(This work in progress is an alternative conceptual hypothesis of the formation of binary celestial objects by fission from larger bifurcating binaries or by spinning off from a larger merging binaries, and secondly, an alternative geological hypothesis for the formation of authigenic rock in planetesimal cores by aqueous differentiation and its delivery to earth in Oort cloud objects.)
(Note: This section, VESTA-CLASS DWARF PLANETS, represents new thinking. The rest of the document needs to be updated to reflect these changes.)
VESTA-CLASS DWARF PLANETS:
Vesta-class or Vesta-sized dwarf planets are hypothesized to have been carried into the Oort cloud from their planetary origin within the inner 5:2 to 3:1 resonant nursery of Proxima (Centauri), as Proxima spiraled out from the Sun. Along the way, these Vesta-class dwarf planets (VCDPs) fell through Proxima’s 3:1 shepherding resonance at a planetesimal size proportional to their mass and heliocentric period, see section, COMPANION STAR, PROXIMA (CENTAURI). Those that fell out of the resonance nursery between the planetary realm and 20,000 AU may have subsequently experienced the effect of the solar-system barycenter (SS-barycenter) between Proxima and the Sun, which is hypothesized to be an aphelia attractor for objects in heliocentric orbits.
During the first 4-billion years while binary Proxima was spiraling out from the Sun, the SS-barycenter may have stretched the orbits of comets, VCDPs and other size objects (using the term ‘planetesimal’ to include dwarf planets, comets and other-sized objects), perhaps increasing their orbital energy while maintaining their angular momentum. Angular momentum is conserved since an aphelia force directed away from the Sun on a planetesimal orbit is parallel to the moment arm (radius) of of the orbit, contributing no torque. So the perihelion would have to decrease to maintain the overall angular momentum. Then by 542 Ma, the binary stellar components of Proxima are hypothesized to have spiraled in and merged in a luminous red nova (LRN), ending its 4 billion years of orbit inflation between the Sun and Proxima.
At present, Proxima is apparently in a temporary hyperbolic orbit around the passing star Alpha Centauri, but prior to this close encounter, the SS-barycenter is hypothesized to have been at 20,000 AU, explaining the typical aphelia distance of long-period comet orbits, and following its stellar encounter with Alpha Centauri, Proxima may return to 182,600 AU, once again returning the SS-barycenter to 20,000 AU, whereupon the SS-barycenter would continue to act as an aphelia attractor with the Sun’s orbit around the SS-barycenter creating perihelion precession. (From a non-inertial perspective, the Sun’s orbit around the SS-barycenter creates an inward-directed fictitious centrifugal force toward the Sun which increases to maximum at perihelion and decreases to zero at the SS-barycenter aphelion, so planetesimal orbits may track the SS-barycenter with their aphelia to assume a minimal energy state.) Planetesimals formed in the inner solar system along the invariable plane (and particularly binary planetesimals with additional binary angular momentum) may maintain the orbital plane (angular-momentum vector) in which they were formed during their outward orbit inflation in within Proxima’s resonant nursery, since orbital inclination does not affect resonance, such that Oort cloud planetesimals originally formed in the invariable plane from planetary precursors may precess around the SS-barycenter with their aphelia rather than being pinned to the SS-barycenter in the more simplistic model we presented earlier.
The tidal influence of the Galactic core is always present, but the tidal affect may be particularly significant for planetesimals pinned to the SS-barycenter by their aphelia, ‘barycenter-aphelia planetesimals’, particularly when their major-axes are aligned with the Galactic axis. John J. Matese et al. (Matese and Whitman, 1999) and (Matese and Whitmire, 2011) have discovered that Oort cloud comets with about 20,000 aphelia and perihelia in the planetary realm, where they become visible, are distributed on a plane included about 103 degrees from the Galactic plane. This nearly perpendicular inclination to the Galactic core may be the long-term result of tidal torque from the Galactic core on extremely-eccentric planetesimals that have broken away from the SS-barycenter, perhaps in part due to catastrophic perturbations from the giant planets of the inner solar system, and these orbits may be in precession around the Galactic core axis. Planetesimals with a 20,000 AU aphelia and a 10,000 AU semi-major axis have an orbital period of about 1 million years.
Assuming a SS-barycenter at 20,000 AU, both the Sun and Proxima orbit the barycenter with a period of about 73.6 Myr, so barycenter-aphelia planetesimals will present their major axes to the Galactic core every 33.6 Myr (twice per 73.6 Myr solar orbit), torquing the barycenter-aphelia planetesimal orbits by increasing the angular momentum and acceleration in one direction while decreasing it in the other. But like the Michelson Morley experiment, the torque will persist longer in the slower return leg, extracting energy and angular momentum from the orbits, causing their perihelia to descend into the planetary realm of the inner solar system.
Long-period barycenter-aphelia planetesimals on CCW orbits like the planets that spiral down into the planetary realm with their perihelia at a shallow inclination to the invariable plane will first encounter the Kuiper belt planetesimals, but the perihelia speed of long-period planetesimals is about 40% higher than that of Kuiper belt objects in comparatively circular orbits. Over repeated circulations through the Kuiper belt, VCDPs may accrete 100 km and larger Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) which would decrease the relative angular momentum and energy of the VCDPs, also decreasing their orbital period and aphelia. Contact-binary TNOs that have spiraled in to merge and initiate aqueous differentiation may be the source of (mantled) gneiss domes on Earth by way of Vesta-class differentiated planetesimal cores.
Accretion of TNOs by VCDPs may also lower the inclination of VCDPs to the invariable plane, and if their final inclination falls within the terrestrial inclination of 1.58 degrees or the Venusian inclination of 2.19 degrees, VCDPs may line up with Earth or Venus for almost half of their planetary orbits, and their 40% higher speed may overtake Earth or Venus, impacting the planets. Mercury and Mars are far more likely to be spared an impact due to their smaller cross sections and lower gravities, but primarily due to their higher eccentricities. The higher orbital eccentricities of Mercury and Mars will only match up with long-period planetesimals on appropriately shallow inclination angles at two points rather than matching up with almost half of the planetary orbits. Likewise, the additional orbital motions of moons around their planets makes possible only point encounters between long-period planetesimals and moons. And the low
.32 degree inclination of Jupiter and
.93 degree inclination of Saturn and
1.02 degree inclination for Uranus and
.72 degree inclination for Neptune
allow a few tenths of a degree above and below the giant planets which will miss all the giant planets and may happen to align with Earth’s orbital precession cycle, its ‘Milankovitch cycle’, and what misses earth may have another chance at Venus. Additionally, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus have higher eccentricities between that of Earth and Mars, with only Neptune having a similarly low eccentricity as Earth, but with a smaller relative mass and cross-sectional area compared to its orbital distance. Additionally, lower inclination angles only have about a 20% chance of catching any planet (in an arbitrary starting position) with even perfect inclination and zero eccentricity, so planetesimals may make repeated passes through the inner solar system before getting thrown off course.
Venus has two large continent-sized features of sizes that would require many hypothesized VCDP cores on Earth unless they spread out more on Venus. ‘Aphrodite Terra’ is the largest raised continental feature which is about the size of Africa and ‘Ishtar Terra’ is between the size of Australia and the continental United States. Aphrodite Terra has two main sections which suggests at least 3 total Vesta-class impacts, and Venus is also considered to have had a global resurfacing event in last 300-500 Myr, which may have merged multiple Vesta-class cores into the two continental-sized features.
The formation and evolution of binary stars remains one of
the key unanswered questions in stellar astronomy. As most
stars are thought to form in multiple systems, and with the
possibility that binaries may host exoplanet systems, these
questions are of even more importance.
(Dhital et al. 2010)
Star, Planet, Moon and Planetesimal Formation (Volume I):
“Gas giant planets at disk radii r > 100 AU are likely to form in situ by disk instability, while core accretion plus gas capture remains the dominant formation mechanism for r < 100 AU." (Boley, 2009)
An alternative 'bifurcation/merger-fission' hypothesis unifies giant planets with companion stars in an identical formation process. Additionally, bifurcation/merger-fission unifies dwarf stars with giant stars in suggesting similar binary and multiple star formation rates. Most F, G, K and M dwarf stars are solitary stars while most giant O, B and A stars binaries; however, binary formation rates could be similar regardless of size if smaller stars rapidly spiral in and merge. bifurcation/merger-fission also equates solar systems with star clusters in a similar application of 'core collapse' evolution, also known as 'mass segregation'.
"The primary question regarding the core nucleated growth model is under what conditions can planets develop cores sufficiently massive to accrete gas envelopes within the lifetimes of gaseous protoplanetary disks." (Lissauer and Stevenson, 2007) bifurcation/merger-fission eliminates this recognized problem of forming gas-giant planets before the star's radiation dissipates the protoplanetary disk if stars and giant planets form in an identical process on a similar time frame.
As protostars gravitationally contract, their rotation rate increases, conserving angular momentum, and the vast majority of protostars bifurcate due to excess angular momentum. If the bifurcation process is fractal and messy, smaller gravitationally-bound masses (that fit within their own Roche spheres) may spin off or 'fragment', classified by mass as protostars, proto-brown dwarfs and protoplanets. Second-generation protostars, proto-brown dwarfs and protoplanets will also typically bifurcate as they gravitationally contract due to excess angular momentum, forming smaller, higher-generation bifurcation objects.
Then core-collapse is presumed to cause binary planets to spiral out from their progenitor stars as their close-binary components spiral in until they merge, forming solitary planets at various distances from their progenitor stars, including 'hot Jupiters' in low orbits and far more rarely, planets beyond Neptune's orbital distance, where the distance at which the binary components finally spiral in and merge is dependent on the specific angular momentum of the fission protoplanet.
The spiral-in merger of dwarf-star binary pairs may greatly exceed that of larger-star mergers due to perturbations from the relatively-large mass of the protoplanetary disk and binary fission planets, causing most dwarf stars to spiral in and merge before the dissipation of the protoplanetary disk, masking the binary prevalence dwarf stars behind accretion disks of young stellar objects (YSOs). Additionally, since stellar luminosity is proportional to the stellar mass raised to the exponent of 3.33, binary dwarf may have particularly-feeble luminosities which may require catastrophic stellar mergers to dissipate their accretion disks.
Rocky terrestrial planets like Earth may be the result of a similar spin off process when binary stellar components spiral in to merge in luminous red novae (LRNe), forming 'merger-planets'. If luminous red novae (LRNe) are indeed the result of stellar mergers, then deep immersion of pithy merger-protoplanets within the red-giant phase of LRNe may cause severe volatile loss, resulting in the 'planetary volatility trend' of the terrestrial planets in our own solar system. Protomoons may similarly spin off from either bifurcating protoplanets, forming 'bifurcation-moons' or later during their spiral-in merger, forming 'merger-moons'. And moons that spiral out of their planet's Roche spheres are captured by the Sun into heliocentric orbits as dwarf planets. Finally, dwarf planets and moons may spin off still-smaller 100 km and larger trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), and TNOs may 'spawn' still-smaller 1-20 km comets.
Planetesimal Differentiation and Solar System Dynamics (Volume II):
When binary dwarf planets and smaller icy objects spiral in and merge, the kinetic and potential energy dissipated as heat may melt water ice, forming salt-water oceans in their cores. This 'aqueous differentiation' may precipitate authigenic mineral grains which fall out of suspension at grain sizes dependent on micro-gravity buoyancy, forming sedimentary cores. Following the initial conversion of nebular dust to mineral grains, hydrothermal fluids from diagenesis of the sedimentary core continues to precipitate mineral grains with altered chemistry. Finally lithification converts sedimentary cores to solid rock, or if the temperature exceeds the melting point, the core melts to form plutonic rock.
Larger and older TNOs and still-larger and older dwarf planets and planets should be composed of higher proportions of highly-oxidized presolar (Type I) nebular material which is chemically inert and therefore planetesimals composed of primarily of presolar Type I dust and ice may not typically reach the melting point of the precipitated authigenic sedimentary cores, forming instead sedimentary and metamorphic gneiss, sandstone, quartzite and massive shale (with mineral grain size dependent on the planetesimal mass) and hydrothermal mantle rock composed of schist, shale, limestone and dolomite.
The collapsing molecular-gas 'globule' that formed our own solar system may have bifurcated 3 times, forming a quadruple star system from which hierarchy emerged to form two close-binary pairs, the binary Sun and binary Proxima (Centauri), separated by an ever-increasing wide-binary spacing. Core collapse caused the Sun and Proxima to spiral out from the solar-system barycenter (SS-barycenter) as their close binary pairs spiraled in, conserving energy and angular momentum. The binary Sun may have merged in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma with Proxima at a distance of about 89 AU, and Proxima may have merged about 4 billion years later around 542 Ma at a distance of about 182,600 AU. The SS-barycenter may have been located at 20,000 AU prior to Proxima's present hyperbolic orbit around the passing star, Alpha Centauri, which may have temporarily pulled it out to its present distance from the Sun of 270,000 AU.
Proxima may have had resonant nurseries similar to Jupiter's asteroid belt and Neptune's Kuiper belt protected by its strongest inner resonances, including, perhaps, Trojans in L4 and L5 orbits; although over time, passing stars may have long since disrupted all its former resonant nurseries, spilling their contents into the Oort cloud in heliocentric orbits. Dwarf planets in the size range of 4 Vesta may have fallen through Proxima's 3:1 resonant nursery boundary at masses proportional to their heliocentric period at the distance of the Oort cloud. Thus dwarf planets slightly more massive than Vesta may have fallen through Proxima's 3:1 resonance around 2,500-3,000 AU, forming the inner edge of the inner Oort cloud (IOC), with progressively smaller dwarf planets felling behind as Proxima spiraled out to 182,600 AU.
The SS-barycenter at 20,000 AU may act as an aphelia attractor for Oort cloud objects, explaining the typical 20,000 AU distance of long-period Oort cloud comets. And Oort cloud objects with 20,000 AU aphelia pinned to the SS-barycenter will be aligned with the tidal influence of the Galactic core twice per 73.6 Myr orbit of the Sun around the SS-barycenter, stretching their orbits and causing their perihelia to dip into the planetary realm of the inner solar system. Binary objects, however, may fight the orbital elongation by circularizing their orbits at the expense of the angular momentum in their close-binary orbits, causing their close-binary components to spiral in and merge, initiating aqueous differentiation. Once having merged, former binary objects lose their former ability to resist tidal elongation and they gradually spiral down into the inner solar system where they encounter the planets.
Terrestrial Effects of Comet and Dwarf-Planet Impacts, and Other Issues (Volume III):
Comet and Dwarf Planet impacts of icy objects may undergo endothermic chemical reactions which may largely clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of rock, obscuring comet impact craters compared to the melt rock suevite or impactite created in rocky asteroid impacts. Additionally, carbon ices may convert to long-chain hydrocarbons, such as petroleum, absorbing impact energy. Finally, 500 km dia dwarf planet impacts, such as the Appalachian Basin in the Tethys Ocean 450 Ma, causing the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event, Central Siberia at 251 Ma, causing the P-T extinction event and the American Cordillera at 65 Ma, causing the K-T extinction event, for instance, are far beyond the impact size on geologist's radar. The differentiated cores of dwarf-planet impacts add new continental land masses, causing extinction events and driving plate tectonics which cause surrounding continental masses to converge and form supercontinents.
Carbon monoxide comet ice may slough off forming numerous small secondary impacts that form silicides in most instances and native iron within vesicular basaltic impact slag in the presence of carbonate target rock to act as a fluxing agent. Additionally, small secondary impacts of comet ice may create boulder fields by way of pyroclastic flows, downhill from an elevated impact site, and the boulders within these impact-generated boulder fields bear witness with striations, pockmarks and potholes from super-high velocity comet fluids.
Evidence for the hypothesized rock-fracturing properties of phyllosilicates in stratovolcanos and fault lines is presented.
FORMATION OF STARS, PLANETS, DWARF PLANETS AND COMETS BY BICURCATION/MERGER-FISSION:
‘Bifurcation/merger-fission’ is an alternative solar system hypothesis to ‘disk instability’ and ‘core accretion’ which unifies stars, planets, moons, dwarf planets, trans-Neptunian (sized) objects (TNOs) and comets.
Triple protostars with interplay are understood to evolve into hierarchical wide-binaries (NASA RELEASE: 12-425, 2012) by resonant core collapse in which the two larger stars sink or spiral in to form a ‘hard’ close-binary core, raising the orbit of the smallest C component by causing it to spiral out into a ‘soft’ wide-binary orbit in an evaporative thermodynamic process. Planetary systems may similarly evolve by resonant core collapse, causing binary planets formed in stellar bifurcations or stellar mergers to spiral out from their binary progenitor stars as their close-binary components spiral in until they merge.
Most large Herbig-Haro Ae/Be stars form as binary pairs or multiples (Tohline, Cazes and Cohl, 1999) due to excess angular momentum of gravitationally-collapsing protostars. This alternative hypothesis suggests that most T Tauri dwarf stars form as binary pairs or multiples before quickly evolving into solitaries by merging in luminous red novae (LRNe), leaving the false impression that solitary yellow and red dwarf stars originally formed that way.
As ‘bok globules’ gravitationally collapse within molecular clouds, the rotation rate progressively increases, typically causing protostars to bifurcate due to excess angular momentum. A single bifurcation typically forms a binary star while a double bifurcation sequence forms a triple star and a triple bifurcation sequence, a quadruple star, and etc., with the stellar components in interplay until resonant core-collapse (secular perturbation) typically forms a hierarchical star system. In the process of stellar ‘bifurcation’, which may very roughly divide a collapsing mass in two within an order of magnitude, smaller gravitationally-bound masses may fragment off by ‘fission’ to form smaller proto- brown dwarfs or gas-giant protoplanets. The minimum size of a fission mass that will fit within its own Roche sphere and gravitationally collapse rather dissipate is unknown, so a ‘Saturn-sized mass’ will stand in for this unknown lower-size threshold. Planets formed by fission during their progenitor bifurcation will be called ‘bifurcation-planets’. Bifurcation-(proto)planets are also assumed to typically bifurcate due to excess angular momentum, forming binary gas-giant planets.
Then core collapse may cause binary companion stars, binary brown dwarfs, binary planets to spiral out from their stellar progenitors, fueled by the energy and angular momentum of their close-binary, thus unifying solar systems with star clusters with regard to the similar process of secular ‘core collapse’, also known as ‘mass segregation’.
Binary companion stars and binary planets fuel their own ‘orbit inflation’ with the tremendous energy and angular momentum contained in their close-binary components and perhaps rapidly due to resonant coupling between the barycentric component orbits or their close-binary pairs, but even solitary objects may spiral out at a far slower rate. Thus the hottest of the hot Jupiters and hot Neptunes may have failed to bifurcate, yet still spiraled out a few hundredths of an AU from their binary progenitor stars by resonant coupling between their heliocentric orbits and the barycentric component orbits of their progenitor binary stars.
Stellar mergers may be the origin of the recently-proposed new category of stellar transients known as ‘luminous red novae’ (LRNe), with luminosities between that of novae and supernovae, although this hypothesis is based on a mere handful of occurrences to date. M85 OT2006-1 had a peak bolometric luminosity approaching 5E6 solar and a blackbody effective radius of 2.0 +.6/-.4 E4 solar radii (Rau et al., 2007), which would engulf the Kuiper belt in our own solar system, but the size of the hypothesized stellar components of the merger is unknown. And deep immersion of the asteroid belt and terrestrial planets at 4,567 Ma could explain their differentiation, if not volatile depletion, of rocky-iron terrestrial objects. Additionally, the luminous red nova M85 OT2006-1 appears to have condensed dust in the expanding shock-wave envelope:
“We have presented the discovery of a strong 3.6-22 micrometer excess in M85 OT2006-1 at ~ 180 days. This thermal infrared component suggests ” a dust condensation in the matter expelled during the eruption, similar to M31 RV (Mould et al. 1990) and V838 Mon (Kimeswenger et al. 2002; Lynch et al. 2004).”
(Rau et al., 2007)
This dust condensation in M85 OT2006-1 may correspond to hypothesized (Type II) condensed super-chemically-reduced solar plasma enriched in planetary volatiles in our own early solar system from the merger of our former binary Sun. And Type II dust and ice condensed from solar LRN plasma may be the typical composition of comets in our solar system.
The luminous red nova PTF10FQS peaked at -12.3 magnitude between the luminosity of novae (-4 to -10 mag) and supernovae (-15 to -22 mag) and decayed slowly by 1 mag over the next 68 days. (Kasliwal and Kasliwal et al., 2011) And so stellar mergers may be capable of nucleosynthesis, forming the short-lived radionuclides of our early solar system and the altered stable-isotope ratios, as well as the somewhat-elevated metallicity of our Sun. Following its hypothesized LRN binary merger, our Sun may have become a flare star for perhaps several million years if the chondrules of our early solar system formed over that time span are products of our super-intense, flare-star magnetic field.
In addition to spinning off by fission during bifurcation, forming bifurcation-objects, gravitationally-bound masses may also spin off by fission during binary mergers, forming merger-objects, or ‘merger-planets’ when planetary in size. But pithy merger-(proto)planets formed in stellar mergers would have to survive deep immersion in the greatly-expanded red-giant phase of LRNe. So merger-planets in their vulnerable, pithy protoplanet phase may suffer extensive volatile losses, resulting in rocky-iron terrestrial planets, exemplified in the ‘terrestrial volatility trend’ in our own solar system. More typically, however, Saturn-sized protoplanets and larger may evaporate down to super-earth-sized planets. The higher than average volatile loss of Venus and Earth may be due to their greater endowment of angular momentum, increasing their pithiness. Merger-planets apparently also bifurcate and spiral out from their solitary stars to merge and form solitary planets. Bifurcation planets, by comparison, may have had 100s of thousands of years to cool, gravitationally contract and spiral out from their progenitor stars and thus entirely escape or greatly reduce their volatile loss from subsequent stellar mergers.
A NASA document on exoplanet CoRoT-7b also suggests that Saturn-sized gas-giant protoplanets in low hot orbits may transform into terrestrial planets from excessive stellar exposure. The NASA calculated cumulative exposure of super-earth-sized exoplanet CoRoT-7b orbiting at an exceedingly low hot orbital distance of .0172 AU around its .91 solar-mass star over its 1-2 billion year lifespan, suggests a Saturn-sized gas-giant planet before evaporating down to its current size. (Goddard Release No. 10-03, 2010) If former protoplanet CoRoT-7b failed to bifurcate as either an early bifurcation-planet or a late merger-planet, then it largely failed to spiral out from its progenitor star, resulting in its present low hot orbit.
The larger size and lower heliocentric orbit of Jupiter relative to Saturn is curious unless Jupiter spiraled out ahead of Saturn, clearing a path through the accretion disk. Any gas accreted by Jupiter would have been in near Keplerian orbits, having angular momentum commensurate with its orbital distance, and thus Jupiter’s relative angular momentum may have decreased in proportion to its gaseous accretion, perhaps causing Jupiter’s binary components to spiral in and merge before Saturn’s binary components, resulting in its lower ultimate heliocentric orbit.
Venus and Earth are presumably first-generation binary merger-planets. Earth may have formed as a triple merger-planet, or alternatively, our Moon may have spun off as a second-generation bifurcation-object when Earth bifurcated following the LRN at 4,567 Ma. Either case would put the moon on the 3-oxygen-isotope ‘terrestrial fractionation line’. Enstatite chondrites are also on the terrestrial fractionation line, suggesting a telluric origin, perhaps from high-density core material squirted out in a polar trajectory during Earth’s binary merger and then captured and protected for 4-1/2 billion years by one of Jupiters’ inner ‘resonant nurseries’ between two of its strong inner resonances. The anorthosite (plagioclase feldspar) crust of the Moon compared to the terrestrial planets suggests the absence of binary merger following its volatile losses, suggesting that the terrestrial (former binary) planets may have had a similar outer layer prior to binary merger for Venus and Earth or possible core accretion of Mercury within Proxima’s strongest inner resonant nursery.
Venus’ slight retrograde rotation suggests a mass loss of the Sun in its binary merger after Venus’ rotation had synchronized with its orbital period due to resonant coupling between solitary Venus and the former binary components of the Sun, and thus Venus’ slight retrograde rotation may be the best argument against merger-planet formation by spin-off fission during stellar merger in favor of all planets forming as earlier bifurcation-planets. Alternatively, a magnetic coupling between the super-strong magnetic field of our flare-star Sun and Venus’ early super-strong magnetic field may have ‘tidally locked’ Venus’ rotation, in which case its subsequent retrograde rotation would have to be attributed to something else, like a significant mass loss of the Sun during its flare-star phase or a slight orbital inflation of the planets due to resonant coupling with Proxima’s binary pair at around 89 AU.
Mars, compared to Earth, has an elevated volatile content, lower density and an oxygen isotope ratio above the terrestrial fractionation line on a 3-oxygen isotope plot, which may point to an alternative origin for Mars, such as a second-generation bifurcation-planet of Jupiter and therefore, possibly, a giant-brother sibling to Ganymede and Callisto that spiraled out of Jupiter’s Roche sphere as a binary Mars, but we don’t know that the other terrestrial planets Mercury and Venus, don’t also have unique fractionation lines on the 3-oxygen isotope plot which are as different as Mars and Earth. Perhaps a better argument could be made for Mercury rather than Mars as a second-generation planet and sibling to Ganymede and Callisto, particularly due to the seemingly elevated enrichment of sulfur (appearing to relate Io and Mercury) and its intermediate mass between Ganymede and Mars, particularly if a binary Mercury spiraled out of Jupiter’s Roche sphere shortly before the 4.567 Ma stellar merger, resulting in Mercury’s deep immersion in the red giant phase of the LRN, resulting in its oversized iron core compared to the other terrestrial planets.
Progressively higher generation bifurcation/merger-objects (first-and-second-generation planets, second-to-forth-generation dwarf planets, third-to-fifth-generation TNOs and forth-to-sixth-generation comets) would presumably have progressively elevated metallicity, where ‘generational metallicity’ is not the same as stellar metallicity since volatility of proto-objects would also be dependent on temperature which is related to size and distance from the Sun.
If Uranus and Neptune are second-generation fission-planets spun off from a secondary or tertiary bifurcation of stellar components that formed binary Proxima, then their smaller size may result from the increasing metallicity of each subsequent bifurcation, permitting progressively smaller masses to remain gravitationally bound, smaller than Saturn sized. Then their heliocentric distance would be attributed to getting carried along in Proxima’s Roche sphere before spiraling out to be captured by the Sun into heliocentric orbits.
Jupiter’s Galilean moons may be a represent a solar system in miniature with two low-density ‘bifurcation-moons’, Ganymede and Callisto, and two high-density ‘merger-moons’, Io and Europa. As merger-moons spun off in the binary merger of Jupiter, Io and Europa would have been volatilely depleted like the terrestrial planets from their deep immersion inside Jupiter’s expanded ‘red-giant’ phase following its binary merger in their vulnerable, pithy protomoon phase.
Some of the dwarf planets of the solar system may be second- or third-generation ‘bifurcation-dwarf-planets’ that spiraled out of their progenitors’ Roche spheres. Alternately, several may be composite dwarf planets formed by core accretion of smaller (binary) planetesimals within protected resonant nurseries, particularly Jupiter’s 5:2 to 3:1 resonant nursery where Vesta followed by Ceres may have formed. If so, Vesta fell through the 3:1 resonance when its period x mass exceeded a threshold for the mass of Jupiter, but Ceres was able to grow beyond the size of Vesta following Jupiter’s binary merger.
A small piece of very recent evidence may support the resonant nursery hypothesis. The surface of Vesta is bright compared to the Moon and other celestial bodies without protective atmospheres due to the unusual absence of metal nanoparticle darkening as revealed by the Dawn spacecraft. (Pieters, Ammannito et al., 2012) Meteorite impacts expose streaks of brighter igneous material on celestial bodies, but micrometeorite ‘sputtering’ rather quickly darkens the bright igneous material on most other bodies without protective atmospheres. However, Jupiter’s resonant nursery just beyond the 3:1 resonance may confer protection to Vesta by trapping dust spiraling in toward the Sun due to Poynting-Robertson drag (P-R drag).
The 100 Km and larger trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), particularly the cold classical Kuiper belt objects composed of similar-sized binaries, may be higher-generation ‘bifurcation-TNOs’. Both the larger dwarf planets and the smaller TNOs are likely to be bifurcation-objects rather than merger-objects since they were able to spiral out of their progenitor’s respective Roche spheres, and merger-objects are typically found closer to their progenitors than bifurcation-objects. TNOs may be the right size to precipitate authigenic ‘gneiss-dome’ sedimentary cores when their binary components spiral in and merge to initiate aqueous differentiation.
Finally, TNOs may spawn bifurcation-comets which may precipitate authigenic S-type granite sedimentary cores which likewise initiate aqueous differentiation when their binary components spiral in to merged, forming peanut-shaped ‘contact-binary’ comets. Next-generation K-felsic S-type granite versus the more balanced felsic/mafic layering in gneiss domes is curious if their comet oceans don’t contain the normalized CI chondrite residues. Lower temperatures of salt-water comet oceans would dissolve more carbonates, but less sodium etc. since most dissolved species have a positive solubility with respect to temperature, but smaller size and lower temperature may lead to earlier ‘freeze out’ resulting in smaller sedimentary cores proportional to the melted ocean volume such that comet oceans are able to hold proportionally more solute than TNO oceans. Additionally, the ultra-low buoyancy of the micro-gravity comet-core oceans would hold precipitates in suspension until they had crystallized to a large grain size, and thus frozen comet oceans may trap substantial precipitates.
If S-type granite are sedimentary comet cores, then I-type granite may be plutonic granite formed from partial melting of differentiated dwarf-planet cores, following diagenesis and lithification. The incorporation of highly-chemically-reduced solar plasma condensates from the common-envelope/LRN/flare-star phases of the binary solar merger into later generation dwarf planets may contribute high Gibbs free energy dust and ice which contributes to internal heating, leading to partial melting, forming granites. Young leucogranites may be syn-collisional granites formed on Earth by tectonic collisions, and finally, young A-type granites may be terrestrial as well forming over terrestrial ‘hot spots’.
The long-period comets and presumably dwarf planets may have been carried into the Oort cloud predominantly in Proxima’s inner resonant nurseries, with the strongest 3:1 to 5:2 resonant nursery accounting for the largest dwarf planets. And binary-comet moons which were themselves binary moons of larger binary dwarf planets may have caused TNOs to first spiral in and initiate aqueous differentiation forming (mantled) gneiss domes. Then as binary comets spiraled out of their TNO Roche spheres to become dwarf-comet-centric (binary) moons, their continuing core-collapse evaporation may have caused the TNOs to spiral in and merge with their (binary) dwarf planets, forming gneiss-dome TNO cores within larger differentiated dwarf-planet ‘platforms’ like the Appalachian platform. Additionally and/or alternatively, the hypothesized super concentration of objects at the solar-system barycenter between Proxima and the Sun may be the cause of comet mergers with TNO gneiss domes and dwarf-planet platforms.
Proxima’s inner resonant nurseries are hypothesized to have ‘shepherded’ comets and dwarf planets into the Oort cloud as Proxima spiraled out some 3 light years from the Sun. Vesta falling through Jupiter’s 3:1 resonance corresponds to Sedna falling through Proxima’s 3:1 resonance as calculated in the following section, COMPANION STAR, PROXIMA (CENTAURI), and slightly-smaller Vesta scale dwarf planets falling through Proxima’s 3:1 resonance may have established the inner boundary of the inner Oort cloud, understood to begin between 2,500 and 3,000 AU from the Sun. The strongest 3:1 resonance doesn’t explain the overwhelming prevalence of far-smaller 1-10 km comets, but weaker resonances further out than Proxima’s 3:1 resonance may fall through with considerably-smaller masses, and weaker resonances closer in may propel comets beyond the strongest 3:1 resonance.
As each succeeding generation of bifurcations decreases in size, its compressive heating from gravitational collapse lessens as well, perhaps condensing ice rather than melting it and perhaps forestalling aqueous differentiation until binary-components later spiral in and merge. Endothermic chemical reactions are also known to contribute to clamping the internal temperatures in protostars and likely in giant planets as well, with the conversion of molecular hydrogen to ionized hydrogen clamping the core temperature at about 2000 K.
Binary Proxima and binary Sun may have spiraled out from their mutual barycenter, fueled by core collapse of close-binary pairs. Binary Sun may have merged in an LRN at 4567 Ma and binary Proxima 4 billion years later in a second, smaller LRN at about 452 Ma at a distance of about 182,000 AU from the Sun, ending their close-binary fuelled ‘orbit inflation’. If core collapse is a thermodynamic process with an entropic arrow which tends to transfer orbital energy from larger objects to smaller objects through gravitational interactions, then the solar-system barycenter may be a particularly-efficient realization of this core-collapse mechanism for elongating heliocentric orbits with barycentric aphelia. Thus the barycenter may have perturbed objects formed in the planetary realm out into the Oort cloud, elongating their orbits as they spiraled out during 4 billion years of orbit inflation. As objects major axes increase along with their eccentricities, their aphelions continue to track the orbit inflation of the barycenter as their perihelia progressively sank into the planetary realm of the inner solar system. Following the Proxima’s hypothesized merger around 542 Ma, close-binary fueled orbit inflation has been replaced by the perturbation of the ‘soft’ Sun-Proxima wide binary by close encounters with passing stars like Alpha Centauri which replaces continuous orbit inflation with episodic orbit inflation.
Binary objects, however, may tend to circularize their orbits, explaining the low inclination and low eccentricity of the largely-binary ‘cold-classical’ population of 100 km and larger TNOs. Thus binaries tracking the barycenter out into the Oort cloud with their aphelions may fight eccentricity increases by spiraling in and transferring angular momentum from their close binary orbits to their wide-binary (heliocentric) orbits. When the binary components ultimately spiral in and merge, initiating ‘aqueous differentiation’ in the merged contact binary, additional perturbation by the barycenter causes their perihelia to spiral down into the inner solar system.
And the super concentration of IOC orbits at their aphelion, where their orbital speeds are the lowest, promotes low speed mergers, particularly with the largest dwarf planet objects which gravitationally draw in smaller Type I and Type II binary and contact-binary planetesimals.
If the merger of Proxima’s binary pair in an LRN at 542 Ma precipitated the Cambrian Explosion, then perhaps mergers of binary-planets and binary-dwarf-planets at the solar-system barycenter precipitated worldwide glaciations on Earth, most notably the Marinoan glaciation, ending the Cryogenian period known as Snowball Earth. A binary-(dwarf)-planetary merger would overwhelm the Sun’s heliosphere and the Earth’s magnetosphere, exposing Earth to planetary-merger radiation and Galactic cosmic rays that might create increased cloud cover, like the effect of ionizing radiation in a cloud chamber. Increased cloud cover would reflect more of the Sun’s radiation, cooling the Earth, and the resulting ice cover itself would have raised Earth’s albedo, sustaining the period of glaciation. Since carbonate solubility is inversely proportional to ocean temperature, its dissolved concentration would have increased as the oceans cooled. Perhaps the slow-moving debris wave caused solar flares, raising ocean temperatures, and/or perhaps the debris wave debris-wave soot covered glaciers, exposed land mass and even the exposed ocean surface lowering the planet’s albedo, causing the oceans to dump their carbonate load as authigenic cap carbonate. An overshoot of ocean temperature would have increased the dissolved content of the majority of the other mineral and ion species with positive solubility vs. temperature. Then as ocean temperatures cooled back to normal temperatures, the ocean precipitated its dissolved mineral load as authigenic sea-floor cements, which lithified and metamorphosed into argillite facies over the cap carbonate.
LUMINOUS RED NOVA (LRN) ISOTOPES:
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) merger of the close binary pair (binary sun) then the ratio of the two heavier isotopes to 16O (17O/16O and 18O/16O) plotted against one another on the oxygen three-isotope graph provides a good indicator for the degree of LRN contamination. Additionally, the degree of mass fractionation can be inferred by the slope of materials plotted on the graph, and the combination of the two effects helps to determine homogeneity or heterogeneity of early solar system materials and the relationships of various materials to one another.
CI chondrites plot in a tight grouping in the upper right hand corner of the oxygen three-isotope graph, whereas carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous minerals (CCAM) plot on a 1 slope toward the lower left corner of the graph. The 1 slope of CCAM merely indicates perfect mixing with no mass fractionation due to chemical reactions with rapid temperature gradients, while the shift towards the lower left of the graph indicates 16O (LRN) enrichment.
The ultra-high rate of jostling between atoms and molecules in a liquid state (aqueous or magma) on earth 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 temperature window’ due to chemical reactions with far-lower temperature gradients. The result is that almost total mass fractionation occurs in a liquid state (which plots with 1/2 slope on the oxygen three-isotope graph) while almost total mixing occurs in a condensation state (which plots with 1 slope on the oxygen three-isotope graph). (Mars rock also plots with a 1/2 slope above the TFL on the oxygen three-isotope plot, indicating formation from a slightly different 17O/18O reservoir.)
Over the 3 million years following the LRN, presolar material may have swirled back into the inner solar system, raising the 18O/16O and 17O/16O ratios over time as these increasingly presolar isotope ratios incorporated themselves into chondrules and chondrites. And the ultra-intense magnetic field of the flare-star phase of the sun following the LRN may have melted interplanetary dust aggregates to form the chondrules.
The LRN may have formed a majority or all of the SRs of our early solar system by (helium burning, r-process and alpha-process) nucleosynthesis : 7Be, 10Be, 14C, 22Na, 26 Al, 36Cl, 41Ca, 44Ti, 53Mn, 54Mn, 60Fe, 63Ni, 91Nb, 92Nb, 107Pd, 129I, 146Sm, 182Hf and 244Pu, and also enriched the sun with stable isotopes, 12C, 14N and 16O. These LRN isotopes represent enriched solar, not depleted chondrite.
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 D, 17O, 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 various-size stellar merger LRNe, we will have to draw indirect conclusions from anomalous solar enrichment and depletion compared to presolar CI chondrites and neighboring stars of similar size and age in accordance with principles of galactic chemical evolution.
Our sun appears to be enriched in at least three primary isotopes: 12C, 16O and 28Si, compared to their secondary s-process isotopes: 13C, 17O-and-18O and 29Si-and-30Si respectively. Oxygen-16 is a primary isotope which should decrease over time in the galaxy as the secondary 17O and 18O increase over time, but instead, the sun is enriched with 16O/18O compared to the solar neighborhood, lending support for a solar LRN. Additionally, the 18O/17O ratio of the interstellar medium today is about 3.5 compared to the solar value of 5.2. (Meyer et al., 2008)
The several suspected LRNe that have been observed to date indicate that they reach a higher luminosity than white-dwarf novae. Novae reach temperatures of (2-3)x10^8 K (Nittler and Hoppe, 2005), but stellar merger LRNe may bear some semblance to the far-hotter Type II supernovae (SNe) due to the substantial gravitational collapse occurring in both cases. And like SNe, LRNe may radiate most of their gravitational energy in the form of neutrinos, facilitating gravitational collapse. If the LRN created the silicon anomaly of our sun, then peak core temperatures may have reached several billions of Kelvins, enabling the alpha process to create excess 28Si, along with the lighter alpha process elements: 12C, 16O, 20Ne, 24Mg, and r-process SRs.
The significant 28Si isotope enrichment of our solar system compared with older, presolar, mainstream silicon-carbide (SiC) grains in carbonaceous chondrites is evident on a oxygen three-isotope graph where solar values plot to the lower left corner of the grouping of mainstream SiC grains. (Nittler and Hoppe, 2005, Fig. 2) However, glalactic chemical evolution (GCE) predicts a trend over time toward the heavier secondary isotopes, 29Si and 30Si, so our solar system bucks this trend, apparently having been reset by some mechanism. Presolar X-type SiC grains from SNe plot far below even the solar value, suggesting the possibility of a high-degree of supernova contamination to explain away the solar 28Si enrichment; however, supernova grains are only 1% as prevalent as mainstream grains in solar-system chondrites which is insufficient to explain this enrichment. So again we come back to an LRN as the most likely cause of solar enrichment.
The SR 26Al from the early solar system has been suggested as a SN input near in place and time to the early solar system, perhaps even initiating the gravitational collapse of our protosun. But this local supernova hypothesis has difficulty explaining the canonical ratio of 26Al to 27Al in Ca-Al-rich inclusions (CAIs), whereas an LRN solar origin requires it.
Another difficulty for an SN source is the general 17O enrichment in oxygen-rich presolar grains, unlike the 16O enrichment of our sun. (Nittler, 2005) So an ad-hoc mass-independent theory was developed to explain the solar 16O enrichment which involves self-shielding of CO from ultraviolet photo-dissociation in molecular clouds and/or the early solar system. The LRN model, by comparison, creates the 16O enrichment directly and also neatly explains the solar 16O enrichment compared to the presolar planetary-accretion-disk.
Additional evidence against a local supernova input is the extreme heterogeneity of isotopes (e.g., 12C/13C = 5–10,000) in presolar grains of supernova origin that formed with live 44Ti with a 50 year half life. (Nittler, 2005)
Finally, the LRN may have also have burned enough hydrogen and helium in the LRN to raise the metallicity of our sun compared to nearby stars of similar age and galactocentric distance. Our sun at its present 8.5 kpc galactocentric distance corresponds to stars of solar age having formed at 6.6 +- 0.9 kpc (Wielen Fuchs and Dettbarn)
COMPANION STAR, PROXIMA (CENTAURI):
The collapsing molecular cloud that formed our solar system may have bifurcated into a binary pair of protostars due to excess angular momentum of the collapsing cloud. And the result of two additional bifurcations was a quadruple star with interplay, from which hierarchy arose to form two close-binary stellar pairs separated by an ever-increasing wide-binary distance. The larger central close-binary stellar pair (binary Sun) was about 9 times the mass of its close-binary stellar companion star (binary Proxima), and both wide-binary components orbited their common center of mass, the solar-system barycenter (SS-barycenter) which was 9 times closer to the (binary) Sun than to (binary) Proxima.
Resonant (core-collapse) perturbation between the central binary pair and binary Proxima likely drove a rapid wide-binary ‘orbit inflation’ out to a separation of 89 AU (which represents the wide-binary distance, not the 8/9ths distance of binary Proxima to its orbit around the SS-barycenter). Additional coupling between the central binary pair with binary Jupiter, binary Saturn and with the accretion disk may have also greatly contributed to the progressive energy and angular-momentum transfer from the close-binary stellar components, causing them to quickly spiral in. Binary Sun may have spiraled in and merged in a (primary) luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma, while binary Proxima may have similarly spiraled in and merged in a secondary smaller LRN about 4 billion years later at 542 Ma, with a wide-binary separation between the Sun and Proxima of about 182,600 AU, with the SS-barycenter 20,000 AU from the Sun.
Proxima’s present 270,000 AU distance from the Sun may be due to its recent close encounter with the passing star, Alpha Centauri, putting Proxima into a temporary, unbound hyperbolic orbit around Alpha Centauri. Following this close encounter, Proxima may return to its former barycentric orbit near its former 182,600 wide-binary distance. It’s barycentric distance would be about 182,600 AU – 20,000 AU = 162,600 AU.
“If Shoemaker was correct in his estimate that virtually all terrestrial craters of diameter >100 km are produced by long period comets, then the phase and plane crossing period of the solar system about the Galactic disk should be consistent with the ages of accurately dated large craters. A time series analysis of these ages in which the solar oscillation phase is fixed to be consistent with observations indicates a maximal correlation for a period of 36±2 Myr.” (Matese et al, 1998)
At a wide-binary distance of 182,600 AU, the two-body Sun-Proxima orbital period around the barycenter is 73.6 Myr, just about twice Shoemaker’s 36 Myr figure and well within the ±2 Myr allowable window for >100 km craters. The Galactic core perturbation occurs twice in each orbit of the Sun around the barycenter, at conjunction and at opposition with the Galactic core from the perspective of the SS-barycenter. So the tides of the Galactic core preferentially stretch planetesimal orbits pinned by their SS-barycenter aphelia, bleeding down the angular momentum of the heliocentric orbits and causing their perihelia to spiral down into the planetary realm of the inner solar system.
With Proxima’s orbit temporarily stretched out to 270,000 AU by Alpha Centauri, the Oort cloud population with 20,000 AU aphelia that were formerly aligned with the SS-barycenter has undergone apsidal precession, apparently along Proxima’s altered orbital plane as measured by (Matese and Whitman, 1999) and (Matese and Whitmire, 2011).
Proxima was recently discovered to have a possible binary companion by the Hubble Space Telescope with the Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) in 1997 (Schultz et al., 1998), although two subsequent searches using the Hubble Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 with better resolution failed to locate a companion (Golimowski and Schroeder, 1998), (Schroeder et al., 2000), so the binary pair must have already merged at some time in the past to form the solitary red-dwarf flare star, Proxima, and lunar spherule counts may suggest the timing of the merger.
The possibility of Proxima’s membership in our solar system has not been explored, but the likelihood of a bound state with Alpha Centauri has been examined. The Hipparcos satellite of the European Space Agency measured the proper motion of more than 100,000 stars and published the Hipparcos Catalogue in 1997, and from this new data, Wertheimer and Laughlin, 2006, calculated the probability of a bound state with Alpha Centauri. In a Monte Carlo simulation, 44% of the trial systems are bound, with an unbound probability of 55%. Previously using older data, Anosova, 1994, had found Proxima to be in an unbound around AC “with the probability of P = 1.0″ (Anosova et al., 1994). Wertheimer and Laughlin repeated their calculations using Anovosa’s data and similarly found an unbound state with a probability of 1.0. (Wertheimer and Laughlin, 2006)
The Monte Carlo simulation only shows the possibility of an unbound state of Proxima to Alpha Centauri and does not speak to the possibility of Proxima a solar companion, but another study may provide indirect evidence for membership. John Matese and Patrick Whitman calculated the mass, location and orbital plane of a hypothetical perturbator of new Outer Oort Cloud (OOC) comets. (Matese and Whitman, 1999), (Matese and Whitmire, 2011) Their model suggests a jovian-mass perturbator, designated “Tyche”, located on the galactic longitude of the ascending node = 319 degrees with an inclination of 103 degrees (or the opposite direction) in the innermost region of the OOC around 20,000 AU. Proxima Centauri with galactic coordinates: L = 313.9400 B = -1.9273 presently lies very nearly on this best-fit-perturbator orbital plane. The recently-completed Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has ruled out the possibility of a brown dwarf in the Oort cloud, “a 23 Jupiter mass object would be visible up to 7 to 10 light years”. (Lakdawalla, 2009)
Proxima (Centauri), has the wrong radial velocity and proper motion, but this could be attributed to its temporary close encounter with the much-larger binary-star Alpha Centauri AB.
Could Proxima with .123 Ms (solar masses) and a distance of 270,000 AU be the Oort cloud perturbator designated ‘Tyche’? Even with its vastly-larger mass than a hypothesized 20,000 AU Jupiter-mass planet, Tyche, the distance is prohibitive since perturbation is known to be proportional to the inverse-cube of distance; however, a SS-barycenter at 20,000 AU may provide the perceived perturbation prior to Proxima’s close encounter with Alpha Centauri.
The barycenter of the solar system between Proxima and the Sun is the center of mass or ‘balance point’ of the solar system around which both the Sun and Proxima orbit with the same orbital period, so Proxima with .123 the mass of the Sun orbits 8.13 times further from the barycenter than the Sun, so the present distance from the Sun to the barycenter (ignoring Alpha Centauri) is: 1.00b = .123(270,000 – b)
where b = 29,600 AU, putting the barycenter 1/9.13 of the distance to Proxima.
“Culler et al.  studied 179 spherules from 1 g of soil collected by the Apollo 14 astronauts, and found evidence for a decline in the meteoroid flux to the Moon from 3000 million years ago (Ma) to 500 Ma, followed by a fourfold increase in the cratering rate over the last 400 Ma.” (Levine et al., 2005) With an exponential wide-binary ‘orbit inflation’ of Proxima, the ss-barycenter would likewise have spiraled out at an exponential rate, hypothetically pumping exponentially-increasing quantities of energy and angular momentum into Oort cloud planetesimals with barycentric aphelia, progressively reducing the tidal affect of the Galactic core over time, as is evident in the decreasing cratering rate from 3000 Ma to 500 Ma. But orbit inflation came to a halt when Proxima’s binary components hypothetically spiraled in to merge at 542 Ma, after which the tidal influence of the Galactic core became predominant, progressively stretching planetesimal orbits when their major axes were aligned with the Galactic core, twice per orbit of the Sun around the ss-barycenter. Close-binary planetesimals were still able to resist orbital elongation, however, by converting angular momentum from their close-binary orbits to their heliocentric orbits, partially circularizing their heliocentric orbits. But converting angular momentum from their close-binary orbits caused close-binary orbits to spiral in and ultimately merge, ending their ability to resist the tidal elongation by the Galactic core.
A log plot of Proxima’s distance from the Sun over time, with Proxima at 89 AU by 4,567 Ma and 182,600 AU by 542 Ma places the SS-barycenter directly over the Plutinos, the trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) in a 2/3 orbital resonance with Neptune, at 3,830 Ma, near at the height of the late heavy bombardment (LHB). The linear log-plot equation has a slope (-1/1215.24) and y-intercept (5.7075):
y = -x/1215.24 + 5.7075
where x is time in millions of years (Myr) and y is the log base 10 of distance in (log(AU))
Note: the orbit-inflation rate of Proxima is actually proportional to the period rather than the semi-major axis, and the period is proportional to the two-thirds power of the semi-major axis, P is proportional to a^(2/3), as in Kepler’s third law, but the exponent washes out in the logarithm anyway
An observation makes a comparison between the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt; although the asteroid belt is protected by the inner resonances of a much-larger planet in a much-lower orbit, but with Proxima beyond the Kuiper belt, the comparison of inner-resonant ‘nurseries’ is more similar. Curiously, the asteroids avoid Jupiter’s inner-resonances of the ‘Kirkwood gaps’, while the TNOs appear to flock to Neptune’s outer resonances, which is perhaps a difference between inner-and outer-resonant nurseries.
The most-massive portion of the asteroid belt is centered between Jupiter’s 3:1 and 5:2 inner resonances, which will be designated Jupiter’s primary ‘inner resonant nursery’. Two narrow dust belts at 40 AU and 165 AU around Subgiant, Kappa Coronae Borealis (Bonsor et al., 2013) may lend support to this inner-resonant nursery location as well as a 1:3 outer resonant nursery. A Brown dwarf is suspected to be sustaining both dust belts. Using Kepler’s third law of planetary motion, a brown dwarf at about 79 AU from Kappa Coronae Borealis, puts the 40 AU dust belt between its 3:1 and 5:2 resonances with the outer 165 AU belt at its 1:3 resonance. While Neptune only has 4 known TNOs in its 1:3 resonance, Proxima’s inner 3:1 resonance with Proxima at 89 AU may have provided a backstop for artificially injecting TNOs into Neptune’s 2:3 resonance, including Pluto. If so, then the hypothesized brown dwarf around Kappa Coronae Borealis may point to the outer 1:3 resonance as the outermost if not strongest of the primary outer resonances for material swept up by a binary brown dwarf spiraling out. Interestingly, a brown dwarf at 79 AU is not far off from our own hypothesized Proxima at 89 AU at 4,567 Ma, suggesting that Proxima also carried dust and planetesimals out in these two relative locations, between its inner 3:1 and 5:2 resonances and at its outer 1:3 resonance.
And if 4 Vesta fell through Jupiter’s inner 3:1 resonance due to its 2.59E20 kg mass at a distance of 2.362 AU, would this correspond to any TNOs having fallen through Proxima’s 3:1 resonance? Indeed, applying a 2/3 power to distance, once again corresponding to Kepler’s third law of planetary motion, very closely equates 4 Vesta at Jupiter with 90377 Sedna (1E21 kg, 518.57 AU semi-major axis) at Proxima:
Sedna Period * Sedna Mass/Proxima mass = 2.64E-7
518.57^(2/3) * 1E21 kg / (.123 Ms * 1.989E30 kg/Ms) = 2.64E-7
Vesta Period * Vesta mass/Jupiter mass = 2.42E-7
2.362^(2/3) * 2.59E20 kg / 1.899E27 kg = 2.42E-7
If the same calculation were applied to Pluto and Eris, they would have fallen through Proxima’s 3:1 resonance straddling Saturn’s orbit, which indicates that they may have been subsequently displaced outward by the giant planets. Working backwards from the inner edge of the inner Oort cloud (IOC), thought to be at about 2,500-3,000 AU, suggests that 3.1E20 kg TNOs (very close to the relative mass of 4 Vesta, 2.59E20 kg) fell through Proxima’s 3:1 inner resonance at 3,000 AU, perhaps establishing the IOC’s inner edge:
(2.64E-7 * (.123 Ms * 1.989E30 kg/Ms) / 3,000^(2/3) = 3.1E20 kg
So the inner edge of the IOC may be populated by Vesta-mass TNOs along with smaller comet-sized masses spun off during binary TNO mergers (‘merger-comets’) when the SS-barycenter passed through between 2,500 AU >> 1,639 Ma and 3,000 AU >> 1,543 Ma. Then as the SS-barycenter caught up with the inner edge of the IOC and slowly overtook it, the SS-barycenter may have caused binary TNOs and binary comets to spiral out to maintain barycentric aphelia, causing the binary components to spiral in until they merged, initiating aqueous differentiation.
DWARF-PLANET AND COMET DIFFERENTIATION:
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).
Resonant nurseries like the asteroid belt between particularly-strong resonances with giant planets or companion stars may permit core accretion of planetesimals, but otherwise, most planets may form by fission in bifurcations of protostars, forming ‘bifurcation-planets’ due to excess angular momentum or subsequently during spin off during binary stellar mergers, forming ‘merger-planets’. Smaller (higher-generation) dwarf planets may in turn form from bifurcations of protoplanets or their subsequent mergers.
When binary components of dwarf planets and comets spiral in and merge, they are hypothesized to initiate aqueous differentiation which is the subject of this section. But the gravitational collapse of proto-dwarf planets and protocomets will result in the rise of internal temperatures above melting point of low-melting-point ices (such as carbon monoxide, methane and nitrogen ices), causing sublimation and venting through fissures and porosity. These gases may deposit (through ‘deposition’, the opposite of sublimation) closer to the surface at lower temperatures and pressures creating a layered object with progressively higher-temperature ices toward the core. This ‘sublimation-differentiation’ process will tend to hollow out the core of planetesimals, resulting in subsidence, perhaps creating a ruble pile appearance to the object.
Aqueous differentiation is initiated when binary planetesimals (dwarf planets and comets) spiral in and merge, forming salt water oceans in their cores awash with nebular dust, providing a vast food supply for chemoautotroph microbes which contribute to internal heating and vastly increase the range of minerals formed. Dissolution and suspension of nebular dust and their reaction products raise the concentrations of the various species in solution. Upon reaching solubility saturation, minerals precipitate and continue to grow in size through crystallization in the micro-gravity of planetesimal-core oceans. When negative buoyancy of growing mineral grains overcomes the agitation keeping them in suspension, they settle out of solution onto the growing sediment core and get 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 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 escape 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 to the gaseous state, causing it to nucleate and bubble 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.
The solubility of aluminum salts is particularly sensitive to pH, 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 felsic feldspar precipitation. The drop in gas pressure, converting carbonic acid back into CO2 and H2O would cause CO2 to nucleate on any floating material including precipitated feldspar grains, floating and trapping them at the ice/water boundary ‘surface’ where they would continue to grow by crystallization.
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 CO2 nucleation, then the floating foamy mass collecting at the surface would tend to have a felsic composition.
Silica gel and organic material would tend to lend the floating mass a degree of mechanical competency such that forms into a cohesive floating mat. Then as gas pressure over the ocean began to rise again, the CO2 component of the foamy mat would dissolve back into solution, causing the mat to become waterlogged. And mechanical competency (toughness) would cause the mat to tend to stretch and bunch into ‘ptygmatic folds’ (disharmonic and convolute folds) and ‘boudinage’ rather than break apart as it sank.
In this way a cyclical pH variation may create 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 still as the core cools down, 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, causing the layers to fold in a process of ‘circumferential folding’. With the expulsion of water, diagnensis gives way to lithification, and the folded sedimentary layers lithify into migmatite and gneiss. Diagenesis of sediments on earth also results in volume reduction, but due to its enormous size, no perceptible reduction in circumference occurs and hence no circumferential folding occurs on earth. Conventional geology, by comparison, struggles to explain small-scale isoclinal folding, and in general, dismisses sharply-folded metamorphic rock as self-evident. 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.
High-grade (terrestrial) metamorphism is evoked in conventional geology to explain the terrestrial origin of the minerals in gneiss, but many of the same minerals can form in authigenic clay at more moderate temperatures and pressures on earth. One major difference between gneiss and clay or mudstone 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, but in the microgravity deep inside icy oceans, dispersion suspends larger gneiss-sized minerals, allowing them to grow dramatically larger through ‘crystallization’ before finally settling out of solution.
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) This basement horizon of quartzite, carbonate rock and conglomerate a gneiss-dome mantle can not be explained in conventional geology except with ad hoc tinkering, but in the comet model, the sedimentary layers are merely authigenic growth rings, and conglomerate and greywacke is merely comet-core rock fractured by Oort cloud comet-planetesimal mergers within the companion’s resonances.
Any competitive model of migmatites and gneiss must explain both mineral segregation and isoclinal (acute-angle) folding, but additionally, small-scale folding occurs on already segregated layers, that is, comet sediments are laid down in alternating layers and only afterwards undergo circumferential folding during diagenesis, but the conventional metamorphic model does not offer a cause-and-effect explanation for this observed sequence. (In the comet model, ptygmatic folds (disharmonic and convolute folds) and boudinage of leucosomes are the exception, since this type of folding and bunching occurs when the felsic layer is laid down and not later during diagenesis.)
While metamorphism may be a rigorous science at the crystalline level where heat and pressure can shown experimentally to transform one mineral type or crystalline form into another, its extrapolation above the crystalline level to explain migmatite differentiation and folding may be invalid.
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 mineral ores in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents.
The authigenic comet model makes little distinction between layered granite (supposed igneous), layered gneiss (supposed metamorphic) and supposed, clastic sedimentary rock, considering them merely growth rings, but to conventional geology, these processes are entirely different. In particular, the conglomerate, quartzite and dolomite sedimentary rock that often concentrically surrounds the gneiss and schist in mantled gneiss domes requires ugly ad hoc tinkering in conventional geology.
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.
Conventional geology has a problem in attributing pure (homogenous) orothoquartzite to the disintegration of (heterogeneous) plutonic granite, whereas authigenic quartz precipitation and crystallization in the microgravity oceans of contact binaries does not.
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.
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.
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.
ABIOTIC OIL AND COAL:
The premise for abiotic hydrocarbon creation in comet impacts originates with the high compressibility of carbon-bearing comet ices. In comet impacts, compressive heating of carbon ices such as methane and ethane cause endothermic chemical reactions (ECRs) that absorb energy and clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of rock, greatly reducing the quantity of impactite melt-rock suevite.
In an impact shock wave, highly-compressible ices will undergo significantly-greater, adiabatic (PdV) compressional heating than less-compressible crystalline minerals, and greatly-elevated temperatures from compressive heating force ECRs. Experimentally, methane converts to long alkane chains and free hydrogen at 60 GPa and 4509 K (Li, Zhang et al., 2011).
Type II planetesimals that accreted from material with an elevated proportion of solar-plasma condensates may have a lower average oxidation state than comets with a more presolar composition, and one manifestation of this lower oxidation state may be elevated concentrations of hydrocarbon ices and carbon monoxide ice. Comets that have undergone ‘sublimation differentiation’ will have a layered composition with progressively lower melting-point ices in the outer layers. As internal heating from accretion, gravitational contraction and radioactive decay sublimes lower melting-point ices in the core, the sublimed vapors escape toward the surface which deposit at lower temperatures and pressures higher up.
A host of other ECRs also occur upon impact, but many of the reactants almost-immediately recombine as the shock-wave pressure relents since the reaction products would be intimately mixed at high temperatures and super-high pressures. The ECRs and subsequent exothermic reactions lower the power of impact, clamping the pressure of the impact shock wave and extending its duration by the subsequent recombination of the intimately-mixed ECR products. This lowering of the impact power due to ECRs may be largely responsible for preventing the melting and vaporization of terrestrial target rock and comet-core rock during comet impacts. And this absence of a melt-rock (suevite) signature may obscur comet impact craters from detection by geologists.
ECR products that liberate pure oxygen and other highly-reactive chalcogens and halogens would be particularly susceptible to spontaneous recombination; however, carbon-bearing ices creating long-chain hydrocarbons that liberate pure hydrogen would be far less likely to spontaneously recombine for several reasons. For one thing, liberated hydrogen may act as a protective buffer, scavenging more highly-reactive oxidizers even before the shock-wave pressure drops below the pressure permitting recombination of hydrocarbons and hydrogen. Also, the small size of the hydrogen molecule greatly increases its diffusion rate away from the hydrocarbons. So liberated hydrogen in ECRs of hydrocarbon ices may reduce the recombination of hydrocarbons and of other heavier and less-reactive ECR reaction products created in the impact shock wave. In this way, a portion of the impact energy may be sequestered in chemical energy in the form of petroleum, creating abiotic oil.
Secondary exothermic recombination of ECR products 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 primary chemical reactions in atmospheric testing may involve nitrogen compounds (xO2 + N2 2NOx).
In the West we regard 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, but coal and petroleum in sedimentary rock is likely of abiotic comet-impact origin.
For a comet falling from infinity toward the sun at earth’s orbit, the difference in kinetic energy between a comet hitting the planet head on in its orbit around the sun and a comet catching up with the planet is a factor of 19. So particularly, high-velocity comet impacts may create many times the proportion of ECR hydrocarbons as low-velocity impacts and of higher molecular weights as well. Coal and shungite may simply be metamorphism of heavy-molecular-weight impact oil and tar. 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.
The primary coal cyclothem of the Pennsylvanian Subperiod may have formed in a sub-continental-scale debris flow from a Carboniferous comet impact, creating the upper Hudson Bay (impact crater). A debris flow of that extent would have bulldozed the forest and soil as it went, leaving chevron-shaped land forms which settled out to form the primary cyclothem of the Pennsylvanian Subperiod coal deposits. And subsequent cyclothems may be merely a reworking of the primary cyclothem before final burial and lithification into coal. The settling process may have 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.
Type II Oort cloud comets may vary widely in their volatile content, as discovered in a study of methane to water ratios of 8 Oort cloud comets, which found a which varied from .18 for S4 to 1.4 for Hale-Bopp. (Mumma et al., 2003) Some of this observed ratio could be due to the relative degree of ‘volatile differentiation’ between the warmer center and the cooler surface, and some depletion could be due to volatile exhaustion in the inner solar system.
Spontaneous re-reaction of ECR products in comet impacts on the Laurentide ice sheet at 12,900 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 crater, 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 distorted by the impact.
Several common classes of meteorwrongs (often with apparent fusion crust) frequently show up at meteorite labs where they are rejected as probable industrial slag. Instead, these common meteorwrongs may be impact slag formed in small, secondary comet-ice impacts fractured off the main comet body, even though ‘slag’ is technically hot molten material while ‘dross’ is cold solidified slag.
The relative size ratio of secondary comet ice impacts compared to a primary impact may be the relative crater size between the 450 m Ivy Rock (impact-crater) quarry just north of Conshohocken, PA and the 450 Km Nastapoka Arc of the Hudson Bay.
This section particularly addresses secondary-ice impacts, likely having a highly-volatile carbon-monoxide ice component capable of chemically reducing iron oxides in cometary dust to metallic iron at super-high impact temperatures and pressures.
Planetesimals are hypothesized to form in close-binary pairs by gravitational collapse in the 1:1 resonance between the wide-binary Sun-Proxima pair. Perturbation by the companion-star Proxima (Centauri) spiraling out through the Oort cloud followed by the solar system barycenter between Proxima and the Sun promotes core collapse, merging close-binary pairs of planetesimals to form peanut-shaped ‘contact binaries’. The gravitational and kinetic energy of merger may initiate aqueous differentiation, melting water ice in their cores.
Gravitational contraction of protocomets formed during bifurcation of larger dwarf comets or alternatively, comets formed by core-accretion in resonant nurseries of Jupiter or Proxima may sublime the most volatile ices in their cores which escape to (re)deposit at lower temperatures closer to the surface. So the most volatile ices in comets should be found near the surface where they are the most likely to slough off in Earth’s atmosphere, creating smaller secondary impacts.
Impact slag containing chunks of metallic iron may be formed in secondary impact events on carbonate rock terrain, as in the Great Limestone Valley of Central Pennsylvania or the Conestoga Formation in Southeastern PA. Chunks of comet ice of sufficient size to arrive at interplanetary speed may create conditions similar to pig-iron furnaces, chemically reducing iron-oxides in comet dust to metallic iron. And target limestone may act as a fluxing or wetting agent, causing microscopic metallic-iron spherules to merge, forming macroscopic-sized blebs of metallic iron embedded in basaltic-like impact slag.
Magnets works well for finding impact slag containing metallic iron.
Iron-furnace slag from several historic iron furnaces in Pennsylvania were examined macroscopically and microscopically in order to rule out a man-made origin of hypothesized impact slag.
By comparison, suspected impact-slag (meteorwrongs) frequently contain millimeter to centimeter-sized metallic-iron blebs or larger which are orders of magnitude greater than the microscopic spherules in verifiable industrial iron-furnace slag. Only a catastrophic event (natural or man made) could ‘freeze’ molten globules of iron of this size against a density ratio between molten slag and molten iron of 2-1/2 times (250%). The catastrophic impact shock-wave that forms the molten slag in the relatively-compressible comet ice by PdV heating nearly as quickly relents, catastrophically cooling the slag and freezing masses of metallic iron in basaltic slag rock.
The percentage of metallic iron in impact slag would be incredible for an industrial origin, particularly considering the 100 kg size of some of the native iron chunks associated with hypothesized impact slag. Additionally, the fractal shapes of ‘impact iron’ are strong evidence for a natural origin, and the occasional forged ‘mushrooming’ of some larger chunks are indicative of a natural catastrophe. But the largest recognized native iron deposits on Disko Island, Greenland and in the Siberian Traps are suggestive of primary impacts that delivered Greenland and Central Siberia to Earth as differentiated dwarf-planet rock.
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.
The precursor material of the impact slag does not suggest either chondritic or terrestrial crustal abundances, and the variability suggests a mixture of the two. Iridium is undetectable down to 2 ppb by INAA in 5 impact slag samples including an analysis of a metallic iron bleb.
Primary comet impact craters may go undetected due to endothermic chemical reactions occurring in hydrocarbon ices. Short-chain hydrocarbon ices may convert to longer-chain hydrocarbons in endothermic chemical reactions, clamping the impact shock wave below the melting point of terrestrial target rock, thereby masking comet impact craters from detection as such. Far-smaller secondary comet-ice impact craters may similarly avoid detection in lower-pressure endothermic reactions by converting metallic oxides to their metallic elements at super-high temperatures in localized, chemically-reducing carbon-monoxide atmospheres. The super-high temperatures sufficient to melt comet dust to form impact slag may occur principally in localized PdV heating of relatively-compressible comet ices compared to their relatively-incompressible mineral (target-rock) counterparts. In other words, comet ices may absorb sufficient meteorite-impact energy to largely protect the terrestrial target rock from melting. And a lack of target melt rock may obscure even a classical bowl-shaped impact crater from being identified as such. So the signature of secondary comet-ice impacts may be bowl-shaped lakes or gravel pits mixed with impact slag underlain with fractured target rock but with little or no melt-rock suevite. The impact slag component of gravel-pit impact quarries has undoubtedly been misconstrued as colonial iron-furnace slag. And finally, the gravel pits and the soil in the surrounding vicinity contain dramatically elevated levels of microscopic impact spherules.
Impact slag with metallic iron from carbonate-rock terrain has a high calcium oxide component which it, unfortunately, also shares with iron-furnace slag. A Calcium oxide content of 25% and 40% was measured in two mass-spec samples of impact slag (basalt) from Southeastern PA carbonate-rock terrain. Carbonate rock inclusions that fizz when exposed to vinegar are not uncommon in impact slag.
Impact slag containing metallic iron appears to be intermittently common across the carbonate rock belts of Southeastern Pennsylvania which can be granular (millimeter sized) up to boulder sized (1 meter). Impact slag quarried in 100 meter-scale impact craters is commonly used in clean fill applications in paths, roads and even as railroad ballast, confusing its natural origin. Granular-sized impact slag may be almost visually indistinguishable from granular iron-furnace slag except for its high metallic-iron content and the random-shaped chunks of metallic iron. A magnet will quickly differentiate impact slag from iron-furnace slag.
Impact slag, likely excavated from the nearby Ivy Rock quarry in Plymouth, PA 19428, has been used in Conshohocken, PA as land fill to extend the elevation 5-10 acres above the creek along the triangle between Rt. 476 (Blue Route) and the Cross County Trail that follows the creek below. The the landfill portion of the Cross County Trail park can be accessed at Fulton and Light Sts. in Conshohocken. The impact-slag landfill is readily apparent from Google Satellite due to its lack of plant cover because of the toxicity of impact slag 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, likely from the quarry/crater on Paxton St. in Swatara Township, PA 17111, has been used as clean fill on both the east and west shores of the Susquehanna River in the greater Harrisburg Area.
When impact slag with a metallic-iron content was discovered in gravel pits, it was undoubtedly assumed to be colonial iron-furnace slag, and some of the material was experimentally melted (rather than smelted) in the Philadelphia and Harrisburg Areas to determine the quality of the iron, but apparently the high levels of contamination precluded its use in making steel. A small percentage of remelted impact slag — minus its metallic-iron component — can be found mixed with fire brick from experimental (ad hoc) furnaces, (by Phoenix Iron and Steel Co. in Phoenixville, PA). Both pristine impact slag and experimentally-melted impact slag was dumped down the south-side slope of French Creek in Phoenixville, PA.
Apparently during the Great Depression, a limited use was found for the brittle native iron in noncritical applications like window-sash counterweights. A small, failed remelting furnace still exists in Conshohocken (near where E. North Ln crosses the Schuylkill River Trail) constructed of fire brick, several cubic feet in volume, in which the metallic iron cooled and froze solid within the furnace itself before it could be extracted, creating a solid block of iron surrounded by fire brick. A 1939 Jefferson nickel was found in the immediate vicinity, suggesting the time frame. Another more-elaborate cottage-industry-sized cylindrical furnace about 4 foot dia (in the style of a Bessemer furnace) lies nearby. Across the river in West Conshohocken, PA immediately north of Bar Harbor Dr. near the railroad tracks, several window-sash counterweights were found next to fragments of irregular plates of cast iron 2-3 cm thick as they had pooled on the ground in running out of a small furnace.
The super-hot fireball created in secondary comet-ice impacts can impart an apparent or ‘pseudo fusion crust’ similar to ablated meteorites. Sometimes the pseudo fusion crust is evident on all sides, suggesting it formed while airborne. Washington University in St. Louis has “a photo gallery of Meteorwrongs”, of which a dozen or more appear to be impact slag of various types.
Impact slag may form silicides outside carbonate rock terrain, creating other classes of meteorwrongs that are also frequently mistaken for meteorites. Some silicides are distinctly non-magnetic, even those with densities similar to that of high-grade iron ore, while other silicides may incorporate low-grade magnetite and be moderately ferromagnetic. If comet ice containing fine-grained nebular dust slams into wet sand at sufficient speed for compressive heating to thousands of Kelvins, the entire mass may fuse to form low-grade magnetite, preserving trace fossils of buried organisms such as insect pupae. Then the almost as sudden pressure collapse following the initial shock wave causes expansive cooling which freezes the mass into microcrystalline rock that fractures with conchoidal or sub-conchoidal fracture patterns. The pressure collapse may also form a minor degree of steam voids (vesicular basalt), particularly near the surface of the impact slag.
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.
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.
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.
APPALACHIAN BASIN PROVINCE AND D’ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS:
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.
PANSPERMIA AND FOSSILS IN COMET ROCK:
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.
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.
SPECIFIC KINETIC ENERGY OF COMET IMPACTS:
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.
The shear thinning and perhaps lattice-defect propagation properties of (certain) sheet silicates may promote rock fracturing, and furthermore, these inert and refractory phyllosilicates may act as an irritant in the upper mantle when they are subducted under continental plates, causing them to be violently expelled in rock-fracturing stratovolcanoes. In this case, (pyroclastic) volcanic-ash is a primary reactant introduced into a lava dome, not a secondary reaction product.
Additionally, phyllosilicates may have gotten injected into the upper mantle in large comet impacts which were expelled to form flood basalts. 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)
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.
Anosova, J, Orlov, V. V. and Pavlova, N. A., (1994), Dynamics of nearby multiple stars. The Alpha Centauri system, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 292, 115-118 (1984)
Bogard, Donald D., Dixon, Eleanor T., Garrison, Daniel H., (2010), Ar-Ar ages and thermal histories of enstatite meteorites, Meteoritics & Planetary Science Volume 45, Issue 5, pages 723–742, May 2010
Boley, Aaron C., (2009), THE TWO MODES OF GAS GIANT PLANET FORMATION, 2009 ApJ 695 L53
Burnett, D. S. & Genesis Science Team, (2011), Solar composition from the Genesis Discovery Mission, PNAS May 9, 2011
Chiang, E., Youdin, A., (2009), FORMING PLANETESIMALS IN SOLAR AND EXTRASOLAR NEBULAE, arXiv:0909.2652
Cox, Gutmann and Hines, (2002), Diagenetic origin for quartz-pebble conglomerates, Geology, April 2002
Dhital, Saurav, West, Andrew A., Stassun, Keivan G., Bochanski, John J., (2010), SLOAN LOW-MASS WIDE PAIRS OF KINEMATICALLY EQUIVALENT STARS (SLoWPoKES): A CATALOG OF VERY WIDE, LOW-MASS PAIRS, The Astronomical Journal 139 (2010) 2566-2586
Driscoll, Charles T. and Schecher, William D., The Chemistry of Aluminum in the Environment, (1990), Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Vol. 12, Numbers 1-2, 28-49
Duke, Edward, Papike, James J., Laul, Jagdish C., (1992), GEOCHEMISTRY OF A BORON.RICH PERALUMINOUS GRANITE PLUTON: THE CALAMITY PEAK LAYERED GRANITE PEGMATITE COMPLEX, BLACK HILLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, Canadian Mineralogist Vol. 30, pp. 811-833 (1992)
Eskola, Pentti Eelis, (1948), The problem of mantled gneiss, Feb. 1948 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 104, 461-457
Faulkner, Mitchell, Hirose, Shimamoto, (2009), The Frictional Properties of Phyllosilicates at Earthquake Slip Speeds, EGU General Assembly 2009, held 19-24 April, 2009 in Vienna, Austria
Fournier, R. O., The behavior of silica in hydrothermal solutions, (1985), Reviews in Economic Geology, v. 2, pp. 45–59.
Frost, Carol D., Frost, B. Ronald, Kirkwood, Robert and Chamberlain, Kevin R., (2006), The tonalite-trondhjemite-grandiorite (TTG) to grandoriorite-granite (GG) transition in the late Archean plutonic rocks of the central Wyoming Province, Can. J. Earth Sci. 43: 1419-1444 (2006)
Goddard Release No. 10-03, (2010), Most Earthlike Exoplanet Started out as Gas Giant, Goddard Release No. 10-03
Golimowski, David A., Schroeder, Daniel J., (1998), WIDE FIELD PLANETARY CAMERA 2 OBSERVATIONS OF PROXIMA CENTAURI: NO EVIDENCE OF THE POSSIBLE SUBSTELLAR COMPANION, The Astronomical Journal, 116:440-443, 1998 July
Hills, J. G., (1989), The Hard-Binary vs Soft-Binary Myth, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 21, p.796
Howard, Andrew W et al., (2012), PLANET OCCURRENCE WITHIN 0.25 AU OF SOLAR-TYPE STARS FROM KEPLER, Andrew W. Howard et al. 2012 ApJS 201 15 doi:10.1088/0067-0049/201/2/15, and arXiv:1103.2541v1 [astro-ph.EP] 13 Mar 2011
Hyodo, Masayuki, Matsu’ura, Shuji, Kamishima, Yuko et al., (2011), High-resolution record of the Matuyama-Brunhes transition constrains the age of Javanese Homo erectus in the Sangiran dome, Indonesia, Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 2011 December 6, 108(49): 19563-19568
Johansen, Anders, Oishi, Jeffrey S., Low, Mordecai-Mark Mac, Klahr, Hurbert, Henning, Thomas and Youdin, Andrew, (2007), Rapid planetesimal formation in turbulent circumstellar disks, Letter to Nature 448, 1022-1025 (30 August 2007)
Joy, Katherine H., Zolensky, Michael E., Nagashima, Kazuhide, Huss, Gary R., Ross, D. Kent, McKay, David S., Kring, David A., (2012), Direct Detection of Projectile Relics from the End of the Lunar Basin–Forming Epoch, Science Online May 17, 2012 DOI: 10.1126/science.1219633
Kasliwal, Mansi M., Kulkarni, Shri R. et al., (2011), PTF10FQS: A LUMINOUS RED NOVA IN THE SPIRAL GALAXY MESSIER 99, Astrophysics, 27 Mar 2011
Kennedy, G. C., (1950), A portion of the system silica-water, E. con. Geol., 47. 629-653
Levine, Jonathan, Becker, Timothy A., Muller, Richard A., Renne, Paul R., (2005), 40Ar/39Ar dating of Apollo 12 impact spherules, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, L15201, doi:10.1029/2005GL022874, 2005
Levinson, Harold F. and Dones, Luke, (2007), Comet Populations and Cometary Dynamics, Chapter 31, Encyclopedia of the Solar System (edited by Lucy-Ann McFadden, Paul Robert Weissman and Torrence V. Johnson) 1st Ed. 1999, 2nd Ed. 2007, Academic Press
Li, Dafang, Zhang, Ping & Yan, Jun, (2011), Quantum molecular dynamics simulations for the nonmetal-metal transition in shocked methane, Condensed Matter Materials Science, 24 March 2011, arXiv:1012.4888v2
Lissauer, J. J., Stevenson, D. J., (2007), Formation of Giant Planets, Protostars and Planets V, B. Reipurth, D. Jewitt, and K. Keil (eds.), University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 951 pp., 2007., p.591-606
Little, T. A., Hacker, B. R., Gordon, S. M., Baldwin, S. L., Fitzgerald, P. G., Ellis, S., Korchinski, M., (2011), Diapiric exhumation of Earth’s youngest (UPH) ecogites in the gneiss domes of the D’Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tectonophysics 510 (2011) 39-68
Low, C; Lynden-Bell, D., (1976), The minimum Jeans mass or when fragmentation must stop, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 176, Aug. 1976, p. 367-390
Malavergne, Valérie, Toplis, Michael J., Berthet, Sophie, Jones, John, (2010), Highly reducing conditions during core formation on Mercury: Implications for internal structure and the origin of a magnetic field, Icarus, Volume 206, Issue 1, March 2010, Pages 199-209
Martin, H., Smithies, R. H., Moyen, J.-F. and Champion, D., (2005), An overview of adakite, tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG), and sanukitoid: relationships and some implications for crustal evolution, Lithos, Volume 79, Issues 1-2, January 2005, Pages 1-24
Marty, B., Chaussidon, M., Wiens, R. C., Jurewicz, A. J. G., Burnett, D. S., (2011), A 15N-Poor Isotopic Composition for the Solar System As Shown by Genesis Solar Wind Samples, Science 24 June 2011 Vol. 332 no. 6037 pp. 1533-1536
Matese, J. J., Whitman, P. G., Whitmire, D. P., (1999), Cometary evidence of a massive body in the outer Oort cloud, Icarus 141 (1999)
Matese, John, J., Whitmire, Daniel P., (2011), Persistent evidence of a jovian mass solar companion in the Oort cloud, Icarus 211 (2011) 926-938
McKeegan, K. D., Kallio, A. P. A., Heber, V. S., Jarzebinski, G., Mao, P. H., Coath, C. D., Kunihiro, T., Wiens, R. C., Nordholt, J. E., Moses Jr., R. W., Reisenfeld, D. B., Jurewicz, A. J. G., Murnett, D. S., (2011), The Oxygen Isotopic Composition of the Sun Inferred from Captured Solar Wind, Science 24 June 2011 Vol 332 no. 6037 pp. 1528-1532
de Meijer, R. J. and van Westrenen, W., (2010), An Alternative Hypothesis on the Origin of the Moon, arXiv:1001.4243v1 [astro-ph.EP]
Muller, R. A., Becker, T. A., Culler, T. S., and Renne, P. R., (2000), Solar System impact rates measured from lunar spherule ages, in Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B., and Schmitz, B., eds., Accretion of extraterrestrial matter throughout Earth’s history: New York, Kluwer Publishers, 466 p.
Mumma M. J., Gibb, E. L., Russo, N. Dello, DiSanti, M. A. Magee-Sauer, K., (2003), Methane in Oort cloud comets, Adv. Space Res., 31, 2563; Icarus 165 (2003) 391–406
Murthy, V. Rama & Hall, H. T., (1970), Physics of The Earth and Planetary Interiors, Volume 2, Issue 4, June 1970, Pages 276-282
NASA RELEASE : 12-425, (2012), NASA Astrobiology Institute Shows How Wide Binary Stars Form, RELEASE : 12-425 ammonium nitrate
Nesvorny, David, Youdin, Andrew N., Richardson, Derek C., (2010), Formation of Kuiper Belt Binaries by Gravitational Collapse, The Astronomical Journal 140 (2010) 785, doi:10.1088/0004-6256/140/3/785
Nittler, L. R., (2005), Calcium-Aluminum-Rich Inclusions Are Not Supernova Condensates, Chondrites and the Protoplanetary Disk ASP Conference Series, Vol ###, 2005
Nittler, Larry R., Hoppe, Peter, (2005), ARE PRESOLAR SILICON CARBIDE GRAINS FROM NOVAE ACTUALLY FROM SUPERNOVAE?, The Astrophysical Journal, 631:L89-L92, 2005 September 20
Nuth, J. A., Johnson, N. M., Elsila-Cook, J., and Kopstein, M., (2011), CARBON ISOTOPIC FRACTIONATION DURING FORMATION OF MACROMOLECULAR ORGANIC GRAIN COATINGS VIA FTT REACTIONS, 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2011)
Ogliore, R. C., Huss, G. R., Nagashima, K, (2011), Incorporation of a Late-forming Chondrule into Comet Wild 2, arXiv:1112.3943v2 [astro-ph.EP] 30 Dec 2011
Palme, H. & O’Neill, Hugh St. C., (2003), Cosmochemical Estimates of Mantle Composition, Treatise On Geochemistry, Volume 2; pp. 1-38, ISBN: 0-08-044337-0
Patiño Douce A.E., Harris N., (1998), Experimental constraints on Himalayan Anatexis, Journal of Petrology, v. 39, no. 4, p. 689-710
Patiño Douce, Alberto E., (1999), What do experiments tell us about the relative contributions of crust and mantle to the origin of granitic magmas?, pp 55-75, From: Castro, Fernandez, C. and Vigneresse, J. L. (eds) Understanding Granites: and Classical Techniques, The Geological Society of London
Peplowski, Patrick N., Evans, Larry G., Hauck II, Steven A., McCoy, Timothy J., Boynton, William V., Gillis-Davis, Jeffery J., Ebel, Denton S., Goldsten, John O., Hamera, David K., Lawrence, David J., McNutt Jr., Ralph L., Nittler, Larry R., Solomon, Sean C., Rhodes, Edjar A., Sprague, Ann L., Starr, Richard D., Stockstill-Cahill, Karen R., (2011), Radioactive Elements on Mercury’s Surface from MESSENGER: Implications for the Planet’s Formation and Evolution, Science Vol. 333, 30 September 2011
Pieters, C. M., Ammannito, E., Blewett, D. T., Denevi, B. W., De Sanctis, M. C., Gaffey, M. J., Le Corre, L., Li, J.-Y., Marchi, S., McCord, T. B., McFadden, L., A., Mittlefehldt, D. W., Nathues, A., Palmer, E., Reddy, V., Raymond, C. A., and Russell, C. T., (2012), Distinctive space weathering on Vesta from regolith mixing processes, Nature 491, 79-82 (01 November 2012), doi:10.1038/nature11534
Podosek F. A. and Cassen P., (1994), Theoretical, observational, and isotopic estimates of the lifetime of the solar nebula., Meteoritics, 29, 6–25
Rau, A, Kulkarni, S. R., Lfek, E., O., Yan, L., (2007), Spitzer Observations of the New Luminous Red Nova M85OT2006-1, arXiv:astro-ph/0612161v2 9 Jan 2007
Rimstidt, J. D. and Barnes, H. L., (1980), The kinetics of silica-water reactions., Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, Vol. 44 (11), pp.1683-1699
Rimstidt, J. D, (1997), Quartz solubility at low temperatures., Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, Vol. 61 (13), pp.2553-2558
Ryder, R. T., (2002), Appalachian Basin Province (067), United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Sandeman, Clark, Scott and Malpas, (2000), The Kennack Gneiss of the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, SW England: commingling and mixing of mafic and felsic magmas accompanying Givetian continental incorporation of the Lizard ophiolite, Journal of the Geological Society; November 2000; v. 157; no. 6; p. 1227-1242
Schmidt, Burkhard C. & Keppler, Hans, (2002), Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 195, Issues 3-4, 15 February 2002, Pages 277-290
Schroeder, Daniel J., Golminowski, David A., Brukardt, Ryan A., Burrows, Christopher J., Caldwell, John J., Fastie, William G., Ford, Holland C., Hesman, Bridgette, Kletskin, Ilona, Krist, John E., Royle, Patricia and Zubrowski, Richard A., (2000), A SEARCH FOR FAINT COMPANIONS TO NEARBY STARS USING THE WIDE FIELD PLANETARY CAMERA 2, The Astronomical Jorunal, 119:906-922, 2000 February
Schultz, A. B., Hart, H. M., Hershey, J. L., Hamilton, F. C., Kochte, M., Bruhweiler, F. C., Benedict, G. F., Caldwell, John, Cunningham, C., Wu, Nailong, Frantz, O. G., Keyes, C. D. and Brandt, J. C., (1998), A POSSIBLE COMPANION TO PROXIMA CENTAURI, The Astronomical Journal, 115:345-350, 1998 January
Sharov, Alexei A., Gordon, Richard, (2013), Life Before Earth, arXiv:1304.3381 [physics.gen-ph]
Shi, Ji-Ming, Krolik, Julian H., Lubow, Stephen H., Hawley, John F., (2012), Three Dimensional MHD Simulation of Circumbinary Accretion Disks: Disk Structures and Angular Momentum Transport, arXiv:1110.4866v2 [astro-ph.HE] 7 Feb 2012
Staal, C. R., Williams, P. F., (1983), Evolution of a Svecofennian-mantled gneiss dome in SW Finland, with evidence for thrusting, Tectonophysics, Volume 74, Issues 3–4, 20 April 1981, Pages 283-304
Tohline, J. E., Cazes, J. E., Cohl, H. S., (1999), THE FORMATION OF COMMON-ENVELOPE, PRE-MAIN-SEQUENCE BINARY STARS, Astrophysics and Space Science Library Volume 240, 1999, pp 155-158
Urtson, Kristjan, (2005), Melt segregation and accumulation: analogue and numerical modelling approach, MSc. Thesis, University of Tartu
Wertheimer, Jeremy G. and Laughlin, Gregory, 2006, Are Proxima and Alpha Centauri Gravitationally Bound?, The Astronomical Journal, 132:1995-1997, 2006 November
Wielen, Fuchs and Dettbarn, (1996), On the birth-place of the Sun and the places of formation of other nearby stars, Astron. Astrophys. 314, 438
Yin, An, (2004), Gneiss domes and gneiss dome systems, Geological Society of America Special Paper 380
by Dave Carlson
P.S. Soliciting contributions, criticism and collaborators. Pseudonyms are acceptable and assistance will be attributed.