“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.” (Andre et al. 2008)
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
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)
“However, if the evolution is followed to the higher density regime where the gas becomes adiabatic, a disk-like structure forms which allows another mode of binary formation to develop, i.e., disk fragmentation around the central protostar. For example, calculations based on a piecewise polytropic equation of state show that the central portion of a collapsing core becomes adiabatic and forms a disc-like structure around the central object, which subsequently fragments into “satellite” objects (Matsumoto & Hanawa 2003).” (Andre et al. 2008)
“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)
“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”.
(Zhi-Yun Li et al. 2014)
Solar system evolution:
Massive prestellar envelopes (nominally accretion disks) supported by rotation surrounding diminutive cores in prestellar objects are suggested to be vulnerable to disk instability that breaks the radial symmetry. In a prestellar object with excess angular momentum (prior to the formation of the first hydrostatic core), the bulk of the mass is contained in a doughnut-shaped envelope, supported by rotation, surrounding a diminutive core undergoing freefall collapse. The combination of a greater inertial mass in a radially-symmetrical envelope partially disconnected from its core by freefall conditions is suggested to promote disk instability, causing the envelope to clump and inertially displace the gravitationally-bound core into a satellite status. Clumping of the envelope begins to precipitate a new, younger core. This process by which a prestellar object spins off its core by disk instability is designated, ‘flip-flop fragmentation’ (FFF), with the core and envelope flip-flopping in position, when the former core becomes the satellite of the clumped envelope.
‘Flip-flop fragmentation with bifurcation’ is suggested to occur in prestellar objects with particularly-high specific angular momentum, which may dictate bifurcation of the envelope during disk instability to conserve system energy and angular momentum in the lowest possible energy state following fragmentation, with the former core displaced into a circumbinary orbit. And observational evidence suggests that the bifurcated envelope forms a similar-sized binary pair and that the ‘FFF w/bifurcation’ displaces an oversized core (with FFF without bifurcation typically displacing a smaller core). Thus an oversized satellite (oversized moon around a gas-giant planet or oversized brown dwarf around a solar-sized star) may indicate FFF w/bifurcation, suggesting the existence of a former similar-sized binary pair if the oversized satellite presently orbits a solitary object. The prototype of FFF w/bifurcation is the Alpha Centauri system, with the former oversized core Proxima inertially displaced (‘spun off’) into a circumbinary orbit around the similar-sized (bifurcated) Alpha Centauri A and B stars. Titan is suggested to be the former oversized core in the Saturnian system, suggesting Saturn formed as a similar-sized binary pair which has subsequently merged. By comparison, Jupiter appears to missing its Titan moon, unless Mars is the former Titan moon of Jupiter. This would suggest that Mars was stripped from Jupiter when Jupiter transitioned from a circumprimary orbit (around the larger A star binary-Sun component) into a circumbinary orbit as the binary-Sun components spiraled in. But unlike Jupiter, which formed around the larger A star and had to pass the smaller B star in transitioning to a circumbinary status, Saturn formed around the outer B star and thus had no such obstacle in its circumbinary transition and thus didn’t lose its Titan moon. (Not all FFF w/bifurcation may form and displace a core, however, since circumbinary objects are less common than similar-sized binary stars.)
Not only may prestellar objects undergo FFF, spinning off gas-giant-sized cores (designated ‘proto planets’), but the proto planets themselves will typically undergo FFF w/bifurcation, spinning off one or more generations of ‘proto moons’. After bifurcating, the twin bifurcated proto gas giant will typically undergo another episode of FFF without bifurcation, spinning off moons into circumprimary and a circumsecondary orbits around the binary gas giant components. Then core collapse of the binary gas-giant system causes the bifurcated gas-giant binary pair to spiral in, injecting the circumprimary and circumsecondary moons into circumbinary orbits before ultimately merging to form a solitary gas-giant planet.
Binary spiral-in mergers of binary stars and binary gas-giant planets are suggested to undergo a process similar to FFF within a common envelope phase of a spiral-in merger. When the cores reach a ‘common envelope’ stage of in-spiral, they are suggested to spin off diminutive twin cores, forming twin satellites, such as Venus and Earth from the binary-Sun merger, or twin moons, such as Io and Europa from the binary-Jupiter merger, in a process designated ‘merger fragmentation’. While a contact binary configuration, in which the stellar atmospheres touch one another, can be stable over millions or even billions of years, the common envelope configuration is understood to be short lived, either expelling the stellar envelope or merging the binary pair in a ‘timescale of months to years’. So the difference between contact-binary stability and common-envelope instability is suggested to require a catastrophic mechanism of outward angular momentum projection.
Merger planets proto Venus and proto Earth briefly orbited inside the greatly-expanded red giant phase of the Sun during the stellar-merger luminous red nova (LRN). And outward diffusion of proto-planet volatility along with inward diffusion of helium-burning, stellar-merger, nucleosynthesis metallicity enrichment (notably carbon-12 and oxygen-16), resulted in the ‘terrestrial fractionation line’, below that of presolar Mars, where Mars was presumably a rocky planet by 4,567 Ma which was vastly less susceptible to stellar-merger nucleosynthesis contamination than proto Venus and proto Earth in their pithy proto-planet phase.
A third planet formation mechanism was proposed by Thayne Curie in 2005, designated ‘hybrid accretion’, which suggests the formation of planets by core accretion from planetesimals condensed by gravitational instability, hence hybrid, resulting in a more rapid formation process than by (the myth of) pebble accretion. Hybrid accretion is suggested to form icy or rocky terrestrial super-Earths in low hot orbits, whereas gassy ice-giant planets like Uranus and Neptune are suggested to have formed by FFF. ‘Super-Earth’ is redefined here as any planet formed by hybrid accretion, regardless of its size, although most hybrid accretion planets are apparently larger than Earth. Super-Earths often form in ‘cascades’ (groups) in low warm-to-hot orbits. Cascades of super-Earths are presumed to form from the inside out, with the oldest super-Earth in the lowest hottest orbit having accreted from planetesimals that condensed against a solitary star’s magnetic corotation radius. The next oldest super-Earth in the cascade forms from planetesimals condensed against the outer resonances of the first super-Earth, and so on. (Diminutive) super-Earths may also form by hybrid accretion from debris disks, such as Mercury in our own solar system.
So some time prior to 4,567 Ma, our collapsing prestellar object is suggested to have undergone FFF w/bifurcation, forming twin stellar components (binary-Sun) orbited by the former core which also underwent FFF w/bifurcation to form binary-Companion. Binary-Sun and binary-Companion were in ‘hard’ close-binary orbits, in a ‘soft’ wide-binary Sun-Companion separation. ‘Close binary’ orbits are defined here as ‘hard’ orbits that tend to spiral in due to external perturbation, whereas ‘wide binary’ orbits are defined here as ‘soft’ orbits that tend to spiral out due to external perturbation, becoming softer over time. The two close binary systems, binary-Companion and binary-Sun, orbited the solar system barycenter (SSB) in a wide-binary separation. And resonant feedback between the close-binary pairs is suggested to have promoted core collapse, transferring potential energy and angular momentum from the close-binary orbits to the wide-binary orbits, causing the close binary orbits to decay over time, transferring their orbital energy and angular momentum to the wide binary system, causing Sun and Companion to spiral out from the SSB over time.
Following FFF w/bifurcation into similar-sized binary-Sun components, the binary prestellar components of binary-Sun still had too much angular momentum to collapse into protostars, requiring two additional generations of FFF (without bifurcation) to catastrophically rid themselves of sufficient angular momentum to reach the main sequence. The first generation FFF spun off proto Uranus & Neptune into circumprimary and circumsecondary orbits respectively, with the progressive in-spiral of binary-Sun leaving Uranus and Neptune behind in circumbinary orbits. The second generation FFF spun off proto Jupiter and Saturn into into circumprimary and circumsecondary orbits which likewise also transitioned into circumbinary orbits with continued binary orbital decay. Finally, binary-Sun spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma, spinning off twin merger planets, proto Venus and proto Earth.
And each of the four spin off planets underwent FFF w/bifurcation themselves to spin off a oversized ‘Titan moon’, followed by one or more generations of FFF without bifurcation. And each of the binary giant planets likewise spiraled in to merge and spin off twin merger moons. Uranus and Jupiter, however, apparently lost their oversized ‘Titan moons’ in bypassing the smaller ‘B star’ component of binary-Sun, with the Jupiter ‘Titan moon’ likely becoming Mars(?) and the Uranus ‘Titan moon’ perhaps becoming Eris(?).
Giant planet resonances are suggested to create pressure dams which promote GI condensation of planetesimals, but only Jupiter’s inner resonances and Neptune’s outer resonances may have been sufficiently unperturbed by overlapping giant planet resonances to have condensed objects from the primary debris disk formed from the ashes of binary-Sun merger at 4,567 Ma, with chondrites condensing against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances and hot classical Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances, principally against Neptune’s 2:3 resonance. The inner edge of the primary debris disk was likely sculpted by the super-intense stellar-merger corotation radius of the Sun, condensing asteroids near the present orbit of Mercury which contained live short-lived stellar-merger radionuclides (most importantly, aluminum-26 and iron-60). Mercury is suggested to be a hybrid accretion super-Earth, formed by core accretion of rocky-iron asteroids. Some of the leftover asteroids were apparently evaporated into the relative protection of Jupiter’s inner resonances by orbit clearing by the 4 terrestrial planets, with many or most of the leftover asteroids crashing into the Sun or into Jupiter.
The binary-Companion (presumably brown-dwarf) components are suggested to have continued to spiral in for another 4 billion years, presumably increasing the Sun-Companion apoapsis (greatest separation) at an exponential rate over time. The binary-Companion components contained a significant amount of potential energy compared to the Sun-Companion wide-binary gravitational potential well, but a negligible amount of angular momentum compared to the Sun-Companion wide-binary angular momentum, so while the apoapsis (which is energy sensitive) is suggested to have increased at an exponential rate over time, the Sun-Companion periapsis (which is angular momentum sensitive) remained relatively unchanged over time. Thus the maximum Sun-Companion system is suggested to have become progressively eccentric over time.
The solar system barycenter (SSB) was the gravitational balance point around which Sun-Companion orbited for 4 billion years, and by Galilean relativity with respect to the Sun, the SSB can be said to have spiraled out through the Kuiper belt at an exponential rate over time. The lunar ocean tides in the Earth-Moon system are suggested to be an analogy for tidal disruption of the Kuiper belt by the SSB. As Earth rotates, the ocean facing the Moon is pulled to high tide by Moon’s gravity, followed by low tide, followed by high tide on the opposite side of the Earth. High tide on the far side of the Earth can be thought of as due to the centrifugal force of the Earth around the Earth-Moon barycenter, slinging the far side tide away from the Moon. Similarly in the solar system, Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) will experience an attractive tide toward the Companion and a repulsive tide away from the Companion when KBOs cross the ‘tidal threshold’, associated with the SSB, but not coincident with it. KBOs will not experience significant tidal perturbation until the tidal threshold crosses their semimajor axes for the first time, causing ‘aphelia precession’ of their orbits, in a process designated, ‘flip-flop perturbation’. Thus KBO aphelia will have their aphelia attracted toward the Companion until the tidal threshold catches up with the semimajor axis of the KBO, after which it will experience aphelion precession as its aphelion is centrifugally slung 180° away from the Companion. As tidal threshold spiraled out from the Sun along with the SSB it moved through the main concentration of KBOs, the cubewanos, from 4.1 to 3.8 Ga, perturbing binary KBOs to spiral in to merge. Flip-flop perturbation also perturbed KBOs into the inner solar system, causing the late heavy bombardment (LHB).
The binary brown dwarf components of binary-Companion are suggested to have spiraled in to merge at 542 Ma in an asymmetrical merger that gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. The merger created a ‘secondary debris disk’ which is suggested to have condensed ‘cold classical KBOs’ in situ in low-inclination low-eccentricity orbits, many in binary pairs, including binary Pluto. The suggested solitary (not binary) ‘hot classical KBO’ population in high-inclination high-eccentricity ‘hot’ orbits presumably resembled the present cold classical KBO population prior to flip-flop perturbation during the LHB. The recent New Horizons flyby of Pluto revealed a geologically-young surface on a tidally-locked (synchronous orbit) binary planet, having no tidal heating contributed by rotation, but a young origin might explain the geological activity, particularly if a former binary-Pluto in-spiraled to merge and form solitary Pluto some time after 542 Ma.
A number of Phanerozoic events may be correlated with the suggested binary brown-dwarf merger, as well as the loss of the solar system barycenter, even though Earth would likely have accreted only a thin veneer of material directly from the secondary debris disk. The Cambrian Explosion is suggested to result from the disbursal of free-swimming brown-dwarf lifeforms, likely from a water vapor layer on a room-temperature spectral class Y brown dwarf, perhaps with lightening creating free oxygen. The large negative δ13C excursion at the Cambrian boundary is suggested to represent an accretionary veneer of presolar brown-dwarf material, lacking solar-merger Carbon-12 enrichment.
The loss of Companion implies the loss of the centrifugal force of the Sun around the former SSB, causing all heliocentric objects to fall into slightly lower shorter-period orbits, which is suggested to have been responsible for Venus’ slight retrograde rotation, if Venus had previously been in a synchronous orbit where its day equaled its year. Venus also apparently underwent a global resurfacing event, some 300–500 million years ago. Earth’s upheaval at dropping into a lower orbit may have caused the global erosion known as the ‘Great Unconformity’, where in the Grand Canyon area eroded as much as a billion years’ worth of continental rock.
Oort cloud comets may have condensed in circum-quaternary obits beyond binary-Companion from a circum-quaternary protoplanetary disk, which were progressively shepherded outward by the exponentially-increasing Sun-Companion apoapsis for 4 billion years, from > 4,567 Ma until 542 Ma.
Flip-flop fragmentation (FFF):
FFF provides a suggested mechanism for forming satellites smaller than a Jeans mass by gravitational instability, and for forming similar-sized binary pairs in collapsing systems with excess angular momentum. A more descriptive term for FFF is ‘spinning off’ planets or moons.
The suggested mechanism employs radial symmetry of a massive doughnut-shaped envelope to precipitate a diminutive core, with the core achieving gravitationally-bound stability. Then catastrophic disk instability of a much more massive envelope breaks the radial symmetry, inertially displacing the stable core into a satellite status. The much greater overlying mass of the rotationally supported envelope is suggested to promote positive feedback which magnifies inhomogeneities, resulting in runaway disk instability which causes the envelope to clump to form a new larger mass. Thus a diminutive core is unable to dampen out inhomogeneities in the overlying envelope. FFF is suggested to work over a wide range of scales, from the spiral galaxy scale down to stellar scale, planetary scale and perhaps even down to the formation of planetesimals by gravitational instability in protoplanetary disks and debris rings.
Imagine a Slinky made into a doughnut ‘envelope’ by joining the two ends around a golf ball ‘core’ in the center. Releasing the ends of the Slinky breaks the radial symmetry of the envelope, simulating the envelope instability that causes the envelope to gravitationally clump on one side of the (golf ball) core. And the greater inertial mass of the clumping envelope injects the smaller core goes into a satellite orbit, catastrophically projecting angular momentum outward.
Disk instability of a massive overlying envelope may require the additional element of the physical disconnect between a rotationally-supported envelope and a core in freefall for the amplification of inhomogeneities by positive feedback into full-fledged disk instability. The distinct, bimodal orbital distance gap between hot Jupiters (with average semimajor axes below about .1 AU) and ‘cold Jupiters’ (with a median semimajor axes around 2 AU), suggests a FFF hiatus, with the higher specific-angular-momentum prestellar objects spinning off cold Jupiters and lower specific-angular-momentum prestellar objects spinning off hot Jupiters.
So if the suggested freefall discontinuity necessary for envelope instability disappears with the formation of a ‘first hydrostatic core’ (FHSC), then FFF can only occur during the earlier prestellar phase, spinning off cold Jupiters, or in the subsequent ‘second collapse’ freefall conditions between the FHSC and the formation of a second hydrostatic core (SHSC). So the reconnection between the core and the envelope during the duration of the FHSC is suggested to create a hiatus in FFF, creating the bimodal gap between cold Jupiters and hot Jupiters. Thus cold Jupiters may be spun off during the first collapse and hot Jupiters spun off during the second collapse.
“When the central density exceeds 10−13 g cm−3
the radiative cooling ceases to be efficient and an opaque, adiabatic
core forms at the centre. The rise in temperature results in
an increase of the thermal pressure, and finally, when the pressure
balances the gravitational force the collapse ceases and the
first hydrostatic core is formed. The initial central temperature of
the FHSC is estimated to be around 170 K with an initial central
density of 2×10−10 g cm−3.
The so-called second, more compact
(protostellar) core is formed after the dissociation of H2 and subsequent
collapse, when the central temperature and density reach
2 × 104 K and 2 × 10−2 g cm−3, respectively (Larson 1969).”
(Tsitali et al. 2013)
So in the ‘first collapse’ of a Jeans instability, nearly-isothermal freefall conditions prevail as long as the cloud remains nearly transparent to infrared radiation. In a Jeans instability with elevated angular momentum, when angular momentum slows the infall and opens a gap opens between the rotationally-supported envelope and its diminutive core, oscillations are able to amplify in the gap region, promoting disk instability.
When the core temperature reaches about 170 K, at a density of 2×10−10 g cm−3, the thermal pressure balances the gravitational force, forming a FHSC, which may increase the density of the boundary region between the envelope and the core which may in turn dampen oscillations of the envelope, preventing disk instability for for the duration of the FHSC.
Prior to the formation of the FHSC, radiative cooling allows infalling gas to radiate away its potential energy in the form of infrared radiation, but when the density reaches around 10-13 g/cm-3, the gas becomes opaque to infrared radiation, rendering the gas nearly adiabatic, causing the temperature to rise. This temperature rise creates an outward gas pressure which balances the inward force of gravity. The FHSC is thought to last a few hundred years to a few thousand years, until the temperature reaches about 2000 K when molecular hydrogen dissociates endothermically, causing a second collapse lasting less than a year and ending in the formation of a second hydrostatic core (SHSC).
“First cores are characterized by radii and masses of the order of ~ 5 AU – 10 AU and 0.05 M☉ – 0.1 M☉, respectively (Masunaga et al. 1998; Saigo et al. 2008). Their lifetimes range from a few 100 yr to a few 1000 yr, increasing with the rate of rotation.”
(Tsitali et al. 2013)
So the brief 100 to 1000 year hiatus of the FHSC is suggested to create the bimodal gap between cold Jupiters and hot Jupiters.
When the core temperature reaches about 2000 K, molecular hydrogen begins to dissociate into atomic hydrogen endothermically, promoting a very brief nearly-isothermal ‘second collapse’,
The dynamical timescale of the second collapse is of the same order as the free-fall time corresponding to density = 10-7 g cm-3, which is 0.1 yr.
(Masunaga and Inutuka, 2000)
Assuming FFF with a FHSC hiatus, the brief duration of the FHSC and the far-shorter second collapse (~ 0.1 yr) suggests astonishing rapidity and efficiency of the proposed FFF process, so the endothermic mediated second-collapse shockwave must act as an exceedingly-efficient trigger of disk instability for an envelope with excess angular momentum.
The triple-star Alpha Centauri system suggests an alternate FFF pathway when envelope instability occurs with particularly-high specific angular momentum. Similar-sized binary pairs with a large circumbinary satellite, such as Proxima Centauri in a circumbinary orbit around the similar-sized binary pair of Alpha Centauri A & B stars, suggests binary fragmentation (‘bifurcation’) of envelopes with high specific angular momentum. A high angular momentum system may dictate fragmentation into a triple system as the means of conserving energy and angular momentum in a system with the lowest resulting energy state, by displacing an oversized core into a circumbinary orbit around a similar-sized binary pair. This alternative high specific angular momentum pathway is designated, ‘flip-flop fragmentation with bifurcation’, or ‘FFF w/bifurcation’ for short, with ‘bifurcation’ indicating envelope fragmentation into a similar-sized binary pair. In our own solar system the following FFF w/bifurcation systems are suggested to have formed; oversized Companion around binary-Sun, oversized ? around binary-Companion, oversized Mars(?) around binary-Jupiter, oversized Titan around binary-Saturn, oversized Eris(?) around binary-Uranus, and oversized Triton around binary-Neptune. The suggested typical bifurcation of binary gas-giant planets suggests that displaced cores may typically subsequently undergo FFF w/bifurcation, following their binary spiral-in merger to form solitary gas-giant planets. The suggested oversized core displacement (displacing an oversized Titan moons around a bifurcated gas-giant planet) suggests a damping mechanism may be in effect until the core becomes oversized, whereupon the system becomes unstable. ‘Titan’ is chosen as the prototypical FFF w/bifurcation spin-off core, due to its namesake as a mythical race of (oversized) giants, so a Titan Companion or Titan moon may point to a (former) FFF w/bifurcation.
Suggested solar system formation history:
Prestellar object—FFF w/bifurcation—Binary-Sun + Companion
— Binary-Sun—FFF x 2—Binary-Sun + Uranus & Neptune + Jupiter & Saturn
—— Neptune—FFF w/bifurcation—Binary-Neptune + Triton
——— Binary-Neptune—FFF x 2—Binary-Neptune + perhaps Makemake(?), Haumea(?), 2007 OR10(?) & Quaoar(?)
———— Binary-Neptune—Merger fragmentation—Neptune + Proteus & Nereid
—— Uranus—FFF w/bifurcation—Binary-Uranus + Eris(?)
——— Binary-Uranus—FFF x 2—Binary-Uranus + Oberon & Titania + Umbriel & Ariel
———— Binary-Uranus—Merger fragmentation—Uranus + Miranda & Puck(?)
—— Saturn—FFF w/bifurcation—Binary-Saturn + Titan
——— Binary-Saturn—FFF x 2—Binary-Saturn + Iapetus & Rhea + Dione & Tethys
———— Binary-Saturn—Merger fragmentation—Saturn + Enceladus & Mimas
—— Jupiter—FFF w/bifurcation—Binary-Jupiter + Mars(?)
——— Binary-Jupiter—FFF x 1—Binary-Jupiter + Ganymede & Callisto
———— Binary-Jupiter—Merger fragmentation—Jupiter + Io & Europa
— Companion—FFF w/bifurcation—Binary-Companion + circumbinary gas-giant planet
The Pluto system appears to have a ‘Titan moon’, Charon, suggesting FFF w/bifurcation, with a former binary-Pluto which spun off 4 smaller moons in either 2 generations of FFF or 1 generation of FFF + twin merger moons, depending on whether or not terrestrial objects can spin off merger moons or not.
FFF may have occurred even in stars devoid of planets, particularly in low metallicity stars if the spun off gas cores dissipated (evaporated) rather than condensing planets.
Finally, perhaps FFF w/without bifurcation is also the mechanism by which spiral galaxies attainted their characteristic specific angular momentum. And perhaps two generations of FFF without bifurcation spun off the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds as a mechanism for winding down excess angular momentum of the proto Milky Way galaxy. (See section, DARK MATTER AND GALAXY FORMATION)
Binary in-spiral mergers of stars and binary gas-giant planets are suggested to undergo a catastrophic process for ridding themselves of angular momentum, designated, ‘merger fragmentation’, spinning off their former twin cores to become twin ‘merger planets’ or twin ‘merger moons’.
A binary spiral-in merger first becomes a ‘contact binary’ followed by a ‘common envelope’. Contact binaries, in which the stellar atmospheres are in contact, can be stable over millions or even billions of years, but the the common envelope configuration is understood to be short lived, either expelling the stellar envelope or merging the binary pair in a ‘timescale of months to years’.
Suggested merger fragmentation is an attempt to understand the catastrophic loss of angular momentum in the short-lived common-envelope phase of binary in-spiral mergers of gaseous objects. Merger fragmentation is not suggested to occur in icy or terrestrial objects, like ‘contact-binary’ asteroids and comets, which don’t go through a common-envelope phase (where ‘contact-binary’ asteroids and comets refers to their final post-merger (peanut-shaped) state, whereas contact-binary stars are far from their final state).
Suggested merger fragmentation is suggested to be analogous to flip-flop fragmentation with a slingshot mechanism to kick the former stellar cores into high heliocentric orbits, with Venus and Earth as twin ‘merger planets’ formed by the in-spiral merger of former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma.
Within a common envelope, inward tidal and outward centrifugal forces radially elongate in-spiraling objects. As the twin cores slowly spiral inward, the inward tidal component may be reflected outward into the outward centrifugal bulges. In spiraling within a common envelope may take the form of the cores sloughing off gas into their outward centrifugal bulges as a means of ridding the twin cores of angular momentum. This may continue until the overlying outward bulges become much more massive than the diminishing cores, whereupon the system becomes unstable.
The instability of the greater overlying mass creates a catastrophic flip-flop, wherein the centrifugal bulges presumably merge by centrifugally slinging the former twin cores outward into high orbit, ridding the merging bulges of excess angular momentum. And similar to the triple object formed by FFF w/bifurcation, merger fragmentation may also require the formation of a triple object to conserve both energy and angular momentum.
In the pithy ‘preplanetary’ phase of merger planets when their evaporating atmospheres filled their Roche spheres, preplanetary-Venus and preplanetary-Earth suffered heavy volatile losses, but the outward diffusion of volatiles necessarily included an inward diffusion of solar-merger metallicity, first from the enveloping red giant phase of the LRN (which lasted a few months), and then from the primary debris disk, injecting helium-burning stellar-merger nucleosynthesis stable isotopes, notably carbon-12 and oxygen-16 into the gravitationally-bound proto-planets. If Mars was an older FFF w/bifurcation moon of preplanetary-Jupiter, then it likely would have already had its present rocky form at the time of the 4,567 Ma solar merger, explaining why the terrestrial fractionation line of Earth is depressed below essentially presolar Mars on the 3-oxygen-isotope plot of ∆17O vs. δ18O, since Earth/Moon has a solar-merger 16O enrichment.
In the Jupiter system, Io and Europa are suggested to be merger planets, presumably with Mars as Jupiter’s former Titan moon, spun off during FFF with/fragmentation that formed binary Jupiter. And Ganymede and Callisto were presumably spun off from Jupiter’s two former binary components.
Finally, solar mergers of low metallicity stars may fail to condense merger planets from spun off cores, if the cores dissipate (evaporate).
Gravitational instability (GI) within accretion disks:
Pebble accretion does not appear to be borne out in chondrites, which do not appear to have an internal accretionary structure above that of chondrules and CAIs. Chondrules may have been melted by super-intense solar flares from a circa 3 million year flare-star phase of the Sun following its spiral-in merger, suggesting the scale of accretionary dust clumps in the inner solar system. And thus if chondrites (and asteroids) didn’t form by pebble accretion, then the alternative is suggested to be gravitational instability.
The locations of the two planetesimal belts in the solar system (excluding comets) suggests the formation of primary debris disk-dust rings against the strongest planetary resonances which weren’t disrupted by the resonances of other giant planets, namely, Jupiter’s inner resonances (condensing the chondrites of the asteroid belt) and Neptune’s outer resonances (KBOs) were precluded by mutual resonant interference. Rocky-iron asteroids are suggested to have condensed against the Sun’s magnetic corotation radius, near the present orbit of Mercury, whereafter some of the leftover asteroids cleared by the terrestrial planets were captured by Jupiter’s inner resonances. Alternatively, if dust rings formed around other giant planet resonances which also condensed planetesimals from the primary debris disk, the resulting planetesimals have since drifted away, like the centaurs, due to relative orbital instability of overlapping giant planet resonances.
Presumably comets condensed by GI against Sun-Companion’s outer resonances from the > 4,567 Ma protoplanetary disk, with the additional pressurizing condition of the Sun-Companion spiraling out from the SSB. Perhaps the typical small kilometer-scale size of comets, compared to the larger scale of asteroids, chondrites and KBOs was partly due to the increased compression of binary-Companion spiraling out from the solar system barycenter which promoted condensation by GI.
So presumably, when infall of dust from a protoplanetary disk or debris disk is compressed against a giant planet or super-Earth resonance or against a wide-binary (stellar) resonance, or against the magnetic corotation radius of a young star, or against a reactivated magnetic corotation radius following a binary spiral-in merger, repeated instances of gravitational instability may occur. Super-earths may form by hybrid accretion of smaller planetesimals, not by GI alone, so gravitational instability from an accretion disk appears to occur not at all or in great multiplicities, so belts of objects or hybrid accretion objects capable of clearing their orbit(s) of leftover planetesimals are suggested to point to former instances of ‘accretion disk GI’.
Primary debris disk at 4,567 Ma:
Asteroids are suggested to have condensed by GI from the ‘primary debris disk’, against the magnetic corotation radius of the Sun at about the orbit of Mercury. The super-intense stellar-merger magnetic field created a greatly-expanded magnetic corotation radius which is suggested to have condensed asteroids near the orbit of Mercury. Secondly, carbonaceous chondrites are suggested to have condensed in situ against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances, and finally, Plutinos and hot classical Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) are suggested to have condensed against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances.
Secondary debris disk at 542 Ma:
Cold classical KBOs (along with binary Pluto) are suggested to have condensed in situ against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance from the ‘secondary debris disk’ ashes of the suggested binary-Companion merger at 542 Ma. Low inclination, low eccentricity cold classical KBOs, typically occurring in binary pairs, are suggestive of in situ condensation following the cessation of flip-flop perturbation by the solar system barycenter following the loss of the Companion, whereas hot classical KBOs had been perturbed to spiral in to merge to form solitary objects and also perturbed into high inclination high eccentricity ‘hot’ orbits. The lack of young (circa 542 Ma) meteorites suggests that the secondary debris disk didn’t condense any planetesimals in the inner solar system against Jupiter’s inner resonances.
The Pluto system appears to have a ‘Titan moon’, Charon, suggesting FFF w/bifurcation, requiring a former binary-Pluto which created 4 smaller Galilean moons: presumably FFF moons Nix & Hydra, and merger moons Styx & Kerberos. And many of the much-smaller cold-classical KBOs have similar-sized binary pairs as well, including kilometer-scale comets as well, from their peanut-shaped contact-binary shapes.
Hybrid accretion (super-Earths):
When planetesimals are condensed by GI in sufficient quantity and density from a protoplanetary disk (or subsequent debris disk), gravitational accretion may form planets by ‘hybrid accretion’ (Thayne Curie 2005), with hybrid referring to core accretion of planetesimals formed by gravitational instability, hence hybrid. Super-earths often form in cascades (multiples), formed sequentially from the inside out, with the first super-Earth hybrid presumably accreting from planetesimals condensed against the magnetic corotation radius of the star. The initial super-Earth of a cascade not only clears its orbit of leftover planetesimals, but also disrupts the accretion disk as far out as its strongest outer resonances, whereupon the next generation of planetesimals condense the next-generation super-Earth in the cascade. ‘Super-Earth’ is defined here as any planet formed by hybrid accretion, regardless of size or location. By this definition, Mercury is also a (diminutive) super-Earth, which is suggested to have formed by the hybrid accretion of asteroids condensed against the super-intense magnetic field of the Sun immediately following its binary spiral-in merger from the primary debris disk. See section, CASCADE FORMATION OF SUPER-EARTHS BY HYBRID CORE ACCRETION OF PLANETESIMALS ‘CONDENSED’ BY GRAVITATIONAL INSTABILITY AT THE INNER EDGE OF ACCRETION DISKS.
‘Flip-flop perturbation’ mechanism of the solar system barycenter (SSB) on KBOs:
Secular perturbation of our former binary-Companion’s brown-dwarf components caused them to spiral in for 4 billion years, translating close-binary potential energy into wide-binary potential energy, increasing the Sun-Companion eccentricity over time, presumably increasing the maximum wide-binary Sun-Companion separation (at apoapsis) at an exponential rate over time. By Galilean relativity with respect to the Sun, the solar system barycenter (SSB) could be said to have spiraled out through the Kuiper belt at an exponential rate for 4 billion years, fueled by the orbital potential energy of the binary-Companion brown-dwarf components.
(Negative) gravitational binding energy is an inverse square function with distance, such that an orbit 100 times further away will have 1/10,000 the binding energy. Angular momentum, by comparison, is an inverse square root function of the semimajor axis, such that an orbit 100 times further away will have 10 times the angular momentum. Since the binding energy function is much steeper than the angular momentum function with respect to distance, the brown-dwarf components of binary-Companion could dramatically reduce the negative Sun-Companion binding energy of the system without materially affecting its angular momentum. Periapsis of an orbit is a good measure of its relative angular momentum, while apoapsis is a good measure of its relative binding energy, so the 4 billion year spiral-in of the binary components of binary-Companion effectively increased the Sun-Companion apoapsis at an exponential rate, (by Galilean relativity) causing the SSB apoapsis to spiral out through the Kuiper belt and scattered disc over time, perturbing planetesimals with progressively greater semi-major axes over time.
Tidal perturbation of KBOs by the Sun-Companion system can be easily visualized with the example of lunar tides on Earth. Earth has two lunar high tides, a high tide on the Moon side of Earth, gravitationally pulled into high tide by the Moon, and a high tide on the far side of the Earth, centrifugally slung away from it. The Earth-Moon barycenter is inside the Earth, and it can be stated that the centrifugal force of the Earth around the Sun-Moon barycenter creates the far-side lunar tide by centrifugal force. But while the near side and far side tides are relatively symmetrical, they are not symmetrical around the Sun-Moon barycenter axis, but rather symmetrical around a point we’ll call the ‘tidal threshold’, which is associated with the Sun-Moon barycenter, but not coincident with it. Similarly, the tidal threshold of the solar system was not coincident with the SSB axis, but was associated with it. Note that the ‘tidal threshold’ is defined with respect to the semimajor axis of a KBO.
If the lunar tidal threshold on Earth is the low tide threshold across which the ocean is either pulled toward the Moon or centrifugally slung away from it, the solar system analogy for KBOs may be orientation of the major axis, which is suggested to nominally undergo apsidal precession as the semimajor axis crosses the tidal threshold, flip-flopping from having its aphelion gravitationally attracted toward the Companion to having its aphelion centrifugally slung 180° away from the Companion, in a process designated ‘flip-flop perturbation’, by which operates by means of ‘apsidal precession’. Flip-flop perturbation was initiated when the tidal threshold caught up with the semimajor axis of a KBO for the first time, but due to the eccentricity of the system, once initiated, the tidal threshold caused apsidal precession flip-flop twice per orbit of the Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB.
With the tidal threshold closer to the Sun than to the semimajor axis of a KBO orbit, the aphelion would be pointed toward the Companion. Then as the tidal threshold nominally crossed the semimajor axis (‘nominally’, because for simplicity in this conceptual approach we ignore the actual position of the KBO in its orbit around the Sun), apsidal precession flip-flopped to apsidal precession away from the Companion. The Sun-Companion separation reached maximum at apoapsis, and then as the Sun-Companion system headed back toward periapsis, the tidal threshold caught up with the semimajor axis a second time, causing flip-flop apsidal precession in the opposite direction, causing apsidal precession back toward the Companion. So once initiated, flip-flop apsidal precession occurred twice per Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB. The periapsis of the tidal threshold with respect to the Sun is suggested to have been below the orbit of Neptune and thus below the perihelia of all Plutinos and KBOs, resetting all KBOs and Plutinos with their aphelia pointing toward the Companion, and thus once flip-flop perturbation was initiated by catching up to the semimajor axis for the first time, flip-flop perturbation would have continued uninterrupted until 542 Ma.
Since gravitational perturbation is proportional to the inverse cube distance, it’s hard to make a case for the Sun as the perturbator of the binary components of binary-Companion which caused the close-binary–to–wide-binary energy transfer in our former triple-star system, with a wide-binary separation on the order of 100s of AU. Instead, flip-flop perturbation of KBOs and outward shepherding of comets may have been the cause of the decay in the orbits of the presumed brown dwarf components of binary-Companion.
Beat patterns between KBOs and the Sun-Companion period may have robbed some planetesimals of heliocentric energy and angular momentum, causing their perihelia to progressively spiral down into the planetary realm. Another set of minor planets may have experienced the opposite effect, having their orbits pumped with energy, perhaps explaining the origin of detached objects like Sedna and 2012 VP-113, with their relative major-axis alignment as a fossil Sun-Companion alignment.
The tidal threshold is suggested to have crossed through the Plutinos at 4.22 Ga in the first pulse of a bimodal LHB, which passed through the broader band of cubewanos, between the 2:3 and 1:2 resonance with Neptune, from 4.1 to 3.8 Ga in the second, broader main pulse of the bimodal LHB.
Exponential rate of increase in the wide-binary (Sun-Companion) period:
The actual mass of our former binary Companion is unknown and relatively insignificant for the suggested perturbation of KBOs by the tidal effects of the former Companion, so 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 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 former .0615 solar mass (1/16.26 solar mass) binary-Companion.
Evidence for the first pulse of a bimodal LHB:
– 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 SSB is suggested to have crossed the 2:3 resonance with Neptune harboring the Plutino population. The later main pulse of the LHB is suggested to have occurred as the SSB traveled through the KBO ‘cubewanos’, between the 2:3 resonance with Neptune and the 1:2 resonance with Neptune.
Note: The following calculations are for the solar system barycenter (SSB) rather than for the ‘tidal threshold’, where the tidal threshold is related to the SSB, but not coincident with it. The tidal threshold is a more complex calculation that is beyond this conceptual approach, so the simpler SSB is computed instead.
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 Ma):
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. With 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. And 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
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 falsifiable (double pulse), whereas Grand Tack the timing of the onset of the LHB and does not predict a double pulse.
1) The Sun-Companion solar-system barycenter (SSB) 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 SSB reaches 43 AU in the classical Kuiper belt Cubewanos at 3.9 Ga, causing the second and extended pulse of the LHB, ending around 3.8 Ga and ushering in the Archean Eon.
The inner edge of the inner Oort cloud (IOC) is presumed to have been sculpted by the former binary-Companion orbit around the SSB, which presumably shepherded the Oort cloud comets outward (by orbit clearing) as the Sun-Companion eccentricity increased over time. The Oort cloud is thought to begin between 2,000 and 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 apapsis distance of the 1859 AU from the Sun by 542 Ma, having shepherded the comets outward for 4 billion years by progressive orbit clearing. Binary-Companion may have also populated the spherically-symmetrical outer Oort cloud (OOC), perhaps by close encounters with one of the binary brown-dwarf components of former binary-Companion.
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune as FFF planets, with Mars as a former ‘Titan moon’ stripped from Jupiter:
The moons of Neptune don’t resemble the typical 4+ Galilean moons plus a Titan moon, typically formed by FFF w/bifurcation, followed by 2 generations of FFF; however, this may be due to perturbation by the solar system barycenter during Neptune’s vulnerable binary-planet phase, when the moons would likely have been more susceptible to external perturbation. Additionally, the retrograde orbit of the Titan moon, Triton, indicates severe perturbation. But with the binary-planet merger, the system became more stable, allowing Neptune to hold onto its twin merger moons, presumably, Proteus and Nereid. So Neptune presumably lost its 4 Galilean moons, perhaps to the Kuiper belt, perhaps constituting Makemake(?), Haumea(?), 2007 OR10(?) and Quaoar(?)
Uranus’s severe axial tilt suggests severe perturbation when transitioning from a circumprimary orbit to a circumbinary orbit, which also stripped its Titan moon. A brief examination of the Kuiper belt suggests that Eris may be Uranus’ former Titan moon, with its high eccentricity (.44), high inclination (44°) orbit. Then as a first-generation FFF planet of binary-Sun, Uranus presumably underwent 2 generations of FFF, spinning off Oberon & Titania in the first generation and Umbriel & Ariel in the second generation, presumably with Miranda & Puck(?) as diminutive merger moons.
Puck (162 km, ~1.3 g/cm³ (assumed))
Miranda (472 km, 1.20 +/- 0.15 g/ml)
Ariel (1158 km, 1.592 +/- 0.15 g/ml)
Umbriel (1169 km, 1.39 +/- 0.16 g/ml)
Titania (1577 km, 1.711 +/- 0.005 g/ml)
Oberon (1523 km, 1.63 +/- 0.05 g/ml)
Eris (2326 km, 2.52±0.07 g/ml)
The 4 Galilean moons of Jupiter with high-density Io and Europa, suggest FFF w/bifurcation followed by only one generation of FFF, with the notable absence of a ‘Titan moon’. Like Uranus, Jupiter may have had its Titan moon stripped during its transition from a circumprimary orbit around the former binary-Sun A star to a circumbinary orbit. Mars immediately suggests itself as the former Titan moon of Jupiter. Then Ganymede and Callisto are first generation FFF moons, with high-density Io (3.5 g/ml) and Europa (3.0 g/ml) as (oversized) merger moons (following the rule of large merger moons in the case of only one FFF generation following FFF w/bifurcation).
The smaller binary-Sun ‘B star’ component had greater angular momentum than its larger ‘A star’ twin, apparently resulting in two generations of FFF, following FFF w/bifurcation that bifurcated preplanetary Saturn and spun off Titan.
Planemo moons of Saturn (diameter, density):
Mimas (396 km, 1.14 g/ml),
Enceladus (504 km, 1.61 g/ml),
Tethys (1062 km, .98 g/ml),
Dione (1122 km, 1.48 g/ml),
Rhea (1527 km, 1.24 g/ml),
Titan (5150 km, 1.88 g/ml)
Iapetus (1468 km, 1.09 g/ml)
Two generations of FFF presumably coupled cousin moons Iapetus & Rhea in the first generation, with Dione & Tethys in the second generation, with Enceladus & Mimas as presumed merger moons, with the relatively-low density of Mimas as the only disconcerting element.
If both Jupiter and Uranus spun off from the larger ‘A star’ binary-Sun component, it makes sense that they both lost their oversized ‘Titan moons’, since they both would have had to get past the smaller ‘B star’ to pass into circumbinary orbits, unlike spin-off planets Saturn and Neptune which presumably spun off from the smaller B star itself.
Earth and Venus as merger planets:
The case for a merger-planet origin of Venus and Earth was made in the merger fragmentation section, so this section will concentrate on the subsequent evolution of preplanetary Earth, with excess angular momentum.
Preplanetary Earth apparently underwent FFF w/bifurcation, spinning off our oversized Titan moon (Luna) into a circumbinary orbit around binary-Earth. Earth then presumably underwent one or two generations of FFF, followed by possibly spinning off twin merger moons when binary-Earth in-spiraled to merge, some 50 to 60 million years later. If the Earth system evolved like the Pluto system, then Earth originally formed had 2 cousin FFF moons, corresponding to Nix & Hydra at Pluto, and perhaps 2 twin merger moons, corresponding to Styx & Kerberos at Pluto. (Alternatively, if terrestrial planets do not spin off merger moons, then Styx & Kerberos may be second-generation FFF moons.) But apparently the smaller sibling moons to Luna were evaporated out of the Earth-Moon system by perturbations with Luna.
The asteroid, 16 Psyche, is thought to have an enstatite chondrite composition, and enstatite chondrites lie on the terrestrial fractionation line, like Earth and Moon, so 16 Psyche could be the battered core of one of Earth’s former diminutive moons, and a younger sibling to Luna.
If Venus went through the same FFF w/bifurcation process as Earth, spinning off a Titan moon comparable in size to Earth’s Moon, tidal slowing of Venus’ rotation may have caused the Titan moon to spiral out until it was lost to the Sun; however, if so, it was apparently thrown well beyond 100 AU, or fell into the Sun, since there’s no anomalous object of the right size in the inner or outer solar system. But if so, Venus apparently lost its Titan moon sufficiently long ago to allow it to assume a synchronous orbit around the Sun, in which a Venusian day equaled a Venusian year. Then, presumably, Venus assumed its present retrograde rotation when the asymmetrical in-spiral merger of former binary-Companion gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun, causing all objects in heliocentric orbits to fall into slightly lower orbits with higher orbital periods with the loss of the centrifugal force of the Sun around the former solar system barycenter. (Note: a conserved retrograde rotation rate of Venus may permit the direct calculation of the mass of our former binary-Companion.)
The red giant phase of (presumed solar-merger) luminous red nova LRN M85OT2006-1 would have reached the Kuiper Belt and perhaps well into it with a size estimated as R = 2.0 +.6-.4 x 10^4 solar radii with a peak luminosity of about 5 x 10^6 solar mass. (Rau et. al. 2007) “Previously published line indices suggest that M85 has a mean stellar age of 1.6+/-0.3 Gyr. If this mean age is representative of the progenitor of M85 OT 2006-1, then we can further constrain its mass to be less than 2 Msolar.” (Ofek et al. 2007) So the red-giant phase of the solar LRN of half the mass likely have enveloped at least the terrestrial planets along with Jupiter and Saturn, and would have contributed to the volatilization of preplanetary Venus and Earth across the enormous surface area of their Roche spheres, even though the red-giant phase of LRNe only lasts a few months.
Venus has no current FFF moons, so its former history is unknown, but its current slight retrograde rotation is suggestive. If Venus had formerly been in a synchronous orbit around the Sun (in which a Venusian day equaled a Venusian year) prior to the suggested loss of our former binary-Companion at 542 Ma, then the loss of the centrifugal force of the Sun around the solar system barycenter may be responsible for Venus’ slight retrograde rotation. The loss of the Companion eliminated the centrifugal force of the Sun around the former SSB, slightly reducing the semi-major axes of all heliocentric orbits, commensurately increasing their orbital periods, perhaps causing its rotational rate to lag its newly sped up period, resulting in retrograde rotation.
Asteroids, chondrites and Mercury:
CAIs are suggested to have condensed from polar jets blasting from the core of the in-spiral merger of binary-Sun, explaining their canonical enrichment of stellar-merger-nucleosynthesis aluminum-26 from the core. If the flare-star phase of the Sun following the LRN melted dust accretions to form chondrules, then the flare-star phase must have lasted for the 3 million-year duration of chondrule formation. The 1 slope of chondrules and CAIs of the carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous mineral (CCAM) line indicates complete mixing, whereas the 1/2 slope of the terrestrial fractionation line indicates complete fractionation (not mass-independent fractionation as is commonly supposed). Ordinary chondrites, however, have a greatly-elevated ∆17O bulk-matrix lying above presolar Mars 3-oxygen-isotope fractionation line, which may indeed be due to photochemical-induced mass-independent fractionation due to extended solar radiation exposure of small dust grains with high surface-to-volume ratios over some 5 million years prior to their condensation by GI into ordinary chondrites, where mass-independent fractionation may be “occurring mainly in photochemical and spin-forbidden reactions” (Wikipedia–Mass-independent fractionation).
Asteroids are suggested to have condensed by GI at the inner edge of the solar-merger ‘primary debris disk’, sculpted by the magnetic corotation radius of the Sun, which was greatly-expanded by the super-intense magnetic field of the stellar merger. And Mercury is suggested to be a hybrid accretion planet (super-Earth) accreted from primary debris disk asteroids. Then the leftover asteroids were injected into Jupiter’s inner resonances by the orbit clearing of the terrestrial planets. Rocky-iron asteroids may have ‘thermally differentiated’ by radioactive decay of LRN r-process radionuclides, whereas chondrites may have condensed by GI in situ against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances after the extinction of most short-lived radionuclides.
Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and Plutinos:
“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.”
“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)
The high frequency of binary KBOs in the cold population with similar-size and similar-color binary components argue for (in situ) condensation of cold classical KBOs by gravitational instability following the perturbation of the LHB, and thus are suggested to have condensed in situ against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance from a ‘secondary debris disk’ created by the binary spiral-in merger of our former binary-Companion at 542 Ma. The geologically active surfaces of Pluto and its moon Charon, with Charon in a (nontidal) synchronous orbit around Pluto, appears to be telegraphing their young age.
Young, cold classical KBOs:
– Low inclination
– Low eccentricity
– Reddish coloration
– Typically binary objects, with similar size and color components
The hot classical KBOs also are suggested to have condensed in situ from the 4,567 Ma ‘primary debris disk’, but the old KBOs were are suggested to have been perturbed into hotter orbits by 4 billion years of flip-flop perturbation by the former solar system barycenter.
Old, hot classical KBOs:
– Higher inclination
– Higher eccentricity
– Bluish coloration
– Typically solitary objects
The Pluto system:
The Pluto system is suggested to have condensed in situ by gravitational instability against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance from the secondary debris disk created by the binary spiral-in merger of former binary-Companion at 542 Ma.
The Pluto system may be a good analog to the Earth system, with FFF w/bifurcation spinning off the former oversized core, Charon, into a circumbinary orbit around binary-Pluto, with similar sized binary components. Binary-Pluto may have undergone one or two generations of FFF (without bifurcation), spinning off one or two generations of ‘cousin’ moons. The binary in-spiral merger of former binary-Pluto may or may not have spun off twin merger moons, depending on whether terrestrial (minor) planets spin off merger moons. Either way Nix and Hydra would be first-generation FFF moons, with Styx and Kerberos as either second-generation FFF moons or merger moons.
The Pluto system analogy with Earth suggests that Earth should have 4 additional moons in two size ranges from two higher-generation FFFs, which were apparently evaporated from the system by Lunar perturbations.
– Aqueous Differentiation:
Melting water ice precipitates authigenic mineral grains in KBO cores. Melting may be catastrophic as in the spiral-in merger of binary planetesimals or gradual, as in orbital perturbative torquing. Catastrophic binary spiral-in mergers are suggested to form sedimentary cores which lithify and undergo subsequent metamorphism when the ocean freezes solid, due to the pressure developed by the expansion of water ice.
– Rocky-iron asteroids:
High-density volatile-depleted planetesmials ‘condensed’ by gravitational instability (GI) from the ‘primary debris disk’ formed from the spiral-in merger of our former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma. Rocky-iron asteroids condensed at the magnetic corotation radius of the Sun following the stellar merger near the orbit of Mercury, and indeed Mercury is suggested to be a ‘hybrid accretion’ planet, formed from the core accretion of asteroids formed by GI (hence hybrid). Leftover asteroids not accreted by Mercury were perturbed into the Sun or evaporated outward by orbit clearing by the terrestrial planets, and many became trapped in Jupiter’s inner resonances. Asteroids ‘thermally differentiated’ to form iron-nickel cores by radioactive decay of short-lived stellar-merger r-process radionuclides.
– C-type chondrites:
Chondrites are suggested to have condensed by GI from the stellar-merger primary debris disk against Jupiter’s inner resonances over a period of some 5 million years. Chondrites typically contain chondrules which may be dust accretions melted in super-intense solar flares during the suggested 3-million year flare-star phase of the Sun following its binary spiral-in merger at 4,567 Ma. CI chondrites without chondrules, which lie above the terrestrial fractionation line, may have condensed from presolar material, and may be fragments of presolar comets.
– Close Binary:
‘Hard’ close-binary pairs (planetesimals, planets, moons or stars) tend to spiral in due to external perturbation, with binary orbits becoming progressively ‘harder’ over time, often ultimately merging in binary spiral-in mergers. ‘Close binary’ orbits are defined to be ‘hard’ orbits.
Circa 1–20 km planetesimals condensed by GI from a presumably circum-quaternary protoplanetary disk beyond our former binary-Companion. Many or perhaps most comets formed in binary pairs which have been induced to spiral in to form peanut-shaped ‘contact binaries’. Our former brown-dwarf binary-Companion to the Sun spiraled out from the solar system barycenter for 4 billion years, shepherding the main body of inner Oort cloud comets outward beyond itself into the inner Oort cloud (IOC).
– (Former) binary-Companion to the Sun:
Our protostar is suggested to have undergone ‘flip-flop fragmentation with bifurcation’ due to excess angular momentum, bifurcating into a binary-Sun, while simultaneously spinning off its former core which also underwent flip-flop fragmentation with bifurcation to form binary-Companion. Secular perturbation caused binary-Sun to spiral in and merge at 4,567 Ma and binary-Companion to merge 4 billion years later at 542 Ma in an asymmetrical merger that gave the former Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
– Flip-flop fragmentation, with or without bifurcation:
A collapsing prestellar object which has the vast majority of their mass in doughnut-shaped envelopes supported by angular momentum around a diminutive core is suggested to be susceptible to disk (envelope) instability, which breaks the radial symmetry of the envelope, causing it to clump into a central mass. The much greater mass of the clumping envelope inertially displaces the smaller older core into a satellite status, in the form of a proto gas-giant planet. Then the clumping envelope begins to form a younger larger core. This catastrophic process is designated, ‘flip-flop fragmentation’ (FFF). Excess-excess angular momentum may require the envelope to fragment into a binary pair to conserve energy and angular momentum, displacing the former (generally oversized) core into a circumbinary orbit. Binary formation by FFF is designated FFF w/bifurcation.
– Flip-flop perturbation:
The suggested 4 billion year exponential spiral out of our former binary-Companion which perturbed Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) into the inner solar system by way of differential tidal influence associated with solar system barycenter (SSB), causing aphelia precession ‘flip-flop perturbation’.
– Gravitational instability (GI):
The mechanism whereby gas, dust and ice gravitationally collapse to form planetesimals, planets, moons and stars. GI of objects smaller than a Jeans mass appear to require assistance, generally in the form of pressurization of infalling material against a planetary resonance, binary stellar resonance or stellar magnetic corotation radius.
– Hybrid Accretion (Thayne Currie 2005):
Planetesimals condensed by GI that accrete to form hybrid-accretion planets, designated ‘super-Earths’, with ‘hybrid’ referring to the combination of core accretion and gravitational instability. A super-Earth may core accrete from planetesimals formed by GI at the star’s magnetic corotation radius from the protoplanetary disk or from a subsequent debris disk. A second super-Earth may form from planetesimals condensed against the the outer resonances of the first super-Earth, and so forth to form a cascade of multiple super-Earths, generally in low hot orbits. Since ‘super-Earth’ is used defined here as any planet formed by hybrid accretion, super-Earths may be smaller than Earth, but their composition is terrestrial or icy, not gaseous like Uranus or Neptune. Mercury is suggested to be a super-Earth formed from the primary debris disk.
– IOC (Inner Oort cloud):
Also known as the ‘Hills Cloud’, which is the doughnut-shaped comet cloud with its inner edge in the range of 2,000 – 5,000 AU and outer edge at perhaps 20,000 AU, suggested to have been shepherded outward by the progressive orbit clearing by our former binary-Companion which spiraled out from the Sun for 4 billion years, fueled by the orbital energy of its own close-binary pair.
– KBO (Kuiper-belt object), ‘hot classical’ KBOs:
Old minor planets condensed in situ against Neptune’s outer resonances by GI from the 4,567 Ma ‘primary debris disk’, principally condensing against the 2:3 resonance with Neptune including Plutinos and cubewanos. Perturbation of KBOs by the solar system barycenter (SSB) partially depleted the reservoir, causing the late heavy bombardment of the inner solar system. SSB perturbation also caused former binary pairs to spiral in and merge, and perturbed the remaining population into high-inclination high-eccentricity ‘hot’ orbits. Hot classical KBOs formed from the primary debris disk which formed from the ashes of the binary spiral-in merger of our former binary-Sun.
– KBO (Kuiper-belt object) ‘cold classical’:
Young minor planets condensed in situ by GI from the 542 Ma ‘secondary debris disk’ , principally condensing against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance. This population includes Plutinos and typically binary ‘cold’ classical KBOs in low-inclination low-eccentricity orbits. Cold classical KBOs formed from the secondary debris disk which arose from the ashes of the binary spiral-in merger of our former binary-Companion.
(Outer Oort cloud), the spherical (isotropic) comet cloud, from perhaps 20,000 – 50,000 AU and beyond, assumedly perturbed from the inner Oort cloud by various internal solar system and external perturbation mechanisms.
– LRN (LRNe plural)
(Luminous red nova), a stellar explosion with a luminosity between that of a nova and a supernova, thought to be caused by the spiral-in merger of binary stars. Stellar-merger LRNe may be the typical origin of debris disks which condense asteroids and chondrites in low orbits and icy planetesimals in more distant orbits against giant planet resonances. ‘Red transients’ may be another name for LRNe.
– Merger fragmentation:
As binary-stars spiral in to form ‘contact binaries’ and then ‘common envelopes’, the denser binary cores spiral in within an enveloping common envelope, shedding mass into the common envelope to shed angular momentum. When the envelope becomes much more massive than the twin cores, the envelope becomes unstable and undergoes disk instability, inertially hurling the twin cores into high circa 1 AU orbit, forming twin proto merger planets, such as Venus and Earth are suggested to have formed.
– Minor planets or planetesimals:
A generic term for anything smaller than a planet, not specifically a moon. Planetesimals or minor planets may apply to comets, protoplanetary scattered disc objects (SDOs), asteroids, chondrites, and KBOs. Since the term ‘planetesimals’ often refers to smaller objects that objects that core accrete to form larger objects, the term ‘minor planets’ is preferable if a more specific term, such as KBO or comet is unsuitable.
– SSB (solar-system barycenter):
The suggested gravitational balance point between the Sun and its former binary-Companion prior to the loss of the Companion from the solar system at 542 Ma. The spiral in of the binary Companion components fueled an exponentially-increasing wide-binary apoapsis between Sun-Companion, causing the SSB to spiral out through the Kuiper belt and scattered disc for 4 billion years, perturbing ever more distant trans-Neptunian objects over time. The SSB passage through the Plutinos and cubewanos is suggested to have caused the late heavy bombardment.
– Super-Earth: (See Hybrid Accretion)
– Wide Binary:
‘Soft’ wide-binary pairs (planetesimals, planets, moons or stars) are defined as binary pairs that tend to spiral out due to external perturbation, with wide-binary orbits tending to become progressively softer over time until the components ultimately dissociate. Wide-binary components may themselves be comprised of close-binary pairs, such as our former (close)-binary-Sun and former (close)-binary-Companion in a wide-binary separation.
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THE ORIGIN OF S-TYPE GRANITE PLUTONS IN KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs)
Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) are suggested to have formed by gravitational instability against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances, with many or most forming in binary pairs due to excess angular momentum. When external perturbation induces KBO binary orbital pairs to spiral in and merge, they undergo ‘aqueous differentiation’, melting saltwater oceans which precipitate authigenic sedimentary cores. As the sedimentary cores undergo lithification, the destruction of voids expels interstitial water through hydrothermal vents into the overlying ocean. If a hydrothermal pathway becomes blocked, hydraulic pressure may cause delamination in KBO authigenic sedimentary rock, creating water blisters in the form of aqueous domes and sills, as part of a pathway to the overlying ocean through porous rock, vents or faults. The pressure and temperature drop from pressurized conduits into lower-pressure domes and sills may induce crystallization to form pegmatites and precipitation of authigenic mineral grains to form S-type granitic sediments, which lithify into granitic rock. This alternative hydrothermal model is suggested to function similar to magma in terrestrial setting, but with aqueous fluids having vastly-greater mobility than magma, particularly high-viscosity felsic magma.
“Hornblende is common in the more mafic I-types and is generally present in the felsic varieties, whereas hornblende is absent, but muscovite is common, in the more felsic S-types;”
“Apatite inclusions are common in biotite and hornblende of I-types, but occur in larger individual crystals in S-types. Thus, I-types characteristically contain biotite+hornblende plus/minus sphene plus/minus monazite. S-types contain biotite plus/minus muscovite plus/minus cordierite plus/minus garnet plus/minus ilmenite plus/minus monazite.”
“One important compositional difference between the two types, not noted in 1974,
is that as a group, the S-type granites are more reduced with respect to oxygen fugacity”: lower Fe3/Fe2 in S-type granites.
Compositionally distinct with respect to Na2O vs. K2O, CaO vs. Total FeO, and Aluminium Saturation Index (for the most mafic 10% of I-type and S-type).
I-type granites lack enclaves of supracrustal origin, whereas more mafic rocks of S-type granites invariably contain a rich assemblage of supracrustal enclaves (White et al. 1999).
“The K-feldspar in S-type granites is always white in colour, never pink, provided the rock is not weathered or hydrothermally altered. However, in I-type granites the K-feldspar crystals are frequently pale pink in colour, but sometimes white.”
“However, the amount of zircon showing such inheritance is vastly different between
the I- and S-types. Williams et al. (1992 p. 503) noted that ‘Zircons with inherited cores are rare in I-type granites, but virtually every zircon in the S-types contains an older core’. Chappell et al. (1999 p. 829) pointed out that this implies that ‘the sediment component in the I-type granites, at least as indicated by the amount of inherited zircon, is trivial, a conclusion sustained by the observation that zircon was saturated in all of the low-temperature I-type magmas’.”
“The statement by Chappell and White (1974) that S-type granites are generally older than I-type granites occurring in the same batholith, is substantiated by later investigations. It is also the case that the earlier S-type granites may have a strong secondary foliation, truncated by I-type
granites that are either unfoliated or have a primary foliation.”
Above quotes from:
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.
Solar system dynamics:
The Jeans instability that formed our solar system apparently had a high degree of angular momentum, forming a quadruple star system, composed of two close binary pairs (‘binary-Sun’ and ‘binary-Companion’) in a wide-binary Sun-Companion spacing. (See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
Secular perturbation of the quadruple system caused the binary pairs to spiral in, causing a binary-Sun merger at 4,567 Ma and a binary-Companion merger 4 billion years later at 542 Ma, with the asymmetrical binary-Companion merger giving the newly merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
The ashes from the binary-Sun merger at 4,567 Ma condensed planetesimals by gravitational instability (GI) in at least 3 locations in the solar system; 1) rocky-iron asteroids against the Sun’s greatly expanded magnetic corotation radius near the orbit of Mercury, 2) carbonaceous chondrites against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances and Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances.
In the 4 billion year interval between the two binary spiral-in mergers, between 4,567 Ma and 542 Ma, the solar system had a ‘solar system barycenter’ (SSB) which created unusual conditions in the outer solar system by way of tidal effects.
Earth has two lunar tides, one on the near side to the Moon, caused by tidal attraction to the Moon, and one on the far side of Earth, which can be explained as the centrifugal force of Earth around the Earth-Moon barycenter. Similarly, in a Sun-Companion system with a SSB, there will be a transition point between tidal attraction and centrifugal repulsion, which is suggested to cause ‘aphelia precession’ of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) which cross the tidal threshold, the way oceans on Earth flip flop between near-side high tide to low tide to far-side high tide to low tide. In the case of KBOs, ‘flip-flop perturbation’ aphelia precession is suggested to have caused KBO aphelia (for those KBOs which crossed the tidal thershold) to have precessed from aphelia pointing toward the Companion to pointing away from the Companion and back again, for those KBOs that repeatedly crossed the tidal threshold in their orbits around the Sun.
Additionally, as the brown-dwarf components of binary Companion spiraled in, the wide binary separation spiraled out, conserving energy by increasing the wide-binary Sun-Companion eccentricity around the SSB over time. And by Galilean relativity, it could just as well be stated that the SSB spiraled out from the Sun at an exponential rate over time, perturbing ever more distant KBOs by way of the tidal transition point reaching the semimajor axes of KBOs, with perturbation caused by flip-flop perturbation (apsidal precession). (Note, the SSB is associated with the tidal transition point but is not coincident with it. Tidal transition is defined as the semimajor axis of KBOs where flip-flop perturbation furst occurs.) Tidal transition flip-flop perturbation reached the cubewanos between the 2:3 and 1:2 resonance with Neptune between 4.1 and 3.8 Ga, causing the late heavy bombardment (LHB) of the inner solar system by KBOs.
Most KBOs are suggested to have formed as binary pairs, which were induced to spiral in and merge by the flip-flop perturbation when the exponentially-increasing reach of the tidal trasition point caught up to the semimajor axes of KBOs. Binary siral-in merger of binary KBOs initiated ‘aqueous differentiation’, melting saltwater oceans in their cores which chemically precipitated sedimentary cores. Lithification of a sedimentary KBO core is a process of destruction of voids, which expels hydrothermal fluids. As hydrothermal conduits are blocked by crystallization or by subsidence (KBO quakes), the hydrothermal fluids must force new pathways to the surface, often by delaminating layers of the sedimentary core until finding porous rock to continue the its rise to the KBO saltwater ocean above.
The periodic nature of granitic ‘line rock’, as in the Blackhills line-rock granite of the Yavapai Mazatzal craton, is suggested to be the result of tidal torquing caused by flip-flop perturbation (aphelia precession), as orbital KBO aphelia were tidally attracted toward and then centrifugally slung away from the Companion in their heliocentric orbits, causing waxing and waning of hydrothermal fluids from the lithifying sedimentary core.
The loss of the Companion at 542 Ma apparently reduced the stability of the outer solar system, causing Neptune to become the nemesis of the Kuiper belt in the Phanerozoic Eon. Phanerozoic perturbation of KBOs by Neptune may have induced the formation of authigenic Phanerozoic gneiss domes, complete with (extrusive) gneiss dome matling rock (quartzite, carbonate rock and schist), and perhaps intrusive S-type granite.
Extraterrestrial S-type granite vs. terrestrial I-type granite:
If KBO cores are composed of authigenic sediments, as suggested here, then the hydrothermal fluids expelled during lithification and diagenesis are suggested to play a similar role in extraterrestrial KBO cores as intrusive magma and extrusive volcanic lava do on Earth.
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)
While metamorphic hornfels and aureoles, commonly associated with I-type granites, are clear signs of high temperature metamorphism caused by intrusive magma, S-type metasomatic skarns and pegmatites in extraterrestrial KBO cores are alternatively suggested to be caused by aqueous crystallization and metasomatism caused by lower-temperature hydrothermal fluids, which readily penetrates the surrounding porous country rock. Additionally, ‘supracrustal enclaves’ of country rock, often found in S-type granites, are much denser than the hydrothermal fluids causing hydraulic hydrothermal delamination in KBO cores promote brittle ceiling cave ins which fall through the hydrothermal fluids into the granitic sediments below to become supracrustal enclaves. By comparison, hydraulic delamination by granitic magma on Earth rarely results in ceiling collapse, due to higher temperatures which soften the country rock, reducing the probability of brittle ceiling cave ins. Additionally, the much higher viscosity of felsic magma along with the much lower density differential (of felsic magma vs. country rock compared to hydrothermal fluids vs. country rock) reduce the likelihood of country rock xenoliths in I-type granite.
So mixed S-type granites with younger I-type granites may be a combination of older extraterrestrial S-type granites followed by Earth impact in an extinction-level event, followed by terrestrial I-type granites, perhaps with terrestrial magma following and exploiting hydrothermal induced weaknesses and hydrothermal conduits.
The term ‘hydrothermal’ is a bit of a misnomer when used in an (extraterrestrial) intrusive sense, since on Earth it refers to (extrusive) hot aqueous fluids gushing from ocean plates. While extrusive hydrothermal fluids also gush into KBO saltwater oceans (beneath icy mantles) precipitating authigenic (extrusive) gneiss, schist, quartzite, carbonate rock and other types of extraterrestrial sedimentary ‘country rock’, the intrusive form is suggested to precipitate granitic sediments, which lithify into granitic (line) rock.
Low-viscosity extraterrestrial hydrothermal fluids might be expected to cause more hydraulic delamination and crosscutting dikes than much-higher-viscosity terrestrial felsic magma, while high-viscosity terrestrial magma might be expected to form more well-rounded plutons. So S-type granites might be expected to exhibit more narrow sills, dikes and veins in addition to plutons, whereas I-type granite plutons might tend to form more rounded with fewer peripheral sills, dikes and veins, although I-type batholiths are often associated with secondary, economic metasomatic mineralization, distinct from the granitic rock itself.
Aqueous solubility of mineral species is subject to ambient conditions, notably temperature, pressure, and pH. Decreasing temperature and pressure typically lower the solubility of most mineral species, promoting precipitation and (pegmatite) crystallization in intrusive hydrothermal plutons, dikes and sills, as the pressurized aqueous fluids flow down a pressure gradient to the cooler overlying KBO saltwater ocean (underlying an icy mantle).
Chemically-precipitated authigenic sediments on Earth are clay sized, sometimes forming authigenic mudrock, while in the microgravity of KBOs, mineral grains are suggested to typically fall out of aqueous suspension at sand grain size or larger, determined by the microgravitational acceleration and the local saltwater circulation rate. Thus the very gneiss which makes up the basement rocks of the continental tectonic plates on Earth is suggested to be authigenic sedimentary rock of Kuiper belt origin. S-type granite zircons typically contain older inherited ‘detrital’ cores from hydrothermal fluids emanating from older layers, deeper in the sedimentary core, whereas terrestrial I-type granites do not typically possess detrital cores.
Why is intrusive hydrothermal S-type granite felsic in composition?:
This comparative conceptual approach does not attempt to explain the felsic nature of suggested hydrothermal intrusive granite, but merely to suggest one or two mechanisms that might come in to play.
While the terrestrial mantle has a mafic composition which may undergo igneous differentiation to ultimately form granite, or otherwise melt felsic country rock, KBO hydrothermal fluids are not necessarily chondritic in composition. Thus the mineral species most likely leached by high-temperature high-pressure hydrothermal fluids would be the very same minerals precipitated and crystallized from solution as the temperature and pressure decreases on its journey through the core to the overlying KBO ocean, and silica solubility is particularly temperature sensitive. So intrusive hydrothermal granite needn’t explain away a mafic component as terrestrial magma intrusions necessarily need to.
If silica solubility is particularly sensitive to temperature, carbon dioxide solubility in the form of carbonic acid is particularly sensitive to pressure, which can be demonstrated by removing the bottle cap from a carbonated beverage. The solubility of dissolved aluminous species is particularly pH sensitive, with a solubility trough around 6-1/2 pH, so a pressure induced drop in pH toward neutral due to conversion of carbonic acid to gaseous CO2 bubbles would tend to precipitate and crystallize aluminous mineral species in the form of felsic feldspars. (See section, AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs))
In a peraluminous setting, where the proportion of aluminum oxide is higher than the combination of sodium oxide, potassium oxide and calcium oxide combined, more complex aluminous silicates would form, such as muscovite, which is common in S-type granite, and particularly with its associated pegmatites.
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.
CASCADE FORMATION OF SUPER-EARTHS BY HYBRID CORE ACCRETION OF PLANETESIMALS ‘CONDENSED’ BY GRAVITATIONAL INSTABILITY AT THE INNER EDGE OF ACCRETION DISKS:
Thayne Currie suggests a compelling hybrid mechanism for forming (giant) planets by accretion from a population of circa 1 km planetesimals formed by gravitational instability (GI), designated here as ‘hybrid accretion’. (Currie, 2005)
This alternative ideology suggests that hybrid accretion planets typically form cascades of super-Earths in low hot orbits, where alternative planet formation mechanisms form gas-giant planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (by flip-flop fragmentation). Earth-like planets (by ‘merger fragmentation’), and Mars like planets (captured gas-giant moons). (See section. STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS.)
Suggested constraints to Thayne Currie’s hybrid accretion model of planet formation:
Hybrid accretion is suggested to (only) occur at the inner edge of an accretion disk, against the magnetic corotation radius of a solitary star, forming terrestrial ‘super-Earths’, where ‘super-Earth’ will be defined as any planet formed by hybrid accretion, regardless of its actual size.
The accretion disk, in which hybrid accretion occurs. may be a protoplanetary disk or may be a secondary ‘debris disk’, where the secondary debris disk may form from the ashes of a binary stellar merger (or perhaps from the ashes of a nova or supernova). Secondary debris disk hybrid planets, however, will typically be diminutive in size and solitary, rather than forming in multiples, as protoplanetary ‘cascades’ of super-Earths.
Solar system dynamics:
Our solar system is suggested to have formed from a quadruple star/brown-dwarf system, followed by two binary spiral-in mergers, with binary-Sun merging at 4,567 Ma and binary-Companion merging at 542 Ma, with an asymmetrical binary-Companion merger which gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. (See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS.)
Our former binary-Sun is suggested to have precluded the formation of classical super-Earths from the protoplanetary disk in our own solar system; however, Mercury is suggested to be a diminutive ‘super-Earth’ formed by hybrid accretion of asteroids condensed by GI from the solar-merger debris disk at the Sun’s greatly-expanded solar-merger magnetic corotation radius, near the orbit of Mercury.
Then over time, the terrestrial planets (Mercury–Mars) ‘evaporated’ the leftover rocky-iron asteroids into the relative orbital stability of Jupiter’s inner resonances (or sent them careening into the Sun), including the largest rocky-iron (magnetic corotation) asteroid, 4 Vesta.
Less volatilely depleted chondrites presumably condensed in situ against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances from the solar-merger debris disk, and likewise still-less-volatilely-depleted (hot-classical) Kuiper belt objects presumably condensed in situ against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances.
Super-Earth formation dynamics:
Super-Earths often form in groups or ‘cascades’ in low hot orbits around their solitary progenitor stars.
In super-Earth cascades of 3 or more planets, the separation between the outermost two planets will typically be wider than inner separations, presumably indicating that the outermost planet of the cascade had less of a ‘heavy lift’ burden in clearing its orbit of leftover planetesimals. Cascades of super-Earths tend to exhibit adjacent orbital-period ratios of 2:3 (.666) to 1:3 (.333), except for the outermost orbital-period ratio, which is typically smaller.
Two formation mechanisms come to mind, in the formation of a cascade of super-Earths;
1) either the the vast majority of the planetesimals condense at the magnetic corotation radius of a young star, and then are progressively evaporated outward by orbit clearing as hybrid accretion forms each super-Earth in turn, or
2) next-generation planetesimals sequentially condense against the outer resonances of the previous super-Earth.
Either way, super-Earth cascades form by hybrid accretion from the inside out, with the innermost super-Earth as the oldest and the outermost as the youngest.
1) Vast majority of planetesimals condense at the magnetic corotation radius:
This alternative would require a stupendous heavy lift, as the first forming (innermost) super-Earth would have to clear its orbit of 5 or 6 times its own mass of planetesimals, in the case of exoplanet systems with a cascade many exoplanets, such as Tau Ceti (5 super-Earths) or HD 40307 (6 super-Earths). This mechanism might be suggested if exoplanet masses decreased from the inside out, but the reverse is true, that exoplanet masses increase from the inside out. This mechanism has other problems caused by scattering by the previous super-Earth, particularly since scattering would tend to preclude quiescent conditions necessary for core accretion and tend to create increasingly disorderly super-Earth orbits as a cascade grows in number, due to increasingly chaotic scattering with each progressive generation super-Earth within a cascade.
2) Next-generation planetesimals condense against the outer resonances of each outermost super-Earth in turn:
In this alternative, the formation of each super-Earth in turn within a super-Earth cascade would disrupt the inner edge of the accretion disk, pushing it out as far as its outer resonances, where next-generation planetesimals could condense by GI. Thus, planetesimals condense against the magnetic corotation radius of a young star and hybrid accrete to form a first-generation super-Earth. The first-generation super-Earth disrupts the inner edge of the accretion disk as far out as its outer resonances, where second-generation planetesimals condense against the outer resonances and hybrid accrete to form a second-generation super-Earth, etc.
The second alternative appears to solve the ‘scattering problems’ of magnetic corotation radius only planetesimals, so next-generation planetesimals condensing in outer super-Earth resonances is the suggested mechanism for the formation of cascades of super-Earths in low hot(ish) orbits.
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 the r-process radionuclides of the early solar system (aluminum-26, iron-60 et al.) and its helium-burning stable-isotope enrichment (carbon-12 and oxygen-16 et al.).
Carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous minerals (CCAM), including CAI and chondrules, plot with a 1 slope toward the lower left corner of the graph 3-isotope oxygen graph (δ17O vs. δ18O), with a 1 slope representing 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 altered material off the 1 slope line.) By comparison, complete fractionation of oxygen isotopes plot as a 1/2 slope, since 17O – 16O = 1 unit of atomic weight and 18O – 16O = 2 units of atomic weight. The terrestrial fractionation line (TFL) plots with a slope of .52, nominally 1/2. The low cooling rate from a molten magma state on Earth and the similarly slow rate of authigenic precipitation from an aqueous state provides a significant opportunity for chemical reactions to occur within the temperature window in which mass fractionation is significant. So the 1 slope of CCAM merely represents complete mixing while the 1/2 slope of the terrestrial fractionation line (TFL) merely represents complete fractionation.
When comparing completely fractionated materials such as terrestrial basalt and Mars meteorite basalt, it can be convenient to force force the nominal 1/2 slope (.52 slope for the TFL) to zero, making it a horizontal line, with the conversion:
∆17O = δ17O – .52 δ18O
∆17O vs. δ18O plots the TFL horizontally with igneous Mars rock on a horizontal rock above.
The degree of 16O enrichment can be be obscured by isotope fractionation when only δ17O (17O/16O) or δ18O (18O/16O) are measured isolation, but the measurement of all three oxygen isotopes and their graphing on a 3-isotope oxygen plot will cause mass-dependent fractionation to wash out, by aligning along a ‘fractionation line’ which is 16O-enrichment dependent. Comparing δ17O or ∆17O to δ18O on a 3-isotope oxygen plot, however, is generally reserved for meteorites, since continental Earth rock is assumedly terrestrial, but if the continental tectonic plates are aqueously and thermally differentiated planetesimal cores from two separate reservoirs (presolar protoplanetary and variably-enriched secondary debris disk) then comparison of all three isotopes becomes significant.
Plotting sufficient terrestrial basalt samples along side Mars meteorite basalt samples shows the two materials lie near fractionation lines, regardless of the extent of mass-dependent fractionation of individual samples. If only that were the end of the story, but ordinary chondrites plot above suggested presolar Mars which makes no sense if they condensed from the secondary debris-disk created by the spiral-in merger of our former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma and thus were enriched in 16O. Without subsequent aqueous alteration, ordinary chondrites would plot below the TFL due to their suggested greater 16O contamination than Earth rock.
Secondary aqueous alteration may be responsible for forming secondary magnetite with high ∆17O, which raise ordinary chondrites above assumedly presolar Mars on the 3-isotope oxygen plot. “The maximum fractionation between magnetite and liquid H2O is -13.6‰ at 390 K . In the UOC parent asteroid, H2O probably existed as a gaseous phase when magnetite formed. The maximum fractionation between magnetite and gaseous H2O is -10.5‰ at 500 K .” (Choi et al., 1997, Magnetite in unequilibrated ordinary chondrites: evidence for an 17O-rich reservoir in the solar nebula) But rather than a “17O-rich reservoir”, if the mechanism had been a matter of mass-dependent fractionation of gaseous H2O in the crust followed by the escape of the 17O-depleted remainder into interplanetary space, would not the result be the same?
During thermal differentiation of ordinary chondrites, if the temperature had reached the boiling point of water, the lightest-weight H2O molecules containing 16O would be the first to sublime or boil, and the least likely to condense or deposit (the opposite of sublimation), and the fastest to diffuse outward in a vapor phase. And outward mass-dependent fractionation may have been the result of repeated episodes of sublimation and deposition during the warming phase of thermal differentiation of ordinary chondrites which progressively expelled water ice from the core, then the mantle and finally the crust, increasing the degree of fractionation with each cycle. Then oxidation into magnetite selected the most mobile of the remaining oxygen isotopes, preferentially incorporating 17O into magnetite.
The flare-star phase of the Sun following its binary spiral-in stellar merger may be recorded in the 3 million year period of chondrule formation by super-intense solar-flare melting of debris-disk dust accretions, spiraling in toward the Sun by Poynting–Robertson drag.
If stellar-merger nucleosynthesis enriched the Sun in the stable isotopes 12C, 16O, and 20Ne by helium burning, then the stellar-merger core temperatures may have been in the neighborhood of 100-200 million Kelvins, with r-process nucleosynthesis forming the neutron-rich short-lived radionuclides (SRs) of our early solar system:
7Be, 10Be, 14C, 22Na, 26Al, 36Cl, 41Ca, 44Ti, 53Mn, 54Mn, 60Fe, 63Ni, 91Nb, 92Nb, 107Pd, 129I, 146Sm, 182Hf and 244Pu.
The high velocities necessary to create spallation nuclides in LRNe may have been observed in LRN PTF10fqs from a spiral arm of Messier 99. The breadth of the Ca II emission line may indicate two divergent flows, a high-velocity polar flow (~ 10,000 km/s) and a high-volume, but slower equatorial flow. (Kasliwal, Kulkarni et al. 2011) Some of the SRs may have been created by spallation in the high-velocity polar outflow of the LRNe, particularly 7Be and 10Be, since beryllium is known to be consumed rather than produced within stars.
The solar wind is ~40% poorer in 15N than earth’s atmosphere, as discovered by the Genesis mission. (Marty, Chaussidon, Wiens et al. 2011) The same mission discovered that the Sun is depleted in deuterium, 17O and 18O by ~7% compared to all rocky materials in the inner solar system. (McKeegan, Kallio, Heber et al. 2011) “[T]he 13C/12C ratio of the Earth and meteorites may be considerably enriched in 13C compared to the ratio observed in the solar wind.” (Nuth, J. A. et al., 2011)
The most apparent deficit in the Sun and in debris-disk material, however, may be the δ15N differences between presolar protoplanetary comets and CAIs condensed from solar-merger polar jets from the core, with canonical 26Al.
Most oxygen isotopes variations are only a few per mill (‰), but δ15N departures from terrestrial values are often measured in hundreds of per mille (tens of percent), with a solar difference of δ15N = -386 ‰ and cometary difference of δ15N ≈+800 ‰ for CN and HCN (Chaussidon et al. 2003). So 15N destruction must have been particularly efficient by way of two mechanisms, 15N(p,α)12C and 15N(p,γ)16O, known as the CN and the NO cycles respectively (Caciolli et al. 2011).
Deuterium will also have been destroyed in the solar merger, dramatically lowering the D/H ratio in the Sun and in debris-disk condensates, but the 2:1 difference in mass between H and D often makes fractionation more significant than the degree of depletion, making the D/H ratio a poor measure of the reservoir depletion.
AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs):
This section presents an alternative extraterrestrial hypothesis for the formation of gneiss basement rock, along with its associated mantling rock, such as quartzite, carbonate rock and schist. Gneiss is suggested to form as authigenic sedimentary rock in the cores of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) which have undergone ‘aqueous differentiation’, as authigenic sediments are chemically precipitated in KBO saltwater oceans in their cores. And aqueous differentiation is may be initiated by a binary spiral-in merger of a former binary KBO. Lithification follows sedimentation with subsequent metamorphism occurring when the saltwater ocean freezes solid, with the expansion of water ice building the tremendous pressure necessary for metamorphism. Perturbation of KBOs into the inner solar system cause extinction event impacts on Earth, with highly-compressible KBO ices clamping the Earth-impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of silicates, preserving KBO core rock and terrestrial target rock and masking the impact signature as such.
In conventional geology, the supposed segregation of metamorphic migmatite into felsic leucosome and mafic melanosome layers by metamorphism of protolith rock is explained by the partial melting (anatexis) of lower-melting-point (primarily felsic) minerals and the extrusion of this melt down a “potential force gradient.” “The consensus today is that both in situ melt and externally derived melt are present in most migmatites (Kriegsman, 2001).” (Urtson, 2005) This means that adjacent layers alone can not explain the local enrichments and depletions of felsic and mafic layering, and so non-local externally-derived melt is needed for mass balance.
In the alternative aqueous differentiation setting, adjacent felsic and mafic leucosomes and melanosomes have the entire Kuiper belt object (KBO) ocean, as a reservoir to draw upon. Finally, “comingling and mixing of mafic and felsic magmas” is also also suggested as an explanation for alternating felsic/mafic layers. (Sandeman et al., 2000)
Conventionally, gneiss domes are divided into two classes: fault related and fault unrelated. Larger gneiss-dome systems are divided into evenly spaced and unevenly spaced. Evenly spaced dome systems are considered to be instabilities caused by vertical-density or -viscosity contrast and horizontal loads, leading to buckling. Unevenly spaced dome systems are associated with fault development or “superposition of multiple deformational phases.” “In nature, gneiss domes are often produced by superposition of several dome-forming mechanisms. This has made determination of the dynamic cause of individual domes and dome systems exceedingly challenging.” (Yin, 2004)
Rayleigh–Taylor (RT) instability is a favored explanation for the formation of evenly-spaced gneiss domes which is sometimes called a fingering instability where a finger is theorized to spread into a mushroom cap to explain concentric layering in ellipsoid gneiss domes. RT instabilities, however, fail to explain the typical sedimentary basements: “In some, the lowest horizon of the mantle consists of basal conglomerate with boulders of the same gneiss that forms the dome; in others, the basement stratum is a layer of quartzite, above which follow dolomite and mica schist; and in still others, dolomite forms the basement.” (Eskola, 1948)
“The mantled domes apparently represent earlier granite intrusions related to a orogenic period. The plutonic mass was later eroded and levelled, and thereafter followed a period of sedimentation. During a subsequent orogenic cycle the pluton was mobilized anew and new granite magma was injected into the plutonic rock at the same time as it was deformed into gneiss, causing its migmatization and granitization, or palingenesis.”
Alternative solar system formation ideology:
The problem of planetesimal formation is a major unsolved problem in astronomy since meter-sized “boulders are expected to stick together poorly, and to spiral into the protostar in a few hundred orbits owing to a ‘head wind’ from the slower rotating gas” (Johansen et al., 2007).
This alternative ideology rejects pebble accretion in favor of gravitational instability (GI) for the formation of planetesimals. In protoplanetary disks or subsequent debris disks GI is suggested to occur in the pressure dam at the inner edge of accretion disks and in giant planet resonances. Around young solitary stars, the inner edge of the accretion disk is sculpted by the magnetic corotation radius, where sufficient numbers of planetesimals may condense so as to form super-Earths by ‘hybrid accretion’, where hybrid accretion describes gravitational core accretion of planetesimals formed by GI, hence hybrid. (See section, CASCADE FORMATION OF SUPER-EARTHS BY HYBRID CORE ACCRETION OF PLANETESIMALS ‘CONDENSED’ BY GRAVITATIONAL INSTABILITY AT THE INNER EDGE OF ACCRETION DISKS) Heliocentric resonances associated with giant planets also create pressure dams which may condense planetesimals, such as the chondrites condensed against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances and KBOs against Neptune’s outer resonances.
The Jeans instability which resulted in our solar system is suggested to have undergone ‘flip-flop fragmentation’ ‘with bifurcation’ due to excess angular momentum, forming a quadruple star–brown-dwarf system, composed of binary-Sun and binary-Companion, with a wide-binary separation orbiting the solar system barycenter (SSB). Secular perturbation caused binary-Sun to spiral in and merge at 4,567 Ma, creating a ‘primary debris disk’ which condensed asteroids against the Sun’s magnetic corotation radius near the orbit of Mercury, chondrites against Jupiter’s inner resonances and Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances, principally the 2:3 resonance. Continued secular perturbation caused binary-Companion to spiral in over the next 4 billion years, causing the wide-binary (Sun-Companion) system to spiral out from the SSB until the binary brown-dwarf components merged at 542 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. Cold classical KBOs condensed from this ‘secondary debris disk’, including the geologically-young Pluto system. (See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
Alternative Kuiper belt formation ideology:
This section focuses on the aqueous differentiation of a hot classical KBO population, in which KBOs are suggested to have condensed from a primary debris disk formed from the ashes of the binary spiral-in merger of our former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma.
Binary-Companion is suggested to have progressively perturbed KBOs by means of the solar system barycenter (SSB), causing binary-Companion to spiral out from the Sun over time by converting binary brown-dwarf orbital potential energy into wide binary orbital potential energy.
As the Sun-Companion separation increased over time, the SSB distance from the Sun also increased over time, which by by Galilean relativity with respect to the Sun can be described as the SSB spiraling out through the Kuiper belt over 4 billion years. The 4.1–3.8 Ga passage of the SSB through the cubewanos, orbiting between the 2:3 mean-motion resonance with Neptune (39.4 AU) and the 1:2 resonance with Neptune (47.7 AU) is suggested to have caused the late heavy bombardment (LHB) of the inner solar system. (See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
As the SSB spiraled out into the Kuiper belt over time and caught up with the semi-major axis of progressively more distant KBOs, tidal effects are suggested to have initiated ‘flip-flop perturbation’ of KBOs, whose major (orbital) axes were aligned with the Sun-Companion axis.
Earth’s lunar tides can be used as an analogy for understanding flip-flop perturbation of KBO orbits. There are two lunar tides, one high tide facing the Moon, tidally pulled by lunar gravity, and a symmetrical high tide on the back side of the Earth, centrifugally slung away from the Moon as Earth rotates around the Earth-Moon barycenter, with a period of 27.3 days. As Earth rotates on its axis, once a day, ocean water crosses the threshold from the Moon-side high tide to the far-side high tide, and vice versa, which is a direct analogy of the solar system barycenter (SSB) crossing a threshold in a KBO orbit, causing the KBO orbital aphelion to precess from pointing toward binary-Companion to being centrifugally slung away from it, by flip-flop perturbation, by way of aphelia precession.
Flip-flop perturbation is suggested to induce binary KBOs to spiral in until they merge, initiating ‘aqueous differentiation’, which melts water ice, forming saltwater oceans in their cores, which are suggested to precipitate authigenic sediments and form sedimentary cores.
Finally, the binary brown-dwarf components of binary-Companion merged at 542 Ma, in an asymmetrical explosion which gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
While the former SSB perturbed many KBOs into the inner solar system, the binary Sun-Companion system also provided a degree of protective stability, which was lost in the Phanerozoic Eon with the loss of Companion at 542 Ma. While the SSB was the KBO perturbator of the Precambrian Era, Neptune is the perturbator of the Phanerozoic Eon. Neptune is suggested to be responsible for many, most or all of the major Phanerozoic extinction events by way of KBO impacts with Earth.
Aqueous differentiation of KBOs:
When binary planetesimals are induced to spiral in and merge, potential and kinetic energy is converted to heat, melting saltwater oceans in their cores. Dissolved nebular dust precipitates authigenic mineral grains that grow through crystallization until falling out of suspension at a characteristic mineral-grain size for the microgravity environment, forming authigenic sedimentary cores. Additionally, microbes may catalyze chemical reactions, greatly increasing the variety and complexity of precipitated minerals.
The gravitational acceleration, and thus buoyancy in KBO saltwater oceans is also dependent on location within the planetesimal, ranging from zero at the gravitational center to a peak value some 2/3 of the way to the surface, so aqueously-differentiated planetesimal cores should have the largest authigenic mineral-grain size in the center, with progressively decreasing authigenic mineral grain size with increasing core size.
Aqueous differentiation should typically have a Precambian binary-spiral-in-merger component, followed by a possible Phanerozoic secondary component, caused by Phanerozoic perturbation by Neptune. So younger, smaller Phanerozoic gneiss domes may be grafted onto an older Precambrian core.
Leucosome/melanosome layering in migmatite/gneiss/schist:
The partial pressure of CO2 in trapped gas pockets between the saltwater ocean of the mantle and the overlying icy ceiling of the crust will force carbon dioxide into solution where it reacts with water to form carbonic acid, lowering the pH in KBO oceans.
As aqueous differentiation densifies a KBO, subsidence events (‘KBO quakes’) may vent trapped gas to outer space, reducing the partial pressure of CO2 over the ocean which may cause carbonic acid to bubble out of solution. Additionally, the seismic vibrations alone of KBO quakes will tend to nucleate CO2 bubbles, like shaking a carbonated beverage.
The solubility of aluminum salts is particularly pH sensitive, so the amount of carbonic acid controls the reservoir of dissolved aluminous species. Aluminous species solubility is U-shaped with respect to pH with an inflection point at about 6-1/2 pH (Driscoll and Schecher, 1990). A rise in pH from 3.5 to 6.5 would decrease the aluminous species solubility by a factor of more than 100,000, effectively dumping the entire reservoir of dissolved aluminous species, presumably in the form of feldspar mineral grains.
Silica solubility, by comparison, is particularly temperature sensitive, with silica reaching minimum solubility at the cold ice-water ceiling, where quartz precipitation and crystallization is most probable. So with quartz precipitation at the ice-water boundary and catastrophically precipitated feldspar mineral grains floated to the surface by nucleating CO2 bubbles, the flotsam at the ice ceiling would tend to have felsic (leucosome) composition, where mineral grains trapped in the foam would could grow by crystallization.
Migmatite is composed of alternating light (felsic leucosome) dark (mafic melanosome) regions, presumed to be primarily caused by pH variation, driven by seismic events.
A frothy felsic mass at the ice-water ceiling, perhaps partially cemented by (slime) bacteria, may atain a degree of mechanical competency, forming a cohesive floating leucosome mat. When the leucosome mat eventually becomes waterlogged, it sags and then finally sinks onto the more-mafic melanosome sediments of the core below. The mat is forced to crumple as it maps onto the smaller surface area of the core, causing the felsic leucosome to bunch into disharmonic convolute folds, forming ptygmatic folds in migmatite that often double back on themselves like layers of ribbon candy.
In the above image from the following source,
Moutain Beltway (click on link)
the white lithosome is crumpled into ptygmatic folds in the dark-colored slate, whereas it’s undistorted in the lighter-colored sandstone, presumably due to the relative compressibility of the matrix sediments, where clay sediments, which lithify and metamorphose into slate, apparently undergo a much greater volume reduction than coarse sand, which lithfies into sandstone and may metamorphose into quartzite. Again mineral grain size may play as much or more of a role in volume reduction during lithification than the mineral type.
The above image taken from the following video,
Folding of two silicone layers of different thickness (Structural Geology, analogue modelling)
demonstrates two separate principles of folding;
1) Disharmonic convolute folding of a less compressible membrane (dike) within a more compressible matrix, and
2) Folding wavelength is related to the relative thickness and stiffness by the Ramberg-Biot equation, where the thicker ‘dike’ folds with a longer wavelength.
Authigenic Mineral-grain size:
A major difference between authigenic terrestrial sediments and authigenic extraterrestrial sediments is suggested to be mineral grain size. On the surface of our high-gravity planet, precipitated authigenic mineral grains fall out of aqueous suspension at clay size to become sequestered in sedimentary layers which may go on to lithify into mudstone, but in the microgravity deep inside KBO oceans, microgravity dispersion is suggested to allow mineral grains to grow by crystallization to the size typically found in sandstone, migmatite and gneiss before falling out of aqueous suspension, although in the case of granulite metamorphism, the mineral grains have recrystallized to granulite scale during metamorphism. Felsic leucosome mineral grains can be significantly larger than the typical mafic mineral grain size, which indicate entrapment in buoyant flotsam at the ice ceiling where felsic grains may grow by crystallization out of proportion to their negative buoyancy with the incorporation of lower density material like foam, and perhaps surface tension if there’s a gas layer between the water and ice. Gravitational acceleration increases from zero at the gravitational center to a maximum value part way between the core and the surface, so mineral grain sizes would tend to decrease over time from the inside out in sedimentary planetesimal cores, except for leucosomes, as discussed, and metasomatic pegmatites, which may grow to prodigious size on surfaces protected from burial by sedimentation.
‘Circumferential folding’ in metamorphic rock:
Lithification of sediments into sedimentary rock occurs partially by destruction of porosity, which shrinks the volume of the sediments. In the case of sedimentary KBO cores, the volume reduction during lithification is achieved by the expulsion of saltwater through hydrothermal vents into the overlying ocean.
The volume reduction of a KBO core is accompanied by a significant circumference reduction during lithification, causing ‘circumferential folding’ at all scales, like a grape dehydrating to form a raisin. Lithifying sediments on Earth also undergo volume reduction; however the differential change in the circumference of Earth during sedimentary lithification is unmeasurably small, whereas the differential change in the circumference of a sedimentary KBO core undergoing lithification may rise to significant percentage of its diameter, although configurations on Earth can be imagined where effective circumferential folding could occur, such as lithification of sediments in a v-shaped crevice.
Conventional geology teaches that metamorphism is caused by elevated pressure and temperature at great depth below Earth’s surface, with folding caused by shear forces. Tectonic folding, which creates the synclines and anticlines of valleys and mountains in orogeny can not occur many kilometers below the surface where there’s no void of the atmosphere to fold into. Consequently, metamorphic folding is most often represented as sheath folds caused by shear forces which smear the shear zone into sheath (pseudo) folds. Sharp isoclinal folds, which occur on all scales in metamorphic folding of incompressible prolith, requires significant hand waving in conventional geology to explain the origin of the point forces on all scales, whereas in a compressible sedimentary setting, where lower-density interstitial fluids can be forced out through interstitial porosity, folding is as simple as watching grapes dehydrate in the Sun.
So the alternative extraterrestrial KBO explanation of metamorphic folding suggests that folding primarily occurs prior to cementation of the mineral grains, as the hydrothermal fluids are forced out during the earliest ‘destruction of voids’ phase of lithification. But if so, why does (metamorphic) folding only appear in metamorphic rock? The aqueous setting beneath an overlying saltwater ocean provides the answer: when the KBO ocean subsequently freezes solid, the expansion of water ice during freezing creates the tremendous pressure which metamorphoses the folded lithified core, along with heating of core sediments by release of potential energy during densification lification/metamorphism.
Millimeter-scale crenellation, often seen in phyllite, are sometimes called ‘overprinting’ and are indeed true metamorphic folding, occurring to nearly-incompressible lithified rock or to metamorphic rock. While overprinting can cover a large scale, the local scale of the folding caused by overprinting is typically on a millimeter scale, and can not begin to explain (isoclinal) folding on all scales typical in migmatite, gneiss, schist and other metamorphic rock.
Gneiss-dome mantling rock; quartzite, carbonate rock and schist:
Gneiss domes are typically covered in mantling rock in a specific sequence of layers, with carbonate rock sandwiched between quartzite and schist, where quartzite is in contact with basement gneiss, followed by carbonate rock (limestone, dolomite and/or marble), followed by schist.
Authigenic orthoquartzite mantling rock often lies in direct contact with underlying gneiss. Quartzite is suggested to form around hydrothermal vents during the lithification of underlying gneissic sediments. Silica solubility is strongly temperature dependent, so as the hot hydrothermal fluids pour into the cooler overlying saltwater ocean, dissolved silica may become (super)saturated, precipitating quartz mineral grains grow by crystallization until reaching sand grain size before falling out of aqueous suspension. Phanerozoic orthoquartzite is often riddled with Skolithos trace fossils, which may live off chemoautotroph bacteria thriving on rich broth of hydrothermal fluids.
Precipitation of carbonate sediments which compose the carbonate component of KBO mantling rock is presumed to be accompanied by subduction of the icy crust, with the suggested evidence of ‘KBO meteorwrongs’ from the surface incorporated into carbonate rock below. Chemically-reduced molten KBO meteorwrong material, variably containing metallic (native) iron, is presumed to squirt from binary KBO cores during the explosive collision of binary spiral-in merger, which cools the KBO meteorwrongs in zero-gravity trajectories that rain back down on the merged KBO surface as meteorites. Then suggested subduction of the crust into the underlying ocean spills the KBO meteorwrongs (meteorites) into the carbonate sediments below. (See section, SIDEROPHILE-DEPLETED ‘KBO-METEORWRONGS’) Carbonate solubility is inversely proportional to temperature, so as the KBO ocean warms (densifying the KBO which causes subduction of the crust), its capacity for dissolved carbonates decreases, causing precipitation of carbonate sediments.
Schist is the final authigenic mantling layer of gneiss domes. Schist, is suggested to precipitate as the KBO ocean freezes solid. Freezing water tends to exclude solutes, raising the dissolved solute load to the point of saturation, ultimately precipitating even incomparable elements, perhaps explaining the high degree of variability of rock and mineral types in authigenic schist compared to other authigenic rock types.
Clastic conglomerate frosting over authigenic gneiss-dome:
The basement horizon of quartzite, carbonate rock and conglomerate in gneiss-dome mantles can only be explained in conventional geology with secondary ad hoc mechanisms, but in the alternative aqueous differentiation ideology, the concentric layering of gneiss domes are merely sedimentary growth rings, putting metamorphic gneiss, quartzite and schist on the same footing as sedimentary carbonate rock, requiring no ad hoc secondary mechanisms. While schist is the final authigenic mantling layer, a final clastic conglomerate or greywacke cover may result from grinding of the rocky core against the ice ceiling as the freezing saltwater ocean closes in on the core, creating a clastic ‘frosting’ on an authigenic sedimentary core. Often the pebbles, cobbles and boulders in the conglomerate frosting are highly polished with an indurated case-hardened-like surface, as which would be expected to crystallize from an aqueous solution saturated in multiple mineral species, promoting ‘plating out’ (crystallizing) on exposed surfaces of boulders, cobbles and pebbles, creating the observed indurated surface.
Terrestrial Grenville orogeny vs. extraterrestrial Appalachian KBO:
Grenville orogeny is alternatively suggested to be a Mid Proterozoic spiral-in merger of the Appalachian KBO in the Kuiper belt, forming circa 1.3 Ga Baltimore gneiss dome, mantled with Proterozoic Franklin Marble and Cockeysville Marble. The alternative explanation for the 1250-980 Ma ‘Grenville orogeny’ is a Proterozoic binary spiral-in merger, followed by an extended metamorphism of the core. With an eccentric Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB, flip-flop perturbation aphelia precession would have happened repeatedly with the Sun-Companion period around the SSB (once initiated by the SSB reaching the critical point in the Appalachian KBO orbit for the first time in the Mid Proterozoic Eon). Then following the loss of the Companion at 542 Ma, Phanerozoic perturbation by Neptune remelted the saltwater ocean, precipitating new Phanerozoic (Cambrian and Ordovician) mantling rock over the Proterozoic core, including Cambrian Chickies quartzite with Skolithos trace fossils, Ordovician carbonate rock of the Great (Appalachian) Limestone Valley, and finally Ordovician Wissahickon schist. Then the Appalachian KBO impacted the Tethys Ocean around 443 Ma, causing the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event.
Phanerozoic Eon gneiss domes:
Small Eocene age gneiss domes of the Aegean Sea (Greek islands) and Himalayan Gneiss Domes of Tajikistan and Nepal are suggested to be secondary domes, formed by perturbation of the End-Eocene KBO, which apparently impacted Southern Asia or the Indian Ocean 33.9 million years ago, causing the Eocene–Oligocene extinction event.
Shock-wave pressure clamping in icy object impacts:
Work = force times change in distance, and similarly, Work = pressure times change in volume (W = PdV), if volatile ices are significantly more compressible than silicates, then the ice in icy impacts will absorb the vast majority of impact energy, acting like a shock absorber. If compressible ices in icy object impacts, like KBOs, clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of silicates and below pressures required to form shatter cones, shocked quartz and high-pressure polymorphs like coesite, masking astroblemes from detection as such.
The relative compressibility of ices is suggested to lower the specific impact power by extending the shock-wave duration through the rebound period of the compressed ices. If a rocky-iron impacts resemble the sharp blow of a ball peen hammer, forming bowl-shaped craters with melt rock and overturned target rock, icy-body impacts may resemble the compressive thud of a dead blow hammer, where the prolonged rebound duration of compressed ice depresses Earth’s crust into a perfectly-circular basin in large impacts, such as the perfectly-circular Nastapoka arc of Lower Hudson Bay. Additionally in the case of a Nastapoka arc impact, circa 12,900 years ago, the multi-kilometer-thick Laurentide ice sheet would have provided an additional endothermic cushion.
So while rocky-iron impacts form impact craters with melt rock, shatter cones, shocked quartz and high-pressure polymorphs, icy-body impacts are suggested to merely form perfectly-circular impact basins, with their circular impact signature susceptible to erasure over time on our geologically-active planet, particularly by tectonic distortion during the formation of supercontinents. And if supercontinents are typically caused by subduction of ocean crust due to melting of impacting KBO cores which create sinking plumes subduct the adjacent ocean plates following impact, then large impacts tend to erase their own evidence by becoming drawing in adjacent continents. The last supercontinent, Pangaea, is suggested to have formed around the Appalachian KBO impact, and the most recent impact in the North Pacific 66 Ma, which may have contributed the land mass of Far (north)East Russia, east of Lena River, may be in the process of forming the next supercontinent, by closing the Pacific Ocean.
Eskola, Pentti Eelis, (1948), The problem of mantled gneiss, Feb. 1948 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 104, 461-457
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
Yin, An, (2004), Gneiss domes and gneiss dome systems, Geological Society of America Special Paper 380
GNEISS-DOME QUARTZITE, CARBONATE ROCK, AND SCHIST MANTLING ROCK:
When external perturbation causes binary Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) to spiral in and merge, the merged KBOs undergo ‘aqueous differentiation’, melting saltwater oceans in their cores which precipitates primary authigenic gneissic sediments. This section examines the nature of the secondary authigenic mantling sediments overlying gneiss domes, typically quartzite, carbonate rock and schist.
Gneiss-dome mantling rock:
Gneiss domes are suggested to be the metamorphosed sedimentary cores of KBOs from the Kuiper belt, with aqueous differentiation generally initiated by binary in-spiral mergers of former binary KBOs. The binary in-spiral merger, in turn, is suggested to have been initiated by orbital perturbation of our former binary brown-dwarf Companion to the Sun, chiefly by way of the solar system barycenter (SSB). (See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
Primary gneiss-domes are typically mantled with authigenic sedimentary rock, typically laid down in the following order, gneiss>>quartzite>>carbonate rock>>schist. This order presumes a temporal as well as a spacial sequence; however, renewed orbital perturbation during the Phanerozoic Eon may have precipitated younger sequences, including Pherozoic gneiss domes, such as in the Eocene gneiss domes of Europe and Asia from the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea to Tajikistan and Nepal.
The brown-dwarf components of our former binary-Companion spiraled in to merge at 542 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun, and its fossil imprint is still evident in the relative major-axis alignment of detached objects like Sedna and 2012 VP113, whose relative alignment is otherwise attributed to Planet Nine.
While the binary-Companion is suggested to have caused binary in-spiral mergers of binary KBOs by way of the SSB and their orbital perturbation into the inner solar system in the Precambrian Era, the uncoupling of KBOs from gravitational influence by the Companion has allowed many KBOs to fall under the influence of Neptune for the first time, boosting the bombardment of the inner solar system to levels, perhaps not seen since the end of the late heavy bombardment, around 3,800 Ma.
And subsequent perturbation by the giant planets beginning with Neptune causes tidal melting which at least forms secondary Phanerozoic mantling rock over a Precambrian basement rock, if not secondary Phanerozoic gneiss domes.
Quartzite mantling rock:
Primary quartzite mantling rock is often in contact with its gneiss-dome core, although secondary Phanerozoic quartzite may form over earlier primary mantling rock. The aqueous solubility of silica is particularly temperature sensitive, so authigenic sand grains are suggested to rain down in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents during lithification of the gneissic core, as hot hydrothermal plumes cool down in the overlying saltwater ocean, lowering the solubility of silica to (super)saturation. Authigenic quartz grains grow by crystallization until their negative buoyancy causes them to fall out of aqueous suspension, typically at sand grain size in the microgravity of internal KBO saltwater oceans. On Earth, authigenic mineral grains fall out of aqueous suspension at clay size, which is why larger mineral grain sizes haven’t been examined for an authigenic origin by conventional geology. Secondary Phanerozoic quartzite often contains Skolithos trace fossils, such as Cambrian Chickies Quartzite. Extraterrestrial Skolithos trace fossils are presumed to be related to the tube worm colonies that form around hydrothermal vents on Earth, presumably feeding on blooms of chemoautotroph bacteria fed by chemically-reduced hydrothermal fluids.
Carbonate mantling rock:
The middle layer of a typical gneiss-dome mantling sandwich is composed of carbonate rock in the form of limestone, dolostone or marble. Primary Proterozoic mantling rock is likely to been metamorphosed into marble, such as Franklin Marble and Cockeysville Marble in the Appalachian region, whereas secondary Phanerozoic carbonate rock is more likely to be limestone or dolostone. Carbonate rock is suggested to form during contractive densification phase of KBO differentiation, causing subduction of crustal tectonic ice plates. Subduction of carbonate ices supersaturates the saltwater ocean with carbonates, precipitating calcium and magnesium carbonates onto the core below in the form of limestone and dolostone. If the limestone is layered with schist, then the carbonate rock is presumed to be extraterrestrial, since limestone and dolostone can also form form on Earth, as in the Grand Canyon formations. The Ordovician limestone of the Great Limestone Valley in the Appalachian region is presumed to be extraterrestrial, with the Appalachian KBO presumably impacting around 443 Ma, causing the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event.
Schist mantling rock:
Authigenic schistose sediments are suggested to precipitate as the saltwater ocean freezes solid, forming the topmost and youngest mantling layer of gneiss domes. And again, Phanerozoic perturbation by the giant planets may precipitate secondary Phanerozoic schist. Freezing ice crystals tend to exclude dissolved solutes, raising the solubility of dissolved mineral species to their saturation point, precipitatiing authigenic schistic sediments. Schist can have felsic bands, similar to gneiss or migmatite, which presumably form during intermittent venting of trapped gas to outer space. Venting of trapped gas that lowers the partial pressure of CO2 over the saltwater ocean, causes carbonic acid to bubble out of solution as CO2, raising the pH toward neutral. And since dissolved aluminous mineral species have a trough shaped solubility wrt pH with a minimum solubility near 6-1/2, a rise in pH from acidic toward neutral would dump aluminous mineral species, typically as (aluminous) feldspars (see section, AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs)), tending to form intermittent light-colored bands of felsic leucosomes, within the darker-colored mafic mesosome, in the same way as banding in migmatite forms. Peter’s Creek Schist and Wissahickon Schist of the Appalachian region is mapped to be “Lower Paleozoic”, probably Ordovician, and presumably slightly younger than Ordovician carbonate rock of the Great Limestone Valley. The Mesozoic Newark Basin in New Jersey and Pennsylvania may be largely composed of eroded Ordovician schist, with smoky quartz in the Triassic/Jurassic Newark Basin conglomerate similar to the smoky quartz found in Wissahickon schist along Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia.
Cap conglomerate mantling rock:
As the ice ceiling finally closes in on the sedimentary KBO core, the icy ceiling ice may grind on the core rock, forming a clastic ‘cap conglomerate’, over the authigenic sedimentary mantling rock. And cobbles may be ground to a smoother finish than occur in terrestrial streams on Earth.
Highly indurated quartzite cobbles, some with Skolithos trace fossils:
Some gneiss domes are capped with conglomerate, composed of polished cobbles, often composed of quartzite or clastic greywacke in the Appalachian region. And highly-indurated rind on cobble surfaces often take a higher polish than the underlying matrix would indicate. Cracking open an indurated quartzite cobble from the Appalachian region reveals a tough, hard, indurated (as though case-hardened) surface, with little or no porosity that takes a high polish and may or may not be considerably darker in coloration than the quartzite matrix. As the ocean freezes solid and the icy ceiling grinds on the core, forming sediments, pebbles, cobbles and boulders, polished with long tumbling and with surfaces indurated with saturated-mineral-species crystallization. So highly-polished cobbles, particularly with indurated surfaces are indicative of polishing in a microgravity environment, whereas long tumbling in terrestrial streams creates a rougher surface with coarser abrasions. On quartzite cobbles exhibiting Skolithos trace fossils, the traces are often dimpled inward, indicating the reduced matrix strength of faunal organic contamination. Finally the ocean freezes solid, trapping indurated, polished cobbles in a clastic matrix, sometimes forming a clastic (conglomerate) outer layer on mantled gneiss-dome cores.
Euhedral garnets in schist:
Euhedral almandine garnets in schist often exhibit a round dodecahedron crystal shape and are often many order of magnitude larger than the next-largest authigenic mineral grains. Their distinctly rounded shapes suggest authigenic crystallization while trapped by the Bernoulli effect of hydrothermal vent plumes in the low gravity saltwater oceans of KBOs, like the phenomena of a balloon stably trapped in the vertical air column over a fan blowing straight up. Many euhedral mineral crystals are flat, needle like, blade like or elongated–all shapes which might not remain trapped for long by the Bernoulli effect due to their asymmetries, although large cross-shaped staurolite crystals are not uncommon in schist.
Hydrothermal vent chimney structure?:
Northwest Philadelphia in the Wissahickon schist terrain is notable for its striated quartz rocks in the Wissahickon schist terrain, where the lengthwise exterior striations are often ropy or sinewy, resembling petrified wood.
Striated quartz tends to fracture longitudinally, parallel to the striations, unlike massive quartzite, suggesting a different formation mechanism from quartzite mantling rock. If quartzite mantling rock is deposited by precipitation in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents, then a similar formation mechanism may be invoked in subsequent schist mantling rock, with, perhaps, the striated difference attributable to a chimney structure growing up around the hydrothermal vent, similar to more mafic chimney structures that grow around hydrothermal vents on Earth. And indeed, euhedral garnets often adorn striated quartz, tying in the hydrothermal connection.
So the growth of chimney structures above the sedimentary core, would provide a degree of protection from smothering by sedimentation, allowing for a degree of striated crystallization in addition to sand grain sedimentation, forming a hybrid structure somewhere between that of quartzite and microcrystalline chert.
The best exposure of striated quartz in the Philadelphia Area is in the creek bed that runs along the south side of W. Bells Mill Rd. in Philadelphia (40.078 -75.227).
Pegmatites in schist:
Pegmatites in schist often contain large sheets of common mica, sometimes with single crystal size of several square centimeters in area. Common mica (muscovite) clumps generally found ‘growing’ out of a bed of quartz crystals, and the quartz and mica pegmatation is often accompanied by still-larger masses of euhedral feldspar crystals. If pegmatite formation is primary, occurring at the same time as schistose sedimentation (rather than secondary as in metasomatism within protected fissures), then it requires protection from burial by sedimentation, perhaps such as crystallization on the icy ceiling or other protected areas. If chimney structures with euhedral garnets form around hydrothermal vents, as suggested, perhaps pegmatite crystallization without garnets occurs on the ceiling above hydrothermal vents. Tacony Creek at Rising Sun Ave. has a good exposure of pegmatite in the Wissahickon Formation in Philadelphia, where kilogram-scale blocks of feldspar crystals are common, along with sheets of muscovite up to 10’s of square centimeters in area, embedded in large masses of quartz crystals.
ABIOTIC OIL AND COAL:
This section suggests an icy-body impact origin for long-chain hydrocarbon reservoirs on Earth, formed in endothermic chemical reactions of carbon ices in impact shock waves.
Energy absorption of compressible ices in icy-body impacts:
Work = force times change in distance, and similarly, Work = pressure times change in volume (W = PdV), so ices that are significantly more compressible than silicates will absorb the vast majority of icy-body impact energy which may (largely) clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of target rock and largely below pressures necessary to form shatter cones, shocked quartz and high-pressure polymorphs like coesite, masking icy-body impact structures from identification as such. Thus the relative compressibility of ices is suggested to clamp the impact power of icy-body impacts by extending its duration through the rebound period of the compressed ices.
Super-high shock-wave pressures are suggested to endothermically convert short-chain hydrocarbons (ethane, methane ices and perhaps carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide as well) into long-chain hydrocarbons. The high mobility of hydrogen ions may largely scavenge liberated chalcogens and halogens, helping to protect endothermic hydrocarbons from burning during shock-wave rebound. Experimentally, methane converts to long alkane chains and free hydrogen at 60 GPa and 4509 K (Li, Zhang et al., 2011).
Impact induced super-tsunami debris flows are suggested to bulldoze forests before it, forming debris mounds littered with floral debris that internally differentiates into a multiplicity of coal-seam cyclothems in which clastic sediments sink to form basement ‘ganister’ or ‘seatearth’. The lower-density hydrocarbons rise to form hydrocarbon deposits which may terrestrially metamorphose into coal seams. Subsequent slumping (reworking) of debris mounds may form coal seams of apparent younger age, blurring bright line nature of catastrophic impact events.
Rocky-iron impact craters vs. icy-body impact basins:
The clamped shock-wave pressure of icy body impacts, lowers the power by extending its duration during the subsequent rebound of the compressed ices, which may provide time for the deformation of the Earth’s crust into a basin, suggesting an impact origin for many round basins on Earth, such as the 450 km Nastapoka arc of lower Hudson Bay. Additionally, an extended shock wave pressure may tend to clamp fractured target rock in place, largely preventing its (overturn) excavation into bowl-shaped craters, along with mixing to form polymict breccia. Icy-body impact basins may resemble the muted blow of a dead-blow hammer compared to rocky-iron impact craters which may resemble the sharp blow of a ball-peen hammer.
Li, Dafang, Zhang, Ping & Yan, Jun, (2011), Quantum molecular dynamics simulations for the nonmetal-metal transition in shocked methane, Condensed Matter Materials Science, 24 March 2011, arXiv:1012.4888v2
This section discusses a characteristic class of isolated ‘impact boulder fields’ with unusual surface features. This section suggests a catastrophic origin for ‘impact boulder fields’, formed in small secondary impacts from material sloughed off from the primary comet impact which formed the 450 km diameter Nastapoka arc of lower Hudson Bay, 12.8 ± 0.15 ka. Secondary icy-body impacts are suggested to sometimes create impact boulder fields, with boulders having characteristic surface features, such as relatively-young and uniformly weathered surfaces, where some of the boulders will exhibit deep pits and striations scoured (sandblasted) by super-high-velocity extraterrestrial material.
Younger Dryas impact hypothesis:
Impact-related proxies, including microspherules, nanodiamonds, and iridium are distributed across
four continents at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB). Archeological material, charcoal and megafaunal remains is associated with a black mat in 5 locations, with fewer correlations at many more sites across 4 continents. (Wittke et al. 2013)
“Most Younger Dryas (YD) age black layers or “black mats” are dark gray to black because of increased organic carbon (0.05–8%) compared with strata above and below (6, 7). Although these layers are not all alike, they all represent relatively moist conditions unlike immediately before or after their time of deposition as a result of higher water tables.” (Haynes 2007)
“The spherules correlate with abundances of associated melt-glass, nanodiamonds,
carbon spherules, aciniform carbon, charcoal, and iridium” “across 4 continents”.
(Wittke et al. 2013)
“Bayesian chronological modeling was applied to 354 dates from 23 stratigraphic sections in 12 countries on four continents to establish a modeled YDB age range for this event of 12,835–12,735 Cal B.P. at 95% probability. This range overlaps that of a peak in extraterrestrial platinum in the Greenland Ice Sheet and of the earliest age of the Younger Dryas climate episode in six proxy records, suggesting a causal connection between the YDB impact event and the Younger Dryas.” (Kennett et al. 2015)
“The fact remains that the existence of mammoths, mastodons, horses, camels, dire wolves, American lions, short-faced bears, sloths, and tapirs terminated abruptly at the Allerød-Younger Dryas boundary.” The Quaternary megafaunal extinction is sometimes attributed to the ‘prehistoric overkill hypothesis’, although “The megafaunal extinction and the Clovis-Folsom transition appear to have occurred in <100 years, perhaps much less”. (Haynes 2007)
Many, most or perhaps all boulder fields worldwide of secondary impact origin may date to the ‘YD impact’, 12.8 ± 0.15 ka, which is suggested here to have formed the 450 km Nastapoka arc (impact basin) of lower Hudson Bay. But impact boulder fields and perhaps the associated Quaternary megafaunal extinction event itself may be mostly attributable to widely-disbursed secondary impacts from material sloughed off of the YD comet in its passage through Earth’s atmosphere. So while our atmosphere may protect us from most cosmic rays and small meteoroids, it may greatly exacerbate the harm to lifeforms in large icy-body impacts, due to widely-disbursed secondary impacts from comet material sloughed off in Earth’s atmosphere.
The vast 4 continent distribution of YD impact artifacts raises the question of whether fragmentation responsible for impact boulder fields et al. occurred in the atmosphere alone, or whether an earlier fragmentation occurred from a close encounter with one of the giant planets of the outer solar system.
The orientation of Carolina bays appear to point to two origins, lower Hudson Bay and Lake Michigan. (Firestone 2009) The orientation of elliptically-shaped Carolina bay appear to point back to two source locations, one in the lower Hudson Bay area (Nastapoka arc) and the second one pointing to circa Lake Michigan. Firestone et al. suggest the bays were formed by chunks of the Laurentide ice sheet, lofted into 100s to 1000s of kilometer trajectories by a dual impact (or airburst) on or over the ice sheet at those two locations. While dating the Carolina bays is difficult and controversial, the bays contain elevated levels of spherules common in the YD-impact black mat. Dual impacts on the ice sheet suggests that at least one chunk of the comet fragmentation was sufficiently sizable to loft sizable icebergs into trajectories of 100s of kilometers, but the Lake Michigan impact was apparently of insufficient size to create a Nastapoka arc counterpart.
Icy-body comet impacts are suggested here to form impact basins, whereas rocky-iron meteorites are known to form impact craters. Relatively-compressible ices are suggested to clamp the impact shock wave pressure below the melting point of silicates, largely precluding impact melt rock. PdV compression of ices may also clamp the shock wave pressure below the pressures necessary to form shatter cones, shocked quartz and high-pressure polymorphs like coesite, masking icy-body impact structures from identification as such. For instance, ices that undergo 10 times the dV compression of silicates will absorb 10 times the work energy from the impact shock wave, instantly soaring to 1000s of Kelvins which quickly melt embedded nebular dust and terrestrial sediments into molten microscopic silicate spherules. If ice compression lowers the impact power, then conservation of energy dictates that the impulse duration is commensurately extended. And a blunted but extended impact impulse may distort Earth’s crust into basins (in large impacts) rather than excavating craters, as rocky-iron meteorites are known to do. So while rocky-iron impacts may act like the sharp blow of a ball peen hammer, forming distinctive impact craters with distinctive overturned target rock, icy-body impacts may act more like the dull thud of a dead blow hammer, depressing the ground into a spherical impact basins, like Nastapoka arc. And the sustained shock wave duration of icy-body impacts (during the compression and rebound decompression of compressible ices) may tend to clamp the target rock in place, largely preventing the signature overturned rock of crater rims and the central peak rebound of complex craters.
Secondary impact boulder fields:
A number of boulder fields in the Appalachians are attributed to the suggested exaggerated freeze and thaw cycle toward the end of the last glacial period, but this gradualism approach can not account for unusual surface features in suggested impact boulder fields, nor the ability of ability of 2 diabase (Ringing Rock) boulder fields to resonate or ‘ring’ when struck sharply.
Impact boulder fields concentrated by downhill debris flows require a degree of incline to concentrate the boulders and to drain the boulder field to prevent burial by sedimentation over the intervening millennia; however, catastrophic impact boulder fields should be capable of flow down a much shallower grade than ‘talus-slope boulder fields’ formed by more gradual processes. The shear-thinning properties of phyllosilicate slurries in catastrophic impacts may lubricate a downhill pyroclastic flow or debris flow, stacking boulders many boulders deep.
Eastern Pennsylvania is suggested to have at least 3 impact boulder fields, with two Ringing Rock boulder fields composed of diabase and the Hickory Run boulder field, in Hickory Run State Park, composed of sandstone/quartzite. The sandstone boulders that compose Blue Rocks boulder field (near Hawk Mountain, Berks County Park) are too eroded to show surface scouring, which may indicate softer boulders, and/or boulders older than End Pleistocene, so the Blue Rocks boulder field can not be positively attributed to an impact origin. Talus-slope boulder fields are common along the ridges of the Appalachians. In general, boulder fields in rugged terrain and particularly along mountaintop ridge lines should be dismissed as unlikely impact boulder fields, and in any case, distinctive surface surface-feature scouring is necessary to affirm an impact origin.
The suggested Lake Michigan impact extrapolated from Carolina bay orientations likely had the protection of perhaps as much as a kilometer of the Laurentide ice sheet, whereas the three suggested impact boulder fields in Pennsylvania were presumably below the Late Wisconsinan extent of the ice sheet (although Hickory Run State Park is mapped as covered by the last substage of the Wisconsinan Stage of the ice sheet on the USGS geologic map of Pennsylvania). Could an impact have flash melted a thin tip of ice sheet, lubricating the resulting debris flow that formed Hickory Run boulder field, explaining its well-rounded boulders from extensive tumbling? The approach direction of the comet, however, is somewhat problematic, since the terrain falls away to the northwest in Ringing Rocks Park, Bucks County PA, whereas the terrain rises to the northwest of the Hickory Run boulder field.
Scoured surface features:
Pockmark, striation and pot hole surface features on boulders in impact boulder fields are suggestive of sandblasting or water-jet cutting in an industrial setting. So while a massive impulse may be necessary to fracture the bedrock into boulders, exposure to high-velocity streams of material are necessary to create the observed scoured surface features.
Impact boulder field boulders will exhibit more or less rounding of corners from a greater or lesser degree of downhill debris flow tumbling from their impact origin. The boulders in Hickory Run boulder field are significantly more rounded than those in the two Ringing Rocks boulder fields, suggesting more abrasive tumbling over a greater distance by a larger mass of boulders. The ‘terrain’ feature of Google maps is not sufficiently sensitive to positively identify secondary impact locations, even for the large Hickory Run boulder field, so it’s likely that impact fracturing by secondary impacts is only a few boulders deep at most. The size and width of 3 known impact boulder fields suggest an impact footprint on the order of 10s of meters across, as a working hypothesis. Similarly, secondary impacts on low ground may also be below the resolution of the terrain feature of Google maps. Even so, perfectly-round water-filled secondary-impact features on low ground should jump out on the satellite imagery of ‘Google Earth’, unless atmospheric fragmentation of sloughed off material typically distorts the impact footprint into non-circular shapes, and/or if secondary impacts on low ground on the order of 10s of meters will have filled in with sediment in the intervening 12,800 years.
Comet-spatter rock scale:
Additionally, the most erosion resistant of boulder-field boulders and stream cobbles may still retain secondary ‘comet spatter–’on one side only–in the form of rock scale, although boulder field boulders may exhibit more than 180° coverage due to being briefly airborne at some point. Most apparent rock scale is actually lichen, particularly if the apparent rock scale has a rounded perimeter, and most comet spatter appears to be orange or brown, whereas lichen is often white or jet black. And lichen like comet spatter will typically appear on one side only of a rock or boulder, since the algae or cyanobacteria component of lichen requires sunlight for photosynthesis. A weathering rind is another look alike, and weathered diabase boulders often exhibit a yellow or orange weathering rind that may simulate comet spatter. Ideally a cobble or boulder with a maple-leaf-shaped deficit, or some other recognizable shape which acted as a comet spatter mask, will reveal itself to a persistent or fortuitous observer.
Shoe stone with comet spatter:
A greywacke ‘shoe stone’ shaped like a human slipper was found in the Susquehanna River in Millersburg, PA. Most of the shoe stone is natural, but the sole has evidence of human modification, evidently to make it into a more-perfect slipper shape. And the stone has raised brown nodules on ‘one side only’, suggesting the stone was Clovis to have been exposed on the day of the comet, and indeed a small amount of suggested comet spatter overlays the tooled surface of the sole.
Cup marks in cairns in the British Isles:
In addition to North American boulder fields, cup marks in boulders from cairns in the British Isles are also suggested to be of secondary impact origin, where the associated boulder fields were presumably long ago scavenged for building materials
Ringing Rocks impact boulder fields:
Pennsylvania has two Ringing Rock boulder fields, Ringing Rocks Park in Lower Black Eddy, PA and Ringing Rocks Park in Pottstown, PA 40.270647, -75.605616. ‘Ringing Rocks’ refers to the propensity of diabase boulders within the two Ringing Rocks boulder fields to resonate or ‘ring’ at a characteristic frequency when struck sharply with a hard object, whereas diabase boulders elsewhere do not ring. Apparently, the super-high-pressure impact shock wave stressed the surface of diabase boulders, like prestressed glass, imparting the ability to resonate when struck. Additionally, Ringing Rock boulders variably exhibit scoured surface features, with uniformly ‘young’ subconchoidal fractured surfaces that exhibit very-shallow surface decomposition (exfoliation), indicating a relatively-young age. For Southeastern Pennsylvania to have two Ringing Rock impact boulder fields composed of diabase boulders, suggests that a large number of other boulder fields are also of impact origin, since diabase forms only a very small fraction of the terrain in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Firestone, Richard B., 2009, The Case for the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Event: Mammoth, Megafauna, and Clovis Extinction, 12,900 Years Ago, Journal of Cosmology, 2009, Vol 2, pages 256-285
Haynes Jr., C. Vance, 2007, Younger Dryas “black mats” and the Rancholabrean termination in North America, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 105 no. 18
Kennett, James P. et al., 2015, Bayesian chronological analyses consistent with synchronous age of 12,835–12,735 Cal B.P. for Younger Dryas boundary on four continents, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 112 no. 32
Wittke, James H. et al., 2013, Evidence for deposition of 10 million tonnes of impact spherules across four continents 12,800 y ago, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110 no. 23
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.