This work in progress addresses unresolved and ‘problem’ areas in geology and astrophysics:
- Galaxy, star, planet, and planetesimal formation;
- The nature and formation of cold dark matter in galactic halos and its effect on the solar system;
- Aqueous differentiation of comets and dwarf planets due to planetesimal collisions or binary spiral-in mergers;
- Plate tectonics, the granite problem, the mantled gneiss-dome problem, and the dolomite problem; and
- Icy-body impacts vs. rocky-iron impacts, endothermic chemical reactions in impacts,
PLANETS, MOONS, DWARF PLANETS AND PLANETESIMALS:
– Aqueous Differentiation:
When binary planetesimals formed by gravitational instability (GI) spiral in and merge to form contact binaries, the dissipated orbital energy may cause cause internal melting of water ice (aqueous differentiation), creating salt-water oceans in contact-binary cores. Aqueous differentiation also occurs in planetesimal collisions. In addition to melting, aqueous differentiation also implies precipitation of mineral grains which may form sedimentary cores, and sedimentary cores may undergo lithification and even metamorphosis if the salt-water ocean freezes solid, building pressure during phase-change expansion of water ice.
High-density volatile-depleted planetesmials ‘condensed’ by GI from Type II, solar-merger, debris disk material at a distance just beyond the Sun’s magnetic corotation radius at about Mercury’s orbit. Asteroids may have thermally differentiated (silicate melting, forming iron-nickel cores) due to short-lived r-process radionuclides formed in the spiral-in solar merger at 4,567 Ma. The largest asteroids, including 4 Vesta, may be ‘hybrid accretions’ of smaller asteroids with the planet Mercury as the largest hybrid-accretion asteroid. Then orbit clearing by the terrestrial planets evaporated asteroids into Jupiter’s inner resonances.
Planetesimals condensed by GI that have not thermally differentiated due to late formation without live radionuclides. Chondrites typically contain chondrules which may have formed during super-intense solar flares during the Sun’s suggested 3 million year flare-star phase following its binary spiral-in merger. CI chondrites without chondrules may have condensed from the protoplanetary disk prior to the binary solar merger at 4,567 Ma and may be outer solar system comets or their inner solar system equivalents.
– Close Binary:
‘Hard’ close-binary pairs (planetesimals, planets, moons or stars) tend to spiral in due to external perturbation, becoming progressively harder over time, sometimes merging to form rapidly-rotating solitary objects.
Circa 1–20 km planetesimals condensed by GI prior to 4,567 Ma from the protoplanetary disk. A suggested former binary brown-dwarf Companion may have scattered or shepherded them into the inner Oort cloud (IOC). Comets are assumedly highly oxidized with little volatile depletion, having condensed at very low temperatures, perhaps while still within our birth Bok globule.
Companion to the Sun:
Our protostar is suggested to have fragmented 3 times to form two close-binary pairs, binary-Sun and binary-Companion. Core collapse is suggested to have caused binary-Sun to merge at 4,567 Ma and binary-Companion to have merged at 542 Ma. The suggested asymmetrical merger of our former binary-Companion gave the Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
– Stellar Core Collapse:
Orbit clearing is a form of core collapse whereby high-mass planets tend to clear their orbits of lower-mass planetesimals by ‘evaporating’ them into higher orbits. Similarly, close-binary stars may evaporate smaller companion stars into higher wide-binary orbits, transferring energy and angular momentum from more-massive hard close-binary orbits to increasing the soft wide-binary separation.
(First hydrostatic core) is a step in the process of Jeans instability which forms following an initial, nearly-isothermal contraction as the material in the center becomes opaque and no longer freely radiates away its heat and contraction becomes approximately adiabatic. When gas pressure in the center balances the overlying weight, a FHSC is said to be forming or to have formed. Protostars, proto-planets, proto-moons, and proto-planetesimals(?) formed by GI may for FHSCs.
The earliest stage of Jeans instability, during the formation of a FHSC, may isolate outer layers with excess angular momentum which may gravitationally clump within their own Roche sphere to form a nascent binary proto-pair orbiting a common barycenter. Subsequent fragmentation may occur to the smaller secondary member of the proto-pair which has higher specific angular momentum during the formation of its own FHSC. Fragmentation may occur in any-sized objects undergoing GI, from 1 km comets to moons, planets and stars.
(Gravitational instability) whereby gas, dust and ice gravitationally collapse (condense) to form planetesimals, planets, moons and stars. The condensation of planetesimals may require a degree of assistance to achieve GI, generally in the form of pressurization of the inner edge of a protoplanetary or debris disk (accretion disk) against a stellar or planetary resonance.
– Hybrid Accretion (Thayne Currie 2005):
Core accretion of planetesimals formed by GI (hence hybrid) to form larger dwarf planets or super-Earth type planets. (Super-Earths are capable of clearing their orbits of their planetesimal precursors whereas dwarf planets are not.) Cascades of super-Earths are suggested to form in succession from the inside out, creating a belt of left over planetesimals ‘evaporated’ just beyond the 1:3 resonance of the furthermost super-Earth of the cascade.
(Inner Oort cloud), also known as the ‘Hills Cloud’, 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 evaporated to that distance by our former binary brown-dwarf Companion.
– KBO (Kuiper-belt object):
Type II planetesimals condensed by GI from the secondary debris disk, suggested to be from the binary spiral-in merger of our former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma. Hybrid accretion of KBOs may form larger dwarf planets. KBOs will be defined as a subset of TNOs (see TNO), generally lying between a 2:3 and a 1:3 resonance with Neptune.
(Outer Oort cloud), the spherical (isotropic) comet cloud perhaps 20,000 – 50,000 AU perturbed from the IOC by various internal solar-system and external forms of perturbation.
– LRN (LRNe plural):
(Luminous red nova), a stellar explosion with a luminosity between that of a nova and a supernova, thought to be caused by the spiral-in merger of two close-binary stars.
A generic term for anything smaller than a planet, not specifically a moon. The term may apply to (Type I) presolar scattered disc objects (SDOs) and comets and to (Type II) secondary debris-disk asteroids, chondrites, and trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). The term may at times be stretched to include dwarf planets formed by hybrid accretion from smaller planetesimals condensed by GI.
– Protostar, young stellar object (YSO):
For the convenience of accommodating the statement, ‘our former protostar may have fragmented 3 times to form a quadruple star system’, the definition of a protostar will proceed the formation of a FHSC but end before the formation of a SHSC, which is suggested to form spin-off planets like Jupiter and Saturn. Then YSOs will be defined to span from a SHSC to the main sequence.
SDO (scattered disc object):
Objects condensed by GI from the Type I protoplanetary disk, most with semi-major axes generally above a 1:3 resonance with Neptune. Most most SDOs may have condensed by GI from the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk between the orbits of Uranus and Neptune shortly before 4,567 Ma and were subsequently scattered outward as Uranus and Neptune cleared their orbits. SDOs and comets may be part of the same original population or from closely-related populations.
By definition, the formation of a (Second HydroStatic Core) converts a protostar to a YSO, which involves endothermic dissociation of molecular hydrogen and its ionization. Dissociation and ionization in the core may occur in a temperature range of perhaps 2,000-8,000 K. Endothermic dissociation and ionization promotes nearly-isothermal gravitational collapse will will isolate the high angular-momentum outer layers of protostars which may become gravitationally bound within their own Roche spheres to form hot-Jupiters. Proto-planets may also spin off proto-moons.
(Solar-system barycenter) The suggested gravitational balance point between the Sun and a former binary-Companion brown dwarf prior to its asymmetrical spiral-in merger at 542 Ma which gave the Companion escape velocity from the Sun. The SSB may have perturbed planetesimals by creating a transition from from apsidal precession pointed away from the Companion (for planetesimals closer to the Sun than the SSB) to apsidal precession pointed toward the Companion (for planetesimals further from the Sun than the SSB).
– Super-Earth: (See Hybrid Accretion)
– TNO (trans-Neptunian object):
TNO will be defined to include all the Type II secondary debris-disk planetesimals beyond Neptune, including Plutinos, classical Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs) between 2:3 and 1:2 resonance with Neptune and other debris-disk objects mostly between 1:2 and 1:3 resonance with Neptune. Most scattered disc objects (SDOs) beyond a 1:3 resonance with Neptune are assumed to be Type I protoplanetary and not TNOs. TNOs will also include larger hybrid accretion objects that are predominantly composed of Type II material.
– Type I material:
Highly-oxidized protoplanetary material form the Sun’s Bok globule stellar nursery, including scattered disc objects (SDOs), comets and CI chondrites. Type I planetesimals condensed by GI are not significantly volatile depleted.
– Type II material:
Volatile-depleted secondary debris-disk material from the Sun’s spiral-in merger at 4,567 Ma, including asteroids, chondrites (with chondrules), Plutinos and Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs). Objects condensed by GI from the debris disk have variable volatile depletion, depending on when they condensed and how far from the Sun. (The Sun was presumably hotter during its suggested 3 million year flare-star phase following its merger. Polar jets from the core, from which CAIs presumably condensed, were the most highly enriched with stellar-merger-nucleosynthesis helium-burning stable isotopes 12C and 16O, but the polar jet fall was apparently mostly confined to the inner solar system.)
– Wide Binary:
‘Soft’ wide-binary pairs (planetesimals, planets, moons or stars) tend to spiral out due to external perturbation, becoming progressively softer over time.
YSO (see Protostar)
Our former quadruple star system:
Our protostar may have undergone Jeans instability inside a Bok globule within a giant molecular cloud followed by 3 stellar fragmentations in succession to form a quadruple star system. Stellar core collapse is suggested to have formed two ‘hard’ close-binary pairs, binary-Sun and binary-Companion, with the two hard binaries having a ‘soft’ wide-binary separation. ‘Hard’ binary orbits tend to spiral-in (harden) over time due to perturbation, while ‘soft’ binary orbits tend to spiral out (soften) when perturbed. Hereafter, ‘close binaries’ are defined to be hard orbits that tend to spiral in, while ‘wide binaries’ are defined to be soft orbits that tend to spiral out, regardless of actual or relative object size and binary separation distances. Binary-Sun and binary-Companion spiraled out from the solar system barycenter (SSB), allowing a circumbinary protoplanetary disk to form around binary-Sun.
Stellar core-collapse is suggested to have progressively transferred energy and angular momentum from the two largest stellar components, constituting binary-Sun, to the wide-binary Sun-Companion separation. The resulting energy and angular-momentum transfer caused binary-Sun to spiral in and merge in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma. The resulting stellar-merger nucleosynthesis created the f-process short-lived radionuclides of our early solar system, namely 26Al and 60Fe, and enriched the Sun and solar system with the helium-burning stable isotopes 12C and 16O. After another 4 billion years of stellar core collapse, the binary-Companion may have similarly spiraled in to merge in a smaller, asymmetrical merger at 543 Ma which ushered in the Phanerozoic Eon and gave the merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. Finally, if one of the two binary brown-dwarf components had been a room-temperature Ys spectral class brown dwarf or smaller super-Jupiter, then dissemination of brown-dwarf faunal lifeforms during spiral-in merger may have caused the Cambrian Explosion of life.
Stellar core collapse of our Former Triple-star/Brown-dwarf System from 4,567 Ma to 542 Ma causing the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB):
Lunar rock in the range of 4.04–4.26 Ga, from Apollo 16 and 17, separate the formational 4.5 Ga highland crust from the 4.1–3.9 late heavy bombardment (LHB) melts and breccias, suggesting an the first of a bimodal pulse 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 earlier lunar evidence, a 4.2 Ga impact has affected an LL chondrite parent body. (Trieloff et al., 1989, 1994; Dixon et al., 2004)
Stellar Core-collapse is suggested to have caused an exponential period increase around the solar system barycenter (SSB), which also translates into an exponential increase in the Sun–Companion apoapsis, which may have caused the SSB to cross the 2:3 Plutino resonance with Neptune (39.4 AU) at about 4.22 Ga, and to have reached the peak of the classical Kuiper belt (between the 2:3 and 1:2 resonance with Neptune) at about 43 AU by 3.9 Ga, causing a bimodal late heavy bombardment of the inner solar system.
Exponential rate of increase in the wide-binary (Sun-Companion) separation:
Note: The actual mass of our former binary Companion is relatively unimportant if the perturbation of TNOs and comets is due to the solar system barycenter between the Sun and the Companion, as suggested, 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 the mass of Proxima Centauri. Since Alpha Centauri AB is almost exactly two solar masses, a former binary Companion half the mass of Proxima Centauri would complete the symmetry: a former binary-Companion of .0615 solar mass (1/16.26 solar mass) is suggested.
Assuming exponential wide-binary orbit inflation of the form,
y = mx + b
y is the log(AU) wide-binary (Sun-Companion) separation
x is time in Ma (millions of years ago)
m is the slope, corresponding to the exponential rate
b is the y-intercept, corresponding to 0.0 Ma (the present)
Calculate ‘m’ and ‘b':
1) SSB at 2:3 resonance with Neptune:
1.5955 + 1.2370 = 4220m + b
2) SSB at 43 AU (classical Kuiper belt spike):
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 SSB distance from the Sun to the Companion. 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 (added logarithms are multiplied distances).
Solving for ‘m’ and ‘b’, yields:
y = -x/8421 + 3.334
x = 4,567 Ma, y = 618 AU, SSB = 35.8 AU
x = 4,220 Ma, y = 679 AU, SSB = 39.4 AU (Plutino orbit)
x = 3,900 Ma, y = 742 AU, SSB = 43 AU (classical Kuiper belt spike)
x = 2,500 Ma, y = 1088 AU, SSB = 63 AU (Archean to Proterozoic, TTG to granite transition)
x = 542 Ma, y = 1859 AU, SSB = 108 AU
The SSB crossed the 1:3 resonance with Neptune (62.5 AU) at 2530 Ma at the Archean to Proterozoic boundary, when when Tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) gneiss domes transition to granite in continental basement rock (The tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) to granodiorite-granite (GG) transition in the late Archean plutonic rocks of the central Wyoming Province, 2006).
So the timing of the LHB may be calculable and falsifiable rather than fortuitous and ad hoc as in Grand Tack:
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.
3) The SSB reaches the 3:1 resonance with Neptune (62.5 AU) at 2.5 Ga, entering the scattered disc to where the bulk of protoplanetary planetesimals are suggested to have been scattered by Neptune
SSB perturbation makes an additional falsifiable suggestion that (SSB) perturbation initiated aqueous differentiation in planetesimals, forming gneiss-dome cores in Plutinos and KBOs (TNOs = Plutinos + KBOs) and supracrustal rock on the surface of SDOs. (See sections:
– AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF TNOs, DWARF PLANETS AND COMETS
– SUPRACRUSTAL ROCK AS A DIFFERENTIATED DEBRIS-DISK COATING ON TRANS-NEPTUNIAN OBJECTS)
Asymmetry of the Companion merger at 542 Ma:
While the contact-binary and common-envelope phases of spiral-in stellar mergers are known to bleed gas from the larger stellar component to the smaller stellar component, tending to balance the component masses prior to merger, the process may be less efficient in cooler stars and particularly so in compact brown dwarf binary pairs, permitting sufficient asymmetry in the brown-dwarf merger of our former Companion to have resulted in escape velocity.
Kuiper belt, scattered disc and Oort cloud:
So the well behaved Kuiper belt condensed in situ, explaining its typically low inclination and low eccentricity of TNOs compared to SDOs which are suggested to have been scattered outward by Uranus and Neptune. Then the ‘Kuiper cliff’ can be explained as a combination of in situ condensation of larger debris-disk planetesimals inside the 1:2 resonance with Neptune and orbit clearing of comets by the Companion to a distance beyond its own 1:3 resonance, putting the inner edge of the IOC at about 3800 AU (with the 1:3 resonance beyond the Companion about twice the apapsis distance of the 1859 AU Companion from the Sun by 542 Ma).
Former quadruple-star with binary-Companion conclusions:
– Timing and mechanism for a bimodal LHB
– All the Eon transitions on Earth: Hadean to Archean, Archean to Proterozoic, and Proterozoic to Phanerozoic
– Composition and location of Plutinos and classical (in situ) Kuiper belt and ‘Kuiper cliff’
– Composition of the scattered disc and location of scattered disc
– Composition of the Oort cloud and the location of the inner edge of the IOC
– Cambrian Explosion of life on Earth
– Transitional trends in Earth’s rock record and the origin of continental tectonic plates
Mechanism for solar system barycenter (SSB) perturbation of planeteismals:
The Sun and Companion are hypothesized to have spiraled out from the SSB at an exponential rate for 4 billion years on eccentric orbits. The Sun and Companion orbital eccentricity around the SSB could be replaced by Galilean relativity, from the perspective of the Sun, by the SSB periodically sweeping through the Kuiper belt, with each sweep extending deeper into the scattered disc due to exponential core collapse of the triple (Sun, binary-Companion) star system.
We assume a highly-eccentric former barycentric Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB which put the the solar periapsis (closest approach of SSB to the Sun) below scattered disc object (SDO) perihelia and progressively spiraled out to extend beyond more-and-more SDO aphelia at solar apoapsis (the greatest separation of SSB from the Sun) during the Proterozoic Eon.
(Note, the Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB is assumed to be much longer than trans-Neptunian object (TNO) periods. The following example is of a scattered disc object (SDO) during the Phanerozoic Eon, but a cubewano during the Hadean Eon would work as well.)
At the Sun-Companion barycentric closest approach (SSB periapsis) below SDO perihelia (Sun-SSB distance < 30.1 AU), SDO aphelia are suggested to have been gravitationally attracted to the Companion, causing SDO aphelia to point toward the Companion. But as stellar core collapse caused the Sun-SSB apoapsis to spiral deeper and deeper into the scattered disc, centrifugal force of the Sun around the SSB became progressively more significant until it caused SDO aphelia to flip and point away from the Companion near Sun-Companion apoapsis (the greatest separation of SSB from the Sun).
Earth ocean tide analogy:
On Earth, ‘spring tide’ experiences more gravitational acceleration toward the Moon on the Moon side of the Earth-Moon barycenter (which lies inside the Earth) and experiences more centrifugal acceleration away from the Moon on the far side. Similarly, a heliocentric orbit which crossed the former SSB would have nominally experienced more gravitational acceleration toward the Companion on the Companion side of the SSB (toward orbital perihelion) and more centrifugal acceleration away from the Companion beyond the SSB (toward orbital aphelion). Note, the semi-major axis [half way between perihelion and aphelion] is stated as the ‘nominal’ crossover point for gravitational vs. centrifugal acceleration without proof in this conceptual approach.
Orbital flip-flop, ‘aphelia precession':
When the SSB would reach the semi-major axis of an SDO, the perihelion side of an SDO orbit would feel a stronger centrifugal force away from the Companion than its pull toward the Companion, while the aphelion side would feel a stronger pull toward the Companion. This would tend to cause SDO aphelia to point toward the Companion when Sun-Companion were at closest approach, but then flip-flop to point away from the Companion when Sun-Companion had the greatest separation. Let’s call this orbital flip-flop, ‘aphelia precession’.
Again, with the SSB hovering over the semi-major axis (middle) of an imaginary eccentric SDO orbit, the planetesimal would attempt to affect aphelia precession on the perihelion half of its orbit due to the centrifugal force away from the Companion being stronger than the gravitational attraction toward it. But since a planetesimal in an eccentric orbit spends more of its time on the aphelion side of its semi-major axis (in the slow half of its orbit), orbital flip-flop (aphelia precession) likely wouldn’t occur until the SSB reached well beyond the ‘half-way’ (semi-major axis) point. With the SSB progressively spiraling out into the scattered disc during the Phanerozoic Eon, more-and-more SDOs flip-flopped for the first time (and presumably continued to flip-flop until 543 Ma). Let’s call the unknown point at which SSB causes orbital flip-flop for the first time, the ‘orbital flip-flop point’, which is presumably with the SSB hovering somewhere between a planetesimal’s semi-major axis and its aphelion.
The acceleration and angular-momentum vector precession associated with SSB-mediated aphelia precession is suggested to suggested to have initiated the spiral-in merger of binary classical Kuiper belt objects during the Hadean Eon, whereas binary SDOs had presumably merged prior to 4,567 Ma during the orbit clearing of Uranus and Neptune. Secondly, aphelia precession (especially the first/early occurrence of aphelia precession) is suggested to have caused some planetesimals to descend into the inner solar system and also to have been scattered further out as well, perhaps becoming detached objects.
Repeated aphelia precession over 4 billion years may have been the primary perturbation mechanism of stellar core-collapse of our solar system, causing the close-binary (brown dwarf) components of binary-Companion to spiral in and the wide-binary Sun-Companion to spiral out for over 4 billion years.
Jeans instability and binary formation by fragmentation:
The initial gravitational collapse in protostars is nearly isothermal as long as the contracting cloud remains transparent to infrared radiation. When the central density in protostars reaches about 10^-13 g/cm-3, a small region starts to become opaque, “and the compression become approximately adiabatic”. “The central temperature and pressure then begin to rise rapidly, soon becoming sufficient to decelerate and stop the collapse at the centre. There then arises a small central ‘ core ‘ in which the material has stopped collapsing and is approaching hydrostatic equilibrium” [formation of a first hydrostatic core (FHSC)]. “The initial mass and radius of the core are about 10^31 g and 6×10^13 cm, respectively, and the central density and temperature at this time are about 2 x 10^-10 g/cm-3 and 170° K.”
It’s difficult to imagine fragmentation of an object with a core of whatever density, so the working ideology suggests that stellar/planetary ‘fragmentation’ occurs during the formation of a FHSC. The high angular momentum outer layers of the protostar may become isolated during gravitational contraction described by Larson during the formation of the FHSC, and a fragmented binary companion is suggested to form from the high angular momentum outer layers if they become gravitationally bound within their own Roche sphere and undergo Jeans instability themselves. A subsequent fragmentation may occur to the new binary component during its own contraction to form a FHSC. This process is suggested to have occurred three times in succession in our own solar system to form a quadruple star system.
Larson suggests the second hydrostatic core begins forming at about 2000 K when hydrogen molecules begin to dissociate. “This reduces the ratio of specific heats, gamma, below the critical value 4/3, with the result that the material at the center of the core becomes unstable and begins to collapse dynamically.” (Larson 1969) However, experimental testing suggests that molecular hydrogen dissociation occurs over a temperature range of around 6,000 K – 8,000 K (Magro et al. 1996) which may grade directly into hydrogen ionization, forming mixture of molecular-hydrogen + atomic-hydrogen + plasma. Figure 3 in Magro shows the nearly-isothermal decrease in kinetic energy occurring in the dissociation/ionization temperature range, indicating an endothermic event which promote run-away gravitational collapse to form the ‘second hydrostatic core’ (SHSC).
For the convenience of accommodating the statement, ‘our former protostar may have fragmented 3 times to form a quadruple star system’, the definition of a protostar will be pushed back to include incipient contraction during the formation of a FHSC but prior to the endothermic collapse suggested to form a SHSC, which is suggested to form hot Jupiters. Then YSOs will be defined to span the period from the formation of SHSCs to the main sequence.
Extension of the stellar fragmentation ideology during the formation of a FHSC to the formation of a SHSC suggests the mechanism for formation of hot-Jupiter gas-giant planets in low hot orbits.
Oort cloud comets:
Before the wide-binary separation opened sufficiently to permit the formation of a circumbinary protoplanetary disk around our former binary-Sun, an earlier protoplanetary disk may have condensed a trillion circa 1-20 km comets which were gradually shepherded out into the inner Oort cloud (IOC) beyond the Sun-Companion wide-binary pair over the next 4 billion years.
But since gravitational perturbation is inversely proportional to the cube of the 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 separating Sun-Companion by 100s AU from one another, and perhaps as much as 2000 AU at the wide-binary Sun-Companion apoapsis by 543 Ma. Instead, perhaps a trillion comet perturbations of the binary-brown-dwarf components of binary-Companion caused the perturbation hardening of the close-binary-Companion, and perhaps particularly by comet close encounters with one or the other brown-dwarf members. A comet close encounter with one or other of the two brown-dwarf components would receive a binary-barycentric orbital kick (‘gravity assist’ or ‘gravitational slingshot’) into the Outer Oort cloud or more likely out of the solar solar system altogether, and possibly at high speed.
Surprisingly, the potential energy of one stellar hard binary can equal the binding energy of an entire globular cluster. “Binaries provide a huge reservoir of energy; a single hard binary can have a binding energy equal to that of the [globular]cluster as a whole!” (The Dynamic Lives of Globular Clusters, by S. George Djorgovski) So, perhaps, the combined effect of many hard-binary comets may have a significant cumulative effect, even on vastly-larger brown dwarfs. And the typical peanut shape of presumed contact-binary comets points to spiral-in-merger perturbation.
Hot-Jupiter ‘spin-off planets’ (Jupiter and Saturn):
When the temperature in the core of protostars with a FHSC reaches several thousand Kelvins, endothermic dissociation of molecular hydrogen and its ionization absorb incremental energy of compression contributed by new infalling gas, clamping the temperature and promoting nearly-isothermal, runaway gravitational collapse in the core. Runaway gravitational collapse of the FHSC may isolate the somewhat compressed outer layers of protostars with sufficient angular momentum to assume a Keplerian orbit. When the core collapses inside a significantly-oblate protostar, it may leave behind a doughnut-shaped ring of somewhat compressed gas rotating at near Keplerian speed which may undergo disk instability to form a gravitationally-bound mass contained within its own Roche sphere, a proto-hot-Jupiter.
For Jeans instability, the free-fall time must be less than the sound crossing time, otherwise the system rebounds, but evaporative diffusion of volatile hydrogen across a vast proto-planet Roche sphere will tend to progressively increase the average molecular weight of the proto-planet over time, decreasing the speed of sound until free fall wins, collapsing to form a FHSC. During this initial gravitational collapse, proto-planets like proto-planets will typically fragment, forming a binary proto-planet due to excess angular momentum. Additional fragmentations may form proto-moons which themselves may fragment to form binary-moons. And the multiplicity of resonant beat frequencies of binary stars with their binary spin-off planets which in turn may have binary spin-off moons may cause rapid secular core collapse of the system, causing the rapid spiral in of binary pairs chasing nearby beat frequencies.
In our own solar system, the larger A-star ‘Jupiter-component’ of binary Sun may have formed the spin-off planet, Jupiter, and the smaller B-star ‘Saturn-component’ may have formed the spin-off planet, Saturn. The separation of the Jupiter-component from the Saturn-component of binary-Sun at the time they formed their respective hot-Jupiter spin-off planets may have been about the current maximum separation of Jupiter from Saturn at opposition with respect to the Sun, that is about the separation of Jupiter’s semi-major axis plus Saturn’s semi-major axis for a total binary separation of about 15 AU.
Gas-giant proto-planets, in turn, will also form first and second hydrostatic cores, and may typically fragment during the formation of their FHSCs to briefly become binary planets. And each binary-planet component may in turn for spin-off moons during the formation of their SHSCs which may themselves fragment to form binary moons. In this way, Ganymede may be a spin-off moon formed from the larger binary-Jupiter component, with spin-off moon Callisto forming around the smaller binary-Jupiter component. (And Ganymede and Callisto likely fragmented to form binary moons which subsequently spiraled in to merge and form solitary moons, like former binary-Jupiter and binary-Saturn.
As binary Sun spiraled in, Jupiter and Saturn retained their orbital energy and angular momentum and so were left behind. When Jupiter and Saturn, in turn, reached the nearest Lagrangian point of the binary solar pair they converted from circumprimary and circumsecondary orbits to circumbinary orbits. And Jupiter’s ‘hot-moons’, apparently did likewise until Jupiter’s binary components spiraled in to merge to form a solitary Jupiter, likely prior to the 4,567 Ma solar merger. Jupiter’s 4 Galilean moons appear to correspond to the formation process of Jupiter-and-Saturn and Venus-and-Earth. By comparison, Saturn’s former binary spin-off moons appear not to have spiraled in and merged but to have separated, forming the 4 low-density moons, Mimas, Tethys, Rhea and Iapetus, perhaps due to a close encounter with one of the two solar components when Saturn itself was transitioning into a circumbinary orbit.
‘Merger Planet’ (Earth and Venus):
Spiral-in contact binary and common envelope:
When Roche spheres touch in a ‘contact binary’, the smaller stellar component may siphon the atmosphere of the larger component until their masses are more-nearly balanced. Additional spiral in forms a ‘common envelope’ in which the stellar cores orbit their common barycenter inside an expanded (common) stellar envelope. And the drag of the stellar cores orbiting inside their combine common envelope may create a super-intense solar wind. But a super-intense solar wind streaming away from a common envelope would only carry away something near average specific angular momentum which would not promote further spiral in of the cores and might merely tend to circularize their barycentric orbits by shedding excess orbital energy.
Working backwards from Earth’s terrestrial fractionation line with its ∆17O lying below assumedly-presolar Mars on the 3-oxygen isotope plot suggests a solar-merger origin for Earth with helium-burning stable-isotope enrichment, and by twin-planet symmetry, for Venus as well.
Excess angular momentum of binary components in spiral-in mergers of stars (and binary gas-giant planets) are suggested to create dynamic bar-mode instabilities with high angular momentum tails allowing the binary cores to continue spiraling in while conserving angular momentum.
The bar-mode arms may be nearly symmetrical after the smaller stellar component siphons its way to equality inside the common envelope. Then Keplerian rotation may cause dynamic bar-mode arms to progressively lag behind the binary-core rotation rates, smearing the bar-mode arms into trailing, but still connected, tails. As the binary cores continue sinking inward, the still-connected magnetic field lines in the bar-mode arms and tails become increasingly twisted to the breaking point. Magnetic reconnection occurs in the twisted field lines, causing them to slice through the trailing bar-mode arms will induce opposing magnetic fields that are suggested propel nearly-symmetrical bar-mode masses outward, enabling the binary cores to catastrophically rid themselves of excess angular momentum in the form of gravitationally-bound (proto) ‘merger planets’.
If Venus and Earth are representative of merger planets, then spiral-in mergers of solar-mass stars may also have Venus- and Earth-sized planets in circa 1 AU orbits. Likewise, gas-giant planets including hot Jupiters might be expected to have 4 Galilean moons, two larger outer spin-off moons and 2 merger moons.
The red giant phase of LRN M85OT2006-1 would have reached the Kuiper Belt and perhaps well into it with a size estimated as R = 2.0 +.6-.4 x 10^4 solar radii with a peak luminosity of about 5 x 10^6 solar. (Rau et. al. 2007) “Previously published line indices suggest that M85 has a mean stellar age of 1.6+/-0.3 Gyr. If this mean age is representative of the progenitor of M85 OT 2006-1, then we can further constrain its mass to be less than 2 Msolar.” (Ofek et al. 2007) So the red-giant phase of the solar LRN 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 proto-Venus and proto-Earth across the enormous surface area of their Roche spheres, but the red-giant phase only lasts for a few months.
The pair of hurled off gravitationally-bound proto-merger-planet masses of proto-Earth and proto-Venus, perhaps originally as great as the mass of Saturn, cooled by expansion as well as by diffusive evaporation of hydrogen and helium and other volatiles across their enormous Roche spheres, creating the resulting ‘terrestrial volatility trend’. And periodic super-energetic solar flares during the suggested 3 million year flare-star phase of the Sun following its spiral-in merger, may have greatly contributed to volatile volatile evaporation of the twin proto-planets. Cooling may have continued for 10s of thousands of years, perhaps to the point of converting most of its hydrogen to molecular form below about 2000 K, and chemical reactions were continuously lowering the average Gibbs free energy of the gas and dust.
As the twin proto-merger-planets gradually cooled and raised their average molecular weight, Jeans instability ultimately caused gravitational collapse, which likely fragmented proto-Venus once to form binary-Venus and fragmented proto-Earth twice to form trinary-Earth. Subsequent perturbation caused binary-Venus to spiral in and merge and similarly caused Earth’s two largest trinary components to spiral in and merge, while evaporating Earth’s smallest component outward to form Earth’s oversized Moon with high angular momentum. All the former binary and trinary components of Venus and Earth may have originally formed anorthosite crust by fractional crystallization during slow cooling, like the anorthosite crust on the lunar highlands of Earth’s Moon, but Venus and Earth lost their primordial anorthosite crust during their subsequent binary mergers.
Earth’s ‘terrestrial fractionation line’ (∆17O) on a 3-isotope oxygen plot lies below presumably protoplanetary Mars, which indicates terrestrial contamination with stellar-merger oxygen-16 enrichments, but if the proto-merger-masses were magnetically hurled off during spiral in, then the contamination must have been the result of inward diffusion of oxygen-16 from the red-giant phase of the LRN and subsequently during the 5 million year debris-ring phase during which chondrites were presumably condensed by GI. Mars too would have received an LRN debris-disk coating, but a vastly more massive (if originally Saturn sized) and pithy object like proto-Earth would have had a vastly-larger surface on which to interact with dust and heavy gaseous compounds in heliocentric orbits. Outward diffusion of hydrogen from a pithy proto-Earth colliding with dust and heavy molecules in (retrograde) heliocentric orbits would knock some material out of orbit, allowing it to fall toward proto-Earth, but generally, diffusion would be bidirectional, tending to diffuse volatiles outward while diffusing refractories and dust inward. (Alternatively, the hurled off proto-merger-masses may have had a direct input of stellar-merger helium-burning isotopes.)
The spiral-in merger of the two-largest Earth components some 50 million years after the solar merger may have emitted polar jets of molten core material, highly chemically reduced and highly siderophile in composition. This material may have condensed below Jupiter’s 4:1 resonance at about 2 AU from the Sun to form chemically-reduced enstatite chondrites, high in siderophile elements, which lie near or on the terrestrial fractionation line.
Pebble accretion vs. gravitational instability (GI):
Pebble accretion does not appear to be borne out by chondrites that have no internal structure above that of chondrules, CAIs and etc. If chondrules formed by melting accretionary dust clumps, then accretion appears to end at chondrule-sized masses, at least inside the snow line. Large, centimeter-scale chondrules, such as those in late-forming CB chondrites (4,562.7 Ma) point to late formation at considerably-greater distance from the Sun, suggesting, perhaps, accretionary chondrules formed in centaur orbits (between Saturn and Uranus) from the spiral-in merger of former binary Saturn.
Planetesimal ‘condensation’ by Gravitational Instability (GI):
Jeans instability in the planetesimal range may require elevated ice-and-dust to gas ratios in addition to pressurized conditions. The most typical location for planetesimal condensation may be the pressurized inner edge of accretion disks (protoplanetary disks or secondary debris disks), at the pressure dam just beyond the magnetic corotation radius of solitary stars or at the inner edge of circumbinary accretion disks around binary stars. Inner and outer heliocentric planetary resonances around giant planets may serve as secondary sites for planetesimal condensation, with a resonance or magnetic corotation radius providing a backstop and infalling gas, dust, and ice pressurizing the disk, promoting GI.
Comets range in size from about 1 to 20 km Dia, whereas Plutinos and cubewanos are frequently larger than 100 km Dia. Additionally, Trilling et al. discovered a rapid decline in objects over 100 km beyond 50 AU. Comets and scattered disc objects (SDOs) are both suggested to be protoplanetary, but they may be from two separate reservoirs if comets condensed first beyond the Companion, and perhaps comets condensed beyond the Companion while the solar system was still embedded in its birth Bok globule in the neighborhood of 10 Kelvins. By comparison, present-day scattered disc objects (SDOs) may have condensed slightly later after stellar core collapse had opened up a sufficient gap for a circumbinary protoplanetary disk to form around binary-Sun but closer than binary-Companion, somewhere between Uranus and Neptune and and later scattered outward by orbit clearing. Alternatively, both SDOs and comets may have condensed between Uranus and Neptune, with SDOs scattered to the scattered disk and comets scattered into the Oort cloud. Regardless, protoplanetary comets and SDOs appear to be dramatically smaller than secondary debris-disk Plutinos and cubewanos which formed later at presumably at higher temperatures, but a debris disk following a stellar merger may also be a far-more turbulent environment than a primordial Bok globule. So what combination of temperature, dust-and-ice to gas ratio, orbital distance, turbulence, and chondrule size determines the size of resulting planetesimal condensations?
Super-Earth planets Uranus and Neptune:
Uranus and Neptune is suggested to be a two-planet ‘hybrid accretion’ cascade of super-Earths formed by hybrid accretion of planetesimals condensed by GI at the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk, Uranus forming first followed by Neptune.
Uranus is suggested to have spiraled as a result of the lift required to clear its orbit of planetesimals, resulting in its 98° axial tilt. But did the formation of Uranus push back the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk sufficiently to precipitate a second generation of planetesimals near the orbit of Neptune, or did Neptune form from planetesimals cleared from Uranus’ orbit. Either way, the 98° axial tilt of Uranus vs. the smaller 28° axial tilt of Neptune suggests a far-greater lift by Uranus. The pileup of multiple exoplanets in low orbits below 1 AU suggests planetesimals must condense in multiple generations; however the outermost orbital gap generally appears to be proportionally greater than gaps closer in to the host star, suggesting a considerable lift for all but the outermost presumed super-Earth. (See section: CASCADE FORMATION OF SUPER-EARTHS BY HYBRID CORE ACCRETION OF PLANETESIMALS ‘CONDENSED’ BY GRAVITATIONAL INSTABILITY AT THE INNER EDGE OF ACCRETION DISKS)
Axial tilt is only a relative indication of planetesimal lift, since three other planets have axial tilts in the 20-30° range. Jupiter, however, has a tilt of only 3° suggesting a possible reorientation of the solar system following the loss of the Companion at 542 Ma, with reorientation as a possible perturbator of planetesimals in the Phanerozoic Eon which may be in continuance today.
As Uranus grew in size by core accretion of kilometer-scale planetesimals, it began clearing its orbit, mostly by evaporating the planetesimals outward, so Uranus should fall within the typical range for a cascade of two super-Earths at its orbital distance; however, Neptune may be somewhat undersized for a super-Earth at its orbital distance, even considering its negligible lift of planetesimals evaporated into the scattered disc. The suggested secondary condensation of planetesimals from the solar-merger debris disk greatly complicates the issue of determining the mass and distance of protoplanetary planetesimals evaporated by Neptune, partly because small objects are difficult to detect at scattered-disc distances and partly because the proportion of protoplanetary planetesimals among Plutinos and cubewanos and beyond is unknown. But at least Uranus may serve as a standard candle for its orbital distance.
As binary-Sun continued spiraling in after forming super-Earths Uranus and Neptune, a large gap appears between Mars and Uranus which may represent disruption of the protoplanetary disk by the emergence of Jupiter and Saturn as circumbinary planets from their original hot Jupiter circum-primary and circum-secondary origins around the binary solar components. Mars may also be the benefactor of the spiral-in merger of former binary-Jupiter, but binary-Jupiter-merger debris would have been essentially presolar in isotopic composition, if not in volatility.
The elevated ∆17O of Martian meteorites, compared to the terrestrial fractionation line, suggests a hybrid-accretion super-Earth origin for Mars, slightly before the 4,567 Ma solar merger, but the diminutive size of Mars as a super-Earth, particularly for its > 1 AU orbital distance, suggests a greatly-truncated accretionary phase which could have been due to a depleted protoplanetary disk along with the rapid spiral in of binary Sun, causing the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk to spiral in along with the solar resonances sculpting its inner edge, leaving diminutive Mars behind.
Mars is rife with finely-layered rock on a centimeter scale, which has been photographed by the various Mars rovers, but it also appears to have significantly-coarser degree of layering on a meter scale where it’s been photographed in chasmas and central crater uplifts (particularly/exclusively[?] in the Arabia Terra region) by Mars orbiters at lower resolution.
Some or most of this coarser sedimentary layering on Mars is suggested to have differentiated from a secondary debris-disk coating layer accreted from the 4,567 Ma solar-merger LRN debris disk, and if so, Mars ‘blueberries’ may be chondrules, with larger, older binary-Jupiter-merger chondrules and smaller, slightly-younger LRN chondrules. If Mars is indeed a protoplanetary super-Earth, then the resulting sedimentary rock would be a composite between protoplanetary Mars and a surficial solar-merger-debris coating, with the coating enriched in helium-burning stable isotopes (carbon-12 and oxygen-16).
The coarse sedimentary layering sequences on Mars are reminiscent of reverse faults in supracrustal rock on Earth, and not coincidentally, the suggested scattered-disc origin of Proterozoic supracrustal rock on Earth may be identical to the differentiation of a debris-disc coating on Mars, right down to subsequent reverse faulting during contraction of the host planet/planetesimal. Then to complete the analogy, supracrustal rock on Mars should have similar volcanic layers, caused by differing oxidation potentials between protoplanetary and debris-disk materials.
The debris-disk coating should have been significantly more volatile depleted in the inner solar system than in the scattered disk (with a higher oxidation potential: ‘Eh’); however, greater volatility and oxidation potential of the debris disk in the inner solar system may have been largely offset by a greater volatility and oxidation potential of the protoplanetary disk in the inner solar system. SDOs apparently had to wait until the Proterozoic Eon for the solar-system barycenter (SSB) between the Sun and our former binary-Companion to reach the scattered disc to perturb the debris-disc coating to undergo aqueous and thermal differentiation, whereas the debris-disk coating may have chemically reacted almost immediately on Mars, giving it an Early Hadean age.
The twisted terrain of Hellas Planitia (impact basin) is suggested to be the lithified core of a late heavy bombardment cubewano that had undergone internal aqueous differentiation to form TTG series gneiss domes, similar to comparable Hadean and Early Archean rock on Earth.
Asteroids, chondrites, Mercury and the odd rotation rates of Mercury and Venus:
CAIs are suggested to have condensed from polar jets blasting from the core of the spiral-in solar-component merger, explaining their canonical enrichment of aluminum-26. If the flare-star phase of the Sun following the LRN melted dust accretions to form chondrules, then the flare-star phase must have lasted 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, and 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 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 from the inner edge of the solar-merger debris disk sculpted by the magnetic corotation radius of the Sun in its energetic flare-star phase. And Mercury may be a hybrid accretion of asteroids, followed by asteroid orbit-clearing by the 3 terrestrial planets into Jupiter’s inner resonances. Rocky-iron asteroids may have ‘thermally differentiated’ by radioactive decay of LRN f-process radionuclides, whereas chondrites may have condensed after the relative extinction of the short-lived radionuclides. So the planet Mercury may have isotopic enrichments similar to the howardite–eucrite–diogenite (HED) meteorites thought to be from 4 Vesta.
If Venus had formerly been in a synchronous orbit around the Sun prior to the loss of our former binary-Companion, the loss of the centrifugal force is suggested to have lowered its orbit slightly, perhaps accounting for its slight retrograde rotation. The planet Mercury is in a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance in which it undergoes 3 rotations for every 2 orbits around the Sun, so if Mercury had a former 1:1 synchronous orbit like Venus, then its prograde rotation rated increased rather than decreasing like Venus’. This might occur, however, if Mercury assumed a more eccentric orbit with lower orbital angular momentum and higher rotational angular momentum in order to conserve both energy and angular momentum in its closed system.
Suggested formation mechanisms of quadruple-star system 30 Arietis and its 1 AU super-Jupiter:
Suggested stellar formation sequence:
30 Arietis A and 30 Arietis B condensed from the same gravitationally-bound Bok globule, and their companion stars formed by ‘fragmentation’ (bifurcation) during the gravitational collapse which formed the first hydrostatic cores (FHSCs) of 30 Arietis A and 30 Arietis B.
Suggested super-Jupiter formation method:
Following ‘stellar fragmentation’ during the formation of Arietis B’s FHSC, the core continued to warm by gravitational contraction until reaching about 2000 Kelvins. At a core temperature of about 2000 K, molecular hydrogen (H2) begins to dissociate endothermically, promoting runaway gravitational collapse to form a ‘second hydrostatic core’ (SHSC) (Larson 1969). Gravitational collapse isolated the outer stellar layers with excess angular momentum (in near Keplerian orbit) which collected into a gravitationally-bound mass within its own Roche sphere. Then, progressive evaporation of volatile molecular hydrogen and helium across its vast Roche sphere along with progressive sublimation of icy chondrules inherited from the progenitor Bok globule progressively raised its average molecular weight, increasing the ‘sound crossing time’ until Jeans instability caused gravitational collapse to form the hot-super-Jupiter, 30 Ari Bb. (So 30 Ari Bb is suggested to have originally formed as a hot-Jupiter in a low hot orbit.)
Stellar core collapse:
Progressive stellar core collapse over the 910 million year lifespan of the of the quadruple star system is suggested to have caused the two hard, close-binary stellar pairs to spiral in, while increasing the separation of the soft wide-binary (30-Arietis-A–30-Arietis-B) separation. But if the 30 Ari Bb super-Jupiter retained its formational angular momentum, then core collapse of the 30 Arietis B close-binary pair caused the larger (planet progenitor) stellar component to spiral in and move away from its super-Jupiter child, giving 30 Ari Bb its current .995 AU (and growing) orbit.
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 1 km planetesimals, in which the planetesimals have been formed by gravitational instability (GI). (Currie, 2005)
Suggested alterations to Thayne Currie’s hybrid accretion model:
1) Planet types formed by hybrid accretion:
This hybrid mechanism may be limited to forming terrestrial super-Earth–type planets like Mars and ice giants like Uranus and Neptune, but not gas-giant planets which are posited to form by GI from outer stellar layers isolated by their excess angular momentum.
2) Hybrid-accretion planetesimal size:
Presolar planetesimals forming super-Earths may be vastly larger than the 1 km planetesimal size envisioned if circa 100 km trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) were formed by GI as the evidence of similar size and color of TNO binaries suggests. Secondary debris disks, however, may ‘condense’ smaller planetesimals, perhaps down to 1 km, due to elevated dust-to-gas ratios, forming Mercury as a hybrid accretion planet from asteroids ‘condensed’ from the spiral-in binary solar merger (4,567 Ma) debris disk.
3) Location, location, location:
The formation of planetesimals by GI may require,
1) elevated dust-to-gas ratios, and
both of which may most typically occur in the pressure dam at the inside edge of accretion disks. The inner edge of accretion disks around solitary stars may be governed by the magnetic corotation radius of the star, whereas the inner edge of circumbinary accretion disks may be governed by binary stellar resonances. Finally, a limited degree of planetesimal formation by GI may occur in giant planet resonances, such as chondrite formation which may have occurred in situ in Jupiter’s inner resonances at highly-elevated dust-to-gas ratios.
Mercury, Mars, Uranus and Neptune may be ‘super-Earth’ type planets formed by hybrid accretion of planetesimals in 3 separate planet-formation episodes.
Uranus and Neptune:
The super-Earth cascade of Uranus and Neptune first super-Earth formation episode at the inner edge of the circumbinary protoplanetary disk beyond our former binary Sun, where the binary solar-component separation at the time may have been on the order of the combined semi-major axes of Jupiter and Saturn. When Uranus reached its current size by hybrid accretion of TNOs, it was able to clear its orbit by ‘evaporating’ most of the planetesimals outward. But the effort of clearing its orbit of more than its own mass of TNOs and larger dwarf-planet–sized hybrid accretions lowered Uranus’ orbit, perhaps resulting in its 98° axial tilt due to closed-system conservation of orbital and rotational angular momentum. Neptune formed after Uranus and then similarly cleared its orbit of the remaining TNOs and dwarf planets, most of which were evaporated into the Kuiper belt beyond.
If Jupiter and Saturn are spin-off planets (see section: PLANETS, MOONS, DWARF PLANETS AND PLANETESIMALS) that spiraled out from the binary solar components as the solar components spiraled during stellar core collapse, Jupiter and Saturn may have disrupted the circumbinary protoplanetary disk from condensing protoplanets until the binary separation of our former binary Sun was considerably less than 1 AU. So the hybrid accretion of Mars occurred prior to the ultimate binary solar merger at 4,567 Ma. Orbit clearing by Mars of remaining planetesimals and larger dwarf-planet hybrid accretions may have wound up in Jupiter’s inner resonances, with 1 Ceres as the largest surviving hybrid-accretion dwarf-planet.
Mercury’s high density and proportionately-large iron core size suggests a hybrid accretion of highly volatilely-depleted asteroids ‘condensed’ by GI from the solar-merger debris disk with its inner edge at the (super-intense) magnetic corotation radius of the Sun following the solar merger, but we won’t know for certain until we get samples from Mercury to see if it corresponds to the stellar-merger–nucleosynthesis stable-isotope enrichment of ∆17O with rocky-iron asteroids like 4 Vesta. The terrestrial planets in turn cleared their orbits of the left-over asteroids, evaporating them into Jupiter’s inner resonances.
The size of super-Earth planets may be governed by the separation distance from the star or from the stellar barycenter in the case of circumbinary disks around binary stars, with larger super-Earths potentially forming further out in circumbinary accretion disks. The term ‘super-Earth’ implies a planet size larger than Earth, and indeed, super-Earths are more abundant in the exoplanet surveys than smaller terrestrial planets. Super-Earth size may also be constrained by lack of sufficient planetesimals, as may be the case in the diminutive size of Mars and Mercury. In cascades of Super-Earths, all but the outermost planet should have reached its target mass for dynamic orbit clearing, so only Uranus should be typical in size for its formation conditions.
In super-Earth cascades of 3 or more planets, the separation between the outermost two planets will typically be wider than inner separations since only the outermost planet has not sunk in orbit by clearing its orbit of one or more planet’s worth of planetesimals. Cascades of super-Earths tend to exhibit adjacent orbital-period ratios of 1:3 to 2:3 except for the outermost separation. This of course assumes no subsequent planetary dynamics which frequently may be a poor assumption.
The inner edge of circumbinary disks may be governed by corotation resonances and outer Lindblad resonances in the range of 1.8a to 2.6a, where ‘a’ designates the binary-stellar semi-major axis. (Artymowicz and Lubow 1994)
In cascades of super-Earths, do all the planetesimals form first? Can super-Earths push out the inner edge of circumbinary disks, creating renewed spates of planetesimal formation further out? A close examination of planet size and planetesimals separations may provide the answer.
In binary systems, spin-off planets like Jupiter and Saturn may interrupt the formation of super-Earths as our solar system seems to indicate. Around solitary stars, spin-off planets would presumably form before super Earths and may push out the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk, causing super-Earths to form further out at more temperate separations. Merger planets hurled to circa 1 AU separations from their merged stars like Venus and Earth may merely jostle a super-Earth cascade where it can squeeze in, confusing the sequence and thus confusing planetary origins. Indeed Earth may have edged Mars into a slightly higher orbit in Earth’s earliest protoplanet phase when it may have originally had the mass of Saturn or greater before becoming severely volatilely depleted.
Tau Ceti and HD 40307 are apparently five and six super-Earth exoplanet star systems, respectively, without the complication of spin-off planets or merger planets.
Finally, aqueously-differentiated planetesimal cores may be visible on Mars in a number of chasmas and impact basins (Melas Chasma, Hellas Planitia, the central uplift in Becquerel Crater and etc.) where prevailing winds have removed sand dunes, revealing Mars’ internal composition.
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):
The problem of planetesimal formation is a major unsolved problem in astronomy since meter-sized “boulders are expected to stick together poorly, and to spiral into the protostar in a few hundred orbits owing to a ‘head wind’ from the slower rotating gas” (Johansen et al., 2007).
This approach rejects pebble accretion in favor of gravitational instability (GI) for the formation of planetesimals. In protoplanetary disks or debris disks (generically ‘accretion disks’), GI is suggested to occur in the pressure dam at the inner edge of accretion disks around solitary or binary stars. Around solitary stars, the inner edge of the accretion disk is assumed to be sculpted by the magnetic corotation radius, while the inner edge of accretion disks around binary stars is sculpted by the binary resonances. Heliocentric resonances associated with giant planets may also serve as pressure dams against which planetesimals can condense, such as chondrites condensed against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances and Kuiper belt objects against Neptune’s outer resonances.
Our former protostar is hypothesized to have fragmented 3 times in succession, due to excess angular momentum, to form a quadruple star/brown-dwarf system, composed of a close-binary Sun and a close-binary Companion in a wide-binary separation which orbited the solar-system barycenter (SSB).
Protoplanetary reservoir comets and SDOs:
Solar system planetesimals are suggested to have condensed from 2 accretionary reservoirs at slightly-different times, with Oort cloud comets having condensed first from the circum-quaternary protoplanetary disk, most likely while still ensconced in our Bok globule stellar nursery. As stellar core collapse opened up an ever-increasing Sun-Companion wide-binary separation two things occurred. Comets were shepherded by the outer Sun-Companion resonances into ever-higher SSB-centric orbits by the ever-increasing period of the Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB, and the increasing wide-binary separation opened up a sufficient Sun-Companion gap for a circumbinary protoplanetary disk to form around binary-Sun, causing a second round of planetesimal condensations that would ‘hybrid accrete’ to form ‘super-Earth’ Uranus and Neptune. (Core accretion of planetesimals formed by gravitational instability, hence ‘hybrid accretion’. [Thane Currie 2005]) Orbit clearing by Uranus and Neptune is assumed to have scattered the leftover planetesimals into the scattered disc, as scattered disc objects (SDOs), presumably prior to 4,567 Ma.
Protoplanetary SDOs are suggested to have condensed with a significant percentage of highly-volatile ices, such as CO, N2, CH4, NH3, CO2 and etc., whereas more volatilely-depleted KBOs apparently condensed primarily from water ice, making KBOs the water worlds of the solar system.
If highly-volatile SDOs had undergone similar aqueous differentiation in orbit-clearing scattering prior to 4,567 Ma and found their way to Earth like suggested KBO gneiss-domes, then there should be rock on Earth older than 4,567 Ma, which is not the case, so highly-volatile ices must have sacrificially clamped comet and SDO temperatures below the melting point of water ice during pre-4567 Ma binary spiral-in mergers and hybrid accretion events. As a result, SDOs are suggested to contain numerous internal voids created by the sublimation of volatile ices, with internal compositions like pithy Styrofoam balls used in holliday craft projects. Suggested subsequent SDO differentiation into supracrustal rock and granite batholiths is covered in other sections.
Secondary debris-disk reservoir KBOs:
Our former binary-Sun is suggested to have spiraled in and merged in a luminous red nova (LRN) at 4,567 Ma, creating a secondary debris disk from which asteroids, chondrites and
Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) condensed. The low-inclination, low-eccentricity typical binarity of classical Kuiper belt objects (cubewanos) speaks to their having condensed in situ, not having been scattered there by a mythical planetary migration of Neptune during the late heavy bombardment. Plutinos are suggested secondary debris-disk condensates as well.
Binary spiral-in mergers of KBO water worlds are suggested to cause ‘aqueous differentiation’, melting salt-water oceans in their cores which precipitate dissolved mineral species of mineral grains, forming sedimentary cores which can undergo lithification and even diagenesis and metamorphism to form rocky gneiss-dome cores with hydrothermal-rock mantles. So ‘geochonology’ of gneiss domes gives the age of their spiral-in mergers.
Perturbation of trans-Neptunian objects:
Our Sun-Companion system is suggested to have undergone 4 billion years of core collapse, feeding off the potential energy of the Companion’s close-binary components to increase the wide-binary Sun-Companion period around the SSB (assumedly at an exponential rate) until the Companion’s binary components asymmetrically merged at 543 Ma, giving the Companion escape velocity from the Sun. After 4 billion years of core collapse, the Companion’s apoapsis from the Sun may have reached the (circa 2000 AU) distance of the inner edge of the inner Oort cloud, explaining the ‘Kuiper cliff’ fall off of planetesimals beyond about 50 AU as orbit clearing by the Companion and explaining the shepherding of Oort cloud comets into the Inner Oort cloud in a circum(wide)binary SSB-centric (not heliocentric) orbit beyond the Companion at apoapsis.
As the Sun and Companion spiraled out from the SSB, by Galilean invariance with respect to the Sun, the SSB spiraled out through the Kuiper Belt and scattered disc, passing through the cubewanos from 3.8 – 4.1 Ga (causing the late heavy bombardment) and perturbing binary KBOs to spiral in and merge, initiating aqueous differentiation. The perturbation mechanisms since the loss of the Companion and the SSB are less mechanistic and may be related to the loss of the angular momentum of the Companion which may have previously stabilized the solar system against external perturbation from passing stars and ‘globule clusters’ (see section DARK MATTER). Additionally, the solar system may have a large reservoir of ‘detached objects’ in highly eccentric orbits of which Sedna and 2012 VP-113 are two members, with the vast majority beyond detection near perihelia where detached objects spend the lion’s share of their orbit. (Assumedly detached objects have been pumped into high-eccentricity long-period orbits by former Sun-Companion resonances, but with the loss of the Companion’s gyroscopic stability, they may be induced to suffer angular momentum loss by by external perturbations, causing their perihelia to spiral down into the planetary realm where the giant planets eventually perturb them in to the Sun or out of the inner solar system. External perturbation tending to torque objects forward in long-period orbits tends to increase the magnitude of the angular momentum vector, raising their perihelia, but perturbations retarding objects in their orbits decrease the magnitude of the angular momentum vector, lowering perihelia.)
Ignoring Oort cloud comets, detached objects may be the TNO reservoir responsible for the largest Earth impacts in the Phanerozoic Eon since the loss of the Companion, assumedly perturbed by passing stars and dark-matter globule-clusters/giant-molecular-clouds (see section DARK MATTER). And the vast majority of the detached object reservoir are beyond the present limits of detection, so we can only calculate the extent of the reservoir by observing the aphelia tip of the iceberg.
Aqueous differentiation into sedimentary cores:
Aqueous differentiation is initiated when planetesimals collide or when binary planetesimals spiral in and merge to melt water ice and form salt-water oceans in their cores, creating a solution of mineral species from the dissolution of nebular dust. Microbes may catalyze chemical reactions, greatly increasing the number and complexity of precipitated minerals.
Precipitated (authigenic) mineral grains continue to grow through crystallization until they fall out of suspension due to negative buoyancy in microgravity. The gravitational acceleration, and thus buoyancy, is also dependent on location within the planetesimal, ranging from zero at the gravitational center and rising to a peak value some 2/3 of the way to the surface, so aqueously-differentiated planetesimal cores should have the largest authigenic mineral-grain size in the center, barring metasomatic pegmatites.
pH spike during pressure venting:
The partial pressure of CO2 in trapped gas pockets between the core ocean and the overlying ice-water boundary of the icy mantle forces carbon dioxide into solution where it reacts with water to form carbonic acid, lowering the pH. Following binary spiral-in mergers when internal temperatures are still rising and expanding the core ocean by melting, subsidence faults in the icy mantle would periodically vent the trapped gas to the surface.
A sudden drop in pressure on the core ocean would cause dissolved carbonic acid to convert to gaseous CO2 by nucleating on suspended mineral grains which the bubbles would float to the surface creating a froth of CO2 foam at the ice-water boundary, like the effect of sugar added to a carbonated drink. And the repetition of gradually rising CO2 partial pressure followed by its sudden venting would cause ‘sawtooth’ pH fluctuations over time.
The solubility of aluminum salts is particularly pH sensitive, so pressure overlying planetesimal oceans could indirectly control the reservoir of dissolved aluminous species in solution. Aluminous species solubility is U-shaped with respect to pH with an inflection point at about 6-1/2 pH (Driscoll and Schecher, 1990). 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 a precipitation of felsic feldspar minerals.
Silica solubility, by comparison, is particularly temperature sensitive, so quartz grains will precipitate at the cold ice-water boundary where silica solubility is at a minimum, and a sudden venting of pressure to the surface may cause the surface of the ocean to flash boil, further concentrating solutes and lowering its temperature. So with quartz precipitation at the ice-water boundary and catastrophically precipitated feldspar mineral grains floated to the surface by nucleating CO2 bubbles, the floating mass buoyed up by CO2 foam is suggested to have a felsic composition. And mineral grains would continue to grow by crystallization as long as they remain buoyantly trapped at the surface.
A frothy mass, perhaps cemented with slime bacteria, is suggested to have a degree of mechanical competency, forming a cohesive floating mat. When the mat became ‘waterlogged’ by negative buoyancy, it would begin to sag until finally sinking as a two-dimensional membrane onto the more mafic sedimentary core, and the larger surface area (circumference) at the ice-water boundary would be forced to crumple when mapping onto the smaller surface area of the sedimentary core, bunching into disharmonic convolute folds or ptygmatic folds as it fell onto the core below. Some ptygmatic folds in migmatite double back on themselves like alpine hairpin turns or ribbon candy.
Folding in metamorphic rock:
Planetesimal circumferential folding:
Lithification of gneiss-dome sedimentary cores is a process of porosity destruction, forcing out the (aqueous) connate fluids, shrinking the volume of the authigenic sedimentary core and crumpling in the process. This lithification compaction of the circumference at which sedimentary layers were laid down causes ‘circumferential folding’ at all scales by the expulsion of hydrothermal fluids, like grapes dehydrating to form raisins. Lithification of sedimentary rock on Earth similarly results in volume reduction as well, but because of Earth’s enormous diameter, no perceptible reduction in circumference occurs, hence the absence of circumferential folding on Earth. And if circumferential folding of gneiss dome cores typically undergo subsequent metamorphism during the progressive pressure increase caused by the expansion of the overlying ocean freezing solid, then circumferential folding of sedimentary rock may have the misleading appearance having occurred during metamorphism.
Terrestrial tectonic folding:
Large-scale folding due to plate tectonics on Earth, typically forming orogenic synclines and anticlines, is easily explained and demonstrated by folding up into the void of the atmosphere; however, suggested metamorphic folding on Earth at depths necessary for attaining (high-pressure) metamorphic pressures can shear, but has no voids to fold into at depth. So, tectonic folding is readily demonstrable, whereas metamorphic folding at depth is problematic.
Planetesimal or possibly terrestrial crenellations:
Personalization of mica perpendicular to the principal stress field can occur during metamorphism, and if this recrystallization occurs in succession in different overlapping planes, the intersection can create a characteristic texture called crenellation in phyllite. Crenellation is a secondary process, sometimes called overprinting, which occurs during metamorphism, probably primarily during primary planetesimal metamorphism; however, crenellation during subsequent terrestrial metamorphism is not ruled out. If lithification and metamorphic recrystallization occur concurrently, then the distinction between circumferential folding and crenellation may become somewhat blurred.
Planetesimal Ptygmatic folding:
Disharmonic convolute folds or ptygmatic folds (described in the previous section) is suggested to occur during sedimentation prior to lithification.
In aqueous differentiation of icy planetesimals, when primary sedimentation runs to completion in forming gneissic sedimentary cores, hydrothermal fluids expelled during diagenesis of the core precipitate hydrothermal mineral-grain sediments with different chemistry over top of the gneissic core, namely, sandstone/quartzite, schist and carbonate rock (limestone and dolostone) sediments, which form hydrothermal-rock mantles over gneissic cores. Then as the planetesimal cools and the internal ocean freezes solid, the volume increase of the saltwater ocean expanding to form ice may be largely responsible for pressure increase during gneiss-dome metamorphism, converting sedimentary gneissic sediments to migmatite and gneiss, and hydrothermal sandstone to quartzite, and limestone to marble by ‘freeze-out metamorphism’.
Authigenic Mineral-grain size:
A major difference between authigenic terrestrial sediments and authigenic planetesimal sediments would be mineral grain size. On the surface of our high-gravity planet, precipitated authigenic mineral grains fall out of aqueous suspension at clay size to become sequestered in sedimentary layers which lithify into mudstone, but in the microgravity deep inside planetesimal oceans, microgravity dispersion apparently allow mineral grains to grow by crystallization to the size typically found in migmatite and gneiss before falling out of aqueous suspension (although in the case of granulite metamorphism, the mineral grains have typically personalized at that size). Felsic leucosome mineral grains can be significantly larger than the typical mafic mineral grain size, which may indicate entrapment in buoyant flotsam at the ice-water ceiling where felsic grains can grow out of proportion to their negative buoyancy. Gravitational acceleration increases from zero at the gravitational center to a maximum value part way between the core and the surface, so mineral grain sizes would tend to decrease over time from the inside out in sedimentary planetesimal cores, except for leucosomes and metasomatic pegmatites which may grow to prodigious size on surfaces exposed to hydrothermal fluids but protected from sedimentation.
Summary and discussion:
In conventional geology, the supposed segregation of felsic and mafic minerals into leucosome, melanosome and mesosome layers by metamorphism of protolith rock to form migmatite gneiss is explained by the partial melting (anatexis) of lower-melting-point (primarily felsic) minerals and the extrusion of this melt down a “potential force gradient.” “The consensus today is that both in situ melt and externally derived melt are present in most migmatites (Kriegsman, 2001).” (Urtson, 2005) This means that adjacent layers alone can not explain the local enrichments and depletions of felsic and mafic layering, and so non-local externally-derived melt is needed for mass balance. In an aqueous planetesimal setting, adjacent felsic and mafic leucosomes and melanosomes have the entire planetesimal ocean to draw from. “Comingling and mixing of mafic and felsic magmas” is also suggested as an explanation for alternating felsic/mafic layers. (Sandeman et al., 2000)
Conventionally, gneiss domes are divided into two classes: fault related and fault unrelated. Larger gneiss-dome systems are divided into evenly spaced and unevenly spaced. Evenly spaced dome systems are considered to be instabilities caused by vertical-density or -viscosity contrast and horizontal loads, leading to buckling. Unevenly spaced dome systems are associated with fault development or “superposition of multiple deformational phases.” “In nature, gneiss domes are often produced by superposition of several dome-forming mechanisms. This has made determination of the dynamic cause of individual domes and dome systems exceedingly challenging.” (Yin, 2004)
Rayleigh–Taylor (RT) instability is a favored explanation for the formation of evenly-spaced gneiss domes which is sometimes called a fingering instability where a finger is theorized to spread into a mushroom cap to explain concentric layering in ellipsoid gneiss domes. RT instabilities, however, fail to explain the typical sedimentary basements: “In some, the lowest horizon of the mantle consists of basal conglomerate with boulders of the same gneiss that forms the dome; in others, the basement stratum is a layer of quartzite, above which follow dolomite and mica schist; and in still others, dolomite forms the basement.” (Eskola, 1948)
The basement horizon of quartzite, carbonate rock and conglomerate in gneiss-dome mantles can only be explained in conventional geology with secondary ad hoc mechanisms, but in aqueous differentiation, the concentric layering of gneiss domes are merely sedimentary growth rings transitioning to hydrothermal sedimentation, followed by diagenesis, lithification and metamorphism. So sedimentary migmatite, gneiss and schist are on an equal footing with the mantle layers of quartzite and carbonate rock. And conglomerate or graywacke outer layer on gneiss domes is merely grinding of the rocky core against the ice ceiling as the freezing ocean finally closes in on the core, creating a clastic frosting on authigenic sedimentary core. Often the conglomerate pebbles, cobbles and boulders in the frosting conglomerate are highly polished with an indurated (case-hardened) surface as freezing tends to reject dissolved minerals, creating a final spike in dissolved mineral species that deposit (plate out) on cobbles and pebbles.
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.
Our former binary Companion may have somewhat stabilized the solar system prior to its hypothesized loss at 542 Ma. “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) But the 400 Ma comes from the 400 million-year bin size used in the study.
SURFICIAL SUPRACRUSTAL ROCK ON SCATTERED-DISC OBJECTS:
If tidal perturbation of scattered disc objects (SDOs) (typically during the Proterozoic Eon) reached the melting point of water ice, authigenic mineral grains may have precipitated and lithified into supracrustal rock at or near the surface. Then in subsequent SDO impacts with Earth, the highly-compressible ices in the SDO core will rebound following the primary shock wave, and these decompressing (supercritical) fluids may loft supracrustal rock hundreds or even thousands of kilometers from the impact basin, forming a secondary-rebound strewn fields.
Super-earths Uranus and Neptune and the scattered disc:
Uranus and Neptune are suggested to have formed by ‘hybrid accretion’ of planetesimals condensed by gravitational instability (GI), with ‘hybrid accretion’ reflecting the hybridization of core-accretion planets formed from GI-condensed planetesimals (Thayne Curie 2005). Any planet formed by hybrid accretion is defined here as a ‘super-Earth’, regardless of size or composition. The super-Earth ‘cascade’, consisting of Uranus and Neptune, are suggested to have formed in succession (cascade), with Uranus forming first followed by orbit clearing of more than its own weight of planetesimals which formed Neptune. The effort of the planetesimal lift caused Uranus to sink into a lower heliocentric orbit and to tilt its spin axis onto its side. Subsequent orbit clearing by Neptune evaporated the leftover scattered disc objects (SDOs) to the scattered disc, most with suggested aphelia beyond the 1:3 orbital-period resonance with Neptune.
Solar-merger secondary debris disk, condensing KBOs:
Our former binary Sun is suggested to have spiraled in to merge in a luminous red nova (LRN) (solar mergers are also called ‘red transients’) at 4,568 Ma, forming a secondary debris disk from which asteroids, chondrites, Plutinos and Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) condensed by GI, with Plutinos and (cubewano) KBOs condensing in situ in Neptune’s outer resonances, explaining their typical low-eccentricity low-inclination orbits compared to the less well behaved ‘scattered’ orbits of SDOs.
Scattered disk objects (SDOs):
So high-eccentricity/high-inclination SDOs are attributable to having been scattered by Uranus and Neptune during their orbit clearing phases, assumedly prior to 4,568 Ma. SDOs assumedly condensed directly from the protoplanetary disk, originating in a bitterly-cold Bok globule within a giant molecular cloud. Stars, planets, moons and planetesimals formed by GI often fragment due to excess angular momentum, forming binary pairs, but the subsequent scattering by Uranus and Neptune would have presumably perturbed binary pairs to either spiral in and merge or spiral out and dissociate, populating the scattered disc with solitary SDOs in scattered orbits. Finally, preexisting SDOs may have accreted a substantial coating from the secondary debris disk, shortly after 4,568 Ma.
Former Companion to the Sun:
Our former protostar is suggested to have fragmented three times to form a quadruple star system that evolved two close-binary pairs, binary-Sun and binary-Companion, in a wide-binary separation. (Resonant) stellar core collapse caused ‘secular perturbation’ of the system, causing the close-binary pairs to spiral in and transfer their orbital energy to increasing the wide-binary separation, causing binary-Sun and binary-Companion to exponentially spiral out from the solar system barycenter, increasing the wide-binary period at an exponential rate over time. Binary-Sun spiraled in to merge in at 4,568 Ma and binary-Companion spiraled in to merge some 4 billion years later at 543 Ma in an asymmetrical merger that gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun.
Former Solar-system barycenter (SSB):
The solar system barycenter (SSB) was the point around which the Sun and binary-Companion orbited for 4 billion years, and the apoapsis (most distant separation) of the wide-binary Sun-Companion separation increased at an exponential rate over time into an increasingly eccentric Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB. From a heliocentric perspective (by Galilean relativity) the SSB effectively spiraled out into the Kuiper belt and scattered disk at an exponential rate, perturbing planetesimals by causing 180 degree apsidal flip flopping of planetesimal orbits (see section: PLANETS, MOONS, DWARF PLANETS AND PLANETESIMALS). The late heavy bombardment of the Hadean Eon is suggested to have been caused by the perturbation of KBOs by the SSB, first the Plutinos around 4.22 Ga followed by the cubewanos between 4.1 and 3.8 Ga. The relatively-quiet Archean represents the SSB transit between the 1:2 resonance with Neptune and the 1:3 resonance with Neptune. The SSB reached the 1:3 resonance with Neptune at 2,500 Ma, ushering in the Phanerozoic Eon where the semimajor axes of the main body of the scattered disc reservoir of protoplanetary SDOs are suggested to lie.
SSB perturbation is suggested to have caused the spiral-in merger of many binary KBOs, initiating aqueous differentiation which melted saltwater oceans in their cores. (See section AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS [KBOs]) Authigenic sedimentary cores are suggested to have precipitated in core oceans which went on to lithify and metamorphose into tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) series gneiss domes of the Archean.
Proterozoic supracrustal rock:
The SSB is suggested to have reached Neptune’s 1:3 resonance (62.6 AU) at about 2,500 Ma, ushering in the Proterozoic Eon as it began perturbing protoplanetary SDOs, which are closely related to protoplanetary comets.
Supracrustal rock on Earth is rife with desiccation-cracked mudstone, mud chips, cross stratification, rippled layers and turbide, suggestive of near shore deposition followed by episodes of regression, causing desiccation cracks. Desiccation cracks suggest supracrustal rock formation at or near SDO surfaces, with intermittent flooding and volcanic episodes caused by catastrophic subsidence events (SDO-quakes).
Volcanic rock layers in supracrustal rock, both both volcanic ash and basaltic lava, may result from catastrophic SDO-quake subsidence events. If SDOs are internally riddled with gas-filled voids from sublimation of highly-volatile ices like carbon-monoxide ice and nitrogen ice, then compression of trapped gas in internal voids during SDO-quakes would concentrate subsidence energy into the most compressible material, that being trapped gas which might instantaneously soar to thousands of Kelvins, sufficient to melt and vaporize silicates to briefly create volcanic fireworks.
Tidal heating of SDOs is suggested to occur from the outside in, typically only melting a portion of the lithosphere, with SDO cores and mantles remaining frozen. When tidal heating or subsidence forces saltwater to the surface in the form of geysers and water volcanoes, dissolved solutes precipitate mineral grains as the water boils off into the vacuum of space or freezes solid into ice, lowering the solubility of mineral species.
Characteristic reverse faults in supracrustal rock:
Sublimation of the most volatile ices in SDOs is suggested to create voids in the interior which lead to SDO-quake subsidence events. Subsidence progressively reduces the surface area where supracrustal rock forms, causing reverse faults, characteristic of Proterozoic supracrustal rock. ‘Reverse faults’ are the opposite of ‘normal faults’, in which compressive shortening forces the hanging wall over top of the footwall at steep angles greater than 45 degrees.
Rocky-iron impact craters vs. icy-body impact basins:
Work = force times distance, and similarly Work = pressure times change in volume (W = pdV), so in icy-body impacts on rocky Earth, relatively-compressible ices will absorb the vast majority of the impact energy, which is suggested to largely clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of target-rock silicates, and below the formation pressure of shatter cones and other high-pressure manifestations which are the hallmarks of meteorite-impact craters.
So clamped shock-wave pressures are suggested to reduce the power of icy-body impacts by extending the shock wave during the rebound period of supercritical fluids (former ices), and the combination of lower impact power and longer duration shock waves may largely preclude excavation of impact craters and may give Earth’s crust time to depress into (impact) basins. So while rocky-iron impacts form characteristic bowl-shaped impact craters with overturned ejecta and shock metamorphism, icy-body impacts may merely form shallow impact basins, masking their impact origins.
Supracrustal rock in secondary-rebound strewn fields:
So during impact, SDOs may act like rubber balls with glass shells, where the compressed icy core rebounds to loft chunks of brittle supracrustal rock into secondary-rebound strewn fields, which may be hundreds of kilometers long. In this case, only the supracrustal rock on the top surface of the impacting SDO would be lofted by rebound, while the supracrustal rock on the bottom surface should be overturned within the impact basin itself.
Secondary-rebound strewn fields should be lofted at trajectory velocities, many times slower than the interplanetary velocity of the primary impact.
Secondary rebound supracrustal rock may have been lofted into a corridor west of the Sudbury impact basin, reaching as far west as the banded iron formations of Northeast Minnesota. Sudbury breccia (1.85 Ga) overlays Gunflint chert. “Most of the impact layer consists of breccia—a mixture of fragments broken from the underlying iron-formation and cemented together (Figure 4). These fragments represent pieces of seafloor that were ripped loose by impact-related earthquakes and carried down a submarine slope.” (Minnesota’s Evidence of an Ancient Meteorite Impact) Alternatively, the local ‘seafloor’ nature of the breccia could have occurred in the secondary impact of the lofted supracrustal rock, rather than from primary-impact earthquakes.
Labrador Trough, Grenville Province, supracrustal rock and iron-ore mining:
Suggested ice sheet witness marks from the catastrophic melting of the Laurentide ice sheet caused by the Nastapoka SDO impact may be mapped across Labrador Peninsula into Labrador Trough and in the adjacent Churchill Province to the East and down into the Grenville Province to the south. The Secondary-rebound strewn field of the Nastapoka impact appears to be to the west onto the Labrador Peninsula, perhaps followed by rafting on two kilometer thick chunks of the Laurentide ice sheet to concentrate supracrustal rock in the Labrador Trough.
Smith Island, Hudson Bay (60.78, -78.38) is the extension of a horizontal stripe of Proterozoic rock across the northern tip of the Labrador Peninsula which doesn’t align with (doesn’t point to) Nastapoka arc. Instead, it may point to far-larger SDO impact in the Late Devonian Period which formed upper Hudson Bay, causing the second of the five major extinction events in Earth’s history: the Late Devonian extinction.
One lofted chunk of supracrustal rock from the Nastapoka arc SDO appears to have hit the ice sheet around the bay of Leaf River, QC, Canada (58.92, -69.77), but this mass of supracrustal rock appears to have gotten largely hung up at Koksoak River, Kuujjuaq, QC, Canada (57.77, -69.37), presumably by the rough terrain of the Koksoak River valley.
The bulk of supracrustal rock that ultimately rafted into Labrador Trough may have been lofted into Ungava Bay, slightly east of Labrador Peninsula, and then been swept south southwest across Churchill Province until it ran aground in Labrador Trough.
Schefferville area iron ore:
“In the Schefferville area, iron formation crops out in long linear north-west trending belts, parallel to the regional trend of the Hudsonian Orogeny. Not all the exposed iron formation is mined, however as much of it is too lean to be economic. Mines are located in areas that underwent secondary alteration during the Cretaceous period, 130 – 60 million years ago. At that time, the whole of Labrador was uplifted to form an exposed land mass and subjected to intense weathering, probably in a tropical environment. During the weathering process, ground water circulated deep into the iron and leached out the silicate and carbonate minerals to leave a highly porous rock composed largely of iron oxides. Later solutions moved through the porous rock and deposited more iron oxides and hydroxides in the pores, producing an ore which is not only highly enriched in iron (65% iron) in comparison to normal iron formation (35% iron), but also soft and crumbly and therefore easy to mine.”
(Rivers and Waddle 1979)
Alternatively, rather than metasomatically concentrating iron ore over an extended period during the Cretaceous, perhaps the iron ore concentration was fluvial and catastrophic during the melting of the Laurentide ice sheet. (The suggestion of a Cretaceous period of deformation comes from Cretaceous tree trunks and other floral fossil remains in the iron-ore sediments, which could have been fortuitously assembled in the catastrophic melting event, and thus a red herring.)
Proterozoic mock supracrustal rock:
By unexplored mechanisms following the loss of the binary Companion at 543 Ma, an unidentified class of SDOs (or KBOs?) may have undergone an extended period of perturbation to form mock supracrustal rock at or near the surface, composed chiefly of rock formations known as platforms, such as shale, siltstone, sandstone, carbonate rock (limestone and dolostone), and conglomerate. True supracrustal rock typically has significant amounts of volcanic rock in the form of volcanic ash and basaltic flows, whereas Proterozoic mock supracrustal rock appears to completely lack the volcanic element.
Proterozoic-mock-supracrustal-rock secondary-rebound strewn fields have a ‘fold and thrust belt’ appearance, characterized by the Ridge and Valley terrain of the Appalachians and by the Zagros fold and thrust belt in Iran and Pakistan. The caterpillars marching into Mexico from the Great Basin in Western US, which likely identifies the Great Basin as impact in origin.
Chandler, F.W., (1988), THE EARLY PROTEROZOIC RICHMOND GULF GRABEN, EAST COAST OF HUDSON BAY, QUEBEC, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada
Rivers, Toby and Wardle, Richard, (1979), LABRADOR TROUGH: 2.3 BILLION YEARS OF HISTORY, Mineral Development Division, Department of Mines and Energy, St. John’s
HYDROTHERMAL QUARTZITE, CARBONATE ROCK, AND SCHIST:
This section will concentrate on the suggested precipitates resulting from the aqueous differentiation of icy-planetesimals, presumed to be from the Kuiper belt and most likely the result of spiral-in mergers of binary planetesimals.
Scattered disk objects (SDOs):
SDOs are presumed to be presolar, having condensed from the protoplanetary disk, and they owe their their present eccentric orbits to having been scattered outward by the orbit clearing of Uranus and Neptune. SDOs are presumably mostly solitary objects which may have originally formed as binaries by fragmentation during gravitational instability, but the binaries were either perturbed to spiral in and merge or spiral out and dissociate in the process of being scattered outward prior to 4,567 Ma.
Kuiper belt objects (KBOs):
KBOs, including Plutinos, cubewanos, are suggested to have condensed in situ by gravitational instability (GI) from a secondary debris disk that formed from the aftermath of the spiral-in merger of our former binary Sun at 4,567 Ma. Excess angular momentum during GI often causes fragmentation forming binary pairs, and indeed, many of the cold classical Kuiper belt objects (cubewanos) are comprised of similar-sized and similar-colored binary pairs. The debris-disk was presumably more volatilely depleted than the protoplanetary disk, with SDOs trending toward low-temperature ices like CO, CH4, N2 and CO2. and with KBOs trending toward higher-temperature water ice, making KBOs water worlds.
In the initial phase of icy-planetesimal ‘aqueous differentiation’ (defined as internal melting), perhaps primarily cause by binary spiral-in mergers, internal heating melts water ice, liberating nebular dust. Dissolution of nebular dust increases mineral species solutes in solution until reaching (super)saturation, whereupon mineral grains precipitate and grow through crystallization until their negative buoyancy causes them to fall out of solution to form a sedimentary core.
When aqueously-differentiated planetesimals reach thermal equilibrium, the ocean begins to freeze over, cutting off the supply of nebular dust from the icy overburden and concentrating the mineral species in solution as freezing water tends to exclude solutes. The expansion of freezing builds pressure in the ocean, causing lithification and diagenesis of the sedimentary core, expelling hot hydrothermal fluids with high concentrations of solutes in solution. The type of mineral precipitation changes over time and over distance from hydrothermal vents during ‘freeze out’ of the ocean.
Pressure solution/dissolution, leaching and metasomatism during diagenesis and lithification of the sedimentary gneissic core expels hot aqueous fluids, partially or completely saturated with salts, minerals, (cat)ions and other species that may rapidly reach (super)saturation in the cooler ocean above, precipitating mineral grains and crystallizing on suspended sediments, particularly in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents. Mineral grains grow by crystallization to a characteristic size for the buoyancy of the planetesimal ocean with its local (thermal) circulation rate before falling out of suspension to be mostly sequestered from further growth by crystallization.
Authigenic mineral grain size is related to local buoyancy (and circulation rate) which is a function of the planetesimal mass and roughly the relative distance between the surface and the gravitational center. (From the center of the Earth to its surface, zero gravitational acceleration at the ‘center of gravity’ climbs to a maximum value a little more than half way to the surface, followed by decreasing acceleration from the maximum to the surface.) Assuming any sedimentary core lies below the point of maximum gravitational acceleration, authigenic mineral grain size should decrease from the center outward, excepting metasomatic pegmatites which may grow to fantastic size in sheltered areas. The characteristic, authigenic sand-grain size in Wissahickon schist is about 450 microns in diameter (.45 mm).
Mantled gneiss domes:
In mantled gneiss domes, the authigenic migmatite-gneiss core is typically surrounded by a concentrically-layered mantle with an outward progression of gneiss to sandstone/quartzite to carbonate-rock (limestone, dolostone or marble) to schist.
Skolithos trace fossils in quartzite:
On earth, tube worm communities commonly surround hydrothermal vents. As tube worms extend their tubes to avoid burial as sand settles out of suspension around hydrothermal vents in planetesimal oceans, their addition of organic material, weakens the subsequent quartzite, making it more susceptible to erosion. Tube-worm trace fossils in quartzite may be interpreted as Skolithos trace fossils. Large platform-sized dwarf planet oceans, in which silt-sized authigenic mineral grains fall out of suspension in quiescent regions, may precipitate coarser authigenic sand in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents due to fluid flows, hydrothermal fluid issuing directly from the vent itself and secondary thermal-gradient flows. So authigenic sand, more typical of smaller gneiss-dome-sized planetesimals, may be found on larger platform-sized compound-planetesimal platforms in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents, and Skolithos trace fossils (along with sand-grain size) may help to differentiate gneiss-dome-planetesimal sand from platform-planetesimal sand, assuming gneiss-dome planetesimals do not (typically) support macroscopic life forms.
‘Black smoker’ chimney structures form over hydrothermal vents on earth in areas where tectonic plates are separating like at the mid-Atlantic ridge. These chimney structures can reach heights of 40 meters like ‘Godzilla’ in the Pacific Ocean before toppling over from their own weight and then regrowing, creating mounds of hydrothermal rock. Chimney structures may similarly form, topple and reform in planetesimal oceans, creating similar mounds of hydrothermal schist, but the forces causing chimney collapse in planetesimal oceans may be more seismic in nature as the sedimentary core progressively shrinks during diagenesis and lithification, leading to dramatic ‘planetesimal quakes’.
Euhedral garnets in schist:
Round euhedral almandine garnets in schist suggests Bernoulli suspension of garnets in hydrothermal fluid plumes in the low gravity of planetesimal cores, like a balloon trapped in the air leaving a vacuum cleaner. Sand grains to not attain such sizes, likely because quartz solubility is inversely proportionate to temperature, such that quartz grains precipitate and crystallize near the cold-junction ice-water ceiling and get dispersed at some distance from black-smoker chimneys, whereas the garnets may typically incorporate themselves into the chimney structures themselves. Round euhedral garnets do not appear to have grown attached on one side like metasomatic pegmatites, which typically grow in protected crevices.
Pegmatites in schist:
Pegmatites containing large sheets of mica often large feldspar crystals are typically imbedded in highly-indurated quartzite, but no garnets. If sand grains rain out of suspension at a short distance from hydrothermal vents, they do not appear to interfere with the growth of large mica and feldspar crystals, which suggests growth in protected areas on the ice ceiling or perhaps in overhangs or crevices. In Philadelphia Wissahickon schist, the largest crystalline masses of are kilogram-scale blocks of feldspar crystals with sheets of muscovite up to 10’s of square centimeters in area, frequently embedded in large masses of highly-indurated quartzite. Since schist pegmatites are hypothesized to be metasomatic (formed by aqueous crystallization), schist feldspars should be massive without exsolved lamellae structure like perthite which has cooled from a melt.
Quartz stalactites in schist?:
Quartzite stalactites are suggested to have formed on ice ceilings overhanging hydrothermal vents, bathed in warm hydrothermal fluids. Quartz stalactites conduct heat, lowering the contact temperature below the solubility saturation temperature of quartz which crystallizes on the ceiling and stalactites until planetesimal quakes break them free to fall onto the growing planetesimal core. If euhedral garnets in schist are indeed formed over hydrothermal vents, then the occasional inclusion of small garnets in quartz stalactites bear out the suggestion of stalactite formation over hydrothermal vents. Quartz stalactites have sinewy longitudinal furrows like American hornbeam branches and trunks, depending on diameter, making them look very much like petrified wood. Stalactite cross sections range from perhaps 1 cm Dia to 1 meter Dia, but usually fractured at both ends so lengths are indeterminate. Cross-sectional aspect ratios vary widely, some thin almost like ribbons similar to flows in terrestrial caves, but more commonly with oval or nearly-circular cross sections.
ABIOTIC OIL AND COAL:
This section suggests an icy-body impact origin for long-chain hydrocarbon reservoirs on Earth, formed in endothermic chemical reactions of carbon ices. Super-tsunami debris flows bulldoze forests, forming debris mounds littered with floral debris that internally differentiate into multiple coal seam ‘cyclothems’.
Rocky-iron impact craters vs. icy-body impact basins:
Energy absorption of compressible ices in icy-body impacts:
Work = force times change in distance, and similarly, Work = pressure times change in volume (W = PdV), so ices that are significantly more compressible than silicates will absorb the vast majority of icy-body impact energy which may (largely) clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of target rock and largely below pressures necessary to form shatter cones, shocked quartz and high-pressure polymorphs like coesite, masking icy-body impact structures from identification as such. Thus the relative compressibility of ices is suggested to clamp the impact power of icy-body impacts by extending its duration through the rebound period of the compressed ices.
Impact induced super-tsunami debris flows are suggested to bulldoze forests before it, perhaps forming debris mounds littered with floral debris that internally differentiates into a multiplicity of coal seam cyclothems in which clastic sediments sink to form basement ‘ganister’ or ‘seatearth’, above which lower-density hydrocarbons rise to form petroleum deposits or coal seams, following terrestrial metamorphism. Subsequent slumping (reworking) of debris mounds may form associated coal seams of apparent younger age, blurring bright line nature of catastrophic impact events.
The clamped shock-wave pressure of icy body impacts, lowers the power by extending its duration during the subsequent rebound of the compressed ices, which may provide time for the deformation of the Earth’s crust into a basin, suggesting an impact origin for many round basins on Earth, such as the 450 km Nastapoka arc of lower Hudson Bay. Additionally, the extended shock wave pressure tend to clamp fractured target rock in place, largely preventing its (overturn) excavation into bowl-shaped craters, along with mixing to form polymict breccia. Icy-body impacts may resemble the muted blow of a dead-blow hammer, forming impact basins, versus rocky-iron impacts which may resemble the sharp blow of a ball-peen hammer, forming impact craters.
Tidal perturbation heating of planetesimals reaches the melting point of water ice is suggested to precipitate authigenic mineral grains which may lithify to form supracrustal rock, at or near the surface of perturbed planetesimals. Prototypical Proterozoic supracrustal rock may have a Phanerozoic equivalent, with the best example being the Ridge and Valley terrain of the Appalachians. When an icy body with a rocky crust slams into the Earth, the compression rebound may loft surficial rock into an extended strewn field. In the Appalachians, a 400 km Pennsylvanian Subperiod impact near Birmingham, Alabama is suggested to have formed the Ridge and Valley strewn field, the way the Nastapoka arc impact is suggested to have lofted supracrustal rock onto Labrador Peninsula which rafted on chunks of the Laurentide ice sheet to concentrate in ‘Labrador Trough’.
Finally, super-high shock-wave pressures may endothermically convert short-chain hydrocarbons (ethane, methane, and etc.) into long-chain hydrocarbons, with the sustained shock-wave duration giving liberated hydrogen time to diffuse away, largely preventing its re-reaction with the long-chain hydrocarbon products as the pressure subsides. Experimentally, methane converts to long alkane chains and free hydrogen at 60 GPa and 4509 K (Li, Zhang et al., 2011).
While long-chain hydrocarbons may sequester impact energy for millions of years, icy PdV shock absorbers likely rebound within minutes and the supercritical fluids may melt sand grains et al. to form spherules, such as those found in the ‘black mat’ across North America from a suggested 12,900 ya impact (perhaps forming Nastapoka arc impact basin).
Pennsylvanian coal fields:
Pennsylvanian Subperiod coal fields in North America are suggested to have formed from a Carboniferous icy-body impact near Birmingham, Alabama rebounded and lofted surficial supracrustal rock form the Appalachian ridge-and-valley strewn field. The flora fossils and clastic ganister in coal cyclothems associated with the supracrustal-rock strewn field suggests that secondary strewn fields rather than primary impacts create super-tsunami terrestrial debris flows which bulldoze terrestrial forests, although endothermic long-chain hydrocarbons are most likely formed in the primary shock wave.
Indeed, Pennsylvanian Subperiod coal fields in Appalachia stretch from Alabama in the southwest to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the northeast. The coal fields extend throughout much of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region itself and extend west into the Appalachian Plateau region through West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and well into Eastern Ohio. Pennsylvanian bituminous coalfields are also found in the Illinois basin, the Michigan basin and the contiguous coal region just to the west of Illinois basin (see map above), extending from Iowa in the north to Oklahoma and Arkansas to the. Another bituminous Pennsylvanian coal region appears in north central Texas; however, the bituminous deposits further west in Utah and Colorado are much younger Cretaceous deposits.
Secondary rebound lofting of Ouachita Mountains:
Pennsylvanian age Ouachita (fold) Mountains between Arkansas and Oklahoma, with their associated Pennsylvanian age bituminous coal fields, closely resemble Pennsylvanian Subperiod age (and older) Appalachian fold mountains, with their associated Pennsylvanian age bituminous coal fields, so it follows that the same secondary-rebound lofting of planetesimal rock from a Gulph of Mexico impact formed both regions simultaneously. Note the coincidence of the Ouachita fold mountains anchoring the bituminous Pennsylvanian coal region which extends north into Iowa in exactly the same way that the Appalachian fold mountains anchor the associated bituminous Pennsylvanian coal region further east.
Note the Eocene lignite fields (in yellow on the above map), bracketing the Birmingham, Alabama impact basin to the south and west and extending southwest into Texas. Is the Eocene lignite a coincidence or is the Pennsylvanian coal and Ridge and Valley terrain coincidence with the Birmingham, Alabama basin? If the latter, the Pennsylvanian impact may have been a far-larger impact basin, perhaps located further south in the Gulf of Mexico, with a coincidental Eocene impact near Birmingham, Alabama. Indeed, the large amount of surficial rock in the Ridge and Valley regions seems to warrant a larger impact basin than 400 km Dia, and one that might comfortably fit within the confines of the Gulf of Mexico.
TRANS-NEPTUNIAN OBJECT CRUST (TNO-CRUST) METEORWRONGS:
This section describes a common class of low-nickel ‘meteorwrongs’, frequently containing metallic-iron inclusions with occasional fusion crust, designated, ‘trans-Neptunian object crust’ (TNO-crust), due to their suspected trans-Neptunian vehicle of transportation to Earth. TNO-crust is suggested to have formed from a ‘young debris disk’ created by the spiral-in merger of the former binary brown-dwarf Companion to the Sun at 543 Ma, ushering in the Phanerozoic Eon. Accretionary masses from the young debris disk were swept up by preexisting trans-Neptunian objects, namely Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and scattered disc objects (SDOs), forming a crust on their surfaces, hence TNO-crust.
Former Companion to the Sun:
The suggested asymmetrical nature of the spiral-in merger of our former binary brown-dwarf Companion gave it escape velocity from the Sun, but its effects may still be seen in the similar argument of perihelion of extended scattered disk (ESD) objects like Sedna and 2012 VP113, as well as the slight retrograde rotation of Venus. (Prior to the Phanerozoic Eon, Venus is suggested to have had a synchronous orbit around the Sun in which its day equaled its year, but with the loss of the centrifugal force of the Sun around a solar-system barycenter, Venus fell into a slightly lower, shorter-period orbit, such that the length of its day now exceeds the length of its year.)
Brown-dwarf merger debris captured by the Sun apparently formed a young debris disk in the Kuiper belt, with gaps and enhancements created by Neptune’s outer resonances. Plutinos, Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) (namely cubewanos), and scattered disc objects (SDOs) constitute the trans-Neptunian object (TNO) population which assumedly accreted TNO-crust debris-disk coatings whose concentration depended on the local debris-disk density. Highly-eccentric orbits of SDOs assumedly accreted TNO-crust near perihelia where they dip into the Kuiper belt.
Proposed mechanism for the observed melting of TNO-crust:
Radioactive decay of very-short-lived radionuclides from brown-dwarf merger nucleosynthesis is suggested to have caused the observed melting of TNO-crust in early accretionary masses, presumably while in the zero gravity of heliocentric orbit in Neptune’s outer resonances. Then differing surface tension between molten metallic iron and basaltic magma allowed molten metallic iron spherules to merge by cohesion like blobs of mercury to form larger metallic-iron inclusions within larger masses of basaltic rock.
Scale of accretionary masses in TNO-crust:
Planetesimals are suggested to form by gravitational instability from accretion disks pressurized against planetary or stellar resonances, whereas chondrules are suggested to be the scale limit of pebble accretion in the inner solar system. The young debris disk material, however, already had the orbital energy and angular momentum of the Companion whose highly-eccentric orbit may have ranged from 100 to 1000 AU from the Sun (in its former barycentric Sun-Companion orbit). (Following the binary merger, however, the debris material assumed a heliocentric orbit with the loss of the Companion.) While only small (centimeter-scale to meter-scale?) masses accreted quickly enough to have melted by extremely-short-lived nucleosynthesis radionuclides, the ultimate accretionary scale of material in the former Companion orbit may be on the order of several 10s of meters across, perhaps explaining local super abundance of TNO-crust excavated from round quarries in the Appalachians, namely one in Conshohocken, PA and and one in Harrisburg, PA as discussed below. And the accretionary masses of TNO-crust impacted dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt and scattered disk, prior to the perturbation of dwarf planets with TNO-crust ‘frosting’ into the inner solar system, causing extinction events on Earth.
TNO-crust at Ordovician–Silurian boundary in the Appalachians:
A small percentage of TNO-crust in the Appalachians appears to have received a fusion crust from the suggested Earth impact of the Appalachian KBO around 443 Ma, causing the Ordovician–Silurian extinction event. So TNO-crust is suggested to have been accreting on the KBO surface over top of the icy mantle for 543 – 443 = 100 million years while Cambrian and Ordovician carbonate rock was being precipitated in the core ocean under the icy mantle. Then at impact, the surficial TNO-crust assumedly met up with the End-Ordovician carbonate rock of the core where it is suggested to be found today, at the boundary between Ordovician (planetesimal) and Silurian (terrestrial) rock formations.
TNO-crust in the North American Cordillera and Western Europe:
Similarly, TNO-crust may be found at the Cretaceous-Paleocene boundary in the North American cordillera from a North Pacific SDO impact at 66 Ma, causing the K-Tr extinction event (of which Chicxulub crater was an associated minor impact). And TNO-crust may be found beneath the Old Red Sandstone formations in Western Europe if the 428 Ma Ireviken event contributed much of the land mass of Western Europe, including Spain, France and England south of Scotland, but excluding Germany, Czechoslovakia and points south and east.
The Great Unconformity and the Cambrian Explosion:
If the Cambrian Explosion of life is suggested to have been disseminated from the smaller, cooler of the binary brown dwarf precursors, perhaps a cool, spectral class Y brown dwarf or smaller super-Jupiter component formerly fostering aquatic life, presumably within a circulating layer of liquid or supercritical fluid. And the Great Unconformity was assumedly the result of repeated regressions and transgressions of the ocean (super tsunamis) which eroded as much as a billion years’ of Earth’s continental rock record, so brown-dwarf merger affected the inner solar system as well as creating a young debris disk in the outer solar system.
TNO crust meteorwrongs vs. asteroid meteorites:
Many properties of suggested TNO-crust are at odds with the well-understood properties of rocky-iron asteroids and chondrites from the asteroid belt, and these differences conspire against an extraterrestrial interpretation of TNO-crust, despite sometimes exhibiting fusion crust with flow lines and metallic-iron inclusions that could not have cooled from a molten state on the surface of a high-gravity planet, in industrial slag or naturally.
– Physical characteristics and distribution: Local superabundance of TNO-crust in Early Cambrian and younger formations in the absence of impact craters. TNO-crust frequently exhibits fractal and rounded shapes that cooled in small accretionary masses, compared to larger asteroids that formed by gravitational instability and were only later fractured in subsequent asteroid-asteroid collisions. Metallic-iron inclusions in TNO-crust are most frequently rounded or nodular (from presumably having cooled from a molten state in zero gravity), compared to fractured iron surfaces in iron meteorites, rounded over with atmospheric ablation, or fractured iron shards often seen in brecciated meteorites. TNO-crust exhibits frequent vesicles (voids) due to having cooled from a molten state in small accretionary masses.
– Chemical: Low-nickel and low PGE element abundances in TNO-crust (.2% nickel in metallic-iron inclusions and no iridium down to 2 ppb) are at odds with siderophile-enriched asteroids and chondrites. And high calcium abundance in the basaltic component is more in line with limestone/dolomite-fluxed iron-furnace slag, despite its anomalously-high density and other differences.
– Young age: A suggested finding of an early Cambrian age for TNO-crust would be at odds with early solar system ages for asteroids and chondrites which are many times as old.
– Iron-industry association: TNO-crust is often mixed with iron-furnace slag, due to the hypothesized use of TNO-magnetite as a source of iron ore by the early iron industry.
Siderophile depletion in TNO-crust:
TNO-crust meteorwrongs are depleted in siderophile elements compared to differentiated asteroids and largely undifferentiated chondrites, which immediately dismisses them as probable industrial slag. Siderophile depletion from chondritic abundances, however, may be expected in the spiral-in merger of a binary brown dwarf in which a majority of its siderophile elements had been sequestered in iron cores, similar to planets. In the suggested binary spiral-in merger, core material is hypothesized to have escaped in polar jets, but these were apparently largely confined within the Companion’s Roche sphere, whereas mantle material from the more energetic equatorial explosion attained escape velocity into the Sun’s gravitational control. The polar-jet hypothesis stems from the suggested origin of ‘merger planets’, like Venus and Earth, and ‘spin-off planets’, like Saturn and Jupiter, as described in the section: PLANETS, MOONS, DWARF PLANETS AND PLANETESIMALS. Hypothesized ‘merger planets’ and ‘spin-off planets’ may fragment during gravitational collapse, due to excess angular momentum (briefly forming binary planets), which subsequently spiral-in and merge to form solitary planets. The spiral-in mergers of former binary Earth is hypothesized to have condensed to form enstatite chondrites (which lie on the ‘terrestrial fractionation line’ of oxygen isotopes, attesting to their terrestrial origins) from polar jets. Similarly, CB chondrites are hypothesized to have condensed from the spiral-in merger of former binary-Saturn polar jets. (The large centimeter-sized chondrules in CB chondrites suggest possible accretion distant Centaur orbits between Saturn and Uranus at much-lower orbital velocities than other chondrite types with smaller chondrules melted in low heliocentric orbits.) TNO-crust is depleted in nickel, and the siderophile platinum group elements (Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt, Hs, Mt, Ds). The mass spec abundance of nickel in a metallic-iron inclusion was measured at .2%, and no iridium was found down to 2 ppb.
Distribution of TNO-crust:
Meteorite impacts originating from the asteroid belt et al. fall in small quantities at frequent intervals and are thus widely distributed over the Earth’s surface, but due to their visual similarity to Earth rocks, most asteroidal meteorites are found where they stand out a mile by the relative scarcity of Earth rocks, such as in sandy deserts, Midwestern USA farms (where the glacial top soil is 10 feet thick) or on the Antarctic ice sheet. TNO-crust, by comparison, is most likely commonly found in large concentrations near historic iron furnaces or in use as clean fill in roads, paths, parking lots and even railroad ballast. TNO-crust can also be found in and along rivers and streams where it naturally concentrates after eroding out of carbonate rock formations. And since TNO-crust (the black swan of meteorites) is suggested to arrive in exceedingly-infrequent intervals as the frosting on top of assumedly-terrestrial rock, it won’t be found on the Antarctic ice sheet, which to scientists is damning negative evidence against it. So asteroidal meteorites are found in abundance on the Antarctic ice sheet and almost never in streams and rivers, whereas slag-like TNO-crust is the exact reverse: no wonder the scientists are so sure of themselves.
Physical characteristics of TNO-crust:
The typical shape and appearance of hypothesized TNO-crust is markedly dissimilar to ablated meteorites of asteroid origin, although TNO-crust occasionally exhibits ablative fusion crust and some fusion crust has flow lines. A distinct minority of TNO-crust has one relatively-smooth rounded surface with the other surfaces fractured, suggestive of fractured sections of pillow lava containing with metallic-iron inclusions, although the rocks are suggested to have cooled in zero-gravity orbit rather than underwater. While massive TNO-crust in Southeast Pennsylvania may reach 1 meter diameter boulders of basaltic rock and metallic iron, a majority of the material appears to be granular on a millimeter to centimeter scale. Metallic-iron masses seem to defy generalization in the great variety of their shapes and wide ranging sizes. And massive TNO-crust often exhibits vesicular steam voids characteristic of terrestrial vesicular basalt or industrial iron-furnace slag, although iron furnace slag doesn’t have rounded or irregularly-rounded molten surfaces like TNO-crust that cooled in orbit.
Suggested TNO-crust finds:
– Camp Creek district, Silver Bow County, Montana, USA
– a photo gallery of MeteorWrongs
– a photo gallery of MeteorWrongs
– a photo gallery of MeteorWrongs
– a photo gallery of MeteorWrongs
– Greg Baumgartner (Knights Templar)
Northeast of Los Angeles, exact location withheld
– Greg Baumgartner (Knights Templar)
Northeast of Los Angeles, exact location withheld
– Greg Baumgartner (Knights Templar)
Northeast of Los Angeles, exact location withheld
Coordinates of find locations (most clean fill locations) in Southeastern PA:
3595 Doe Run Church Rd
Coatesville, PA 19320
2101-2199 Sycamore St
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Ferric and ferrous cations are suggested to leach from local TNO-crust superabundance concentrations, which may form secondary limonite concretions that contain less embrittling contaminants than primary TNO-crust, and thus more suitable for smelting in iron furnaces.
While pre-industrial bloomery slag may be mixed with TNO-crust in Pennsylvania and particularly in the old world, it completely lacks the tell-tale cement-like coating so frequently found on TNO-crust. Massive, often broken chunks of magnetite iron-ore are often found mixed with TNO-crust in dumps and clean-fill locations, and when the magnetite has characteristic cement coating, it’s pretty clearly primary TNO-crust material. Beyond identification as primary Kuiper belt material by the giveaway indicator of cement coating, it’s mere speculation to speculate that ‘TNO-magnetite’ was suitable for smelting in iron furnaces, and therefore the economic object of mining local TNO-crust superabundance concentrations. Note, secondary limonite never has a characteristic cement coating.
Accretion vs. gravitational instability:
Planetesimals are suggested here to form by gravitational instability (GI) rather than core/pebble accretion, although super-Earths are suggested to form by ‘hybrid accretion’ (Thayne Curie 2005) from core accretion of planetesimals formed by GI (hence hybrid). In the inner solar system, chondrules are suggested to be the scale of core accretion; however, the outer solar system may experience still larger accretionary masses, but not of the 1 km scale size necessary to gravitationally survive collisions of similar-sized boulders. That is, when two 1 km planetesimals collide they tend to stick together, whereas when to smaller planetesimals collide they tend to fracture into smaller objects. The 25 m “Cheops” boulder on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko discovered by the Rosetta mission may give an indication of the size of accretionary masses in the outer solar system, so on that thin evidence, perhaps Ivy Rock quarry and the Harrisburg/Swatara-Township quarries are the locations of similar-sized accretionary masses which were swept up by the 443 Ma Appalachian KBO in the Kuiper belt.
Ivy Rock quarry, Conshohocken, PA and points west:
Ivy Rock quarry, just north of Conshohocken, PA, along Conshohocken Road on the east bank of the Schuylkill River (40.095, -75.315) may be the origin of a local superabundance of TNO-crust, which was mined and used to level a small triangle of land between Plymouth Creek and I-476 (Veterans’ Memorial Highway), just 1.6 km south of the quarry. (Access from Light Street, Conshohocken.) This local superabundance of TNO-crust is suggested to have at one time been a circa 25 m diameter accretionary mass in the Kuiper belt, which is suggested to have collided with the vastly-larger Appalachian dwarf planet while both were still in the outer solar system. Then the accreted, surficial TNO-crust was ferried to Earth on the Appalachian dwarf planet, whose impact with Earth is suggested to have brought the Ordovician Period to a close in the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event which contributed the aqueously-differentiated planetesimal land mass of the Appalachian region. TNO-crust can be found in the Conestoga Formation (valley) between Conshohocken and Coatesville (and no doubt points further west). In Phoenixville, PA, huge quantities of TNO-crust and iron-furnace slag has been pushed into French Creek ravine from the south bank, between N. Main St. and Ashland St., just east of Phoenixville Foundry. (Phoenixville appears to have the best fusion crust in the area.) TNO-crust and elongated flat lengths of native iron can be found in Doe Run, PA along roads and streams and pitched to fence posts of farmer’s fields.
Harrisburg, PA quarry:
Much of the TNO-crust used as clean fill in the Harrisburg, PA area may have been excavated from the former quarry in the 2200 block of Paxton St. Harrisburg/Swatara-Township, PA 17111 (40.256178, -76.846737). TNO-crust has been used as clean fill at various locations throughout the Harrisburg Area which is easily identified by its attraction to a magnet and also, frequently but not always, by a rough cement-like texture. Chunks can be found intermittently scattered along the southwest bank of City Island in the Susquehanna River, with island access from Market Street Bridge. TNO-crust has also been used as clean fill on the East Shore of the Susquehanna River to extend residential parking on the river side of Front St. in Enola, PA. TNO-crust has been found as far west as Wesley Dr. in Mechanicsburg, PA, suggesting local superabundance on the West Shore.
Economically, the significant percentage of metallic iron in TNO-crust precludes an industrial origin, even setting aside the impossibility of basaltic slag suspending centimeter-scale masses of metallic-iron in basaltic slag on the surface of a high-gravity planet. Iron-furnace fuel was even dearer in the early years before charcoal was replaced by coke. A batch of iron-furnace charcoal required twenty-five to fifty cords of split hardwood, quickly denuded local woods, and these roasting hardwood batches had to be tended around the clock for 10 to 14 days by colliers in large charcoal pits, making charcoal production for iron furnaces an industry unto itself. Additionally, the curved surfaces of hypothesized pillow-lava and the fractal shaped masses of metallic iron across many orders of magnitudes of size are strongly indicative of a natural origin in (near) zero gravity, particularly considering that manufacturing strives for uniformity.
The earliest type of iron smelting is known as ‘bloomery smelting’ which creates inefficient, high-density ‘bloomery slag’ or ‘tap slag’ with flow lines evident on the surface, as can be frequently found in England and in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The resulting ‘bloom’, containing a small amount of metallic iron, was spongy rather than dense like the slag which flowed off through a tap near the bottom of the furnace. The ropy flow lines on the surface of bloomery slag are evidence of uts having cooled in the open air. Larger and more-efficient blast furnaces gradually replaced bloomeries for iron production.
Microscopic examination of iron-furnace slag from historic Cornwall and Johanna furnaces reveals nothing larger than micron-scale metallic-iron spherules which require magnification. The microscopic spherules are most apparent in thin chips of translucent, glassy slag with strong back lighting at 100X magnification. The spherules come into focus and disappear as one varies the depth of focus, revealing hundreds of spherules per cubic centimeter with a distinctive upper size limit dictated by the high negative buoyancy of metallic iron in molten glassy slag on the surface of our high-gravity planet. By comparison, massive TNO-crust frequently contains millimeter to centimeter-sized metallic-iron blebs which are many orders of magnitude larger than the microscopic spherules of iron-furnace slag.
Silicides, Fe3Si, Cr3Si, Mn3Si (and particularly CaSi et al. are suggested to be somewhat-common constituents of highly-reduced TNO-crust; however, high-purity silicides in absence of accompanying basaltic TNO-crust are almost certainly manufactured products for steel and alloy industry. Calcium silicide is used as a deoxidizer and for removing removing phosphorus in steel manufacturing, and specialty silicides and ferroalloys are used to introduce carefully-controlled additives to make alloy steel and non-ferrous alloys. The following two silicide images are almost certainly man made compounds.
This section discusses a characteristic class of isolated boulder fields with uniformly weathered surfaces that often exhibit deep pits and striations not found in boulders outside their narrow confines. This section makes an argument for their catastrophic origin in seconds to minutes from secondary strikes of ice sloughed off from icy-body objects like comets or larger trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), rather than the relative gradualism of an exaggerated freeze and thaw cycle toward the end of the last glacial period as suggested by most academic sources.
Boulder fields of impact origin would tend to be randomly located within a possibly-vast strewn field and therefore generally unassociated with scree and talus slopes below steep cliff faces where boulder fields are well known to form. The suggested randomness of impact fields, however, appear to be highly skewed to the rugged terrain of mountains, hills and slopes which would seem to obviate the random argument. True, mountains may provide significant obstacles for objects in exceedingly-oblique approach angles to Earth that may be nearly parallel to the limb of the planet, but other reasons are hypothesized to predominate. Slopes, relatively unprotected from impacts by thin soils, provide potential energy to concentrate boulders into downhill boulder fields by catastrophic debris flows in the seconds and minutes following impact. Additionally, we may be largely unaware of the effect of secondary impact sites on level ground, partly due to the original protection afforded to the bedrock by thicker lowland soil, but mostly due to their lack of concentration on level ground and due to their subsequent burial by thick lowland sediments. Finally, small boulder fields on low ground may have been largely scavenged for use as building stone, particularly for stone fences, in the early colonial years.
So secondary-impact breccia may form rapid downhill debris flows from a strike higher up on sloped terrain, and a debris flow into a shallow v-shaped gully may serve to concentrate boulders many stories deep. And deeply stacked boulder fields on sloping terrain will make effective French drains to clear the original debris flow sediments and keep it clear of future sedimentation: the relative absence of plant life is a notable characteristic of hypothesized impact boulder fields. Eastern Pennsylvania alone boasts two Ringing Rocks boulder fields, two Blue Rocks boulder fields (near Hawk Mountain, Berks County Park) and Hickory Run boulder field (Hickory Run State Park), as well as numerous smaller boulder unnamed boulder fields scattered throughout the ridge-and-valley terrain of the Appalachians.
Boulder fracturing mechanisms:
In addition to ‘impulse fracturing’, deep surface striations scoured into bedrock by entrained masses of super-high velocity slurries may provide leverage for super-high-pressure shock wave to split rock by tension. And high-pressure high-temperature phyllosilicate slurries are hypothesized to have rock-fracturing properties which may also contribute to bedrock fragmentation. (See section: PHYLLOSILICATE PROPERTIES).
Boulder cup marks from cairn of Great Britain:
Pitting and striations common in boulder fields of Southeastern Pennsylvania are also known on boulders in burial Clava cairns and other stone monument structures in Great Britain. In more-highly populated regions of the Old World, impact boulder fields may have been heavily scavenged for use as building stone, except where sacred monuments preserved them in part. Coincidentally, cairns are often found in uplands, moorland or moors (a type of habitat found in upland areas) and on mountaintops where impact boulder fields tend to form. In Great Britain, pitting associated with cairn boulders are known as ‘cup marks’, with concentric ‘ring marks’, likely added by hand for emphasis. Imagine the prehistoric world of 12,900 years ago with a dwarf planet bearing down on the planet. Intermittent meteoric flashes brighter than the Sun accompanied by a thunderous roar that broke eardrums and collapsed lungs were accompanied by a rain of icy material at interplanetary speed in sufficient density to reduce northern populations to a remnant of their former numbers. All this was visited on primitive people before the advent of agriculture in Great Britain by angry gods apparently intent on world destruction. The sudden appearance of boulder fields were accompanied by special boulders containing sacred writing from angry gods. And so the creation of boulder monuments marking upland boulder fields from the gods, with their sacred texts prominently displayed, is just what one might expect from primitive peoples with modern language development.
The academic geology explanation of boulder fields formed by exaggerated freezing and thawing cycles during the end of the last glacial period does not explain their segregation into narrow boulder fields. Take another example from nature which actually happened to me: imagine you’re driving through the countryside and notice that lots of trees have been knocked down in the woods on both sides of the highway, which have been ground into mounds of wood chips. You might justifiably think that a tornado had recently passed through, but as you continue to drive, you slowly become aware that the damage has gone on for 10s of miles uninterrupted, and you’d do well to alter your opinion to that of an ice storm, which tends to affect vastly-larger areas than tornadoes. In a reverse analogy, when you think of freezing and thawing cycles during the end the ice age you imagine vast swaths of the North American continent beyond the ice sheet, not very-few highly-defined boulder fields with astonishing local concentrations of boulders.
Finally, several characteristic boulder fields exhibit the unusual property that some individual boulders ring like a bell when sharply struck with a hard object such as another rock or a hammer. Two diabase boulder fields in Southeastern Pennsylvania independently go by the name ‘Ringing Rocks’.
Perhaps all of the relatively-recent impact boulder fields were caused by a single event which ended the Pleistocene, some 11,700 + 1,400 – 0.0 years ago, causing the local extinction of 33 megafaunal genera on the North American continent as well as ending the Clovis culture. But rather a than moderate-sized comet airburst over the Laurentide ice sheet, as suggested by proponents of the YD impact hypothesis, a vastly-larger TNO impact may have formed the 430 km Nastapoka Arc basin of lower Hudson Bay. Icy-body impacts are hypothesized to form basins rather than craters when relatively compressible ices clamp the impact shock-wave pressure below the melting point of target-rock silicates and the formation of shatter cones, masking their impact origins. (See section: ABIOTIC OIL AND COAL)
This hypothesized, end-Pleistocene impact event was apparently accompanied by
legions of secondary impacts suggested to be composed of sloughed off icy crust, apparently from an exceedingly oblique approach through the Earth’s atmosphere that almost missed the Earth altogether. The apparently astronomical quantity of secondary strikes should be suggestive of a non-fortuitous causal mechanism, rather than mere secondary ad hoc mechanisms, such as a collision with another planetesimal or a fortuitous close encounter with one of the giant planets.
Impact boulder-field characteristics:
Pockmarks and striations on boulders in several isolated boulder fields across Pennsylvania are suggestive of high energy processes. Two discrete diabase boulder fields in Southeastern Pennsylvania, separated by more than 50 kilometers, have several distinctive properties in common that they do not share with loose diabase boulders in between. Ringing Rocks Park in Lower Black Eddy, PA and Ringing Rocks Park in Lower Pottsgrove Township, PA share several distinctive properties:
1) a deep field of boulders, many stories high which make a French drain and prevent soil accumulation, precluding most plant life,
2) relatively-recently fractured boulders with a similar degree of weathering on all surfaces indicative of a simultaneous catastrophic origin,
3) similar surface features on some boulders, such as pockmarks, pot holes and striations indicative of a catastrophic origin since the limited degree of surface weathering precludes their formation by erosion,
4) some boulders ring like bells when sharply struck with a hard object as if the rocks had acquired a surface tension rind during the hypothesized, catastrophic, super-high pressure shock wave,
5) Subconchoidal fracturing of monolithic diabase also points to the tremendous force and energy of a catastrophic origin.
Other Southeastern Pennsylvania boulder fields in sandstone and quartzite, such as Hickory Run State Park boulder field and Blue Rocks campground boulder field on Hawk Mountain exhibit the first 3 of the 5 (above) properties exhibited by diabase boulder fields, but lack the ringing quality of diabase rocks. Sedimentary rocks tend to be more brittle and perhaps less erosion resistant than diabase and thus can not be as finely sculpted to begin with, and the features tend to erode faster afterward. Sedimentary rocks also tends to split along bedding planes, which eliminate the subconchoidal fracturing property of diabase boulder fields which point to catastrophic origins. And in particular, Blue Rocks quartzite boulders appear to be particularly susceptible to bioerosion by lichen.
Extinction events separating geologic periods and shorter intervals are often correlated with unconformities and bright-line sedimentary layers, both of which may be attributable to impact events. The YD extinction event has its own bright-line layer known as the ‘black mat’.
“The layer contains unusual materials (nanodiamonds, metallic microspherules, carbon spherules, magnetic spherules, iridium, charcoal, soot, and fullerenes enriched in helium-3) interpreted as evidence of an impact event, at the very bottom of the ‘black mat’ of organic material that marks the beginning of the Younger Dryas.”
(Wikipedia: Younger Dryas impact hypothesis)
PANSPERMIA AND FOSSILS IN DWARF-PLANET ROCK:
But what about macroscopic fossils in hypothesized comet rock?
Perhaps the question should be reversed to ask why multicellular life forms shouldn’t evolve first in the oceans of trillions of Oort Cloud planetesimal oceans, perhaps a 100 million years or more before earth cooled sufficiently to even support liquid water. Even today, Jupiter’s icy moon Europa alone is thought to harbor a liquid ocean containing twice the volume of water of all earth’s oceans.
If the solar system barycenter promotes mergers of close-binary planetesimals and also (compound) mergers of solitary planetesimals, then shattering of planetesimal ice occurring in planetesimal mergers may efficiently share genetic information, including eggs of higher life forms, widely throughout the Oort cloud and galaxy. If peanut-shaped Oort cloud comets are ‘contact binaries’ formed from the (core-collapse) merger of close-binary pairs precipitated by gravitational collapse — as similar-sized Kuiper belt binaries are hypothesized to have formed (Nesvorny, Youdin and Richardson, 2010, Formation of Kuiper Belt Binaries by Gravitational Collapse ) — then perhaps the vast majority of Oort cloud planetesimals have merged and shattered, effectively sharing material among themselves.
Additionally, the 3 light-year diameter of the Oort cloud, particularly including the high surface area of shrapnel from planetesimal mergers, has swept out a considerable volume of the galaxy over its 18 galactic revolutions, or so, in 4-1/2 billion years, and the continual merger of close-binary pairs over the history of the solar system has likely maintained a considerable volume of liquid water for aqueous evolution, not merely static sharing. Then catastrophic, terrestrial comet impacts have similarly contaminated the earth at widely-spaced intervals, but since rock layers in differentiated planetesimal cores are laid down continuously, the intervals between impacts are masked.
If the Appalachian Basin Platform is a compound-planetesimal impact that brought on the Ordovician–Silurian (End Ordovician or O-S) extinction event, then the trilobites, brachiopods, gastropods, mollusks, echinoderms and etc. found in Ordovician limestone are of Oort cloud origin. And the planet matter found in late Silurian and younger deposits is terrestrial; however the (authigenic terrestrial?) mudstone of the Burgess ‘Shale’ Formation in the Canadian North American Cordillera may be terrestrial.
If photosynthetic plant life is a terrestrial adaption, then the slow emergence of flora in the Devonian compared to the earlier Cambrian Explosion of aquatic fauna may represent the explosive growth of multicellular life promoted in Oort cloud planetesimal oceans, likely accelerated by short-lived radionuclides from the luminous red nova (LRN) merger of Proxima’s, (the hypothesized companion star to the Sun, Proxima [Centauri]) close-binary pair.
At cold temperatures and low oxygen levels in comet oceans oxygen transport and exchange by hemocyanin and hemerythrin would be more efficient by hemoglobin, so hemoglobin may be a terrestrial adaption to higher oxygen levels facilitated by photosynthesis.
While the conodont might represent the height of chordata life forms in Oort cloud oceans, the cephalopod-mollusk octopus might represent the height of Oort cloud intelligence, and we may need go no further than Europa’s ocean to find higher life forms. And as in the deep hydrosphere on earth, aqueous planetesimal life forms may see and communicate with the light of bioluminescence.
Type II planetesimals are hypothesized to have formed from chemically-reduced dust and ice that condensed from super-intense solar wind during the common envelope phase of the central binary pair as they spiraled inward. High temperatures in chemically-reactive Type II planetesimal oceans may support only microbial life forms, perhaps mostly in the cool ranges near the ice water boundary. By comparison, primary and compound Type I planetesimals formed from more-highly-oxidized presolar dust and ice of the protoplanetary accretion disk may be the origin of multicellular Oort cloud life forms.
In a compromise between strictly terrestrial evolution and continuous panspermia, terrestrial evolution might be vastly accelerated by the catastrophic introduction of microorganisms containing alien DNA for higher traits from Oort cloud comets.
Interstellar infection of DNA sequences for higher traits might explain evolutionary spurts of new taxonomic ranks following extinction events caused by Oort cloud comet impacts, particularly if alien microorganisms tend to quickly succumb to native strains and thus have only a short time to infect higher organisms by genetic transformation, incorporating exogenous DNA into gametes prior to fertilization. Indeed, human DNA has been found inside gonorrhoeae bacteria.
In molecular biology transformation is genetic alteration of a cell resulting from the direct uptake, incorporation and expression of exogenous genetic material (exogenous DNA) from its surroundings and taken up through the cell membrane(s).
. . .
Transformation may also be used to describe the insertion of new genetic material into nonbacterial cells.
In their 2013 paper, “Life Before Earth”, Sharov and Gordon suggest that genetic complexity is a measure of the length of functional and non-redundant DNA sequence. They continue:
If we plot genome complexity of major phylogenetic lineages on a logarithmic scale against the time of origin, the points appear to fit well to a straight line (Sharov, 2006) (Fig. 1). This indicates that genome complexity increased exponentially and doubled about every 376 million years. Such a relationship reminds us of the exponential increase of computer complexity known as a “Moore’s law” (Moore, 1965; Lundstrom, 2003). But the doubling time in the evolution of computers (18 months) is much shorter than that in the evolution of life.
What is most interesting in this relationship is that it can be extrapolated back to the origin of life. Genome complexity reaches zero, which corresponds to just one base pair, at time ca. 9.7 billion years ago (Fig. 1). A sensitivity analysis gives a range for the extrapolation of ±2.5 billion years (Sharov, 2006). Because the age of Earth is only 4.5 billion years, life could not have originated on Earth even in the most favorable scenario (Fig. 2). Another complexity measure yielded an estimate for the origin of life date about 5 to 6 billion years ago, which is similarly not compatible with the origin of life on Earth (Jørgensen, 2007).
(Sharov and Gordon, 2013)
By this measure suggested by Sharov and Gordon, intelligent life is only beginning to emerge in our Galaxy. Then extrapolating beyond their paper, intelligent life likely takes the form of humanoids if genetic sharing by transformation has allowed life on Earth to keep pace with the Galactic genetic doubling rate of 376 million years. Genetic sharing would also seem to indicate that the highest (non mammal) aquatic intelligence, in the form of octopuses, may lag behind terrestrial intelligence by less than one doubling even though aquatic life is likely vastly more prevalent.
SPECIFIC KINETIC ENERGY OF 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.
Subtitle: Condensation of galaxies, cold dark-matter (Bok) globules, and stars
The two states of giant molecular clouds:
A. Dark matter ‘normal state':
Gravitationally-bound giant molecular clouds composed of gravitationally-bound (Bok) globules on disk-crossing halo orbits are dark if their acquired stellar metallicity has ‘snowed out’ into the solid phase of icy chondrules, sequestering it from detection, since the remaining primordial molecular hydrogen and helium don’t emit or absorb below (Lyman-alpha) UV frequencies.
B. Luminous ‘excited state':
The giant molecular clouds on shallow orbits to the disk plane are exposed to more stellar radiation than their steep-orbit ‘halo’ counterparts. And luminous, gaseous stellar metallicity lowers the ‘speed of sound’, increasing the ‘sound crossing time’ through Bok globules and promoting Jeans instability, causing excited Bok globules to tend to condense stars.
Dark matter ‘Normal state’ >> Luminous ‘Excited state’ >> Star clusters
‘Reionization’ = endothermic globule condensation within preexisting proto-galaxies:
‘Recombination’ was a phase change which occurred 378,000 years after the Big Bang when the plasma continuum had cooled sufficiently for protons to capture electrons and form neutral hydrogen. The resulting electric neutrality made the universe transparent to electromagnetic radiation.
After a long period of expansive cooling, partial ‘reionization’ of the universe occurred over an extended time frame, beginning about 150 million years after the Big Bang and ending about 1 billion years after the Big Bang. Reionization is suggested to have condensed the vast majority of the primordial hydrogen and helium continuum within preexisting proto-galaxies into primordial gravitationally-bound ‘globules’ on the order of 10s to 100s of solar masses.
Globules are suggested to have formed by spontaneous, nearly-isothermal gravitational collapse of the continuum of proto-galaxies, promoted by endothermic dissociation of molecular hydrogen and endothermic hydrogen ionization which clamped the temperature to the ionization temperature range of hydrogen.
The long duration of reionization suggests progressive condensation of globules within proto-galaxies from the outside in, beginning with condensation of the cooler outer halo, progressing toward the warmer, denser preexisting super massive black hole in proto-galactic cores. (Globular clusters are an interesting sidelight as to whether they were the result of a somewhat-earlier condensation of the continuum within proto-galaxies, or the result of a later accretionary aggregation of ‘sticky’ globules.)
The initial gravitational collapse in protostars is nearly isothermal as long as the contracting cloud remains transparent to infrared radiation. When the central density in protostars reaches about 10^-13 g/cm-3, a small region starts to become opaque, “and the compression become approximately adiabatic”. “The central temperature and pressure then begin to rise rapidly, soon becoming sufficient to decelerate and stop the collapse at the centre. There then arises a small central ‘core’ in which the material has stopped collapsing and is approaching hydrostatic equilibrium” [formation of a first hydrostatic core (FHSC)]. “The initial mass and radius of the core are about 10^31 g and 6×10^13 cm, respectively, and the central density and temperature at this time are about 2 x 10^-10 g/cm-3 and 170° K.”
Larson suggests the second hydrostatic core begins forming at about 2000 K when hydrogen molecules begin to dissociate. “This reduces the ratio of specific heats, gamma, below the critical value 4/3, with the result that the material at the center of the core becomes unstable and begins to collapse dynamically.” (Larson 1969) However, experimental testing suggests that molecular hydrogen dissociation occurs over a temperature range of around 6,000 K – 8,000 K (Magro et al. 1996) which may grade directly into hydrogen ionization, forming a mixture of molecular-hydrogen + atomic-hydrogen + plasma. Figure 3 in Magro shows the nearly-isothermal decrease in kinetic energy occurring in the dissociation/ionization temperature range, indicating an endothermic event which promotes run-away gravitational collapse to form the ‘second hydrostatic core’ (SHSC).
Star condensation by Jeans instability within Bok globules today is suggested to be an almost perfect analogy for globule condensation during reionization, with higher mass compensating for higher ambient temperature in the early universe.
Population III stars:
The largest gravitationally-bound globules of several hundred solar masses or more may have failed to halt their gravitational collapse with the formation of a SHSC following suggested hydrogen ionization, continuing spontaneous gravitational collapse to form the first stars of the universe, known as Population III stars. Population III stars likely had super-intense Wolf-Rayet stellar wind phases, seeding galaxies and globular clusters with stellar metallicity even prior to their rapid demise in supernovae and hypernovae. Then as today, stellar metallicity was scavenged by gravitationally-bound globules, raising the metallicity of the subsequent generation of Population II stars.
The ‘second hydrostatic cores’ in primordial globules that resisted continued gravitational collapse into Population III stars are thought to have subsequently ‘boiled off’ their SHSCs over time to form homogenous globules without internal structure.
Larson, Richard B., (1969), NUMERICAL CALCULATIONS OF THE DYNAMICS OF A COLLAPSING PROTO-STAR, MNRAS (1969) 145, 271-295.
Magro, W.R.; Ceperley, D.M.; Pierleoni, C.; and Bernu, B., (1996), Molecular Dissociation in Hot, Dense Hydrogen, Physical Review Letters, 19 February 1996, Volume 76, Number 8.
Globules as Dark Matter:
“Bok globules are dark clouds of dense cosmic dust and gas in which star formation sometimes takes place. Bok globules are found within H II regions, and typically have a mass of about 2 to 50 solar masses contained within a region about a light year or so across.” (Bok globule, Wikipedia)
Everyone knows Bok globules are opaque due to their gaseous stellar metallicity, of which carbon monoxide is generally measured as a proxy for all metallicity, but what if they have a Jekyll and Hyde phases in which their normal phase is the exact opposite of one of their most prominent characteristics, their jet-black absorption of nearly all frequencies above infrared? Imagine that in the absence of strong stellar radiation, the opaque stellar metallicity ‘snows out’ and accretes into icy chondrules, leaving behind only molecular hydrogen, helium which don’t absorb below ultraviolet, turning invisible. Thus it’s suggested that the normal phase of Bok globules is invisibility (cold dark matter), but they can ‘decloak’ to become opaque (described as ‘luminous’ in the sense that they absorb light) when exposed to giant stars that sublime the most volatile compounds of their icy chondrules.
Halo globules: the invisible phase of gravitationally-bound primordial globules with stellar metallicity frozen into icy chondrules which are typically found in galactic halos.
Bok globules: the opaque (luminous) phase of globules in giant molecular clouds containing visible stellar metallicity in gaseous form which are typically found in the galactic plane.
Eponymously-named, gravitationally-bound primordial (Bok) globules cooled over the intervening 13 billion years to become ‘the coldest objects in the natural universe’. At the bitterly-cold temperatures of ca. 10 Kelvins above absolute zero, the vast majority of their luminous stellar metallicity is suggested to snow out into icy chondrules, leaving behind virtually-invisible molecular hydrogen and helium which do not absorb below the ultraviolet range, rendering globules dark.
“Molecular hydrogen is very difficult to detect. None of its transitions lie in the visible part of the spectrum. It has no radio lines. The molecular hydrogen is a homo nuclear molecule and has no permanent dipole moment. Because of this it does not have rotation vibration spectrum.” (PHYSICS AND UNIVERSE)
So globules are suggested to be the cold dark matter (CDM) reservoirs of galactic halos with more-recently-absorbed stellar metallicity sequestered into icy chondrules, rendering halo globules essentially invisible. Gravitationally-bound globules may act like sponges to loose gas in galactic halos, as well as in spiral plane of spiral galaxies disk-crossing halo orbits will take them through the spiral plane twice per orbit around the galactic core. And relatively-high molecular weight of stellar metallicity will tend to diffuse inward across their vast surfaces, making gravitationally-bound globules composed of chiefly highly-volatile hydrogen and helium very-efficient sponges of high-molecular-weight stellar metallicity.
‘Globule clusters’, or sticky globules vs. elastic stars:
Dynamic interactions between close encounters of solitary stars in the spiral arms of galaxies are very-nearly perfectly elastic due to their relatively small diameters compared to interstellar distances, and due to the symmetry of their spherical shapes which are difficult to tidally distort by close encounters.
Gravitationally-bound globules, by comparison, are more similar to entire galaxies than individual stars, with globule close encounters and mergers suggested to be very similar to simulations of (only slightly under damped) galactic mergers that barely overshoot and quickly merge into a single (hydrostatic) mass. Globules like galaxies have billions of internal components which can absorb kinetic and potential energy and linear and angular momentum. So if solitary stars are similar to billiard balls that elastically ricochet off one another, globules are closer to blobs of mercury that merge and fragment in collisions. Not only can globules absorb energy and (angular) momentum internally in 3 dimensions, but they can also fragment, merge and evaporate. So while stellar close encounters clearly conserve energy and momentum, close encounters of globules may not appear to do so, by departing at a slower speed than their relative approach speed. Thus globules are stickier than stars and are suggested to tend to clump together, forming ‘globule clusters’.
The relative homogeneity of stellar metallicity abundances between stars in open clusters compared to nearby stars suggests mixing within the giant molecular cloud prior to star condensation. Star-to-star variations in logarithmic abundance within an open cluster are typically 0.01 − 0.05 of many elements compared to 0.06 − 0.3 seen in the interstellar medium from the vicinity of the cluster. (Feng and Krumholz 2014)
Additionally, the superabundance of Bok globules in giant molecular clouds and their super scarcity elsewhere argues for their extreme clumping into clusters and for their normal state of invisibility beyond the galactic plane.
Giant molecular clouds (GMCs), the nuclear option:
Repeated passages through the galactic plane may tend to drag dark-matter globule clusters into progressively shallower halo orbits with progressively longer disk-passage times with progressively longer exposures to stellar radiation and hot interstellar plasma of the galactic plane until the larger globules collapse to form supergiant stars which may trigger more GI in Bok globules until all the Bok globules either convert to stars, brown dwarfs or rogue planets or evaporate into tenuous gas.
Gaseous stellar metallicity raises the average molecular weight of the gas phase of Bok globules, decreasing the speed of sound which reduces their ability to rebound from positive pressure spikes. As long as the sound-crossing time is less than the free-fall time, the system rebounds, but if increasing gaseous metallicity causes the sound-crossing time to exceed the free-fall time, gravity wins and the region undergoes gravitational collapse to form a star. Thermal and radiative evaporation of volatile hydrogen from the vast surface area of Bok globules (nominally a half light year across) will also increase the average molecular weight of the gas which may cause Jeans instability in smaller than star-sized masses, enabling brown dwarfs and rogue (gas-giant) planets to condense inside GMCs.
So clustering of globules into globule clusters may be the normal state for gravitationally-bound globules even after billions of years of passages through the galactic plane; although without allowing for breaking up and reforming of clusters over time (but not to a greater extent than the measured homogeneity of the resulting star clusters would permit). If globules tend to cluster, gravitationally-bound open star clusters tend to dissociate over time on a time scale on the order of 100s of millions of years if not sooner, accounting for the long tail at the younging end of the ‘list of open clusters’ from Wikipedia (which is more or less biased toward young clusters by selection effects). With the comparitive rarity of solitary Bok globules unassociated with larger nebulosity, the vast majority of galactic globules must be trapped inside globule clusters.
If globule clusters on shallow inclinations to the galactic plane are doomed to luminosity, globule clusters on steeper inclinations may shoot thorough the galactic plane with little impact either on the stars or on the globules. The two or more Snowball Earth episodes in the late Proterozoic Eon are suspected to have been caused by close encounters or passages through Bok globules of a single globule cluster, causing tidal warming on the supracrustal-rock surface of scattered disc objects (SDOs) of the scattered disc, causing supracrustal-rock subsidence and melting of glacial cover, dumping diamictite and precipitating cap carbonates. Then SDOs containing cap carbonates subsequently impacted Earth, causing extinction events.
Globule clusters may increase in size with radial distance from the galactic core, reaching the scale of dwarf satellite galaxies, but confined to the scale of giant molecular clouds within the confines of the spiral-arm disk plane.
Dearth of dark matter in elliptical galaxy problem:
Non-baryonic elementary-particle dark-matter hypotheses (WIMPs, axions, sterile neutrinos et al.) have trouble explaining the low dark matter to luminous matter ratios observed in elliptical galaxies, whereas the alternative dark-matter globule-cluster ideology predicts that globule- globule collsions and close encounters with giant stars will tend to cause halo globules to undergo gravitational instability which may cause their entire globule cluster to go nuclear, converting all the globules in the gravitationally-bound globule cluster to stars, brown dwarfs, rogue planets and luminous gas.
“Current thinking is that most if not all elliptical galaxies may be the result of a long process where two or more galaxies of comparable mass, of any type, collide and merge.” (Elliptical galaxy, Wikipedia)
“The kinematics of the outer parts of three intermediate-luminosity elliptical galaxies have been studied using the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph. The galaxies’ velocity dispersion profiles are found to decline with radius; dynamical modeling of the data indicates the presence of little if any dark matter in these galaxies’ halos. This surprising result conflicts with findings in other
galaxy types, and poses a challenge to current galaxy formation theories.”
(Romanowsky et al. 2003)
“Whether NGC 7507 is completely dark matter free or very dark matter poor, this is at odds with predictions from current ΛCDM cosmological simulations.”
(Lane et al. 2014)
Lane, Richard R.; Salinas, Ricardo; and Richtler, Tom, 2014, Dark Matter Deprivation in Field Elliptical Galaxy NGC 7507⋆, Astronomy & Astrophysics manuscript no. NGC7507 ˙spectra˙ accepted December 11, 2014.
Romanowsky, Aaron J.; Douglas, Nigel G.; Arnaboldi, Magda;, Kuijken, Konrad; Merrifield, Michael R.; Napolitano, Nicola R.; Capaccioli, Massimo; and Freeman, Kenneth C., 2003, A Dearth of Dark Matter in Ordinary Elliptical Galaxies, Science 301:1696-1698, 2003.
Proto-galaxy Nucleation (Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism):
WIMP cold dark matter in ΛCDM (Lambda Cold Dark Matter) dictates bottom up formation of galaxies from clumping dark matter which in turn drew in baryonic matter in which large spiral galaxies are thought to form from gradual mergers of smaller, older, dwarf galaxies. But bottom-up ΛCDM has trouble explaining the thin spiral structure and the typical specific angular momentum of spiral galaxies in a context of random galaxy mergers.
An alternative top-down ideology suggests condensation of spiral galaxies directly from the BBN continuum, perhaps shortly after BBN ran to completion about 20 minutes after the Big Bang, with gravitational instabilities centered around local inhomogeneities. Imagine shear planes in the BBN continuum, like geological faults or weather fronts, across which the continuum generally flowed in opposite directions. And since offset linear momentum is equivalent to (unbound) angular momentum, shear zones may represent sources of angular momentum for spiral galaxy nucleation. (Imagine a pair of cannonballs chained together and spinning around their common barycenter with a specific angular momentum. If the chain breaks, the cannonballs fly off in opposite directions with equal and opposite linear momentum with their vectors offset by the original length of the chain. Offset linear momentum = angular momentum.)
But the most prominent large-scale features in the universe are galaxy filaments, not galaxy walls, and even galaxy walls are elongated in one direction, so perhaps the one-dimensional intersection of two two-dimensional shear planes could have provided the conditions necessary for nucleating spiral galaxies along linear filaments with relatively uniform specific angular momentum.
A perpendicular linear offset across a shear zone (represented by a second intersecting shear zone) would tend to bring gas moving in opposite directions into direct collision which might create a pressure spike sufficient to promote gravitational instability around vortexes created by offset linear momentum.
But local pressure spikes would tend to thermally rebound since gas compression would raise the local temperature above that of the surrounding ambient temperature. Additionally, the nearly-uniform outward gravitational attraction from the continuum beyond cancels all but the differential mass of any local inhomogeneity except to the extent of the short reach of (gravitational) light cones in the very-early universe.
If, however, gravitational compression of a local inhomogeneity could reach the BBN temperature range before thermally rebounding, endothermic dissociation of helium (helium fission) would once again clamp the temperature to the BBN temperature range, promoting nearly-isothermal gravitational collapse into gravitationally-bound proto-galaxies.
Gravitational instability (GI) resulting in a gravitationally-bound state is suggested to be a type of phase-change, and thus the proto-galaxy condensation epoch will be defined as a phase change event in the early universe.
Gravitational collapse apparently continued beyond the BBN temperature range in proto-galactic cores, ending in the formation of super-massive black holes (SMBHs) inside gravitationally-bound proto-galaxies of the very-early universe, with the specific angular momentum of the collapsing gas determining the specific mass ratio of the SMBH to its host proto-galaxy. Then ‘BBN rebound’ within gravitationally-bound proto-galaxies reburned the vast majority of the helium-fission products.
BBN rebound, however, was not the homogeneous event of primary BBN and it apparently leaked intermediate reaction products, such as deuterium and tritium, past the inward-moving BBN-rebound fusion horizon, resulting in elevated concentrations of deuterium and lithium-7 (lithium-7, a tritium by-product) above and beyond the concentrations predicted by primary BBN modeling. Deuterium concentrations appear to be nearly correct as calculated, assuming that dark matter is non-baryonic, but if it’s baryonic as suggested here, then both deuterium and lithium-7 are in excess of predicted concentrations, lending support to BBN rebound within proto-galaxies.
Recombination and baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO)
Some 379,000 years later, the inter(proto)galactic universe had supposedly cooled sufficiently for ‘recombination’ of electrons and protons into neutral hydrogen atoms at around 2000 K. Recombination within proto-galaxies would have been delayed for many millions of years, however, where hydrogen and helium densities were vastly higher than in intergalactic space. Radiation pressure of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) kept the ionized continuum from clustering prior to recombination when intergalactic space became neutral, creating sound waves in the plasma continuum. These sound waves led to the acoustic oscillations seen in cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy data, but they are also suggested to have left an imprint in the clustering of galaxies. While acoustic oscillations in the CMB are not at odds with suggested early condensation of proto-galaxies, the effect should not be seen in preexisting galaxies. But galactic condensation ideology does not preclude a weak 150 Mpc BAO imprint in a secondary round of irregular galaxy formation following recombination by the conventional process of accretion.
The ‘dark ages’ followed ‘recombination’, so called because there were as yet no stars to shine, only the glow of gradually redshifting cosmic background radiation.
Questions and Problems:
1) If gravitational collapse of proto-galaxies continued all the way to forming super-massive black holes by endothermically-reversing BBN, then there should be visual indications of quasars during the dark ages before the formation of Population III stars 150 million years later.
2) Baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO):
BAO ‘sound horizon’ has apparently been observed in the clustering of galaxies which is on the order of 150 Mpc in today’s universe which occurred at photon decoupling, 379,000 years after the Big Bang. A CMB imprint is not at odds with proto-galaxy condensation, but preexisting spiral proto-galaxies should not show a BAO imprint; however, this does not exclude the possibility of a second round of irregular galaxy formation (by accretion) after recombination which may have a BAO imprint.
3) Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN):
BBN baryon to photon ratio appears to give the correct helium-4 and hydrogen-2 (deuterium) concentration for a universe composed of 4/5 non-baryonic dark matter, but it can’t explain the observed lithium-7 anomaly. But in secondary ‘BBN rebound’, deuterium and tritium may have escaped the BBN-rebound fusion horizon, invalidating straightforward BBN predictions.
4) Any complete theory of galaxy formation will have to explain the size and angular momentum of spiral and irregular galaxies as well as the tilted angular momentum plane of satellite galaxies in the halo which tend to be oriented in a plane, variably offset from the spiral disk. And spiral galaxies in superclusters are observed to have similarly oriented rotations (CW or CCW), which hints at a structural level beyond galaxies.
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Shear thinning properties of phyllosilicates appear to promote earthquake-fault slippage, such as in the earthquake that caused the 11 March 2011 Japanese tsunami. Additionally, (certain) sheet-silicate slurries may promote rock fracturing as occur in stratovolcanoes. Inert and refractory phyllosilicates may subducted under continental plates where heat and pressure on phyllosilicate slurries may fracture the overlying plate, forming stratovolcanoes in which the (remote subducted and/or local devitrified) volcanic ash is the cause rather than the result of the eruption.
Additionally, phyllosilicates may have gotten injected into the upper mantle in large comet impacts which were expelled to form flood basalt. Evidence for rock fracturing properties of hot phyllosilicate slurries:
1) Volcanic ash (phyllosilicates) and steam are released by explosive stratovolcanoes that can blast away mountain sides.
2) Phyllosilicates are commonly used as drilling mud
3) Steam is used to fracture oil shale and shale has a high phyllosilicate content.
4) “Most mature natural faults contain a significant component of sheet silicate minerals within their core.” (Faulkner, Mitchell, Hirose, Shimamoto, 2009) Smectite was discovered in the fault that caused the 11 March 2011 Japanese tsunami which is thought to have facilitated the earthquake with a friction coefficient of .08. (Fulton et al. 2013)
5) Montmorillonite is the major component in non-explosive agents for splitting rock.
Finally, the shear thinning properties of phyllosilicates may contribute to catastrophic mud slides during heavy rains, liquefaction during earthquakes and high-velocity pyroclastic flows during volcanic eruptions of hot volcanic ash.
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