Snowball Solar System

This work in progress addresses problem areas in science, pertaining to:
– Star, planet and planetesimal formation,
- “the granite problem”,
- “the mantled gneiss-dome problem” and
– “the dolomite problem,”
as aqueous differentiation of TNOs, comets and dwarf-planets, and their delivery to Earth to form the continental tectonic plates


Four star/planet/planetesimal formation mechanisms and their object types:

1) Spin-off planets and spin-off moons:
When gravitationally-collapsing protostars and protoplanets reach 6000 – 8,000 K in their centers, a dissociation/ionization phase-change isothermally breaks molecular hydrogen bonds to form a first hydrostatic core (FHSC). This rapid endothermic gravitational collapse may isolate the outer layers with excess angular momentum which may become gravitationally bound within their own Roche spheres to become protoplanets and protomoons. Upon forming a core, the ‘young stellar object’ (YSO) designation changes from ‘protostar’ to ‘pre-main-sequence star’.
Example: ‘Hot Jupiter’ gas giants Saturn and Jupiter spun off from the binary stellar components of our former binary Sun (originally in circumsecondary [Saturn] and circumprimary [Jupiter] orbits) and Ganymede and Callisto likewise spun off from the binary planetary components of former binary Jupiter.

2) Super-Earths:
Terrestrial planets up to the size of ice giants formed by ‘hybrid accretion’ of planetesimals, in which the planetesimals are formed by gravitational instability (GI) at the inner edge of accretion disks around solitary or binary stars. Sufficient numbers of planetesimals may form cascades of super-Earths from the inside out by hybrid accretion followed by successive orbit clearing.
Example: Uranus and Neptune as a cascade of two super-Earths formed by hybrid accretion of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) at the inner edge of our circumbinary protoplanetary disk when the stellar components of our former binary Sun were separated by about the combined semi-major axes of Jupiter and Saturn.

3) Merger planets and merger moons:
Spiral-in mergers of binary stars and binary planets may form bar-mode instabilities due to excess angular momentum during their common-envelope phase which may magnetically eject symmetrical bar-mode masses to circa 1 AU distances. Then like spin-off planets, GI may cause gravitational contraction to form protoplanets and protomoons. Merger planets and moons in their pithy protoplanet phase may suffer significant volatile forming ‘terrestrial’ planets and moons.
Example: Venus and Earth from the merger of our former binary Sun at 4,567 Ma and Io and Europa from the merger of former binary Jupiter, likely prior to 4,567 Ma.

4) Disk-instability/gravitational-instability (GI):
Stars, brown dwarfs, planets, moons and planetesimals formed by GI will tend to fragment due to excess angular momentum, forming binary pairs. Repeated fragmentation of the object (in each case) with the greatest angular momentum may case repeated fragmentations. ‘Hard’ close-binary pairs will tend to spiral in and merge to form solitary objects.
Example: Our protostar may have fragmented 3 times to form a quadruple star system composed of two close-binary pairs (binary Sun and binary Companion) with a wide-binary separation. Proto-Saturn may have fragmented 3 times to form Titan and the larger binary pair that spiraled in and merged. Likewise, our oversized Moon may correspond to Titan at Saturn. TNOs may have formed by GI at the pressure dam at the inside edge of our circumbinary protoplanetary disk near the orbit of Uranus, and some fragmented to form binaries. Asteroids may have formed by GI just beyond the magnetic corotation radius of our Sun following its binary merger at 4,567 Ma from the merger debris, and Mercury may have formed by hybrid accretion of smaller asteroids.

Solar System Formation and Dynamics:

- The original binary separation of our hypothesized former binary-Sun may be evident in the orbits of the spin-off planets Jupiter and Saturn, with Jupiter spinning off from the larger stellar ‘Jupiter Component’ and Saturn spinning off from the smaller ‘Saturn Component’.
– Uranus and Neptune may be super-Earths formed by core accretion of TNOs ‘condensed’ by GI at the inner edge of the circumbinary protoplanetary disk. Uranus and Neptune cleared their orbits of left-over TNOs and dwarf planets into the Kuiper belt and scattered disc beyond.
– Our former binary Companion star which may have fragmented from the smaller ‘Saturn’ stellar component may have shepherded circumbinary TNOs into the extended scattered disc (ESD) as it spiraled out due to core-collapse perturbation from binary Sun.
– When the Sun’s binary components spiraled in to the point of leaving Jupiter and Saturn behind in circumbinary orbits, a smaller circumbinary protoplanetary disk may have ‘condensed’ additional planetesimals which formed super-Earth Mars by hybrid accretion, clearing its orbit of the leftover icy-body asteroids including 1 Ceres.
– Binary-Sun may have spiraled in and merged in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma, forming r-process short-lived isotopes (including 26Al and 60Fe) and stable alpha-process isotopes (including 16O). CAIs may have condensed from polar jets while a 3-million year flare-star phase of the Sun may have melted accretionary dust particles to form chondrules.
– Merger planets, proto-Venus and proto-Earth may have been hurled to their present orbits in a magnetic reconnection event as the bar-mode arms of the spiral-in solar components wrapped the magnetic field lines to the breaking point. Proto-Venus fragmented once to form binary Venus and proto-Earth fragmented twice to form trinary Earth. Core collapse caused the larger binary components to spiral in and merge while lifting Earth’s trinary component to form Earth’s Moon. The planetary components of trinary Earth and binary Venus became severely volatilely depleted in their pithy protoplanet phase that filled their entire Roche spheres in addition the the volatile depletion of orbiting inside the brief red-giant phase of the Sun that may have subsumed Mars.
– Asteroids may have ‘condensed’ by GI from LRN dust at the magnetic corotation radius of our flare-star Sun, forming Mercury by hybrid core accretion. Subsequent orbit clearing by the terrestrial planets may have ‘evaporated’ the remaining asteroids out into Jupiter’s inner resonances.
– LRN debris dust and ice concentrated by the centrifugal force of the Sun around the solar-system barycenter (SSB) (between the Sun and our former binary Companion star) may have ‘condensed’ comets by GI which were shepherded into the inner Oort cloud (IOC) as our binary Companion’s apoapsis continued spiraling out for the next 4 billion years, fueled by the orbital energy of its binary components.
– The highly-eccentric binary Companion SSB orbit may have perturbed comets, extended scattered disk TNOs and dwarf planets outward or inward as the Companion crossed planetesimal orbits, causing planetesimals to transition from heliocentric to barycentric orbits and vice versa.
– The binary components of the Companion may have spiraled in and merged at 542 Ma, but asymmetry in the spiral-in merger apparently gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from our Sun.
– Unwinding of comet, TNO and dwarf planet alignments in the ESD and IOC may cause prograde-retrograde mergers that continue to cause IOC comets, TNOs and dwarf planets to reduce their specific angular momentum, causing their aphelia to fall into the planetary realm where they succumb to planetary perturbation.

Aqueous Differentiation of Planetesimals:

When binary trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) composed of highly-oxidized (Type I) presolar material spiral in and merge from external perturbation, ‘contact-binary’ heating melts salt-water oceans in their cores, initiating ‘aqueous differentiation’. Precipitation of mineral grains and their growth through crystallization eventually cause the mineral grains to fall out of suspension in microgravity oceans, forming sedimentary cores. Diagenesis of sedimentary cores cause ‘circumferential folding’, and hydrothermal fluids expelled during diagenesis precipitate to form hydrothermal mineral grains, forming schist, quartzite and carbonate-rock mantles over gneiss-dome cores. By comparison, (Type II) LRN-debris comets composed of condensed solar plasma with high Gibbs free energy condensed further out than TNOs and at cooler temperatures. Thus comets may contain more volatile chlorine than TNOs, forming saltier aqueously-differentiated oceans that precipitate a higher ratio of orthoclase to plagioclase (a higher percentage of pink potassium feldspar), forming authigenic A-type Rapakivi granite or layered S-type granite cores. Mergers of Type II comets with Type I dwarf planets at the inner edge of the inner Oort cloud may cause such violent chemical reactions as to melt sedimentary comet cores to form plutonic I-type granite.

Extinction Events and Continental Tectonic Plates:

- Our former companion star may have fostered super concentrations of planetesimals, perhaps at the SSB, promoting hybrid core accretion of dwarf planets, and causing perturbations that cause binary planetesimals to spiral in and merge, initiating aqueous differentiation.
– When long-period comets, TNOs and dwarf planets spiral down into the inner solar system, their aphelia have about 41% greater velocity than planets and moons in more circular orbits. This relatively high velocity greatly reduces the effective impact cross section, particularly with smaller worlds with escape velocity below the 41% differential orbital velocity. Additionally, planets in the most circular orbits tend to overlap better with planetesimals with similar aphelia and inclination, so both mechanisms make Venus and Earth far better terrestrial-world targets than Mercury and Mars, and vastly better targets than moons in spiral orbits around the Sun.
– Comets, TNOs and dwarf planet impacts cushioned by PdV heating of relatively-compressible ices may largely clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of differentiated planetesimal cores and terrestrial target rock, but compressional heating may reach temperatures that endothermically convert short-chain hydrocarbon ices into long-chain hydrocarbons, forming most of the petroleum and much of the coal on Earth.
– Aqueously-differentiated dwarf-planets cores from extinction-level impacts may be the origin of the continental tectonic plates on Earth and the continents on Venus.


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.


– 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, where GI most typically occurs at the pressure dam at the inner edge of protoplanetary disks or debris disks around solitary or binary stars. The inner edge of accretion disks around solitary stars is sculpted by the magnetic corotation radius, while the inner edge of accretion disks around binary stars is sculpted by the binary resonances. Resonances associated with gas-giant planets may also serve as pressure dams, against which to condense planetesimals, such as chondrites condensed against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances.

In our own early solar system, 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 beyond our former binary Sun near the present orbit of Uranus. Indeed Uranus and Neptune are posited to be ‘hybrid accretion’ (Thayne Currie 2005) super-Earths, accreted from TNOs condensed by GI.

As our former hypothesized binary Companion spiraled out into the Oort cloud with exponentially increasing period over time (fueled by the core collapse of its 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) condensed solar metallicity from the 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).

The hypothesized former binary Companion may have spent about 4 billion undergoing core collapse of its binary components which ultimately 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 in the outer edge of the inner Oort cloud (IOC), perhaps around 20,000 AU, if as suspected, comets were shepherded by the Sun-Companion outer resonances. (The strongest outer resonance of Sun-Companion may have been a 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 condensation may have coincided with major glacial periods in Earth’s history, namely Huronian glaciation (2400 Myra to 2100 Myra) and the ‘Snowball Earth’ glaciations of the Cryogenian Period which may represent separate passages of our solar system through giant molecular clouds.

The degree to which stellar metallicity is condensed into icy hailstone chondrules within giant molecular clouds (GMCs), and perhaps primarily within Bok globules of GMCs, may represent the volatility of stellar metallicity available for condensation in the outer Sun-Companion resonances, with the elevated gas density of Bok globules providing the frictional drag on condensed stellar metallicity to pressurize it sufficiently to undergo GI against the outer Sun-Companion resonances.

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 the core with the expansion of water ice.

Aqueous differentiation is initiated when binary planetesimals spiral in and merge or core accrete to form salt-water oceans in their cores, awash with nebular dust, providing a vast food supply for chemoautotroph microbes which contribute to internal heating and may vastly increase the range of minerals formed. Dissolution of nebular dust and their reaction products raise the concentrations of the various species in solution to the saturation point, precipitating minerals which continue to grow in size through crystallization in the micro-gravity of planetesimal-core oceans. When negative buoyancy of mineral grains overcomes the agitation keeping them in suspension, they settle out onto the growing sediment core and become buried, ending further growth through crystallization. Most minerals have an inverse solubility with temperature and therefore reach solubility saturation near the cold junction of the ice/water boundary.

Carbon dioxide sublimes at temperatures slightly below the melting point of water near the ice/water boundary of planetesimal oceans, creating trapped carbon dioxide gas over the oceans. The high partial pressure of CO2 in these trapped gas pockets 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 gaseous at the ice/water boundary. Early in aqueous differentiation when internal temperatures are rising and the ocean size is expanding, the sublimed gases build in pressure until relieved by a weakness in the overlying snow burden, allowing the gas to catastrophically vent toward the surface. Along the way, the decrease in pressure and temperature causes deposition to the solid state, further dropping the gas pressure. The drop in CO2 partial pressure converts carbonic acid back to the gaseous state, causing it to nucleate on suspended mineral grains and float them to the surface. The repetition of gradual, rising CO2 partial pressure followed by its sudden release causes corresponding variations in the concentration of carbonic acid which equates to ‘sawtooth’ pH fluctuations: slow pH decrease followed by catastrophic increase.

The solubility of aluminum salts is particularly pH sensitive, so trapped CO2 gas over planetesimal oceans could indirectly control the reservoir of dissolved aluminous species in solution. Since aluminous species solubility is U-shaped with respect to pH with an inflection point at about 6-1/2 pH (Driscoll and Schecher, 1990), 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 aluminous species, chiefly as a precipitation of felsic feldspar minerals. The drop in gas pressure causes CO2 bubbles to nucleate on any floating material including precipitated feldspar grains, floating them to the surface in a low-density froth that allows the mineral grains to continue to grow through crystallization.

Dissolved aluminous species vs. pH with trough at 6.5 pH

Silica solubility, by comparison, is particularly temperature sensitive, so any silica gel and quartz grains would tend to form and precipitate at the ice/water-boundary ‘surface’ where silica solubility is at a minimum.  So if silica gel and quartz grains tend to form at the surface and if feldspar mineral grains tend to float to the surface by way of catastrophic feldspar precipitation, then the floating foamy mass collecting at the surface would tend to have a felsic composition.

Silica gel and organic material, particularly slime bacteria, would lend a floating mass a degree of mechanical competency such that it formed into a cohesive floating mat.  Then as gas pressure over the ocean crept up, the CO2 component of the foamy mat would dissolve back into solution, eventually causing the mat to become waterlogged.  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 compelling explanation.

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 minerals are more immune to pH than feldspar, then cyclical pH variation will form alternating felsic and mafic layers of authigenic minerals.  As pressures and temperatures rise during gravitational compaction, prograde metamorphism may convert hydrous minerals such as amphibole, serpentine and talc into anhydrous minerals such as coesite, pyroxene, garnet and olivine.  Later as the core begins to cool, retrograde metamorphism may partially reconvert some of the anhydrous minerals back into their hydrous counterparts.

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’.  By way of analogy, imagine a grape dehydrating to form a raisin.  By comparison with the simple, compelling and emergent grape and raisin analogy, conventional geology particularly struggles to explain small-scale (hand-scale) isoclinal folding, which entails significant hand waving.  Conventional geology is inclined to misinterpret sharp isoclinal folds as sheath folds cut through the nose of the fold, supposedly resulting from locally-concentrated shear forces.

Diagenesis of sediments on earth also results in volume reduction, but due to Earth’s enormous size, no perceptible reduction in circumference occurs and hence no circumferential folding occurs on earth.

With the expulsion of water, diagenesis gives way to lithification, and the folded sedimentary layers in Type I TNOs litchi into migmatite and gneiss. The hydrothermal fluids expelled during diagenesis also precipitate, forming sandstone/quartzite, schist and carbonate rock (limestone and dolostone) mantles over gneissic cores. Aqueous differentiation of Type II comets to form granite cores warrants its on section.

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 suspends gneiss-sized minerals, allowing them to grow dramatically larger through ‘crystallization’ before settling out of solution. Gravitational acceleration also increases from the center to the surface, with zero gravitational acceleration at the center of gravity, so mineral grain sizes decrease over time from the inside out of sedimentary planetesimal cores.

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 the comet differentiation model, the local enrichment or depletion of authigenic felsic and mafic minerals in various layers is automatically balanced by a commensurate adjustment in the reservoir of dissolved species in solution, so while the conventional model requires both local and non-local inputs for mass balance, the comet model does not.  “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 not be readily explained in conventional geology except with ad hoc tinkering, but in aqueous differentiation of TNOs, the sedimentary mantle rock are merely authigenic hydrothermal growth rings with a final conglomerate layer formed as the ice ceiling closes in on the sedimentary core during ‘freeze out’ as the ocean freezes solid and grinds the interfering points and tumbles the products into clastic conglomerate or graywacke.

In conventional geology, layers and lenses of particularly pure mineral ores within metamorphic rock require particularly-fortuitous sequences of leaching and deposition, while for the comet model, hydrothermal fluids expelled during diagenesis of the underlying gneiss may simply precipitate or crystallize enriched or depleted mineral ores in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents, dependent on the chemical composition of the effluents.

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)


In the ‘authigenic phase’ of planetesimal (comet) differentiation, nebular dust is liberated from the icy overburden as the ocean expands from the inside out. When the planetesimal reaches thermal equilibrium, the ocean begins to freeze over, cutting off the input of nebular dust, but the core is still active in this second ‘hydrothermal phase’ of differentiation during which hot hydrothermal fluids are expelled from the authigenic sedimentary core during diagenesis and lithification. Mineral precipitation and crystallization continues in the planetesimal ocean, but the mineral source shifts from nebular dust raining down from above to hydrothermal fluids upwelling from below.

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 instantly reach saturation in the cooler ocean above, causing mineral-grain precipitation. 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 in the planetesimal ocean, the mineral-grains fall out of suspension to become buried and thereby sequestered from further growth by crystallization. Authigenic mineral grain size is a function of buoyancy and not gravitational acceleration, so while the local gravitational acceleration increases from the core to the surface, the buoyancy remains the same due to symmetry–is this true? The characteristic, authigenic sand-grain size in Wissahickon schist is about 450 microns in diameter (.45 mm), although the size may also be affected by the local circulation rates in the planetesimal ocean which are largely driven by temperature differential.

On earth tube worm communities are common surrounding hydrothermal vents, and may also have been common in planetesimal oceans of presolar Type I planetesimals which formed at lower temperatures and with lower chemical-activity rates than for Type II planetesimals. As sand settles out of suspension around hydrothermal vents in planetesimal oceans, tube worms extend their tubes to avoid burial. In the subsequent lithification and induration into quartzite, the former tube-worm tubes fossilized which may be misconstrued as Skolithos trace fossils. Skolithos are common in the Cambrian Chickies Formation which may be part of the hydrothermal mantle of the underlying, authigenic, Baltimore gneiss dome.

‘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 ‘comet quakes’.

At a distance from hydrothermal vents in planetesimal oceans, mineral crystals in exposures protected from burial by sediment may reach pegmatite size by crystallization, so proximity to hydrothermal vents may directly control mineral-grain size. In the Wissahickon schist terrain at distances of a kilometer or more from the sandstone and quartzite of hypothesized hydrothermal vents, pegmatites predominate. The largest crystalline masses of pegmatites are kilogram-scale blocks of plagioclase feldspar crystals. In the same vicinity, large populations of sheet muscovite with sheet sizes up to 10’s of square centimeters in area are frequently embedded in large masses of crystalline quartz.

The authigenic phase of planetesimal differentiation forms authigenic granite or gneiss, depending on the origin and composition of the precursor dust and ice. Highly-oxidized presolar dust and ice forms Type I planetesimals which differentiate to form authigenic gneiss-dome cores with schist and carbonate-rock mantles. Dust and ice condensed from solar wind enriched with planetary volatiles, on the other hand, have a much higher relative Gibbs free energy content and accrete to form Type II planetesimals. Type II planetesimals differentiate to form authigenic granite cores that may melt to form plutonic rock. Type II also form hydrothermal rock which may or may not reach the melting point to form basalt and pillow lava mantles around granite pluton cores. At lower temperatures in which the hydrothermal rock remains below the melting point, Type II planetesimals may form hydrothermal greenschist and dolomite, more similar to the mantles surrounding larger Type I gneiss-dome planetesimal cores.

The secondary ‘hydrothermal phase’ of comet differentiation is more heterogeneous than the earlier ‘authigenic phase’ of comet differentiation. Not only are hydrothermal vents localized, but the dissolved species in the hydrothermal fluids are more variable than the chondrite-normalized dust and ice precursor material that formed the authigenic core.

Planetesimal Stalactites:
Quartzite stalactites are hypothesized to have formed on ice ceilings overhanging hydrothermal vents in submerged salt-water oceans of contact-binary trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) of the Kuiper belt. Quartz solubility is highly temperature sensitive, so authigenic quartz would precipitate and and grow through crystallization at the cold ice-water boundary, but the actual conditions causing stalactite growth are unknown. Perhaps quartzite stalactites form during ‘freeze out’ as the salt-water ocean gradually freezes solid, maintaining solute levels at or near saturation point, and perhaps the ice ceiling grows downward at the same rate as the stalactite such that the stalactite is essentially flush with the ice ceiling but imbedded up into it. These hypothesized planetesimal quartzite stalactites tend to be highly indurated with quartz (or silica gel) crystallization.

Hypothesized segments of linearly-striated quartzite stalactites which hung from the ice ceiling over hydrothermal vents 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.

Another section of hypothesized quartzite comet stalactite from Philadelphia.

Hot black smokers in planetesimal oceans may precipitate and crystallize schist while cooler ‘white smokers’ may similarly form carbonate rock such as limestone and dolomite. The solubility of calcium and magnesium are inversely proportional to temperature due to their solubility dependence on pH. And the pH in turn is controlled by the inverse-temperature-dependent solubility of carbonic acid, hence the indirect temperature dependence for solubility of Ca and Mg by way of carbonic acid. So as the core temperature decreases over time, the pH also decreases due to higher concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide which react to form carbonic acid. And higher levels of carbonic acid dissolve higher concentrations of calcium and magnesium. Then some mechanism is required to precipitate the calcium and magnesium carbonate that pours out of white-smoker hydrothermal vents into the comet ocean, since presumably even the relatively cool white smokers are substantially warmer than the planetesimal ocean into which they issue.

The outer mantle of the Baltimore gneiss dome alternates between layers of schist and carbonate rock before perhaps laying down a final thick layer of carbonate rock in the form of the Conestoga formation.


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.



A common class of meteorwrongs, some with fusion crust, frequently show up at meteorite labs where they are dismissed as probable industrial slag. Instead, they may be planetesimal in origin, precipitated by events far beyond our solar system.

This section addresses a particular class of secondary impacts suggested to be caused by high-density planetesimal crust sloughed off in Earth’s atmosphere by icy meteors from the outer solar system. The high-density crust in this section could come from Oort cloud comets or from trans-Neptunian objects, but ‘comet crust slag’ is a catchier phrase than ‘planetesimal crust slag’.

The relative size ratio of astroblemes between primary comet or TNO impacts and their vastly-smaller associated secondary impacts of sloughed off crustal material in atmospheric transit may be the relative size ratio between the 450 km Nastapoka Arc of Hudson Bay (12,900 years ago) and the c. 450 m Ivy Rock quarry (impact) in Conshohocken, PA in the same event. Icy-body impacts are hypothesized to form ‘impact basins’ rather than impact craters, obscuring the primary impact origin of many terrestrial basins as well as the impact origin of many small quarries excavated for their comet-crust iron ore content.

High-density comet-crust is suggested to have accreted from stellar metallicity condensed into centimeter-scale hailstones inside (Bok) globules on their disk-crossing halo orbits where the solar system occasionally passes through globules. An alternative hypothesis of cold dark matter (CDM) suggests that invisible, primordial, gravitationally-bound globules are the reservoirs of CDM in galactic halos. Jet-black, opaque Bok globules trapped by giant molecular clouds are but the tip of the iceberg of the hypothesized population of billions of invisible, primordial halo globules in our Galaxy alone on disk-crossing orbits. Halo globules are generally invisible because the vast majority of their stellar metallicity is condensed into hailstone chondrules, but globules that have have become trapped in the galactic plane by frictional drag of giant molecular clouds become visible from continuous inward diffusion of stellar metallicity and from evaporation of volatile, carbon-monoxide hailstone chondrules by stellar radiation.
–For more on CDM-globules, see section: DARK MATTER

The Sun orbits the Galactic core on the order of 200 km/s, so the differential velocity of the solar system passing through globules in halo orbits is likely to be in the order of 100 to 300 km/s, however the Sun may also pass through giant molecular clouds every billion years or so, creating Snowball Earth level glacial periods. The majority of stellar metallicity is carbon and oxygen, so globule-chondrules are assumed to be primarily composed of carbon-monoxide ice with chondritic ratios of heavier stellar-metallicity contaminants. In super-high-velocity collisions between centimeter-scale globule-chondrules and solar-system planetesimals, carbon monoxide ice may chemically reduce iron oxides to metallic iron in conditions that may mirror conditions in industrial pig-iron furnaces (including elevated carbonates which act as a fluxing agent), where the super-short duration of collision shock waves is almost exactly compensated for by the super-high temperatures and pressures. So natural slag will almost exactly mirror that of industrial slag from the same precursor material, masking its natural (rather than manmade) origin.

Globule-chondrule impacts on icy bodies of the outer solar system are assumed to be the origin of the most-prevalent centimeter-scale slag excavated from Ivy Rock quarry et al., with the scale of granular slag revealing the scale of globule hailstone chondrules.

Granular metallic-iron comet-crust slag fused into a larger mass, from Ivy Rock quarry crater in Conshohocken, PA. (Native iron, iron meteorite)

Granular metallic-iron comet-crust slag fused into a larger mass, from Ivy Rock quarry crater in Conshohocken, PA.
(Native iron, iron meteorite)

Metallic-iron component of granular comet-crust slag attracted to a magnet. (Native iron, Iron meteorite)

Metallic-iron component of granular comet-crust slag attracted to a magnet.
(Native iron, Iron meteorite)

While most of the slag is granular on a centimeter scale, some slag is massive, with cobble-, boulder-, and larger-size chunks. Some metallic-iron masses are up to 100 kg with even larger basaltic-slag masses of around 1 meter in diameter, but the apparent 1 meter upper limit of massive boulder slag likely represents expediency of excavation of still-larger in situ masses. Massive iron and slag above the centimeter scale are hypothesized to be the result of secondary melting of primary centimeter-scale granules, assumedly from run-away chemical reactions such as those between alkali metals and water, with metals having been chemically reduced to the metallic state during primary hailstone chondrule collisions inside Bok globules. Secondary melting resulting in massive iron and slag may be the result of galvanic reactions between dissimilar metals reduced to their metallic state in chondrule hailstone collisions, with water as the electrolyte medium.

Massive comet-crust slag with magnet on metallic-iron bleb from Conshohocken, PA. (Telluric iron, Native iron, Meteorite)

Massive comet-crust slag with magnet on metallic-iron bleb from Conshohocken, PA.
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Meteorite)

Section view of massive comet-crust slag with shiny metallic iron and basalt-like matrix. (Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite)

Section view of massive comet-crust slag with shiny metallic iron and basalt-like matrix.
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite)

Massive 45 kg metallic-iron comet-crust slag from Ivy Rock quarry in Conshohocken, PA. (Native iron, Iron meteorite)

Massive 45 kg metallic-iron comet-crust slag from Ivy Rock quarry in Conshohocken, PA.
(Native iron, Iron meteorite)

Some massive slag apparently melted while still on the parent planetesimal because some massive slag has vanishingly-thin fusion crust, not to be confused with thick glass that forms on the top of industrial iron-furnace slag, so secondary chemical reactions also apparently occurred on planetesimals as well as subsequently on Earth.

The most recent hypothesized icy-body impact occurred around 12,900 years ago which may have created 10s of thousands of secondary impacts of crustal material, across the Northern Hemisphere, such that planetesimal slag is relatively common. Washington University in St. Louis has a webpage entitled, “a photo gallery of MeteorWrongs”, which shows a dozen or more rocks which appear to be comet-crust slag of various types, some sectioned to reveal metallic iron and some with fusion crust.

Massive Comet-Crust Meteorite with Fusion Crust

Massive Comet-Crust Meteorite with Fusion Crust

Massive Comet-Crust Meteorite with Fusion Crust

Massive Comet-Crust Meteorite with Fusion Crust




Massive Comet-Crust Meteorite with Fusion Crust, Flow Lines and Spherules

Massive Comet-Crust Meteorite with Fusion Crust, Flow Lines and Spherules

Ivy Rock quarry north of Conshohocken, PA along Conshohocken Road on the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia (40.095, -75.315) and the unnamed quarry in Swatara Township, PA immediately south of Harrisburg on Paxton Street (40.256, -76.847) are both very nearly round (like all impact craters) and were apparently mined for their iron ore content, judging from the volume of basaltic slag with a high metallic-iron content used as clean fill in the vicinity. (The entrance to the Swatara Township impact quarry is across Paxton St. from Yale Electric at 2207 Paxton St., Harrisburg, PA 17111)

Author in front of a hill of granular comet-crust slag from Conshohocken, PA between I-476 and cross-country trail.  Plants can not grow in granular comet-crust slag.

Author in front of a hill of granular comet-crust slag from Conshohocken, PA between I-476 and cross-country trail. Plants can not grow in granular comet-crust slag.

Swatara Township Impact Crater, Near 2000 Paxton St., immediately south of Harrisburg, PA.  The areas devoid of plant life circled in red are likely composed of granular comet-crust slag.

Swatara Township Impact Crater, Near 2000 Paxton St., immediately south of Harrisburg, PA. The areas devoid of plant life circled in red are likely composed of granular 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.

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

If impact basins were mined for their iron content, the metallic-iron component was evidently discarded in favor of hematite and magnetite iron ore, assumedly due to excessive embrittling contamination in the massive metallic iron, and granular slag was similarly discarded.

The round shape and proximity of planetesimal slag to the Conshohocken and Swatara Township quarries are strong indicators of their presumed impact origins, but many non-circular quarries may have started out as circular open-pit mines which were extended into quarrying the underlying target rock, which tends to be valuable limestone in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Too much massive planetesimal slag at too many locations too far afield of Conshohocken and Swatara Township are in evidence in Southeastern Pennsylvania for these two quarries to be the exclusive origins of all the comet-crust slag in the area. A map, a magnet, a vehicle and a day off are all the requirements necessary for finding planetesimal slag in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where a magnet instantly discriminates between low-density industrial iron-furnace slag and high-density natural comet-crust slag, as industrial iron-furnace slag is essentially nonmagnetic.

A small amount of massive comet-crust slag was apparently melted (reprocessed) in experimental ‘test’ ovens on the grounds of iron furnaces to discern the quality of its metallic iron, because a small percentage of reprocessed slag has the characteristic brown coloration of massive comet-crust slag, but containing chunks of embedded fire brick or imprints of fire brick in its surface. However, there’re never any fire-brick chunks or fire-brick impressions associated with massive comet-crust slag that still retains its original high density and its original metallic-iron component. (Contamination of planetesimal slag with industrial waste makes geologists throw up their hands.)

Additionally, there’s considerable evidence of small ‘cottage industry’ iron furnaces that may have been operated during The Great Depression, judging by the 1939 nickel found near one failed oven in Conshohocken. The ‘1939 oven’ was a failed oven that froze solid with several cubic feet of metallic iron still inside. Another somewhat more sophisticated Bessemer-style oven lies nearby composed of fire brick held together with iron straps which is moldering in the West Conshohocken woods, but at only about 4 feet in diameter the Bessemer-style oven is also of cottage-industry size. In East Conshohocken, I’ve found a number of broken window-sash counter weights, which is one very-limited possible use for very brittle cast iron with significant extraterrestrial contamination that could be made from merely (re)melting massive planetesimal metallic iron rather than smelting it from iron ore.

When comet-crust slag with a high metallic-iron content was discovered in gravel pits in in ‘modern times’, it was most-likely attributed to be poorly-processed, colonial iron-furnace slag, obscuring its natural origin. Iron-furnace slag from several historic iron furnaces in Pennsylvania was collected to distinguish between natural and manmade slag. Microscopic examination of industrial slag from Cornwall furnace, Johanna furnace, and the Conshohocken Iron Works in Southeastern Pennsylvania reveals nothing larger than micron-sized metallic-iron spherules, requiring magnification. These microscopic spherules are most apparent in thin chips of translucent, glassy slag with strong back lighting under 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 silicon-dioxide glassy slag melted on the surface of our high-gravity planet.

By comparison, comet-crust slag frequently contains millimeter to centimeter-sized metallic-iron blebs or larger which are many orders of magnitude larger than the microscopic spherules in industrial iron-furnace slag. Only in a microgravity environment of a planetesimal could metallic-iron globules be frozen inside lower-density slag within cobble or boulder sized massive slag that would take a considerable length of time to cool.

Additionally, the percentage of metallic iron contained in comet-crust slag would be incredible for an industrial origin, particularly considering the 100 kg size of some of the masses, and particularly so in light of the complete absence of metallic-ion chunks around most historical iron furnaces (except the Phoenixville, PA furnace with its large contingent of comet-crust slag). Additionally, the fractal shapes of massive slag and massive iron are strong evidence for a natural origin, and the occasional forged ‘mushrooming’ of some metallic-iron chunks are indicative of a natural catastrophe.

Massive metallic-iron comet-crust slag with forged (mushroomed) lower edge.  Forging (mushrooming) occurred at impact, so the massive iron existed on the TNO prior to its transport to Earth. (Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite)

Massive metallic-iron comet-crust slag with forged (mushroomed) lower edge. Forging (mushrooming) occurred at impact, so the massive iron existed on the TNO prior to its transport to Earth.
(Telluric iron, Native iron, Iron meteorite)

Another argument against an industrial origin of slag meteorwrongs is the high degree of contamination of numerous elements that greatly-exceed, terrestrial crustal abundance, particularly for ore of the highest-abundance metallic element on the planet. Mass spec. analysis of a native-iron bleb from Pennsylvania impact slag, 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. If impact iron has survived for 12,900 years, even in the relatively protected environment of an impact crater, metallic contaminants in the metallic iron may provide corrosion protection in the form of metallic oxides, rendering the iron essentially a stainless steel. Iridium is undetectable down to 2 ppb by INAA in 5 massive comet-crust slag samples including INAA of a metallic-iron bleb.

Impact slag, assumedly excavated from the nearby Ivy Rock quarry, has been used as land fill to extend an elevation above Plymouth Creek along the triangle between I-476 (Blue Route) and the Cross County Trail, in Conshohocken, that follows the creek below. The the landfill portion of the Cross County Trail park can be accessed at Fulton St. and Light St. in Conshohocken. The comet-crust landfill is readily apparent on Google Satellite due to its lack of plant cover because of its toxicity to plant life. By comparison, iron furnace slag is valued as a fertilizer for its slow-release phosphate and lime content. In the Harrisburg Area, impact slag, assumedly from the round impact quarry on Paxton St. in Swatara Township, PA 17111, has also been used as clean fill on both the East Shore of the Susquehanna River in the greater Harrisburg Area. Comet-crust slag can also be found as far west as Mechanicsburg, PA on the West Shore, likely indicating additional mines.

Finally, comet-crust slag may also form silicides, creating other classes of supposed meteorwrongs. Some silicides are distinctly non-magnetic, even mirror-like silicates with densities similar to that of high-grade iron ore.


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.



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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