes approximately adiabatic. When gas pressure in the center balances the overlying weight, a FHSC is said to be forming or to have formed.

- Fragmentation/Bifurcation:
Earliest gravitational contraction leading to the formation of a FHSC may isolate outer layers which can not collapse due to excess angular momentum. The isolated outer layers may gravitationally clump to form the second member of the nascent binary pair, now orbiting around their common barycenter. Fragmentation may occur in any-sized objects undergoing GI, from 1 km comets up to moons, planets and stars.

- GI:
(Gravitational instability) whereby gas, dust and ice gravitationally collapse (condense) under densified or pressurized conditions to form planetesimals, planets, moons and stars. Many or most objects condensed by GI fragment in the process due to excess angular momentum.

- Hybrid Accretion (Thayne Currie 2005):
Core accretion of planetesimals formed by GI (hence hybrid) to form larger dwarf planets or super-Earth type planets. Super-Earths are capable of clearing their orbits of their planetesimal precursors whereas dwarf planets are not. Cascades of super-Earths apparently forming from the inside out with a belt of left over planetesimals ‘evaporated’ beyond the orbit of the furthermost super-Earth of the cascade.

- IOC:
(Inner Oort cloud), also known as the ‘Hills Cloud’, the doughnut-shaped comet cloud with its inner edge perhaps in the range of 2,000 – 5,000 AU and its outer edge at perhaps 20,000 AU formed from Type II comets shepherded there by our former Companion star.

- OOC:
(Outer Oort cloud), the spherical ( isotropic) comet cloud perhaps 20,000 – 50,000 AU (or more) mostly perturbed into loosely-bound orbits by non-periodic close encounter or engulfment by circa 2– 50 solar-mass cold-dark-matter (CDM) globules in spiral-plane crossing halo orbits.

- LRN (LRNe plural):
(Luminous red nova), a stellar explosion with a luminosity between that of a nova and a supernova, thought to be caused by the spiral-in merger of two close-binary stars. LRN-scale explosions may only occur in main-sequence stars, whereas a majority of spiral-in stellar mergers may occur in their earlier YSO phase, perhaps explaining the dearth of observed LRNe despite a large hypothesized population of former stellar mergers.

- Planetesimals:
A generic term for anything smaller than a planet, not specifically a moon. The term may apply to (Type I) presolar TNOs and (Type II) LRN-debris asteroids and comets. The term may at times be stretched to include dwarf planets formed by hybrid accretion of smaller planetesimals condensed by GI.

- Protostar, pre-main-sequence star, young stellar object (YSO):
YSOs comprise protostars and pre-main-sequence stars, with younger, cooler ‘protostars’ defined as YSOs with a first hydrostatic core (FHSC) and a core temperature below a few thousand Kelvins. Pre-main-sequence stars have formed a second hydrostatic core (SHSC) with a core temperature between about 6,000 – 8,000 K where molecular hydrogen dissociates and hydrogen ionizes but not yet fusing hydrogen-1 as a main sequence star.

A (second hydrostatic core) forms in protostars and proto-planets with FHSCs, caused endothermic dissociation of molecular hydrogen and the ionization of neutral hydrogen, which may run to completion in the neighborhood of 8,000 K in the core. The nearly-isothermal endothermic reaction likely causes rapid gravitational collapse in the core.

- SSB:
(Solar-system barycenter) The posited solar-system barycenter between the Sun and our former binary Companion star, prior to the 542 Ma spiral-in merger of the Companion in an asymmetrical merger that gave the Companion escape velocity from the Sun.

- Super-Earth: See Hybrid Accretion.

- TNO:
Circa 100 km Dia icy-body (trans-Neptunian objects) ‘condensed’ by GI from the protoplanetary disk, likely while still inside their Bok globule stellar-nursery cocoons at low temperatures. Thus TNOs have a high volatile content and high ice to dust ratios compared to comets. (Pluto’s large moon suggests GI formation followed by fragmentation rather than hybrid accretion, although its density slightly above 2 g/ml may argue against it.)

- Type I material:
Highly-oxidized protoplanetary material form the Sun’s Bok globule stellar nursery. Type I planetesimals condensed by GI are not significantly volatile depleted (high in carbon and oxygen) and have high ice to dust ratios. The trans-Neptunian objects are Type I.

- Type II material:
Volatile-depleted secondary debris-disk material from the Sun’s spiral-in merger at 4,567 Ma. Comets condensed beyond the snow line and asteroids condensed inside the snow line, with chondrites, perhaps, straddling the snow line. Type II material may have varying stellar-merger nucleosynthesis contamination (r-process radionuclides: 27Al & 60Fe, and helium-burning stable isotopes: 12C & 16O), with outer stellar layers with less nucleosynthesis contamination blasted further out in the solar system tending to form comets. Polar jets from the core, from which CAIs condensed, are the most highly contaminated with solar-merger nucleosynthesis which largely wound up in asteroids and chondrites.

- Wide Binary:
‘Soft’ wide-binary pairs (planetesimals, planets, moons or stars) tend to spiral out due to external perturbation, becoming progressively softer, and may dissociate in time. Most wide binaries may have condensed from the same stellar cluster.


Our protostar may have condensed inside a Bok globule in a giant molecular cloud shortly before 4,567 Ma. The collapsing protostar may have fragmented 3 times in rapid succession to form a quadruple protostar system from which hierarchy arose by dynamic core collapse to form two ‘hard’ close-binary pairs (binary Sun and binary Companion) with a ‘soft’ wide-binary separation. (‘Hard’ orbits tend to spiral-in, or harden, due to external perturbation, while ‘soft’ orbits tend to spiral out, or soften, due to external perturbation, so the definition here will be that ‘close binaries’ are ‘hard orbits’ and ‘wide binaries’ are ‘soft orbits’.) A circumbinary protoplanetary disk around binary Sun with its inner edge at 20–30 AU from the binary-solar barycenter may have only formed after the core-collapse separation of binary Sun and binary Companion.

Stellar core-collapse dynamics progressively transferred energy and angular momentum from the two largest stellar components, those of our binary Sun, to increasing the wide-binary separation between the two close-binary systems, ultimately causing binary Sun to spiral in and merge in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma, creating the short-lived radionuclides of our early solar system. After another 4 billion years, the binary Companion may have similarly spiraled in to merge in a smaller LRN at 542 Ma, initiating the Cambrian Explosion of life in dwarf-planet oceans. And asymmetry in the 542 Ma binary merger may have given the Companion escape velocity from from the Sun.

The initial gravitational collapse in protostars is nearly isothermal as long as the contracting cloud remains transparent to infrared radiation. When the central density in protostars reaches about 10^-13 g/cm-3, a small region starts to become opaque, “and the compression become approximately adiabatic”. “The central temperature and pressure then begin to rise rapidly, soon becoming sufficient to decelerate and stop the collapse at the centre. There then arises a small central ‘ core ‘ in which the material has stopped collapsing and is approaching hydrostatic equilibrium” [formation of a first hydrostatic core (FHSC)]. “The initial mass and radius of the core are about 10^31 g and 6×10^13 cm, respectively, and the central density and temperature at this time are about 2 x 10^-10 g/cm-3 and 170° K.”
(Larson 1969)

It’s difficult to imagine fragmentation of a core of whatever density, so as a working ideology, stellar/planetary ‘fragmentation’ is suggested to occur in the process of forming a FHSC. As a working ideology, the high angular momentum outer layers of the protostar are assumed to become isolated during the gravitational contraction described by Larson during the formation of the FHSC, and a fragmented companion star may condense from these isolated outer layers by a kind of ‘disk instability’. Gravitational attraction acting on the outer layers may create asymmetry which is quickly magnified by centrifugal force until two masses orbit around their common barycenter. Then the companion, which could be up to the size of the primary protostar (considering that relatively-close binary pairs are sometimes quite similar in mass), subsequently undergoes gravitational contraction to form its own FHSC. So whether or not protostars fragment due to excess angular momentum, they are are assumed to only become asymmetrical during the formation of their FHSCs which breaks the continuity between the collapsing core and the isolated outer layers, allowing for the formation of a companion Roche sphere in the process of disk instability.

Larson suggests the second hydrostatic core begins forming at about 2000 K when hydrogen molecules begin to dissociate. “This reduces the ratio of specific heats, gamma, below the critical value 4/3, with the result that the material at the center of the core becomes unstable and begins to collapse dynamically.” (Larson 1969) However, experimental testing suggests that molecular hydrogen dissociation occurs over a temperature range of around 6,000 K – 8,000 K which may grade directly into hydrogen ionization, forming soup of molecular-hydrogen/atomic-hydrogen/plasma. (Magro et al. 1996) Figure 3 in Magro shows the nearly-isothermal decrease in kinetic energy occurring in the dissociation/ionization temperature range, indicating an endothermic event which promote run-away gravitational collapse to form the ‘second hydrostatic core’ (SHSC).

Taken from (Magro et al. 1996), Fig. 3 Shows nearly-isothermal (endothermic) dissociation of molecular hydrogen at various Wigner–Seitz radii.

Taken from (Magro et al. 1996), Fig. 3
Shows nearly-isothermal (endothermic) dissociation of molecular hydrogen at various Wigner–Seitz radii.

Extension of the stellar fragmentation ideology to the formation of the SHSC suggests the mechanism for formation of hot Jupiter gas-giant planets, whereby the high angular-momentum outer layers become isolated and condense to form smaller planetary companions, but perhaps, exclusively gas planets in low, hot orbits.

‘Protostar’ will be defined as a young stellar object (YSO), after possible stellar fragmentation, with a FHSC but below a central temperature of about 6,000 K, and ‘pre-main-sequence star’ will be a YSO with a SHSC, having a central temperature greater than about 8,000 K generated by gravitational collapse, but short of achieving hydrogen fusion.

Hot-Jupiter ‘spin-off planets’ (Jupiter and Saturn):

The endothermic dissociation of molecular hydrogen in the cores of our binary proto-Sun promoting nearly-isothermal gravitational collapse to form their SHSCs may have isolated the outer protostellar layers, which in turn underwent GI to form the proto-planets Jupiter and Saturn, Jupiter around the larger A-star solar component (the ‘Jupiter component’) and Saturn around the more distant B-star solar component (the ‘Saturn-component’). The separation of the Jupiter-component from the Saturn-component at the time of proto-planet formation may have been about the current maximum separation of Jupiter from Saturn at opposition from the Sun, that is about Jupiter’s orbit plus Saturn’s orbit for a binary separation on the order of 15 AU.

Gas-giant proto-planets, in turn, may also form first and second hydrostatic cores, and may typically fragment during the formation of their FHSCs to become binary proto-planets. And each binary component may in turn isolate high-angular-momentum outer layers which undergo GI to form proto-moons, with Ganymede forming around the larger binary proto-Jupiter component and Callisto around the smaller binary proto-Jupiter component. (And Ganymede and Callisto likely fragmented to form binary moons which subsequently spiraled in to merge and form solitary moons, the same as former binary-Jupiter and binary-Saturn.

As binary Sun spiraled in, Jupiter and Saturn retained their orbital energy and angular momentum and so were left behind. When Jupiter and Saturn, in turn, reached the nearest Lagrangian point of the binary solar pair they converted from circumprimary and circumsecondary orbit to circumbinary orbits. Jupiter’s ‘hot-moons’, did likewise until Jupiter’s binary components spiraled in to merge into a solitary planet, likely prior to 4,567 Ma. While Jupiter’s moons appear to correspond to Venus, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, Saturn’s former binary spin-off moons appear not to have spiraled in and merged but to have separated, forming the 4 low-density moons solitary moons, Mimas, Tethys, Rhea and Iapetus, perhaps due to a close encounter with one of the two solar components when Saturn itself was transitioning into a circumbinary orbit.

Spiral-in contact-binary and common-envelope:
When Roche spheres touch in a ‘contact binary’, the smaller stellar component may siphon off the the atmosphere of the larger component until their masses are more-nearly balanced. Additional spiral in forms a ‘common envelope’ in which the stellar components are orbiting inside an expanded (common) stellar envelope. And the drag of the stellar cores orbiting inside their combine common envelope may create a super-intense solar wind. But a super-intense solar wind streaming away from a common envelope would only carry away something near average specific angular momentum which would not promote further spiral in of the cores and might merely tend to circularize their barycentric orbits by shedding excess orbital energy. CI chondrites may have ‘condensed’ by gravitational instability (GI) from dust and ice of the super-intense solar wind streaming from the common envelope.

‘Merger Planet’ (Earth and Venus):
Working backwards from Earth’s terrestrial fractionation line with its ∆17O lying below assumedly-presolar Mars on the 3-oxygen isotope plot suggests a solar-merger origin for Earth with helium-burning stable-isotope enrichment, and by twin-planet symmetry, for Venus as well.

Excess angular momentum of binary components spiral-in mergers of stars (and binary gas-giant planets) may create dynamic bar-mode instabilities with high angular momentum tails, but hidden inside common envelopes.

Keplerian rotation likely causes the dynamic bar-mode arms to progressively lag behind the binary-core rotation rates, twisting the magnetic field lines to the breaking point. Magnetic reconnection of progressively-twisted field lines would slice through the bar-mode arms, inducing opposing magnetic fields that may propel symmetrical masses perpendicular to their orbital rotation, enabling the binary cores to catastrophically rid themselves of excess angular momentum. If Venus and Earth are representative, then spiral-in mergers of solar-mass stars may have Venus- and Earth-sized planets in circa 1 AU orbits. Likewise, hot Jupiters the size of Jupiter might be expected to have 4 Galilean moons of similar size and orbits, two larger outer spin-off moons and 2 merger moons.

Helium-burning enrichments (carbon-12 and oxygen-16) may have largely diffused inward across the Roche spheres of proto-Earth and proto-Venus during the brief red-giant phase of the LRN. The bar-mode masses hurled to the orbits of Venus and Earth would have flash cooled as the gravitationally-bound hot plasma cooled to fill their respective Roche spheres, with inward diffusion of LRN metallicity and outward diffusion of hydrogen, helium and other volatiles, including oxygen and carbon. Inward diffusion of LRN isotopes may have largely occurred during the brief red giant phase of the LRN, as proto-Venus and proto-Earth briefly orbited inside the greatly-expanded solar envelope in their pithy proto-planet phase, with the final result being the ‘terrestrial volatility trend’.

The Moon may be the chief distinction between Earth from Venus, suggesting, perhaps, that Venus fragmented once and Earth twice. Since fragmentations occur in planetesimals as well as stars, first (and second) hydrostatic cores are apparently not necessary for fragmentation, although they may mark the occurrence for objects forming at low temperature like stars and gas-giant spin-off planets in Bok globules, but if merger planets bypass a SHSC, then they may not form pairs of spin-off moons like Ganymede and Callisto. So gravitational collapse of proto-Earth forms a hydrostatic core, isolating the high angular momentum outer layers which themselves collapse to form a hydrostatic core, again isolating the outer layers which managed to collapse a third time. Then dynamic core collapse transferred orbital energy and angular momentum from the larger binary pair to raising the orbit of the smallest tertiary component until the two binary components merged to form our solitary Earth with its oversized Moon.

The spiral-in merger of the two-largest Earth components some 50 million years later may have emitted polar jets of molten core material, highly chemically reduced and highly siderophile in composition. This material may have condensed below Jupiter’s 4:1 resonance at about 2 AU from the Sun to form chemically-reduced enstatite chondrites, high in siderophile elements, which lie near or on the terrestrial fractionation line. And ‘condensation’ of chondrites against the pressure dam of Jupiter’s inner resonances may have occurred during passage of our Sun and planets through hypothesized cold-dark-matter globules (see section: DARK MATTER), with primordial hydrogen and helium both cooling the matter with 10 Kelvin primordial hydrogen and helium and compressing it up against an inner resonance by frictional drag.

The red giant phase of LRN M85OT2006-1 would have reached the Kuiper Belt and perhaps well into it with a size estimated as R = 2.0 +.6-.4 x 10^4 solar radii with a peak luminosity of about 5 x 10^6 solar. (Rau et. al. 2007) “Previously published line indices suggest that M85 has a mean stellar age of 1.6+/-0.3 Gyr. If this mean age is representative of the progenitor of M85 OT 2006-1, then we can further constrain its mass to be less than 2 Msolar.” (Ofek et al. 2007) So the red-giant phase of the solar LRN would have enveloped at least the terrestrial planets and would have contributed to the volatilization proto-Venus and proto-Earth across the enormous surface area of their Roche spheres.

Pebble accretion does not appear to be borne out by examination of chondrites, that apart from asteroid collisions, do not appear to otherwise have internal structures larger than their component constituents of dust, chondrules, CAIs and etc. So if chondrules formed by melted dust accretions by the flare-star phase of the Sun following its binary spiral-in merger, then accretion may only work up to the size of chondrules. Then large, centimeter-scale chondrules could only have formed further out than the typical millimeter-scale chondrules of ordinary chondrites, with late-forming (4,562.7 Ma) CB chondrules hypothesized to have condensed from the spiral-in merger of binary Saturn.

Planetesimal ‘Condensation’ by Gravitational Instability (GI):
GI in the planetesimal range (1-100 km) may require elevated ice-and-dust to gas ratios in addition to pressurized conditions. The most typical location for planetesimal condensation may be at the pressure dam just beyond the magnetic corotation radius of solitary stars or at the inner edge of circumbinary accretion disks around binary stars. Condensation of planetesimals from protoplanetary disks is promoted by low temperatures, typically in the range of 15–20 Kelvins while still in the cocoons of their stellar-nursery Bok globules. Debris disks from spiral-in stellar or planetary mergers or fragmented planetesimals from mutual collisions and grinding of protoplanetary planetesimals may condense second- or even third-generation planetesimals at higher temperatures, with elevated ice and dust to gas ratios compensating for elevated temperatures around a main-sequence star. In early history of our own solar system, chondrites may have condensed at various times during the passage of primordial globules on disk-crossing halo orbits that intersected our solar system. Drag on ice and dust particles from primordial, globule hydrogen and helium at circa 10 Kelvins would have compressed them against Jupiter’s inner resonances while lowering their temperature, promoting GI.

Super-Earth planets Uranus and Neptune:

Uranus and Neptune may be a two-planet ‘hybrid accretion’ ‘cascade’ of super-Earths composed of presolar trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) condensed by gravitational instability (GI) at the pressurized inner edge of the circumbinary protoplanetary disk. (Also see section: CASCADE FORMATION OF SUPER-EARTHS BY HYBRID CORE ACCRETION OF PLANETESIMALS ‘CONDENSED’ BY GRAVITATIONAL INSTABILITY AT THE INNER EDGE OF ACCRETION DISKS)

In the early years of the solar system when core collapse of our former quadruple star system had opened a wide-binary gap between binary-Sun and binary-Companion of perhaps as much as 100 AU, a protoplanetary disk could form around binary-Sun, as binary Sun in turn orbited around the quadruple-star system barycenter. Binary resonance truncates and pressurizes the inner edge of circumbinary protoplanetary disks do to the continual infall of material from beyond, which may meet the requirements for GI: sufficient mass, density, metallicity and temperature; however the dynamics of planetesimal formation and collisions in an increasingly crowded neighborhood at the inner edge of a steadily-retreating protoplanetary-disk inner-edge radius (due to continued core collapse of the quadruple star system) hasn’t been examined. (I.e., binary-Sun was continually spiraling in due to quadruple-star core collapse, causing the inner edge of the circumbinary protoplanetary disk to retreat along with it.)

When Uranus reached a critical size by hybrid (core) accretion of TNOs, it largely cleared its orbit, but the mass of remaining planetesimals was greater than that of Uranus itself, so conservation of orbital energy and angular momentum caused Uranus to sink in heliocentric orbit with the effort of evaporating the remaining planetesimals outward, likely causing its 98° axial tilt. (Planetary axial tilts may be a combination of their original formational tilt plus any subsequent reorientation of the solar system plane due to Jupiter and other causes.)

Hybrid accretion of Neptune steadily increased as long as the density of planetesimals evaporated by Uranus continued to increase, but apparently there wasn’t quite enough mass to even top off Neptune since the evaporated planetesimals in the Kuiper belt beyond contain nothing larger than Pluto and Eris.

Super-Earth Mars:

The twisted terrain in Hellas Basin and in several Chasmas on Mars suggest a hybrid-accretion (super-Earth) origin for Mars like that of Uranus and Neptune, and the elevated ∆17O of Martian meteorites above the terrestrial fractionation line on the 3-oxygen isotope plot suggests a presolar origin for Mars (without the helium-burning oxygen-16 enrichment of Earth). So Mars or at least its precursor planetesimals were apparently formed somewhat earlier than Earth, slightly before 4,567 Ma, although this supposition is not supported by the meteorite record.

The Jupiter-Saturn-asteroid-belt gap in the hypothesized super-Earth formation sequence may indicate the temporary disruption of the protoplanetary disk during the emergence of Jupiter and Saturn as circumbinary planets from their original hot Jupiter circum-primary and circum-secondary origins around the binary stellar components, but since the mass of Mars significantly less than that of a typical super-Earth, the protoplanetary disk may have dissipated soon after its reformation.

So are any of the asteroids leftover planetesimals from the hybrid accretion of Mars? If they aqueously differentiated like the apparent skeletal twisted terrain in Hellas Basin, then the unmetamorphosed sedimentary precursors of (migmatite) gneiss and schist, along with authigenic sandstone and carbonate rock may be unrecognized as asteroid meteorites on Earth. But if Ceres is an in situ hybrid accretion of planetesimals evaporated into the asteroid belt by Mars, then why does Ceres have so much water ice while Mars has so little? Mars did ‘thermally differentiate’ from the kinetic and gravitational energy of hybrid accretion, covering at least a percentage of the surface with magma and fortuitously, perhaps, Mars-Ceres may just happen to straddle the red-giant-phase outer limb of the Sun following the LRN.

Super-Earth Mercury and the Asteroids:
Asteroids may have condensed by GI from the debris disk of the solar-merger LRN at 4,567 Ma near the orbit of Mercury just beyond the magnetic corotation radius of the super-intense magnetic field of the Sun in its post-LRN flare-star phase. Then Mercury may be a hybrid accretion of asteroids, followed by orbit-clearing evaporation of leftover asteroids by the terrestrial planets in turn, until they found a stable repository between Jupiter’s inner resonances. Rocky-iron asteroids may have ‘thermally differentiated’ by radioactive decay of LRN f-process radionuclides, whereas chondrites may have condensed over a longer time span, after several half lives of aluminum-26 and one or more half lives of iron-60. So the planet Mercury may have isotopic enrichments similar to the howardite–eucrite–diogenite (HED) meteorites thought to be from 4 Vesta.

CAIs and Chondrules:
CAIs may have condensed from polar jets from the core of the spiral-in solar-component merger, explaining their canonical enrichment of aluminum-26. If the flare-star phase of the Sun following the LRN melted dust accretions to form chondrules, then the flare-star phase must have lasted about 3 million years for the duration of chondrule formation. The millimeter scale size of chondrules formed in low solar orbit also argues strongly against pebble accretion as a planetesimal or planet formation mechanism if chondrules represent melted dust accretions. The 1 slope of chondrules and CAIs of the carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous mineral (CCAM) line indicates complete mixing, whereas the 1/2 slope of the terrestrial fractionation line indicates complete fractionation, not mass-independent fractionation as is commonly supposed. Ordinary chondrites, however, have a greatly-elevated ∆17O bulk-matrix lying above presolar Mars 3-oxygen-isotope fractionation line which may indeed be due to photochemical-induced mass-independent fractionation due to solar exposure of small dust grains with high surface-to-volume ratios over some 5 million years prior to their condensation by GI into ordinary chondrites. In ordinary chondrites, mass-independent fractionation may be “occurring mainly in photochemical and spin-forbidden reactions” (Wikipedia–Mass-independent fractionation).

Loss of Companion and the solar-system barycenter (SSB):

We may have lost our former binary Companion star in an asymmetrical spiral-in merger 542 Ma, giving our Companion escape velocity from the Sun. By now our former red-dwarf or brown-dwarf Companion may be further removed than our recently-discovered sister star, HD 162826. A 1 km/s differential radial velocity would put it 1,800 ly away by now (1 km/s * 542E6 yr * 3.156E7 s/yr / 9.46E12 km/ly = 1,808 ly), and its end Proterozoic Eon spiral-in merger may make its age appear to date to the merger.

The former orbit of the Sun around the solar system barycenter (SSB) may have aligned heliocentric orbits along the Sun-SSB-Companion axis with heliocentric orbital aphelia pointing away from the Companion the due to the Sun’s centrifugal force around the SSB. In addition to aligning eccentric orbits with the Sun-Companion axis, the centrifugal force would have raised orbits slightly, so if Venus had formerly been in a synchronous orbit around the Sun, the loss of the centrifugal force lowered its orbit slightly, possibly accounting for its slight retrograde rotation as the only closed system solution for conserving both energy and and angular momentum. But the planet Mercury in its 3:2 spin-orbit resonance in which Mercury undergoes 3 rotations for every 2 orbits around the Sun, so if Mercury had a former 1:1 synchronous orbit like Venus then its prograde rotation increased rather than decreasing like Venus’. This might occur, however, if Mercury had to assume a more eccentric orbit with lower orbital angular momentum and higher rotational angular momentum in order to conserve both energy and angular momentum in its closed system.


Thayne Currie suggests a compelling hybrid mechanism for forming (giant) planets by accretion from a population of 1 km planetesimals, in which the planetesimals have been formed by gravitational instability (GI). (Currie, 2005)

Suggested alterations to Thayne Currie’s hybrid accretion model:

1) Planet types formed by hybrid accretion:

This hybrid mechanism may be limited to forming terrestrial super-Earth–type planets like Mars and ice giants like Uranus and Neptune, but not gas-giant planets which are posited to form by GI from outer stellar layers isolated by their excess angular momentum.

2) Hybrid-accretion planetesimal size:

Presolar planetesimals forming super-Earths may be vastly larger than the 1 km planetesimal size envisioned if circa 100 km trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) were formed by GI as the evidence of similar size and color of TNO binaries suggests. Secondary debris disks, however, may ‘condense’ smaller planetesimals, perhaps down to 1 km, due to elevated dust-to-gas ratios, forming Mercury as a hybrid accretion planet from asteroids ‘condensed’ from the spiral-in binary solar merger (4,567 Ma) debris disk.

3) Location, location, location:

The formation of planetesimals by GI may require,
1) elevated dust-to-gas ratios, and
2) pressurization,
both of which may most typically occur in the pressure dam at the inside edge of accretion disks. The inner edge of accretion disks around solitary stars may be governed by the magnetic corotation radius of the star, whereas the inner edge of circumbinary accretion disks may be governed by binary stellar resonances. Finally, a limited degree of planetesimal formation by GI may occur in giant planet resonances, such as chondrite formation which may have occurred in situ in Jupiter’s inner resonances at highly-elevated dust-to-gas ratios.

Mercury, Mars, Uranus and Neptune may be ‘super-Earth’ type planets formed by hybrid accretion of planetesimals in 3 separate planet-formation episodes.

Uranus and Neptune:
The super-Earth cascade of Uranus and Neptune first super-Earth formation episode at the inner edge of the circumbinary protoplanetary disk beyond our former binary Sun, where the binary solar-component separation at the time may have been on the order of the combined semi-major axes of Jupiter and Saturn. When Uranus reached its current size by hybrid accretion of TNOs, it was able to clear its orbit by ‘evaporating’ most of the planetesimals outward. But the effort of clearing its orbit of more than its own mass of TNOs and larger dwarf-planet–sized hybrid accretions lowered Uranus’ orbit, perhaps resulting in its 98° axial tilt due to closed-system conservation of orbital and rotational angular momentum. Neptune formed after Uranus and then similarly cleared its orbit of the remaining TNOs and dwarf planets, most of which were evaporated into the Kuiper belt beyond.

If Jupiter and Saturn are spin-off planets (see section: PLANETS, MOONS, DWARF PLANETS AND PLANETESIMALS) that spiraled out from the binary solar components as the solar components spiraled during stellar core collapse, Jupiter and Saturn may have disrupted the circumbinary protoplanetary disk from condensing protoplanets until the binary separation of our former binary Sun was considerably less than 1 AU. So the hybrid accretion of Mars occurred prior to the ultimate binary solar merger at 4,567 Ma. Orbit clearing by Mars of remaining planetesimals and larger dwarf-planet hybrid accretions may have wound up in Jupiter’s inner resonances, with 1 Ceres as the largest surviving hybrid-accretion dwarf-planet.

Mercury’s high density and proportionately-large iron core size suggests a hybrid accretion of highly volatilely-depleted asteroids ‘condensed’ by GI from the solar-merger debris disk with its inner edge at the (super-intense) magnetic corotation radius of the Sun following the solar merger, but we won’t know for certain until we get samples from Mercury to see if it corresponds to the stellar-merger–nucleosynthesis stable-isotope enrichment of ∆17O with rocky-iron asteroids like 4 Vesta. The terrestrial planets in turn cleared their orbits of the left-over asteroids, evaporating them into Jupiter’s inner resonances.

The size of super-Earth planets may be governed by the separation distance from the star or from the stellar barycenter in the case of circumbinary disks around binary stars, with larger super-Earths potentially forming further out in circumbinary accretion disks. The term ‘super-Earth’ implies a planet size larger than Earth, and indeed, super-Earths are more abundant in the exoplanet surveys than smaller terrestrial planets. Super-Earth size may also be constrained by lack of sufficient planetesimals, as may be the case in the diminutive size of Mars and Mercury. In cascades of Super-Earths, all but the outermost planet should have reached its target mass for dynamic orbit clearing, so only Uranus should be typical in size for its formation conditions.

In super-Earth cascades of 3 or more planets, the separation between the outermost two planets will typically be wider than inner separations since only the outermost planet has not sunk in orbit by clearing its orbit of one or more planet’s worth of planetesimals. Cascades of super-Earths tend to exhibit adjacent orbital-period ratios of 1:3 to 2:3 except for the outermost separation. This of course assumes no subsequent planetary dynamics which frequently may be a poor assumption.

The inner edge of circumbinary disks may be governed by corotation resonances and outer Lindblad resonances in the range of 1.8a to 2.6a, where ‘a’ designates the binary-stellar semi-major axis. (Artymowicz and Lubow 1994)

In cascades of super-Earths, do all the planetesimals form first? Can super-Earths push out the inner edge of circumbinary disks, creating renewed spates of planetesimal formation further out? A close examination of planet size and planetesimals separations may provide the answer.

In binary systems, spin-off planets like Jupiter and Saturn may interrupt the formation of super-Earths as our solar system seems to indicate. Around solitary stars, spin-off planets would presumably form before super Earths and may push out the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk, causing super-Earths to form further out at more temperate separations. Merger planets hurled to circa 1 AU separations from their merged stars like Venus and Earth may merely jostle a super-Earth cascade where it can squeeze in, confusing the sequence and thus confusing planetary origins. Indeed Earth may have edged Mars into a slightly higher orbit in Earth’s earliest protoplanet phase when it may have originally had the mass of Saturn or greater before becoming severely volatilely depleted.

Tau Ceti and HD 40307 are apparently five and six super-Earth exoplanet star systems, respectively, without the complication of spin-off planets or merger planets.

Star Systems with Super-Earth Cascades


Finally, aqueously-differentiated planetesimal cores may be visible on Mars in a number of chasmas and impact basins (Melas Chasma, Hellas Planitia, the central uplift in Becquerel Crater and etc.) where prevailing winds have removed sand dunes, revealing Mars’ internal composition.

Hellas Planitia, Twisted Terrain

Hellas Planitia, Twisted Terrain_1



Our former binary Sun may have spiraled in and merged in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma, consuming 99% of the Sun’s Big-Bang nucleosynthesis abundance of lithium and creating the r-process radionuclides of the early solar system (aluminium-26, iron-60 et al.) and its helium-burning stable-isotope enrichment (carbon-12 and oxygen-16 et al.).

Oxygen with its 3 isotopes grants a particularly useful window into the formation of early solar system materials. If excess 16O was created by helium burning in the luminous red nova (LRN) stellar merger of our former binary Sun at 4,567 Ma, then the degree of 16O enrichment is evident by the extent of its ∆17O depression on a 3-oxygen isotope plot below presolar Mars’ meteorites and presolar CI chondrites with no LRN contamination.

Carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous minerals (CCAM) plot as a 1 slope toward the lower left corner of the graph 3-oxygen isotope graph. The 1 slope of CCAM merely indicates perfect mixing with no mass fractionation due to chemical reactions due to rapid temperature gradients. By comparison, the ultra-high rate of jostling between atoms and molecules in a liquid state (aqueous or magma) on Earth et al. compared to mineral condensation in the near vacuum of interplanetary space provides many orders of magnitude greater opportunity for chemical reactions to occur within the fractionation reaction window, resulting in completely fractionation, which plots as a 1/2 slope. So the 1 slope of CCAM merely reveals complete mixing while the 1/2 slope of the terrestrial fractionation line (TFL) merely reveals complete fractionation. Mars rock also plots with a 1/2 slope above the TFL on the oxygen three-isotope plot, indicating the absence of oxygen-16 (16O) helium-burning contamination.

The flare-star phase of the Sun following its stellar merger may be recorded in the 3 million year formation period of chondrules as super-intense solar flares melted LRN dust accretions spiraling into the Sun due to Poynting–Robertson drag. Earlier forming chondrules have more 16O contamination than the matrix material in (ordinary) chondrites formed by gravitational instability (GI) in Jupiter’s inner resonances.

Stellar-merger LRN contamination may have formed the helium-burning nucleosynthesis stable isotopes:
12C, 16O and 20Ne
which may indicate core merger temperatures in the 100-200 million Kelvins range, with r-process nucleosynthesis forming the neutron-rich short-lived radionuclides (SRs) of our early solar system:
7Be, 10Be, 14C, 22Na, 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca, 44Ti, 53Mn, 54Mn, 60Fe, 63Ni, 91Nb, 92Nb, 107Pd, 129I, 146Sm, 182Hf and 244Pu.

Possible evidence for the high velocities necessary to create spallation nuclides in LRNe may have been found in LRN PTF10fqs from a spiral arm of Messier 99. The breadth of the Ca II emission line may indicate two divergent flows, a high-velocity polar flow (~ 10,000 km/s) and a high-volume, but slower equatorial flow. (Kasliwal, Kulkarni et al. 2011) Some of the SRs may have been created by spallation in the high-velocity polar outflow of the LRNe, particularly 7Be and 10Be, since beryllium is known to be consumed rather than produced within stars.

The solar wind is ~40% poorer in 15N than earth’s atmosphere as discovered by the Genesis mission. (Marty, Chaussidon, Wiens et al. 2011) The same mission discovered that the Sun is depleted in deuterium, 17O and 18O by ~7% compared to all rocky materials in the inner solar system. (McKeegan, Kallio, Heber et al. 2011) “[T]he 13C/12C ratio of the Earth and meteorites may be considerably enriched in 13C compared to the ratio observed in the solar wind.” (Nuth, J. A. et al., 2011)

Until the details of nucleosynthesis in stellar merger LRNe is determined, we will have to draw indirect conclusions from anomalous solar enrichment and depletion versus local galactic chemical evolution measured in presolar CI chondrites. The emergent ideology assuming a stellar-merger LRN suggests that CI chondrite dust condensed from the super-intense solar wind emanating from the common-envelope phase of the spiral-in stellar merger which collapsed into CI chondrites by GI induced by the 4,567 Ma LRN shock wave.



Hybrid accretion:
Gravitational accretion of planetesimals condensed by gravitational instability (GI) and hence ‘hybrid accretion’ (Thayne Currie 2005) at the inside edge of accretion disks or debris disks around solitary or binary stars. Hybrid accretion may form intermediate dwarf planets like Pluto or Ceres or full-size planets whereupon they are designated as ‘super-Earths’.

The term applied to planets formed by hybrid accretion of planetesimals condensed by GI, regardless of size. Uranus and Neptune are hypothesized to be a cascade of 2 super-Earths formed from the inside out (Uranus then Neptune) around our former binary Sun, with trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) as the leftover planetesimals after orbit clearing. Mars may be a later super-Earth hybrid accreted around our former binary Sun as its components spiraled in to ultimately merge in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma. Finally, Mercury is hypothesized to be a super-Earth hybrid accretion from asteroids condensed from the solar-merger LRN debris disk.

Hot Jupiters:
The term is used to describe the formation mechanism of gas-giant planets in low, hot orbits around their progenitor stars. Hot Jupiters are hypothesized to have condensed from the high angular momentum outer layers of protostars when their protostar core temperatures reached about 2000 K, promoting gravitational collapse by endothermically dissociating molecular hydrogen. In our own solar system, Jupiter and Saturn are hypothesized to have formed as hot Jupiters around the binary components of our former binary Sun which were left behind when binary Sun spiraled in to merge and form our solitary Sun.

Mars is hypothesized to have formed from what was left of the protoplanetary disk after Jupiter and Saturn became circumbinary planets and fell behind, clearing a gap inside Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances for infalling presolar dust and ice to reform a small protoplanetary disk.

The terrain of Mars suggests a final Pluto-sized merger of a dwarf planet with a lithified sedimentary core which only spread out over the majority of the planet except for Vastitas Borealis, the northern lowlands of Mars, thus the final hybrid-accretion dwarf-planet merger with Mars is designated by the section of Martian surface which defines its absence, as Anti-Vastitas- Borealis (AVB).

Map of Mars, emphasizing the bifurcation of terrain, pointing to a Pluto-sized dwarf planet merger in the southern hemisphere, leaving the northern, polar lowland region, Vastitas Borealis, free of the final dwarf-planet contamination.

Map of Mars, emphasizing the bifurcation of terrain, pointing to a Pluto-sized dwarf planet merger in the southern hemisphere, leaving the northern, polar lowland region, Vastitas Borealis, free of the final dwarf-planet contamination.

Aqueous differentiation of icy-body planetesimals:
Asteroids may have thermally differentiated due to the heat of short-lived f-process radionuclides created in our binary solar merger. By comparison, icy bodies formed earlier by gravitational instability may escape internal differentiation unless sufficiently perturbed by tidal heating or by planetesimal mergers, either planetesimal collisions or by binary spiral-in mergers. Aqueous differentiation refers to internal melting, forming an internal salt-water ocean under a mantle of ice. Nebular dust (stellar metallicity) liberated by internal melting may precipitate authigenic mineral grains that may fall out of suspension to form a sedimentary core. And the sedimentary core may subsequently undergo diagenesis and lithification similar to this process on Earth. The continental tectonic plates on Earth (and Venus) are hypothesized to be aqueously-differentiated Oort cloud dwarf-planet and comet cores, causing extinction events on Earth. Mantled gneiss domes on Earth are hypothesized to be small dwarf-planet cores, generally within larger hybrid-accretion dwarf-planet ‘platforms’.

Rhythmically layered central uplifts in a number of large impact craters on Mars, notably Gale, Becquerel and Crommelin craters, suggest periodic forcing mechanisms to explain the uniformity of bedding layers exposed in crater central uplifts. But in addition to simple ‘bedding’ with sedimentary layers of relatively uniform thickness, the beds are (super)grouped into ‘bundles’ of about 10 beds each which is neatly revealed in Becquerel Crater.

Conventional geology suggests Milankovitch cycles are the forcing mechanisms, in which “the obliquity of Mars oscillates with a period of ∼120,000 years and is modulated on a time scale of ∼1.2 and ∼2.4 million years”. (Lewis et al., 2008) The alternative, aqueously-differentiated planetesimal hypothesis suggests that tidal flexing causes internal heating, melting and calving the overlying mantle every time the smaller component of binary Sun catches up with the dwarf-planet AVB, causing internal melting, iceberg calving of the overlying icy mantle and mineral precipitation and crystallization. With binary Sun inside a 1 AU barycentric orbit on the order of a year or less, the beat frequency would likely be on the order of a year, with a smaller secondary pulse when the smaller binary solar component was at orbital opposition. The longer-period ‘bundling’ of about 10 ‘bedding’ planes, then, is likely is the beat frequency between AVB and Mars, on the order of about 10 years. The enormous size of a dwarf planet the size of Pluto, with a radius of 1184 km, makes this fantastic deposition rate, perhaps, conceivable.

Central uplift in Becquerel Crater, exposing periodic sedimentary bedding and super-periodic sedimentary bundling, hypothesized to have occurred in an aqueously-differentiated Pluto-sized dwarf planet, forming an authigenic sedimentary core by mineral-grain precipitation.  Then the dwarf-planet sedimentary core lithified before merging with Mars, and its periodic sedimentary bedding is revealed in a number of impact craters, chasmata and other locations on the surface.

Central uplift in Becquerel Crater, exposing periodic sedimentary bedding and super-periodic sedimentary bundling, hypothesized to have occurred in an aqueously-differentiated Pluto-sized dwarf planet, forming an authigenic sedimentary core by mineral-grain precipitation. Then the dwarf-planet sedimentary core lithified before merging with Mars, and its periodic sedimentary bedding is revealed in a number of impact craters, chasmata and other locations on the surface.

Central uplift in Becquerel Crater, exposing periodic sedimentary bedding, hypothesized to have occurred in an aqueously-differentiated Pluto-sized dwarf planet, forming an authigenic sedimentary core by mineral-grain precipitation. Then the dwarf-planet sedimentary core lithified before merging with Mars, and its periodic sedimentary bedding is revealed in a number of impact craters, chasmata and other locations on the surface.

Exposed skeleton of Mars in the central uplift of Gale Crater known as Mount Sharp. Mars is hypothesized to have formed by hybrid accretion of dwarf planets which aqueously differentiated to form periodic sedimentary cores which may have lithified into rock prior to merging with Mars.

More evidence of periodic bedding and super-periodic bundling from the Arabia Terra region on Mars, hypothesized to have precipitated in a dwarf-planet ocean under an icy mantle to form a sedimentary core which lithified prior to merging with Mars.

More evidence of periodic bedding and super-periodic bundling from the Arabia Terra region on Mars, hypothesized to have precipitated in a dwarf-planet ocean under an icy mantle to form a sedimentary core which lithified prior to merging with Mars.

Most of the aqueous differentiation of AVB would have occurred during hybrid accretion of smaller planetesimals in becoming Pluto sized, with rhythmic bedding laid down only after Mars and AVB had largely cleared the orbit of smaller planetesimals. Tidal flexing of the dwarf planet would have caused dwarf-planet quakes and subsidence, increasing the dwarf-planet density, so the energy, heating the dwarf planet directly by tidal flexing, and indirectly by the release of gravitational potential energy during its densification. So the rhythmic bedding may be merely the frosting on top of the cake of the sedimentary core of former AVB, and the rhythmic bedding frosting on the core may have largely crumpled during its merger with Mars, pushing the rhythmic frosting toward the more northern extent of its ‘contamination’ of the surface, explaining why rhythmic bedding is more evident in the northern latitudes.

The age of the rhythmic bedding should be slightly older than 4,567 Ma, since there’s no evidence a massive overlying layer that might have pointed to deposition during and immediately following the solar-merger LRN, during which the Sun may have briefly swelled into a red-giant phase which likely enveloped the present-day asteroid belt.

The ‘twisted terrain’ of Hellas (impact) Basin does not appear to have the periodicity of sedimentary rock on the rest of Mars, and the multiple dwarf-planet cores exposed in the compound (hybrid accretion) dwarf-planet assemblage that struck Mars, assumedly during the late heavy bombardment around 4 Ga. Unlike Pluto-sized AVB, the individual dwarf-planet cores may have metamorphosed into metamorphic rock if their oceans froze solid, squeezing the core, prior to merging by hybrid accretion.

Icy-body impacts are hypothesized to form basins rather than craters, obscuring icy-body impacts from detection as such on Earth.  The central region of Hellas impact basin (highlighted in red) is hypothesized to be the aqueously-differentiated and lithified sedimentary core of the trans-Neptunian object dwarf planet that impacted Mars, assumedly during the late heavy bombardment, around 4 Ga.

Icy-body impacts are hypothesized to form basins rather than craters, obscuring icy-body impacts from detection as such on Earth. The central region of Hellas impact basin (highlighted in red) is hypothesized to be the aqueously-differentiated and lithified sedimentary core of the trans-Neptunian object dwarf planet that impacted Mars, assumedly during the late heavy bombardment, around 4 Ga.

The twisted terrain exposed in Hellas basin may be multiple aqueously-differentiated, lithified, sedimentary dwarf-planet cores that merged in the Kuiper belt to form a larger dwarf planet that impacted Mars during the late heavy bombardment.

The twisted terrain exposed in Hellas basin may be multiple aqueously-differentiated, lithified, sedimentary dwarf-planet cores that merged in the Kuiper belt to form a larger dwarf planet that impacted Mars during the late heavy bombardment.

The twisted terrain exposed in Hellas basin may be multiple aqueously-differentiated, lithified, sedimentary dwarf-planet cores that merged in the Kuiper belt to form a larger dwarf planet that impacted Mars during the late heavy bombardment.

The twisted terrain exposed in Hellas basin may be multiple aqueously-differentiated, lithified, sedimentary dwarf-planet cores that merged in the Kuiper belt to form a larger dwarf planet that impacted Mars during the late heavy bombardment.

Quasi-Periodic Bedding in the Sedimentary Rock Record of Mars:
“Repeating beds are ∼10 meters thick, and one site contains hundreds of meters of strata bundled into larger units at a ∼10:1 thickness ratio.” “At Becquerel crater (Fig. 3), we observed a roughly 10:1 ratio of frequencies over several hundred meters of section, for a total of at least 10 bundles. Individual beds here have a mean thickness of 3.6 ± 1 m, and the bundles are 36 ± 9 m thick.” “The obliquity of Mars oscillates with a period of ∼120,000 years and is modulated on a time scale of ∼1.2 and ∼2.4 million years (29, 30). Orbital calculations show that this modulation is expressed more strongly at 2.4 million years for the recent history of Mars, although the ancient history is unknown because of the chaotic nature of the obliquity over long time scales (31). “

(Lewis et al., 2008)

Lewis, Kevin W. Lewis et al. suggest clastic bedding periods of 120,000, whereas the alternative aqueous differentiation hypothesis suggests authigenic precipitation may have occurred 5 orders of magnitude faster.


- Inner Oort cloud (IOC): a doughnut-shaped disk of comets with an inner edge beginning at around 2000 to 5000 AU and an outer edge at around 20,000 AU
- Extended scattered disc (ESD): a population of ‘detached objects’ (DOs), not gravitationally influenced by Neptune, with perihelia greater than 50 AU and aphelia less than about 1,500 AU and a semi-major axis in the range of 150-1,500 AU

This section will make the case for a former binary Companion (binary red dwarf or binary brown dwarf) to the Sun whose binary components may have spiraled in to asymmetrically merge at 542 Ma, giving the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. The Companion’s mass could range from high-end brown dwarf up to the mass of Proxima Centauri, about 1/8 of a solar mass, and its apparent age may date to its 542 Ma merger rather than its > 4,567 Ma formation.

Our solar system may have formed from a gravitationally-collapsing mass within a Bok globule with substantial angular momentum which fragmented 3 times to form a quadruple star system. Core collapse created a hierarchical system system composed of two ‘hard’ close-binary pairs (binary Sun and binary Companion) in a ‘soft’ wide-binary separation.

Hard vs. soft orbits:
Perturbation causes ‘hard’ close-binary pairs to tend to spiral in while ‘soft’ wide-binary pairs tend to spiral out, and close-binary–close-binary pairs may be particularly susceptible to mutual perturbation due the abundance of beat patterns quadruple star systems. Core collapse has been observed in star clusters and globular clusters and is understood to occur in stellar nurseries as well.

(Stellar) fragmentation:

‘Fragmentation’ (stellar, planetary or moony) may only form binaries, with higher multiplicity systems formed from sequential binary fragmentations. Very-wide binaries may form from multiple protostar condensations within a single gravitationally-bound Bok globule, or from a larger stellar nursery which is either gravitationally bound or unbound. Fragmentation may result from the isolation of outer layers with excess angular momentum during the initial gravitational contraction of the mass to form its first hydrostatic core (FHSC), since it’s difficult to understand how a gravitationally-collapsed core could subsequently fragment. The isolated outer layers with excess angular momentum may rapidly coalesce (by something akin to disk instability) into a secondary, gravitationally-bound mass within its own Roche sphere, with the core and the coalesced outer layers forming a binary pair orbiting its common barycenter. The outer-layer secondary mass may itself fragment during formation of its own FHSC, and so on until the excess angular momentum is dissipated or until the outer layers tend to dissipate rather than collapse.

Planetesimal fragmentation, forming binary asteroids, chondrites and comets may follow a slightly different pattern, requiring external pressurization, typically against a strong stellar or gas-giant-planet resonance (and apparently without forming a FHSC in debris disks with low gas content), but perhaps, following a similar pattern of central collapse, isolating outer layers with excess angular momentum that gravitationally coalesce due to disk instability.

Fragmentation, stellar, planetary, planetesimal and etc., may tend to segregate materials, both gaseous and solids, with, perhaps, solids tending to sink toward the core due to frictional drag and with gaseous volatiles diffusing outward. So condensates with elevated metallicity may tend to segregate in the core, perhaps explaining Earth’s Moon’s proportionately-smaller metallic-iron core in a double-fragmentation model of former trinary-Earth, with, perhaps, the slight stable-isotope-ratio difference (between Earth and Moon) attributable to gas diffusion (fractionation).

Following the spiral-in merger of binary Sun at 4,567 Ma in a luminous red nova (LRN), the binary components of the Companion began a far-slower spiral-in orbital decay over the next 4 billion years.

If Saturn and Jupiter condensed from excess–angular-momentum molecular gas spun off from the two solar components of binary Sun during the formation of their second hydrostatic cores (SHSCs), then Saturn’s and Jupiter’s present heliocentric orbits may be similar to those of the original solar components: with a separation of about 5 + 10 = 15 AU. Then conservation of planetary angular momentum caused the planets to spiral out from their respective solar components as the stellar components spiraled in until they reached the Lagrange points of binary Sun, whereupon Jupiter and Saturn assumed circumbinary orbits.

Four billion years of stellar core collapse is assumed to have increased the Sun-Companion period around the solar system barycenter (SSB) at an exponential rate by feeding off the orbital energy of the Companion’s close-binary pair. Angular momentum also translated from the hard close-binary components to the wide-binary system, slightly raising wide-binary separation at periapsis, but since the ratio of angular momentum to potential energy in the two systems (close binary vs. wide binary) was negligible, energy transfer had a vastly-greater effect on core collapse, effectively translating to exponentially increasing the period over time by exponentially increasing the wide-binary apoapsis separation over time.

Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB):

Lunar rock from intermediate age in the range of 4.04–4.26 Ga from Apollo 16 and 17 separate the formational 4.5 Ga highland crust from the 4.1–3.9 late heavy bombardment (LHB) melts and breccias, suggesting an earlier pulse of a bimodal LHB.

Whole-rock ages ~4.2 Ga from Apollo 16 and 17, and a 4.23–4.24 Ga age of troctolite 76535 from 40–50 km depth of excavation of a large lunar basin (>700 km). The same 4.23 Ga age was found in Far-side meteorites, Dhofar 489 and Yamato 86032. Samples from North Ray crater (63503) have been reset to 4.2 Ga. Fourteen studies recorded ages from 4.04–4.26 Ga (Table 1).
(Norman and Nemchin 2014)

Core-collapse ideology for an exponential rate of Sun–Companion apoapsis increase may have caused the SSB to cross Uranus’ orbit at around 4.22 Ga and Neptune’s orbit around 3.9 Ga, causing the hypothesized, bimodal late heavy bombardment, with the SSB causing perturbation of TNOs down into the planetary realm, as well as populating the ESD with TNOs.

Critical points in the hypothesized stellar core collapse of our former trinary star system:
1) Solar-system barycenter (SSB) crossing Uranus orbit around 4.22 Ga causing the first pulse of the bimodal LHB
2) SSB crossing Neptune’s orbit around 3.9 Ga causing the second and main pulse of the LHB, and
3) the Companion’s arrival at the present inner edge of the Inner Oort cloud (IOC) at about 2.5 Ga, causing the Archean to Proterozoic transition as comets began falling through the shepherding resonances.

A three point fix on core-collapse ‘orbit inflation’ may help constrain (or at least suggest) the mass of our former binary Companion. Maximum perturbation of planetesmials causing cratering in the inner solar system is assumed to have occurred when the SSB first reached the orbits of Uranus and Neptune respectively, when the Sun was most distant from the Companion at the slowest orbital velocity of apoapsis. Neptune is expected to have been a greater contributor to the bimodal LHB even though it occurred later since Neptune may be somewhat undersized for a super-Earth at its orbit and thus may have been less able to clear its 30 AU orbit than Uranus its 20 AU orbit, but no doubt, the second pulse somewhat masked the first pulse as well.

Dark matter contribution to gravitational instability (GI), core collapse, and planetesimal perturbation (Also see section: DARK MATTER):

Primordial, 2–50 solar-mass, cold dark matter (CDM) globules composed of baryonic hydrogen and helium in highly-inclined halo orbits passing through or near the solar system are responsible for non-periodic perturbation of weakly-bound Oort cloud comets into the inner solar system. Globules on disk-crossing halo orbits may preferentially perturb the smallest, most-weakly-bound outer Oort cloud comets (and those comets in the most-readily-disturbed inclinations to the invading globule ‘wind’), causing comet flurries in the inner solar system.

Our former binary-Companion may have provided Oort cloud stability until 542 Ma when it was propelled out of the solar system in its asymmetrical spiral-in merger, marking the Proterozoic to Phanerozoic transition. Lunar spherule rates increased dramatically in the Phanerozoic Eon. (Levine et al., 2005)

Binary comets, like binary asteroids and TNOs, may be capable of resisting external torque by the energy and angular momentum in their binary orbits, but fighting external torque (globule drag or otherwise) will cause binary pairs to spiral in. If they spiral in to the point of merging in a ‘contact binary’, the newly solitary comet will lose its ability to resist external torque and thus will become more susceptible to frictional drag of the next globule and therefore more likely to collide with other comets, TNOs and dwarf planets.

Solar system passage through dark matter globules may initiate ice ages and may also initiate gravitational instability of debris disks, particularly debris disk orbiting up against the strong resonances of a gas-giant planet or a binary star. Such as may have been the case in our early solar system, promoting the condensation of chondrites against Jupiter’s inner resonances and the condensation of comets against the circum-trinary resonances beyond our former binary Companion.

Collisions between dark-matter globules composed of densified primordial hydrogen and helium, and solar systems may cause debris disks to rapidly spiral in due to frictional drag, but if the spiraling-in debris disk hits a resonant wall against a gas-giant planet or binary star, the combination of globule cooling and drag pressurization against a resonant pressure dam may promote gravitational instability. Comet condensation may have occurred against the outer resonances of our binary-Companion (in circum-trinary orbits), some 100-300 AU from the Sun, condensing prograde and retrograde comets. The comets were then apparently shepherded into the Oort cloud as core collapse gradually increased the Sun-Companion period around the solar system barycenter.

Globule passage may also cause stellar core collapse, not by drag, but gravitationally torquing the star system, causing close-binary pairs to precess and spiral in. Gravitational torquing may also be more significant for perturbing binary planetesimals, such as binary comets and binary TNOs. So the hypothesized exponential core collapse of our trinary star system may have occurred in continually rather than continuously over 4 billion years.

Comets shepherded into the Oort cloud by binary-Companion are hypothesized to have begun falling through the circum-trinary resonances at about 2000 to 5000 AU from the Sun, defining the inner edge of the IOC, at about 2,500 Ma, defining the Archean to Proterozoic transition. And the smallest circa 1 km comets may have fallen through the outer shepherding resonances at the outer edge of the IOC, at perhaps about 20,000 AU. Alternatively, core collapse may have progressed to about a 20,000 AU apoapsis by 542 Ma when the Sun lost its Companion.

The comet debris shell from which comets condensed was not homogeneous like the CCW-rotating protoplanetary disk, but condensed comets in prograde, retrograde, and highly-inclined orbits, such that comet–comet, comet–TNO and comet–dwarf-planet collisions on average tend to reduce the specific angular momentum of the resulting (compound) planetesimal, causing its perihelion to decrease. If a perihelion falls into the giant planet realm, planetary interactions tend to predominate, driving the planetesimal inward or outward.

Dwarf planets and their TNO precursors apparently populate the ESD, with Sedna and VP-113 being two of the largest members, but how did did the ESD became populated with TNOs? The SSB may have scattered a population of TNOs into the ESD by repeated stroking of the barycenter across the Kuiper belt and scattered disc for 10s or 100s of millions of years in an ever diminishing tail of the LHB, with planetesimals preferentially tending to evaporate outward rather than inward.

Archean to Proterozoic transition:

Comets are depleted in volatiles compared to TNOs from the protoplanetary disk that may have condensed at colder temperatures within the Bok globule stellar-nursery cocoon, with volatile depletion of carbon and oxygen in LRN-debris comets and with higher dust to ice ratios due to depletion of water ice and CO and CO2 ices, as well as hydrocarbon ices. Yet spiral-in mergers of binary comets and other comet-comet mergers may still initiate aqueous differentiation in their cores, precipitating predominantly felsic mineral grains which grow thorough crystallization in the microgravity core oceans. Metasomatic S-type comet granite is typically older and colder (formed at colder temperatures) than magmatic I-type granite that forms at temperatures high enough to melt silicates from the violent chemical reaction between highly-oxidized, Type I, presolar material (TNOs, dwarf planets and Earth) and volatile-depleted, Type II, LRN-debris material (comets, asteroids and chondrites). So if most I-type granite forms on highly oxygenated Earth, then in one sense, granite plutons may be mostly a terrestrial phenomena.

If the largest comets began falling thorough the Companion’s shepherding resonances around 2,500 Ma, at about the distance of the inner edge of the IOC, 2,000–5,000 AU, then comets may have been largely sequestered from interacting with TNOs and bombarding the inner solar system prior to the beginning of the Proterozoic Eon, with the addition of Proterozoic granite, perhaps, being the defining event of the transition from principally TTG terrain in the Archean to granite granodiorite (GG) in the Proterozoic. About 90% of the continental crust between 4.0 and 2.5 Ga belongs to the TTG suite. (Jahn et al. 1981; Moyen and Martin, 2012) The transition from TTG gneiss to granite granodiorite (GG) in the Proterozoic is posited to be the accretion of comet granite into dwarf planets, in addition of comet-comet accretions, forming far-larger batholiths.

The centrifugal force of the Sun around the SSB may have caused aphelia precession of scattered extended disc objects, hurling them out along the Sun-SSB-Companion axis so their aphelia point away from the SSB and Companion, creating a super concentration along the axis at perihelia, encouraging planetesimal mergers. Long-period Oort cloud planetesimals with periods more similar to that of the former Sun-Companion, in the range of several 10s of thousands of AU, exhibit preferential alignment as reputably discovered by Matese and Whitman (Matese and Whitman 1999) and (Matese and Whitmire 2011), but this could be due to perturbation from the most recent CDM globule which may have initiated the last glacial age.

Argument of Periapsis of extended scattered disc objects:
“there are no observational biases that an explain the clustering of the argument of perihelion (ω) near 340° for inner Oort cloud objects and all objects with semi-major axes greater than 150 AU and perihelia greater than Neptune.” (Trujillo and Sheppard 2014)

Argument of periapsis is one of a handful of parameters that describe orbits from our terrestrial platform. Clustering of the argument of perihelion of ESD objects could also be described as a clustering of perihelia, a far-more intuitive parameter, due to centrifugal force around a former solar system barycenter, with perihelia pointing toward the former Companion. Figure 3 (Trujillo and Sheppard 2014) shows a strong alignment of argument of periapsis for objects with semi-major axes greater than 150 AU.

A binary Companion star with the combined mass of Proxima Centauri whose apoapsis spiraled out exponentially—and was constrained by requirement of the SSB crossing the orbit of Uranus at 4.22 Ga and the orbit of Neptune at 3.9 Ga—would reach the inner edge of the IOC, at 1950 AU, by 2,500 Ma at the Archean to Proterozoic transition. Our former Companion’s apparent age, however, may be much younger than its bare minimum actual age of 4,567 Ma because of its more recent spiral-in merger at 542 Ma. Proxima, however, is estimated to be 4.85 Ga with the high proper and radial motion it shares with Alpha Centauri, most likely making Proxima a C-star wide-binary companion to the Alpha Centauri AB close-binary pair. If our former Companion is still visible (perhaps already cataloged by the WISE survey), its apparent age may be on the order of 542 Ma with an exceedingly low proper and radial motion. Even if our Companion has an elevated radial motion from a close encounter with a passing star, its proper motion should at least be exceedingly low, likely tracing its path back to within about 1 light year of the Sun, around the outer edge of the outer Oort cloud (OOC).

Exponential orbit inflation spiral out of apoapsis separation of the Sun binary-Companion ‘soft’ wide-binary, reducing the binding energy of the Companion by increasing the binding energy of the Companion’s binary components.

Kepler’s third law: P12/a12 = P22/a22 for any two planets, but assuming P = 1 yr and a = 1 AU for Earth, the relation becomes, P2 = a3

The logarithm of an exponential is linear of the form: y = mx + b

Three equations in 3 unknowns:
1) SSB at Uranus: 1.2840 + .96047 = 4220m + b
2) SSS at Neptune: 1.4786 + .96047 = 3900m + b
3) Companion at inner edge of IOC: y = 2500m + b
- 1.2840 is the log of Uranus’ semi-major axis in AU at 4220 Ma
- 1.4786 is the log of Neptune’s semi-major axis in AU at 3900 Ma
- log(9.13) = .96047 is the ratio multiple between the Sun-SSB distance and the Sun-Companion distance for a Proxima Centauri mass Companion: ms/mp + 1 = 1/.123 + 1 = 9.13, where 1/.123 is the relative SSB-Companion distance and ’1′ is the relative Sun-SSB distance
- y is log distance in AU at 2500 Ma at the inner edge of the IOC
- m is the linear slope: solving, m = -1/1644.4
- b is the y-intercept: solving, b = 4.8107

y = -x/1644.4 + 4.8107, for a Proxima Centauri sized Companion
at x = 2500 Ma, y = 3.2904, 10^3.2904 = 1951.6 AU (1950 AU)
at x = 4,567 Ma, y = 2.0334, 10^2.0334 = 108 AU
at x = 542 Ma, y = 4.4811, 10^4.4811 = 30, 275 AU semi-major axis (with apoapsis near 2(30,275) = 60550 AU, perhaps explaining the circa 10^4 AU aphelia distance of long-period comets and the 20,000 AU outer edge of the IOC)

Orbital period of object around barycenter: T = 2pi(a3/(G(ms + mc)))1/2, where G = 39.5 in yr, AU and solar masses, ms + mc = 1.123 for a Proxima Centauri mass Companion, a = 30,275 AU, T = 4.97 million years.

So for a Proxima Centauri sized Companion, the Sun’s binary angular-momentum transfer to the SSB-centric Companion orbit may have lifted it to around 108 AU from the Sun, or (108/9.13)8.13 = 96 AU from the SSB, with a semi-major axis of around 30 kAU in the Phanerozoic Eon with a period on the order of 5 million years.

If the inner edge of the IOC is thought to vary in the range of 2000-5000 AU, with A Proxima Centauri mass Companion corresponding to the minimum value (1950 Ma), then calculate the mass corresponding to the maximum value of 5000 AU:

Again, three equations in 3 unknowns:
1) SSB at Uranus: 1.2840 + m = 4220m + b
2) SSS at Neptune: 1.4786 + m = 3900m + b
3) Companion at inner edge of IOC: 3.7000 = 2500m + b
- 1.2840 is the log of Uranus’ semi-major axis in AU at 4220 Ma
- 1.4786 is the log of Neptune’s semi-major axis in AU at 3900 Ma
- m is the log of the unknown ratio multiple between the Sun-SSB distance and the Sun-Companion: solving, m = 1.3700, 10^1.3700 = 23.44, subtracting 1 unit for the reduced Sun-SSB distance leaves a distance/mass ratio of 1 to 22.44 between a brown dwarf Companion and the Sun
- 3.7000 is log of 5000 AU at the inner edge of the IOC at 2,500 Ma
- m is the linear slope: solving, m = -1/1644.4
- b is the y-intercept: solving, b = 5.2203

y = -x/1644.4 + 5.2203
at x = 2500 Ma, y = 3.7000, 10^3.7000 = 5000 AU
at x = 4,567 Ma, y = 2.4430, 10^2.4430 = 277 AU
at x = 542 Ma, y = 4.8907, 10^4.8907 = 77,750 AU semi-major axis (with apoapsis near 2(77,750) = 155,550 AU)

Orbital period of object around barycenter: T = 2pi(a3/(G(ms + mc)))1/2, where G = 39.5 in yr, AU and solar masses, ms + mc = 1 + 1/22.4 = 1.0446, a = 77,750 AU, T = 21.2 million years
With an apoapsis around 155,550 AU, a 46.7 Jupiter-mass brown dwarf would have been vastly more likely to have drifted off than a Proxima-Centauri–sized red-dwarf star with less than half the semi-major axis.

“It seemed, therefore, possible that the largest fraction of BD/VLM [brown-dwarf/very-low-mass-(star)] binaries has separations in the range of about 1–3 AU and remained yet undetected.” (Viki Joergens 2008)

With a binary Companion separation in the range of 1-3 AU, vs. the far more massive hypothesized separation of the solar binary components around 5.2 AU (Jupiter) + 9.6 AU (Saturn) = 14.8 AU orbiting the solar barycenter and likely fragmenting from the smaller component at 9.6 AU, the vast majority of the Companion’s closed-system angular momentum likely derived from the former binary Sun. Therefore the barycenter at closest approach may have routinely descended below the orbits of Uranus and Neptune for 4 billion years unless Galactic torque contributed angular momentum, particularly in the Phanerozoic following the binary-Companion merger with no binary resistance.

How long since the loss of the Companion?
The Companion certainly would have been responsible for the Eocene–Oligocene extinction event, 33.9 Ma, that may have contributed the ‘rough terrain’ in Morocco west through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Tajikistan, Nepal and Tibet, including the ‘young’ gneiss domes of the Aegean, Tajikistan and Nepal. The Companion was likely also responsible for the Middle Miocene disruption, 14.5 Ma, whose impact crater may trace Marianas Trench, and may have contributed a small amount of terrain to the Japanese islands, Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu. But the most recent (local) extinction event the 12.9-13.1? kya megafaunal extinction of the Western Hemisphere that may have formed the 450 km Dia Nastapoka arc basin of the lower Hudson Bay and contributed the aqueously-differentiated authigenic core of the Belcher Islands would be too recent for a Companion induced impact, otherwise the Companion would still be ‘in the solar neighborhood.


The problem of planetesimal formation is a major unsolved problem in astronomy since meter-sized “boulders are expected to stick together poorly, and to spiral into the protostar in a few hundred orbits owing to a ‘head wind’ from the slower rotating gas” (Johansen et al., 2007).

This approach rejects pebble accretion in favor of gravitational instability (GI) for the formation of planetesimals. In protoplanetary disks or debris disks (generically ‘accretion disks’), GI is suggested to occur in the pressure dam at the inner edge around solitary or binary stars. The inner edge of accretion disks around solitary stars is assumed to be sculpted by the magnetic corotation radius, while the inner edge of accretion disks around binary stars is sculpted by the binary resonances. Heliocentric resonances associated with gas-giant planets may also serve as pressure dams against which planetesimals can condense, such as chondrites condensed against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances.

But mostly this section discusses Oort cloud planetesimal mergers (including binary spiral-in mergers) that melt salt-water oceans in their cores which precipitate mineral grains, forming sedimentary cores which can undergo diagenesis, lithification and even metamorphism to form rocky gneiss-dome cores with hydrothermal sandstone/quartzite, limestone/dolostone/marble and schist mantles. Larger (compound) planetesimal mergers that have impacted Earth are hypothesized to form the foundations of the continental plates on Earth and Venus (Ishtar Terra and Aphrodite Terra), the two terrestrial planets with the most circular orbits that best align with long-period planetesimals with similar perihelia. Also the greater mass and diameters of Venus and Earth make much better cross-sectional targets for long-period planetesimals (effectively falling from infinity) with 41% greater velocity than planets in circular orbits.

In our own early solar system, perhaps while still ensconced in its Bok globule nursery, trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are hypothesized to have condensed at the inner edge of the circumbinary protoplanetary disk near the present orbit of Uranus, beyond our former binary Sun. Uranus and Neptune are posited to be ‘hybrid accretion’ (Thayne Currie 2005) super-Earths, accreted from TNOs condensed by GI.

In addition to a binary Sun, 3 successive stellar fragmentations due to excess angular momentum in our hypothesized former quadruple star system formed a binary Companion (with red- or brown-dwarf components) in a wide-binary orbit around the solar-system barycenter.

As our former hypothesized binary Companion spiraled out into the present-day Oort cloud with exponentially increasing period over time (fueled by the core collapse of the Companion binary components), the Companion is hypothesized to have shepherded comets out into the Oort cloud which may have originally condensed from a secondary debris disk beyond the Companion around 100–300 AU from the Sun. The secondary debris disk, from which comets are hypothesized to have condensed, may be a composite of condensed solar material from two sources:
1) condensed solar metallicity from the super-intense solar wind emanating from the common-envelope phase of the spiral in merger of our former binary Sun, and
2) solar metallicity condensed from the spiral-in solar-component merger luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma, containing f-process radionuclides (26Al, 60Fe et al.) and helium-burning stable isotope enrichments (12C and 16O) from stellar-merger nucleosynthesis.

The hypothesized former binary Companion may have spent about 4 billion undergoing core collapse of its binary components which also merged in a smaller, asymmetrical LRN at 542 Ma which gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. The secondary LRN may have occurred when the wide-binary Sun-Companion period was similar to the period of comets at the outer edge of the inner Oort cloud (IOC), perhaps around 20,000 AU, assuming the least-massive comets were still being shepherded by the Sun-Companion outer resonances. (The strongest outer resonance of Sun-Companion may have been the 3:2 resonance with the Sun-Companion period like that of Pluto to Neptune.)

While comets around the binary Companion and chondrites in Jupiter’s inner resonances may have been the last of the ‘primordial’ solar system objects to condense, later episodes of planetesimal condensation may have coincided with major glacial periods in Earth’s history, namely Huronian glaciation (2400 Myra to 2100 Myra) and ‘Snowball Earth’ glaciations of the Cryogenian Period, which may represent separate passages of our solar system through giant molecular clouds.

(Gravitationally-bound Bok globules on highly-inclined disk-crossing orbits with their contaminating stellar metallicity condensed (sequestered) into icy hailstone chondrules at c. 10 Kelvins are posited to be the reservoirs of invisible cold dark matter in galactic halos. Giant molecular clouds (GMCs) can apparently snag Bok globules from their halo orbits, perhaps by inducing secondary magnetic fields by way plasma sheaths, created by frictional drag. Once trapped in GMCs, stellar metallicity may diffuse inward faster than it can condense into icy hailstones, rendering trapped Bok globules opaque, and nascent stars may also sublime the most volatile metallicity (carbon monoxide) from icy hailstone chondrules.)

Icy hailstone chondrules gravitationally captured from Bok globules into circumbinary resonances beyond the Companion may have condensed into ‘young planetesimals’ while inside Bok globules or GMCs, with frictional drag helping creating a pressure dam against Sun-Companion resonance(s), sufficient to undergo GI.

And as we shall see, planetesimals condensed by GI may undergo ‘aqueous differentiation’ to form sedimentary cores which may subsequently undergo diagenesis, lithification and even metamorphism if the overlying ocean freezes solid, pressurizing cores with the expansion of water ice oceans.

Aqueous differentiation is initiated when planetesimals collide or when binary planetesimals spiral in and merge to melt water ice and form salt-water oceans in their cores. Melting chondrules liberate more refractory metallicity such as the presolar grains found in chondrites, and the dissolution of suspended nebular dust creates a solution of mineral species. Microbes may catalyze chemical reactions, contributing heat as well as greatly increasing the number and complexity of precipitated minerals, with mineral complexity increasing over time due to panspermia microbe evolution.

Precipitated (authigenic) mineral grains may continue to grow through crystallization until they fall out of suspension due to negative buoyance, in low-gravity planetesimal core oceans, forming authigenic cores of sedimentary mineral grains. The gravitational center of planetesimals has zero gravity so sedimentary cores will tend to have diminishing mineral grain size with increasing diameter.

Another difference with terrestrial oceans is the volume of overlying ice which sequesters traps its own atmosphere, with the partial pressure of carbon dioxide, perhaps, controlling the pH of the underlying ocean.

The partial pressure of CO2 in trapped gas pockets between the ocean and the overlying ice-water boundary forces it into solution where it reacts with water to form carbonic acid, lowering the pH. The process blurs somewhat above the relatively-modest critical point of carbon dioxide (7.38 MPa at 31.1 °C), but even in large planetesimals with pressures above 22 MPa that approach or exceed the critical point of water, CO2 would still be in a gaseous state at the ice-water boundary. Early in aqueous differentiation when internal temperatures are rising, expanding the ocean through melting, sublimation would increase increase gas pressure to the breaking point of the overlying snow burden, catastrophically venting the pressure to the surface. In venting, the decrease in pressure and temperature in an opened fissure causes deposition to the solid state, further dropping the gas pressure.

A sudden drop in overlying pressure converts dissolved carbonic acid back to the gaseous state, causing it to nucleate on suspended mineral grains and float them to the surface in a froth of CO2 bubbles, like sugar dumped in carbonated drink. The repetition of gradually rising CO2 partial pressure followed by its sudden venting causes ‘sawtooth’ pH fluctuations over time.

The solubility of aluminum salts is particularly pH sensitive, so pressure overlying planetesimal oceans could indirectly control the reservoir of dissolved aluminous species in solution. Aluminous species solubility is U-shaped with respect to pH with an inflection point at about 6-1/2 pH (Driscoll and Schecher, 1990), so a rise in pH from 3.5 to 6.5 would decrease the aluminous species solubility by a factor of more than 100,000, effectively dumping the entire reservoir of dissolved aluminous species, chiefly in a precipitation of felsic feldspar minerals.

Dissolved aluminous species vs. pH with trough at 6.5 pH










Silica solubility, by comparison, is particularly temperature sensitive, so quartz grains will precipitate at the cold ice-water boundary where silica solubility is at a minimum. So with quartz precipitation at the ice-water boundary and catastrophically precipitated feldspar mineral grains floated to the surface by nucleating CO2 bubbles, the floating mass will have a felsic composition. And mineral grains will continue to grow through crystallization as long as they remain trapped at the surface.

Organic material and extraneous material, particularly slime bacteria, might lend a floating mass a degree of mechanical competency, forming a cohesive floating mat until it became ‘waterlogged’ by negative buoyancy. The larger circumference of the ice-water boundary compared to the sedimentary core would force a mechanically-competent mat to fold as it sank, stretching and bunching into into ‘ptygmatic folds’ (disharmonic and convolute folds), some of which fold back on themselves like alpine hairpin turns or ribbon candy. (By comparison, 200 years of conventional geology have yielded no adequate—or really any—explanation for the most convoluted ptygmatic folds, yet alone such a simple and intuitive model.)

Ptygmatic Folds in Gneiss Migmatite from Helsinki Finland
–used with permission of Sameli Kujala,
Conventional metamorphic theory might suggest that the felsic granite leucosome was intruded as a flat dike, followed by folding of the rock like the bellows in an accordion, presumably due to a high degree of elevated-temperature plasticity. Bellows are readily able to fold by displacing air, but since rock is essentially incompressible, hypothesized centimeter-scale folding is highly problematic. Metamorphic theory of migmatites requires felsic leucosomes to have a lower melting point.than the mafic melanosome, and yet in this case, the felsic leucosome dike apparently folds while remaining entirely intact as the mafic melanosome is apparently squeezed out from in between like toothpaste.
Conventional metamorphic theory is untenable in the face of a simple alternative, that of a sedimentary origin within a planetesimal ocean in which the phaneritic, authigenic grain size can be attributed to micro gravity.
Quartz solubility is highly temperature sensitive and feldspar is highly pH sensitive, so quartz precipitates at the cold-junction ice water boundary and feldspar precipitates when gas pressure (containing a partial-pressure of CO2) over the internal ocean is suddenly vented through a fissure allowing it to escape toward the surface, causing CO2 to bubble out of solution. As carbonic acid is converted to CO2 bubbles, the pH rises, precipitating feldspar, and the CO2 bubbles nucleate on the feldspar grains floating them to the surface where they add to the quartz grains, forming a felsic layer.
Perhaps silica gel or slime bacteria lend a degree of mechanical competency to the felsic ‘mat’ causing it to fold and bunch together into ptygmatic folds when it finally became water logged and sank onto the authigenic mafic ‘sand’ of the sedimentary core. Then over time, diagenesis and lithification turn the planetesimal sediments to rock, just as on earth.





















If mafic mineral species solubilities are less affected or are affected differently by pH, then cyclical pH variation will tend to form alternating felsic and mafic layers of authigenic minerals as is observed in migmatite, gneiss and sometimes schist.

Diagenesis shrinks the sedimentary core by forcing out the water, and as the core shrinks in volume, the authigenic sedimentary layers are forced into smaller circumferences, forcing the layers to fold in a process of ‘circumferential folding’. A good analogy are grapes dehydrating to form a raisins.

Conventional geology, by comparison, struggles to explain leucosome and melanosome segregation (supposed anatexis) and subsequent small-scale folding, other than large-scale folding readily attributable to plate tectonics (synclines and anticlines). Conventional geology is inclined to misinterpret sharp isoclinal folds as sheath folds cut through the nose of the fold because it has no good explanation for sharp small-scale (isoclinal) folding at various scales down to centimeter-scale hand-samples. Because of the lack of understanding of the nature and origin of felsic-mafic segregation and subsequent folding, it’s largely ignored in the literature with the concentration on better understood processes such as the degree of prograde/retrograde metamorphism, overprinting, and etc. The phone book analogy, which works so well to explain tectonic folding up into the void of the atmosphere, fails to explain small-scale folding at depth in solid rock where metamorphism is suggested to occur because there’re no voids to fold into, but the alternative raisin analogy of loosely-packed sediments with escaping hydrothermal fluids leaving behind voids which forces folding. So conventional geology struggles to explain folding while the alternative ideology has folding forced on it.

Diagenesis of sediments on earth also results in volume reduction, but because of Earth’s enormous size, no perceptible reduction in circumference occurs and hence no circumferential folding is forced to occur in terrestrial diagenesis, so horizontal layers of sedimentary rock are almost always terrestrial. Also surface sedimentation in terrestrial sedimentary rock does not reach the temperatures attained in planetesimal cores with its concomitant loss of mineral volume in the form of hydrothermal fluids nearly saturated with mineral species.

In aqueous differentiation of icy planetesimals, when primary sedimentation runs to completion in forming gneissic sedimentary cores, hydrothermal fluids expelled during diagenesis of the core precipitate hydrothermal mineral-grain sediments with different chemistry over top of the gneissic core, namely, sandstone/quartzite, schist and carbonate rock (limestone and dolostone) sediments, which ultimately form hydrothermal-rock mantles over gneissic cores.

Sedimentary diagenesis proceeds to lithification, like on Earth, but planetesimals may have one more trick up their sleeve. When a deep planetesimal ocean freezes solid, the pressure generated by the expansion of water in its phase change to ice may cause lithified cores to undergo high-pressure metamorphism, converting sedimentary rock to metamorphic migmatite, gneiss, quartzite and marble, which is comparatively rare on Earth.

A major difference between authigenic terrestrial sediments and authigenic planetesimal sediments is mineral grain size. On the surface of our high-gravity planet, precipitated authigenic mineral grains fall out of aqueous suspension at clay size to become sequestered in sedimentary layers which lithify into mudstone, but in the microgravity deep inside planetesimal oceans, dispersion apparently allows mineral grains to grow by crystallization to reach the size typically found in migmatite and gneiss before falling out of aqueous suspension (although in the case of granulite metamorphism, the mineral grains have typically recrystallized). Gravitational acceleration increases from the center to a maximum value part way between the core and the surface, with zero gravitational acceleration at the center, so mineral grain sizes decrease over time from the inside out of sedimentary planetesimal cores, except for leucosomes and metasomatic pegmatites which may grow to prodigious size on surfaces exposed to hydrothermal fluids.

Authigenic Gneiss with Sharp Isoclinal Folds










In conventional geology, the supposed segregation of felsic and mafic minerals into leucosome, melanosome and mesosome layers by metamorphism of protolith rock to form migmatite gneiss is explained by the partial melting (anatexis) of lower-melting-point (primarily felsic) minerals and the extrusion of this melt down a “potential force gradient.” “The consensus today is that both in situ melt and externally derived melt are present in most migmatites (Kriegsman, 2001).” (Urtson, 2005) This means that adjacent layers alone can not explain the local enrichments and depletions of felsic and mafic layering, and so non-local externally-derived melt is needed for mass balance. In an aqueous planetesimal setting, adjacent felsic and mafic leucosomes and melanosomes have the entire planetesimal ocean to draw from. “Comingling and mixing of mafic and felsic magmas” is also suggested as an explanation for alternating felsic/mafic layers. (Sandeman et al., 2000)

Conventionally, gneiss domes are divided into two classes: fault related and fault unrelated.  Larger gneiss-dome systems are divided into evenly spaced and unevenly spaced.  Evenly spaced dome systems are considered to be instabilities caused by vertical-density or -viscosity contrast and horizontal loads, leading to buckling.  Unevenly spaced dome systems are associated with fault development or “superposition of multiple deformational phases.” “In nature, gneiss domes are often produced by superposition of several dome-forming mechanisms. This has made determination of the dynamic cause of individual domes and dome systems exceedingly challenging.” (Yin, 2004)

Rayleigh–Taylor (RT) instability is a favored explanation for the formation of evenly-spaced gneiss domes which is sometimes called a fingering instability where a finger is theorized to spread into a mushroom cap to explain concentric layering in ellipsoid gneiss domes.  RT instabilities, however, fail to explain the typical sedimentary basements: “In some, the lowest horizon of the mantle consists of basal conglomerate with boulders of the same gneiss that forms the dome; in others, the basement stratum is a layer of quartzite, above which follow dolomite and mica schist; and in still others, dolomite forms the basement.” (Eskola, 1948)

Section View of a Differentiated Comet












The basement horizon of quartzite, carbonate rock and conglomerate in gneiss-dome mantles can only be explained in conventional geology with secondary ad hoc mechanisms, but in aqueous differentiation, the concentric layering of gneiss domes are merely sedimentary growth rings transitioning to hydrothermal sedimentation, followed by diagenesis, lithification and metamorphism. So sedimentary migmatite, gneiss and schist are on an equal footing with the mantle layers of quartzite and carbonate rock. And conglomerate or graywacke outer layer on gneiss domes is merely grinding of the rocky core against the ice ceiling as the freezing ocean finally closes in on the core, creating a clastic frosting on authigenic sedimentary core. Often the conglomerate pebbles, cobbles and boulders in the frosting conglomerate are highly polished with an indurated (case-hardened) surface as freezing tends to reject dissolved minerals, creating a final spike in dissolved mineral species that deposit (plate out) on cobbles and pebbles.

The mantled domes apparently represent earlier granite intrusions related to a orogenic period. The plutonic mass was later eroded and levelled, and thereafter followed a period of sedimentation. During a subsequent orogenic cycle the pluton was mobilized anew and new granite magma was injected into the plutonic rock at the same time as it was deformed into gneiss, causing its migmatization and granitization, or palingenesis.

(Eskola, 1948)

Passage of the solar system through dark-matter Bok globules on their highly-inclined disk-crossing orbits or giant molecular clouds may disrupt the Oort cloud, causing millions or billions of planetesimal mergers. Secondary and tertiary solar-system planetesimals, including comets from the secondary common-envelope and solar-merger LRN debris disk and tertiary planetesimal hypothesized to have formed during at least two extended glacial periods bracketing the beginning and end of the Proterozoic Eon may have formed in both prograde and retrograde orbits, unlike the original prograde orbits of planetesimals condensed from the protoplanetary disk. Mergers of prograde and retrograde planetesimals will reduce the specific angular momentum, which may send the perihelia into the planetary realm.

Ancient TNOs are hypothesized to aqueously differentiate to form Tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) cores. The advent of the Proterozoic Eon is marked by transition from low-potassium TTG terrain to high-potassium granodiorite-granite (GG) rocks (Frost et al. 2006), which may represent aqueous differentiation of another round of planetesimal condensation in the Early Proterozoic near the inner edge of the IOC. Finally, the emergence of platforms with gneiss domes in the Late Proterozoic to Phanerozoic Eons may mark another round of Late Proterozoic planetesimal condensation during the Cryogenian Period toward the middle of the IOC. (Many planetesimal mergers may occur while aqueous differentiation is still underway, prior to lithification and metamorphism, likely accounting for sandstone layers in larger platforms with smaller authigenic mineral-grain size.)

Our former binary Companion may have somewhat stabilized the solar system prior to its hypothesized loss at 542 Ma. “Culler et al. [2000] studied 179 spherules from 1 g of soil collected by the Apollo 14 astronauts, and found evidence for a decline in the meteoroid flux to the Moon from 3000 million years ago (Ma) to 500 Ma, followed by a fourfold increase in the cratering rate over the last 400 Ma.” (Levine et al., 2005) But the 400 Ma comes from the 400 million-year bin size used in the study.

Comets hypothesized to have condensed from common-envelope/LRN debris should be more volatile depleted than TNOs and Oort Phanerozoic planetesimals condensed within giant molecular clouds or passages through Bok globules, and hence should be depleted in the most volatile elements, noble gasses, nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, accounting for the high dust-to-ice ratio observed in comets. If comets are somewhat oxygen depleted, the slightly higher electronegativity of potassium vs. sodium may in part account for the elevated K-feldspar in hypothesized comet granite. COMET GRANITE will get its own section, but briefly, S-type granite plutons, Rapakivi granite and orbicular granite are hypothesized to be aqueously-differentiated (metasomatic) granite, whereas I-type granite plutons are hypothesized to be formerly-molten (plutonic) granite. Low oxygen fugacity comets may cause violent chemical reactions when first meeting with higher oxygen fugacity dwarf planets condensed at lower temperatures with more volatile oxygen, leading to plutonic melting in planetesimal mergers or later after a dwarf planet collision with earth. Finally, far-larger batholiths, such as the Sierra Nevada batholith, may be compound Oort-cloud comets which merged with still-larger dwarf-planet ‘platforms’ before colliding with Earth in the North Pacific, causing the K-Pg extinction event at 66 Ma.


In the initial phase of icy-planetesimal ‘aqueous differentiation’ (defined as internal melting) brought on by planetesimal mergers in the Oort cloud, nebular dust is liberated from the icy overburden into the underlying core ocean, precipitating sediments characteristic of the planetesimal type. While TNOs are considered slightly presolar (prior to the hypothesized 4,567 Ma binary stellar merger, forming our Sun) and comets are hypothesized to have formed slightly afterward from common-envelope and/or stellar-merger debris. Planetesimals may have formed at least twice more from stellar-metallicity condensed into icy-chondrules captured giant molecular clouds during two major glacial periods, Paleoproterozic (2400 Ma to 2100 Ma), and Cryogenian (Kaigas, Sturtian 720 to 660 Ma, and Marinoan 650 to 635 Ma). The chondrule metallicity may have condensed by gravitational instability around our former binary Companion star prior to its hypothesized exit from the solar system at 542 Ma when its former binary components may have merged in an asymmetrical luminous red nova, giving the Companion escape velocity from our Sun.

Hypothesized planetesimal types formed by gravitational instability (GI) and larger compound planetesimals formed by Oort cloud planetesimal mergers:
1) tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) sediments from trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) in the Hadean and Archean,
2) granodiorite-granite (GG) in the Early Proterozoic from planetesimals formed around the inner edge of the inner Oort cloud (IOC),
3) gneiss domes in the Late Proterozoic and Phanerozoic from planetesimals formed near the middle of the IOC. (Large ‘platforms’ of the Late Proterozoic and Phanerozoic were/are formed by ‘hybrid accretion’ of smaller planetesimals, some having been previously differentiated into gneiss domes.), and
4) S-type and (much) A-type (metasomatic) granite from aqueously-differentiated comets, most typically from the Proterozoic onward. (I-type granite plutons were formerly molten rock, not aqueously-precipitated sediments.)

When aqueously-differentiated planetesimals reach thermal equilibrium, the ocean begins to freeze over, cutting off the supply of nebular dust from the icy overburden and concentrating the mineral species in solution as freezing water tends to exclude solutes. The expansion of freezing builds pressure in the ocean, causing diagenesis and lithification of the sedimentary core, expelling hot hydrothermal fluids with high concentrations of solutes in solution and perhaps in suspension. The type of mineral precipitation changes over time and over distance from hydrothermal vents during ‘freeze out’ of the ocean.

Pressure solution/dissolution, leaching and metasomatism during diagenesis and lithification of the sedimentary core expels hot aqueous fluids, partially or completely saturated with salts, minerals, (cat)ions and other species that may rapidly reach (super)saturation in the cooler ocean above, causing mineral-grain precipitation and crystallization on suspended sediments, particularly in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents.

Precipitation creates nuclei which grow by crystallization into characteristic-sized mineral grains before settling out of solution. When reaching the characteristic size for the buoyancy (and circulation) in the planetesimal ocean, the mineral-grains fall out of suspension to become buried and thereby mostly sequestered from further growth by crystallization.

Authigenic mineral grain size is related to buoyancy which is a function of the planetesimal mass and roughly the relative distance between the surface and the gravitational center. (Under the surface of the Earth, gravitational acceleration increases slightly to a point a little more than half way to the center, followed by a steady decrease to zero at the gravitational center.) So mineral-grain size should be highest at the center of authigenic sedimentary cores, followed by a rather steady decrease to the surface of the rocky core, pegmatites and metasomatism/metamorphism recrystallization aside. The characteristic, authigenic sand-grain size in Wissahickon schist is about 450 microns in diameter (.45 mm).

Mantled gneiss domes:
In mantled gneiss domes, the authigenic migmatite-gneiss core is typically surrounded by a concentrically-layered mantle with an outward progression from gneiss to sandstone/quartzite to carbonate-rock (limestone, dolostone or marble) to schist. Collisions of dwarf planets with smaller volatilely-depleted (chemically-reduced) comets may reactivate the authigenic precipitation in the dwarf planet, as well as contributing comet granite or granitic sediments , and/or causing violent chemical reactions between chemically-reduced comets and chemically-oxidized dwarf planets reaching the melting point, creating volcanic rock or I-type granitoids.

Skolithos trace fossils in quartzite:
On earth, tube worm communities commonly surround hydrothermal vents. As tube worms extend their tubes to avoid burial as sand settles out of suspension around hydrothermal vents in planetesimal oceans, their addition of organic material, weakens the subsequent quartzite, making it more susceptible to erosion. Tube-worm trace fossils in quartzite may be interpreted as Skolithos trace fossils. Large platform-sized dwarf planet oceans, in which silt-sized authigenic mineral grains fall out of suspension in quiescent regions, may precipitate coarser authigenic sand in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents due to fluid flows, hydrothermal fluid issuing directly from the vent itself and secondary thermal-gradient flows. So authigenic sand, more typical of smaller gneiss-dome-sized planetesimals, may be found on larger platform-sized compound-planetesimal platforms in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents, and Skolithos trace fossils (along with sand-grain size) may help to differentiate gneiss-dome-planetesimal sand from platform-planetesimal sand, assuming gneiss-dome planetesimals do not (typically) support macroscopic life forms.

Quartzite boulder with highly-indurated surface from the Susquehanna River at Millersburg, PA with end-on view of Skolithos trace fossils as dimples.

Quartzite boulder with highly-indurated surface from the Susquehanna River at Millersburg, PA with end-on view of Skolithos trace fossils as pockmarks.

Quartzite boulder with indurated surface from the East branch of the Susquehanna River near the PA New York border with Skolithos trace fossils.

Quartzite boulder with indurated surface from the East branch of the Susquehanna River near the PA New York border with Skolithos trace fossils.

‘Black smoker’ chimney structures form over hydrothermal vents on earth in areas where tectonic plates are separating like at the mid-Atlantic ridge. These chimney structures can reach heights of 40 meters like ‘Godzilla’ in the Pacific Ocean before toppling over from their own weight and then regrowing, creating mounds of hydrothermal rock. Chimney structures may similarly form, topple and reform in planetesimal oceans, creating similar mounds of hydrothermal schist, but the forces causing chimney collapse in planetesimal oceans may be more seismic in nature as the sedimentary core progressively shrinks during diagenesis and lithification, leading to dramatic ‘planetesimal quakes’.

Euhedral garnets in schist:
Round euhedral almandine garnets in schist suggests Bernoulli suspension of garnets in hydrothermal fluid plumes in the low gravity of planetesimal cores, like a balloon trapped in the air leaving a vacuum cleaner. Sand grains to not attain such sizes, likely because quartz solubility is inversely proportionate to temperature, such that quartz grains precipitate and crystallize near the cold-junction ice-water ceiling and get dispersed at some distance from black-smoker chimneys, whereas the garnets may typically incorporate themselves into the chimney structures themselves. Round euhedral garnets do not appear to have grown attached on one side like metasomatic pegmatites, which typically grow in protected crevices.

Pegmatites in schist:
Pegmatites containing large sheets of mica often large feldspar crystals are typically imbedded in highly-indurated quartzite, but no garnets. If sand grains rain out of suspension at a short distance from hydrothermal vents, they do not appear to interfere with the growth of large mica and feldspar crystals, which suggests growth in protected areas on the ice ceiling or perhaps in overhangs or crevices. In Philadelphia Wissahickon schist, the largest crystalline masses of are kilogram-scale blocks of feldspar crystals with sheets of muscovite up to 10′s of square centimeters in area, frequently embedded in large masses of highly-indurated quartzite. Since schist pegmatites are hypothesized to be metasomatic (formed by aqueous crystallization), schist feldspars should be massive without exsolved lamellae structure like perthite which has cooled from a melt.

Wissahickon-schist pegmatite from Philadelphia: Mica and quartz

Wissahickon-schist pegmatite from Philadelphia:
Mica and quartz

Wissahickon schist pegmatite from Philadelphia:  gray, quartz;  white, albite(?);  pink, orthoclase

Wissahickon schist pegmatite from Philadelphia:
gray, quartz;
white, albite(?);
pink, orthoclase

Quartz stalactites in schist?:
Quartzite stalactites are suggested to have formed on ice ceilings overhanging hydrothermal vents, bathed in warm hydrothermal fluids. Quartz stalactites conduct heat, lowering the contact temperature below the solubility saturation temperature of quartz which crystallizes on the ceiling and stalactites until planetesimal quakes break them free to fall onto the growing planetesimal core. If euhedral garnets in schist are indeed formed over hydrothermal vents, then the occasional inclusion of small garnets in quartz stalactites bear out the suggestion of stalactite formation over hydrothermal vents. Quartz stalactites have sinewy longitudinal furrows like American hornbeam branches and trunks, depending on diameter, making them look very much like petrified wood. Stalactite cross sections range from perhaps 1 cm Dia to 1 meter Dia, but usually fractured at both ends so lengths are indeterminate. Cross-sectional aspect ratios vary widely, some thin almost like ribbons similar to flows in terrestrial caves, but more commonly with oval or nearly-circular cross sections.

Section of hypothesized quartz stalactite hanging from an icy ceiling into an internal Oort cloud dwarf-planet ocean over a hydrothermal vent over a sedimentary core undergoing diagenesis.  From the Wissahickon schist terrain along the Bells Mill Road tributary to the Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA.

Section of hypothesized quartz stalactite hanging from an icy ceiling into an internal Oort cloud dwarf-planet ocean over a hydrothermal vent over a sedimentary core undergoing diagenesis. From the Wissahickon schist terrain along the Bells Mill Road tributary to the Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA.

Quartz Stalactites of Various Cross Sections

Cross-sectional chunks of hypothesized quartz stalactites hanging from an icy ceiling into an internal Oort cloud dwarf-planet ocean over a hydrothermal vent over a authigenic sedimentary core undergoing diagenesis (the lithified and metamorphosed Baltimore gneiss-dome). The three chunks show wide variations in color, texture and cross-sectional aspect ratios, but all chunks are longitudinally striated to some degree. The red cross section chunk on the left has red garnets embedded in the ‘bark’ on the outside and was found a number of kilometers downstream from the center and right chunks with less terrestrial stream-tumbling wear.

Hypothesized quartz stalactite hanging from an icy ceiling into an internal Oort cloud dwarf-planet ocean over a hydrothermal vent over a sedimentary core undergoing diagenesis.  From the Wissahickon schist terrain--this chunk was found some 5 to 10 kilometers downstream from more pristine chunks along the Bells Mill Road tributary to the Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA.  This stalactite section is heavily particularly striated with deep furrows.  The corners and ridges have been heavily worn from tumbling downstream, but the furrows are fairly pristine.

Hypothesized quartz stalactite hanging from an icy ceiling into an internal Oort cloud dwarf-planet ocean over a hydrothermal vent over a sedimentary core undergoing diagenesis. From the Wissahickon schist terrain–this chunk was found some 5 to 10 kilometers downstream from more pristine chunks along the Bells Mill Road tributary to the Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA. This stalactite section is heavily particularly striated with deep furrows. The corners and ridges have been heavily worn from tumbling downstream, but the furrows are fairly pristine.

Hypothesized segments of linearly-striated quartz stalactites which grew from the ice ceiling over hydrothermal vents of Baltimore-gneiss-dome Oort cloud planetesimal. From the Wissahickon schist terrain, along the Bells Mill Road tributary to the Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA.

Hypothesized segment of linearly-striated quartz stalactite which grew from the ice ceiling over a hydrothermal vent of the Baltimore-gneiss-dome Oort cloud planetesimal. From the Wissahickon schist terrain, along the Bells Mill Road tributary to the Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA. Outside perimeters are longitudinally striated like driftwood, most with massive cross sections, but some with growth rings like this piece, and note the red garnets.



The relative compressibilty of hydrocarbons and ices of icy-bodies (comets, TNOs and dwarf planets) compared to silicates and metals of rocky-iron asteroids may result in very different outcomes in terrestrial impacts.

Compressibility only stores impact energy, lessening the power but extending the duration of impact shock waves for the same total specific energy. Compressibility of short-chain hydrocarbon ices like methane and ethane, however, may sequester impact energy by converting heat and compression to endothermic chemical reactions forming longer-chain hydrocarbons.

Experimentally, methane converts to long alkane chains and free hydrogen at 60 GPa and 4509 K (Li, Zhang et al., 2011).

Both mechanisms may clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of rock, greatly reducing or eliminating the quantity of impactite, melt-rock, or suevite. Thus while the shock-wave compression of target rock in icy-body impacts may remain below its melting point, the heating of compressible ice will exceed the melting point of icy-body silicate dust which may create basaltic impact slag. The absence of target melt-rock and lack of excavated craters may obscur icy-body impact basins from detection as such by geologists. Thus (most) all recognized impact craters on Earth may be rocky asteroid impacts, (or at least, perhaps, aqueously-differentiated rocky cores mostly denuded of their former icy mantles).

Icy bodies that have undergone internal aqueous or thermal differentiation may sublime low-temperature ices in their cores which deposit closer to the surface. Thus, material sloughed off from internally-differentiated icy bodies forming secondary impacts may be more volatile than the body as a whole.

PdV compression will likely result in phase change to liquid, gaseous, supercritical fluids, higher-pressure ice phases, or even plasma, but a majority of the energy will be returned to the environment, and the compression portion of the stored energy will extend the shock-wave duration as the shock-wave compression winds down.

Endothermic products that liberate pure oxygen and other highly-reactive chalcogens and halogens would be particularly susceptible to spontaneous recombination; however, when hydrocarbon ices liberate hydrogen in forming long-chain hydrocarbons, the hydrogen may act as a buffer, diffusing out rapidly and scavenging more highly-reactive oxidizers before the shock-wave pressure drops below the recombination temperature of long-chain hydrocarbons and hydrogen. And the small size of hydrogen atoms greatly increases its diffusion rate away from the hydrocarbons.

Secondary exothermic recombination of endothermic compounds (as in: xO2 + N2 <> 2NOx). may be the cause of the ‘double flash’ in atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons (although shielding is the recognized origin of the double flash).

The West regards petroleum as a ‘fossil fuel’, but the Russians have a history of considering petroleum as having derived from deep-earth processes. Biotic methane may indeed result from chemoautotroph microbes in the deep hot biosphere, whereas most coal and petroleum in sedimentary rock is suggested to be of abiotic icy-body impact origin.

The difference in kinetic energy between a long-period object hitting the planet head on in its orbit around the sun and catching up with the planet is a factor of 19. So particularly, high-velocity icy-body impacts may create many times the percentage of hydrocarbons and may for particularly-high molecular-weight oil and tar compared to low-velocity impacts. ( In his book, The Deep Hot Biosphere, 2001, Thomas Gold suggests that despite its plant fossils, coal also may be abiotic from deep-earth sources.)

Pennsylvanian Subperiod coal fields may have formed in a continental-scale debris flow from dual Carboniferous (binary?) icy-body impacts, forming the circular Michigan (impact) Basin and the tectonically-deformed Illinois (impact) Basin. PdV absorption of kinetic energy may compress the ground forming basins rather than excavating craters and melting target rock like rocky-iron impacts are known to do. Sustained unwinding of compressed ices may be responsible for compressing the crust into the mantle as instrumental in basin formation.

Structural Contour Map of Michigan Basin  as an Icy-body Impact Basin on its Precambrian Basement

Structural Contour Map of Michigan Basin as an Icy-body Impact Basin on its Precambrian Basement

The super debris flow bulldozed the forests before it, forming a chevron-shaped debris-flow terminus that internally differentiated into coal-field cyclothems followed by terrestrial metamorphism of impact hydrocarbons into coal, complete with bulldozed flora fossils. Settling formed the underlying ‘ganister’ or ‘seatearth’, strewn with stigmaria roots, stems and leaves and other vegetative matter while the lower-density impact hydrocarbons floated to the surface.

Spontaneous re-reaction of ECR products in comet impacts on the Laurentide ice sheet at 12,800 B.P. may have provided the sustained thrust to launch chunks of the ice sheet into long trajectories above the atmosphere to form the Carolina bays along the East Coast of the United States. The orientation of the bays appear to point toward a pair of impact sites on upper Lake Michigan and lower Hudson Bay. The Nastapoka arc may be the rim of the Hudson Bay impact basin, and a similar but smaller arc is evident across from Sheboygan, Wisconsin on the opposite shore of Lake Michigan. The rough-terrain bedrock on the northeast rim of the two arcs may be target rock deformed by the impact.


This section discusses a common class of meteorwrongs, some with fusion crust and metallic iron inclusions which is suggested to have formed from a ‘young’ debris disk created by the spiral-in merger of our former binary Companion brown dwarf to the Sun at 542 Ma, ushering in the Phanerozoic Eon.

Hypothesized trans-Neptuian object crust (TNO-crust) meteorwrong. Note the typical nodular-shaped masses of low-nickel metallic iron.

Section view of hyothesized trans-Neptunian object crust (TNO-crust) with metallic-iron inclusions
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite, meteorwrong)

Hypothesized native iron from Doe Run, Pennsylvania, suggested to be from the crust of a Kuiper belt planetesimal

Hypothesized native iron from Doe Run, Pennsylvania, suggested to be from the crust of a Kuiper belt planetesimal

The asymmetrical binary spiral-in merger gave the Companion escape velocity from the Sun, 542 million years ago, but its former presence may still be seen in the similar argument of perihelion of extended scattered disk (ESD) objects like Sedna and 2012 VP113. The resulting volatile-depleted debris disk (depleted in volatile oxygen) variably accreted onto highly-oxidized protoplanetary trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) forming a surface coating. Planetesimals orbiting through the densest portions of the early Cambrian debris ring in Neptune’s strongest outer resonances received the thickest coating, with distant Oort cloud comets likely escaping with a mere dusting. Violent chemical reactions were the result of differing oxidation states between highly-oxidized protoplanetary TNOs and the oxygen-depleted debris-ring coating which often reached the melting point of iron and silicates, creating a rocky basaltic crust on trans-Neptunian objects with metallic-iron inclusions, designated ‘TNO-crust’.

Many aspects of this TNO-crust material are at variance with well-understood rocky-iron asteroid and chondrite properties from the asteroid belt, which conspire against an extraterrestrial interpretation when hypothesized TNO-crust is found on Earth.  Most asteroidal material arrives on Earth in small chunks or distributed in well-defined strwn fields, but TNO-crust may typically arrive on 100+ km diameter TNOs and still-larger dwarf planets, creating impact basins larger than any verified craters known to scar the Earth’s surface, and sloughed-off TNO-crust and ice strewn fields may blanket a sizable fraction of the planet.

Icy-body impact basins vs. rocky-iron impact craters:
While icy-body impacts at the distance of the Moon or Mars may be almost visually indistinguishable from rocky-iron or chondrite impacts from our vantage point on Earth, but icy-body impacts mail fail the impact-crater requirements upon close inspection here on Earth. The relative compressibility of ices compared to metals and silicates may clamp the impact shock-wave pressure of icy-body impacts below the melting point of Earth’s target rock. When planetesimal ices collide with terrestrial rock, the greater compressibility of ices may reduce the power of impact by prolonging its duration over the decompression period of the ices. Work = force x distance and Work = pressure x change in volume (W=PdV), so if the change in volume (dV) of ices is twice that of silicates, ices will absorb twice the energy per unit volume as silicates, which may largely clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of Earth’s target rock. Furthermore, in large impacts, the extended shock-wave duration is suggested to compress the Earth’s crust into a basin, and the clamped pressure and sustained duration may tend to clamp the target rock in place rather than excavating and overturning it as rocky-iron impact are known to do. So close examination of icy-body impact basins, like the hypothesized 12,900 year old, 450 km Nastapoka arc impact basin of lower Hudson Bay, may fail to exhibit the expected melt rock, shocked quartz, breccia and shatter cones of verified impact craters.

TNO-crust, depleted in siderophile elements:
Our hypothesized former Companion must have been a binary brown dwarf with its siderophile elements sequestered in an inner core similar to Earth and Jupiter. In the binary spiral-in merger, core material likely escaped in polar jets which were largely confined by the former Companion’s Roche sphere, whereas more mantle material from the energetic equatorial explosion attained escape velocity to become captured by the Sun. The polar-jet hypothesis stems to the hypothesized origin of ‘merger planets’, like Venus and Earth, and ‘spin-off planets’, like Saturn and Jupiter, as described in the section: PLANETS, MOONS, DWARF PLANETS AND PLANETESIMALS. Hypothesized ‘merger planets’ and ‘spin-off planets’ may fragment to form ‘hard’ binary planets which typically spiral-in and merge to form solitary planets which may also eject polar jets from their cores during spiral-in merger. Enstatite chondrites, which lie on the terrestrial fractionation line, are hypothesized to have condensed from binary-Earth polar jets, and CB chondrites are hypothesized to have condensed from binary-Saturn polar jets, with their centimeter-sized chondrules accreted in Centaur orbits between Saturn and Uranus at slower orbital velocities than other chondrite types with smaller chondrules which condensed closer to the Sun. So TNO-crust should be depleted in nickel, and the siderophile platinum group elements (Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt, Hs, Mt, Ds), and indeed, the mass spec of nickel was measured at .2% in metallic-iron inclusions, and no iridium was found down to 2 ppb.

Close association of TNO crust with the iron industry:
While some of the iron remains metallic, as in the native iron of Disko Island, Greenland and in flood basalts of the Siberian traps, much of the iron was apparently oxidized into magnetite which was sought after for the iron industry, but the associated basaltic TNO-crust with its metallic-iron inclusions appears to have been rejected, assumedly due to excessive embrittling contaminants. And so chunks of high-density TNO-crust have found their way into the low-density iron-furnace-slag waste stream of some historic furnaces, muddling its hypothesized natural origins. Additionally, the refractory calcium enrichments in TNO crust are also in line with an iron-furnace origin which uses lime as a fluxing agent.

TNO crust vs. asteroid meteorites:
The shape and appearance of hypothesized TNO-crust is generally, markedly dissimilar to ablated meteorites of asteroid origin. Some TNO crust has fusion crust and some fusion crust has flow lines, although a majority of suspected TNO-crust is fractured on all sides and devoid of fusion crust. A distinctive minority of TNO-crust has one relatively-smooth rounded surface with the other 5 sides fractured, suggestive of fractured pillow lava with metallic-iron inclusions. Perhaps a majority of TNO-crust material is granular on a millimeter to centimeter scale rather than massive, perhaps from having been rapidly quenched by planetesimal ice in the same way that industrial iron-furnace slag is quenched with water to form granular slag, but iron-furnace slag doesn’t have macroscopic chunks of metallic iron. Some massive crust forms boulders, up to 1 meter across.

A nodular mass of native iron, hypothesized to be trans-Neptunian object crust (TNO-crust).
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite, meteorwrong)

A nodular mass of native iron, hypothesized to be trans-Neptunian object crust (TNO-crust).
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite, meteorwrong)

Low-nickel granular iron, hypothesized to be from the crust of a Kuiper-belt object

Magnet attached to metallic-iron inclusion on hypothesized trans-Neptunian object crust (TNO-crust).
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite, meteorwrong)

45 kg mass of native iron in a fractal ‘ring of flames’ shape, hypothesized to be trans-Neptunian object crust (TNO-crust).
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite, meteorwrong)

Fractured chunks of TNO-crust pillow lava? Note these chunks of high-density basalt with metallic-iron inclusions have one relatively-smooth rounded surface with all other surfaces being fractured.

Hypothesized Nastapoka arc impact:
The most recent icy-body impact (with TNO-crust) of its size is hypothesized to have formed the Nastapoka arc impact basin, some 12,900 years ago. The approach must have been quite oblique (very nearly missing the Earth altogether) to explain numerous secondary impacts of sloughed-off crust and boulder fields, characteristic of impact strikes (see section: BOULDER FIELDS). From similar-appearing TNO-crust-type rocky-iron material found in Russia, Europe and across the United States, the entire Northern Hemisphere may have been within its stewn field, unless the widely-distributed material represent other bolides. The Proterozoic-age Belcher Islands near the geometrical center of Nastapoka arc suggests either a central uplift rebound of impact or the aqueously-differentiated authigenic sedimentary core of the planetesimal itself. Craters sometimes have central uplifts but do impact basins sometimes have uplifts as well?

Fusion crust, some with flow lines:
Industrial iron-furnace slag does not appear to have any equivalent to vanishingly thin atmospheric-ablation fusion crust, nor anything resembling flow lines of TNO-crust. Iron-furnace slag does sometimes have a glassy surface, but it’s sometimes centimeters thick (particularly at Joanna furnace).

Black fusion crust on hypothesized TNO-crust meteorite

Black fusion crust on hypothesized TNO-crust meteorite

Fusion-crust flow lines on hypothesized TNO-crust meteorite section

Fusion-crust flow lines on hypothesized TNO-crust meteorite. Note the embedded spherules.

Native iron from Disko Island and the Siberian traps:
What about native iron from Disko Island and the Siberian traps which are similarly embedded in basaltic rock, but of more recent and terrestrial origins? Curiously, both occurrences are Phanerozoic, but apparently in terrestrial basalts. If the coating debris-disc coating had been much thicker for these earlier occurrences compared to the Nastapoka arc planetesimal, most of the material may not have oxidized on the planetesimal surface but only following Earth impact. Siberia, generally West of Lena River, East of the Ural mountains and North of Mongolia is hypothesized to be an aqueously-differentiated hybrid dwarf planet, cored with Archean rock and heavily coated in debris-disk dust at the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic boundary. If much of the coating covering the top surface of the planetesimal mostly washed to sea following Earth impact, creating the anoxic conditions that precipitated the P-Tr extinction event, the flood basalts may have erupted from highly-reduced debris-disk material trapped between the hybrid planetesimal core and Earth’s mantle. And Disko Island basalts date to 55 Ma which corresponds to the ‘Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum’, which “led to the extinction of numerous deep-sea benthic foraminifera and a major turnover in mammals on land” (Paleocene—Wikipedia).

Formerly-molten magnetite:
TNO-crust material, hypothesized to have been excavated from Ivy Rock quarry impact site, contains formerly-molten magnetite in small chunks, most of less than a kilogram, which compared to much-larger chunks of TNO-crust suggests that the quarry was originally mined for magnetite iron ore. The magnetite was formerly molten, which is very evident from its configuration of flattened coils of formerly-molten material, similar to dripping streams of injection-molded plastic overflow which also cool in flattened coils when it hits the floor, assumedly on the planetesimal surface. Granular and massive TNO-crust containing metallic-iron was very evidently rejected by the iron industry, likely due to excessive embrittling contaminants.

Hypothesized TNO-crust magnetite.  Note how the molten magnetite had flowed and cooled in coils.

Hypothesized TNO-crust magnetite. Note how the molten magnetite had flowed and cooled in coils.

Ivy Rock quarry, Conshohocken, PA:
The relatively round, deep, Ivy Rock quarry, just north of Conshohocken, PA, along Conshohocken Road on the east bank of the Schuylkill River (40.095, -75.315), is hypothesized to be a TNO-crust impact site which was excavated for its magnetite at an unknown time in the past.
Even in the early years of the industrial revolution before the American Civil War, impact-sites containing TNO-crust with metallic-iron inclusions may have been dismissed as earlier, poorly-processed colonial iron furnace slag, eliminating any scientific interest. The site is currently known as Ivy Rock Clean Landfill, a sanitary landfill. The bulk of the hypothesized TNO-crust was used to level a triangle of land, above Plymouth Creek to the west and southeast of I-476 (Veterans’ Memorial Highway), 1.6 km south of Ivy Rock quarry with access from Light St., Conshohocken. The area is readily visible on Google Earth due of its lack of vegetation, since granulated TNO-crust is an effective herbicide. TNO-crust has also been used in the construction of River Trail walking path on the north bank of the Schuylkill River, at the end of Sullivan Lane in Valley Forge National Historic Park. And in Phoenixville, PA, TNO-crust has been pushed into French Creek ravine from the south bank, between N. Main St. and Ashland St., just east of Phoenixville Foundry. Finally, TNO-crust has also been found in Coatesville, PA along West Branch Brandywine Creek near the iron works and in Doe Run, PA, along Doe Run Creek, suggesting additional impact sites between Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

Ivy Rock Clean Landfill showing likely granular comet-crust slag circled in red, since plants can't grow in comet-crust slag.

Ivy Rock Clean Landfill showing likely granular comet-crust slag circled in red, since plants can’t grow in comet-crust slag.

Author, posing in front of a hill of hypothesized, granular trans-Neptunian object crust (TNO-crust) from Conshohocken, PA between I-476 and Plymouth Creek, just a kilometer south of Ivy Rock quarry, one of many hypothesized TNO-crust secondary-impact sites. Note, granular TNO-crust is an effective herbicide.

Swatara Township quarry, Harrisburg, PA Area:
The similar-sized, relatively-round and deep quarry in the 2200 block of Paxton St., Swatara Township (40.256, -76.847) is also an hypothesized TNO-crust impact site. And TNO-crust has similarly been used as clean fill at various locations across the Harrisburg Area, most notably on the southwest bank of City Island in the Susquehanna River, with island access from Market Street Bridge. TNO-crust has also been used as clean fill on the East Shore of the Susquehanna River along Front St. in Enola, PA, and can be found as far west as Wesley Dr. in Mechanicsburg, PA, likely indicating additional impact sites further west.

Hypothesized TNO-crust secondary-impact site at 2200 Paxton St., Swatara Township, PA 17111, immediately south of Harrisburg, PA. The circled areas devoid of plant life may be due to the plant killing properties of granular TNO-crust.

In addition to the commercial iron industry, there’s evidence of small ‘cottage industry’ iron furnaces that may have operated during The Great Depression, judging by a 1939 nickel found in the Conshohocken woods near a failed oven. Several cubic feet of iron froze inside the oven before it could be extracted, although it was likely only a test oven. A somewhat more sophisticated Bessemer-style oven lies nearby composed of a 4 foot diameter ring of fire brick held together with iron straps, and that too is cottage-industry sized. On the left bank of the Schuylkill River, in West Conshohocken, a number of broken window-sash counter weights lie near broken iron plate about an inch thick with an irregular lower surface that had apparently cooled where it had pooled on the surface of the ground, suggesting a cottage-industry operation in an application in which embrittling contamination was no hindrance.

Iron-furnace Slag:
Microscopic examination of iron-furnace slag from Cornwall furnace and Johanna furnace, which used Cornwall-type iron ore, reveals nothing larger than micron-scale metallic-iron spherules which require magnification. These microscopic spherules are most apparent in thin chips of translucent, glassy slag with strong back lighting in a light microscope at 100X magnification. The spherules come into focus and disappear as one alters the depth of focus, revealing hundreds of spherules per cubic centimeter with a distinctive upper size limit dictated by the high negative buoyancy of metallic iron in glassy slag melted on the surface of our high-gravity planet for the purpose of economic iron extraction. By comparison, massive TNO-crust frequently contains millimeter to centimeter-sized metallic-iron blebs which are many orders of magnitude larger than the microscopic spherules in industrial iron-furnace slag.

Iron Spherules (100X) in Iron-Furnace Slag from Joanna Furnace (1791-1898) Geigertown, PA

Economically, the percentage of metallic iron contained in massive TNO-crust is incredible for an industrial origin, particularly considering the discarded 100 kg masses near the Phoenixville Foundry. Iron-furnace fuel was even dearer in the years of charcoal before its replacement by coke. For each batch of iron-furnace charcoal, twenty-five to fifty cords of split hardwood were tended around the clock for 10 to 14 days by ‘colliers’ in large charcoal pits . Additionally, curved surfaces and fractal shapes of TNO-crust and its associated masses of metallic iron are strong evidence for a natural origin, since industrialization strives for uniformity. Finally, occasional forged ‘mushrooming’ of some metallic-iron chunks are indicative of a natural catastrophe.

65 kg mass of native iron with a ‘mushroomed’ forged surface (towards the bottom of the photo), of hypothesized trans-Neptunian object crust (TNO-crust).
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite, meteorwrong)

Another argument against an industrial origin of the TNO-crust with metallic-iron inclusions is its the low purity (high degree of contamination. Mass spec. analysis of a metallic-iron inclusion by Actlabs Canada, with units in ppm: >50% Fe, 321 Cr, 2150 Ni, 5200 Cu, 613 Mn, 97.7 Co, 7.2 Zn, 4.66 Ga, .4 Ge, .3 Se, 1.3 Zr, 2.96 Mb, 1.1 Ag, .05 In, 148 Sn, .05 Sb, 6.5 Ba, .72 Ce, .08 Nd, .01 Dy, .04 Re, .7 ppb Au, 4.01 Pb, .3 Th, .1 Li, .2 Bi. Iridium is undetectable down to 2 ppb by INAA in massive basaltic crust.


Extinction events attributed to single or even multiple impactors are problematic due the immense size of the planet and the ‘horizon effect’ of its spherical shape. Additionally, the Coriolis effect effect tends to confine weather patterns to their own hemisphere, north or south. And yet, various impact signatures appear to coincide with a number of the largest extinction events. The horizon problem has been cited as a stumbling block for the Younger Dryas (YD) impact team who hypothesize that a bolide exploded over the Laurentide ice sheet about 12,800 BP, perhaps resulting in the extinction of some 33 megafaunal genera on the North American continent.

The YD comet may have impacted the Laurentide ice sheet over the Hudson Bay, possibly creating the Nastapoka-Arc crater; however, protection by two kilometers of the Laurentide ice sheet along with endothermic chemical reactions may have largely clamped the impact shock wave pressure below the melting point of terrestrial target rock, resulting in an absence of melt rock typically associated with meteorite impacts. And following the ice age, comet ejecta could be readily be attributed to diluvium from repeated ice-dam floods. Indeed, boulder fields may be wrongly attributed to ice fracturing of bedrock during glacial periods.

Comet ice may slough off in the atmosphere, creating secondary impacts of various dimensions and speeds which may be sufficient to fracture bedrock and create pyroclastic flows, lubricated with phyllosilicate slurries composed of aqueously-altered nebular dust. Once the comet clays have washed away, the boulders are left behind in a boulder field downhill from the impact site.

Pockmarks and striations on boulders in several isolated boulder fields across Pennsylvania are suggestive of high energy processes. Two discrete diabase boulder fields in Southeastern Pennsylvania, separated by more than 50 kilometers, have several distinctive properties in common that they do not share with loose diabase boulders between the boulder fields within the same Triassic diabase terrain. Ringing Rocks Park in Lower Black Eddy, PA and Ringing Rocks Park in Lower Pottsgrove Township, PA share several distinctive properties: 1) similar surface indentations best described as pockmarks, pot holes and striations, 2) relatively freshly-fractured edges almost free of weathering. Heavy weathering of diabase boulders outside the boulder field is characterized by surface ‘rot’, deep crevices, and exfoliation. 3) the ability to ring like bells when sharply struck with a hard object. The surface indentations may have been scoured out by high-velocity supercritical impact fluids, and the ultra-high impact pressures may have prestressed the surfaces of the boulders, creating rinds that perhaps act as phonon waveguides, leading to beat frequencies in the audible range from lower resonant frequencies.

Ringing Rock Surface Striations from the Scouring Action of Comet Fluids

In a comet-ice impact, supercritical fluids at super-high pressures and velocities may slice through target bedrock like water-jet cutting tools, creating boulder fields, assisted by the hypothesized rock-fracturing properties of high-pressure phyllosilicate slurries. Boulder fields of impact origin would tend to be random in location and generally unassociated with scree and talus slopes below steep cliff faces. Additionally, a widespread impact event would create boulder fields of the same age (boulder to boulder and boulder field to boulder field), but since the YD impact event occurred at the end ice age, boulder fields from this period have generally been attributed to exaggerated freeze-thaw cycles. So discrete boulder fields composed of rocks with uniform surface weathering that are not glacial moraine, scree or talus-slopes in origin, should be good candidates for an impact origin.

The direction of pyroclastic flow is always downhill, and if the downhill flow finds a gully with v-shaped sides to concentrate the boulders several layers deep, the boulders may act as a French drain to clear the phyllosilicate slurry and keep it clear from future sedimentation, remaining largely plant free for millennia. Eastern Pennsylvania alone boasts two Ringing Rocks boulder fields, two Blue Rocks boulder fields (near ‘Hawk Mountain’, Berks County Park) and Hickory Run boulder field (Hickory Run State Park), and numerous smaller boulder fields scattered throughout the ridge-and-valley terrain of the Appalachians.

Hickory Run boulders are scarred with pits, pot holes and striations, similar to Ringing Rocks, but the diabase of Ringing Rocks is well suited to preserving surface details from the scouring action of super-high-velocity comet fluids due to its particularly-tough and fine-grained structure. Blue Rocks boulder field, by comparison, is generally coarser-grained and more friable and brittle and overall less erosion resistant. Additionally, the Blue Rock boulders are for some reason more susceptible to bioerosion by lichen attack.

Hickory Run Boulder Field: A Pyroclastic flow of comet-debris impact boulders facilitated by the shear-thinning properties of phylosilicates

Hickory Run Boulder Field: A Pyroclastic flow of comet-debris impact boulders facilitated by the shear-thinning properties of phylosilicates

Pits, Pot Holes and Striations Caused by Comet-Debris Impact Scouring in Hickory Run Boulder Field

Pits, Pot Holes and Striations Caused by Comet-Debris Impact Scouring in Hickory Run Boulder Field

Extinction events separating geologic periods and shorter intervals are often correlated with unconformities and bright-line sedimentary layers, both of which could be attributed to impact events. The YD extinction event has its own bright-line layer known as the ‘black mat’. “The layer contains unusual materials (nanodiamonds, metallic microspherules, carbon spherules, magnetic spherules, iridium, charcoal, soot, and fullerenes enriched in helium-3) interpreted as evidence of an impact event, at the very bottom of the ‘black mat’ of organic material that marks the beginning of the Younger Dryas.” (Wikipedia: Younger Dryas impact hypothesis) None of the extinct megafauna are found above this layer, and the “black mat” has been found draped directly over megafaunal bones and Clovis implements, staining these items.


If the Appalachian Basin (AB) province (1,730 km long by between 30 to 500 km wide [Ryder, 2002]) is a large Type I binary-planetesimal ‘platform’ that spiraled in to merge and aqueously differentiate to form a platform core, it may have impacted in the Iapetus Ocean bringing the Ordovician period to an end in the Ordovician (O-S) extinction event, 450-440 Ma.

The penetration of the planetesimal core rock into the molten upper mantle of the earth likely caused planetesimal rock to melt, resulting in sinking plumes that subducted the ocean plate on all sides and caused the continental shields and platforms to converge, ultimately forming Pangaea.

The Iapetus Ocean may have closed to the west between the Appalachian Basin and Laurentia, perhaps creating the Illinois Basin where Laurentia subducted at the edge of the far deeper AB. To the east, the Caledonian orogeny (490-390 Ma) drew in Baltica and Avalonia, but this orogeny may or may not have predated the impact of the AB planetesimal. Next the Acadian orogeny (325-400 Ma) formed the Avalonia island arc. And finally Gondwana closed on Laurentia to the east in the Alleghenian orogeny, also known as the Appalachian orogeny, forming the supercontinent Pangea.

Hellas Planitia, also known as the Hellas Impact Basin on Mars may be comparable in size to the compound-comet core of the Appalachian Basin province, but significantly older. The elliptical features in the banded terrain or “taffy-pull terrain” of Hellas Basin on Mars may be layered gneiss, perhaps embedded in massive authigenic shale from a large compound-planetesimal impact from the period of the late heavy bombardment (LHB). Similarly, Belcher Islands in the Nastapoka Arc of the Hudson Bay may be far-younger, pristine granite-greenstone terrain from a far-smaller planetesimal impact, 12,900 B.P. Some of the banded terrain or “taffy-pull terrain” of Hellas Basin appears similar to the ridge-and-valley terrain of the Appalachian Mountains; although Mars experienced no additional buckling and folding from subsequent tectonic-plate collisions. If Hellas Planitia preserves Type I Kuiper belt planetesimals, some domes and zircons may be old, ca. 4.567 Ga, formed perhaps only 10′s of thousands of years before the LRN, but planetesimal Kuiper-belt rock of this age appears not to have survived on earth, or at least hasn’t been found. Some (or most) primary and compound planetesimals, however, may have accreted during the passage of the barycenter, and therefore have an age consistent with the LHB.

Smaller comet cores impacting on ocean plates may form ‘ring craters’ in which the comet core rock is fractured into a ring structure, typical of island rings that become progressively distorted into island chains. As an island chain approaches a continental plate, it may form an island arc, like Japan, and eventually getting tacked on to form a cordillera.

D’Entrecasteaux Islands near the eastern tip of New Guinea hosts the youngest gneiss domes on earth with 2-8 Ma eclogite-facies rocks (Little et al. 2011), suggesting that primary, Type I, Oort cloud planetesimals can remain undifferentiated indefinitely until activated by merging with Type II planetesimals. Differentiation activation may occur when primary Type I planetesimals collide with a smaller chemically-reduced Type II planetesimals. The impetus for Type I, planetesimal (aqueous) differentiation is likely the apsidal concentration of planetesimals by the solar system barycenter which stalled at 29,600 AU from the Sun when the close binary pair of Proxima likely merged around 542 Ma at 270,000 AU.

D’Entrecasteaux Islands are at the center of a complex of micro plates following a likely mid-Pleistocene compound-comet impact. On Java, Indonesia, volcanic tuff in the Bapang Formation [apparently coincident with Hawaiian and Canary Island lavas dated to 776 +/- 2 ka] records the mid Pleistocene geomagnetic reversal known as the Matuyama–Brunhes (MB) transition. In the Sangiran area, the last Homo erectus occurrence and the tektite level in the Sangiran are nearly coincident, just below the Upper Middle Tuff. “The stratigraphic relationship of the tektite level to the MB transition in the Sangiran area is consistent with deep-sea core data that show that the meteorite impact preceded the MB reversal by about 12 ka.” (Hyodo et al. 2011)

The antipodal point of the mid-Pleistocene compound-comet impact that became the D’Entrecasteaux Islands may have formed the volcanic Canary Islands, 776,000 years ago.
Canary Islands: 28.1° N, 15.4° W
D’Entrecasteaux Islands: 9.65° S, 150.70° E
The coordinate difference, displaced (18.45° lat. to the north, 13.9° long. to the east) from an exact antipode may be due to the faster relative NE motion of the Australian plate compared to the African plate over the last 3/4 million years.

Planetesimals formed by GI with late differentiating gneiss cores, such as those of D-Entrecasteaux Islands, were unlikely to have nucleated around an accretionary, Type II planetesimal core, therefore delaying aqueous differentiation until triggered by later planetesimal mergers, likely initiated by the stalled solar-system barycenter. So late-forming gneiss domes, significantly younger than 1000 Ma, should have mafic-rich granodiorite migmatite cores, whereas the central migmatite in gneiss domes cored with granite or highly-felsic pinkish leucosomes should contain some zircons with un-recrystallized cores not younger than 1000 Ma; although granodiorite (migmatite) need not be young and could be indefinitely old such as in Archean TTG terrains.

Other hypothesized dwarf-planet extinction-event impacts, with more detail forthcoming:
- End Ordovician: Appalachian Basin (and possibly much of Western Europe, excluding Scandinavia)
- End Silurian: Old Red Sandstone, Eastern Greenland, Scotland and most of Norway
- End Permian: Siberia
- End Triassic: China and South East Asia, minus North China
- Apian Extinction (145.5 Ma): Mongolia and North China
- End Cretaceous: Far East Russia east of Lena River, Alaska minus the north slope and minus the Insular Belt (Peninsular, Wrangellia and Alexander terrane and perhaps Yakutat, Prince William Chugach and Koyuduk, Nyak and Togiak terranes) and the North American Cordillera almost pinching off just above Los Angeles but including Baha California.  The Aleutian Islands (Insular Belt terrane) may trace the outline of the displaced impact crater.
- End Eocene: Mountainous terrain from Greece to Tibet, including Turkey, Iran, Northern Pakistan and Nepal (including the young gneiss domes of Greece, Tajikistan and Nepal)
- Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum (17 to 15 Ma) with Mariana Trench as the impact basin. In In the seamount chains area of the Izu-Bonin arc, andesitic-basaltic volcanism initiated at c. 17 Ma. The Columbia River Basalts (17 to 8 Ma), however, are/were not antipodal to Mariana Trench. (Ishizuka et al. 2003)


But what about macroscopic fossils in hypothesized comet rock?

Perhaps the question should be reversed to ask why multicellular life forms shouldn’t evolve first in the oceans of trillions of Oort Cloud planetesimal oceans, perhaps a 100 million years or more before earth cooled sufficiently to even support liquid water. Even today, Jupiter’s icy moon Europa alone is thought to harbor a liquid ocean containing twice the volume of water of all earth’s oceans.

If the solar system barycenter promotes mergers of close-binary planetesimals and also (compound) mergers of solitary planetesimals, then shattering of planetesimal ice occurring in planetesimal mergers may efficiently share genetic information, including eggs of higher life forms, widely throughout the Oort cloud and galaxy. If peanut-shaped Oort cloud comets are ‘contact binaries’ formed from the (core-collapse) merger of close-binary pairs precipitated by gravitational collapse — as similar-sized Kuiper belt binaries are hypothesized to have formed (Nesvorny, Youdin and Richardson, 2010, Formation of Kuiper Belt Binaries by Gravitational Collapse ) — then perhaps the vast majority of Oort cloud planetesimals have merged and shattered, effectively sharing material among themselves.

Additionally, the 3 light-year diameter of the Oort cloud, particularly including the high surface area of shrapnel from planetesimal mergers, has swept out a considerable volume of the galaxy over its 18 galactic revolutions, or so, in 4-1/2 billion years, and the continual merger of close-binary pairs over the history of the solar system has likely maintained a considerable volume of liquid water for aqueous evolution, not merely static sharing. Then catastrophic, terrestrial comet impacts have similarly contaminated the earth at widely-spaced intervals, but since rock layers in differentiated planetesimal cores are laid down continuously, the intervals between impacts are masked.

If the Appalachian Basin Platform is a compound-planetesimal impact that brought on the Ordovician–Silurian (End Ordovician or O-S) extinction event, then the trilobites, brachiopods, gastropods, mollusks, echinoderms and etc. found in Ordovician limestone are of Oort cloud origin. And the planet matter found in late Silurian and younger deposits is terrestrial; however the (authigenic terrestrial?) mudstone of the Burgess ‘Shale’ Formation in the Canadian North American Cordillera may be terrestrial.

If photosynthetic plant life is a terrestrial adaption, then the slow emergence of flora in the Devonian compared to the earlier Cambrian Explosion of aquatic fauna may represent the explosive growth of multicellular life promoted in Oort cloud planetesimal oceans, likely accelerated by short-lived radionuclides from the luminous red nova (LRN) merger of Proxima’s, (the hypothesized companion star to the Sun, Proxima [Centauri]) close-binary pair.

At cold temperatures and low oxygen levels in comet oceans oxygen transport and exchange by hemocyanin and hemerythrin would be more efficient by hemoglobin, so hemoglobin may be a terrestrial adaption to higher oxygen levels facilitated by photosynthesis.

While the conodont might represent the height of chordata life forms in Oort cloud oceans, the cephalopod-mollusk octopus might represent the height of Oort cloud intelligence, and we may need go no further than Europa’s ocean to find higher life forms. And as in the deep hydrosphere on earth, aqueous planetesimal life forms may see and communicate with the light of bioluminescence.

Type II planetesimals are hypothesized to have formed from chemically-reduced dust and ice that condensed from super-intense solar wind during the common envelope phase of the central binary pair as they spiraled inward. High temperatures in chemically-reactive Type II planetesimal oceans may support only microbial life forms, perhaps mostly in the cool ranges near the ice water boundary. By comparison, primary and compound Type I planetesimals formed from more-highly-oxidized presolar dust and ice of the protoplanetary accretion disk may be the origin of multicellular Oort cloud life forms.

In a compromise between strictly terrestrial evolution and continuous panspermia, terrestrial evolution might be vastly accelerated by the catastrophic introduction of microorganisms containing alien DNA for higher traits from Oort cloud comets.

Interstellar infection of DNA sequences for higher traits might explain evolutionary spurts of new taxonomic ranks following extinction events caused by Oort cloud comet impacts, particularly if alien microorganisms tend to quickly succumb to native strains and thus have only a short time to infect higher organisms by genetic transformation, incorporating exogenous DNA into gametes prior to fertilization. Indeed, human DNA has been found inside gonorrhoeae bacteria.

In molecular biology transformation is genetic alteration of a cell resulting from the direct uptake, incorporation and expression of exogenous genetic material (exogenous DNA) from its surroundings and taken up through the cell membrane(s).
. . .
Transformation may also be used to describe the insertion of new genetic material into nonbacterial cells.

(Wikipedia: Transformation)

In their 2013 paper, “Life Before Earth”, Sharov and Gordon suggest that genetic complexity is a measure of the length of functional and non-redundant DNA sequence. They continue:

If we plot genome complexity of major phylogenetic lineages on a logarithmic scale against the time of origin, the points appear to fit well to a straight line (Sharov, 2006) (Fig. 1). This indicates that genome complexity increased exponentially and doubled about every 376 million years. Such a relationship reminds us of the exponential increase of computer complexity known as a “Moore’s law” (Moore, 1965; Lundstrom, 2003). But the doubling time in the evolution of computers (18 months) is much shorter than that in the evolution of life.

What is most interesting in this relationship is that it can be extrapolated back to the origin of life. Genome complexity reaches zero, which corresponds to just one base pair, at time ca. 9.7 billion years ago (Fig. 1). A sensitivity analysis gives a range for the extrapolation of ±2.5 billion years (Sharov, 2006). Because the age of Earth is only 4.5 billion years, life could not have originated on Earth even in the most favorable scenario (Fig. 2). Another complexity measure yielded an estimate for the origin of life date about 5 to 6 billion years ago, which is similarly not compatible with the origin of life on Earth (Jørgensen, 2007).

(Sharov and Gordon, 2013)

By this measure suggested by Sharov and Gordon, intelligent life is only beginning to emerge in our Galaxy. Then extrapolating beyond their paper, intelligent life likely takes the form of humanoids if genetic sharing by transformation has allowed life on Earth to keep pace with the Galactic genetic doubling rate of 376 million years. Genetic sharing would also seem to indicate that the highest (non mammal) aquatic intelligence, in the form of octopuses, may lag behind terrestrial intelligence by less than one doubling even though aquatic life is likely vastly more prevalent.


The orbital velocity of the earth makes a dramatic difference in the kinetic energy of comet impacts. For a comet falling from infinity toward the sun at earth’s orbit, the ratio of kinetic energy between comets hitting earth head-on in its orbit around the sun and those catching up with earth is a factor of 19, but most fall somewhere in between. (This calculation factors in earth’s gravity.)

Earth escape velocity: 11.2 km/s
Earth, orbital velocity: 29.8 km/s
Body falling from infinity towards the sun to a distance of 1 AU: 42.2 km/s (calculated from gravitational potential energy and checked by comparing velocity falling from infinity to the diameter of the sun with the escape velocity of the sun)

Running into the earth head on in its orbit:
42.2 km/s + 29.78 km/s = 71.98 km/s
71.98 * 71.98 + 11.19 * 11.19 = 5181.12 + 125.21 = 5306.33 km^2/s^2 (specific energy)

Catching up with earth in its orbit:
42.2 km/s – 29.78 km/s = 12.42 km/s
12.42 * 12.42 + 11.19 * 11.19 = 154.26 + 125.21 = 279.47 km^2/s^2 (specific energy)

Specific kinetic energy ratio between hitting the earth head-on and catching up with earth in its orbit:
5306.33 / 279.47 = 18.99

Dwarf comets having fallen through Proxima’s 3:1 ‘resonant nursery’ resonance will orbit CCW in the Oort cloud like the planets. If the solar-system barycenter (SS-barycenter) acts as an aphelia attractor that pins Oort cloud orbits in its vicinity to the SS-barycenter, then the 73.6 Myr orbit of the Sun around the SS-barycenter will align these pinned orbits with the Galactic core twice per orbit, causing the tidal effect of the Galactic core to gradually reduce their perihelia by extracting angular momentum from the orbits until they dip into the planetary realm of the inner solar system. And the dwarf planets most likely to collide with Earth will have perihelia on the order of 1 AU. These objects would catch up with Earth in its CCW orbit and impact at almost the lowest possible speed.

Finally, comet ice may undergo endothermic chemical reactions (ECRs) in comet impacts, mostly clamping the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of rock.


Phase-change condensation of galaxies, globular clusters, cold dark-matter (Bok) globules and stars:

During Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), 10 seconds to 20 minutes after the Big Bang, the vast majority of primordial neutrons fused to form hydrogen-4, but in the interval, nuclear reactions proceeded in both directions, clamping the temperature in the neighborhood of a few billion Kelvins for the duration of BBN.

Some time after BBN had run to completion when the continuum had cooled sufficiently for gravity to begin enhancing local inhomogeneities, gravitational instability (GI) may have spontaneously condensed almost all the BBN continuum into proto-galaxies, promoted by the endothermic reversal of BBN (helium fission) which once again isothermally clamped the temperature at BBN scale during gravitational collapse. GI likely continued all the way to super-massive black holes in the centers of condensing proto-galaxies, limited only by angular momentum.

Some 379,000 years later, the universe had cooled sufficiently for ‘recombination’ of electrons and protons into neutral hydrogen atoms around 2000 K. The ‘dark ages’ followed ‘recombination’, so called because there were as yet no stars to shine, only the glow of gradually redshifting cosmic background radiation.

Following another period of cooling after which gravity could enhance local inhomogeneities, GI may have once again condensed almost all the primordial hydrogen and helium inside proto-galaxies into densified Bok globules, of several 100 stellar masses or less. This process occurred over an extended period, lasting from about 150 million years to about 1 billion years after the Big Bang, with warmer gravitationally-bound proto-globular–clusters condensing last, accounting for the typical 12+ billion year age of globular-cluster stars. And proto-globular–clusters may be the result of earlier partial condensations of the proto-galaxy continuum, promoted by endothermic helium reionization.

The largest globules of several hundred solar masses may have bridged the helium reionization gap and continued collapsing until the thermal energy of nuclear fusion balanced the inward force of gravity, forming Population III stars during hydrogen reionization. And many Population III stars likely had super-intense Wolf-Rayet stellar wind phases, seeding galaxies with stellar metallicity even prior to their demise in supernovae and hypernovae.

Gravitationally-bound primordial globules cooled during the intervening 13-1/2 billion years to become the coldest objects in the natural universe.
“Molecular hydrogen is very difficult to detect. None of its transitions lie in the visible part of the spectrum. It has no radio lines. The molecular hydrogen is a homo nuclear molecule and has no permanent dipole moment. Because of this it does not have rotation vibration spectrum.” (PHYSICS AND UNIVERSE)
Hypothesized halo globules composed of (baryonic) primordial hydrogen and helium are assumed to be the invisible reservoirs of cold dark matter (CDM) which may explain galaxy rotation rates, although the potential detectability of these hypothesized halo globules has not been researched.

Gravitationally-bound globules on disk-crossing halo orbits may be efficient sponges of gas within galaxies, which would include stellar metallicity, so over time primordial globules will have become contaminated with stellar metallicy. But at the 10 Kelvins temperature of halo globules, this metallicity may relatively quickly condense into/onto icy hailstone chondrules with the upper limit in the centimeter-scale size range, sequestering stellar metallicity into an invisible condensed form.

Star formation within Bok globules today, may be an almost perfect analogy for hydrogen ionization promoting gravitational collapse into (Bok) globules during hydrogen ‘reionization’, with the greater mass of globules compensating for higher ambient temperature of the early universe.

Both globular clusters and Bok globules on highly-inclined halo orbits must cross the spiral-arm plane. While stars and planets may pass through globules, largely unaffecting one another, planetesimals in loosely-bound clouds, like our own Oort cloud, may suffer significant disruption, resulting in comet storms down into the planetary realm. Prograde-retrograde collisions in the Oort cloud will reduce specific angular momentum, potentially causing planetesimals to fall into the planetary realm. So Bok globule perturbation of the Oort cloud may be the cause of most extinction events on Earth; however, cratering estimations based on the rate of Earth-crossing comets and asteroids during the present quiescent period can not account for the black swan of comet and dwarf planet flurries.

Giant molecular clouds with up to hundreds of thousands of stellar masses apparently trap Bok globules on their disk-crossing halo orbits. But secondary effects of friction may be more significant than drag by creating an ionized sheath on the surface of Bok globules which induces a secondary magnetic field opposed to the primary magnetic field of the giant molecular cloud. So Bok globule capture by giant molecular clouds may be more electromagnetic than physical. And the typical prolate shape of Bok globules within giant molecular clouds, which can not be explained by gravity, angular momentum and hydrostatic pressure alone, may be telegraphing an electromagnetic actor.

Once globules become trapped, stellar metallicity efficiently diffuses inward across their vast surface area, changing formerly invisible primordial globules into opaque Bok globules. Additionally, radiation from nascent stars forming in giant molecular clouds may sublime the most volatile components of icy hailstone chondrules, particularly carbon monoxide ice. And increased stellar metallicity promotes gravitational collapse into T-Tauri dwarf stars and OB supergiants. Erosion (evaporation) of Bok globules, particularly by OB supergiants, forming ‘cometary globules’ with tails and elephant trunks will preferentially evaporate the most volatile molecular hydrogen and somewhat less volatile helium, boosting the metallicity ratio. Stellar radiation will also sublime increasingly less volatile ices in hailstone chondrules, such as ammonia, formaldehyde and alcohols, also increasing the metallicity ratio. Thus Bok globules may wither away until undergoing gravitational instability to form high-metallicity red dwarfs, brown dwarfs or even gas-giant orphan planets (rogue planets). When stars emerge from their Bok globule cocoons, the excess gas evaporated off contributes to catching the next generation of Bok globules until the combined stellar luminosity of the nascent stars becomes sufficient to dispel the giant molecular cloud altogether, revealing a new (open) star cluster, like Pleiades.

Conventional cosmology suggests that giant molecular clouds form by gravitational contraction of interstellar gas and Bok globules form within giant molecular clouds by continued gravitational contraction. And stellar metallicity cools Bok globules below the temperature of the surrounding molecular clouds by radiating away energy in the infrared range to which stellar metallicity is relatively transparent. Alternatively, primordial Bok globules absorb interstellar gas on their disk-crossing halo orbits and return it to giant molecular clouds when eroded by giant blue-white stars, and Bok globules are cold because they’ve had 13-1/2 billion years to cool down in the galactic halo. Indeed, giant stars have been observed evaporating Bok globules to form ‘cometary globules’ and ‘elephant trunks’ rather than vice versa, so conventional cosmology may have things exactly backwards in this regard.

High molecular-weight stellar metallicity efficiently sinks into into Bok globules across their large surface areas. By the kinetic theory of gas, the root-mean-square velocity ratio between carbon monoxide (with a molecular weight of 28) and molecular hydrogen (with a molecular weight of 2) is (1/2 / 1/28)^1/2 = 3.74, so stellar metallicity, once encountered, is unlikely to achieve escape velocity from the Roche sphere and will tend to sink inward.

Thus, stellar metallicity lowers the average molecular weight of gas molecules, and “the speed of sound is of the same order of magnitude as the speed of the molecules” (The Feynman Lectures on Physics). According to the theory of Jeans instability, if the speed of sound ‘crossing time’ rises above the ‘free-fall time’, gravity wins out over hydrostatic gas pressure, which may induce gravitational instability and the condensation of stars; but angular momentum, magnetic fields, and turbulence (including fragmentation) also act to impede GI.

Some 13 billion years after the formation of primordial globules with BBN chemistry, halo globules may be considerably contaminated due to numerous disk plane crossings along with stellar passages if gravitationally-bound halo globules are efficient at mopping up interstellar gas. But at their low, circa 10 Kelvins temperature, most metallicity may rather-quickly condense into chondrule-sized icy hailstones, tending to more or less maintain the average molecular weight of globules at near primordial levels, with the addition of noble gases that don’t condense. Encounters of globules with giant stars in the disk plane, however, may evaporate icy chondrules, perhaps making ordinarily invisible globules temporarily visible and also temporarily more susceptible to GI.

While hailstone chondrules may sublime from the solar system occasionally passing through Bok globules, Kuiper belt and Oort cloud objects may sweep out sufficient dark-matter metallicity to form crusts over their pithy interiors. And chemically-reduced carbon monoxide in hailstone chondrule collisions may chemically reduce chondritic ratios of metals to their metallic elements, creating a granular metallic-iron and basalt crust on comets and larger Oort cloud objects.

While endothermic reactions promoting nearly-isothermal gravitational collapse explains condensation of galaxies and globules, it doesn’t explain how the inhomogeneities were nucleated, including their size and spacing. In Earth’s atmosphere, supercooled water nucleates on dust particles and pollen grains, with super saturation occurring when nucleation sites are scarce, although unlike cosmic condensation, water-droplet nucleation is exothermic, and thus a better analogy for stellar condensation into hailstone chondrules in Bok globules.

Inbetween galaxy condensation following BBN and globule condensation at hydrogen reionization, proto-globular-clusters (PGCs) may have condensed within newly-nucleated galaxies during endothermic ‘helium reionization’, prior to hydrogen reionization when proto-galaxies were still sufficiently hot that nothing smaller than circa million stellar mass PGCs could gravitationally condense. Delayed cooling of densified, gravitationally-bound PGCs may have delayed globule condensation within PGCs until about a billion years after the Big Bang, accounting for the circa 12 billion year age of globular clusters. And because of the smaller percentage of primordial helium (and without the additional endothermic partial dissociation of molecular hydrogen), helium reionization apparently only condensed a small percentage of the proto-galactic continuum into PGCs unlike later (and more prolonged) hydrogen reionization which may have condensed nearly everything.

Finally, symmetry suggests that proto-galaxy, proto-globular-cluster, globule and protostar condensation generations formed by similar mechanisms, and the higher speed of sound in earlier denser universe suggests that GI actually occurred in smaller volumes in earlier condensations, albeit of significantly higher mass. So higher mass and pressure compensated for higher ambient temperature in gravitational condensations in the early universe, but condensations could only occur where endothermic reactions could prevent hydrostatic rebound.

Questions and Problems:
1) If gravitational collapse of proto-galaxies continued all the way to forming super-massive black holes by endothermically-reversing BBN, then there should be visual indications of quasars during the dark ages between hypothesized proto-galaxy formation, perhaps several days after the Big Bang, and the hypothesized condensation of globules and Population III stars, beginning some 150 million years later. Present-day telescopes, however, can’t refute proto-galaxy formation by condensation since they can’t see to a time before quasars.
2) Baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO):
BAO ‘sound horizon’ has been observed in the clustering of galaxies which is on the order of 150 Mpc in today’s universe, so for proto-galaxy condensation to be valid in the context of the observed (supposed) BAO ‘large scale structure’ in the universe, the effect would have to operate independently of gravitationally-bound proto-galaxies.
3) Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN):
BBN baryon to photon ratio appears to give the correct helium-4 and hydrogen-2 (deuterium) concentration for a universe composed of 4/5 non-baryonic dark matter, but it can’t explain the observed lithium anomaly. BBN theory assumes straight forward BBN with no proto-galaxy nucleation which is hypothesized to drive BBN backwards followed by a subsequent forward BBN rebound. So if a more complex understanding of proto-galaxy formation could explain the lithium anomaly, it would also have to account for the observed deuterium level in the context of an increased baryon to photon ratio if dark matter is indeed baryonic as suggested here.
4) Any complete theory of galaxy formation will have to explain the size and angular momentum of spiral and irregular galaxies as well as the offset angular momentum of satellite galaxies in the halo which tend to be oriented in a plane, variably offset from the spiral disk. And spiral galaxies in superclusters are observed to have similarly oriented rotations (CW or CCW), which hints at a structural level beyond galaxies.


Light cones began expanding from nothing following cosmic, but even after 13.8 billion years of light-cone expansion, only a small part of our universe has yet come into view. But in due time, the entire red-shifted universe will become visible as light inevitably overtakes matter, despite the head start of cosmic inflation.

At the completion of Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) (10 seconds to 20 minutes following the Big Bang) light cones were only 20 light minutes in radius (times a factor for cosmic inflation), encompassing a volume on the order of the planetary realm of our solar system. Ambient temperature of the universe was clamped to around a few billion Kelvins for the duration of BBN, after which it cooled with the continued expansion of the universe.

Every observer is effectively at the center of the universe limited to the volume contained in his light cone. Gravity has been discovered to travel at the speed of light, so an observer can not feel gravity of objects beyond his own light cone; however, since every point in space is the center of its own light cone, there’s no preferred self gravitating point in an homogeneous continuum.

The energy released in burning baryons to form 25% primordial helium during BBN was on the order of every star in the universe going supernova simultaneously. Following BBN, some degree of cooling was likely necessary before the continuum could condense into gravitationally-bound proto-galaxies, perhaps at ambient temperatures on the order of those at the center of main-sequence OB supergiant stars in the neighborhood of 100 million Kelvins.

So even in the context of a modest-sized self-gravitating light cone, gravitational instability (GI) still requires inhomogeneity, but perhaps less so within a light cone which shields the outward gravitational attraction of the rest of the universe from an instability. Matter at the center of an instability collapses fastest since it is (presumably) completely shielded from the outside world, whereas matter progressively further from the geometrical center of the instability falls slower since it includes more of the continuum beyond.

A simple local positive inhomogeneity could not gravitationally collapse, however, since every geometrical point is at the center of its own spherical light cone, and at the center of a sphere, the gravity is zero, so instead, positive inhomogeneities tend to dissipate rather than collapse. Symmetrically-offset positive inhomogeneities, such as offset flows in opposing directions or more likely vortexes could collapse toward a center, mostly shielded from the outside continuum. And since vortexes and offset linear momentum both correspond to angular momentum, perhaps only inhomogeneities with sufficient angular momentum could collapse into gravitationally-bound proto-galaxies.

GI at stellar-core temperatures and pressures would begin to endothermically dissociate (helium fission), promoting nearly-isothermal gravitational collapse at a BBN temperature scale of several billion Kelvins, likely collapsing all the way down to forming super-massive black holes inside gravitationally-bound proto-galaxies on the order of magnitude of a day after the Big Bang.

Then neutrons liberated in endothermic collapse of proto-galaxies would have burned a second time (BBN II), which is hoped may explain the ‘lithium anomaly’ and call into question the observed deuterium concentration (D/H ratio) in terms of baryonic dark matter, i.e. altering deuterium concentration in terms of 1/5 of the recognized D/H ratio and 5 times the recognized baryon-to-photon ratio.

Then as the speed of light progressively overtook cosmic inflation and local proto-galaxies could see one another for the first time, gravitational clumping of proto-galaxies into galactic clusters and then superclusters may have begun, with individual proto-galaxies competing for the remaining baryonic material Inbetween. Some of the remaining gas drawn toward proto-galaxies may have coalesced into multiple halo galaxies which for some reason tend to be aligned on their own plane which is misaligned with the spiral disk.

The invisible nature of dark matter makes total angular momentum of spiral galaxies difficult (or impossible?) to determine. And halo galaxies may contain as much angular momentum as the spiral galaxy itself.

Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism:

WIMP cold dark matter in the ΛCDM (Lambda Cold Dark Matter) dictates the bottom up formation of galaxies from clumping dark matter which in turn drew in baryonic matter. So large spiral galaxies are thought to form gradually from mergers of smaller, older, dwarf galaxies. But bottom-up ΛCDM has trouble explaining the thin spiral structure and the typical specific angular momentum of spiral galaxies in a context of random galaxy mergers.

The alternative top-down ideology suggests condensation of spiral galaxies directly from the BBN continuum, centered on vortexes containing sufficient angular momentum to promote gravitational collapse within the context of small light cones which may partially-shield gravitationally-collapsing inhomogeneities from the outward counter-pull of the continuum beyond.

Baryonic dark matter is hypothesized to have condensed beginning 150 million years later into gravitationally-bound (Bok) globules. Cold-dark-matter Bok globules in disk-crossing halo orbits composed of gaseous molecular hydrogen and helium with subsequent stellar metallicity contamination condensed (sequestered) into icy chondrules at bitterly-cold temperatures of around 10 Kelvins, rendering CDM Bok globules virtually invisible and thus dark.

Gravitational-instability condensation into gravitationally-bound (proto)-galaxies, Bok globules, planetesimals, (many) planets and stars, and chemical condensation of stellar-metallicity into icy chondrules within Bok globules, and continental tectonic-plate dwarf planet cores delivered to Earth in extinction-level impact events.

(ΛCDM, planetary astrophysics and geology) Uniformitarianism:
Gradual accretion of galaxies, planets, and planetesimals, as well as gradual formation of earth’s continental tectonic plates.


Shear thinning properties of phyllosilicates appear to promote earthquake-fault slippage, such as in the earthquake that caused the 11 March 2011 Japanese tsunami. Additionally, (certain) sheet-silicate slurries may promote rock fracturing as occur in stratovolcanoes. Inert and refractory phyllosilicates may subducted under continental plates where heat and pressure on phyllosilicate slurries may fracture the overlying plate, forming stratovolcanoes in which the (remote subducted and/or local devitrified) volcanic ash is the cause rather than the result of the eruption.

Additionally, phyllosilicates may have gotten injected into the upper mantle in large comet impacts which were expelled to form flood basalt. Evidence for rock fracturing properties of hot phyllosilicate slurries:

1) Volcanic ash (phyllosilicates) and steam are released by explosive stratovolcanoes that can blast away mountain sides.
2) Phyllosilicates are commonly used as drilling mud
3) Steam is used to fracture oil shale and shale has a high phyllosilicate content.
4) “Most mature natural faults contain a significant component of sheet silicate minerals within their core.” (Faulkner, Mitchell, Hirose, Shimamoto, 2009) Smectite was discovered in the fault that caused the 11 March 2011 Japanese tsunami which is thought to have facilitated the earthquake with a friction coefficient of .08. (Fulton et al. 2013)
5) Montmorillonite is the major component in non-explosive agents for splitting rock.

Finally, the shear thinning properties of phyllosilicates may contribute to catastrophic mud slides during heavy rains, liquefaction during earthquakes and high-velocity pyroclastic flows during volcanic eruptions of hot volcanic ash.


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by Dave Carlson

P.S. Soliciting contributions, criticism and collaborators. Pseudonyms are acceptable and assistance will be attributed.

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