“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):
‘Flip-flop fragmentation’ (FFF) is a suggested catastrophic mechanism for forming (subsystem) objects by gravitational instability which are smaller than a Jeans mass within a Jeans mass system. An alternative description for FFF is ‘spinning off’ planets or moons, as ‘spin off’ planets or moons.
During freefall collapse of a self-gravitating cloud with sufficient angular momentum, a diminutive core forms, surrounded by a much-more-massive, radially-symmetrical doughnut-shaped envelope supported by angular momentum. If the overlying envelope becomes self gravitating, with a Toomre Q parameter of order unity, and if the ratio of the core mass to the incipiently-self-gravitating envelope mass is too small to dampen dynamic inhomogeneities in the envelope, then the envelope may undergo disk instability, causing it to catastrophically clump and form a new more-massive core, which inertially displaces the former core to a satellite status.
In the freefall collapse of a dark core within a giant molecular cloud, the catastrophic FFF mechanism is presumed to occur during the prestellar phase, prior to the central core becoming a Class 0 protostar, when the diminutive densifying core is only on the order of a Jupiter mass. And a dark cloud undergoing freefall collapse may spin off 2 or more diminutive cores in succession before achieving a sufficiently-massive core to dampen inhomogeneities in the residual envelope, resulting in a stable system.
When the overlying envelope mass to core mass exceeds an unknown ratio (with a self-gravitating envelope), the diminutive core is unable to dampen the envelope inhomogeneities, presumably resulting in positive feedback between the envelope and the core. This positive feedback may result in runaway disk instability that breaks the radial symmetry of the envelope, causing it to clump and form a new, larger core which is radially offset from the smaller former core. And since the newly forming core is more massive than the former core, the former core becomes its satellite.
As a simplistic analogy, 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, causing the slinky to clump into a central mass, catastrophically projecting system mass inward, while offsetting the golf ball as its satellite to conserve angular momentum.
FFF turns Jeans mass systems undergoing freefall collapse inside out, spinning off gas-giant planet/brown dwarf subsystems in primary FFF. And gas-giant planet subsystems may themselves undergo secondary FFF, spinning off moon sub-subsystems. Additionally, primary or secondary FFF may undergo one or two generations of FFF, such as the larger binary-Sun component spinning off Uranus in a first generation (primary) event and spinning off Jupiter in a second generation (primary) event.
The rocky-icy nature of gas-giant planet moons in our solar system suggests that sedimentation of mineral grains and ice grains occur within central cores, which are spun off as gas-giant proto planets in primary events, and as moons in secondary events. Sedimentation greatly increases the density of spun off objects even in the earliest prestellar phase of freefall collapse when the surrounding envelope still has a volatile solar composition of circa 99% hydrogen and helium, long before the appearance of a late-forming dusty/icy accretion disk.
Volatile evaporation during the pithy proto phase of spin-off cores will also increase their metallicity, particularly in small moons which can’t compress or hold on to significant volatile atmospheres, but even proto gas-giant planets would suffer considerable volatile loss following FFF in the prestellar phase of the spin-off core.
In addition to a much greater overlying mass and a self-gravitating envelope, disk instability may require the additional element of a physical disconnect between a rotationally-supported envelope and its core, in order for inhomogeneities to amplify by positive feedback into runaway disk instability. The distinct bimodal clumping of gas-giant planets into ‘hot Jupiters’ (with a median semimajor axes below about .1 AU) and ‘cold Jupiters’ (with a median semimajor axes around 2 AU), suggests an FFF hiatus, with higher specific-angular-momentum prestellar objects spinning off cold Jupiters and lower specific-angular-momentum prestellar objects spinning off hot Jupiters.
And if the suggested freefall gap necessary for envelope instability disappears with the formation of a ‘first hydrostatic core’ (FHSC)–establishing a viscous gaseous connection between the core and envelope which damps oscillations–then FFF can only occur during the prestellar first collapse phase, spinning off cold Jupiters, and in the exceedingly brief ‘second collapse’ stage, between the FHSC and the formation of the second hydrostatic core (SHSC).
“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, presumably opening a freefall gap between the densifying core and its rotationally-supported envelope. This freefall gap presumably permits the amplification of oscillations between the core and envelope, possibly ending in 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, where the hydrostatic core may make a viscous connection with its rotationally-supported envelope, damping out oscillations between the core and envelope, which may largely prevent envelope inhomogeneities from running away into full-fledged disk instability for the lifespan 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 brief 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)
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 a density of 10-7 g cm-3, which is 0.1 yr.
(Masunaga and Inutuka, 2000)
Assuming bimodal FFF with a FHSC hiatus, the astonishingly-brief second collapse (~ 0.1 yr), which suggests that the endothermic mediated second-collapse shockwave would have to act as an exceedingly-efficient trigger of disk instability in an self-gravitating envelope with sufficient angular momentum.
FFF may have also occurred even in stars without gas/ice giant planets, particularly in low metallicity stars if the spun off gas cores can dissipate (evaporate) instead of continuing to collapse to form planets.
An interesting sidelight of a dynamic mechanism which repeated turns (sub)systems inside out is that the first-generation FFF moon around the first-generation FFF gas-/ice-giant planet in a solar system is likely to be the oldest object in the system, older than its so called progenitor star. However, depending on rate of dynamic evolution, such a scenario might not necessarily create a first-generation FFF planet older than its central star, if the central star spun off a second-generation planet before the first-generation planet spun off its first- and second-generation moon(s) and spiraled in to merge, if the planet formed as a similar-sized binary pair and the star did not. So relative brightness anomalies in prestellar/protostar systems may point to subsystem satellites which are more highly evolved (older) and therefore possibly brighter than their central stars.
FFF is suggested to work over a wide range of scales, from the gas-giant planet scale up to perhaps the galactic scale. FFF is suggested to be the mechanism by which proto-spiral-galaxies wound down their excess angular momentum in the early universe to the characteristic angular momentum of spiral galaxies with flattened disk planes and galactic bulges (cores). If proto-spiral-galaxies also suffered from the instability of massive envelopes overlying diminutive cores, then FFF may have been the mechanism for catastrophically projecting mass inward to create a sufficiently-large central galactic bulge which could damp down disk inhomogeneities to create a stable spiral galaxy. So perhaps our proto-Milky-Way underwent two generations of FFF (without bifurcation), spinning off two former cores in succession which became the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds. In (at least) the final FFF generation, disk instability clumping of the former envelope created a direct-collapse supermassive black hole in the center of the galactic bulge, Sagittarius A*.
‘Flip-flop fragmentation with bifurcation’ (FFF w/bifurcation):
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 an ‘oversized’ circumbinary satellite, such as Proxima Centauri (Alpha Centauri A) in a circumbinary orbit around the similar-sized binary pair (Alpha Centauri A & Alpha Centauri B), suggests binary fragmentation (‘bifurcation’) of envelopes with particularly-high specific angular momentum. A system with particularly-high angular momentum may dictate fragmentation into a triple system to conserve energy and angular momentum in a system with the lowest resulting energy state, by causing the envelope to fragment into a similar-sized binary pair around an oversized core. Then hierarchy prevails, inertially slinging the former oversized core into a circumbinary orbit, causing the binary pair to drop into slightly lower orbits. So while FFF without bifurcation typically spins off ice giants or gas giants, FFF w/bifurcation typically spins off oversized brown dwarfs or red giant stars, as in the case of Proxima Centauri.
This alternative particularly-high-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 by FFF w/bifurcation, followed by spiral-in merger:
– oversized Companion in a circumbinary orbit around former binary-Sun,
– oversized gas giant planet around binary-Companion,
– oversized Mars(?) around binary-Jupiter,
– oversized Titan around binary-Saturn,
– oversized Eris(?) around binary-Uranus, and
– oversized Triton around binary-Neptune.
Oversized Titan cores:
‘Titan’ is chosen as the prototypical FFF w/bifurcation spin-off core, due to its namesake as a mythical race of (oversized) giants, so the existence of a Titan Companion (such as Proxima Centauri) or a Titan moon may point to a (former) FFF w/bifurcation, followed by a spiral-in merger of the former similar-sized binary pair if they’re no where to be found. Oversized Titan cores suggests that FFF w/bifurcation may be delayed, compared to FFF (without bifurcation), due to the greater radial distance of their higher angular-momentum envelopes which give the core longer to form.
Protostar system L1448 IRS3B, showing central binary pair (IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b) orbited by a less massive but much brighter tertiary protostar (IRS3B-c) in a circumbinary orbit.
Image Credit: Bill Saxton, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NRAO/AUI/NSF – Publication: John Tobin (Univ. Oklahoma/Leiden) et al.
The Class 0 protostar system, L1448 IRS3B, is another suggested star system formed by FFF w/bifurcation. This triple system is composed of a similar-sized binary pair (IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b), with a combined mass of ~ 1 M☉ and a binary separation of 61 AU, orbited by a distant (oversized) companion (IRS3B-c), with a minimum mass of of ~ 0.085 M☉ at a separation of 183 AU. Compared to the Alpha Centauri system, the relative mass of the tertiary IRS3B-c to its similar-sized binary pair compared to the Alpha Centauri system is 38% over-oversized, using the minimum estimated mass for IRS3B-c, making it nearly a twin to the Alpha Centauri system at half the overall mass, particularly considering that secular perturbation of the system will likely cause an orbital energy transfer from the close binary pair (IRS3B-a—IRS3B-b) to the tertiary separation. “Thus we expect the [L1448 IRS3B] orbits to evolve on rapid timescales (with respect to the expected stellar lifetime), especially as the disk dissipates. A natural outcome of this dynamical instability is the formation of a more hierarchical system with a tighter (few AU) inner pair and wider (100s to 1,000s AU) tertiary, consistent with observed triple systems.” (Tobin et al. 2016)
L1448 IRS3B (continued):
The tertiary star, IRS3B-c, is embedded in a spiral arm of the outer disk, where the spiral arm has an estimated mass of 0.3 M☉. The standard model of companion star formation expressed by Tobin et al. suggests that IRS3B-c formed in situ by gravitational instability from the spiral disk, making IRS3B-c younger than IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b; however, the smaller tertiary star is brighter at at 1.3 mm and 8 mm than its much more massive siblings, as is clearly apparent in the image above. Alternatively, if IRS3B-c is older than its larger siblings, having formed by FFF, then by its greater age it would be expected to be more highly evolved, and therefore possibly hotter and brighter than its younger much-larger siblings. Thus FFF w/bifurcation predicts a more highly evolved tertiary star, whereas the standard model would have to evoke secondary mechanisms (such as dimming by dust) to explain away the brighter tertiary star. Finally, the hierarchical inertial displacement of the former core to a circumbinary orbit could neatly explain the spiral nature of the spiral disk, as IRS3B-c spiraled outward to its current orbit.
FFF w/bifurcation evolution:
If the Sun and gas-giant planets in our solar system all underwent FFF w/bifurcation, as is suggested, we can only infer the typical number of FFF w/bifurcation generations at two, as in the larger binary-Sun component spinning off Uranus in the first generation and spinning off Jupiter in the second generation. Some exoplanet systems, however, have 3 or even 4 gas giant planets with no Titan object, and therefore presumably not having undergone FFF w/bifurcation. This either means that FFF (without bifurcation) may undergo as many as 3 or 4 FFF generations, or more likely that continued infall of gas from beyond the envelope induces extra (artificial) FFF generations, not inherent in the original envelope. By comparison, in FFF w/bifurcation, the extra turbulence generated by a similar-sized binary pair and an oversized core, along with the extra delay of forming an oversized core and the extra distance of its high-angular-momentum envelope may preclude continued infall of gas from beyond, clamping the number of subsequent FFF generations at 2.
The Pluto system appears to have an oversized ‘Titan moon’, Charon, which is well short of being the smaller component of a similar-sized binary pair, suggesting FFF w/bifurcation, where a former binary-Pluto spun off two generations of moons, perhaps spinning off Nix and Hydra in the first generation and Styx and Kerberos in the second generation (or vice versa), before binary-Pluto spiraled in to merge to form solitary Pluto.
Merger fragmentation planets and moons:
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).
Suggested solar system formation mechanisms:
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
– FFF x 1: one generation of FFF
– FFF x 2: two generations of FFF, as in the larger binary-Sun component spinning off Uranus in the first generation and Jupiter in the second generation
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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DARK MATTER AND SPIRAL GALAXY FORMATION
Hydro-gravitational-dynamics (HGD) cosmology suggests that hierarchical clustering began at 10^12 s after the Big Bang, at matter radiation equality, and proceeded from the top down at the Schwarz viscous scale, progressively fragmenting the plasma realm into smaller clumps, beginning at the supercluster-scale and progressing to the cluster-scale and finally the galaxy-scale prior to the epoch of recombination. At recombination, Jeans instability fragmented proto-galaxies into million solar mass proto-globular-clusters. (Gibson 2006)
Baryonic dark matter (DM) cosmology suggests baryonic DM reservoirs in the form of self-gravitating planetary-mass globules of gas in hydrostatic equilibrium, which are a few astronomical units across. These baryonic DM globules are designated ‘paleons’ by Manly Astrophysics for their presumed old age. The evidence for paleons comes from scintillation of pulsars and quasars by foreground plasma, which can be modeled as spherical paleons with ionized outer shells that are ionized by plowing through interstellar gas at 230 km/s in their rotation around the Milky Way.
Paleons are suggested here to have to have been ejected from Population III protostars during coronal-mass-ejection chain reactions, which progressed around the equator at the rate of a magnetic reconnection shockwave, ejecting equatorial material which magnetically condensed into self-gravitating paleons. A similar process is suggested to occur today in the form of self-gravitating, planetary-mass cometary-knot (CK) ejection from late-stage asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars.
In alternative baryonic DM cosmology, the epoch of recombination occurred later than the recognized date of 378,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe had expanded by a volume factor of about 6 to the canonical density of baryons calculated by ΛCDM cosmology. Baryonic DM cosmology suggests that recombination occurred around 378,000 yr * 6^(1/3) ~ 687,000 years after the Big Bang, at otherwise canonical conditions.
ΛCDM cosmology is particularly robust in its evidence from the epochs of nucleosynthesis and recombination, but this standard model of cosmology is comparatively weak in its reliance on hierarchical clustering for the formation of structure in the universe, notably with the missing satellite problem of large galaxies, and the discovery of supermassive-black-hole quasars earlier than z = 6.
Additionally, dark matter (DM) concentrations in galaxy cores do not conform to models predicting a cuspy concentration, known as the ‘cuspy halo problem’. And the complete absence of DM in globular clusters requires secondary mechanisms to explain away its absence. Alternatively, baryonic DM that converts to stars and luminous gas in regions of high stellar density is predictive by comparison.
Structure formation by hydro-gravitational-dynamics (HGD) in the plasma epoch suggests that proto-spiral-galaxies formed by turbulent fragmentation, with the angular momentum of spiral galaxies naturally arising from eddy current vortices in the turbulence. While hierarchical clustering of ΛCDM cosmology may neatly explain the origin of dwarf spheroidal galaxies and the merger of giant spiral galaxies to form giant elliptical galaxies, it has no intrinsic mechanism to explain the typical angular momentum of spiral galaxies.
Pulsar and radio galaxy scintillation provide observational evidence for self-gravitating gaseous globules, designated ‘paleons’ by Manly Astrophysics, which are suggested to be the reservoirs of baryonic DM.
Finally, the planetary-mass ‘cometary knots’ in planetary nebulae today suggest a formation mechanism which can be extended to the suggested formation of their primordial paleon cousins in the early universe.
Alternative hydro-gravitational-dynamics (HGD) cosmology:
The ΛCDM cosmology standard model of cold dark matter hierarchical clustering (CDMHC) for self-gravitational structure formation is predicated on the 1902 Jeans criterion for gravitational instability, which neglects viscosity, diffusivity, and turbulence and which sets density to zero (the Jeans swindle) to derive the Jeans length scale. CDMHC suggests that hierarchical clustering only began after the epoch of recombination at 10^13 s, with gravitational structure formation proceeding from the bottom up, with small structures forming first and large structures forming last.
When viscosity, diffusion and turbulence are included in the analysis, HGD cosmology suggests that gravitational fragmentation proceeded from the top down at the Schwarz viscous scale, with the supercluster-scale fragmentation initiated 10^12 s after the Big Bang at matter radiation equality, followed by cluster-scale and galaxy-scale fragmentation in the plasma realm prior to the epoch of recombination.
HGD cosmology suggests HGD structure formation in the plasma epoch, between 10^12 to 10^13 seconds after the Big Bang, followed by Jeans instability at the epoch of recombination on the scale of circa million solar mass ‘proto-globular-clusters’.
Cometary knot (CK) formation by ‘coronal-mass-ejection chain reaction’ in AGB stars:
Thousands of cometary knots stream out from the stellar remnant in the Helix planetary nebula (NGC 7293) in a system where “the central star is about 6560 yr into its life as a star nearly liberated of its envelope.” (Capriotti and Kendall 2006) O’Dell and Handron (1996) give the density, mass and size of the neutral gas in the estimated 3500 cometary knots of the Helix nebula as, hydrogen density ~ 4 x 10^6 cm-3, with a CK mass range of ~ 4 x 10^25 to 4 x 10^26 g and radii of 60–200 AU, based on the distance to the nebula of 213 pc. CKs have bright rims facing the central star and cometary tails trailing away, caused by photoevaporation by the brilliant white-dwarf remnant.
The main body of the Helix nebula is an inner ring, roughly 500″ (0.52 pc) in diameter surrounded by a highly-inclined torus of 740″ (0.77 pc) diameter, with an outermost ring 1500″ (1.76 pc) in diameter. The CKs near the inner edge of the inner ring are traveling away from the central star, along with the ring material in which they are embedded. O’Dell et al. (2004) estimate an expansion age for the inner ring of 6560 yr, using an expansion velocity of 40 km/s and a present radius of 0.26 pc at a distance of 213 pc. In the interior of the inner ring, but not closer than 120″, CKs dominate the landscape, while beyond 190″, large clouds do, although, while the CKs in the inner ring are the most prominent, infrared observations have detected CKs in regions outside the inner ring in numbers a factor of 6 or so greater than the inner ring. The inner ring is the last of three major ejections, 6560 years into its life as a small hot very luminous star nearly liberated of its envelope. (Capriotti and Kendall 2006)
This alternative baryonic DM cosmology approach attempts to equate modern CKs with primordial paleons, makes two assumptions; that CKs are self gravitating objects, like paleons, and that no self-gravitating objects can form by direct collapse which are smaller than a Jeans mass, which suggests that CKs are ejected from the compressed outer layers of the star itself, rather than condensing from a diffuse stellar wind.
After helium is exhausted in the core of an AGB star, it continues to burn in a thin shell surrounding the core during the ‘early’ (E-AGB) phase. After the helium in the shell is depleted, a ‘thermally pulsing’ (TP-AGB) cycle begins. The star now derives its energy from burning a thin shell of hydrogen which converts to a thin shell of helium. The helium shell explosively ignites in a process known as a ‘helium shell flash’. The helium shell flash causes the star to temporarily expand and brighten, puffing up the star which lowers its temperature, extinguishing hydrogen fusion. The helium shell flash also induces convection (third dredge-up) which brings carbon from the core to the surface and also mixes hydrogen from the surface into deeper layers where it reinitiates hydrogen fusion to begin another thermally pulsing cycle.
The rapid helium shell flash lasts only a few hundred years in the life of a thermally pulsing cycle, where one thermally-pulsing cycle runs from 10,000 to 100,000 years. Our Sun may only undergo four 100,000 year thermally pulsing cycles before the contracting core is successful in ejecting its outer layers to expose a naked white dwarf. More massive stars, by comparison, may undergo many more closer-spaced thermally pulsing cycles than our Sun before fully ejecting their outer layers to reveal a degenerate white-dwarf core surrounded by a planetary nebula.
As the outer layers of a star expand following a helium shell flash, the magnetic field locked into the plasma attempts to enforce solid rotation during thermally-pulsing expansion, where expansion increases the moment of inertia of the expanding outer layers. If the magnetic corotation radius is forced below the surface of the star during an expansion phase, the magnetic field becomes twisted at this radius. When the magnetic field becomes twisted to the breaking point at the magnetic corotation radius, a spontaneous magnetic reconnection may occur, causing a coronal mass ejection. Magnetic reconnection and its accompanying coronal mass ejection results in a rebound shockwave which is suggested to set off a chain reaction of closely-spaced magnetic reconnections which collectively eject a filament of plasma from the equatorial region, designated a ‘coronal-mass-ejection chain reaction’.
If the average mass of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun is on the order of 1.6e12 kg (Carroll and Ostlie 2007), and if this mass is typical in AGB stars, then a chain reaction of something like a trillion closely-spaced coronal mass ejections would be necessary to create a single CK, suggesting an exceedingly-efficient process.
A suggested coronal-mass-ejection chain reaction of a planetary-mass filament would presumably clump magnetically into a self-gravitating CK, as it streamed away from its progenitor star.
While CK ejection likely occurs in each of a succession of thermally-pulsing AGB cycles, perhaps only those in the final cycle are illuminated in the subsequent planetary nebula phase. And since a large percentage of stars are intermediate mass (0.6–10 solar masses), which pass through an asymptotic giant branch phase, intermediate mass stars may make a significant contribution back to the DM realm.
Fragmentation at recombination:
In the plasma epoch prior to recombination, the Jeans scale exceeded the horizon scale, precluding gravitational fragmentation by the Jeans mechanism, due to the high speed of sound in plasma (on the order of the speed of light). At the epoch of recombination, the Jeans scale of neutral gas was on the order of 1 million solar masses, promoting gravitational collapse of the neutral continuum into proto-globular-cluster-scale masses. (Gibson 2006)
Additionally, Gibson suggests that HGD caused fragmentation into self-gravitating earth-mass ‘primordial fog particles’ (PFP) following the epoch of recombination, and that the PFPs have subsequently condensed to form earth-mass ‘Jovian planets’ (presumably designated ‘Jovian’ for their hydrogen-helium composition). And since the Jeans scale at recombination was on the order of one million solar masses, these PFPs were clumped into proto-globular clusters. These persistent Jovian planets constitute baryonic dark matter, explaining the missing baryon problem as 30,000,000 earth-mass rogue planets per star in the Galaxy. Additionally, Gibson replaces dark energy with hot dark matter, such as neutrinos, which only become significant in gravitational clumping at the galactic cluster scale.
I agree with fragmentation of the continuum at recombination into circa million solar mass proto-globular-clusters, but dispute their sub-fragmentation into planetary-mass PFPs. Instead, I suggest gravitational sub-fragmentation of proto-globular-clusters into circa thousand solar mass Population III protostars, where the Population III protostars efficiently eject their outer layers in the form of self-gravitating planetary-mass paleons.
Paleon formation in Population III protostars by coronal-mass-ejection chain reaction:
The suggested physical symmetry between CKs and paleons suggests formational symmetry, albeit with even-greater efficiency in the formation of primordial paleons.
Expansive cooling of the universe promoted sub-fragmentation of proto-globular-clusters, where the sub-fragmentation scale is suggested to have been in the range of multi-thousand solar mass cores. Population III protostars are suggested to have formed before continued expansive cooling could sub-sub-fragment still-smaller stellar-mass cores.
Non-turbulent freefall collapse is the exception in a turbulent world, with excess angular momentum forming a diminutive core surrounded by a much more massive envelope, partially supported by rotation. When a rotationally-supported overlying envelope is much more massive than its diminutive core, the system is suggested here to be unstable and susceptible to disk instability, with disk instability occurring by the suggested mechanism of ‘flip-flop fragmentation’ (FFF), as a catastrophic mechanism for projecting mass inward.
When a much more massive envelope, partially supported by rotation, surrounds a diminutive core and the diminutive core-to-envelope mass is insufficient to dampen inhomogeneities in the envelope, the envelope is suggested to be unstable, promoting runaway disk instability, causing it to catastrophically clump to form a new larger core, inertially displacing the (older) former core into a satellite status. This is the mechanism which is suggested to ‘spin off’ diminutive cores in prestellar objects in the form of gas/ice giant planets.
A contracting multi-thousand-solar-mass globule may have undergone repeated episodes of FFF to spin off sufficient angular momentum to form a Pop III protostar, ripe for further weight reduction by way of coronal-mass-ejection chain reactions.
Freefall contraction of an envelope to form a new core causes spin up, which likewise increases the rotation rate of the protostar magnetic field. Contraction also causes heating, with the ionization front moving outward from the contracting protostar core. When the magnetic corotation radius drops below the outward-moving ionization front at the ‘magnetic corotation radius’, the magnetic field becomes twisted, storing magnetic energy.
When the magnetic field becomes twisted to the breaking point at the magnetic corotation radius, spontaneous magnetic reconnection will occur, and if this results in a coronal-mass-ejection chain reaction, then planetary-mass filaments may be ejected with magnetically clump into paleons.
If coronal-mass-ejection chain reaction unwind multi-thousand-solar-mass Pop III protostars down to the 160 to 250 solar mass range, then the resulting Pop III stars may end their lives pair-instability supernovae which leave no stellar remnants, since there’s no observational evidence for zillions of Pop III remnants, in the form of white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes.
To have converted some 5/6 of all baryons to DM paleons warrants an epoch designation, which is suggested as ‘Population III epoch’. To create such a high percentage of DM, the vast majority of the matter in the universe must have been processed through Pop III protostars, with a relatively-small percentage of baryonic matter becoming Pop III main sequence stars.
If ejected paleons escaped from the gravitational well of their Pop III stars, they may have remained gravitationally bound within their proto-globular-clusters, suggesting that paleons may still be grouped into circa million solar mass paleon clusters.
Extreme Scattering Events (ESEs) are suggested to be caused by the refraction of quasar radio waves by the ionized surface of occulting paleons, where the paleon surface is ionized by the shock of plowing through interstellar gas at around 230 km/s in its orbit around the Milky Way. Self-gravitating paleons are calculated to be on the order of a few AU across and in a number density of a few thousand per cubic parsec in the neighborhood of the Sun. (Tuntsov, Walker et al. 2015) Alternatively, the same scintillation effect can be modeled by anisotropic plasma distributions, such as a plasma sheet seen edge on without any accompanying self-gravitating dark matter component (Tuntsov and Walker 2015).
Manly Astrophysics calculates paleons to have a mass range of ∼ 10-7 to ∼ 10-1 solar masses, based on their stabilization by the condensation and sublimation of solid hydrogen (snowflakes). But since the ambient temperature of the universe has only dropped below the condensation point of hydrogen some 2 billion years ago, or so, hypothesized stabilization by hydrogen snow would be relatively recent.
But if paleons date from Pop III stars, then hydrogen snowflakes would have to be superfluous to their formation and survival. If hydrogen condensation has indeed increased the stability of paleons in the last 2 billion years or so, then perhaps this increased stability may be responsible for the discovery that galaxies today emit only about half as much light as galaxies emitted 2 billion years ago. Thus if the advent of the ‘epoch of hydrogen condensation’ increased paleon stability, it may have ushered in a new era of reduced star formation, giving rise to popular articles declaring that the universe is dying.
The suggested sedimentation of hydrogen snowflakes in paleons suggests still older sedimentation of less-volatile stellar metallicity in the form of dust and ice. And the sedimentation would tend to accrete to form a central solid mass within each gaseous paleon.
While paleons may have formed with Big Bang chemistry, contaminated by Pop III star metallicity,
they will have acquired (swept up) varying degrees of Pop II star and Pop I star metallicity in their 13 billion years of orbiting the Galaxy core, with more distant galactic-halo paleons having acquired less than those with orbits crossing the spiral-arm disk plane. By comparison, CKs are formed with highly-elevated levels of stellar metallicity, so paleons and (dark) CKs may vary more widely in metallicity than stars themselves.
An Earth-mass paleon with the average metallicity of the Sun (Zsun = 0.0134) may have a central solid object the mass of Earth’s Moon, while distant halo paleons may only have central solid objects the size of a typical Oort cloud comet.
Manly Astrophysics calculates a paleon density in the stellar neighborhood of ∼ 104 pc−3, which suggests that many hundreds may be passing through the outer Oort cloud at any given time. And with their relatively-large (circa 1 AU) diameters, paleons could sweep up dust, ice and microbes from comet clouds and debris disks surrounding stars, perhaps making paleon cores into rich panspermia reservoirs.
The extent to which paleons remain bound in their suggested primordial proto-globular-clusters is unaddressed, although their large diameters with readily distortable shapes may be considerably stickier than comparatively point-mass objects like stars, perhaps making ‘paleon clusters’ more stable over time than star clusters, of comparable size and density.
Flip-flop fragmetation galactic evolution:
HGD turbulence presumably instilled proto-spiral-galaxies with their specific angular momentum, or more likely with excess angular momentum that underwent galactic evolution to catastrophically project mass inward to form mature spiral galaxies, with their typical range of specific angular momentum.
Following recombination, Jeans instability is suggested to have fragmented proto-galaxies into circa million-solar-mass proto-globular-clusters, and with the loss of hydrostatic radiation pressure at recombination, proto-galaxies gravitationally collapsed to the point of Keplerian rotation, flattening proto-galaxies around their angular momentum vectors.
Proto-spiral-galaxies with excess angular momentum would have had diminutive cores, compared to the considerable galactic bulge of mature spiral galaxies. A massive disk overlying a diminutive core is suggested to be dynamically unstable, where the diminutive core is unable to dampen inhomogeneities in the disk from amplifying into runaway disk instability.
Runaway disk instability breaks the radial symmetry of the disk, causing the disk to clump to form a younger larger core that inertially displaces the former core to a planetary satellite status, in a galactic process designated, ‘flip-flop fragmentation’ (FFF), catastrophically projecting mass inward.
FFF was initially proposed as a catastrophic mechanism for projecting mass inward in prestellar dark cores undergoing freefall collapse, spinning off former cores in the form of gas/ice giant planets. (See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
In the Milky Way, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are suggested to be former diminutive, proto-Milky-Way cores, spun off in two successive generations of FFF.
In the final instance of Milky Way FFF, the clumping of the disk ended in the formation of a direct-collapse supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, with a central bulge sufficiently massive to dampen out disk inhomogeneities, preventing further disk instability.
Baryonic dark matter:
The absence of DM in globular clusters and the absence of a cuspy DM distribution in galactic cores has been called the ‘cuspy halo problem’, which requires secondary mechanisms to explain away in exotic DM theories. By comparison, the observed distribution is predictive in baryonic DM cosmology if gaseous paleons convert to luminous gas and stars in regions of high stellar luminosity/concentrations.
This alternative baryonic DM cosmology supports canonical state conditions (pressure, temperature and density of baryons) as calculated by ΛCDM cosmology at defining epochs, such as Big Bang nucleosynthesis and recombination; however, the timing would be shifted forward to allow Big Bang expansion to inflate the density of baryons (with baryonic DM) to the canonical density. So while the epoch conditions of baryonic DM cosmology are suggested to occur at the canonical density of baryons, the epochs would occur at circa 6 times lower overall matter density, in the absence of noninteracting exotic DM. The date of the Big Bang need not change in baryonic DM cosmology,
only the timing of those epochs which are dependent on the type of dark matter.
One note, ‘baryon density’ (Ωbh2) of the universe is defined to be a constant over time, whereas ‘density of baryons’, as used here, is simply the instantaneous baryonic-matter density, which decreases exponentially over time due to Big Bang expansion, so ‘canonical density’ at defining epochs refers to the instantaneous density of baryons, not the constant baryon density of the universe.
The Hubble expansion rate of the universe may also need to be altered in baryonic DM cosmology to reflect a later date for recombination. Direct measurement of expansion rates based on cepheid variables and/or Type Ia supernovae, however, should be free from this problem. Therefore the higher Hubble expansion rate figures (circa 72–73 km s−1 Mpc−1) directly measured from cepheid variables and/or Type Ia supernovae, which are agnostic as to the actual date of recombination, are likely to be more accurate than lower figures (circa 68 km s−1 Mpc−1) calculated from CMB Planck data and BAO scale in today’s universe, which are dependent on recombination timing. A Hubble constant based on an anomalously-young date for recombination would tend to reduce the apparent expansion rate, so low expansion rates calculated from CMB data are at least skewed in the expected direction.
Baryonic DM cosmology is agnostic with regard to the metric expansion of space itself, by way of dark energy or a cosmic constant.
If dark matter is baryonic, and if DM can convert luminous matter by way of paleon evaporation, and if luminous matter can conversely go dark by way of cometary knots streaming from AGB stars, then the relative ratio of dark matter to luminous matter may not be particularly significant, with the ratio varying from one galaxy to another and presumably decreasing slowly over time. The ratio does matter, however, in pinning down the actual date of recombination. For this conceptual approach a 6:1 DM:luminous matter ratio will be used for convenience, even though the missing baryon problem of ΛCDM cosmology could push the actual ratio higher than 6 to 1 and correspondingly push out the date of recombination as well. For a 6:1 ratio, a first-order approximation (of this conceptual approach) for the actual redshift of recombination is z ~ 1100/(6^(1/3)) = 605, around t ~ 378,000 * 6^(1/3) = 680,000 years after the Big Bang.
A recent study finds that early spiral galaxies (redshift z = 0.7–2.6) are heavily dominated by baryonic matter in the inner star-forming regions, with falling rotation curves (rotation velocities decreasing with radius). (Genzel et al. 2017) Lead author Reinhard Genzel in an interview for Scientific American with Charles Q. Choi quantified the baryonic dominance in terms of the “effective radius” (half-light radius) of spiral galaxies—the 50% light radius—where the effective radius is 50 to 80 percent dark matter in the Milky Way and other typical local spiral galaxies, compared to 10 percent for early (z = 0.7–2.6) galaxies.
The domination of early spiral galaxies by baryonic matter telegraphs and constrains spiral galaxy formation theory, along with the nature of dark matter. Paleon formation in the Population III epoch is presumed to precede catastrophic spiral galaxy evolution by way of FFF (disk instability), which is presumed to have evaporated paleons in the heat released during the gravitational collapse of disk instability. Intergalactic dark matter is gradually falling toward densified regions, i.e. galaxies and galaxy clusters, creating progressively-denser DM haloes around (spiral) galaxies, creating spherical dark matter halo distributions with low specific angular momentum. However, the inclined disk of satellites surrounding the Milky Way, including the Small and Large Magellanic Cloud as former spun off proto-Milky-Way cores, suggests that the Milky Way system may have been significantly twisted by external torque, perhaps caused by infalling intergalactic dark matter with non-zero specific angular momentum.
And presumably DM gravitationally clumps to form a cosmic web of dark matter, as predicted by computer simulations, explaining the numerous DM ‘sub haloes’ detected within the Milky Way DM halo.
Perhaps additional evidence for the gradual accretion of dark matter haloes comes from local (low-redshift) ‘passive spiral galaxies’, with falling rotation curves similar to those of high-redshift early spiral galaxies (Genzel et al. 2017). But passive spiral galaxies may be deficient in DM haloes due to crowding within rich galaxy clusters, rather than early-versus-late timing, where infalling DM may tend to form a global galaxy-cluster halo, rather than enveloping each member galaxy individually.
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Walker, Mark A., 2013, A snowflake’s chance in heaven, arXiv: 1306.5587v1
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 suggests an alternative extraterrestrial origin for metamorphic gneiss, along with its associated mantling rock of quartzite, carbonate rock and schist. Authigenic gneissic sediments are suggested to have been precipitated in the cores of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) undergoing ‘aqueous differentiation’, with aqueous differentiation caused by orbital perturbation.
Our suggested former binary brown-dwarf Companion to the Sun perturbed binary KBOs to spiral in and merge during the Archean Eon, catastrophically forming authigenic sedimentary cores with a typically tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) composition, characteristic of Archean cratons.
The tidal inflection point (associated with the former Sun-Companion solar system barycenter) is suggested to have initiated orbital perturbation of KBOs. The tidal inflection point spiraled out from the Sun at an exponential rate, passing through the cubewanos of the Kuiper belt from 4.1 to 3.9 Ga, causing the late heavy bombardment of the inner solar system. The growing Sun-Companion eccentricity around the solar system barycenter, which caused the tidal inflection point to spiral out from the Sun, was driven by the spiral in of the binary brown-dwarf components of binary-Companion.
Solitary KBOs, which did not undergo catastrophic binary spiral-in merger, may have experienced smaller, repeated instances of aqueous differentiation, forming multiple gneiss domes in KBO cores, compared to catastrophic binary spiral-in merger which formed TTG cores.
Finally, perturbation by binary-Companion came to an end when the binary brown-dwarf components ultimately merged at 542 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
Neptune became the nemesis of the Kuiper belt in the new Phanerozoic Eon, with the loss of the perturbing and stabilizing influence of the Companion at 542 Ma, with Neptune causing orbital perturbation of KBOs in newly-unstable orbits. Neptune also caused smaller instances of aqueous differentiation, such as forming the Eocene gneiss domes which are scattered through the Middle East from Greece to Nepal. Neptune is responsible for injecting KBOs into the inner solar system in the Phanerozoic Eon, likely by the intermediate pathway of the minor-planet centaurs.
Sedimentary KBO cores lithify into TTG cores and gneiss domes, with subsequent metamorphism occurring as saltwater oceans freeze solid. The expansion of water ice in solidifying KBO oceans builds the tremendous pressure which causes high-pressure metamorphism in extraterrestrial metamorphic rock.
Perturbation of KBOs into the inner solar system by Neptune cause extinction event impacts on Earth, with highly-compressible KBO ices generally clamping the Earth-impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of silicates, masking the impact origin of the continental tectonic plates.
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. Finally, “commingling and mixing of mafic and felsic magmas” is also also suggested as an explanation for alternating felsic/mafic layers. (Sandeman et al., 2000) In the alternative aqueous differentiation context, adjacent felsic and mafic leucosomes and melanosomes have the entire Kuiper belt object (KBO) ocean, as a reservoir to draw upon.
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 against heliocentric resonances of giant planets. 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 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 of giant planets also create pressure dams, which may promote gravitational instability in primary accretion disks and/or in secondary debris disks, such as chondrites condensed against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances and KBOs against Neptune’s outer resonances.
The Jeans instability which formed 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 in 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, and condensed chondrites in situ against Jupiter’s inner resonances and condensed Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in situ against Neptune’s strongest outer resonances, principally the 2:3 resonance. Continued secular perturbation caused the binary brown-dwarf components of binary-Companion to spiral in over the next 4 billion years, causing the wide-binary (Sun-Companion) system to become increasingly eccentric over time 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’, likely including the geologically-young Pluto system.
(See section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
Perturbation of KBOs by former binary-Companion:
Binary-Companion is suggested to have progressively perturbed KBOs by means of the ‘tidal inflection point’, associated with the solar system barycenter (SSB).
Earth’s lunar tides can be used as an analogy for understanding flip-flop perturbation of KBO orbits by the solar system barycenter. Earth has two lunar tides, one high tide facing the Moon, gravitationally attracted into a high tide by the 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. As Earth rotates on its axis, once a day, ocean water crosses the tidal inflection point between the high tide facing the Moon and the high tide on the back side of the Earth. This is a direct analogy of the tidal inflection point between the Sun and former binary-Companion, where KBO aphelia were gravitationally attracted to the Companion on the Companion side of the tidal inflection point, and the 8 planets and KBO aphelia were centrifugally slung 180° away from the Companion on the Sun side of the tidal inflection point. The tidal inflection point was associated with the SSB between Sun and former binary-Companion, but not coincident with it, just as the tidal inflection point on Earth today is associated with the Earth-Moon barycenter, but not coincident with it.
The Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB became progressively more eccentric for 4 billion years (between 4,567-542 Ma), fueled by the orbital energy of the binary brown-dwarf components spiraling in. As the Sun-Companion apoapsis spiraled out from the SSB at an exponential rate over time, the tidal inflection point crossed the semimajor axes of progressively more distant KBOs over time, initiating orbital perturbation designated, ‘flip-flop perturbation’, caused by aphelia precession of KBO aphelia. When the tidal inflection point caught up with the semimajor axis of a KBO for the first time, its aphelion began to precess from pointing 180° away from the Companion to being gravitationally attracted toward it. But once initiated, aphelia precession was reset toward Sun-Companion periapsis. So once initiated for the first time, KBOs underwent two episodes of flip-flop perturbation (aphelia precession toward the Companion and aphelia precession away from it) with each Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB.
The tidal inflection point passed through the Plutinos (in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune at 39.4 AU), at about 4,220 Ma, creating the first pulse in a bimodal late heavy bombardment (LHB) of the inner solar system. The longer, broader, more sustained main pulse of the LHB occurred from 4.1 to 3.9 Ga, as the tidal inflection point passed through the cubewanos, between the 2:3 and 1:2 resonances with Neptune. So flip-flop perturbation not only caused binary KBOs to spiral in and merge, but it also perturbed KBOs into the inner solar system, predominantly during the early LHB portion of the Archean Eon. (See subsection: Exponential rate of increase in the wide-binary (Sun-Companion) period, within the section, STARS, PLANETS, MOONS, MINOR PLANETS AND COMETS)
Archean tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) KBO cores:
Binary KBOs resisted aphelia precession with the angular momentum of their binary orbits, but resistance extracted orbital energy and angular momentum from their binary orbits, causing their binary components to spiral in until they merged, forming ‘contact binary’ KBOs.
Binary spiral-in merger is suggested to have initiated catastrophic aqueous differentiation, perhaps forming authigenic sedimentary cores composed of tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) sediments, which were largely devoid of K-feldspar. Aqueous potassium-salt solubility is more temperature dependent than sodium salt solubility, so perhaps the high temperatures incurred in binary spiral-in mergers precipitated relative little authigenic K-feldspar, where most of the potassium remained in aqueous solution, explaining the typically potassium-poor TTG composition of Archean cratons.
If greenstone belts are the extraterrestrial mantling rock surrounding TTG cores, then the typical dome-and-keel structure relationship between the TTG core and its greenstone belt mantling rock may be explained by dehydration of the sedimentary core during lithification, like the shriveling of a plum dehydrating to form a prune, where the dome-and-keel structure represents the wrinkles in the dehydrated core. And if so, the typical pillow lava form of greenstone belts points to a greenstone belt formation temperature exceeding the melting point of silicates.
Gneiss dome formation in KBOs:
If TTG cores were formed by catastrophic binary spiral-in merger, gneiss domes are suggested to have formed by smaller catastrophic subsidence events, which presumably occurred during ‘KBO quakes’.
Following binary spiral-in merger, or alternatively in solitary KBOs that never underwent binary spiral-in merger, flip-flop perturbation may have promoted the intermittent catastrophic release of potential energy in the form of massive KBO-quake subsidence events which initiated local rather than global aqueous differentiation to precipitate gneissic sediments which lithified to form gneiss domes.
Thus multiple gneiss domes may form in solitary KBOs without an Archean TTG core, where the temperature of gneiss dome formation is typically insufficient to prevent authigenic precipitation of K-feldspar.
Small gneiss domes may have formed (and may still be forming) during the Phanerozoic Eon, due to orbital perturbation by Neptune, such as the Eocene Epoch gneiss domes found from Greece to Nepal. And if the centaur minor planets, with semimajor axes between those of the outer planets, were originally KBOs, then perhaps aqueous differentiation can be sustained by orbital perturbation by the other giant planets as well, as centaurs are either induced to continue to spiral inward or are ejected from the inner solar system altogether.
So while the SSB was the KBO perturbator of the Precambrian Era, binary-Companion may have also acted as a stabilizing influence, resulting in Neptune being the nemesis of the Phanerozoic Eon. Apollo spherule counts suggest that the Moon (and by extension the Earth) has received significantly-more impacts in the Phanerozoic Eon than in the proceeding Eons since the LHB, suggesting that binary-Companion protected the inner solar system from KBOs, while still perturbing KBOs to induce aqueous differentiation. “Culler et al.  studied 179 spherules from 1 g of soil collected by the Apollo 14 astronauts, and found evidence for a decline in the meteoroid flux to the Moon from 3000 million years ago (Ma) to 500 Ma, followed by a fourfold increase in the cratering rate over the last 400 Ma.” (Levine et al., 2005)
Intrusive S-type granite is suggested to be caused by authigenic precipitation of granitic sediments between layers of older rock, most likely forced to delaminate by intrusive hydrothermal fluids. While I-type granite may indeed be terrestrial, intrusive plutonic rock, S-type granite is typically older than I-type plutons and contains detrital zircons, pointing to an aqueous origin.
(See section: THE ORIGIN OF S-TYPE GRANITE PLUTONS IN KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs))
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, 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 the largest authigenic mineral-grain size should be in the center, with progressively decreasing authigenic mineral grain size with distance from the gravitational center.
Leucosome/melanosome layering in migmatite/gneiss/schist:
The partial pressure of CO2 in trapped gas pockets between a saltwater ocean and the overlying icy 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 in solution, which may cause carbonic acid to bubble out of solution in the form of CO2. Additionally, seismic vibrations of KBO quakes alone would tend to nucleate CO2 bubbles, like shaking a carbonated beverage.
The solubility of aluminum salts is particularly pH sensitive, so the concentration of carbonic acid in solution may control 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 precipitated feldspar mineral grains.
And CO2 bubbling out of solution will tend to nucleate on precipitating feldspar mineral grains, tending to float feldspar mineral grains to the icy ceiling.
Aqueous silica solubility, by comparison, is particularly temperature sensitive, with silica reaching minimum solubility at the cold ice ceiling, where silica solubility is lowest and quartz precipitation and crystallization is most likely. So with quartz precipitation at the icy ceiling and with catastrophically precipitated feldspar mineral grains floated to the ceiling by nucleating CO2 bubbles, the flotsam at the icy ceiling would tend to have felsic (leucosome) composition. And mineral grains trapped in the flotsam would grow in size by crystallization.
When the felsic flotsam becomes waterlogged it sinks onto the more mafic precipitates of the sedimentary core, creating the alternating felsic-mafic layering typical of gneiss, migmatite and schist in the form of felsic leucosomes and mafic melanosomes.
If the felsic flotsam material forms into a mechanically competent mat, perhaps with cohesive organic material such as slime bacteria, its mechanical competency may cause the felsic mineral grains to hold together as a cohesive membrane that holds together as it becomes waterlogged and sags and finally sinks onto the core sediments below. The felsic mat is forced to crumple as it maps from the larger surface area of the icy ceiling onto the smaller area of the sedimentary core, forming characteristic hairpin turns, as it folds back on itself like ribbon candy. Ribbon candy like folds in the resulting lithified migmatite are described as ‘convolute folds’ or ‘ptygmatic folds’.
In the above image from the following source,
Mountain Beltway (click on link)
the white lithosome is crumpled into ptygmatic folds in the dark-colored slate (above), whereas it’s undistorted in the lighter-colored sandstone (below), presumably due to the relative compressibility of the two types of matrix sediments. If the silty slate sediments are comparatively compressible during lithification compared to the larger sand grains that form sandstone, then the competent lithosome mat was forced to crumple and fold like the bellows of an accordion in the highly-compressible silty sediments of the slate.
Relative mineral grain size may play as much of a role in the degree of compressibility during lithification as the mineral type, with smaller mineral grains tending to deform by dissolution at mineral grain contacts, compared to interstitial infilling between larger mineral grains during lithification. Additionally, quartz grains in quartz sandstone is relatively hard and highly inert, reducing its tendency to deform at mineral grain contacts, compared to softer and less inert minerals.
The above still image taken from the following video,
“Folding of two silicone layers of different thickness (Structural Geology, analogue modelling)”
The video demonstrates two separate principles of folding;
1) Convolute folding of a less compressible (leucosome) membrane within a more compressible (melanosome) matrix, and
2) Folding wavelength is related to the relative thickness and stiffness by the Ramberg-Biot equation, where a thicker ‘dike’ folds with a longer wavelength.
The video description makes no reference to or acknowledgement of the relative compressibility of the foam matrix, compared to the silicon membrane, pretending that both materials of comprised of virtually incompressible rock, with differing competencies (stiffnesses).
Authigenic Mineral-grain size:
A major difference between authigenic terrestrial sediments and authigenic extraterrestrial sediments is mineral grain size. On the surface of our high-gravity planet, precipitated authigenic mineral grains fall out of aqueous suspension at clay size and are sequestered in sediments, which may go on to lithify into mudstone, but in the microgravity deep inside KBO oceans, aqueous dispersion commonly reaches sand grain size before falling out of aqueous suspension.
The felsic flotsam at the icy ceiling enables gneissic leucosome mineral grains to continue to grow by ‘crystallization’, prior to waterlogged and sinking into the mafic sediments of the core to become sequestered from further crystal growth. This ‘larval’ stage at the icy ceiling explains why felsic mineral grains in leucosomes are often much larger than the mafic mineral grains in melanosomes in gneiss, migmatite and schist.
Additionally, gravitational acceleration increases from zero at the gravitational center of an object to a maximum value about 2/3 of the way to the surface, so mineral grain sizes would tend to decrease from the inside out in sedimentary KBO cores, with mineral grain size tending to decrease over time with the growing size of the sedimentary core.
The trend of decreasing mineral grain size per radial distance must be understood in the context where the local agitation of the saltwater ocean may have as great an effect on mineral grain size as the radial distance form the core, so mineral grain size would tend to increase dramatically at KBO quakes, and decrease exponentially thereafter until the next seismic event which stirs the pot.
‘Slump folding’ in metamorphic rock:
Lithification of sediments into sedimentary rock occurs partially by destruction of porosity, which reduces the volume of the sediments. In sedimentary KBO cores, volume reduction during lithification is occurs in the expulsion of interstitial saltwater through hydrothermal vents into the overlying ocean.
The volume reduction of a sedimentary KBO core is accompanied by a significant circumference reduction of the core during lithification, enforcing ‘circumferential folding’ at various scales, like a smooth grape dehydrating to become a wrinkled raisin, where circumferential folding is a form of enforced ‘slump folding’, enforced because the circumference of sedimentation is reduced in the lithified core.
While slump folding can occur in terrestrial sedimentary rock, it’s relatively rare, as is evident from the flat layers of Phanerozoic rock that make up the Grand Canyon. By comparison, KBO metamorphic rock, like gneiss and schist, frequently exhibit slump folding on various scales, so enforced circumferential folding may represent the majority of the total slump folding in KBO metamorphic rock.
Conventional geology suggests that metamorphism is the result of 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 10s of kilometers below the surface, where there’s no void of the atmosphere to fold into. In conventional geology, sharp isoclinal folds are often misrepresented as sheath folds, fortuitously cut through the nose of a sheath fold, since the origin of point forces necessary to explain centimeter-scale isoclinal folds in virtually-incompressible protolith can not be explained without significant hand waving. By comparison, sharp isoclinal folds in the context of a sedimentary KBO origin are nothing more than circumferential slump folding, which is as easy to describe as grapes shriveling to form raisins. So while the synclines and anticlines of orogeny on the surface of the Earth has the void of the atmosphere to fold into, sediments at depth also have the collective space of many collective interstitial voids to fold into, when the saltwater is forced out through hydrothermal vents.
A sedimentary KBO origin for gneiss domes recognizes prograde and retrograde metamorphism at various temperature and pressure regimes, which may transform one suite of minerals into another and may recrystallize mineral grains, typically increasing the mineral grain size. The typically large mineral grains in granulite are assumed to have recrystallize from their sedimentary protolith. And gneiss which is uniformly flecked on a millimeter scale with dark mafic minerals which have reformed is also very likely the result of prograde metamorphism, with the flecks running perpendicular to the applied pressure. And sedimentary leucosome-melanosome layering and metamorphic folding is often muted by subsequent recrystallization metamorphism, blurring the originally distinctive sedimentary boarders, and increasing the difficulty of interpretation.
The pressure causing metamorphism in KBO cores is likely the result of the saltwater ocean freezing solid around a lithifying sedimentary core, with the expansion of water ice building the tremendous pressure that causes high-pressure metamorphism.
Millimeter-scale crenellations are common in phyllite, known as ‘overprinting’, with a definite orientation indicating the direction of the shear force. Crenellations in phyllite represent true metamorphic folding, occurring in nearly-incompressible lithified or metamorphic rock. While the effect may be widespread, the regrowth in (mica) minerals which result in the crenellations are typically at the recrystallized mineral grain scale and thus relatively small. Isoclinal folds, by comparison are not directional and therefore not the result of applied shear forces.
Gneiss-dome mantling rock; quartzite, marble 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 the quartzite is in contact with basement gneiss. Thus the typical order of mantling rock is gneiss, quartzite, carbonate rock and schist.
Quartzite and carbonate rock/marble:
If the pH rises above about 9, as the ocean cools down and the precipitation of gneissic sediments tails off, silica will begin to precipitate out of solution, depositing authigenic sand over gneissic sediments, which may metamorphose into quartzite. And if the pH continues to rise after the bulk of silica has precipitated in the form of sand, then bicarbonate ions in solution increasingly convert to carbonate ions, lowering the solubility of calcium carbonate in solution, which ultimately precipitates calcium carbonate, which may metamorphose into marble.
Schist is typically the third and final authigenic mantling layer of gneiss domes, which is suggested to precipitate as the KBO ocean freezes solid. Freezing water tends to exclude solutes from the solid phase, raising the dissolved solute load to the point of (super)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, where schist is the sludge of the rock world.
Clastic conglomerate frosting over authigenic gneiss-dome:
While schist is the final authigenic mantling layer, gneiss dome mantles often have a clastic frosting in the form of conglomerate or greywacke, which may result from grinding of the rocky core against the icy ceiling, as the ocean freezes solid and the icy ceiling closes in on the rocky core. Often the pebbles, cobbles and boulders in the conglomerate frosting are highly polished, with a higher polish than pebbles, cobbles and boulders achieve when tumbling in terrestrial streams and rivers. The pebbles, cobbles and boulders in the conglomerate frosting often exhibit an indurated case-hardened-like surface, which might be expected as the solutes are forced out of solution, promoting the ‘plating out’ (crystallizing) of silicates on the exposed surfaces of boulders, cobbles and pebbles, creating the observed indurated effect.
Euhedral garnets in schist:
Euhedral almandine garnets often exhibit a round dodecahedron shape and are often orders of magnitude larger than the next-largest mineral grains. Their distinctly rounded shapes suggest authigenic crystallization while trapped by the Bernoulli effect of hydrothermal vent plumes emanating from the sedimentary core.
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 act like a shock absorber to absorb the vast majority of impact energy. And if compressible ices 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, then icy-body KBO impacts may be masked from detection as such.
The relative compressibility of ices is suggested to lower the specific impact power of icy-body impacts by extending the shock-wave duration through an extended rebound period of the compressed ices.
If rocky-iron asteroid 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 c ompressed ice rebound promotes distortion of Earth’s crust into a perfectly-circular basin, with the sustained compression of the rebounding ice largely preventing the excavation of a crater, such as the perfectly-round Nastapoka arc of Lower Hudson Bay. And in the case of a circa 12,900 ya Nastapoka arc impact, the multi-kilometer-thick Laurentide ice sheet would have provided an additional endothermic shock-absorbing 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-round impact basins. But if impacting KBO cores extend down into Earth’s mantle where they melt to form sinking plumes, the sinking plumes will entrain and subduct the adjacent ocean plates, which in turn draw in the adjacent continental tectonic plates, tending to erase the impact basin signature. So if large KBO impacts draw in adjacent continental tectonic plates to form supercontinents, then large KBO impacts actively erase their own impact signatures.
Eskola, Pentti Eelis, (1948), The problem of mantled gneiss, Feb. 1948 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 104, 461-457
Levine, Johanthan; Becker, Timothy A.; Muller, Richard A.; Renne, Paul R., 2005, 40Ar/39Ar dating of Apollo 12 impact spherules, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 32, Issue 15, CiteID L15201
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
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.