This alternative conceptual ideology suggests three novel primary mechanisms for the formation of gravitationally-bound objects:
– Flip-flop fragmentation (FFF)
– Hybrid accretion
– Flip-flop fragmentation (FFF)—a suggested mechanism for forming gaseous objects ranging in size from mini-Neptunes to brown dwarfs, and even companion stars:
¶ FFF suggests that excess angular momentum in a collapsing dark core may create an outsized accretion disk that is much more massive than its diminutive prestellar/protostellar core, such that the massive accretion disk inertially dominates the system. Inertial dominance is suggested to promote disk instability, ‘condensing’ either a solitary disk-instability (d-i) object or a twin-binary pair of d-i objects that are necessarily more massive than their diminutive stellar core. Disk instability presumably occurs by way of (spiral) density waves, either by way of an asymmetrical (m = 1 mode) density wave, condensing a solitary d-i object, or a symmetrical (m = 2 mode) density wave, condensing a twin-binary pair of d-i objects. Inherent in FFF is an inertial ‘flip-flop’, where the diminutive prestellar/protostellar core is injected into a planetary satellite orbit around the much-more massive d-i object, or twin-binary d-i objects, catastrophically projecting mass inward. FFF suggests that gas-giant planets are former stellar cores that are older than their stellar host.
¶ Asymmetrical FFF—Asymmetrical FFF condenses a solitary d-i object that automatically inertially displaces the diminutive former stellar core into planetary satellite orbit.
¶ Symmetrical FFF—Symmetrical FFF condenses a twin-binary pair of d-i objects around a diminutive stellar core, creating a dynamically unstable system, but the stellar core is not automatically inertially displaced into a circumbinary orbit. Instead the diminutive core is progressively evaporated into a stable, hierarchical circumbinary orbit through orbital interplay with the more-massive d-i objects. Symmetrical FFF is suggested to form triple star systems such as Alpha Centauri, which is composed of a small companion star (Proxima Centauri) in a circumbinary orbit around the much-more-massive twin-binary pair (Alpha Centauri A&B).
– Trifurcation—a mechanism for forming twin-binary pairs, such as Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune, & Venus-Earth:
¶ Trifurcation is suggested to be a possible secondary effect of symmetrical FFF. During the orbital interplay phase of symmetrical FFF, orbital close encounters between a diminutive stellar core and its much-more-massive twin-binary d-i objects result in orbital energy and angular momentum transfer from the more massive d-i objects to the less-massive stellar core by the principle of equipartition of kinetic energy.
¶ Equipartition is also suggested to cause a rotational energy and angular momentum transfer, causing the diminutive stellar core to progressively increase its rate of rotation, causing it to ‘spin up’ and distort into an oblate sphere. Continued spin up may distort the oblate core into a bar-mode instability, which may ultimately fail by fragmenting into three components (trifurcation). In trifurcation, the twin-binary bar-mode arms gravitationally pinch off into gravitationally-bound Roche spheres in orbit around the diminutive ‘residual core’ of material remaining at the center of rotation.
¶ This newly trifurcated system, composed of a twin-binary pair in orbit around its ‘residual core’, is a diminutive version of the original symmetrical FFF system, and like the original system, the newly-trifurcated system is also dynamically unstable. First-generation trifurcation promotes second-generation trifurcation, and etc., potentially forming multiple-generations of twin-binary pairs of objects in diminishing sizes, like Russian nesting dolls. Trifurcation is the suggested origin of the four sets of twin-binary pairs in our solar system, namely, former ‘binary-Companion’, Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune, and Venus-Earth, potentially with Mercury as the residual core of the 4th generation trifurcation.
¶ While the Alpha Centauri system is suggested to have formed by symmetrical FFF, Proxima Centauri did not succumb to trifurcation.
– Hybrid accretion—a mechanism for forming super-Earths and giant-planet moons:
¶ Hybrid accretion is a suggested planet formation mechanism for forming planets by a hybrid mechanism (Thayne Curie 2005), combining planetesimal formation by streaming instability from an accretion disk, followed by the core accretion of these planetesimals into objects capable of both clearing their orbits and creating a gap in the accretion disk.
¶ Myriads of planetesimals condense by streaming instability at the inner edge of a protoplanetary disk. When core accretion reaches the nominal mass of a super-Earth around a dwarf star, the hybrid-accretion planet is able to clear its orbit and create a gap in the accretion disk, whereupon a second generation of planetesimals may condense by streaming instability against its outer resonances to form a second-generation hybrid-accretion planet. In this manor a cascade of hybrid-accretion super-Earths may form from the inside out. Cascades of hybrid-accretion moons may also form by this mechanism around gas-giant planets.
A brief history of the solar system:
1) Symmetrical FFF―binary-Sun (twin d-i objects) + Brown Dwarf* (stellar core)
2) 1st-gen. trifurcation―binary-Companion + SUPER-Jupiter* (residual core)
3) 2nd-gen. trifurcation―Jupiter-Saturn + SUPER-Neptune* (residual core)
4) 3rd-gen. trifurcation―Uranus-Neptune + SUPER-Earth* (residual core)
5) 4th-gen. trifurcation―Venus-Earth + Mercury(?) (residual core)
¶ A diminutive Brown Dwarf system with a much-more-massive accretion disk underwent symmetrical FFF, condensing a twin-binary pair of d-i objects > 4,567 Ma. Brown Dwarf underwent four generations of trifurcation as a secondary effect of symmetrical FFF. The resulting high-angular-momentum siderophile-depleted ‘trifurcation debris disk’ condensed hot classical Kuiper belt objects against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance.
¶ The twin-binary d-i objects remained gravitationally bound to become our former binary-Sun, whose binary components spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma in a luminous red nova that left behind a ‘solar-merger debris disk’. The solar-merger debris disk, with stellar-merger short-lived radionuclides, condensed asteroids by streaming instability against the Sun’s magnetic corotation radius, and slightly later condensed chondrites by streaming instability against Jupiter’s inner resonances.
¶ Similar to former binary-Sun, the super-Jupiter-mass components of former binary-Companion spiraled in and merged almost 4 billion years later, at about 650 Ma, in an an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the newly-formed Companion escape velocity from the Sun. The high-angular-momentum Companion-merger debris disk (which was not siderophile depleted) condensed cold classical Kuiper belt objects in situ against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance.
¶ Mars is unaccounted for in this tally, pointing to its possible formation by hybrid accretion around former Brown Dwarf, prior to symmetrical FFF.
* Note, unorthodox capitalization indicates unorthodox definitions. ‘SUPER-Jupiter’, ‘SUPER-Neptune’ and ‘SUPER-Earth’ are the names for the former residual cores formed in the first three trifurcation generations. And ‘Brown Dwarf’ is the name of the original stellar core of the solar system.
Star formation stages:
¶ 1) Starless core: May be a transient phase or may progress to gravitational instability infall
¶ 2) Prestellar core: A gravitating prestellar core ends with the formation of the second hydrostatic core when hydrogen gas endothermically dissociates into atomic hydrogen at around 2000 K.
¶ 3) Protostar (Class 0, I, II, III): Begins with the formation of the second hydrostatic core.
¶ 4) Pre-main-sequence star: A T Tauri, FU Orionis, or larger (unnamed) pre-main-sequence star powered by gravitational contraction
¶ 5) Main-sequence star: Powered by hydrogen fusion
¶ “Starless cores are possibly transient concentrations of molecular gas and dust without embedded young stellar objects (YSOs), typically observed in tracers such as C18O (e.g. Onishi et al. 1998), NH3 (e.g. Jijina, Myers, & Adams 1999), or dust extinction (e.g. Alves et al. 2007), and which do not show evidence of infall. Prestellar cores are also starless (M⋆ = 0) but represent a somewhat denser and more centrally-concentrated population of cores which are self-gravitating, hence unlikely to be transient.” (André et al. 2008)
¶ In Jeans instability, the cloud collapses at an approximately free-fall rate nearly isothermally at about 10 K until the center become optically thick at ~10-13 g/cm3 after 105 yr (Larson 1969), at which point when the temperature begins to rise, forming a ‘first core’ or first hydrostatic core (FHSC). Supersonically infalling gas in the envelope is decelerated and thermalized at the surface of the first core (Masunaga et al. 1998).
¶ When the temperature reaches about 2000 K, the hydrogen begins to dissociate endothermically, forming a ‘second core’, the birth of a protostar. The protostar grows in mass by accreting the infalling material from the circumstellar envelope, while the protostar keeps its radius at ~4 R☉ during the main accretion phase. (Masunaga et al. 1998)
¶ “Enoch et al. (2009a) discovered a massive circumstellar disk of ∼1 M☉ comparable to a central protostar around a Class 0 object, indicating that (1) the disk already exists in the main accretion phase and (2) the disk mass is significantly larger than the theoretical
prediction.” (Machida et al. 2011)
¶ “The size of the first core was found to vary somewhat in the different simulations (more unstable clouds form smaller first cores) while the size, mass, and temperature of the second cores are independent of initial cloud mass, size, and temperature.
Conclusions. Our simulations support the idea of a standard (universal) initial second core size of ~ 3 × 10−3 AU and mass ~ 1.4 ×10−3 M☉.”
(Vaytet et al. 2013)
¶ “Class 0 objects are the youngest accreting protostars observed right after point mass formation, when most of the mass of the system is still in the surrounding dense core/envelope (Andre et al. 2000).”
(Chen et al. 2012)
Protoplanetary disks have their highest masses at early times:
¶ “We find that the compact (< 100) dust emission is lower for Class I sources (median dust mass 96 M⊕) relative to Class 0 (248 M⊕), but several times higher than in Class II (5-15 M⊕). If this compact dust emission is tracing primarily the embedded disk, as is likely for many sources, this result provides evidence for decreasing disk masses with protostellar evolution, with sufficient mass for forming giant planet cores primarily at early times.” (Tychoniec et al. 2018)
¶ “The compact components around the Class 0 protostars could be the precursors to these Keplerian disks. However, it is unlikely that such massive rotationally supported disks could be stably supported given the expected low stellar mass for the Class 0 protostars: they should be prone to fragmentation”. (Li et al. 2014)
¶ The discovery that accretion disks are born massive and rapidly diminish with age is both counterintuitive and iconoclastic. Firstly, massive disks around very-young low-mass protostars creates stability problems, and secondly, a rapidly diminishing accretion disk creates problems for the formation of gas-giant planets by hierarchical accretion. Hierarchical accretion may be fighting against two logarithms, with an approximate logarithmic decrease in disk mass from one protostar class to the next (Class 0, 248 M⊕; Class I, 96 M⊕; and Class II, 5-15 M⊕), and with a logarithmic increase in duration for each successive protostar class (Cass 0, 104 yr; Class I, 105 yr; Class II, 106 yr; and Class III, 107 yr).
Evidence for Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) formed by gravitational/streaming instability
¶ “We have searched 101 Classical trans-Neptunian objects for companions with the Hubble Space Telescope. Of these, at least 21 are binary. The heliocentric inclinations of the objects we observed range from 0.6-34°. We find a very strong anticorrelation of binaries with inclination. Of the 58 targets that have inclinations of less than 5.5°, 17 are binary, a binary fraction of 29+7-6 %. All 17 are similar-brightness systems. On the contrary, only 4 of the 42 objects with inclinations greater than 5.5° have satellites and only 1 of these is a similar-brightness binary. This striking dichotomy appears to agree with other indications that the low eccentricity, non-resonant Classical trans-Neptunian objects include two overlapping populations with significantly different physical properties and dynamical histories.”
(Noll et al. 2008)
¶ “The 100 km class binary KBOs identified so far are widely separated and their components are similar in size. These properties defy standard ideas about processes of binary formation involving collisional and rotational disruption, debris re-accretion, and tidal evolution of satellite orbits
(Stevenson et al. 1986).”
¶ “The observed color distribution of binary KBOs can be easily understood if KBOs formed by GI [gravitational instability].” “We envision a situation in which the excess of angular momentum in a gravitationally collapsing swarm prevents formation of a solitary object. Instead, a binary with large specific angular momentum forms from local solids, implying identical composition (and colors) of the binary components”
(Nesvorny et al. 2010)
Hybrid accretion planets and moons:
¶ An alternative planet formation mechanism combines the formation of planetesimals at the inner edge of protoplanetary disks by streaming instability with their hierarchical accretion into cascades (series) of hybrid-accretion planets, with a nominal size of super-Earths, with the term ‘hybrid accretion’ referring to the hybrid mechanism that combines streaming instability and core accretion.
¶ The hybrid mechanism for planet formation was first proposed for the formation of gas giant planets (Thayne Curie, 2005), but the mechanism is instead suggested here for the formation of
terrestrial super-Earths that typically form in multiple-planet ‘cascades’.
¶ Gas pressure causes the gas in accretion disks to rotate slower than a Keplerian rate, and this gas drag on dust grains causes dust to spiral inward to the inner edge or nearest gap in an accretion disk, where the concentration of dust can result in gravitational instability, known as streaming instability.
¶ Planetesimals of indeterminate size condense by streaming instability at the inner edge of a protoplanetary disk, where the accretion disk is presumably truncated by the magnetic corotation radius of its young stellar object (YSO). A myriad of streaming-instability planetesimals merge by hierarchical accretion until the largest hierarchical component is able to open a gap in the accretion disk at a nominal super-Earth mass. The gap in the accretion disk precludes further planetesimal formation by streaming instability against the magnetic corotation radius of the YSO, but it begins the concentration of dust grains against the strongest outer resonances of the anchor super-Earth.
¶ Dust grains accumulate in the accretion disk dead zone beyond the anchor super-Earth that may repeatedly condense by streaming instability to begin the accretion of a second-generation super-Earth, and in this way, a cascade of super-Earths may form sequentially from the inside out.
¶ Giant planets may also form hybrid-accretion moons around giant planets. The 5 planemo moons of Uranus; Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon, are perhaps the best example of a moony hybrid-accretion cascade in our solar system.
¶ Hybrid accretion objects may also form from massive debris disks resulting from cataclysmic events, such as the spiral-in merger of a former binary star. The planet Mercury may be a hybrid accretion planet formed from asteroids condensed by streaming instability from the solar-merger debris disk that formed from the aftermath of the spiral-in merger of our former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma.
¶ Sourav Chatterjee and Jonathan C. Tan quantified this form of inside-out planet formation mechanism in a more general form, encompassing either pebble accretion or ∼1 M⊕ planet formation by gravitational instability. “Formation of a series of super-Earth mass planets from pebbles could require initial protoplanetary disks extending to ∼ 100 AU.” (Chatterjee and Jonathan, 2013)
¶ In cascades of super-Earths, the outermost planetary pair typically exhibit a greater period ratio than the other adjacent planetary pairs, which may give credence to inside-out formation if each super-Earth generation in turn experiences a significant degree of inward migration due to the ‘weight’ of truncating the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk to its outer resonances, except for the final super-Earth.
Flip-Flop Fragmentation (FFF):
¶ ‘Flip-flop fragmentation’ (FFF) is an alternative conceptual ideology for the formation of gaseous satellites by catastrophic disk instability, forming satellites ranging in mass from mini-Neptunes to high-mass brown dwarfs, and perhaps companion stars.
– Asymmetrical FFF vs. Symmetrical FFF:
¶ FFF (disk instability) of massive disks surrounding diminutive prestellar or protostellar objects is suggested to occur by way of (spiral) density waves, where the mode of the density wave may dictate the type of disk instability. Asymmetrical density waves are suggested to form solitary star systems, while symmetrical density waves are suggested to form twin-binary star systems, possibly with a much-smaller trinary companion star.
¶ 1) Asymmetrical (m = 1 mode) density waves in massive accretion disks around diminutive prestellar/protostellar objects are suggested to condense solitary disk instability (d-i) objects, where the massive solitary d-i object is much-more massive than its diminutive stellar core. And the greater mass of the d-i object inertially displaces the former stellar core from the center of the system, relegating the former stellar core to a planetary satellite status around the younger, more-massive d-i core. This mechanism is designated, ‘asymmetrical FFF’. Asymmetrical FFF can apparently occur repeatedly, in succession.
¶ 2) Symmetrical (m = 2 mode) density waves in massive accretion disks around diminutive prestellar/protostellar objects are suggested to condense twin-binary d-i objects, where the twin-binary d-i objects are much-more massive then their diminutive stellar core. This mechanism for creating twin-binary stars is designated, ‘symmetrical FFF’. Presumably, symmetrical FFF can not be repeated in the same system.
¶ The remainder of this section will be devoted to asymmetrical FFF, with symmetrical FFF covered in the following section titled, ‘Symmetrical FFF and Trifurcation’. FFF with no modifier is assumed to be asymmetrical FFF.
¶ Run away disk instability requires a Jeans mass, where the scale of the Jeans mass depends on the degree of dust enrichment. Streaming instability presumably ‘condense’ planetesimals as small as 1 km in late-stage protoplanetary disks and still-later debris disks with considerable dust enrichment. Disk instability is suggested to involve the entire disk, whereas streaming instability is suggested to create locally concentrate dust behind orbital resonances or behind a magnetic corotation zone. Massive young accretion disks with little or no dust enrichment presumably require a stellar Jean’s mass in the form of a disk inhomogeneity to undergo runaway disk instability, and this must await sufficient growth of the accretion disk to attain a stellar Jeans mass within the portion of the disk concentrated a presumed density wave.
¶ In gravitationally-bound rotating systems, nature exhibits a propensity to project mass inward, as in the mass segregation of star clusters and in the emergence of hierarchy in nascent multiple star systems with orbital interplay. Mass segregation ‘evaporates’ less-massive stars outward, causing the more-massive stars sink inward, effectively projecting mass inward. A second suggested principle is nature’s inherent preference for catastrophism over gradualism, where catastrophic disk instability is favored over the gradual gradual outward transfer of angular momentum as the preferred mechanism for projecting mass inward. These principles are suggested to combine in high-angular-momentum young stellar objects (YSOs), where the accretion disk is much more massive than its stellar core, and where inhomogeneities within a spiral wave concentration are able to attain a Jeans mass.
¶ When an accretion disk has much more offset mass at near-zero angular momentum with respect to itself compared to the mass of the central stellar core, the system is suggested to be susceptible to disk instability. Condensing a disk instability (d-i) object, more massive than the stellar core, catastrophically projects mass inward, by displacing the center of mass and rotation of the system toward the more-massive, nascent d-i object. Thus, (asymmetrical) FFF inertially displaces the former stellar core into a planetary satellite orbit around the more-massive, nascent, pithy d-i object. But the onset of disk instability must await sufficient infall from the surrounding envelope to form a Jeans mass within an asymmetrical density wave, which may push disk instability from the prestellar into the early protostellar phase of YSOs.
Decreasing disk mass with protostellar evolution:
¶ FFF ideology is strengthened by a counterintuitive discovery of decreasing accretion disk mass with protostellar evolution. (Tychoniec et al. 2018) measured a dramatic decrease in disk mass dust with increasing protostellar age, where measured dust mass is assumed to be a proxy for overall disk mass. Disk dust mass was measured to decrease from 248 M⊕ in Class 0 protostars to 5-15 M⊕ in Class II protostars, with 96 M⊕ in Class I protostars.
¶ These two divergent trends of decreasing disk mass and increasing core mass with age project back to an early crossover point where disk mass exceeds core mass. And if an early accretion disk were much more massive than its stellar core, the much-greater overlying disk mass would be dynamically unstable to a disk instability that would catastrophically project mass inward.
Prestellar FFF vs. protostellar FFF:
¶ Gas giant exoplanets exhibit a distinct bimodal distribution with respect to orbital distances from their host stars. ‘Hot Jupiters’ in low ‘hot’ orbits are defined as having orbital periods < 10 days (< .1 AU), whereas cold Jupiters, orbiting in high ‘cold’ orbits are centered around 2 AU, with a distinct desert of gas-giant planets at intermediate orbital distances.
¶ The inertial displacement distance in FFF is suggested here to depend on the inner diameter of the accretion disk. A low-mass prestellar core in freefall at 10s of Kelvins has no defined diameter, such that the surrounding accretion disk can close in on the sedimentary silicate core. In a higher-mass protostellar object with a second hydrostatic core (SHSC) and a magnetic field, however, the inner edge of the accretion disk is pushed out to the magnetic corotation radius. And if the inertial displacement of the stellar core during asymmetrical FFF is a function of this inner accretion disk radius, then the sudden appearance of a magnetic field in the early protostellar phase is suggested to explain the gas-giant desert separating prestellar hot Jupiters composed of molecular hydrogen from protostellar cold Jupiters composed of ionized gas.
¶ Additionally, the recent discovery of a bimodal mass distribution of gas-giant exoplanets, with a relative scarcity at about 4 Mj (Santos et al. 2017), suggests a hiatus in asymmetrical FFF at a stellar core mass of 4 Mj. The appearance of the pithy first hydrostatic core (FHSC) at the final stage of the prestellar phase is suggested here to be a viscous mechanism for physically impeding disk instability. As gas infalls onto a prestellar core, its potential energy is radiated away as infrared photons, but when prestellar core reaches a critical density, the gas temperature begins to rise, creating hydrostatic gas pressure, forming the FHSC. Gas infalling onto the hydrostatic core creates a shock front which extends out to radii on the order of ~ 5–10 AU (Tsitali et al. 2013), which is suggested to viscously engage with the accretion disk, damping down positive disk-core feedback, necessary for promoting runaway disk instability. The relatively-brief ~ 1000 year FHSC stage marks the end of the prestellar phase, which concludes with an exceedingly-brief second collapse (~0.1 yr), mediated by endothermic dissociation of molecular hydrogen. The pithy FHSC stage marks the prestellar to protostellar transition, which is suggested to result in a disk-instability hiatus at a core mass of 4 Mj. This suggests that prestellar asymmetrical FFF creates gaseous exoplanets in the mass range of mini-Neptunes up to < 4 Mj, with a hiatus in asymmetrical FFF at a FHSC mass of 4 Mj, followed by protostellar asymmetrical FFF, creating gas-giant exoplanets > 4 Mj.
Multiple FFF planets:
¶ Multiplicity of gas-giant planets formed by asymmetrical FFF requires successive instances of disk instability in the same system, presumably caused by continued infall of high angular-momentum gas from the envelope onto the accretion disk, regrowing the accretion disk after a previous disk-instability episode. Multiple FFF occurrences, however, creates a complicated system in the short run, until the planetary system orbiting the inertially-displaced stellar core is dynamically unwound around a new d-i core. This unraveling process presumes gravitational disruption of the planetary system, and its acquisition by the nascent d-i core.
FFF planet ‘spiral in’:
¶ The ad hoc secondary mechanism of planetary migration was developed to explain the finding of gas-giant exoplanets outside the Goldilocks zone for hierarchical accretion beyond the snow line. While planetary migration is not evoked in explaining the orbits of FFF planets, there presumably would be a considerable ‘spiral in’ as gas accretes onto the stellar core, progressively increasing its mass over time. By comparison with the ad hoc secondary mechanism of planetary migration, spiral in is a primary mechanism which merely conserves orbital energy and angular momentum as the stellar core bulks up.
Direct ‘condensation’ of gaseous planets by disk instability:
¶ The direct condensation of gaseous planets by disk instability would seem to be a more-elegant solution to the formation of gas giant planets, eliminating the flip-flop mechanism. Direct condensation could just as easily explain the orbits hot and cold Jupiters, with prestellar accretion disks having a tight inner radius, condensing gaseous planets by disk instability in low hot orbits, while the inner radius of protostellar accretion disks is pushed out to the magnetic corotation zone, condensing gaseous planets by disk instability in high cold orbits. The relative 4 Mj desert of gaseous planets, however, is better explained by a hiatus in asymmetrical FFF during the FHSC stage, with a FHSC mass of 4 Mj.
¶ Both the direct condensation of gaseous planets by disk instability and asymmetrical FFF would seem to predict higher planetary orbits in subsequent generations for gaseous planets formed sequentially, where previous generations of gaseous planets would create gaps in the accretion disk, effectively pushing out the inner edge of the accretion disk beyond the most-distant gaseous planet. Thus both models nominally predict sequential formation from the inside out.
¶ In a high angular momentum prestellar/protostellar system, in which the accretion disk is much more massive than its diminutive stellar core, the disk has inertial dominance of the system. And inertial dominance by an accretion disk is suggested there to promote disk-instability fragmentation. The type of disk instability fragmentation may depend on the mode of a (spiral) density wave resident in the accretion disk, with asymmetrical (m = 1 mode) density waves tending to gravitationally collapse to form solitary disk instability (d-i) objects in a process designated ‘asymmetrical FFF’, while symmetrical (m = 2 mode) density waves tending to gravitationally collapse to form twin-binary disk instability objects in a process designated ‘symmetrical FFF’.
Symmetrical FFF involves two or three dynamical processes:
¶ 1) Symmetrical disk instability,
¶ 2) Equipartition of kinetic energy during orbital interplay, and
¶ 3) Possible trifurcation.
1) Symmetrical disk instability causes an accretion disk to fragment into a twin-binary pair of d-i objects orbiting their diminutive stellar core, in a dynamically unstable system.
2) The twin-binary d-i objects orbiting the much-less-massive stellar core represents a dynamically unstable system, in which close orbital encounters between the massive d-i objects with the diminutive stellar core tends to evaporate the stellar core into a circumbinary orbit around the twin-binary d-i objects in a process known as equipartition of kinetic energy.
3) Orbital close encounters between the diminutive stellar core and the much-more massive d-i objects tend to transfer orbital and rotational energy and angular momentum to the stellar core by equipartition, causing the stellar core to ‘spin up’ (rotate faster). Rotational kicks may eventually cause the stellar core to gravitationally fragment by way of an intermediate bar-mode instability, fragmenting into three components (hence TRIfurcation), namely, a twin-binary pair orbiting a diminutive (residual) core. And first-generation trifurcation can lead to second-generation trifurcation and etc.
¶ Asymmetrical FFF inherently involves inertial displacement of the stellar core from the center of mass of the system, whereas symmetrical FFF requires subsequent phase of orbital interplay to resolve the dynamically unstable symmetrical FFF system, consisting of a twin-binary pair of massive d-i objects in orbit around their diminutive stellar core. Massive objects in orbit around a diminutive core constitute a dynamically unstable system, which is resolved into a stable hierarchical system, by progressive ‘evaporation’ of the diminutive stellar core into a circumbinary orbit around the d-i objects during a period of orbital interplay, as the d-i objects spiral inward to conserve system energy and angular momentum.
¶ In a close orbital encounters between objects with dissimilar masses, the less-massive component receives an energy kick at the expense of the more-massive component by the principle of equipartition of kinetic energy, which is the same principle used to extract orbital energy by interplanetary spacecraft, where the principle is better known as gravitational slingshot or gravity assist. Gravitational slingshot or gravity assist is something of a misnomer, since the spacecraft is parasitizing the orbital energy of the planet by means of a gravitational interaction.
¶ In addition to this orbital energy and angular momentum transfer, equipartition in close orbital encounters is also suggested here to transfer rotational energy and angular momentum to the stellar core, causing an increase in the rotational rate, or a ‘spin up’ of the core. (Scheeres et al. 2000) calculates that the rotation rate of asteroids tends to increase in close encounters of asteroids with larger planemo objects.
¶ Rotational spin up due to equipartition causes a core to distort into an oblate sphere. Additional spin up causes the oblate sphere to further distort into a bar-mode instability. The failure mode of a bar-mode instability is suggested here to be trifurcation, where continued spin up causes the bar-mode instability to fragment into into three components, where the twin bar-mode arms gravitationally pinching off into their own gravitationally-bound Roche spheres in orbit around the diminutive residual core at the center of gravity and rotation.
¶ At the instant of trifurcation, the trinary components closely resemble a smaller version of the original trinary components of its parent symmetrical FFF, in that both systems are comprised of a twin binary pair orbiting a much smaller ‘residual core’. And exactly like symmetrical FFF, the triple components of trifurcation constitute a dynamically unstable system that’s resolved by orbital interplay. Here again, the equipartition of orbital and rotational energy and angular momentum transfer from the the massive twin-binary components to the diminutive residual core. And as in symmetrical FFF, spin up during orbital interplay of the trifurcated components can lead to next-generation trifurcation of the residual core.
¶ Thus, trifurcation of a stellar core following symmetrical FFF fosters next-generation trifurcation, and etc., possibly extending to multiple generations, potentially creating a string of successively-smaller twin-binary pairs, like Russian nesting dolls, with the three sets of similar-sized planets in our solar system (Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune and Venus-Earth) as the paradigm.
¶ Trinary star systems with diminutive companion stars orbiting similar-sized twin-binary pairs, such as Alpha Centauri and L1448 IRS3B, are suggested to have formed by symmetrical FFF, but without subsequent trifurcation. Next-generation trifurcation may be much more probable than trifurcation during symmetrical FFF, and/or heavy stellar cores in relation to the mass of their twin-binary d-i objects may be particularly-resistant to trifurcation.
¶ In our own solar system, symmetrical FFF is suggested to have resulted in
4 generations of trifurcation, which created 4 sets of similar-sized twin-binary pairs:
1) 1st-gen trifurcation of Brown Dwarf (stellar core) >> binary-Companion + SUPER-Jupiter
2) 2nd-gen trifurcation of SUPER-Jupiter >> Jupiter-Saturn + SUPER-Neptune
3) 3rd-gen trifurcation of SUPER-Neptune >> Uranus-Neptune + SUPER-Earth
4) 4th-gen trifurcation of SUPER-Earth >> Venus-Earth + Mercury(?)
(Note, unorthodox capitalization indicates unorthodox definitions. ‘SUPER-Jupiter’, ‘SUPER-Neptune’ and ‘SUPER-Earth’ are the names for the former residual cores formed in the first three trifurcation generations. And ‘Brown Dwarf’ is the name of the original stellar core of the solar sytem.)
¶ Trifurcation is presumably a fractionation process, which pinches off more volatile components into the bar-mode arms, leaving behind a denser, more refractory residual core. Thus in the trifurcation of the SUPER-Jupiter residual core, more of the volatile hydrogen and helium was pinched off into the Jupiter-Saturn twin-binary pair, leaving behind a higher ice and rocky-iron percentage in the SUPER-Neptune residual core. Thus each succeeding generation of twin-binary components is composed of higher-density elements, winding up with final residual core, Mercury(?), having a proportionately-larger iron-nickel core than its twin-binary siblings, Venus and Earth.
¶ If trifurcation is indeed a fractionation process, it predicts that later twin-binary trifurcation generations should tend to have heavier isotopic ratios, such that Venus and Earth should have identical isotopic ratios, which should be heavier than the isotopic ratios of Uranus and Neptune, for instance. This should be true for oxygen isotopes as well, however, all the progeny of the original Brown Dwarf stellar core should lie on the terrestrial fractionation line (TFL) of 3-oxygen isotope plot, assuming no mass-independent fractionation of oxygen isotopes.
¶ The bar-mode instability pathway of trifurcation also predicts that in the trifurcation of internally-differentiated objects, the residual core should acquire a larger iron-nickel core than its much-larger twin-binary siblings. I.e., in the trifurcation of a rocky-iron SUPER-Earth with an internally-differentiated iron-nickel core, lower density crust and mantle material should be preferentially centrifugally slung into the bar-mode arms that pinch off to form the twin-binary pair, while a larger proportion of the denser core material should remain in the residual core. And indeed Mercury has a proportionately-larger iron-nickel core than Earth, although Earth slightly edges out Mercury in overall density, due to the compression of its much-greater gravity. Third-generation trifurcation-product Uranus also has lower density than second-generation trifurcation-product Jupiter, presumably for the same reason, with Uranus presumably having a proportionately-larger iron-nickel core than Jupiter. So each generation of twin-binary pairs should be composed of more-refractory material, which also generally also means higher-density material.
¶ Thus, trifurcation makes makes predictions (unlike pebble/core accretion), such as multiple generations of twin binary pairs in size regression with density progression.
¶ The orbital dynamics in multiple trifurcation generations may become rather chaotic, with orbital close encounters between between twin binary pairs and their residual core tending to make the twin binary pairs spiral in toward ultimate merger, while orbital close encounters with larger components would tend to make twin-binary pairs tend to spiral out toward separation.
¶ In our own solar system, the former symmetrical FFF d-i objects are suggested to have remained gravitationally bound to one another as our former binary-Sun, whose components spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma. Similarly, the first-generation trifurcation twin-binary components are suggested to have also remained gravitationally bound, whose components spiraled in to merge around 650 Ma. The twin-binary components of the second, third and fourth generations, however, spiraled out and separated to form 6 of our planets.
¶ In light of chaotic orbital dynamics, it’s curious that the three sets of twin-binary planets still orbit in pairs, with Venus-Earth interior to Jupiter-Saturn and Uranus-Neptune exterior. This alternative ideology can at present offer no explanation for this planetary ordering.
¶ FFF and trifurcation are suggested catastrophic mechanisms for increasing system entropy by projecting mass inward. While trifurcation reduces subsystem entropy by trifurcating a residual core, this decrease in entropy must be more than offset by an increase in entropy of the larger system, generally by causing a larger twin binary pair to spiral inward.
L1448 IRS3B (See Figure 1):
¶ The Class 0 protostar system, L1448 IRS3B, is suggested to have formed by symmetrical FFF. This triple system is composed of a similar-sized binary pair, IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b, with a combined mass of ~ 1 M☉ in a 61 AU binary orbit, and a distant tertiary companion, IRS3B-c, that has a minimum mass of of ~ 0.085 M☉ at a separation of 183 AU from the binary pair. This system may become more hierarchical over time, coming to resemble the Alpha Centauri system at half the mass.
¶ “Thus we expect the [L1448 IRS3B] orbits to evolve on rapid timescales (with respect to the expected stellar lifetime), especially as the disk dissipates. A natural outcome of this dynamical instability is the formation of a more hierarchical system with a tighter (few AU) inner pair and wider (100s to 1,000s AU) tertiary, consistent with observed triple systems.” (Tobin et al. 2016)
¶ The tertiary star, IRS3B-c, is embedded in a spiral arm of the outer disk, where the spiral arm has an estimated mass of 0.3 M☉. The standard model of companion star formation expressed by Tobin et al. suggests that IRS3B-c formed in situ by gravitational instability from the spiral disk, making IRS3B-c younger than IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b, but problematically, circumbinary IRS3B-c is brighter at at 1.3 mm and 8 mm than its much more massive siblings, as is clearly apparent in the image above. Alternatively, the brighter tertiary companion, IRS3B-c, appears to refute the standard model and support the alternative asymmetrical FFF origin, attributing greater brightness to greater age, making the diminutive companion the progenitor of the younger, larger twin-binary pair.
¶ Since the iron core of Earth’s Moon is disproportionately small compared to Earth’s iron core, the Moon is apparently not the residual core of twin-binary Venus-Earth, captured by Earth. An alternative origin story is suggested by the visual depiction of computer models of bar-mode instabilities, where bar-mode instabilities are suggested stage of trifurcation immediately proceeding gravitational fragmentation.
¶ A conspicuous component of the bar-mode instability structure is the twin pair of tails that trail behind ends of the bar-mode arms, causing the bar-mode structure more closely resemble a pinwheel, as depicted in the following dynamical bar-mode instability video, Dynamical Bar-mode Instability
¶ A ‘pinch-off moon’ is suggested to form during trifurcation when the trailing tail gravitationally pinches off into its own moony Roche sphere while its associated bar-mode arm is also gravitationally pinching off into its own planetary Roche sphere. And the resulting pinch-off moon remains gravitationally attached to its twin-binary planet.
¶ In addition to Earth’s oversized Moon, Titan at Saturn and Triton at Neptune are suggested to have formed as pinch off moons, with all other moons as either captured moons or hybrid-accretion moons.
¶ Triton’s retrograde orbit around Neptune suggests the intriguing possibility that pinch-off moons may form around their host planets in almost equal proportions of prograde and retrograde orbits, or even that pinch-off moons necessarily form in prograde-retrograde pairs, with one twin-binary trifurcation component inheriting a prograde pinch-off moon while its (anti) twin-binary trifurcation component inherits a retrograde pinch-off moon.
¶ Jupiter is suggested as having had a former retrograde pinch-off moon whose orbit decayed and spiraled to merge with the planet at 4,562 Ma, possibly condensing enstatite chondrites and possibly melting water ice in CI chondrites, forming dolomites in internal fissures.
¶ Venus is suggested as having a former retrograde pinch-off moon whose orbit decayed and spiraled in to merge with the planet at 541 Ma, entirely resurfacing the planet and contaminating Earth with former Venusian lifeforms, causing the Cambrian Explosion on Earth.
– Jupiter: retrograde pinch-off moon that merged with the planet at 4,562 Ma
– Saturn: prograde pinch-off moon Titan
– Uranus: lost prograde(?) pinch-off moon
– Neptune: retrograde pinch-off moon, Triton
– Venus: retrograde pinch-off moon that merged with the planet at 541 Ma
– Earth: prograde pinch-off moon, Luna
Hybrid accretion moons:
¶ Cascades of hybrid accretion moons apparently form around gas- and ice-giant planets, similar to the cascades of hybrid-accretion super-earths which form around dwarf stars. The large planemo moons of Uranus are the best example of an untruncated cascade of hybrid accretion moons in our solar system, with the 4 Galilean moons of Jupiter as an example of an apparent truncated cascade. Possessing a pinch-off moon does apparently does not preclude the subsequent formation of hybrid accretion moons, such as the planemo moons of Saturn inside the orbit of Titan, and likely including Iapetus beyond Saturn.
¶ Venus is suggested to be Earth’s twin from the fourth-generation SUPER-Earth trifurcation. Venus may be Earth’s twin in another way as well, if Venus formerly had a pinch-off moon, similar to Earth’s moon in size and composition. Venus’ moon, however, was presumably in a doomed retrograde orbit like Triton around Neptune. Triton’s decaying orbit will spiral in to merge with Neptune in about 3.6 billion years, while Venus’ former pinch-off moon may have already done so in a ‘Venusian cataclysm’ at 541 Myr. A Venusian cataclysm caused by the spiral-in merger of a former retrograde moon would explain why the surface of Venus has been ‘recently’ resurfaced. The nearly-random spatial distribution of Venus’ low crater count suggests 300-500 Myr resurfacing (Price & Suppe 1994), or 300-1000 Myr resurfacing (McKinnon et al. 1997).
¶ Pancake-shaped coronae on Venus, caused by mantle upwelling, may be evidence of a protracted digestion of its former moon, with Venus’s sulfurous atmosphere presumably sustained by continued volcanic outgassing. “Sulphur dioxide is a million times more abundant in the atmosphere of Venus than that of Earth, possibly as a result of volcanism on Venus within the past billion years.” (Marcq et al 2013)
¶ The sudden appearance of all modern phyla on Earth in the Cambrian Explosion is consistent with the catastrophic merger explosion contamination of Earth by our closest planetary neighbor, if Venus rather than Earth were the original cradle of complex life in the inner solar system. And presumably Venus contaminated the rest of the inner solar system with Venusian lifeforms as well, to a greater or lesser degree.
¶ For Venus’ retrograde orbit to be the result of a merger with a former retrograde moon requires that the moon’s retrograde orbit had more angular momentum than Venus’ former prograde rotation. Part of the prograde-to-retrograde planetary rotation transition (angular momentum transfer) would have occurred progressively during 4 billion years of Venus-moon tidal interactions, but the majority of the angular momentum transfer would have been cataclysmic, at impact.
¶ An object in a circular orbit has only half the potential and kinetic energy necessary to achieve escape velocity, so presumably very few massive chunks of moon or planetary surface escaped Venus’ gravitational well. Volatile loss of vaporized rock would have fogged the inner solar system, perhaps causing the Baykonurian glaciation at the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic boundary by reducing the solar incidence on Earth.
¶ Finally, part of the elevated temperature of Venus and its atmosphere (above and beyond the greenhouse effect) could be directly attributable to continued cooling from the Venusian cataclysm, and presumably the vast majority of the greenhouse gasses causing indirect greenhouse heating are attributable to the cataclysm as well, converting Venus from more hospitable to life than Earth prior to 541 Ma to the most inhospitable object in the solar system afterward.
Protoplanetary disk and three debris disks:
– Protoplanetary disk (> 4,567 Ma) — Brown Dwarf, Mars(?), Oort cloud comets(?), CI chondrites(?)
– Trifurcation debris disk [inferred] (> 4,567 Ma) — old hot-classical KBOs
– Solar-merger debris disk (4,567 Ma) — asteroids, chondrites
– Companion-merger debris disk [inferred] (650 Ma) — young cold-classical KBOs, Ceres(?)
– Protoplanetary disk, >4,567 Ma:
¶ Former Brown Dwarf is may have condensed trillions of kilometer-scale planetesimals from the protoplanetary disk by streaming instability against its magnetic corotation radius, many of which may have accreted to form Mars, and possibly other missing planets in possible former hybrid-accretion planet cascade around Brown Dwarf.
¶ The vast majority of the leftover protoplanetary planetesimals were presumably scattered into the Oort cloud or out of the solar system altogether during the upheaval of symmetrical FFF followed by 4 generations of trifurcation, and small protoplanetary planetesimals may have vaporized altogether in the lumious red nova phase of the binary-Sun merger at 4,567 Ma. Subsequently, a number of protoplanetary planetesimals may have been reintroduced into the inner solar system from the Oort cloud reservoir as CI chondrites.
– Trifurcation debris disk, Brown Dwarf reservoir, >4,567 Ma:
¶ Rotational fragmentation of a core by trifurcation is presumably an inefficient and messy process in which a sizable percentage of Brown Dwarf mass vaporized to form a trifurcation debris disk during 4 generations of trifurcation.
¶ The trifurcation debris disk had a high angular momentum content, extending beyond Neptune, ‘condensing’ planetesimals, presumably by streaming instability, against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances, principally against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance. Today, this reservoir presumably constitutes Plutinos and hot classical Kuiper belt objects (KBOs), as well as scattered disk, extended scattered disc and detached objects, scattered into their ‘hot’ perturbed orbits by the tidal effects of former binary-Companion.
¶ The trifurcation debris disk was derived from the homogenized Brown Dwarf reservoir defines the 3-oxygen-isotope terrestrial fractionation line (TFL), including all 6 trifurcation planets (excluding Mars and possibly Mercury), as well as the trifurcation debris disk condensates, including; hot classical KBOs, scattered disk, extended scattered disc and detached objects. Mass-dependent fractionation during trifurcation, debris-disk processing and streaming instability may separate the trifurcation planets streaming-instability objects along the TFL, but only mass-independent fractionation could displace objects off the TFL, above or below it.
¶ Additionally, trifurcation of internally-differentiated objects, with iron-nickel cores, would tend to vaporize and spatter surficial siderophile-depleted material, and brown dwarfs (and smaller gaseous and terrestrial planets) are understood to to be internally differentiated, unlike larger stars with significant internal thermal circulation, so the resulting trifurcation debris disk is assumed to have had a siderophile-depleted composition, depleted in iron, nickel, and the siderophile platinum group elements, including iridium. A siderophile-depleted debris disk extrapolates to siderophile-depleted hot classical KBO, et al. And siderophile depleted hot classical KBOs that lie on the terrestrial fractionation line plays into the alternative suggestion that gneissic continental basement rock could be extraterrestrial, formed by ‘aqueous differentiation’ of KBOs, perturbed into the inner solar system by tidal effects of former binary-Companion. (See section, AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs))
– Solar-merger debris disk, solar-merger reservoir, 4,567 Ma:
¶ Perturbed by former binary-Companion, the former twin binary-Sun components are suggested to have spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma, apparently elevating the temperature of the merging core to the point of fusing r-process radionuclides, notably 26Al and 60Fe. The solar-merger debris was also variably enriched in the helium-burning stable isotopes, notably 20 Ne, 16O and 12C. The stellar merger created a luminous red nova (LRN) that may have briefly extended into the Kuiper belt, which quickly dissipated and left behind a low angular-momentum ‘solar-merger debris disk’ in the inner solar system. Calcium aluminum inclusions (CAIs) apparently condensed from polar jets squirting from the merging cores with canonical 26Al concentrations, and chondrules appear to have formed episodically, as violent solar flares melted dust bunnies, during a circa 3 million year flare star phase of the Sun following its binary merger.
¶ Asteroids are suggested to have quickly condensed by streaming instability against the Sun’s post-merger super-intense magnetic field, while the short-lived radionuclides were still highly radioactive, causing these early condensates to ‘thermally differentiate’ (melt internally). (Carbonaceous) chondrites may have condensed over the course of the next 5 million years by streaming instability, against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances
¶ If the planet Mercury is not the residual core of the 4th-generation-trifurcation (Venus-Earth-Mercury), then Mercury may be a hybrid-accretion planet accreted from refractory asteroids condensed against the Sun’s greatly-expanded solar-merger magnetic corotation radius.
possibly near the orbit of Mercury.
¶ The stellar merger imparted very-little angular momentum to the nova debris, apparently confining the solar-merger debris disk to the inner solar system. The debris disk may have been more in the form of a ring near the orbit of Mercury, dragged into Keplerian rotation by the Sun’s magnetic field. Then gradually over the next several million years, the disk may have extended out as far as Jupiter, as the chaotic debris gradually extracting angular momentum from Jupiter itself, enabling the in situ condensation of undifferentiated chondrites against Jupiter’s inner resonances, after the radioactivity of the short-lived radionuclides had largely decayed away.
¶ The LRN may have extended well into the Kuiper belt, melting an igneous crust on the surface of hot classical KBOs, as well as melting an igneous crust on the terrestrial planets, as well as extant gas-giant moons, and small (< 1 Km) presolar planetesimals may have vaporized altogether.
– Companion-merger debris disk, 650 Ma:
¶ The super-Jupiter components of former binary-Companion presumably spiraled in to merge at about 650 Ma, fogging the solar system with binary-Companion merger debris, causing the Marinoan glaciation on Earth. The binary-Companion merger presumably resulted in an asymmetrical merger explosion which gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. While the binary-Sun merger at 4,567 Ma was vastly more energetic than the binary-Companion merger at around 650 Ma, the later Companion-merger debris disk inherited vastly more angular momentum, apparently creating a debris disk that extended well beyond Neptune, which is suggested to have condensed a young population of cold classical KBOs.
¶ The proceeding Sturtian glaciation (715–680 Ma) of the Cryogenian Period points to a prolonged period of solar system fogging long before the actual binary-Companion merger at 650 Ma. This earlier Sturtian glaciation suggests a series of moony mergers with the super-Jupiter-mass binary-Companion components, as the super-Jupiter-mass binary components spiraled inward.
¶ A young, ‘cold classical KBO’ population presumably condensed in situ by streaming instability against the strongest outer resonances of Neptune from the Companion-merger debris disk, primarily against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance. Presumably the earlier moony mergers that also fogged the solar system during the Sturtian glaciation did not eject sufficient mass to condense planetesimals.
¶ The young, cold-classical KBO population should lie on the TFL like the old hot-classical KBO population, but the young population should have a siderophile signature, since the binary-Companion-merger debris included siderophile material from the cores of the merging super-Jupiter-mass components.
¶ The companion-merger debris disk also inherited the Brown Dwarf D/H (deuterium/hydrogen) ratio. A measurement of the D/H ratio in the cold classical KBO population could determine if one or both binary-Companion components were above or below the brown-dwarf deuterium-burning threshold.
Solar system summary:
¶ A massive accretion disk around a diminutive brown-dwarf-mass core underwent symmetrical FFF, condensing a twin-binary pair of disk-instability (d-i) objects. The resulting system, comprised of a massive twin binary pair of prestellar d-i objects orbiting the diminutive Brown Dwarf, was dynamically unstable, resulting in a period of orbital interplay which progressively ‘evaporated’ Brown Dwarf into a circumbinary orbit around the twin binary pair which concomitantly spiraled inward to became ‘binary-Sun’. Orbital interplay caused Brown Dwarf to spin up and undergo 4 generations of trifurcation, forming a binary-Companion, along with the trifurcation planets. Perturbations from former binary-Companion caused the stellar-mass binary-Sun components to spiral in and merge at 4,567 Ma, creating a luminous red nova, which quickly retreated to leave behind the ‘solar-merger debris disk’, which condensed asteroids and chondrites by streaming instability.
Symmetrical FFF, followed by 4 generations of trifurcation:
¶ Our solar system at one time is suggested to have formed 5 transitory twin-binary pairs; binary-Sun, binary-Companion, Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune, and Venus-Earth.
1) Symmetrical FFF — binary-Sun + Brown Dwarf (stellar core)
2) First-generation trifurcation — binary-Companion + SUPER-Jupiter (residual core)
3) Second-generation trifurcation — Jupiter-Saturn + SUPER-Neptune (residual core)
4) Third-generation trifurcation — Uranus-Neptune + SUPER-Earth (residual core)
5) Fourth-generation trifurcation — Venus-Earth + Mercury(?) (residual core)
¶ The suggested super-Jupiter-mass twin-binary components of binary-Companion did not separate like the binary components of the three younger trifurcation generations, creating a quaternary system, composed of binary-Sun and binary-Companion in a wide binary orbit around the solar system barycenter, with a Sun-Companion separation on the order of hundreds of AU.
¶ Following binary-Sun merger at 4,567 Ma, perturbations from the rest of the solar system caused binary-Companion components to spiral in over time, the increased binding energy of the binary-Companion system went into progressively increasing the Sun-Companion eccentricity over time, conserving system energy. This progressively-increasing Sun-Companion eccentricity caused tidal perturbation to progress outward through the Kuiper belt over time, causing the late heavy bombardment of the inner solar system by KBO impacts as the tidal perturbation progressed through the classical Kuiper belt.
¶ Ultimately, binary-Companion’s binary components spiraled in to merge at around 650 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion which gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. And the Companion-merger debris disk condensed a young population of cold-classical KBOs against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance.
¶ Mercury has two potential origin stories which seem equally plausible; first, as the fourth-generation residual core of the SUPER-Earth trifurcation, > 4,567 Ma, and second, as a hybrid accretion planet formed from the 4,567 Ma solar-merger debris disk. Both alternatives predict a large iron-nickel core, with trifurcation placing Mercury on the 3-oxygen-isotope terrestrial fractionation line (TFL), while a hybrid accretion origin suggests 16O enrichment, placing Mercury below the TFL But even a trifurcation origin should be heavily contaminated by asteroid impacts.
¶ Venus is suggested to be the twin of Earth from the fourth-generation SUPER-Earth trifurcation, and similar to Earth, Venus may have also had a former (oversized) pinch-off moon. But Venus’ former moon was apparently injected into a doomed retrograde orbit that decayed and spiraled in to merge with the planet at 541 Ma in the ‘Venusian cataclysm’.
¶ Low crater counts indicate that Venus has been entirely resurfaced, either in the last 300-500 Mya (Price & Suppe 1994), or in the last or 300-1000 Myr (McKinnon et al. 1997). The numerous massive pancake-shaped coronae on Venus may be the result of a messy digestion of the moon that still occasionally erupts to form massive new coronae. And the oppressive sulfurous atmosphere is presumably attributable to cataclysm outgassing. “Sulphur dioxide is a million times more abundant in the atmosphere of Venus than that of Earth, possibly as a result of volcanism on Venus within the past billion years.” (Marcq et al 2013)
¶ The sudden appearance of all modern lifeform phyla on Earth in the Cambrian Explosion supports a bright-line moony-merger contamination of Earth, making Venus the cradle of complex life in the inner solar system which it relayed to Earth in the midst of its 100% extinction event cataclysm.
¶ Venus’ present retrograde rotation suggests that at formation, the moon’s retrograde orbit contained slightly-more retrograde angular momentum than the planet’s prograde rotational angular momentum.
¶ Earth is suggested to be the twin of Venus from the fourth-generation SUPER-Earth trifurcation. Earth is presumed to have acquired its pinch-off Moon during trifurcation, as the trailing tail of the bar-mode arm which formed Earth and gravitationally pinched off into a separate Roche sphere, remaining gravitationally bound to the planet.
¶ The Great Unconformity is suggested to have been caused by a cataclysmic solar-system event, resulting from the 650 Ma spiral-in merger of former binary-Companion that gave the newly-merged Companion an escape-velocity kick from the Sun. The loss of former binary-Companion eliminated the centrifugal force of the Sun around the former Sun-Companion barycenter, causing all heliocentric objects to fall into slightly-lower, shorter-period orbits, resulting in super tsunamis on Earth, with the concomitant catastrophic erosion of the Great Unconformity. Additionally, the Marinoan glaciation of the (Snowball Earth) Cryogenian Period is suggested to have been caused by fogging of the solar system by the Companion-merger debris disk, with the earlier, more prolonged Sturtian glaciation caused by moony mergers with the binary-Companion components as they spiraled inward.
¶ Earth was presumably contaminated by Venusian lifeforms at 541 Ma, causing the Cambrian Explosion of new lifeforms on Earth, when Venus’ former retrograde pinch-off moon’s orbit decayed to merge with the planet in the Venusian cataclysm.
¶ The continental tectonic plates on Earth are suggested to be cored by authigenic gneissic sediments, precipitated, lithified and metamorphosed in the cores of hot classical KBOs, which were perturbed into the inner solar system from the Kuiper belt by tidal effects of former binary-Companion. (See section, AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs))
Mars, Oort cloud comets and CI chondrites:
¶ Mars is suggested to be a hybrid-accretion planet from the protoplanetary disk which formed around one of the symmetrical FFF components, either around the former Brown Dwarf stellar core, or around one of the twin-binary disk-instability objects which became former binary-Sun. Because of its diminutive size, vastly-smaller than a super-Earth, its most probable progenitor was Brown Dwarf. If so, then today’s Oort cloud comets may be the leftover planetesimals from the hybrid accretion of Mars, scattered into the Oort cloud by the dynamics of symmetrical FFF, followed by 4 generations of trifurcation. CI chondrites, which do not contain solar-merger chondrules and which and lie near the 3-oxygen-isotope Martian fractionation line, may sample this protoplanetary reservoir.
¶ The presumed Brown Dwarf protoplanetary disk former origin of CI chondrites suggests a close affinity with Mars, and indeed CI chondrites lie very near the Martian fractionation line. CI chondrites have a ∆17O (‰) of +0.41 (Burbine & O’Brien 2004), compared to the Martian fractionation line of +0.321 ± 0.013‰ (Franchi et al. 1999). If the ∆17O difference between Mars meteorites and CI chondrites is the result of KBO contamination during the late heavy bombardment, when Mars was presumably peppered with hot classical KBO population which lie on the TFL (with a ∆17O of 0.0‰), then the Martian surface magma sampled by Martian meteorites is contaminated with 22% KBO input.
¶ Jupiter is suggested to be a twin of Saturn from the second-generation SUPER-Jupiter trifurcation.
¶ Perhaps like Venus and Neptune, Jupiter may have once possessed a former pinch-off moon in a doomed retrograde orbit that spiraled in to merge with the gas giant at around 4,562 Ma. The truncated cascade of 4 large Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, presumably formed by hybrid accretion, may be largely moony-merger debris, with angular momentum gleaned from Jupiter’s rotation by magnetic coupling.
¶ CI chondrites from the asteroid belt exhibit a thermal event that melted water ice and deposited dolomites in this age range, with a 53Mn–53Cr age of dolomites dated at 4,563.8–4,562.5) (Fujiya et al. 2013).
¶ The D/H (deuterium/hydrogen) ratio of Saturn is lower than that of Jupiter by a factor of 0.71 + 0.22% – 0.15, contrary to standard-model predictions of a higher ratio (Pierel et al. 2017). But when the suggested moony merger explosively overflowed Jupiter’s Roche sphere, Jupiter’s outer layers would have become particularly fractionated, due to the enormous 2 to 1 mass difference between deuterium and protium, depleting Jupiter’s outer layers in the much-more-volatile protium.
¶ Perhaps the most compelling evidence for a dramatic inner solar system event pointing to a Jupiter-moony merger around 4,562 Ma are enstatite chondrites, which are the only chondrites to lie on the TFL, pointing to a Brown Dwarf reservoir origin, with a 29I–129Xe age for enstatite chondrites of 4,562.3 +/- 0.4 (Gilmour et al. 2009).
¶ Saturn, is suggested to be a twin of Jupiter from the second-generation SUPER-Jupiter trifurcation. Titan appears to be Saturn’s prograde pinch-off moon, with a neat cascade of smaller planemo hybrid-accretion moons.
¶ Uranus is suggested to be a twin of Neptune from the third-generation SUPER-Neptune trifurcation.
¶ Uranus either did not acquire a pinch-off moon or subsequently lost it, but it exhibits a handsome cascade of hybrid accretion moons which apparently formed after Uranus sideways tilt, since the moons’ orbits are closely aligned with the planet’s rotational axis. While Uranus’ sideways tilt and lack of a pinch-off moon is unexplained, it’s hardly surprising in a solar system suggested to have undergone 4 generations of trifurcation.
¶ Neptune is suggested to be a twin of Uranus from the third-generation SUPER-Neptune trifurcation.
¶ Triton is Neptune’s suggested pinch-off moon, which presumably acquired its a retrograde orbit as a result of trifurcation. Neptune’s smaller moons do not represent a neat cascade of hybrid-accretion moons.
Asteroids and chondrites:
¶ Asteroids and chondrites are suggested to have condensed by streaming instability from a low angular momentum solar-merger debris disk, from the aftermath of the former spiral-in merger of former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma.
¶ Early-forming asteroids with hot radionuclides may have primarily condensed by streaming instability against the Sun’s greatly expanded magnetic corotation radius, and Mercury may or may not be a hybrid accretion planet formed from these asteroids. The hot radionuclides caused thermal differentiation, raising the internal temperature above the melting point of silicates.
¶ Chondrites formed over the next 5 million years, likely condensing in situ by streaming instability against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances, with Jupiter’s orbital drag providing the angular momentum to condense chondrites that far from the Sun from a low angular-momentum solar-merger debris disk. Chondrites are not internally differentiated, due to their formation after the radioactivity of the short-lived radionuclides had largely died away.
Hot classical KBOs:
¶ Hot classical KBOs in are suggested to have condensed from the trifurcation debris disk from the Brown Dwarf reservoir against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances, shortly prior to 4,567 Ma. Hot classical KBOs are suggested to lie on the TFL and have a siderophile-depleted composition coincident with Earth’s continental crust, with the basement rock of Earth’s continental crust suggested to be extraterrestrial of hot classical KBO origin.
¶ Hot classical KBOs were presumably condensed against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances in ‘cold’, low-inclination low-eccentricity orbits, which were perturbed into their present ‘hot’, high-inclination high-eccentricity orbits by tidal perturbation by former binary-Companion. The scattered, extended scattered disc and detached objects represent KBOs from this population which were still more perturbed by former binary-Companion.
¶ Additionally, orbital perturbation by former binary-Companion is suggested to have caused internal ‘aqueous differentiation’ of the hot classical population, predominantly by causing binary KBOs to spiral in and merge to become contact binaries, melting saltwater oceans in their cores. And aqueous differentiation is suggested to have precipitated authigenic gneissic sediments, which subsequently lithified and metamorphosed into gneiss, crowned by mantling sediments, typically comprised of quartzite, marble and schist. So progressive binary-Companion perturbation of the hot classical KBO population both initiated internal aqueous differentiation, as well as orbitally perturbing many differentiated KBOs into the inner solar system.
Cold classical KBOs:
¶ Young, cold classical KBOs are suggested to have condensed in situ against Neptunes outer 2:3 resonance from the young Companion-merger debris disk, formed from spiral-in merger debris of former binary-Companion, around 650 Ma.
¶ Cold classical KBOs are often binary systems, composed similar-size and similar-color binary pairs, in ‘cold’, low-inclination low-eccentricity orbits, presumably due to in situ condensation by streaming without subsequent orbital perturbation by former binary-Companion. Additionally, cold classical KBOs tend to be red in coloration, while hot classical KBOs are more heterogeneous, tending toward bluish hues.
¶ Presumably few if any cold classical KBOs have been perturbed into the inner solar system, with the loss of former binary-Companion, likely with none having impacted Earth.
¶ The Pluto system presumably formed in situ by streaming instability against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance. The geologically active surface of Pluto, revealed in 2015 by the New Horizons spacecraft, may point to its membership in the young KBO population, condensed from the binary-Companion disk at 650 Ma.
¶ The binary Pluto system appears to have formed by symmetrical FFF, followed by 2 generations of trifurcation from a very-diminutive core, resulting in three twin-binary pairs, namely, the symmetrical FFF twins, Pluto-Charon, the first-generation twins Nix-Hydra, and the second-generation twins Styx-Kerberos. This formation sequence would make the Pluto system very similar to the formation sequence of our solar system as a whole, despite being a heliocentric satellite. Pluto’s smaller moons are very much smaller than Pluto and Charon (circa 31,600 times less massive than Charon), which may point to differing FFF dynamics between gaseous stellar systems and dusty streaming-instability systems in orbit around gas giants and stars.
¶ Detached objects, also known as extended scattered disc objects (E-SDO), distant detached objects (DDO) or scattered-extended objects are a class of minor planets belonging to trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), with perihelia sufficiently distant from Neptune to be considered detached from planetary influence.
¶ The relative aphelia alignment of detached objects, such as Sedna and 2012 VP-113, is suggested here to be a fossil alignment of KBO aphelia with the former Sun-Companion axis, where shorter period KBOs have randomized their orientations since the loss of binary-Companion, around 650 Ma.
Flip-flop perturbation of KBOs:
¶ ‘Flip-flop perturbation’ is a suggested progressive orbital perturbation mechanism, caused by the secular evolution of the Sun–binary-Companion system. The secular evolution was caused by the progressive energy transfer from the close-binary super-Jupiter-mass components of binary-Companion to the wide-binary components of the Sun-Companion system, in which the binary-Companion components progressively spiraled in, causing the wide-binary Sun-Companion system to become progressively eccentric over time. This progressive eccentricity of the Sun-Companion system caused a progressive tidal dynamic in the Kuiper belt, which can be illustrated by lunar tides on Earth.
¶ Earth has two lunar high tides, a near-side high tide, nearest the Moon, and a far-side high tide, farthest from the Moon, with low tide half way between the two high tides. As the Earth rotates, ocean water flip-flops from high tide to low tide to high tide and etc. The orbital analogy is suggested to have affected heliocentric orbits in the Kuiper belt, where KBOs experiencing near-side high tide had their aphelia pointed toward binary-Companion, while KBOs experiencing far-side high tide had their aphelia centrifugally slung 180° away from from binary-Companion. This orbital aphelia flip-flop mechanism is designated, ‘flip-flop perturbation’.
¶ The low-tide transition between the aphelia flip-flop states is designated, ‘tidal inflection point’ (TIP), and for convenience TIP is defined with respect to the semimajor axes of KBOs. The flip-flop dynamic was not sudden, but instead took the form of aphelia precession, toward or 180° away from from binary-Companion as the tidal inflection point between Sun and Companion seesawed through the Kuiper belt with the Sun-Companion eccentricity. Additionally, the stroke of the TIP seesaw progressively increased its reach from the Sun, over time, with the progressively increasing Sun-Companion eccentricity.
¶ As eccentricity progressively increased the reach of TIP into the Kuiper belt over time, progressively more distant KBOs were subjected to aphelia precession (flip-flop perturbation) as TIP caught up with their semimajor axes for the first time.
¶ If the Sun were 20 times more massive than Companion, then the solar system barycenter (SSB) would be 20 times closer to the Sun than to Companion. Imagine at t = 0 with the SSB at 30 AU when the Sun-Companion are at greatest separation (at Sun-Companion apoapsis).
¶ Saturn in its orbit around the Sun varies its distance from Companion by twice its semimajor axis, by about 19 AU, which is a small percentage of the 20 x 30 = 600 AU closest approach of Companion; however, 19 AU is a huge percentage difference of the 30 AU distance to the SSB, at 30 AU. At all points in Saturn’s orbit the centrifugal force of the Sun around the SSB is 180° away from from binary-Companion, which subtracts from the gravitational force on Saturn toward binary-Companion, but since the SSB is much-much closer than binary-Companion, the large variation in centrifugal force across Saturn’s orbit governs major axis alignment, causing Saturn’s aphelion to be centrifugally slung 180° away from from binary-Companion.
¶ Next consider Neptune, with a semimajor axis of 30, which passes directly through the SSB when Neptune is closest to binary-Companion in its orbit. When Neptune passes though the SSB it instantaneously experiences zero centrifugal force away from Companion while experiencing maximal gravitational attraction toward Companion.
¶ Now consider a KBO with a semimajor axis of, say, 40 AU from the Sun. For the portion of the KBO orbit around the Sun which is beyond the SSB at 30 AU, a portion of the centrifugal force vector of the Sun around the SSB adds to the gravitational force vector that points toward binary-Companion, while on the far side of its orbit around the Sun the centrifugal force mostly subtracts from the gravitational force vector. The more distant the KBO, the less the relative effect of centrifugal force is directed away from binary-Companion, to the point that KBOs are suggested to have formed in situ with their aphelia pointed toward binary-Companion.
¶ While the TIP is associated with the SSB, they are not coincident, with the TIP presumably residing further from the Sun than the SSB. Flip-flop perturbation occurs when the eccentrically-increasing TIP (at Sun-Companion apoapsis) overtakes the semimajor axis of a KBO for the first time, causing the KBO’s orbital aphelion to precess from pointing toward binary-Companion to pointing 180° away from it.
Flip-flop perturbation of KBOs is suggested to have had at least two effects on KBOs:
1) Flip-flop perturbation is suggested to have reduced binary KBOs to solitary KBOs, either by separating the binary components, or more likely by causing their binary components to spiral in and merge to form contact binaries. Spiral-in mergers of large binary KBOs would have melted water ice, initiating ‘aqueous differentiation’, which is suggested to have precipitated authigenic gneissic sediments in their cores, which lithified and metamorphosed into gneiss. Earth impacts by aqueously-differentiated KBOs are suggested to be the origin of the basement rock of the continental tectonic plates on Earth.
2) Secondly, Flip-flop perturbation is suggested to have perturbed KBOs into highly-inclined, highly-eccentric orbits, many of which were perturbed out of the Kuiper belt, many into the inner solar system, with the heaviest influx during the period of the late heavy bombardment from about 4.1 to about 3.8 Ga, as the TIP moved through the cubewano population.
Evidence for the first pulse of a bimodal LHB:
¶ Flip-flop perturbation predicts a bimodal late heavy bombardment, with a narrow early pulse, as the TIP encounters Plutinos in a 2:3 mean-motion resonance with Neptune at 39.4 AU, followed by a broader main pulse, as the TIP encounters classical KBOs (cubewanos), which lie between the 2:3 resonance and the 1:2 resonance with Neptune.
¶ Lunar rock in the range of 4.04–4.26 Ga, from Apollo 16 and 17, separates the formational 4.5 Ga highland crust from the 4.1–3.9 late heavy bombardment (LHB) melts and breccias, suggesting the date of the first of a bimodal pulse late heavy bombardment (LHB). (Garrick-Bethell et al. 2008)
¶ Whole-rock ages ~4.2 Ga from Apollo 16 and 17, and a 4.23–4.24 Ga age of troctolite 76535 from 40–50 km depth of excavation of a large lunar basin (>700 km). The same 4.23 Ga age was found in far-side meteorites, Hoar 489 and Amatory 86032. Samples from North Ray crater (63503) have been reset to 4.2 Ga. Fourteen studies recorded ages from 4.04–4.26 Ga (Table 1). (Norman and Neomycin 2014)
¶ In addition to lunar evidence, a 4.2 Ga impact has affected an LL chondrite parent body. (Trieloff et al., 1989, 1994; Dixon et al., 2004)
¶ The proceeding evidence suggests an a sharply-defined early pulse of a bimodal LHB occurring around 4.22 Ga, when the tidal inflection point is suggested to have crossed the 2:3 resonance with Neptune, where the resonant Plutino population orbit.
¶ The relative aphelia alignment of detached objects today, such as Sedna and 2012 VP-113, is suggested to be a fossil alignment of KBO aphelia with the former Sun-Companion axis, where shorter period KBOs have randomized their aphelia orientations since the loss of Companion around 650 Ma.
Sun-Companion eccentricity increases at an exponential rate for 4 billion years:
(See Figure 3)
The actual mass of our former binary Companion is unknown and and relatively insignificant for calculating the suggested exponential rate of progression of the tidal inflection point (TIP) on KBOs through the Kuiper belt. In this subsection, the Alpha Centauri star system is arbitrarily chosen for scaling purposes, with our Sun corresponding to the combined binary mass of Alpha Centauri AB, and our former binary-Companion corresponding to the mass of Proxima Centauri. Since Alpha Centauri AB is almost exactly two solar masses, a former binary Companion half the mass of Proxima Centauri completes the symmetry, suggesting a .0615 solar mass (1/16.26 solar mass) for former binary-Companion.
Note: The following calculations are for the solar system barycenter (SSB) rather than for the TIP, where the tidal inflection point is related to the SSB, but not coincident with it. A working definition of the the TIP is is the distance from the Sun in AU, at a given point in time before 650 Ma, which would cause a KBO aphelia to begin to precess by 180°, where the TIP is defined with respect to KBO semimajor axes. The tidal inflection point is a more complex calculation than the SSB, which is beyond the scope of this conceptual approach, so the simpler SSB is calculated as an rough approximation.
Assuming exponential wide-binary orbit inflation r = 10at+b,
linearized as, log(r) = at + b
. ‘r’ is the log(AU) wide-binary (Sun-Companion) separation
. ‘t’ is time in Ma (millions of years ago)
. ‘a’ is the slope, corresponding to the exponential rate
. ‘b’ is the y-intercept, corresponding to the present (0.0 Ma)
Solve for ‘a’ and ‘b’:
1) SSB at 2:3 resonance with Neptune (39.4 AU):
1.5955 + 1.2370 = 4220m + b
2) SSB at the classical Kuiper belt spike (43 AU):
1.6335 + 1.2370 = 3900m + b
. 1.5955 = log(39.4 AU), log of Plutino orbit
. 1.6335 = log(43 AU)
. 1.2370 = log(1 + 16.26) This scales the Sun-SSB distance to the Sun-Companion distance. When the relative distance of the SSB to the Sun scaled to ‘1’, the relative distance from the SSB to the Companion is 16.26, so the total relative distance from the Sun to the Companion is (1 + 16.26) = 17.26. Adding log(17.26) = 1.2370 is the same as multiplying the distance in AU by 17.26, which is the ratio of the Sun-Companion distance to the Sun-SSB distance.
Solving for ‘a’ and ‘b’, yields:
. r = -t/8421 + 3.334
. a = -1/8421
. b = 3.334
t = 4,567 Ma, r = 618 AU, SSB = 35.8 AU
t = 4,220 Ma, r = 679 AU, SSB = 39.4 AU (Plutinos, 1st bimodal LHB spike)
t = 3,900 Ma, r = 742 AU, SSB = 43 AU (Cubewanos, 2nd bimodal LHB spike)
So the bimodal timing of the LHB may be amenable to calculation and thus predicting a falsifiable double pulse, whereas Grand Tack can not predict the onset of the LHB and does not predict a double pulse.
1) The Sun-Companion tidal inflection point crosses Plutinos in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune (39.4 AU) at 4.22 Ga, causing the first pulse of a bimodal LHB
2) The tidal inflection point reaches the peak concentration of the main belt cubewanos at 43 AU at 3.9 Ga.
Binary-Companion is presumed to have sculpted the inner edge of the inner Oort cloud, which is thought to begin between 2,000–5,000 AU from the Sun, which is in line with a .0615 solar mass binary-Companion (1/2 the mass of Proxima Centauri) reaching apoapsis distance of 1859 AU from the Sun by 635 Ma, having shepherded the comets outward for 4 billion years by progressive orbit clearing.
The predictive and explanatory power of catastrophic primary-mechanism ideology:
– Bimodal late heavy bombardment (LHB):
+++ Our former binary-Companion perturbed Plutinos in a brief, early bimodal pulse at 4.22 Ga, followed by the perturbation of cubewanos from 4.1-3.8 Ga in the broader, main bimodal pulse.
– – – Grand Tack does not predict or recognize a bimodal LHB, yet alone predict a brief, early bimodal pulse.
– Bimodal distribution of hot and cold Jupiters:
+++ Asymmetrical FFF explains the distinct gap between the bimodal distribution of gas-giant exoplanets into hot Jupiters in low ‘hot’ orbits and cold Jupiters in higher ‘cold’ orbits as a hiatus in the flip-flop mechanism, during the pithy first hydrostatic core (FHSC) end stage of the prestellar phase, with a corresponding desert of gas-giant masses at 4 Mj, the mass of the FHSC.
– – – Hierarchical accretion suggests that planetary migration causes some gas-giant planets core accreted in cold ‘Goldilocks’ orbits to migrate inward to become hot Jupiters; however, planetary migration does not explain the distinct gap between the two populations, and hierarchical accretion with planetary migration has no explanation for the 4 Mj desert.
– Bimodal distribution of hot and cold classical KBOs:
+++ The bimodal KBO populations ‘condensed’ by streaming instability from two separate debris disks, condensing old (> 4,567 Ma) hot classical KBOs from the trifurcation debris disk, and condensing young (650 Ma) cold classical KBOs from the Companion merger debris disk, with the hot classical KBOS having been perturbed into ‘hot’ high-inclination high-eccentricity orbits by Sun-Companion tidal effects.
– – – The Grand Tack hypothesis provides no distinct mechanism for the disparate populations.
– Twin binary pairs of solar system planets:
+++ Asymmetrical FFF followed by 4 generations of trifurcation explains the 3 twin sets of planets in our solar system, and predicts a missing 1st generation set (binary-Companion).
– – – Hierarchical accretion does not predict and can not explain the apparent 3 twin sets of planets.
– Short-lived radionuclides (SLRs) of the early solar system:
+++ In situ formation of stellar-merger SLRs eliminates at least 3 ad hoc variables in the standard model of our early solar system, namely, timing, proximity, and dilution factor/mixing of SLRs from one or more external sources. The mixing inherent in stellar merger would have burned lithium, depleting the merged Sun in this big bang element, and indeed the Sun is depleted in lithium by two sigma, compared to sister stars of the same age and mass.. In addition to f-process nucleosynthesis of SLRs, helium-burning apparently formed stable-isotope enrichments, explaining the oxygen-16 enrichment of the Sun, asteroids and chondrites, compared to Earth.
– – – A nearby supernova which both contributed radionuclides and precipitated the gravitational collapse of our Jeans mass purports to eliminate the timing and proximity variables; however, core-collapse supernovae produce abundant 53Mn, which was relatively absent in our early solar system.
– Venusian cataclysm and the Cambrian Explosion:
+++ The orbital decay and merger of a former retrograde moon of Venus at 541 Ma is suggested to have jolted the planet into retrograde rotation, as well as melting its crust, completely resurfacing the planet, with continuing coronae eruptions accompanied by sulfurous outgassing. The Venusian cataclysm so near to Earth had a spillover effect, apparently contaminating Earth with Venusian lifeforms, causing the Cambrian Explosion on Earth. The Venusian cataclysm is also suggested to have fogged the inner solar system, causing the Baykonurian glaciation at the Proterozoic-Phanerozoic boundary. A retrograde moony merger Venusian cataclysm unifies Venusian retrograde rotation, ‘recent’ resurfacing of Venus, Venus’ thick sulfurous atmosphere, the Cambrian Explosion and the Baykonurian glaciation on Earth.
– – – In the standard model, these various phenomena require separate (ad hoc) causes, and nothing has convincingly explained the explosive appearance of all major phyla in the Early Cambrian.
– Relative aphelia alignment of detached objects:
+++ The relative aphelia alignment of detached objects, such as Sedna and 2012 VP-113, is suggested to be a fossil alignment of KBO aphelia with the former Sun-Companion axis, where shorter period KBOs have randomized their orbits since the loss of the Companion at 650 Ma.
– – – The most highly-favored theory evokes an undiscovered Planet Nine to dynamically sustain the relative alignment.
– Snowball Earth and the Great Unconformity:
+++ The spiral-in merger of a former binary-Companion around 650 Ma purports to explain the Marinoan glaciation as the merger-debris fogging of the solar system. Then the Great Unconformity was caused by super tsunamis on Earth, caused by the orbital realignment of all heliocentric orbits to accommodate the loss of a former Companion to the Sun and its associated solar system barycenter. The earlier Sturtian glaciation is suggested to have resulted from earlier moony mergers with the super-Jupiter-mass binary-Companion components as they spiraled inward.
– – – Alternatively, the gouging of bedrock by glaciation ice flows purports to explain the Great Unconformity, but does not explain the cause of Snowball Earth.
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BARYONIC DARK MATTER AND SPIRAL GALAXY FORMATION:
¶ Early-onset Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), in the context of the gravitational collapse of neutrons, followed by early-onset hydrogen recombination, in the context of the gravitational collapse of decoupled helium, may provide a possibility for baryonic dark matter (DM) today in the form of self-gravitating gas globules ejected from Population III stars.
¶ The first occurrence of baryonic DM occurred at the hadron epoch, which fused charged quarks into neutral neutrons that were decoupled from primordial photons; then following neutrino decoupling at about 1 second after the Big Bang, neutrons became susceptible to gravitational collapse. Gravitational fragmentation occurred at the prevailing Jeans mass scale, with neutrons suggested to have collapsed into super massive black holes (SMBHs) during BBN. Baryonic DM increases the baryon-to-photon ratio in the universe by about 6 fold above the ΛCDM model, and while the concordant model does a fairly good job of predicting the BBN reaction product concentrations for primordial deuterium and helium-3 assuming exotic DM under canonical conditions, the steep density, temperature and proton-to-neutron-ratio gradients in the context gravitational collapse of neutrons would have been far from homogeneous.
¶ The second occurrence of baryonic DM occurred at second helium recombination at z ≈ 2000 from the ΛCDM perspective, which decoupled helium from primordial photons, allowing helium to undergo gravitational collapse at the prevailing Jeans mass scale, which is suggested to have been ~ 108 M☉, forming gravitationally-bound super globules of neutral helium and ionized hydrogen. The accompanying density and temperature gradients would have caused the primordial photons to diffuse out of collapsing centers and into the cooler interstitial voids where early-onset hydrogen recombination is suggested to have occurred, and the loss of primordial photons from the collapsing centers allowed ionized hydrogen to collapse without undergoing recombination.
¶ Super globules presumably collapsed down to a 1-10 pc scale before condensing Population III stars, which halted the collapse. A significant portion of Pop III stars are suggested to have expired as AGB stars, complete with planetary nebulae and self-gravitating planetary-mass gas globules hurled off in by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), coincident with the planetary-mass cometary knots of the planetary Helix nebula. These CME gas globules presumably accreted the vast majority of the leftover gas from the first Pop III star aftermath, accompanied by the condensation of some Pop II stars.
¶ The the CME gas globules gradually went dark as their stellar metallicity ‘snowed out’ and accreted into moon-mass icy nuclei at their centers of mass, likely with a residual gaseous carbon monoxide concentration maintaining the core temperature just below the CO triple point temperature of 67.9 K. The accretion of loose gas by paleons accompanied by going dark converted these primordial super globules into the DM-dominated dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) of today.
¶ ΛCDM assumes exotic DM particles of unspecified nature to explain the observed rotational rates of spiral galaxy disks and the degree of gravitational lensing of distant quasars by foreground galaxies and galaxy clusters, but so far, all attempts to detect exotic DM particles have failed. Baryonic DM appears to be excluded by the concordant ΛCDM model by BBN reaction product concentrations, which are highly dependent on the baryon-to-photon ratio and appear to support noninteracting (exotic) DM. Additionally, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation telegraphs the extent of cosmic expansion since hydrogen recombination, which also agrees with the ΛCDM model.
¶ Baryonic DM appears require help both at BBN and at recombination, which is suggested here to be early-onset BBN mediated by the gravitational collapse of decoupled neutrons and early-onset hydrogen recombination mediated by the gravitational collapse of decoupled helium. Steep local inhomogeneity at BBN would invalidate the assumption of canonical conditions, and if second helium recombination triggered early-onset hydrogen recombination when the baryonic density was about 6 times greater than hypothesized by the canonical ΛCDM model, then the CMB red shift is not a hindrance to baryonic DM.
¶ The most intuitive DM candidate is baryonic matter in the form of hydrogen and helium, cloaked by some mechanism, and baryonic DM needn’t be particularly dark in a universe contaminated with luminous baryonic matter in innumerable states, concentrations and configurations, which are not fully characterized. Condensed baryonic DM, such as black holes, neutron stars, black dwarfs, brown dwarfs and rogue gas-giant planets have been effectively ruled out by microlensing studies, leaving cold, self-gravitating gas globules as perhaps the final unexcluded possible DM reservoirs. Cold, dense molecular hydrogen is difficult to detect (Pfenniger and Combes 1994; Pfenniger, Combes and Martinet 1994), and particularly if the vast majority of its stellar metallicity is sequestered into moon-mass icy nuclei.
¶ One means of detecting cold gas might be the occultation of pinpoint radio sources, such as quasars and pulsars, in the form of radio scintillation, but in this case, their gaseous surfaces may have to be ionized by intense UV radiation by nearby hot stars. Quasar scintillation caused by high electron density plasma has been detected for years, but only very recently has this scintillation been tied to hot (O,B,A) stars with copious UV radiation (Walker et al., 2017). Walker et al., 2017 suggest the scintillation to be caused by as many as 100,000 self-gravitating gas globules trapped in the Hill spheres of hot stars and ionized by their UV radiation, with the mass of the numerous gas globules similar to the mass of the star itself.
¶ Alternatively, it is suggested here that quasar scintillation associated with hot stars is caused by recent coronal mass ejections (CMEs) rather than by primordial gas globules. The connection between solar CMEs and Pop III star CMEs (ejecting primordial gas globules) is around 12 orders of magnitude in mass, with suggested quasar scintillation CME of hot stars lying around 6 orders of magnitude in between.
Gravitational collapse of neutron DM in the hadron epoch, causing early-onset BBN:
¶ Early-onset Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), promoted by gravitational collapse of decoupled neutrons, may provide a pathway for baryonic DM, despite the approximately 6 fold increase in the baryon-to-photon ratio implied by baryonic DM.
¶ The fusion of charged quarks into hadrons concluded by about 1 second after the Big Bang, accompanied by the decoupling of neutrinos, creating neutrons decoupled from primordial photons and neutrinos and thus susceptible to gravitational collapse. Neutrons are suggested to have collapsed at a galactic Jeans mass scale, terminating with the formation of super massive black holes (SMBHs).
¶ The gravitational collapse of neutrons caused steep local density and temperature gradients, with relative low-density low-temperature voids opening between collapsing centers where early-onset BBN occurred.
¶ Conventionally, BBN occurred from about 10 seconds to 10 minutes after the Big Bang, fusing neutrons with protons to predominantly form helium-4, and trace quantities of other light BBN fusion-product isotopes, namely deuterium, helium-3 and lithium-7, which place tight constraints on BBN conditions. The universe appears to be depleted in primordial lithium by a factor of about 3 according to canonical (homogeneous) BBN theory, casting a shadow over the assumption of homogeneous canonical conditions at BBN.
¶ Gravitational collapse caused a steep density and temperature gradient, causing photons to diffuse from collapsing centers into the surrounding relatively-rarified voids, locally lowering the baryon-to-photon ratio in the relative voids where early-onset BBN occurred. Additionally, neutron collapse depleted the voids of neutrons, locally lowering the neutron-to-proton ratio. Finally, the gravitational collapse rarefaction cooling in the relative voids added to the rate of cosmic expansion cooling, creating an early-onset BBN cooling rate in excess of that anticipated by the ΛCDM model. All of the above; photon enrichment, neutron depletion and cooling enhancement in the relative voids affected the resulting reaction products, including the primordial deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratio.
¶ BBN progressed from the outside in with respect to the collapsing centers, beginning with early-onset BBN in the cooler voids, with nucleation progressively moving inward and terminating with late-onset BBN in the densified cores of collapse centers. As BBN progressed inward and neutral neutrons fused with positive protons into positively charge nuclei, the collapsing centers became progressively more elastic until gravitational collapse halted and electrostatically rebounded with the pressure of primordial photons, converting collapsing centers into expanding centers. Late-onset BBN in the collapse center cores would have occurred with neutron enrichment, photon depletion and a cooling rate not expected to coincide with the canonical ΛCDM model. Additionally, the time delay inherent in late-onset nucleation in collapsing centers would have caused a percentage of the neutrons to have decayed into protons, where free neutrons have a half life of about 13 minutes.
¶ The Jeans mass scale calculation of neutron collapse is far beyond the scope of this conceptual approach; however, the typical specific angular momentum of spiral galaxies suggests the scale of the elastic rebound, with the Local Group suggested as a typical rebound center with a mass of ~ 2.4 x 1012 M☉. The energy of elastic rebound was not able to freely expand like a supernova into the vacuum of space, but instead plowed into gas at the typical density found in stellar cores today, forcing the rebounding material to turn back on itself in the form of eddies. Additionally, the self gravity of the rebounding over densities constrained the form of the rebound by limiting its surface area, tending to form bilaterally-symmetrical twin-binary clumps of gravitationally-bound material rebounding in opposing directions, and with opposing angular momentum vectors.
¶ Gravitational collapse presumably formed solitary SMBHs in collapse centers,
such that only one twin-binary rebounding component acquired the primordial SMBH. In the twin-binary pair constituting Andromeda and The Milky Way, Andromeda apparently acquired the primordial SMBH, accounting for the SMBH mass discrepancy, with Andromeda having a (1.1-2.3) × 108 M☉ SMBH compared to the much-smaller 4 x 106 M☉ SMBH at the center of our Galaxy. And this asymmetrical apportioning of a solitary primordial SMBH to only one of a twin-binary pair of proto (spiral) may in itself have engendered rotation.
Gravitational collapse of helium DM in the late photon epoch, causing early-onset hydrogen recombination:
¶ A baryonic DM hypothesis requires about 6 times the apparent baryon density in today’s universe. But if hydrogen recombination occurred at canonical conditions in a homogeneous continuum, and if there was no baryonic matter already sequestered into DM at recombination, then the measured redshift of the CMB precludes baryonic dark matter, since it yields an extrapolated baryon density today that agrees well with the observed (luminous) baryon density in today’s universe.
¶ There appear to be 2 possibilities that may allow for baryonic DM under special conditions; first, if 5/6 of the baryonic matter were already dark and thus did not participate in hydrogen recombination, or second, if the universe were sufficiently inhomogenous that early-onset recombination could occur at the cold low-density extremes when the baryon density was 6 times the canonical hydrogen recombination density. In the absence of any likely sequestering mechanism for the first possibility and the suggestion for a likely inhomogeneity mechanism for the second possibility, early-onset recombination emerges as the likely candidate for baryonic DM.
¶ Significantly, second helium recombination appears to have occurred at almost exactly the redshift when the universe was 6 times denser than at canonical hydrogen recombination, at z ≈ 2000 from the ΛCDM perspective. The cube root of 6 gives the increased redshift factor, which when multiplied by the measured cosmic microwave background (CMB) redshift (z = 1100) gives the apparent redshift when the universe was 6 times denser: 1100 * 6(1/3) = 1998.8.
¶ Second helium recombination, occurring at z ≈ 2000 from the ΛCDM perspective, created neutral atomic helium, which decoupled helium from the primordial photons, but helium was still subject to gravity. Electromagnetic decoupling at second helium recombination made helium the dark matter of the late photon epoch, freeing helium to undergo gravitational collapse at the prevailing Jeans mass scale, forming progressively-densifying ‘super globules’.
¶ Gravitational collapse densified and heated the hydrogen and helium within the collapsing helium super globules, while rarefying and cooling the voids that opened up in between, with helium collapse creating a progressively steepening temperature and pressure gradient over time.
¶ When the conditions in the rarefying voids decreased to locally canonical hydrogen recombination conditions, protons and electrons reacted to form neutral atomic hydrogen, which locally decoupled the primordial photons, releasing them into increasingly-transparent network of voids surrounding the collapsing ionized super globules. The localized temperature and pressure gradients caused the primordial photons to diffuse out of the densifying globules into the rarefying neutral voids in between, and this loss of primordial photons from the collapsing super globules allowed ionized hydrogen to begin collapsing as well, which dramatically increased the pressure and temperature gradient by positive feedback into runaway diffusion and decoupling of the primordial photons.
¶ Compton scattering cooled the primordial photons to the frequency corresponding to the canonical recombination temperature of ~ 3000 K, as they diffused from warmer, denser super globules into the cooler more-rarefied voids, regulating the photon frequency to the recombination temperature, despite the steep temperature and pressure gradient at early onset. As long as the local inhomogeneity scale was smaller than the scale recorded in the CMB anisotropies, and as long as photon diffusion was relatively-rapid compared to the rate of early-onset recombination, these local inhomogeneities should not affect the observed CMB power spectrum.
¶ Baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) created density gradients at almost the horizon scale, with BAO traveling at almost the speed of light, making BAO compressions and rarefactions essentially adiabatic, thus BAO gradients were accompanied by no appreciable photon diffusion. So in order for significant photon diffusion in an early-onset scenario, the local inhomogeneity scale would have to have been orders of magnitude below the BAO scale.
¶ Compton scattering cooled (regulated) diffusing primordial photons to the canonical recombination temperature, and after being locally decoupled, the photons began experiencing cosmic redshift, the same as they would have in a homogeneous ΛCDM universe, and this despite ricocheting off the ubiquitous ionized super globules in an inhomogeneous early-onset universe. At the recombination temperature, the vast majority of scattering events were elastic Thomson scattering, which does not change the photon frequency, such that ricocheting off ionized super globules should be undetectable in the CMB power spectrum. Thomson scattering is overwhelmingly predominant over Compton scattering when the photon energy is much much less than the electron rest energy: photon energy at 3000 K = 2-3 eV << 0.511 MeV (electron rest energy). The overwhelming majority of photon scattering during photon diffusion out of the densifying super globules was also elastic Thomson scattering, but a sufficient minority were Compton scattering to clamp the photon frequency to the local plasma temperature during photon diffusion.
¶ Early-onset hydrogen recombination only appears to have occurred at redshift of z ≈ 2000 from the ΛCDM perspective, but CMB photons record the actual redshift to be z = 1100. Early-onset recombination appears to suggest a universe that’s 1/6 the volume of the ΛCDM model, with early-onset hydrogen recombination occurring significantly earlier when the universe was 6 times denser, apparently making the universe younger and smaller. A smaller, denser, younger universe is an illusion, however, when considering that exotic DM is merely replaced with baryons in a universe of the same age and size from either perspective. Thus the baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) scale would be identical in both perspectives.
¶ Big Bang nucleosynthesis is a primary process, concerned with proton-neutron reaction products. By comparison, hydrogen recombination is concerned with the secondary process of photon decoupling, which does not necessitate universal hydrogen recombination in the context of a steep density gradient with photon diffusion. Early-onset recombination suggests that the primordial photons can be liberated after only a small percentage of hydrogen recombines locally, in the context of a steep inhomogeneity gradients with photon diffusion into the low-density low-temperature extremes.
¶ Baryonic DM suggests that second helium recombination occurred almost simultaneously with hydrogen recombination at z = 1100, with global second helium recombination rapidly initiating local, early-onset hydrogen recombination, precipitated by the gravitational collapse of decoupled helium at the prevailing Jeans mass scale.
Emergence of baryonic DM following the Dark Ages:
¶ The gravitational collapse of decoupled helium at second helium recombination is suggested to have formed super globules at the prevailing Jeans mass scale that evolved into the DM-dominated dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) of today.
¶ DSphs appear to be one of the absolutes of cosmology, exhibiting a typical mass range of 107-108 M☉. This circumscribed mass range along with their primitive DM-dominated composition suggests the Jeans mass fragmentation scale following second helium recombination of ~ 108 M☉.
¶ With early-onset hydrogen recombination occurring almost on top of second helium recombination, at z = 1100, the outward diffusion of primordial photons allowed ionized hydrogen to participate in gravitational collapse along with neutral helium. Super globules presumably collapsed down to a 1-10 pc scale before gravitationally fragmenting into dense cores that precipitated Population III stars.
¶ A significant number of Pop III stars are suggested to have evolved along the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) to end their lives in planetary nebulae, ejecting a sizable portion of their mass as self-gravitating (hydrostatic) planetary-mass gas globules, ‘paleons’, presumably by coronal mass ejection (CME) during the terminal thermally pulsing phase. Planetary-mass cometary knots in planetary nebulae are suggested to be the modern analogs of primordial paleons, with the planetary Helix nebula as the best example.
¶ If helium-shell flash in TP-AGB stars indirectly creates sub-Mars-mass CKs by the CME mechanism, then one would expect that in order to sequester 5/6 of all baryonic matter into self-gravitating paleons, paleon formation would have had to be ultra efficient; however, ultra-efficient paleon formation is contraindicated by the relative absence of degenerate Pop III stars, in the form of white dwarfs (now black dwarfs) that should have been detected in MACHO microlensing studies. Instead, low to moderate paleon formation efficiency seems to be indicated, with ultra-efficiency occurring subsequently in the gradual accretion of the leftover gas from the formation and aftermath of Pop III stars.
¶ Like cometary knots today, primordial paleons were ejected at escape velocity during the TP-AGB phase of Pop III stars, but they remained gravitationally bound within their larger super globules. The CME ejection speed of paleons partially reinflated super globules; however, initially, paleons may have represented as little as a few percent of the super globule mass, and perhaps less than that. Paleons have large diameters compared to condensed objects like stars, with their scale measured in astronomical units, with their large cross sections making them ultra-efficient accretionary objects within the relatively-small inner cores of super globules. Cometary knots (CKs) in the Helix nebula are estimated to have 60-200 AU diameters (O’Dell and Handron, 1996), although CKs are hardly in a quiescent state while still within the ionized bubble of their host stars and in their 6,500 year old infancy in the Helix nebula.
¶ Paleon mop up transformed gaseous super globules into the relative gas free dSphs of today. The paleons on relatively short-period orbits around the super globule would have accreted gas more quickly than those on longer-period orbits, and accretion of gas would have slowed them down, decreasing their orbital periods and increasing their cross-sectional ability to accrete new gas in runaway accretion, creating a core of high mass paleons, likely on a 1-10 pc scale, surrounded by a cloud of lower-mass paleons to a distance of hundreds of pc. Paleon accretion raced against the gravitational collapse of the Pop III star aftermath to form Pop II stars, with most super globules forming relatively-few Pop II stars.
¶ Paleons gradually went dark as the vast majority of their stellar metallicity snowed out in the low-temperature high-pressure cores. Dust and ice is not hydrostatically supported in hydrostatic gas globules, so it undergoes freefall to the center of mass, presumably forming solitary moon-mass icy nuclei. Originally, accretion may have formed a swarm of icy comets, but these quickly coalesced into solitary icy nuclei due to gas drag in the high gas pressure of paleon cores. A hypothetical Earth-mass paleon with 1% stellar metallicity would should possess an icy nucleus with a mass similar to Earth’s Moon.
¶ To constitute invisible DM, hydrostatic gaseous paleons require very-low gaseous metallicity, very low dust, and relatively-low temperatures, below ~ 100 K. A residual gaseous metallicity is necessary to radiate incoming energy in the form of cosmic rays and stellar photons in order to clamp the temperature below the point at which molecular hydrogen becomes visible in the infrared spectrum. Trace quantities of gaseous carbon monoxide are likely the temperature regulating material, with paleon core temperature clamped to just below the triple point temperature of CO.
¶ The triple point of CO occurs at 67.9 K and 15.35 kPa, which suggests condensation at core pressures of many thousands of atmospheres in order to wring out sufficient CO for paleons to be dark. With paleons continuously accreting Pop I star metallicity across their enormous surfaces, and with ultra efficiency, there must also be an efficient mechanism for circulating gas from paleon extremities into the inner core where gaseous condensation takes place. This suggests/requires a temperature inversion to drive circulation efficiently. A negative radial temperature gradient would drive buoyant thermal circulation, introducing recently-accreted gaseous metallicity from the periphery into the core where gas pressures are sufficient to condense CO and other gaseous metallicity.
¶ Apparently the column density of CO in paleons is below noticeable levels, if not below the level of detection, which is presumably several orders of magnitude lower than the CO column density of IRDCs, which are capable of blotting out background stars entirely in the visual spectrum.
¶ Both temperature and mass affect the diameter of paleons, but calculations are beyond the scope of this conceptual approach.
Evolution of super globules into globular clusters and dSphs:
¶ The large cross sections of paleons are suggested to be efficient at accreting gas and dust in their orbits around super globules, following their formation by CME in Pop III stars. The paleons with the shortest periods gained the most mass which further decreased their orbital periods which resulted in run away accretion, likely creating a 1-10 pc core of high-mass paleons, surrounded by a tenuous halo hundreds of parsecs across composed of orbiting low-mass paleons.
¶ Paleons must be less than a Jeans mass to prevent their collapse into condensed objects, such as brown dwarfs. Presumably few paleons have suffered this fate, or they would have been detected by microlensing studies searching for MACHO DM.
¶ All hydrostatic gas globules are susceptible to erosion by intense stellar radiation, outgassing to form cometary tails that stream away from the radiation source. Low-mass paleons are susceptible to complete disruption when eroded below their minimum-sustainable self-gravitating mass, whereas high-mass paleons could sustain considerable stellar erosion.
¶ In most cases, paleon accretion seems to greatly outperform the gravitational collapse of gas into Pop II stars; however, globular clusters are suggested here to be the outcome when gravitational collapse prevails over paleon accretion. The trigger for efficient star formation in super globule cores is suggested to be collisions between super globules. Super globule collisions that occur when a significant portion of the core gas is ionized by planetary nebulae and supernovae may be susceptible to magnetic constriction caused by the directional perforation of dense ionized gas by the paleons of a mutual collision. When myriads of paleons pass through a clump of ionized gas in the same direction, creating parallel ionized streams of gas, the resulting magnetic fields tend to pinch together, like parallel wires with electric current flowing in the same direction. And this magnetic pinching affect is suggested to compress partially or fully ionized gas into circa .1 pc width filaments of highly-densified gas with low turbulence, ideal for star formation. While in situ paleons are continuously perforating their own super-globule cores, their magnetic affects are isotropic and therefore tend to cancel out, which is why mutual super-globule collisions may be necessary for creating star bursts in super globule cores in the early universe before the core gas is mopped up by paleons.
¶ Globular clusters differ from star clusters of the Galactic plane in having older stellar populations composed of stars of different ages from multiple starbursts. Multiple star bursts in globular clusters suggests recycling of core gas while still residing within the confining potential well of paleon DM, with multiple starbursts representing multiple super-globule-super-globule collisions.
¶ Giant elliptical galaxies formed by spiral galaxy mergers contain a younger population of high-metallicity globular clusters that are thought to form during merger process, and if these are the result of dSph-dSph mergers, then there must be a mechanism for efficiently converting paleon DM to stars in modern dSphs as well.
¶ Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are small spherical galaxies with little dust and gas that tend to be very dim, but can span several orders of magnitude in luminosity. They have older stellar populations, like globular clusters, but with radii that are many times larger than globular clusters. And unlike globular clusters, dSphs tend to be DM dominated–indeed, they may be the most DM dominated of all galaxies. “Despite the broad range of observed luminosities, the dark matter masses for all of the pre-SDSS satellites are constrained to within relatively narrow range, approximately ∼ [1 − 6] × 107 M☉ within their inner 600 pc.” (Strigari et al., 2007) Visually, low-luminosity dSphs can be difficult to discriminate from star clusters of the Galactic plane; however, dSphs exhibit a more complex star formation histories than star clusters, where dSphs typically contain stars of distinctly different ages, indicating multiple star bursts at distinct intervals. Weak star bursts within dSphs compared to robust starbursts within globular clusters may represent star formation without the benefit of mutual super-globule collisions.
¶ Giant elliptical galaxies have many times as many globular clusters as spiral galaxies, with M87 having as many as 13,000 globular clusters. Some studies have concluded that giant elliptical galaxies have little or no dark matter at all. While rotation is difficult to measure in ellipticals, a 2013 gravitational lensing study eliminates this difficulty by measuring Einstein rings of quasars by gravitational lensing. They concluded that DM if present at all does not exceed the amount of luminous matter and its density follows that of luminous matter, in sharp contrast with spiral galaxies (Margain and Chantry, 2013). Giant elliptical galaxies are often understood to have formed from the merger of large spiral galaxies, which apparently converted the bulk of DM to stars, including the presumed conversion of dSphs to globular clusters.
Cometary knots (CKs) in the Helix nebula:
¶ The Helix planetary nebula is estimated to possess 40,000 cometary knots (Matsuura et al 2009).
¶ (O’Dell and Handron, 1996) give the density, mass and size of the neutral gas in the estimated 3500 cometary knots of the Helix nebula as, hydrogen density ~ 4 x 106 cm-3, with a CK mass range of ~ 4 x 1025 g to 4 x 1026 g and radii of 60-200 AU, based on the distance to the nebula of 213 pc. This suggests a circa Mars mass (6.4 x 1026 g) upper range for CKs, but does not imply that CKs are self gravitating. CKs are non-existent less than 115″ from the host star, and increase in number to the point of overlapping at a distance of 180″. “The fact that there are none in the innermost region argues that the Cometary Knots are confined to a flattened volume rather than being spherically distributed.”
¶ (O’Dell and Handron, 1996) suggest Rayleigh-Taylor instability for CK formation, either in the late planetary nebula phase or early ‘primordial’ accretion disk phase of the young stellar object. If primordial, the objects are suggested to be either solid comets, or vastly-larger self-gravitating clouds; however, none of the O’Dell and Handron hypotheses predate the host star itself.
¶ Manly Astrophysics (Walker et al. 2017) presumes preexisting self-gravitating planetary-mass molecular-hydrogen paleons become trapped in their hot host star Hill sphere gravity well during stellar formation, with the cometary knots of the Helix nebula as a luminous example of this otherwise dark form of baryonic matter.
¶ The alternative suggested here is CK formation by massive coronal mass ejection (CME) during the thermally-pulsing asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) phase. Solar CME is suggested to be related to modern CKs in planetary nebulae and primordial paleons from Population III stars by a common formation mechanism, differing only in scale.
¶ Manly Astrophysics (Walker et al., 2017) proposes baryonic DM in the form of primordial planetary-mass globules of self-gravitating gas in hydrostatic equilibrium, originating the designation, ‘paleons’. Their evidence for paleons comes from the scintillation of distant quasars by foreground plasma. Recent publications have isolated these scintillating plasma masses within or just beyond the Hill spheres of hot A stars. Curiously, the scintillating plasma in the vicinity of hot A stars is radially elongated toward the hot stars, and the plasma has a relatively-small differential velocity with respect to their presumed host stars. The quantity of gas globules (~ 105) necessary to explain the rate of quasar scintillation around hot stars is calculated to be on the order of the mass of the host star itself, assuming paleons are long-lived hydrostatic objects that require a planetary-mass to be self gravitating. Manly Astrophysics hypothesizes that ~ 105 paleons are gravitationally bound within the Hill spheres of hot stars, which are nominally detectable through quasar scintillation and may become visually evident in planetary nebulae terminal phase.
¶ Alternatively, a CME origin for hot-star quasar scintillation requires a continual production of massive CMEs to keep the Roche sphere populated, since CMEs are born with escape velocity. CMEs are born with escape velocity, requiring continual production to create the observed frequency of quasar scintillation, and since solar CMEs expand at an exponential rate, scintillating CMEs at distance would have to be many orders of magnitude more massive than solar CMEs, but also many orders of magnitude less massive than the CKs of planetary nebulae, or primordial paleons.
¶ Solar CMEs have varying ejection velocities, some slower than the mean solar wind velocity of 145 km/s and some faster, where solar CME interaction with the solar wind speeds up the slower ones and slows down the faster ones. The 40 km/s expansion rate of the inner ring of the Helix nebula (O’Dell et al., 2004) has apparently overtaken the CKs to create cometary tails, indicating a lower radial velocity for the CKs themselves, suggesting that larger CMEs may have smaller radial velocities.
¶ The expansion of solar CMEs reduces the electron density to about 10 cm-3 at a radial distance of 1 AU, falling off rapidly as a function of R-3 (University of Reading, PROPAGATION OF INFORMATION WITHIN CORONAL MASS EJECTION). Coincidentally, the 1 AU solar electron density of 10 cm-3 is the calculated electron density responsible for intra-day variability (IDV) quasar scintillation (Tuntsov, Bignall and Walker 2013).
¶ The Manly Astrophysics calculated quantity of scintillating plasma masses (105) within hot star Roche spheres is not an issue for a CME origin, considering that solar CME are created at a rate of about 3 a day near solar maxima, and one every 5 days near solar minima (NASA archive, ‘Coronal Mass Ejection’); however, exponential expansion of CME may not require nearly as many plasma masses to create the observed rate of quasar scintillation, if exponentially-expanding hot star CME are much larger in area than hydrostatic paleons.
¶ The first stellar CME was measured in 2019 around OU Andromedae (HR 9024), with a calculated CME mass of 1.2 +2.6 -0.8 x 1021 g and a velocity of 90 +/- 30 km/s (Argiroffi et al., 2019), which is about 6 orders of magnitude more massive than solar CME. By a completely naive calculation (beginning with the same volume as a solar CME but 106 more massive and expanding at a constant R-3 rate) a OU Andromedae mass CME would only drop off to an electron density of 10 cm-3 at a distance of 4-1/2 pc, well beyond the Roche sphere of even the largest A type stars. More realistically, the original CME volume of an OU Andromeda-mass CME would be considerably larger than a solar CME, but probably not by a factor of 106 larger, and the expansion rate for a vastly-larger initial mass would likely differ from the solar CME expansion rate.
¶ There may be a connection between variable stars and massive CMEs, considering TP-AGB stars as the mother of all variable stars that eject planetary-mass CKs. And indeed, the first CME event recorded on a star beyond the sun is a variable star with fast rotation, OU Andromedae (HR 9024). Additionally, 2 recent quasar scintillation studies, with ionization attributed to hot stars, involve variable stars. A 2019 study (Bignall et al., 2019) of scintillating quasar, PKS B1322−110, attributes scintillating ionization to hot variable star, Spica. A 2017 study (Walker et al., 2017) of two scintillating quasars, J1819+3845 and PKS1257-326.
– J1819+3845: Quasar line of sight passes through the Hill sphere of the rapidly-rotating hot variable star, Vega at a radial distance of 0.461 pc.
– PKS1257-326: Quasar line of sight passes through the Hill sphere of the hot variable star HD 112934 at a distance of 0.16 pc; however, the orientation of the scintillating plasma is not parallel with the line joining the star and the radio source, so HD 112934 is rejected as the host star in favor of Iota Centauri (Alhakim), at more than 10 times radial distance of 1.75 pc. But for the 1.75 pc radial distance of Alhakim to lie within the Hill sphere of Alhakim would minimally require an additional mass of 5 M☉, tripling the mass of the system, which the authors presume to be composed of planetary-mass paleons.
Molecular filaments in infrared dark clouds (IRDCs):
¶ Circa .1 parsec wide stellar-nursery filaments of molecular gas in IRDCs are counterintuitive from a gravitational collapse perspective, suggesting electromagnetic involvement. DSphs composed of predominantly of paleons slamming into giant molecular clouds (GMCs) of the disk plane would bore innumerable holes through the densified gas of the GMCs. If the GMC gas were partially ionized, paleon incursions would entrain some of the plasma, creating parallel streams of moving charges, resulting in magnetic fields that tend to pinch together, the way two wires carrying electric current in the same direction magnetically attract one another.
¶ And if multiple filaments are magnetically attracted to one another, they may themselves pinch together to form hub-filaments, with the central hub as massive as ≳ 1000 M⊙ pc-1 (Tokuda et al., 2019).
¶ This is merely a conceptual outline, requiring calculations for the range of possible paleon masses, from the minimum self-gravitating mass up to the Jeans mass threshold, along with their corresponding volumes as function of temperature and mass. Constraints on metallicity concentrations and temperature ranges in the context of invisibility need to be compared to the physics of self-gravitating globules to determine whether hypothesized paleons could in theory be sufficiently invisible as to remain undetected.
¶ Paleons must be composed of molecular hydrogen, or they would have been discovered by their 21 cm radiation; however, molecular hydrogen generally requires shielding from UV photons, which isn’t possible for DM, so perhaps thermal inversion causing substantial circulation of neutral helium into the core where very high gas pressures may assist in combining atomic hydrogen back into molecular hydrogen.
¶ Paleons may be most readily detected where their concentrations are the highest, in the cores of dSphs, where perhaps the sustained observation of a large number of dSph stars may observe occultations by resident paleons in the form of changes in the stellar absorption spectrum of hydrogen and helium.
¶ If quasar scintillation is indeed caused by recent CMEs around hot, predominantly variable stars, then we may not yet have detected any primordial paleons, which puts any baryonic DM hypothesis on strictly theoretical grounds, similar to that of WIMP DM theories; however, modern cometary knots within planetary nebulae may lend paleon formation by CME a plausible modern analog not enjoyed by WIMP DM theories.
¶ Baryonic DM offers a predictive explanation for the absence of DM in globular clusters, its relative absence in galactic bulges (cuspy halo problem), and its possible dearth in giant elliptical galaxies, if baryonic DM converts to luminous gas and stars in regions of high stellar luminosity by way of paleon erosion. By comparison, exotic DM theories rely on secondary mechanisms to prevent their falsification, such as the suggested expulsion of exotic DM by supernovae radiation from globular clusters and galactic cores, or by fine tuning in the form of warm DM that is not theoretically cuspy like cold DM.
¶ The suggested sequestering of Pop III star metallicity into moon-mass icy nuclei would make these icy nuclei by far the most prevalent objects of their size and composition in the universe. Paleon nuclei are suggested to be more volatile enriched than protoplanetary planetesimals formed by streaming instability for a couple of reasons. First, hydrostatic paleon cores possess much higher pressures, allowing for efficient condensation of the most volatile stellar metallicity, and their gradual formation by accretion would result in less formational warming than planetesimals formed catastrophically by streaming instability (gravitational collapse), which is means by which protoplanetary planetesimals are suggested to form. In our own solar system, the sponge-like Saturn moon Hyperion is the likeliest paleon nucleus interloper in our solar system, with its mean density of only 0.544 g/cm3 in a 270 km Dia moon. The predominantly water-ice composition of Hyperion, with very little rocky material, suggests a paleon nucleus that has lost its most-volatile components, with its irregular shape suggesting explosive volatile loss.
¶ The predicted formation of spiral galaxies in twin-binary pairs with a bimodal distribution of SMBH masses should be statistically testable in small clusters of galaxies such as the Local Group.
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LUMINOUS RED NOVA (LRN) ISOTOPES:
¶ Our former binary Sun is suggested to have spiraled in and merged in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma, creating a solar-merger debris disk from which asteroids and chondrites condensed by streaming instability. The stellar merger presumably created many of the live short-lived radionuclides (SLRs) of the early solar system, alleviating the proximity, timing and mixing problems of external injection of SLRs into the dark core from which our Sun formed. In particular,
53Mn is copiously produced in core collapse supernovae, whereas our early solar system has a relative absence of 53Mn.
¶ Additionally, carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous minerals (CCAM), including CAIs and chondrules, are significantly enriched in 16O compared to Earth. This may point to stellar-merger core temperatures having exceeded 100 million Kelvins, where helium burning (triple-alpha process) begins. Helium burning would also have enriched the Sun and its (4,567 Ma) stellar-merger debris disk in 12C as well as 16O; however, 12C enrichment is difficult to discriminate from mass fractionation. Oxygen-16 enrichment has the advantage of having two other stable isotopes to compare with (17O and 18O), thus washing out the effects of mass-dependent fractionation.
¶ Carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous minerals (CCAM), including CAIs and chondrules, plot with a slope near 1 on the 3-oxygen-isotope graph of δ17O vs. δ18O. A slope of 1 represents complete mixing due to rapid condensation from a vapor phase. (The anhydrous modifier is significant since any subsequent aqueous alteration, forming hydrous minerals, would occur slowly, allowing mass fractionation which would move the processed material off of the slope of 1.) By comparison, complete fractionation plots with a nominal slope of 1/2, where 17O is almost exactly half as fractionated as 18O with respect to 16O. The terrestrial fractionation line (TFL) plots with a slope of .52, nominally 1/2.
¶ The Mars fractionation line lies slightly above the TFL on the 3-oxygen-isotope plot, indicating a slight 16O enrichment in terrestrial materials compared to Martian meteorites. By comparison, most CCAM materials condensed from the stellar-merger debris disk are much more enriched in 16O than Earth, causing them to plot significantly below and to the left of most terrestrial materials, indicating lower δ17O (plotting below the TFL) and lower δ18O (plotting to the left of most terrestrial materials).
A solar system origin of the SLRs and stable isotope enrichments eliminates the necessity for a nucleosynthesis event close to solar formation, potentially removing several ad hoc variables. Both the fortuitous proximity and fortuitous timing of nearby nucleosynthesis injection is eliminated by using the first condensates of the stellar merger (CAIs) to define t = 0 for the solar system. And if CAIs with canonical 26Al/27Al concentration were condensed from polar jets squirting from the merging stellar cores, then the symmetry of the binary spiral-in merger may explain the canonical 26Al/27Al homogeneity, which otherwise requires ad hoc homogenous mixing of material injected from a nearby supernova or asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star. And, the ad hoc dilution factor of nearby nucleosynthesis is effectively eliminated, if all but a sprinkling of pristine presolar grains are stellar-merger debris. And finally, the late nucleosynthesis event would be scaled back by the ‘dilution factor’, where the dilution factor is the ratio of late remote input by a supernova or AGB star to the diluting background gas. A stellar merger also eliminates the dynamic disruption of an energetic event close to solar formation on the gravitational collapse of a Jeans mass.
So far, no modeling of local Galactic chemical evolution, core collapse supernovae, AGB stars and/or neutron star mergers can provide the recipe of our early solar system, particularly for f-process radionuclides which still can not be well modeled. A binary spiral-in merger, which would certainly engender a degree of nucleosynthesis, would eliminate at least 3 variables of the early solar system in the form of timing, proximity and dilution factor of a fortuitous event. The bullseye symmetry of a defining event (versus the offset asymmetry of a fortuitous event) also eliminates the improbable outcome of homogenous mixing (canonical 26Al/27Al) of external input from a high-energy event into a delicate Jeans mass.
AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs):
¶ Gneissic continental basement rock is suggested here to be extraterrestrial in origin, from aqueously-differentiated Kuiper belt objects (KBOs), with terrestrial emplacement during the late heavy bombardment (LHB), circa 4.1-3.8 Ga.
¶ An extraterrestrial origin for gneiss requires an alternative solar system origin, with hot classical KBOs ‘condensing’ by streaming instability against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance from a siderophile-depleted debris disk reservoir prior to 4,567 Ma that lay on the 3-oxygen-isotope terrestrial fractionation line. The siderophile composition of the debris disk and its oxygen isotopic signature is a requirement of an alternative planet formation mechanism that predicts the three sets of twin-binary planets of the solar system, namely, Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune and Venus-Earth.
¶ Condensation of KBOs by streaming instability converted the potential energy of the collapsing dust and ice into heat during freefall collapse, with ‘large’ KBOs exceeding the melting point of water ice in their cores, initiating ‘aqueous differentiation’.
¶ Aqueous differentiation was accompanied by authigenic crystallization of silicates within a saltwater core, precipitating mineral grains with a gneissic composition that fell out of aqueous suspension at a mineral grain size determined by the microgravitational acceleration and by the local circulation rate. This formed authigenic sedimentary cores with a gneissic composition.
¶ Much of the authigenic sedimentation was modulated into banded migmatite sediments, presumably due to sawtooth pH variations resulting from subsidence shocks that caused dissolved carbon dioxide to catastrophically bubble out of solution, raising the pH. Aluminous mineral-species solubility is particularly pH sensitive, such that when subsidence shocks catastrophically raised the pH, aluminous minerals rapidly precipitated, predominantly as felsic feldspars. Thus felsic-leucosome mineral grains are suggested to have precipitated rapidly following subsidence events, while more-mafic melanosome mineral grains precipitated in the relative quiescence between repeated subsidence shocks.
¶ Slump folding occurred during lithification, accounting for a majority of supposed metamorphic folding in continental basement rock.
¶ Geochronology of KBO rock dates to its apparent age at its closure temperature. As gneissic KBO core rock exhumes from deep within its LHB-era impact basins, the rock undergoes retrograde metamorphism during cooling and depressurization. When KBO rock cools to the ‘closure temperature’, its mineral grains begin to retain the daughter products of radioactive decay, initiating the geochronological clock that had been reset by the high temperatures inherent in terrestrial metamorphism at depth within its impact basin.
¶ In conventional geology, migmatite differentiation occurs at sufficient depth and temperature to initiate partial melting of a protolith, accompanied by physical segregation of the partial melt into enriched felsic leucosomes and depleted mafic melanosomes, with residual mesosomes, where lower-melting-point minerals are extruded 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 of migmatite can not explain the local enrichments and depletions of felsic and mafic layering, and so externally-derived melt is needed for mass balance. “Commingling and mixing of mafic and felsic magmas” is also suggested as an explanation for alternating felsic/mafic layers. (Sandeman et al., 2000)
¶ Aqueous differentiation presumably occurs at formation by streaming instability, where the potential energy released during gravitational collapse melts water ice and liberates nebular dust, that dissolves and crystallizes into authigenic mineral grains that fall out of aqueous suspension at a mineral grain size dependent on the microgravitational acceleration and on the local circulation rate.
¶ Felsic-mafic modulation is suggested to be caused by pH modulation controlled by the concentration of carbonic acid in solution. Carbonic acid solubility is shock sensitive, such that subsidence events during KBO cooling are suggested to control the alternating felsic-mafic deposition. Since precipitation is governed by solute loads and pH excursions of the overlying saltwater ocean, the mass balance problem of conventional geology is moot.
¶ Metamorphic overprinting is nearly an exact science in conventional geology, often revealing timing, degree and direction of multiple tectonic episodes. Compared to overprinting, however, the origin of primary folding is often much more problematic. Primary isoclinal folding is often dismissed as sheath folds, fortuitously sectioned through their nose, since randomly-oriented isoclinal folds on various scales can not be explained by conventional geology.
¶ Alternatively, primary folding in migmatites is suggested to be simple slump folding in KBO sediments during the destruction of voids phase of lithification, long before Earth impact.
¶ Ptygmatic folds in migmatites are the most challenging types of folds for conventional geology, particularly in the most dramatic specimens where ptygma fold back on themselves like ribbon candy. Two unconventional explanations for terrestrial folding are presented that attempt to circumvent the most glaring shortcomings of partial-melt theory alone.
Stel (1999) theory of ptygma:
¶ One suggested solution to ptygma enigma is a progressive replacement front which migrates away from the vein boundary, in which “volume loss takes place in the vein mantles, while the limbs of the folds increase in volume” (Stel, 1999). Harry Stel agrees with Brown (Brown et al.,1995) that “ptygmatic structures are not ‘diagnostic’ for the presence of partial melt phases in migmatites”, and “[t]he most direct evidence for the relation of fluid activity and mica breakdown is the presence of offshoot veinlets”, with some veinlets exhibiting relict foliation of the host rock, indicating that veinlets are not melt-injection structures, where ‘fluid’ is understood to be an aqueous brine.
¶ The typically narrow melanosome ‘shadows’ surrounding much-fatter ptygmatic leucosome veins would require additional distant felsic input for mass balance. Additionally, no motive force is offered as an explanation to drive the replacement front, and no explanation is provided for why here and not there.
Shelley (1968) theory of ptygma:
There are two internal forces of expansion
within the vein: that of increase in volume
due to crystallization from solution and
that of force of crystallization of the vein
The ptygmatic veins, having a relatively
small surface area for internal volume,
were formed as a result of expansion of
the vein material during growth and
simultaneous accommodation of the host.
Possible mechanisms are that the initial
cracking of the rock is the result of high
water pressures developed during
metamorphism and that the vein expansion
results from internal forces created during
crystallization of the vein mineral from
highly supersaturated solutions.
¶ Shelley states that the force of crystallization within veins creates expansion of veins into the accommodating surrounding host. Shelley does not waffle between melts and (aqueous) ‘solutions’ as Stel appears to do with his “not ‘diagnostic'” remark, and Shelley is does not confine himself to (superficial) replacement fronts, but states that the driving force is caused crystallization on bulk mineral grains in the vein.
¶ Shelley’s mechanism is essentially the very mechanism suggested to operate in a sedimentary KBO setting, but Shelley is constrained to operate within dense lithified rock undergoing metamorphism at depth and temperature on Earth. By comparison, crystallization during lithification of KBO sediments operates on unconsolidated/partly-consolidated sediments at low-to-moderate lithification conditions. Additionally, KBO ptygma can fold into the voids in the surrounding matrix created by the expulsion of aqueous solution during lithification,
¶ “Most gneiss domes are elongate parallel to the strike of the orogen” (Whitney et al., 2004)
¶ “Domes with long dimension ≤90 km have a ratio of long to short axes of ~2:1–3:1.” “Despite
the wide range of dimensions, most gneiss domes have map-view axial ratios between 1:1 and 3.5:1, independent of the size of the dome (Fig. 5B), indicating that the elliptical shape is independent
of dome size.” (Whitney et al., 2004)
¶ In linear belts of gneiss domes, there may be a characteristic spacing between domes (Fletcher, 1972; Yin, 1991); e.g., 40–50 km in the northern Cordillera (e.g., the Frenchman Cap, Thor-Odin, Pinnacles, Passmore-Valhalla domes of the Shuswap metamorphic complex; Whitney et al. ), 25 ± 5 km in the northern Appalachians (Fletcher, 1972), and 8–22 km along ridges in the Karelides gneiss domes of eastern Finland (Brun, 1980)” (Whitney et al., 2004)
¶ Gneiss dome formation is far from settled science in conventional geology, with numerous proposed mechanisms representing differing theories and differing contexts.
¶ Alternatively, gneiss domes are suggested here to be anticline wrinkles on the former KBO sedimentary core, as the core densifies by expelling aqueous solution during lithification, like the skin of a grape wrinkling as it shrivels to form a raisin.
Alternative solar system dynamics:
¶ A KBO origin for continental basement rock places notable constraints on the composition of KBOs, namely a siderophile-depleted composition that lies on the three-oxygen-isotope terrestrial fractionation line (TFL), resulting in KBO cores with sufficient buoyancy to float above the terrestrial ocean plates and rise above sea level. The inner solar system asteroids and chondrites possess none of these properties, requiring that the high-angular-momentum hot classical KBOs formed from a different reservoir than the low-angular-momentum reservoir that formed the inner solar system asteroids and chondrites.
‘Symmetrical FFF’ and ‘trifurcation’:
¶ A former binary-Companion and three sets of twin-binary planets in our solar system (Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune, and Venus-Earth) are suggested here to have formed in 4 generations, like Russian nesting dolls from a former ‘Brown Dwarf’, the original stellar core of our solar system.
¶ Brown Dwarf formed at the center of a massive accretion disk that was much more massive than the Brown Dwarf. The massive accretion disk underwent a symmetrical disk instability (symmetrical flip-flop fragmentation (FFF)), condensing a twin-binary pair of disk-instability objects that were each much more massive than the Brown Dwarf. During a period of orbital interplay, the twin-binary disk instability objects progressively evaporated Brown Dwarf into a circumbinary orbit, whereupon the twin-binary disk instability objects became our former ‘binary-Sun’, but
the orbital dynamics involved in evaporating Brown Dwarf into a hierarchical circumbinary orbit around former binary-Sun caused Brown Dwarf to ‘spin up’ and undergo gravitational fragmentation by ‘trifurcation’.
¶ In orbital close encounters between objects with differing masses, the principle of ‘equipartition’ of kinetic energy dictates that the less massive object typically leaves the close encounter with a kinetic-energy kick at the expense of the more-massive object, tending to evaporate Brown Dwarf into a circumbinary orbit at the expense of the binary-Sun components, which sank inward. Not only did Brown Dwarf gain orbital energy and angular momentum, but it also received a rotational spin up to the point of gravitational fragmentation.
¶ Spin up causes a gravitationally bound object to deform into an oblate sphere. Continued spin up deforms the oblate sphere into an ellipsoid and finally into a bilaterally-symmetrical bar-mode instability that fails (fragments) when the twin-binary bars gravitationally pinch off into their own Roche spheres, forming a twin-binary pair in orbit around the much-less-massive residual core.
¶ Thus, Brown Dwarf orbited by the much-more-massive twin-binary disk instability objects induced Brown Dwarf into a first-generation trifurcation, fragmenting Brown Dwarf into a twin-binary pair of super-Jupiter-mass objects orbiting a much-less-massive residual core. First-generation trifurcation promotes second-generation trifurcation and etc, forming; 1st gen, binary-Companion, 2nd gen. Jupiter-Saturn, 3rd gen. Uranus-Neptune, and 4th gen. Venus-Earth, possibly with Mercury as the residual core of the 4th generation trifurcation.
¶ Because Brown Dwarf had internally differentiated into a siderophile-enriched iron core, the resulting trifurcation debris was necessarily siderophile depleted. All trifurcation products presumably lie on 3-oxygen-isotope Brown Dwarf fractionation line, which we know as the ‘terrestrial fractionation line’, including the hot classical KBOs that condensed from the ‘trifurcation debris disk’.
¶ Shortly after the trifurcation era, the stellar components of former binary-Sun spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma in a luminous red nova that scrubbed the solar system of the earlier trifurcation debris disk, leaving behind its own low-angular-momentum ‘solar-merger debris disk’
that condensed asteroids with live stellar-merger radionuclides, and later, chondrites, largely after the short-lived radionuclides had decayed away.
¶ The super-Jupiter components of former binary-Companion spiraled inward over time. The potential energy from the close-binary super-Jupiter-mass components of binary-Companion components was transferred to progressively increasing the wide-binary Sun-Companion eccentricity over time.
¶ The tidal inflection point associated with the solar system barycenter spiraled out through the classical Kuiper belt from about 4.1-3.8 Ga, driven outward by the progressively increasing Sun-Companion eccentricity. The tidal inflection point perturbed KBOs, causing the late heavy bombardment (LHB) of the inner solar system.
¶ Ultimately, binary-Companion merged at about 650 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS
Aqueous differentiation of KBOs:
¶ Aqueous differentiation is defined here as the melting of water ice in the core of a minor planet or smaller planetesimal. ‘Spontaneous aqueous differentiation’ is presumed to have occurred in large KBOs at the time of formation by gravitational collapse, presumably by streaming instability, converting the kinetic and potential energy of the component dust and ice to heat.
¶ Another form of aqueous differentiation may have occurred in the spiral-in merger of binary KBOs, forming contact binaries. This would be particularly significant in binary KBOs too small to have undergone spontaneous aqueous differentiation at the time of formation. Perturbation by the Sun-Companion tidal inflection point presumably caused many former binary KBOs to spiral in to merge, whether or not they were subsequently perturbed out of the Kuiper belt.
¶ Aqueous differentiation was followed by an exponential rate of radiative heat loss, which began freezing the core saltwater ocean from the outside in. The temperature at the icy ceiling was clamped to the freezing point of saltwater, with a temperature gradient with depth driving thermal circulation.
¶ Nebular dust released into aqueous suspension at the time of differentiation would have both dissolved into solution and also nucleated new crystallization. This suggests that trifurcation debris disk condensates should be represented in crystalline gneiss; however, these condensates may differ significantly from the condensates of the solar-merger debris disk that condensed asteroids and chondrites in the inner solar system. But there should be a minor component of presolar mineral grains in crystalline gneiss, similar to those in inner solar system chondrites.
¶ Solute solubility is variously dependent on temperature, but the solubility of most mineral species is proportional to temperature, tending to cause crystallization near the icy ceiling cold junction during thermally-driven circulation. Additionally, freezing saltwater tends to exclude solutes from water-ice crystals, increasing the dissolved solute load to and above the saturation point, so as KBOs gradually cooled and froze solid, ‘freeze out’ caused mineral grains in aqueous suspension to grow by crystallization until falling out of suspension by sedimentation, adding to a growing authigenic sedimentary core. And exponential cooling of differentiated KBOs reduced thermally-driven circulation rates, tending to progressively decrease the mineral grain size in aqueous suspension over time; however, violent subsidence shocks would have repeatedly interrupted quiescent thermal circulation, creating bright lines with larger mineral grain sizes.
¶ A majority of the sand on Earth is suggested to be authigenic, KBO mineral grains that fell out of aqueous suspension at a characteristic sand-grain scale in the microgravity of KBO oceans. Authigenic mineral grains also precipitate on Earth, but on our high-gravity planet, they fall out of aqueous suspension on the scale of clay particles, sometimes forming authigenic mudstone on Earth.
Felsic-mafic layering in migmatite:
¶ Conventionally, migmatites form by the secondary mechanism of partial melting (anatexis) of a protolith under elevated temperature and pressure at great depth beneath the Earth’s surface, resulting physical segregation of a partial-melt into felsic-enriched leucosomes and felsic-depleted melanosomes.
¶ Alternatively, the felsic-mafic layering in authigenic sedimentary migmatites is formed by modulated felsic-mafic deposition, with a variable degree of secondary slump folding superimposed during lithification. This felsic-mafic layering is suggested to be caused by sawtooth modulation in pH of the overlying saltwater ocean.
¶ The solubility of aluminous species is particularly pH sensitive, so the concentration of carbonic acid would effectively control the reservoir of dissolved aluminous species in solution. Aluminous species solubility is U-shaped with respect to pH, with an inflection point at about 6-1/2 pH (Driscoll and Schecher, 1990). An abrupt rise in pH from 3.5 to 6.5 would decrease the aluminous species solubility by a factor of more than 100,000, effectively precipitating the entire reservoir of dissolved aluminous species, presumably predominantly in the form of feldspars, the simplest aluminous silicates.
¶ Carbon dioxide solubility can be catastrophically reduced by physical shock, as can be demonstrated by shaking a carbonated beverage. And when dissolved CO2 bubbles out of solution, carbonic acid breaks down into gaseous carbon dioxide to restore the carbonic acid-CO2 equilibrium, raising the pH. Thus, subsidence shocks (KBO-quakes) of aqueously-differentiated KBOs could cause rapid super saturation of aluminous species, causing a frenzy of aluminous mineral grain nucleation and crystallization on aqueously-suspended mineral grains, presumably resulting in sedimentation of feldspar mineral grains.
¶ So KBO aftershocks are suggested to nucleate feldspar mineral grains that grow by crystallization until falling out of aqueous suspension at a mineral grain size characteristic for the increased agitation rate following subsidence shocks. And the increased circulation following an subsidence shock may also induce crystallization of other minerals whose solubility is proportional to temperature, such as quartz/silica, caused by the increased circulation of saltwater past the cold icy ceiling.
¶ (Super) saturation of aluminous species may favor crystallization on existing mineral grains in aqueous suspension for simple minerals, like the feldspar group, whereas the same conditions may favor nucleation of new mineral grains for more complex minerals, like biotite. Crystallization and nucleation requires the proximity of the constituent ions and cations (species); however, the more complex the silicates, the smaller the chance that the necessary species converge on suspended mineral grains, forcing nucleation where the mineral species happen to converge. So simple feldspars may tend to crystallize on existing mineral grains, forming large feldspar mineral grains, whereas more complex minerals, like biotite, may tend to nucleate new mineral grains, forming more numerous but much-smaller mineral grains. Thus, the simplest minerals, such as felsic quartz and feldspar, may rain down on the sedimentary core immediately following subsidence shocks, creating felsic leucosome layers, with mineral grain size decreasing over time until the smaller more numerous mafic mineral grains come to predominate sedimentation during intervening the quiescent intervals between subsidence shocks, creating mafic melanosome layers. Thus, authigenic sedimentation should be upward fining following subsidence events, with large felsic mineral grains in light-colored leucosomes gradually grading to fine mafic mineral grains in dark-colored melanosomes.
¶ Therefore, in the crystallization urgency of super saturated aluminous species, feldspar mineral grains may quickly grow to sufficient size to fall out of aqueous suspension in the agitated circulation rate following an subsidence shock, whereas smaller, more complex aluminous species may remain in aqueous suspension until the agitation rate approaches quiescence.
¶ Additionally, KBO subsidence shocks may dislodge oversized euhedral mineral grains trapped in the slush of ice crystals floating at the ice ceiling.
¶ Progressive heat loss by differentiated KBOs presumably causes ice crystal nucleation, which float to the ice ceiling to form a slush of ice crystals. And since most mineral species solubility is reduced at colder temperatures, mineral grains may grow by crystallization to outsize proportions when supported by icy slush at the ice ceiling until possibly becoming dislodged by the vibration of subsidence events.
¶ The vibration and agitation of subsidence shocks may free enlarged euhedral mineral grains from their slushy prison, which fall through the water column to nominally become incorporated into the margins of felsic leucosomes. Thus, outsized euhedral mineral grains in metamorphic rock that are not pegmatites to possibly have a dropstone origin.
Gneiss-dome mantling rock, typically consisting of quartzite, marble/dolomite, and schist:
¶ Gneiss domes are often mantled with metasedimentary rock, typically comprised of quartzite, marble/dolomite, and schist. The compositional differences between the gneiss core and its surmounting mantle represents differing depositional conditions of the various regimes.
¶ Gneiss dome mantling rock is suggested here to be the authigenic frosting on the gneissic cake, with gneiss dome mantling rock representing the final authigenic deposition of the KBO sedimentary core prior to the ocean freezing solid, ending authigenic deposition.
¶ In his seminal 1948 paper, The problem of mantled gneiss domes, Eskola notes the composition of Finland’s gneiss domes, “the basement stratum is a layer of quartzite, above which follow dolomite and micaschist; and in still others, dolomite forms the basement”. “In some, the lowest horizon of the mantle consists of basal conglomerate with boulders of the same gneiss that forms the dome.”
¶ Baltimore gneiss domes also appear to have the same gneiss-quartzite-marble-schist sequence noticed by Eskola in Finland’s gneiss domes, as illustrated in the following sketches.
¶ Authigenic gneiss is suggested to be primary precipitation from the overlying ocean, whereas authigenic schist is suggested to be secondary precipitation from hydrothermal fluids emanating from hydrothermal vents in the sedimentary core. Lithification of the core entails the expulsion of hot aqueous fluids from the lithifying sediments with leached minerals through hydrothermal vents into the overlying ocean, and when the hot hydrothermal fluids enter the cold overlying ocean, the leached mineral species become (super) saturated and precipitate schistic sediments.
¶ Schist is often named for its primary mineral constituent, with its wide-ranging variability presumably attributable to variable hydrothermal chemistry related to its leached mineral content. The frequent proximity of chemically different schists in the geologic record points to highly localized deposition, suggesting chemical modulation of hydrothermal fluids, perhaps after the overlying ocean is mostly frozen solid.
¶ Euhedral-crystal dropstones, such as garnets and staurolite, are particularly prevalent in schist, which may be liberated from the icy ceiling when hydrothermal vents increase their flow rate, melting portions of the overlying ceiling which liberate oversized euhedral-crystal dropstones.
¶ The origin of the schistosity of schist is unclear, with the flat sheet-like grains (mica, talc, and etc.) likely forming by secondary metamorphism from clay-like precursors.
¶ Schist can also contain prominent ptygmatic leucosomes like migmatite gneiss, and presumably from the same cause, forming as aqueous drains where the constituent mineral grains grow by crystallization, sometimes buckling outward into the surrounding matrix as ptygmatic folds.
¶ Quartzite is typically the first mantling layer overlying basement gneiss in gneiss domes. Quartz being the simplest silicate may be the most likely silicate to crystallize on suspended mineral grains, while more complex silicates tend to nucleate more-numerous but smaller mineral grains. Thus quartz sand may be the first mineral to fall out of aqueous suspension in new hydrothermal vents or reactivated hydrothermal vents, tending to form a layer of quartz sand over gneissic sediments that may go on to lithify and metamorphose into quartzite.
¶ Notably, calcium carbonate solubility has a negative temperature dependence, such that hot hydrothermal fluids that locally warm the overlying ocean saturated in carbonates or locally melt the ice ceiling will tend to calcium and magnesium carbonates that may lithify into dolostone or limestone and may metamorphose into marble.
Domal structure of gneiss domes:
¶ The domal structure of gneiss domes as the anticline wrinkles of a former KBO sedimentary core is suggested to be the expected outcome of densification of a sedimentary core during lithification.
¶ Lithification involves the destruction of voids, expelling the aqueous fluid that filled the interstitial voids through hydrothermal vents into the overlying saltwater ocean. This shrinks the diameter, circumference and volume of the sedimentary core, causing the sedimentary surface to map onto a smaller area, forcing it to crumple into synclines and gneiss-dome anticlines, like the wrinkling of a grape dehydrating to form a raisin.
¶ Presumably the scale of gneiss domes is proportional to the scale of the originating KBO and its gneissic core, with larger gneiss dome systems corresponding to larger former KBOs. Gneiss domes exceeding 100 km in length presumably belonged to former KBOs exceeding 1000 km Dia.
¶ “Most gneiss domes are elongate parallel to the strike of the orogen” (Whitney et al., 2004) While wrinkling of all types is invariably elongate, gneiss-dome alignment with the strike of exhumed orogens is surprising, with orogeny driven by tectonic collision; however, the underlying basement geometry may dictate the strike of the local orogen. I.e., orogen exhumation apparently typically follows the long axis of underlying gneiss domes.
¶ Anticline domes on a lithifying sedimentary core may cause the dome to grate against the ice ceiling that may be the origin of gneissic conglomerate that
Eskola states sometimes comprises the lowest horizon of a gneiss-dome mantling regime. This suggests that gneiss-dome conglomerate forms prior to the deposition of overlying mantling rock.
Slump folding in metamorphic rock:
¶ Conventional geology suggests that metamorphic folding occurs at elevated temperature and pressure in lithified rock, deep below Earth’s surface, with the fold type illuminating the cause of the folds. Indeed tectonic orogeny creates the synclines and anticlines of mountain ranges by large-scale folding of rock up into the void of the atmosphere, but this form of tectonic folding is many orders of magnitude larger than the centimeter-scale folding typical in migmatites, and solid rock at depth-partial melting or no partial melting-has no voids to fold into. Conventionally, migmatite folding is generally dismissed as being self evident, and when addressed in particular, sharp (isoclinal) folding is identified as 2-dimensional sheath folding, fortuitously sectioned through the nose of the fold, since sheath folding can be credibly explained by shear forces, although the origin of shear forces within blocks of rock 10s of km on a side is best left to the imagination.
¶ Alternatively, migmatite folding can be simple slump folding, if the protolith of metamorphic gneiss is sedimentary rock. On a macro scale, slump folding generally entails briefly fluidizing unconsolidated sediments driven by density inversions, where denser sediments exchange places with less-dense sediments, and where sediment density is largely a factor of buoyant water concentration. On a micro scale, densification during lithification is driven by the destruction of voids between authigenic mineral grains, driven by metasomatism, pressure dissolution at pressure points between mineral grains, and crystallization, and etc. And micro-scale heterogeneity in lithification creates the macro-scale density inversions that drives slump folding.
¶ Additionally, the densification of a spherical sedimentary KBO core has geometry driving slump folding. During lithification of a spherical sedimentary core, not only does the thickness of each sedimentary layer decrease during lithification, but the circumference of every layer also decreases as the spherical core densifies, forcing ‘circumferential slump folding’. On Earth, the vast circumference of the planet means that the circumference change of lithifying sediments is imperceptibly small, whereas in a sedimentary KBO core undergoing lithification, not only does the radial thickness shorten during lithification, as it does on Earth, but the lateral (circumferential) dimensions shorten as well. Bulk KBO sediments are forced to undergo circumferential slump folding for the same reason that spherical grapes are forced to wrinkle when dehydrating into raisins, whereas paint drying on a flat surface is not forced to wrinkle. Something similar to circumferential slump folding can occur on Earth under unusual conditions, such as the lithification of sediments in a V-shaped trench or crevice, where pithy sedimentary layers are forced to fold as they densify toward the pointy end of a trench or crevice during lithification.
¶ Migmatite may be particularly susceptible to slump folding due to the dramatic variation in mineral grain size and composition between juxtaposed felsic leucosomes with large mineral grains, and mafic melanosomes with small mineral grains, resulting in differential rates of lithification, resulting in frequent density inversions.
¶ The most exaggerated examples of a physical phenomenon will cause a genuine theory to shine, while forcing flawed theories to differentiate an unexplainable phenomenon into potentially explainable sub phenomena. Thus the genuine theory will tend toward simplicity and unification, whereas flawed theories will tend toward complexity and differentiation.
¶ The most extreme examples of ptygmatic folds, that repeatedly double back on themselves like ribbon candy, are clearly most dramatic of all metamorphic folds, so it’s not encouraging for academic petrology that these folds are typically played down in significance.
¶ The conventional anatectic explanation for ptygmatic folding appears to engender a contradiction. Felsic leucosomes are presumed to form by felsic-melt segregation, where felsic minerals tend to melt at lower temperatures than mafic minerals following Bowen’s reaction series; however, ptygmatically folded veins rely on the felsic vein having greater competence than the host rock, which presumes that more-mafic surrounding matrix (mesosome) is dramatically more plastic than the ptygmatically-folded leucosome vein which supposedly formed by partial melting. The circa 6:1 matrix shortening required to fold the leucosome back onto itself, resembling ribbon candy, invariably fails to balloon out adjacent felsic-mafic layering, requiring matrix shortening to fortuitously extrude the supposedly less competent host rock perpendicular to (into and out of) the section plane.
¶ While the majority of folding in KBO migmatite is suggested to be slump folding, ptygmatic folding requires a different explanation.
¶ In lithifying KBO cores, the destructed voids between sedimentary particles were once filled with brine that buoyantly escaped into the overlying ocean through hydrothermal vents. Brine naturally followed path of least resistance though the variably-porous lithifying sediments, preferentially flowing through the coarse mineral grains of felsic leucosomes, which acted as French drains. When acting as aqueous drains, these felsic leucosomes are designated ‘veins’. Felsic leucosome layers were laid down the bedding plane, but to vent aqueous brine to the surface required additional cross bedding veins as well.
¶ Hot brine tends to leach minerals from leucosome veins, but as the brine cools on its buoyant ascent, leaching transitions to crystallization, enlarging the mineral grains in the veins. And the growth of felsic mineral grains within veins creates outward pressure, both lateral and longitudinal. “The grain size of quartz and feldspar in the veins is between 10 and 25 times larger than in the host rock (0.2 mm in the latter” (Stel, 1999).
¶ Growth of mineral grains by crystallization caused 3-dimensional expansion of the veins, fattening veins in the two lateral dimensions and buckling veins in the longitudinal dimension, creating ptygmatic folds. Again, this is the mechanism suggested by Shelley, “[t]here are two internal forces of expansion within the vein: that of increase in volume due to crystallization from solution and that of force of crystallization of the vein mineral” (Shelley 1968). Shelley, however, envisioned ptygmatic folding under the stringent conditions of lithified rock undergoing metamorphism, requiring high water pressure to crack the rock, whereas the buckling of unconsolidated sediments in an extraterrestrial setting is much more intuitive.
¶ The following image shows a pair of white (quartz or calcite?) veins cutting through two very different matrix types, apparently tan sandstone at the bottom and black shale above. The veins were presumably former aqueous veins, which developed very differently in the contrasting mediums. The black shale sediments were apparently much more compliant than the former tan sandy sediments, such that the vein was evidently able to buckle ptygmatically into the soft shale sediments, while the stiffer sandy sediments effectively prevented longitudinal buckling, forcing the volume increase of the vein growth to manifest itself exclusively in the lateral direction by way of fattening the vein. In this case, the ptygmatic folding may be terrestrial, albeit by the mechanism suggested for extraterrestrial ptygmatic folding in migmatites.
¶ Three-dimensional expansion of veins due to internal crystallization explains the tendency to maintain constant vein width in ptygmatic folds; however, superimposed slump folding may locally thin or break veins, and variable plasticity of the confining mafic matrix may variably constrain longitudinal buckling into ptygmatic folds. When progressive lithification stiffens the surrounding matrix to the point of preventing longitudinal ptygmatic buckling, veins may still be able to fatten in the lateral direction. And as lateral fattening is resisted by still-greater lithification, the force of crystallization may balloon into aneurysms at points of relative weakness in the surrounding matrix, forming boudinage.
¶ Finally, resistance from the lithifying matrix prevents any further lateral or longitudinal growth of the veins when impinging mineral grains within the veins become more susceptible to pressure dissolution at points of contact than growth by crystallization, with subsequent crystallization confined to filling in the remaining voids.
Neptunism vs. Plutonism: Authigenic S-type vs. Plutonic I-type Granites:
¶ S-type granites are suggested here to be intrusive, authigenic felsic sediments that may be terrestrial or extraterrestrial, and I-type granites are exclusively-terrestrial, intrusive igneous granites. Both authigenic S-type and igneous I-type granites are presumed to be emplaced by intrusive hydraulic pressure.
¶ Within mixed S-type and I-type batholiths, S-types (with whitish microcline) tend to be older, more chemically reduced, formed at lower temperature, surrounded by metasomatic skarns and pegmatites, with muscovite rather than hornblende mafic minerals, and often containing inherited zircons and supracrustal enclaves. I-types (with pinkish orthoclase), by comparison, tend to be younger, higher temperature, surrounded by contact-metamorphic hornfels and aureoles, and sometimes associated economic mineralization, with hornblende common. (Chappell and White 2001)
¶ “S-type granites crystallizes from the viscous, relatively water-saturated magma at great depths. They can form autochthonous bodies and may be surrounded by gneisses and crystalline schists, very similar in composition. I-type granites are formed from the drier and more mobile magma melted deeper, but crystallize at higher levels. Their contacts are well defined, and high grade metamorphic rocks are usually not observed in the frame. ” (Anna Soboleva, 2016)
¶ Blockage of a hydrothermal vent in a lithifying KBO core may have created hydraulic pressure that delaminated the country rock, creating aqueous pockets that cooled in situ and precipitated authigenic sediments with a typically granitic composition. Freezing solid of the overlying ocean may have been a common cause of hydrothermal blockage, forcing buoyant fluids to intrude the surrounding country rock. And the low density of intruding hydrothermal fluids would not support partially-lithified ceiling sediments from ceiling collapse, resulting in the observed gneissic or supracrustal xenoliths and enclaves, common in S-type granite.
¶ In Black Hills National Forest, the Calamity Peak Granite of the Yavapai Mazatzal craton is texturally stratified into alternating textures of fine-grained granite, with < 2 mm grains, and coarse-grained pegmatite, with perthite crystals up to 1 meter long. Additionally, the granite layers are themselves laminated on a millimeter scale, with laminae, 2-20 mm thick. This laminated fine-grained granite is known as ‘line rock’, composed of alternating bands of light and dark minerals, with tourmaline constituting the bulk of the dark mineral.
¶ The textural granite-pegmatite lamination, with superimposed millimeter-scale laminae suggests a state of orbital perturbation while still in the Kuiper belt. The millimeter-scale laminae suggests the circa 300 year orbital period of the former KBO itself, while the wider textural granite-pegmatite layering suggests the much-longer period of the former Sun-Companion orbits around the solar system barycenter. In this orbital barycentric setting, perhaps granite formed near apoapsis (greatest Sun-Companion separation), when the tidal inflection point created active aphelia precession (orbital perturbation), actively squeezing water from the core. Then perhaps pegmatite layers may formed during the quiescent remainder of the Sun-Companion orbit, with low flow rates promoting metasomatism, forming massive pegmatites under nearly quiescent conditions.
¶ The above scenario suggests a LHB age for the granite, with a > 4,567 age for the surrounding gneissic/schistose country rock. Late granite formation from latent aqueous fluids also suggests that core lithification was not complete at the time of the LHB, and perhaps tidal torquing by the Sun-Companion tidal inflection point was even significant in lithification. I.e., perhaps tidal torquing by the Sun-Companion tidal inflection point was significant in pumping water from the sedimentary core.
¶ This conceptual approach offers several alternative primary mechanisms for structure in metamorphic rock that is academically attributed to secondary metamorphic mechanisms; however this alternative approach does not dismiss the attribution of secondary metamorphic grades based on index minerals, secondary metamorphic foliation. Some index minerals may have an alternative primary authigenic origin with a mechanical element, such as the suggested crystallization of large euhedral almandine crystals in slush at the ice ceiling that are mechanically liberated when hot hydrothermal fluids melt ceiling ice, but this type of mechanical origin creates a concentrating effect that differs from the in situ conversion of low-pressure minerals into higher-pressure minerals.
¶ Metamorphic petrology at a mineral grain scale is beyond the scope of this conceptual approach, although it’s suspected that so-called metamorphic index minerals may not have the same relationship to pressure if formed authigenically, rather than igneously or metamorphically as generally supposed.
¶ Metamorphism of continental basement rock may be partially extraterrestrial and partially terrestrial. Extraterrestrial metamorphism might be caused by tidal torquing during orbital perturbation of KBOs by the former Sun-Companion tidal inflection point. Additionally, the freezing solid of the overlying ocean would develop pressure on the core, since water expands when it freezes. Shock metamorphism may have occurred at impact, followed by annealing of shock effects at depth and temperature within LHB-era impact craters/basins. Then a degree of retrograde metamorphism may occur during exhumation to the surface. Foliation, such as mica schistosity, seems more likely in the presence of aqueous fluids (metasomatic), suggesting a extraterrestrial metamorphism, although this could also occur on Earth at depth.
¶ Pegmatites in continental basement rock are presumably metasomatic, and as such more likely to have been formed during extraterrestrial lithification than subsequently during terrestrial metamorphism. Largely-felsic pegmatites presumably formed as part of vein systems that once served as the conduits of buoyant aqueous fluids during the lithification of KBO cores, with more voluminous instances forming S-type granitoids by hydrothermal intrusions.
¶ The foliation of mica schistosity in schist reveals the importance of vertical pressure in forming oriented mica flecks in bulk schist. Additionally, large centimeter-scale mica books appear in pegmatites, but foliation typically disappears in pegmatites, with randomly-oriented mica books appearing to grow from large quartz crystals. If oriented mica schistosity is indicative of vertical pressure, then pegmatite book mica may also be indicative of pressure, but perhaps in the form of unoriented hydraulic pressure with little mineral grain impingement, where euhedral minerals are free to grow in random directions. These conditions would tend to be most prevalent in hydrothermal intrusions into authigenic sediments.
¶ Foliation can also be caused by elongation of mineral grains that may be partly due to mineral-grain dissolution in the vertical direction, between impinging mineral grains, and possibly crystallization in the horizontal direction into voids between mineral grains. Again pressure solution/dissolution requires aqueous fluids that would be more prevalent prior to Earth impact.
¶ The ‘bulk modulus’ (inverse of compressibility) of granite is more than 20 times that of water, such that water ice would absorb more than 20 times as much compressive work energy of an impact shock wave of an icy-body impact, compared to an equal volume of silicates. Thus a thick mantle of relatively-compressible water ice surrounding a gneissic KBO core would absorb the lion’s share of the kinetic energy of a KBO impact as compressive work energy. Thus the icy mantle of a KBO is suggested to have acted as a sacrificial envelope that clamped the impact shock wave pressure below the melting point of silicates.
¶ The shock absorbing potential of relatively-compressible ices, however, would not have been sufficiently protective to prevent the formation of high-pressure polymorphs in silicates, such as coesite, so their absence is presumably due to prolonged dwell time at metamorphosing temperatures and pressures on Earth within their impact craters, deep below the surface.
¶ Terrestrial metamorphism deep within LHB-era impact basins presumably erased high-pressure polymorphs and reset the radiometric age of authigenic mineral grains, with geochronology recording the ‘closure temperature’ during exhumation at which mineral grains, such as zircon, began to retain the daughter products of radioactive decay.
¶ The continental tectonic plates are suggested to be a mash-up of KBO cores that impacted during the LHB following numerous supercontinent mergers and breakups. Tectonic collisions appear to promote exhumation of gneiss domes oriented along the strike of tectonic orogens.
¶ Hot classical KBOs are suggested to have ‘condensed’ by streaming instability (gravitational collapse) against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances from a siderophile-depleted reservoir that lay on the 3-oxygen isotope terrestrial fractionation line.
¶ Large KBOs underwent spontaneous aqueous differentiation at formation, melting saltwater oceans in their cores. Aqueous differentiation was accompanied by authigenic precipitation, with felsic-mafic modulation mediated by sawtooth pH fluctuations, forming sedimentary cores with a gneissic composition.
¶ KBO core rock slump folded during lithification, as the densifying core expelled brine through a network of felsic veins that acted as French drains, channeling the buoyant brine out of the core. Lithification was accompanied by slump folding, which is most prominent in migmatites. Additionally, ptygmatic folding occurred in felsic veins that channeled brine from the core, due to the outward pressure of crystallization, forcing some felsic veins to buckle into ptygmatic folds.
¶ A former binary-Companion to the Sun is suggested to have caused orbital perturbation of hot classical KBOs, causing the LHB of the inner solar system, circa, 4.1–3.8 Ga.
¶ S-type granite is suggested to be the intrusive precipitation of authigenic sediments with a granitic composition, much of which may have intruded during the LHB, caused by tidal torquing by the Sun-Companion tidal inflection point.
¶ The vast majority of gneissic continental KBO rock was presumably delivered to Earth by way of very-large >> 100 km KBO impacts of the LHB era, with subsequent impactors being substantially smaller and unlikely to have undergone aqueously differentiation. An extraterrestrial origin for continental basement rock also depends on its surviving Earth impact without melting or vaporizing. Presumably the relatively-high compressibility of thick icy mantles surrounding the gneissic sedimentary cores absorbed the lion’s share of the impact energy, protecting the silicate cores from melting on Earth impact.
¶ Then, a variable degree of metamorphism of KBO core rock occurred on Earth, 10s of kilometers beneath the surface within their KBO impact craters. Geochronology of KBO core rock, however, dates to closure temperatures as it cools during ascent and exhumation at the surface in orogenies.
Bosbyshell, Howell, (2012), Presentation at Northeastern Section – 47th Annual Meeting
Chappell, B. W. and White, A. J. R., (2001), Two contrasting granite types: 25 years later, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 489–499, August 2001.
Duke, Edward F.; Papike, James J.; Laul, Jagdish C., (1992), GEOCHEMISTRY OF A BORON.RICH PERALUMINOUS GRANITE PLUTON: THE CALAMITV 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 domes, Feb. 1948 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 104, 461-457
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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
Shelley, David, 1968, PTYGMA-LIKE VEINS IN GRAYWACKE, MUDSTONE, AND LOW-GRADE SCHIST FROM NEW ZEALAND, The Journal of Geology, Vol. 76, No. 6 (Nov., 1968), pp. 692-701
Soboleva, Anna, (2016), in response to the ResearchGate question, “I-type granite and S-type granite, how can we distinguish in these granite.”, ResearchGate
Stel, Harry Stel, (1999), Evolution of ptygmatic folds in migmatites from the type area (S. Finland), Journal of Structural Geology, Volume 21, Issue 2, February 1999, Pages 179-189
Whitney, Donna L.; Teyssier, Christian; Vanderhaeghe, Olivier, (2004), Gneiss domes and crustal flow, Special Paper of the Geological Society of America, Volume 380
Yin, An, (2004), Gneiss domes and gneiss dome systems, Geological Society of America Special Paper 380
YD IMPACT BOULDER FIELDS:
¶ Isolated boulder fields attributed to the last glacial maximum (LGM) contain boulders with corners rounded off by tumbling that are many boulders deep, pointing to a catastrophic origin in discrete debris flows. Moreover, many of the boulders exhibit deeply-incised surface features, such as cup marks and striations, that appear to have formed by abrasive scouring, similar to sand blasting, which points to a high-velocity catastrophic origin. These discrete, isolated boulder fields are suggested here to have the same catastrophic origin as Carolina bays, designated, Younger Dryas (YD) impact boulder fields.
¶ Carolina bays and YD impact boulder fields are suggested to be secondary impacts of fragments of Laurentide ice sheet launched into multi-thousand kilometer ballistic trajectories by a primary YD bolide impact on the Laurentide ice sheet in the Great Lakes region, circa 12,900 B.P.
¶ An Younger Dryas (YD) impact or airburst, circa 12,900 B.P., has been all but proved with the discovery of a platinum spike in the Greenland ice sheet, with only the size and location of the bolide impact or impacts open to question. Additionally, a thin layer of magnetic grains, microspherules, nanodiamonds, and glass-like carbon have been unearthed at various locations across North America, Europe and beyond, generally overlain by a ‘black mat’, with a high carbon content. The black mat is nearly coincident with megafauna extinction in North America and the disappearance of the Clovis civilization (Firestone et al., 2007; Firestone, 2011).
¶ An impact hypothesis for large, shallow oval depressions, known as Carolina bays, originated in the 1940s. Carolina bays are a series of 500,000 oval depressions that range in size from 50 m to 10 km in length that are concentrated along the Atlantic seaboard and the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico. An alternative secondary impact theory was advanced in the 21st century, suggesting a secondary impact origin. The long axes of the Carolina bays point back to a suggested primary bolide impact on the former Laurentide ice sheet in the Great Lakes region that apparently lofted giant chunks of ice sheet (icebergs) into ballistic trajectories of 1000s of kilometers to form elongated secondary-impact craters, when and where they landed on soft waterlogged soil, most prominently along the coastal planes.
¶ If iceberg trajectories were at all isotropic in orientation, then the inland was similarly impacted as the coastline, but apparently with less long-lasting effect. Iceberg impacts on the thin soil of upland terrain may have brecciated a layer of bedrock, but without sufficient energy to sculpt the resulting boulders into an elongated Carolina bay-like craters with raised rims. Then 13,000 years of sedimentation over in situ bedrock brecciation may have more or less visually obscured the damage.
¶ The outcome may have been different on sloped ground, however, where gravity could concentrate brecciated boulders in a dynamic debris flow into a discrete, impact boulder field, downhill from the iceberg impact.
¶ Isolated Pennsylvania boulder fields are classically attributed to a periglacial freeze-thaw process during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), where frost action fractured bedrock and the boulders gradually creeped downhill by ‘solifluction’, where frozen subsoil acted as a barrier to the percolation of water, creating a wet surface over a frozen subsurface during thaw cycles.
(Periglacial freeze-thaw + solifluction creep gradualism vs. iceberg-impact debris-flow catastrophism)
¶ Solifluction describes a permafrost setting in which subsoil remains permanently frozen, creating a barrier to the downward percolation of surface water into the water table. Thus surface moisture saturates the thawed topsoil, creating a greasy lubricant over a slippery frozen subsurface for sliding boulders downhill. And periglacial freeze-thaw cycles are presumed to promote the fracturing solid bedrock into mobile boulders by the expansive force of freezing water, where refreezing after thawing has the effect on rock of hammering on a log-splitting wedge into a log.
¶ Alternatively, a catastrophic impact debris-flow origin makes different predictions. Catastrophic impact fracturing should differ from the types of joints (fractures) that appear naturally by physical weathering; however, this level of discrimination would require an advanced understanding of rock fracturing mechanics far beyond the scope of this write-up. Additionally, a catastrophic debris-flow concentration of boulders can better explain corner rounding of boulders during to tumbling, compared to gradual sliding during solifluction conditions. And a rapid debris flow can better explain the jumbling of boulders into deep boulder fields, many boulders deep. Finally, a super-high velocity ice impact sufficient to fracture bedrock would be expected to create characteristic surficial damage on impact-fractured boulders, telegraphing their catastrophic origin.
Next we examine several discrete boulder fields in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Two Ringing Rocks boulder fields:
¶ The smaller and less well known of the two Ringing Rocks boulder fields is in Pottstown, PA (40.270647, -75.605616), which exhibits larger diabase boulders with sharper subchoroidal fractured corners, with less corner rounding due to less tumbling. The larger Ringing Rocks boulder field is in Lower Black Eddy, PA (40.562546, -75.129578).
¶ Triassic diabase of the Central Atlantic magmatic province (CAMP) provided a particularly tough target rock to secondary iceberg impacts, with many boulders exhibiting sharp subconchoidal fractures. Heavily-weathered diabase boulders outside these discrete boulder fields typically exhibit rounded surfaces, caused by slow spheroidal exfoliation, with less-rounded joints between adjacent boulders that have ‘recently’ split, and have not yet had time to undergo spheroidal exfoliation. Devil’s Den in Gettysburg, PA is characteristic of in situ physical and chemical weathering of a diabase seam that’s more resistant to erosion than the surrounding terrain, causing the diabase to stand out in relief as an exposed ridge. While porous sandstone should be far-more susceptible to freeze-thaw cracking than tough non-porous diabase, the very toughness of diabase results in exposed diabase ridges, which would have been more exposed to freeze-thaw cracking than adjacent subsurface bedrock that likely would have remained frozen year round, so periglacial brecciation can not be dismissed out of hand, but Ringing Rocks boulders exhibit two unusual properties that are more easily explained in a catastrophic context, namely a ‘ringing’ quality and deeply-incised surface features.
¶ The diabase boulders within the two Ringing Rocks boulder fields exhibit an unusual acoustic property, where many boulders ring like a bell when struck sharply with a hammer or other hard object, hence the name, ‘Ringing Rocks’. Diabase boulders outside these two discrete boulder fields do not exhibit this acoustic property. Presumably super-high pressures to which the boulders were subjected prestressed the surfaces, imparting capacity to resonant.
¶ Diabase weathers slowly and predictably, first attaining a rust-like patina, followed by forming a brown-orange rind, which ultimately exfoliates to expose unweathered rock underneath. And like granite, diabase tends to undergo spherical exfoliation to form rounded boulders. In the two Ringing Rocks diabase boulder fields, weathering has barely progressed beyond forming a rust-like patina on the exposed boulders, and indeed the Ringing Rocks boulder field in Lower Black Eddy, PA is recognized to date to around the Last Glacial Maxima, therefore deeply incised surface features, discussed in the following section, can not be dismissed as Holocene weathering and are strong evidence of a catastrophic origin.
Hickory Run boulder field, PA:
¶ The pink boulders of the Hickory Run boulder field are presumably Devonian sandstone from the Catskill Fm, Duncannon Member. The sandstone sand-grain size appears to be inversely related to boulder size, which suggests that in the upward-fining cycle, fine-grained sandstone was at the surface, which was brecciated into smaller boulders than the underlying sandstone with coarser sand-grain size. While finer-grained sandstone will naturally take a higher polish than coarser-grained sandstone from tumbling, the difference in roughness between large and small boulders seems exaggerated, with many of the smooth smaller boulders appearing to have a chemically indurated surface. In vibration or tumbling, larger objects rise to the surface, such that the larger boulders rode over the smaller boulders underneath causing the smaller boulders to receive more abrasion. Then, perhaps, the muddy matrix indurated the surfaces of the smaller boulders in the form of crystallization from saturated mineral species. Finally, the sandy-muddy matrix washed away through the porous French drain of the boulder field, revealing the polished and indurated smaller boulders.
¶ Curiously, the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin glaciation appears to surround the Hickory Run boulder field in a semicircular ring of more than 180° from west-southwest to due east.
¶ Hickory Run boulder field is much larger than either of the two Ringing Rocks boulder fields, and consequently its boulders are considerably more rounded due to a greater degree of tumbling, and perhaps also partly due to sandstone being a brittler composition than diabase.
¶ Hickory Run boulders also exhibit deeply-incised surface features, but the tougher, less tumbled Ringing Rocks boulder fields more faithfully preserved the features.
Blue Rock boulder field at Hawk Mountain, PA:
¶ An official signpost at the Blue Rock boulder field attributes its formation to periglacial mechanisms. If the heavily weathered Tuscarora quartzite boulders of Blue Rock boulder field (40.592022, -75915160) at Hawk Mountain, PA received deeply-incised surface features similar to the Ringing Rocks and Hickory Run boulders, these surface features have apparently eroded away.
¶ The Blue Rock boulder spills down the south southeast side of Hawk Mountain, which means that a ballistic iceberg impact from the the west-northwest (Great Lakes region) impacted the surface at a particularly oblique angle, such that its downhill momentum likely contributed materially to creating a debris flow. So while a ballistic iceberg is less likely to impact on the far side of a hill or mountain, a consequent far side impact may have been much more likely to create the debris flow necessary to form a boulder field.
¶ Discrete YD impact boulder fields that are relatively-free of vegetation are conspicuous on Google Maps, satellite mode, but they should not be confused with talus slopes below steep terrain that form by gradualism.
¶ Boulder fields are relatively rare compared to the 500,000 Carolina bays, such that highly-prominent boulder fields must be only the tip of the iceberg.
Incised surface features in impact boulder field boulders:
¶ Three of the four Boulder field boulders examined exhibit a high incidence of incised surface features, which were presumably caused by abrasive scouring by super-high-velocity water or steam, from ballistic iceberg ice, flash melted and vaporized upon impact. The incised surface features typically take the form of pock marks or pits (elsewhere called ‘cup marks’), as well as linear striations and pot holes, where pot holes are defined here as deep pits, often with flat bottoms shaped like a pan, with associated ‘handle’ striations.
¶ Ballistic icebergs impacted at several kilometers per second with a seismic impulse that cracked the target bedrock, like slamming a flagstone with a sledge hammer. Additionally, the ice flash melted into water, scouring out surface features of exposed bedrock and forcing open preexisting cracks and crevices, like pounding a splitting wedge into a log.
¶ ‘Cup marks’ on boulders and exposed bedrock are well known in Europe, where they’re presumed to be a form of prehistoric art. Indeed, some cup marks are circumscribed by concentric rings that are very evidently man made, although the original cup marks could still be natural secondary-impact products. By comparison, incised surface features on boulder field boulders in North America are ignored by both geologists and archeologists.
¶ Ring art around what could be naturally-incised cup marks in this IMAGE from Fowberry Cairn, UK
¶ Presumably only the cup-marked top portion of the rock was exposed above the soil line at the time of a local iceberg impact, in this IMAGE from Farnhill Moor, UK.
¶ Note the distinct pitting in the largest cup mark on the right side of the image, composed of different diameter pits. Perhaps this pitting could be fabricated by hammering on various-sized star drills and chisels, but in combination with the smaller cup marks and meandering striations, the total effect appears to be more random than artistic.
Dark-brown, nodular, ferromagnetic, ‘impact splatter’ rock scale as primary bolide material:
¶ Dark-brown, nodular, ferromagnetic rock scale on bedrock, cobbles and boulders is suggested here to be (YD) ‘impact spatter’, when iron ore is not locally present, although ideally, rocks with dark-brown nodular rock scale would be discovered on stones at the bottom of well-dated black mats. Black mats, however, formed in submerged low lying areas that concentrated extraterrestrial material terrestrial charcoal by run off, whereas bedrocks, cobbles and boulders coated with impact splatter from a nearby iceberg impact would be unlikely to find their way into the future black mats. Suggested impact splatter has not been found on boulders within any of the four suggested impact boulder fields, where perhaps adhered extraterrestrial material would tend to have been ‘steam cleaned’ off the boulders by super-high pressure and velocity steam and water.
¶ Impact spatter presumes high velocity coating of target rocks by ‘sticky’ extraterrestrial material that remains adhered to the surfaces after almost 13,000 years. Presumably extraterrestrial material arrived by way of ballistic iceberg, whereupon tertiary spattering could have covered a vastly larger footprint than the iceberg impact footprint itself. Considering the (500,000) Carolina bay density, perhaps nowhere within several thousand kilometers of the primary impact on the Laurentide ice sheet near the Great Lakes was safe from tertiary splattering.
¶ This type of nodular impact splatter is conspicuously present on ‘one side only’ of boulders and cobbles, apparently coating only the side of the rock exposed to the incoming (tertiary) impact splatter.
¶ The following two images show nodular rock scale on Devonian conglomerate and sandstone on Stony Mountain, north of Fort Indiantown Gap, PA. Stony Mountain is covered with boulders, giving the mountain its name, suggesting the possibility of the mountain being ground zero of a large secondary impact that did not create a discrete boulder field.
¶ The greywacke ‘shoe stone’ from the Susquehanna River, Millersburg, PA exhibits millimeter-scale nodules on one side only (left side and bottom). One small area on the sole, circled in red, exhibits apparent human modification, presumably to more closely resemble a human shoe or moccasin. If the nodular rock scale is indeed YD impact splatter, then its presence at the surface 12,900 years ago raises the probability that the sole modification was Clovis, perhaps as a child-sized moccasin last, or as a child’s plaything.
Magnetic spherules in Pleistocene tusk and bone and in archeological chert:
¶ Firestone et al. (2006) discovered magnetic spherules embedded in Clovis chert flakes, apparently caused by high-velocity spherule impacts, with attendant particle tracks. Similarly, magnetic spherules with entrance wounds were found in Pleistocene tusk and bone. Since then, these claims have been officially abandoned due to the lack of a realistic origin story for high-velocity ground-level magnetic spherules, and due to early (33 ka) dates for mammoth tusks with embedded spherules, which greatly predate the Younger Dryas.
¶ While a date long before the Younger Dryas can be defended by evoking repeated passage of Earth through the Taurid meteor stream, YD impact skeptics have gleefully ridiculed the suggestion of high-velocity ground-level magnetic spherules, as in the contrarian paper, The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis: A requiem (Nicholas Pinter et al., 2011). And by abandoning this high-energy evidence, YD impact proponents must parry any number of mundane low-energy alternatives for exotic material in black-mats.
¶ But the fact that microspherules can not maintain high velocity in their passage through the atmosphere does not preclude their receiving a fortuitous high-velocity kick near ground level from a sonic-boom shock wave of a bolide meteor passing overhead, or from a local secondary impact of a ballistic iceberg. The sonic-boom shock wave of a super sonic bolide passing would rapidly accelerate and then decelerate particles small enough to be entrained by the shock wave compression. So extraterrestrial microspherules from the Taurid meteor stream freefalling through the atmosphere at a leisurely pace of several km/hr in the immediate vicinity (circa within several meters) of a wooly mammoth might be rapidly accelerated by a powerful sonic boom to speeds approaching that of the Mach 1 shock wave itself, enabling locally-accelerated spherules to penetrate hide, tusk, bone, or even silicates.
¶ An impact origin for Carolina bays requires equivalent inland impacts, which appear to fit with discrete boulder fields composed of well tumbled boulders stacked deep into discrete boulder fields formed by rapid debris flows, which are difficult to explain by a periglacial, freeze-thaw, solifluction gradualism model.
¶ Deeply-incised surface features, such as cup marks and striations are difficult to impossible to explain away in the context of young boulder fields from the last glacial maximum by the gradualism model, where there’s been insufficient time to blame the effects on weathering. Alternatively, deeply-incised surface features appear to support a ballistic iceberg impact, with surficial scouring by super-high velocity fluids.
¶ The resonant quality of Ringing Rocks diabase boulders can not be explained by the gradualism model, whereas brief exposure to super-high pressures of an impacting ballistic iceberg that prestress diabase boulder surfaces may neatly explain their acoustic properties.
¶ Next, dark-brown, nodular, ferromagnetic rock scale as secondary or tertiary extraterrestrial material splatter from ballistic icebergs contaminated with primary bolide material has no comprehensive alternative explanation.
¶ Finally, microspherules embedded in bone, tusks and archeological chert appear to require a high-energy sonic boom to accelerate exotic magnetic spherules up to penetration velocity, and an extraterrestrial impact could create the necessary sonic boom, as well as exotic magnetic spherules to be accelerated.
Firestone, Richard B., Analysis of the Younger Dryas Impact Layer, (2007), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory https://escholarship.org/uc/item/03q2r98x
Firestone, R.B.; West, A.; Kennett, J.P. et al., (2007), Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling, PNAS October 9, 2007, vol. 104, no. 41
Firestone, Richard; Allen West;, and Simon Warwick-Smith, (2006), The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes, Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont
Pinter, Nicholas; Scott, Andrew C.; Daulton, Tyrone L.; Podoll, Andrew; Koeberl, Christian; Anderson, R. Scott; Ishman, Scott E., (2011), The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis: A requiem, Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 106, Issues 3-4, June 2011, Pages 247-264
YD IMPACT COMET CRUST:
Extraordinary claims (of an alternative solar-system-formation model) require extraordinary evidence (here in the form of siderophile-depleted igneous comet crust).
¶ ‘Comet-crust meteorites’ are suggested here to be a new class of outer solar system meteorites, composed of the igneous crust of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). Since former KBOs are presumably uncommon in the inner solar system, compared to asteroids and chondrites, comet crust meteorites should be proportionately uncommon in present-day meteorite falls. But 12,800 years ago, a ‘YD impact hypothesis’ suggests that the Laurentide ice sheet was impacted with a fragment of a former KBO comet in the vicinity of the Great Lakes, causing the extinction of 90 genera of megafauna from the Americas. And that KBO comet fragment is suggested here to have had an igneous comet crust that was distributed across North America and beyond, imbedded large fragments of the Laurentide ice sheet, launched into ballistic trajectories as part of the ejecta curtain of the primary impact.
¶ Inner solar system asteroids and chondrites are well characterized, but no meteorite finds on Earth have been specifically attributed to the Kuiper belt. This omission is suggested here to be due to the similarity of KBO core rock to terrestrial continental basement rock. Indeed, the metamorphic rock of the continental tectonic plates on Earth are suggested here to be authigenic sedimentary cores of hot-classical KBOs acquired during the late heavy bombardment of the inner solar system, circa 4.1–3.8 Ga. The hot-classical KBOs are suggested here to have condensed from a siderophile-depleted ’trifurcation debris disk’ > 4,567 Ma that lay on the 3-oxygen-isotope terrestrial fractionation line.
¶ Large KBOs underwent spontaneous ’aqueous differentiation’ at formation by streaming instability (gravitational collapse), internally melting water ice, which precipitated authigenic sedimentary cores with a gneissic composition. The liquid water refroze to form icy mantles surrounding sedimentary gneissic cores, with the icy mantles depleted in gneissic silicates.
¶ A trifurcation debris disk requires a former binary-Sun whose binary components spiraled in to merge in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma. The solar-merger LRN briefly enveloped the solar system out to and including the Kuiper belt with solar plasma, melting the KBO regolith into an igneous ‘comet crust’. This comet crust is composed of the solutes and suspended mineral grains of the frozen salt-water ocean of aqueously-differentiated KBOs. Thus comet-crust meteorites of KBO origin should be depleted in siderophile elements and also depleted in bulk gneissic silicates, and hence silicate depleted as well.
¶ LRN solar plasma partially reduced iron oxides in the molten crust to metallic iron, with comet crust inheriting millimeter- to centimeter-scale metallic iron inclusions that remained suspended in the lower-density rocky matrix under the KBO microgravity conditions. Additionally some comet-crust meteorites exhibit fusion crust and occasionally flow lines in the fusion crust as well.
¶ Sedimentary cores dated to the onset of the Younger Dryas, 12,800 BP, from the Americas, Europe, and Asia exhibit iron-rich spherules, glass-like carbon, glass spherules, nanodiamonds, and platinum enrichments. Additionally, closely-dated glacial cores exhibit platinum enrichments and numerous markers for extreme biomass burning. Some sedimentary horizons from this time period are so enriched in black carbon/soot deposits as to engender the term ‘black mat’ for their distinctive appearance. Significantly, 90 genera of megafauna went extinct in the Americas by 12,700 BP. A thousand year period of glacial conditions known as the Younger Dryas followed the brief warming of the Late Glacial Interstadial at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum.
¶ A group of 63 scientists from 55 universities in 16 countries have created the Comet Research Group to pursue the likelihood that a comet impact on or over the Laurentide ice sheet 12,800 BP was the cause for this unusual combination of anomalies.
¶ Petaev et al., 2013 analyzed Greenland ice sheet cores from the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 and discovered a large platinum anomaly at the onset of the Younger Dryas, not accompanied by an iridium anomaly, with the Pt/Ir ratios at the Pt peak exceeding those in known terrestrial sediments. The Pt concentrations rise by at least 100 fold over ~ 14 years before dropping back during the subsequent ~ 7 years. “The Pt anomaly precedes the ammonium and nitrate spike in the GISP2 ice core (2) by ∼30 y and, thus, this event is unlikely to have triggered the biomass burning and destruction thought to be responsible for ammonium increase in the atmosphere and the Greenland ice (11).”
¶ Subsequently, a platinum anomaly was documented in bulk sedimentary sequences from 11 widely-separated sites across the continental United States. (Moore, West et al., 2017) This article constrains the Greenland ice core Pt anomaly, from Petaev et al. 2013, to ~12,836–12,815 cal BP.
¶ In a recent study measuring biomass burning proxies, 23 sites with previous YD impact markers were examined across North America and northern Europe, including one site in northern South America and one site in the Middle East. The study revealed a major peak in biomass burning at the YD onset that appears to be the highest during the latest Quaternary. (Wolbach et al.,2., 2018)
¶ In a related article, biomass-burning aerosols were discovered in 4 ice-core sequences from Greenland, Antarctica, and Russia. The perturbations on CO2 records from Taylor Glacier, Antarctic suggest the combustion of ~9% of Earth’s terrestrial biomass. (Wolbach et al.,1., 2018)
¶ This 2018 paper, which includes 24 scientists from the Comet Research Group, states that the “cosmic-impact hypothesis is based on considerable evidence that Earth collided with fragments of a disintegrating ≥100 km-diameter comet, the remnants of which persist within the inner solar system ~12,800 y later”. (Wolbach et al.,1., 2018) Elsewhere Comet Encke and the Taurid meteor stream are suggested as the possible debris stream of a former KBO that fragmented in the inner solar system in the last 20,000 to 30,000 years, whose debris stream once included the former YD comet.
¶ No crater has been positively identified for the one or more posited Younger Dryas (YD) impacts on the Laurentide ice sheet in the Great Lakes Region, circa 12,800 BP. This absence of a primary impact crater reduces the likelihood of recognizing primary bolide material, particularly if it belongs to a new class of outer solar system meteorites that is radically different from inner solar system asteroids and chondrites.
YD impact comet-crust overview:
¶ The former YD impact bolide is suggested to have possessed an igneous crust that constitutes a new class of siderophile-depleted (low nickel, < 2 ppb iridium) meteorites on Earth. This suggested comet crust contains frequent millimeter-to-centimeter-scale metallic-iron inclusions that appear to have solidified in a microgravity environment, and thus extraterrestrial.
¶ The primary impact was presumably on the Laurentide ice sheet, with comet crust ferried into SE PA and elsewhere as bolide contamination within a secondary ejecta curtain of Laurentide ice sheet fragments. Indeed, a chunk of apparent comet crust was found in California.
¶ Comet crust was fortuitously preserved on Earth impact by the cushioning effect of the relatively-compressible ice of the Laurentide ice sheet. The relative compressibility of water ice compared to bedrock silicates presumably clamped the impact shock wave pressure below the melting point of silicates, preserving bolide material from melting on impact, with the relative endothermic compressibility of water absorbing the lion’s share of the impact energy. The target ice sheet absorbed the lion’s share of the energy in the form of PdV compressive heating, raising the temperature of the resulting supercritical water to thousand of Kelvins, which scorched much of the comet crust, imparting fusion crust at impact onto the surfaces of many comet-crust meteorites.
¶ As many as 500,000 elliptically-shaped Carolina bays, located along the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coast of the US, have been suggested by the Comet Research Group to have been caused by secondary impacts from an ejecta curtain of Laurentide ice sheet fragments from a primary impact on the ice sheet, circa 12,800 BP. Many ice sheet fragments traveled over 1000 km in ballistic trajectories above Earth’s atmosphere at 3 km/s, and impacted with 1% of the specific kinetic energy of the primary YD comet traveling at 30 km/s.
¶ Presumably a similar density of secondary ice-sheet-fragment impacts occurred inland from the coastal Carolina bays, which blanket North America and beyond. But secondary ice-fragment impacts on harder terrain inland of the swampy coastline caused less target damage, which has been visually erased by subsequent weathering during the intervening millennia.
¶ The impulse of secondary ballistic impacts of ice-sheet fragments on thin soil is suggested here to have fractured target bedrock, occasionally forming discrete boulder fields by way of dynamic rock slides/debris flows when ice-sheet fragments hit the leeward side of mountains and slopes, where the horizontal component of the ice-sheet fragment velocity pointed downhill, causing the forward momentum of the ice-sheet fragment to promote downhill rock slides. (See section, YD IMPACT BOULDER FIELDS). In Eastern Pennsylvania, the Hickory Run boulder field and the Ringing Rocks boulder fields are both suggested to be YD impact boulder fields. Other locations littered with sharp-edged boulders that are nominally-weathered, but not concentrated into discrete boulder fields, could also be secondary impact sites, where only a tiny percentage of secondary impact brecciation of bedrock presumably underwent dynamic rock slides to form concentrated boulder fields, many boulders deep.
¶ There appears to be a high concentration of comet-crust meteorites across Southeastern Pennsylvania, particularly between Harrisburg, PA and Conshohocken, PA which may represent a kilometer-scale ice-sheet fragment with an anomolously-high comet-crust concentration that exploded upon reentry into the atmosphere on its ballistic trajectory, showering the region with crustal material.
¶ If the YD comet fragment included any of the gneissic KBO core, its indistinguishability from metamorphic Earth rocks would render it invisible, where the metamorphic tectonic plates on Earth are suggested here (see section: AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs)) to be of extraterrestrial KBO origin emplaced on Earth during the late heavy bombardment. And ironically, the similarity of igneous comet crust to iron furnace slag also renders igneous comet crust invisible, particularly in light of its economic exploitation for its iron content, which frequently mingles pristine comet crust with its industrial slag aftermath. Finally, very-large icy impacts are suggested here to cause astroblemes that may distend Earth’s crust downward into round impact basins, but without excavating a traditional bowl-like craters and without creating high-pressure polymorphs, which may largely mask icy impact basins from detection as such. And the suggested fortuitous ejecta curtain of Laurentide ice sheet fragments raining down from the YD impact created elliptical secondary astroblemes, like the Carolina bays, which deviate even further from classical rocky asteroid impacts.
¶ All aspects of the suggested YD comet impact deviate from the classical understanding of rocky-iron asteroids/chondrites on target bedrock, from its suggested siderophile gneissic core composition and igneous crust with metallic-iron inclusions to its target ice sheet and extensive secondary ejecta curtain of ice sheet fragments.
YD comet-crust exhibits a number of typical features that occur with variable frequency:
– Gray igneous matrix; constituting variable-sized fractured fragments of dense, gray igneous matrix with a high iron-oxide and calcium-oxide content, with specimens often containing variable-sized metallic-iron inclusions. Some matrix material is highly-vesicular, like scoria, while some matrix material lacks vesicles altogether. A large percentage of igneous matrix is comprised of coarse, rough conglomerations of weathered granular material that readily fuses into larger masses when exposed to moisture, likely due to pressure solution/dissolution of its soluble calcium carbonate component.
– Metallic iron; constituting variable-sized masses of metallic iron from millimeter-scale inclusions in the gray igneous matrix to isolated masses, some as large as 100 kg. Some iron is massive (cast) and some is nodular, where nodular iron often appears in larger aggregates that appear to be sintered together.
– Magnetite/hematite; some matrix material shielded from solar plasma that did not reduce iron oxide to metallic iron has a composition similar to terrestrial iron ore, with some specimens less attracted to a magnet (hematite) and some more so (magnetite).
– Some matrix material exhibits one undulating (top) surface, with a typical 10-15 cm undulation radius, with the matrix material typically fractured into pie-shaped ‘slices’, having one rounded surface and the other end wedge shaped, like a slice of pie.
– Some matrix material exhibits apparent fusion crust, and a small percentage of fusion crust exhibits apparent flow lines.
– All types of YD comet crust are typically coated with a white, gritty cement-like coating, to the extent that this cement-like coating is one of the best indicators of comet crust.
Aqueous differentiation, followed by stellar plasma immersion:
(see section, AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs))
¶ Large KBOs presumably underwent aqueous differentiation during formation by streaming instability, a form of gravitational instability, with aqueous differentiation defined here as the melting of water ice by the conversion of potential energy to heat during gravitational collapse. Large KBOs in which all water ice either melted or sublimed presumably processed all their trifurcation-debris-disk dust and ice through internal saltwater oceans, largely dissolving nebular dust suspended in saltwater, and/or with nebular dust acting as nucleation sites for mineral crystallization. In the microgravity of internal KBO oceans, authigenic mineral grains grew by crystallization until falling out of aqueous suspension at a sand grain size or larger, forming sedimentary cores with a bulk gneissic composition. Gneissic banding is attributed to intermittent KBO-quake subsidence events that modulated mineral-species solubilities by way of pH variations, where subsidence shock waves caused CO2 to bubble out of solution, sharply raising the pH.
¶ Over time heat loss caused internal KBO oceans to freeze solid, trapping solutes and suspended mineral grains in the saltwater ice, with a composition deficient in the bulk chemistry of the gneissic sediments (and siderophile depleted). This depletion of gneissic silicates left the icy mantle and crust highly-enriched in water-soluble solutes, notably salts, iron, magnesium and calcium oxides and carbonates.
¶ The subsequent plasma immersion of old-classical KBOs in the 4,567 Ma binary spiral-in solar merger LRN is suggested here to have melted the surficial KBO regolith into an igneous crust, with water ice and other more volatile ices subliming and venting through the molten crust, with the escaping gases leaving a variable degree of voids in the igneous crust. Additionally, most salts and other relative volatiles vaporized from the loose regolith before the more refractory silicates and oxides fused into a liquid igneous mass, depleting comet crust of more volatile compounds.
¶ The chemically-reducing nature of ionized hydrogen and carbon monoxide in the LRN solar plasma chemically reduced exposed iron oxides to metallic iron, with iron droplets merging into centimeter-scale metallic iron inclusions in comet crust before falling out of suspension within the mafic igneous matrix. Coincidently, carbon monoxide is also the reducing agent for converting iron oxide to metallic iron in industrial iron-smelting furnaces.
¶ Sufficiently-small KBOs would not have reached the melting point of water ice at formation by streaming instability, and intermediate-sized KBOs may have partially aqueously differentiated, where internal melting of water ice may not have extend to the surface. Plasma immersion of smaller hot-classical KBOs with pristine surfaces that did not undergo melting of water ice would also have acquired an igneous crust at 4,567 Ma, but that crust would not be depleted in bulk gneissic sediments, and thus would exhibit a much-higher silicate concentration, closer to chondritic, but also volatile depleted and siderophile depleted.
Alternative solar system model:
(see section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
Symmetrical flip-flop fragmentation:
¶ An alternative star formation mechanism, designated ‘symmetrical flip-flop fragmentation’, is suggested to have ‘condensed’ a twin-binary pair of disk instability objects around a large brown-dwarf-mass protostellar core, where the twin-binary disk instability (DI) objects were much-more massive than the diminutive core. Orbital interplay progressively transferred kinetic energy and angular momentum from the massive twin-binary DI-object to the diminutive brown dwarf by the mechanism of equipartition of kinetic energy, which evaporated the former core into a circumbinary orbit around the twin-binary DI-objects, as the DI-objects spiraled inward, conserving system energy and angular momentum. The DI-objects evolved into our former binary-Sun.
Trifurcation and its primary debris disk:
¶ It’s well known that equipartition transfers orbital kinetic energy and angular momentum from more massive objects to less massive objects in close orbital encounters, which is the mass segregation mechanism that evaporates the least massive stars out of globular clusters, causing the most massive stars to sink inward to form a core. Equipartition is also suggested to transfer rotational energy and angular momentum from large to small objects in close orbital encounters, increasing their rotation rate, causing less-massive objects to ‘spin up’. Equipartition is suggested to have caused our former brown dwarf to spin up until it distorted into a tri-axial Jacobi ellipsoid and then into a bar-mode instability. Additional pumping of rotational energy caused the bar-mode instability to fragment into 3 components by ‘trifurcation’, where the twin bar-mode arms of the spun-up brown dwarf gravitationally pinched off into their own Roche spheres to form a twin-binary pair of super-Jupiters-mass objects in orbit around the diminutive residual core. First-generation trifurcation promotes second-generation trifurcation and etc., ultimately creating 4 trifurcation generations of twin-binary objects in our solar system;
– 1st gen. ― ‘binary-Companion’ (with super-Jupiter-mass components)
– 2nd gen. ― Jupiter-Saturn
– 3rd gen. ― Uranus-Neptune
– 4th gen. ― Venus-Earth
¶ Trifurcation is presumably an inefficient process, spinning off and boiling off a substantial percentage of the trifurcating objects. Assuming the multi-generational trifurcating objects were internally differentiated, with iron-nickel (siderophile) cores, the resulting trifurcation debris disk would necessarily have been siderophile depleted. Thus, four generations of trifurcation created a siderophile-depleted ‘trifurcation debris disk’ from the homogenous brown dwarf reservoir, which lay on the 3-oxygen-isotope, terrestrial fractionation line.
¶ And the trifurcation debris disk condensed siderophile-depleted (hot-classical) Kuiper belt objects (KBOs), presumably by streaming instability, against Neptune’s outer 2:3 mean motion resonance.
Binary-Sun spiral-in merger luminous red nova (LRN), 4,567 Ma:
¶ Secular perturbation between former binary-Sun and former binary-Companion caused binary-Sun to spiral in and merge in at 4,567 Ma in a luminous red nova (LRN), which briefly created a plasma fireball that apparently engulfed the classical Kuiper belt, vaporizing volatiles from the surface of KBOs and melting the remaining refractory material into an igneous, siderophile-depletd rocky-iron crust.
The red giant phase of (stellar-merger) luminous red nova LRN M85OT2006-1 would have reached far into the Kuiper belt, with a fireball estimated at R = 2.0 +.6-.4 x 10^4 R☉, and a peak luminosity of about 5 x 10^6 L☉. (Rau et. al. 2007) “Previously published line indices suggest that M85 has a mean stellar age of 1.6+/-0.3 Gyr. If this mean age is representative of the progenitor of M85 OT 2006-1, then we can further constrain its mass to be less than 2 M☉.” (Ofek et al. 2007) If the size of the less than 2 M☉ LRN M85OT2006-1 fireball was in the range of 74–121 AU (R = 2.0 +.6-.4 x 10^4 R☉), then it’s readily conceivable that our greater than 1 M☉ LRN fireball, at 4,567 Ma, should easily have scorched a preexisting Kuiper belt reservoir centered around 43 AU.
¶ The LRN quickly retreated, leaving a low-angular-momentum ‘LRN debris disk’ in the inner solar system that ‘condensed’ rocky-iron asteroids, presumably by streaming instability against the Sun’s greatly expanded magnetic corotation radius, and later condensed chondrites by streaming instability against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances, but the low angular momentum content of the LRN debris disk precluded forming a high angular momentum debris disk at the distance of the Kuiper belt.
¶ The dynamic temperature profile of the luminous red nova may partly explain the large centimeter-scale metallic-iron inclusions, which are too large to have been held in molten igneous suspension within the supporting matrix, even in the microgravity of a KBO. The LRN temperature profile over time caused top down melting of the surface regolith, followed by bottom up solidification, during the exponential cooling phase, measured in months. Once reaching a peak melt depth, the receding solar plasma allowed the igneous crust to gradually solidify (cool) from the bottom up, even as iron oxide was still being chemically reduced to a molten metallic-iron state at the surface. Thus as metallic-iron globules rained down onto the rising solidification front, creating pile ups of iron spherules, and since metallic iron melts at a higher temperature than the enveloping mafic matrix, solidified iron pellets presumably piled up at the rising solidification front; however, prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures may have largely sintered these former iron spherules into apparently-solid iron masses.
Binary-Companion spiral-in merger at 650 Ma:
¶ Almost 4 billion years after the binary-Sun merger, the super-Jupiter components of binary-Companion spiraled in to merge at about 650 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. The resulting ‘Companion-merger debris disk’ is suggested here to have condensed a young (650 Ma), cold, classical KBO population against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance. And this Companion-merger debris disk also presumably coated the old (> 4,567 Ma) hot, classical KBO population with a thin veneer of binary-Companion merger dust and ice that was not siderophile depleted. This late veneer is suggested to be the origin of most of the platinum and iridium found in black mats across North America and elsewhere dated to the onset of the Younger Dryas.
YD comet crust origin and characterization:
¶ YD comet crust has a high calcium oxide content coincident with iron furnace slag. The fire assay of two comet crust samples yielded 25.69% and 40.28%, which is in line with industrial iron-smelting slag (41.7%) (Chemical composition of iron and steel slag). The high iron and calcium content of YD comet crust are suggested to be the refractory solutes of the saltwater ocean after precipitation of the gneissic sediments and following the volatile loss of salts and other relative volatiles by the LRN plasma.
Gray igneous matrix with metallic-iron inclusions:
¶ Comet crust is highly variable regarding specimen size, density, matrix to metallic iron ratio, void prevalence, void size, and surface texture. Specimen size ranges from millimeter-scale gravel up to massive igneous boulders more than a meter across. Igneous matrix density is highly variable, varying by iron-oxide and metallic-iron concentrations, but comet crust matrix density is always greater than that of iron-furnace slag, where economic competition provided a strong incentive to extract the maximum percentage of iron. Reasonably-smooth sectioned slabs of matrix have a distinct greasy feel to the touch, with smearing sometimes evident under magnification.
¶ Metallic-iron inclusions in igneous matrix typically range from millimeter-to centimeter-scale, where larger masses of comet-crust iron are mostly devoid of igneous matrix.
¶ Internal voids in gray igneous matrix range in size, and abundance, with specimens having the appearance of volcanic scoria to a complete absence of voids.
Massive and nodular metallic iron:
¶ The centimeter-scale of metallic-iron inclusions, which are nearly 2-½ times as dense as the surrounding matrix, have too much negative buoyancy to remain in suspension even in the microgravity of KBOs, particularly given the typical low-viscosity of mafic melts compared to felsic melts. Thus special conditions are required for the formation of centimeter-scale metallic-iron inclusions anywhere but in zero gravity. These special conditions are suggested to be the prolonged (months-long) exposure to reducing conditions that chemically reduced iron oxide to metallic iron, with a solidified floor where spherules of metallic iron accumulate, but at sufficient temperature to sinter together into massive inclusions in the time frame of a stellar-merger LRN, measured in months. In an industrial iron-smelting furnace, the firebrick floor at the bottom of the furnace is held above the melting point of iron, forming a pool of liquid iron. In KBOs immersed in LRN plasma, the temperature decreases with increasing depth to where the matrix transitions from liquid to solid. This effective floor is below the melting point of iron, but presumably not below the temperature at which iron spherules will sinter together into larger inclusions over time.
¶ The shape of many iron inclusions and masses is notable, with many bizarre 3-dimensional shapes. On Earth, liquid iron will conform to the shape of its floor, but it will always have a flat upper surface, whereas comet-crust iron often has no flat surfaces.
¶ Metallic iron falls into several categories,
1) metallic iron inclusions completely surrounded by gray igneous matrix,
2) massive metallic iron, often with little or no associated igneous matrix, and
3) nodular metallic iron composed of nodules that appear to be sintered together, with little or no accompanying igneous matrix.
¶ The most inexplicable phenomenon for an industrial slag interpretation on our high-gravity planet is the presence of centimeter-scale metallic-iron blebs suspended within the igneous matrix, where the metallic-iron density is about 2-1/2 times that of the surrounding matrix. By comparison, glassy iron furnace slag from historic Joanna furnace, PA contains zillions of microscopic iron spherules clearly evident in thin glass flakes, backlit under 40X magnification, with a distinct upper size limit.
Gritty, Whitish cement-like coating as a reliable YD comet-crust indicaator:
¶ Comet crust meteorites typically exhibit a gritty, whitish, cement-like coating. Calcium carbonate mineral grains apparently constitute a significant percentage of the mineral grains in the cement-like coating, because the coating fizzes when exposed to vinegar. The whitish cement-like coating was presumably contamination acquired at impact, and may be a combination of terrestrial and extraterrestrial in origin.
¶ Whitish cement-like coating is common on both grey igneous matrix and on comet-crust hematite/magnetite, but it’s uncommon on iron metallic iron nodules and uncommon on massive metallic iron, which could be largely be due to rust exfoliation.
¶ Whitish, cement-like coating is suggested to be the most reliable indicator of YD comet crust; however, its absence is not proof against membership. Iron furnace slag is often mixed with comet crust in the waste stream of historic iron furnaces, and the two contrasting materials can most readily differentiated by the presence or absence of the cement-like coating. After years weathering exposure, however, comet crust and have lost its cement-like coating, and freshly fractured surfaces may lack coating as well.
¶ Additionally, cement-like coating contains variable concentrations of shiny black magnetic spherules, visually similar to spherules found at the bottom of the 12,800 year old (YD) black mat in North America and elsewhere, but curiously, the cement-like coating does not also contain transparent glassy spherules, which are common at the bottom of the YD black mat. Thus the presence of black ferrimagnetic spherules and absence of translucent, magnetic glassy spherules suggests that the black spherules may be extraterrestrial, whereas translucent glassy spherules may be tektites, formed at Earth impact. This observation and explanation suggests an extraterrestrial origin for the gritty, whitish cement-like coating.
¶ Finally, ‘steam cleaning’ at primary and/or secondary impact(s) may be responsible for bleaching cement-like coating whitish.
¶ Some comet-crust iron is in the metallic state, some blended into igneous matrix and some in the form of iron ore, with varying degrees of purity. Comet-crust iron ore comes in two forms, hematite, which is slightly ferrimagnetic with a reddish-brown streak, and magnetite, which is strongly ferrimagnetic with a black streak, both which typically exhibit gritty, whitish cement-like coating.
¶ Magnetite in an igneous context on Earth is often a cumulate rock, where dense cumulate crystals precipitate out of a fractionating magma chamber. Despite igneous surface conditions, magnetite and hematite are suggested here to to have formed by metasomatism. The continuous cover of molten igneous rock during the LRN created a pressure cooker environment underneath, with temperatures and pressures held above the triple point (273.16 K, 611.657 Pa) of water, thus creating both liquid water and vapor, with liquid water necessary for authigenic formation of hematite and magnetite. An overhead heat source would have largely prevented the type of thermal circulation necessary for metasomatism; however, intermittent venting of water vapor through the igneous crust could have locally dropped the vapor pressure, causing liquid water to flash into steam and dump its supersaturated solute load in the form of precipitation or crystallization. Comet crust iron ore has always been found in discrete lumps and never in physical contact with either metallic iron or igneous matrix, which is to be expected if comet-crust iron ore is metasomatic, while comet-crust matrix and iron is igneous.
¶ Comet-crust iron ore may exhibit a sinewy surface, or a reniform shape, with large crystal size characteristic of pegmatites.
Industrial-slag imitation of comet crust:
¶ Early 18th century industrial bloomers slag can resemble comet-crust iron ore, but bloomery slag never exhibits the gritty cement-like coating that marks comet crust as genuine. In Phoenixville, PA, early bloomery slag (likely from the 1716 Pool Bloomery Forge near Pottstown) is mixed with later blast-furnace slag and comet-crust material in the waste stream dumped over the south bank of French Creek.
¶ Comet crust was apparently sometimes melted (rather than smelted) for its metallic-iron component in small auxiliary furnaces to larger iron-smelting blast furnaces, leaving behind high-density slag with a high iron-oxide content, but minus its metallic-iron component. Comet crust melted for its metallic iron content will not exhibit the gritty, whitish cement-like coating.
Comet crust with one rounded surface:
¶ Many comet-crust specimens from Phoenixville, PA are roughly triangular in cross section, with one rounded side, resembling a thick slice of pie, with a typical 10–15 cm radius curvature. The rounded surface was presumably the outer surface of the KBO directly exposed to LRN plasma. Progressive subsidence due to igneous densification and volatile losses presumably caused surface wrinkling. The scale of the subsidence wrinkling was presumably dependent on the viscosity of the igneous matrix and on the micro-gravitational acceleration.
¶ These pie-slice specimens have only been found in Phoenixville, PA, where comet crust material is mingled with industrial iron-smelting slag along French Creek.
¶ In Phoenixville, as elsewhere, comet crust was sometimes apparently melted (rather than smelted) in small auxiliary furnaces for its metallic iron content. The pie-shaped sections from the wrinkled, undulating igneous surface of the YD KBO contain less metallic iron than the ‘floor’ of the igneous melt, where metallic-iron spherules fell out of suspension and accumulated. So apparently any comet crust with a rounded surface was sorted out and discarded as uneconomic.
Massive to strongly vesicular:
¶ Comet crust is often dismissed out of hand by meteorite experts due to the typical prevalence of vesicles, since vesicles are very uncommon in inner solar system meteorites. Comet-crust meteorites make frequent appearances in meteorwrong writeups and meteorwrong image galleries, due to their high density, high metallic-iron content, and ferrimagnetic attraction to a magnet. The Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, photo gallery of MeteorWrongs appears to include a number of comet-crust specimens, with the following entry numbers; 11, 16, 93, 109, 183, 223, 294, 298, 325.
Fusion crust, some with flow lines:
¶ Fusion crust on comet-crust specimens vary in coloration from brown to jet black, where black fusion crust may be due to atmospheric ablation, whereas brown fusion crust may be due to exposure to superheated supercritical water at impact. Alternatively, brown fusion crust may merely be more highly weathered than black fusion crust, although no transitional black-to-brown specimens have been found. Fusion crust is fairly rare on comet crust specimens. In larger specimens (>10 cm), fusion crust is likely to appear on one side only, whereas on smaller specimens (<10 cm), fusion crust is more likely cover the entire specimen. Larger specimens are more apt to have fractured upon primary/secondary impact, which may partly explain the difference in fusion crust coverage. An industrial iron-furnace slag origin can not explain a fusion crust, yet alone, fusion crust on all sides of small hand-sample-sized specimens.
¶ While fusion crust is relatively rare, fusion crust with flow lines is rarer still. One sample of brown fusion crust with flow lines also exhibits 2 embedded spherules (~ 1 mm dia.).
¶ The counterpart to fusion crust on rocky meteorites are thumbprint-like impressions called regmaglypts on iron meteorites. No regmaglypts have been identified on metallic-iron comet-crust specimens to date. There may be some evidence of regmaglypts on comet-crust magnetite, however.
¶ A large volume of comet crust has been used to level a triangle of land just off Light Street, Conshohocken, PA (40.0807, -75.3127), readily identifiable on Google satellite due to the herbicidal properties of granulated comet crust. West Conshohocken also exhibits numerous young diabase boulders with sharp edges formed by relatively-recent (catastrophic) fracturing, suggested to be brecciation of diabase dikes by secondary impacts of Laurentide ice sheet fragments. Old diabase boulders, by comparison, develop rounded surfaces due to weathering by progressive exfoliation.
¶ Comet-crust material in (East) Conshohocken is variably mixed with iron furnace slag in the waste stream of local iron furnaces. In some cases, comet crust matrix appears to have been melted (rather than smelted) for its metallic iron content to create brittle cast iron, where melting comet crust for its metallic iron content required much-lower technology and less energy than smelting iron ore. In the Conshohocken Area, brittle cast iron (likely from melted comet crust) was used to cast window-sash counter weights, with broken chunks of counter weights scattered along the west bank of the Schuylkill River in West Conshohocken.
¶ Remelted comet-crust slag often contains broken pieces of fire brick and lacks macroscopic metallic-iron inclusions, and tellingly, remelted comet crust slag also lacks the whitish, gritty cement-like coating of pristine comet crust. Remelted comet-crust can be discriminated from smelted iron-furnace slag due to its greater density, due to its high iron-oxide content.
¶ In Phoenixville, PA, a significant quantity of triangular pie-slice shaped comet-crust fragments are mixed with a industrial iron furnace slag from the nearby historic Phoenixville iron works. In Phoenixville, the industrial slag appears to be of two types; low-density slag smelted in the primary Phoenixville iron works blast furnace, and high-density slag, from small adjunct furnaces used to melt (rather than smelt) comet crust for its metallic-iron content. The high incidence of surficial comet crust, from the wrinkled undulating surface of the former YD KBO, is presumably because comet crust from the surface of the YD KBO contained less metallic iron than underlying comet crust, where metallic iron fell out of suspension from the surface to accumulate on the ‘floor’ of the molten crust. Several large chunks of metallic iron (~ 100 kg) along French creek may have been too large to melt in the small adjunct furnaces.
¶ Industrial slag and comet-crust material alike was tumbled into the French Creek ravine along the south bank, between N. Main St. and Ashland St. (40.135, -75.513), just east of the Phoenixville Foundry.
¶ As elsewhere, comet crust has been used as clean fill in the Harrisburg Area. Comet crust in combination with iron-furnace slag has been used to build what appears to be an abandoned road spur off Paxton Ave. between Paxton Ministries and Faulkner Honda (40.2545, -76.8505).
¶ Comet crust may also have been used as clean fill on the East Shore of the Susquehanna River to extend residential parking on the river side of Front St. in Enola, PA, unless that material is autochthonous.
¶ Comet crust material can be found scattered on the west side of City Island, in the middle of the Susquehanna River. The author’s first comet-crust specimens were found on City Island at the end of the boat launch ramp near the southwest end of the island.
Prospecting for comet crust:
¶ A strong rare earth magnet is the only necessary prospecting tool for identifying potential comet crust in Southeastern Pennsylvania. For confirmation, look for a gritty, whitish cement-like coating,which is the best indicator of authenticity.
Association with the iron industry:
¶ Secondary-impact concentrations of comet crust concentrations exploited in the 19th and 20th century for its iron content were presumably assumed to be poorly-processed 18th century iron-furnace slag. Native iron is exceedingly rare on Earth, such that slag-like concentrations in the subsoil containing metallic-iron inclusions and posessing elevated calcium-oxide percentages would naturally be mistaken for poorly-processed colonial iron-furnace slag.
¶ The close connection between comet crust and the iron industry in a siderophile-depleted material so similar to industrial iron furnace slag makes radiometric dating the only chance of establishing comet crust as extraterrestrial.
¶ Presumably metasomatic comet-crust iron ore has significantly-less contaminating embrittlements compared to igneous comet-crust matrix and igneous comet-crust metallic iron. The apparent extraction of metallic iron from comet crust matrix by simple melting in dedicated auxiliary furnaces suggests that comet crust matrix material was unsuitable for smelting for its iron oxide content in primary blast furnaces. The brittle metallic iron in comet-crust matrix was apparently a bonus that could easily be extracted with low technology auxiliary furnaces with low energy expenditure by simply melting rather than smelting comet-crust matrix, but the reason so much comet crust material survives is presumably due to the limited market for non-critical ballast applications of brittle comet-crust iron, such window-sash counterweights.
¶ A small ‘failed’ iron furnace is moldering in the woods in West Conshohocken. The home made iron furnace constructed of fire brick contains several cubic feet of cast iron that apparently solidified before it could be tapped to make pig-iron ingots. A 1938 nickel found in the immediate vicinity suggests the age of the furnace.
¶ Nearby rests another cottage-industry-scale iron furnace that was considerably more sophisticated, in the form of a 4 ft diameter Bessemer-style furnace.
– The apparent complete lack of iron tools of comet-crust origin by indigenous peoples of North America is a significant obstacle to the theory, even if the vast majority of comet crust had been deeply emplaced into subsoil at secondary impact.
– Only an old age determination (~ 4.5 Ga) for comet crust could overturn its overwhelming association with the iron industry, such that the next step must be to test comet crust samples by radiometric dating.
– Several comet crust samples were analyzed by INAA for iridium, including one analysis on a metallic-iron inclusion, but no iridium was found down to 5 ppb. INAA does not detect platinum, however, which is a prevalent YD black mat marker, and platinum was found in Greenland ice cores from 12,900 B.P. Ice cores suggest that the YD impact comet had a high Pt/Ir ratio, so even though the solar system formation theory requires siderophile depletion, comet crust should have small amount of LRN contamination, which may have an elevated Pt/Ir ratio. So material from the undulating wrinkled surface of the former KBO should be tested for platinum, by chipping samples from the rounded surface of pie-shaped sections from Phoenixville, PA. Alternatively, the platinum found in YD black mats and ice cores could be a late veneer acquired by the YD KBO following the binary-Companion spiral-in merger at around 650 Ma, so the whitish cement-like coating should also be tested for platinum, along with nodular rock scale, acquired by target rocks during secondary impacts of ice-sheet fragments of primary-impact ejecta curtain. (See section, YD IMPACT BOULDER FIELDS for examples of nodular rock scale.)
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SPECIFIC KINETIC ENERGY OF LONG-PERIOD 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.