A Brief Stellar History

    

PART I ­ The Stars

Introduction
Two Main Types of Stars
A Clue From the Scriptures
The Ages of the Two Populations
When the Population I Stars Formed
Stellar 'Building Blocks'
The Variable Lightspeed (Vc) Model and Stellar Processes
The Stellar Power-house
Dealing With Rapid Stellar Inflation
The Appearance of Stars
Considering Quasars
Distant Phenomena
The Redshift/Distance Relationship

PART II ­ The Solar System

Cosmic Ray Exposure and Meteorite Ages

Various Types of Meteorites
CRE ages and meteorites
Breakup times for the parent body
CRE ages and the ZPE

Geological Significance of CRE Ages
The Parent Body for Meteorites
Radioactive Elements in Planetary Cores
The Role of Radioactive Heating
An Early Event Radioactively Dated
Crater Forming Processes
Electrical Machining of Planet Surfaces
Summary of Effects for Planets
Solar System Summary

Mars
Our moon
Venus
Mercury
Earth

References for Part II


APPENDIX

PART I ­ The Stars

Introduction

The night sky is bedecked with the jewels of the stars, resplendent in their variety of colour, for "one star differs from another in glory" just as the Bible insists. Not only do their colours vary, but also their masses, but usually within a set range. There is a reason for this. A star is a sphere of gas, which ordinarily would contract under its own weight were it not for the pressure of both the gases and the radiation it produces. In order to balance the forces involved, the majority of stars range between 1/4 to 100 times the mass of the sun. If the mass is too much greater, the core temperature becomes so high that the resultant nuclear reactions set up a condition that may cause the star to explode before any significant ageing occurs. Thus super-massive stars are rare.

Sir Arthur Eddington suggested [The Internal Constitution of the Stars, p.20] that a star might be considered to be two bodies superposed: a material body of atoms and electrons, and an aetherial body of radiation. He pointed out that if there were no interaction between these two bodies, the store of radiation in the sun would dissipate within a short time. However, because it is tied to the material body of gas with its electrons and atoms by the process of absorption and emission, the radiation diffuses away at a slow rate. That is to say the factor that resists the outward flow of radiation is the opacity, or "opaqueness" of the stellar material. Thus the radiation generated in a star's core is imprisoned and slowly released over a period of time. Interestingly, the Genesis 1 account literally states that the stars were to be "light-holders," or had been designed to hold light, and Psalm 74:16 states that "God has prepared the light AND the sun."

The Two Main Types of Stars

Broadly speaking, there are two main types of stars in our Galaxy, namely the "old" or Population II stars, and the "young" or Population I stars. It is true that there are gradational types in between, some of which may have been cannibalised from our Galaxy's nearby satellites when they orbited through or near our Galaxy's disk and were captured. However, the existence of two main Populations is a useful starting point for any discussion. If the basic differences between these two main Populations can be accounted for, it will become more apparent where the gradational types fit into the broad picture.

The "young" or Population I stars, like our Sun, have a relatively high "metal," or heavy element content, such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, etc, (up to 3%), and generally inhabit the spiral arms of our Galaxy. The largest stars of this type are massive, brilliant, hot blue giants, which cause the spiral arms of distant galaxies to appear predominantly blue. By contrast, the "old" or Population II stars are metal poor (0.1%), and can be found in the halo, hub and disk of our Galaxy, and in most globular clusters around it. The largest stars of this type are the cool red giants with vast, tenuous outer layers, which contrasts with their highly condensed cores. These red giants cause the hubs of spiral galaxies to take on a reddish tint.

An overview is given below of one of several possible models that may account for the main stellar groupings and their features. It is based on the evidence for changing light-speed, c, as presented in an August 1987 report for SRI International and Flinders University entitled The Atomic constants, Light and Time, and major paper online which summarizes the last ten years of research..

A Clue From the Scriptures

From the Scriptural record of Genesis 1:14, it is apparent that our Sun started shining, along with the other stars that "give light upon the earth," midway through the 4th Day of Creation Week. This statement is in broad agreement with astronomical observation since the Sun and most other stars in our stellar neighbourhood, which give light upon the earth, are spiral arm stars. As such, they classify as the "young" or Population I stars. Broadly speaking, this indicates that the time of formation of many Population I objects was on Day 4.

However, the question then arises as to when the "old" or Population II stars were formed. The answer probably appears in the book of Job, when the Almighty personally instructed His suffering servant in these matters. There in chapter 38:4-7 the Lord Himself asked Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" The conjunction 'AND' is usually used Scripturally to separate two things which differ, so the 'sons of God', and the 'morning stars' are separate entities. Furthermore, this is not a case of poetic 'parallel structure' in which both lines have essentially the same meaning since the Alexandrian Septuagint version, which was translated from the original Hebrew into Greek by Jewish scholars reads as follows: "Where were you when I laid the corner-stone of the earthwhen the [first] stars were made, and all my angels praised me with a loud voice?" Taken at face value, it seems from these statements that the 'morning stars' had already started shining when the foundation of the earth was laid on the 1st Day.

For the purposes of this discussion, then, let us consider the 'morning stars' to be the 'old' stars that were created very early on Day 1. On this basis, then, the Scripture speaks of two main periods of star making: the 'morning stars', which are the 'old' or Population II objects made on Day 1, and the Population I or spiral arm stars like our Sun on Day 4, which are the 'young' stars.

The Ages of the Two Populations

A study of the Thorium to Neodymium ratio in stars like our sun has concluded that the minimum age of the sun and similar Population I stars was 9.6 billion atomic years, with a maximum of 11.3 billion atomic years [Nature, 328, pp.127-131, 9 July, 1987]. From these figures, a good average age for the sun would be about 10.5 billion atomic years. This view finds some support from the fact that the age of the oldest events recorded in Moon rocks ranged from 5.4 billion, through 7 billion, and up to 8.2 billion atomic years [Science, 167, pp.479-480, 557, 30 January, 1970]. In similar fashion, a recent study of Population II stars using the Uranium to Thorium ratio has indicated that the oldest stars in our galaxy have an age of 12.5 ± 3 billion atomic years [Cayrel et al., Nature, 409, p. 691, 8 February, 2001]. Earlier work based on Thorium and Europium abundances suggested 15.2 ± 3.7 billion atomic years [Cowan et al., Astrophysical Journal, 480, p. 246, 1997]. Even though the limits of error are larger, the data from this 1997 study suggest that the actual value should be at the higher end of the range indicated by the more precise 2001 study. When further studies are completed, it may be expected that results may converge to a figure somewhere around 14.5 billion atomic years, which would accord with data from stellar theory [Riess et al., arXiv:astro-ph/9805201v1, 15 May, 1998]. The difference in atomic age between the two main Populations of stars is thus about 4 billion atomic years.

The astronomical data indicate that light-speed dropped from a maximum of about 8 x 1011 times its current value near the beginning of Day 1, when the Population II stars were formed, down to about 1.3 X 107 times its current value midway through Day 4, when the Population I stars started shining. Using these figures, calculation reveals that over this 3.5 days period the Population II stars aged 3.83 billion atomic years. A simpler calculation can be performed with the same result by taking the average value for light-speed over that period, namely 4 X 1011 times its current value, instead of considering it as a declining quantity. This means that the atomic clock was effectively ticking off an average of 4 X 1011 days during each Day of Creation Week until halfway through Day 4. Consequently, the oldest Population II stars, the morning stars that started shining at the beginning of Day 1, had 3.5 days of ageing with light-speed, c, averaging some 4 X 1011 times faster than now. This totals an atomic equivalent of 1.4 X 1012 days or 3.83 billion atomic years of ageing beyond the age of the sun and similar stars. This is in good accord with the radiometric data.

The total radiometric ages of the Population I and II stars on this variable light-speed (Vc) model will also include the remainder of the burning from Day 4.5 down to the present on the rest of the curve which adds an extra 10.68 billion atomic years. Consequently, the age of the sun and Population I objects will be near 10.68 billion atomic years, while the Population II objects will be an additional 3.83 billion, which takes them up to about 14.5 billion atomic years old. This is a concordant result for the age of both the main stellar Populations on the Vc model.

When the Population I Stars Formed

On this model, the Population I stars started shining when c was about 1.3 X 107 times its current value. This gives a redshift of z = 2.015, and is in accord with the observational evidence which comes from starburst galaxies. In them, a massive burst of star formation is occurring, and newly formed, brilliant Population I blue giants are the prominent component in these objects. The star formation rate density appears to peak around z = 1.5 with the most vigorous evolution between z = 1 and z = 3. Careful observation has revealed that there is an underlying older stellar population (Population II) in these starburst galaxies upon which this massive star formation episode is being superimposed. For a full discussion, based on Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS imaging, see the 2001 paper by Bunker et al.

It has also been discovered that, as distance or redshift is increased, the star formation rate rises to a peak about z = 1.5 to z = 2 and that at higher redshifts the activity stabilises and plateaus out rather than continuing to increase [see the presentation by R. I. Thompson (Steward Observatory, Arizona), "Star Formation in the Northern HDF" at the AAS 199th meeting Session 24.07, January 7th 2002]. The graph of this star-forming activity with redshift is known as a "Madau plot" after Madau et al. who published a key paper on this matter in May 1998 [Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 498, p.106]. This was subsequently updated by Steidel et al. in July 1999 [Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 519:1, pp. 1-17]. As we go back in time, this latter paper concludes "that the onset of substantial star formation in galaxies might occur at z greater than 4.5." In other words, Steidel et al. suspect that the formation rate of young blue giant Population I stars "switches on" at a redshift greater than z = 4.5 and then drops off around z = 2 or 1.5 as earlier noted. As the most distant confirmed starburst galaxy lies at a redshift of z = 5.74 [Hu et al., Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 522, L9, 1999], this conclusion is substantiated. A fuller discussion of these matters was undertaken in 1999 by Illingworth and published in Astrophysics and Space Science, 269/270, pp. 165-181. Note that some initial reports of galaxies at higher redshifts have been largely discredited [Stern et al., astro-ph/0012037].

On astronomical theory, a redshift of 2 corresponds to an era about 11 billion years ago. From the foregoing discussion this redshift also marks the time when the dramatic star forming activity starts to decline. As the radiometric age for the bulk of Population I objects is also about 11 billion years as noted above, this gives some concordance between the two dating systems. In addition, there is concordance with the Vc model since a redshift of z = 2 on this approach gives an age of 10.68 billion atomic years, by which time the Population I stars were shining.

Stellar 'Building Blocks'

In support of this timing, it should also be noted that the numbers of "peculiar" galaxies and unusually shaped systems rise significantly as redshifts increase from z = 1 out to z = 3 and beyond [Bunker et al., op. cit.]. These peculiar systems claim attention in the Hubble Deep Field imaging because of the formation of brilliant blue giant stars in them. In some cases in these peculiar systems there is no evidence of any underlying older stellar population or host galaxy. Where this is happening, it is possible that we have a "primeval galaxy candidate" [Bunker et al., op. cit., Figure 4] that may be forming a small or irregular system similar to some of the satellite galaxies in our Local Group. In a similar study of 24 star-forming galaxies between redshifts of 2 and 4.5 using ground based equipment, Lowenthal et al. noted another possible option. They concluded that some of "These high-redshift objects are likely to be the low-mass, starbursting building blocks of more massive galaxies seen today." [Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 481, p. 673, May 1997].

The Variable Lightspeed (Vc) Model and Stellar Processes.

As may be inferred from the foregoing discussion, the Vc model accepts the usual mechanism for the ageing of the stars, and the consequent appearance of the various stars is explicable in terms of known processes. The only difference on this model is that, for most stars, this ageing process was accelerated during the first four days of Creation Week due to high light-speed values, after which the activity dramatically declined and then tapered off at a redshift around 2 just as observed. The initial fast rate of burning supplied a store of radiation within each star's layers that has been slowly escaping ever since. Thus, the more massive the star, the hotter its interior, and the faster it burnt its nuclear fuel, causing the star to rapidly inflate with radiation, and at the same time giving it a characteristic appearance. These processes need to be examined now in more detail.

The Stellar Power-house

It can be shown for conditions of changing light-speed, c, that gas pressure, radiation pressure, and the inward pull of gravity remain unchanged if all other factors are unchanged. These are important considerations for a star's structure. The radiation and gas pressures tend to expand the star, while gravitational attraction tends to collapse it. It is normal for these forces to be in equilibrium, unless the star has developed an instability, which may cause it to pulsate like the Cepheid variables. However, there are two key factors that are variable for a star in a changing c scenario. The first of these is the radiant energy of a star that is generated in its core. The second is the conditions under which this energy has to battle its way to the surface through the star's material, since the rate at which this energy is released is dependent upon the stellar opacity.

As demonstrated here, the reaction rate within stellar cores is proportional to c. In addition, there is a factor of c in the luminosity equation for stars. However, these two items, which make the luminosity proportional to c2, are precisely offset by the increased opacity of the star, which makes the luminosity proportional to 1/c2. From this it can be shown that a star's total luminosity remains unchanged as c varies. However, with the high rate of injection of energy from stellar cores during Creation Week, and gradually diminishing thereafter, the stage is set for every star to rapidly acquire its physical characteristics.

Dealing With Rapid Stellar Inflation

There are two items that need to be raised as a result. The first is the situation with regard to the pressure within the star that this rapid radiation influx would produce. Importantly, Harwit and others have shown that "any appreciable deviation from pressure equilibrium leads to a [stellar] readjustment that takes no more than about an hour." [Astrophysical Concepts, p.310]. It may therefore be concluded that, as stars rapidly inflated with radiation during Creation Week, they swiftly came to an appropriate pressure balance. However, as Hoyle has pointed out for similar conditions in stars generally, this balance may possess a dynamical character so the star might oscillate or vibrate about the new position of balance [Frontiers of Astronomy, p. 128]. Interestingly, God's comment in Job 38:7 that described the morning stars as 'singing' is a translation of the Hebrew word RANAN which literally means to stridulate or vibrate. It may therefore be alluding to this physical process, which many of the most massive Population II stars might experience because of the extremely rapid influx of radiation early in Creation Week. This contrasts with the more leisurely influx rate for Population I stars as lightspeed dropped with time.

The second item concerns the establishment of a stable temperature gradient within a star. When radiative transport of energy is too slow to maintain thermal equilibrium, a temperature gradient is generated that is sufficient to give rise to rapid convective motion. Harwit has shown that, even today, an excess gradient of only one millionth of the total gradient is sufficient to ensure transfer of energy through a star's convective zone in a time approximating to one month. For higher excess gradients, the equations show that the time to transfer this energy by convection would be less [op. cit., p.316, 329]. As each star rapidly inflated with energy, it might thus be expected that this convective process dominated stellar interiors allowing a stable temperature gradient to be rapidly established. This convection process is still visible on the sun today as its gases boil up to the surface in cells called 'granules' that are about 1,000 kilometres across. Hoyle and Schwarzschild have suggested that "sound waves are generated by the moving gases: the granules make a noise!" [Frontiers of Astronomy, p.115]. If this suggestion is ever proven to be correct, this may be an additional reason why the word used by the Creator to describe the 'morning stars' could also be translated as 'singing.'

The Appearance of Stars

Preliminary calculations have been performed based on core temperatures for a given stellar mass, and the resultant energy injected during Creation Week. They reveal that stellar characteristics can generally be accounted for, including the vast, cool, extended atmospheres of the red giant stars, or the more compact internal structure of stars like our sun. These initial calculations also suggest that stars like our sun may have core temperatures today that are a little lower than currently estimated. This is in agreement with some solar oscillation data. Furthermore, the slightly lower nuclear reaction rate that this would entail may also result in a partly reduced neutrino flux. In view of these developments, it seems possible to account for the general appearance of the two main Populations of stars on a contracted time-scale.

Considering Quasars

In a Biblical context, questions have sometimes been asked regarding the origin of the light that illuminated the earth on the first Day of Creation Week in response to the Divine command "Let there be light." To find a likely answer, we only need turn to the frontiers of the cosmos where we are looking at objects as they appeared at a time near the origin of the universe. In those distant regions of space we discover that we are in the realm of the quasars. These are among the most brilliant objects in the universe with many ranging from 100 up to 1000 times brighter than a normal galaxy.

These quasars, each of which is powered by a super-massive black-hole, inhabit the centres of galaxies. It has been found that the mass of the central black-hole powering the quasar is always about 0.2% of the mass of the galactic nucleus. Currently, some astronomers think that these central supermassive black-holes formed over a long time-scale. However, this 0.2% relationship has caused other astronomers consider that they have formed rapidly "through processes associated with the initial formation of galaxies" [ibid]. Indeed, Silk and Rees state, "The formation of massive black holes may precede the epoch that characterises the peak of galaxy formation" [Astronomy and Astrophysics Vol. 331, p. L1-L4, March 1998]. In other words, in terms of galaxy formation, these central supermassive black-holes and their resulting quasars are among the first objects to form.

Supporting this contention is the observational fact that quasar numbers increase with distance until they peak around z = 2.5 [Shaver et al., Nature 384, p. 449, 1996]. Their luminosities also tend to increase out to that distance. Later work has confirmed this trend [ibid], as quasars are now known out to a redshift of 6.28. Both quasar numbers and their luminosity tend to plateau at distances beyond z = 2.5.

The quasar light comes from the huge disk of swirling, ionised gas that rapidly rotates around the equator of the black hole. Some illumination also comes from the accompanying polar jets. An outer rotating toroid of material probably extends beyond the inner disk. As gas particles swirl towards the central hole, they lose the gravitational energy that is ultimately converted to heat, light and X-rays. In fact, Chandra X-ray telescope data indicate that at least 75% of the X-ray background radiation has come from quasars. Because the electromagnetic properties of the vacuum were different when lightspeed was higher, these X-rays would be far less damaging than they are today.

In order to explain the origin of the intense light from quasars, recent work indicates that looping magnetic field lines connect the disk of gas to the central black-hole. Because of differential rotation, each magnetic field line tied to the gyrating black-hole spins around faster than the end anchored in the disk. This magnetic tension slows the black-hole's spin and imparts energy to the disk which causes the ions of gas there to glow more brightly [Science News, Vol. 160, p.277, 3 Nov. 2001]. With the passing of time, the brilliant activity gradually died down, leaving a more quiescent black hole at the centre of most galaxies, which is what we see at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. The various forms of active galactic nuclei (AGN) are considered by some astronomers to be these same objects viewed from different directions, since any outer toroid of material would block a direct view of the light-producing region when viewed from certain angles.

Since our solar system is about 30,000 light years from the centre of our galaxy, the brilliant illumination from the quasar there would supply the directional light during the first few days of Creation Week before the sun lit up. This intense burst of light would appear to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. Since light-speed halfway through Day 1 was about 6.8 X 1011 faster than now, it would take light about 1.4 seconds to reach us from the quasar at the centre of our galaxy. Today, it takes approximately that long to send a light signal from the earth to the Moon.

Distant Phenomena

The behaviour of quasars introduces another aspect of the topic. They are one of four examples of astronomical object whose properties change with redshift or distance in an important way. Two others besides quasars have been introduced above, namely starburst galaxies and unusual systems. Each of these objects indicates that, around a redshift z = 2, some kind of change has occurred. These four examples help determine which of several likely models is adopted. First, the numbers and luminosity of quasars rise with increasing redshift until they peak around z = 2 and then plateau at higher redshifts. Second, the star formation rate in starburst galaxies also rise with distance until they peak around z = 1.5 to 2 and then plateau at higher z values. Third, the numbers of small, peculiar or unusual galaxies that may be either the building blocks of larger systems, or small satellite galaxies in the process of formation, increase dramatically from a redshift of z = 1 to z = 3.

The fourth category of object to be considered is the Type Ia supernovae. The output of light from these explosions has a characteristic behaviour. At their peak, they have a known intrinsic brightness, which falls off with time in a specific and known way. As a consequence, it is possible to use them as distance indicators. Using ground based equipment it has been possible to examine a number of such supernovae from redshifts of about 0.3 out to 1.2 and hence compare the behaviour of redshift with distance. The most distant objects in that range have been somewhat dimmer than anticipated by some cosmological theories, and hence further away than predicted by those theories [Riess et al., arXiv:astro-ph/9805201 v1, 15 May 1998, also J. Glanz, Science, Vol. 279, pp. 651, 1298, (1998)]. The usual explanation has been that these results indicate that the cosmos is accelerating in its expansion rate with time under the influence of a cosmological constant.

However, the most distant supernova yet discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope, SN 1997ff at z = 1.7, was significantly brighter than expected, indicating that it was closer than anticipated for its redshift [Science News, 31 March (2001). Also P. F. Schewe & B. Stein, Am. Inst. Phys., Physics News Update 533 (2001). Also P. Preuss, NERSC News Release, 2 April (2001)]. The explanation offered was that, at that point in time, the universe was still slowing its expansion rate under the influence of gravity before the action of the cosmological constant predominated. By implication, this situation was expected to prevail at all redshifts higher than 1.7. The interpretation offered was that at z = 1.7 we are close to the change-over point between these two forces.

The Redshift/Distance Relationship

Stripped to the bare bones, those results actually indicate that the redshift versus distance relationship undergoes a change in character around z = 1.7. It changes in such a way that the redshift now increases more rapidly with distance. In other words, at this point the redshift/distance relationship suddenly becomes a steeper curve than the one being followed out to this point. When this is coupled with the change in behaviour of the other types of object in the redshift range 1.5 to 2, the conclusion may legitimately be drawn that this change is of some significance.

It is at this juncture that these data help decide between several possible models based on the behaviour of lightspeed with time. As noted in the main redshift paper undergoing review, the speed of light is linked to the redshift in a linear fashion. In addition, with increasing astronomical distance we are looking further back in dynamical time. Therefore the graph of redshift against distance is the same graph as lightspeed against time. It is also the graph of the rate of ticking of the atomic clock compared with dynamical time since there is a direct relationship between lightspeed and the rate of ticking of the atomic clock in all its forms. So the behaviour of the redshift with distance is a key item that determines the modelling, and up to a redshift of z = 1.7 this relationship is firmly established.

One possible model maintained the usual redshift function right back to the origin of the cosmos. This allows the maximum value for lightspeed to be determined as being 8 X 1011 times its current value. Another option, suggested by the radiometric data from our solar system and earth, indicated that c dropped more steeply from this maximum of 8 X 1011 times c now at the beginning of Creation Week to a value of 1.3 X 107 times its current value at a redshift of 2, following which the usual redshift function was followed. This usual redshift function then added an extra 10.68 billion atomic years to the age of astronomical objects in the way elucidated above.

The two important markers as we look back in time are the steepening of the redshift relationship at z = 1.7 followed by the burst of activity that formed the Population I stars around a redshift of z = 2 or higher. According to the Genesis record, the formation of Population I stars closed the astronomical activity during Creation Week. Throughout that Week it might be anticipated that a different mathematical relationship for lightspeed and redshift was being followed compared with the relationship afterwards. A comparison of radiometric ages from the two stellar Populations with the radiometric data from our earth and solar system reinforce that conclusion. The change-over between the two mathematical relationships that is seen around z = 1.7 occurs sometime after the close of Creation Week, which was near z = 2. Biblically, there is a possibility that this change-over may have occurred about the time of the Fall. In this modelling, a linear approximation has been used for the redshift function at redshifts greater than 2. However, further studies of Type Ia supernovae at larger redshifts will be needed to define the behaviour of this function more accurately, and at the same time confirm or otherwise this choice as the more viable of the several possible models.

Part II -- The Solar System

A. Cosmic Ray Exposure and Meteorite Ages.

1. Various types of meteorites
We begin this section on the solar system by considering the various types of meteorites that have been found. This is an important step since meteorite bombardment of the earth, Moon and other planets seems to have played a key role on certain occasions throughout the history of the solar system. Furthermore, meteorites are generally considered to be fragments of larger bodies that originally populated the solar system. Consequently, they provide information about processes that must have operated within these and other planetary bodies.

There are three main classes of meteorite: the stony meteorites, which comprise up to 94%, the iron meteorites or siderites, which make up about 5% of the specimens, and the lithosiderites or stony-irons, which account for roughly 1% of the total.

Although there are subdivisions within each class, it should be noted that there are basically two major types of stony meteorite, the chondrites, comprising 86% of meteorites found (see also the wikipedia entry for chondrites), and the achondrites, comprising 7% of falls. The chondrites contain spherically shaped, millimetre-sized inclusions of glassy rock and metals that in some cases at least are considered to have been "the oldest solid material within our solar system and are believed to be the building blocks of the planetary system." In contrast, the achondrites lack these spherical inclusions or 'chondrules' from which the chondrites take their name.

However, not only the 'chondrules' in some of these bodies formed from precursor material. One form of chondrite that makes up 6% of all meteorites is the carbonaceous chondrites. These meteorites as a whole are also considered to represent the chemical composition of the material from which the solar system was formed. There are two reasons for this. First, in carbonaceous chondrites, the relative abundance of elements (not minerals or compounds) apart from hydrogen closely corresponds to those in the solar atmosphere. They may contain up to 20% water in various minerals including serpentine, 15% iron sulphide and around 3% carbon. They are classified on the abundance of these items.

In contrast, the ordinary chondrites are simply classified according to their iron content. Second, the carbonaceous chondrites have not been submitted to temperatures high enough to alter the main minerals. Instead, they are a heterogeneous agglomeration of minerals in a very fine carbon-rich matrix. They are the only type of meteorite where sheets of mica occur, usually in the hydrated form. By contrast, ordinary chondrites, including their 'chondrules,' have undergone phase changes through heating, while achondrites, siderites, and lithosiderites are the result of a re-crystallization process.

Almost half the meteorites are breccias, compressed fragments of the same composition (monomict breccias) or of different composition (polymict breccias). Since meteorites are only fragments, it is presumed that they have originated in a larger, parent body that was broken up. This will be discussed in more detail shortly.

2. CRE ages and meteorites
The Cosmic Ray Exposure age of a meteorite is a measure of how long it has been free from a larger body (perhaps a planet, a dwarf planet or large asteroid) and circling in interplanetary space, exposed to cosmic rays from the sun and galaxy. Cosmic rays are high energy elementary particles. The most energetic particles come from sources in our galaxy. These protons and other atomic nuclei have been accelerated to high energies by the shock acceleration mechanisms which operate in supernova processes [1, 2] and the various electric and magnetic fields within our galaxy. Cosmic rays from our galaxy were recognized as early as 1912. [3] The solar cosmic rays come from energetic solar flare particles and the solar wind. This source was first recognized in 1942. [3]

As these cosmic rays hit a meteorite, they interact with the isotopes in the meteorite and produce new isotopes from the elements already existing there. These nuclear interactions often involve the capture of a cosmic-ray produced neutron. These new isotopes can be either stable, or radioactive. The stable isotopes are usually the noble gases like helium 3 and 4, neon 20, 21and 22, argon 36 and 38, krypton 78, 80, 82 and 83, and xenon 124-132. In addition there are the potassium 39 and 41 isotopes as well as samarium 150 and gandolinium 156 and 158. The longer the meteorite is in orbit away from the shielding of its original parent, the longer it is exposed to cosmic rays and so the more of these new isotopes are present in the meteorite. The radioactive isotopes, produced by cosmic-ray induced neutron capture, all decay in a characteristic way forming daughter products whose time-dependent concentrations can be measured. These radioactive isotopes include potassium 40, calcium 41, nickel 59, and cobalt 60. In addition to all this, there is lattice damage from the particles brought to a stop in the meteorite. These damage trails are termed “nuclear tracks” and are readily observed.

3. Break-up times for the parent body.
The Cosmic Ray Exposure (CRE) age of a meteorite is thus relatively easy to establish from the relationship between the quantity of stable isotopes compared with radioactive isotopes and the various types of nuclear tracks which are present. A full discussion of all that is involved may be found in the paper by O. Eugster et al. in reference [3]. That paper includes the relevant data from the 18,000 or so meteorites which have been collected. The data allow some important conclusions to be drawn. Basically it can be stated that the earliest CRE date will be the one associated with the initial breakup of the parent body. This would be the case because of the limited penetration of cosmic rays into solid objects. Once the initial breakup occurs, other lesser breakup events may follow in which some pieces become more fragmented. When the histograms of CRE ages of the various meteorite types, given in reference [3], are looked at in this way, the following data emerges. Table 1 lists the stony meteorite data.

TABLE 1: Breakup times of the 3 types of stony meteorite.

 

Type of stony meteorite

 

CRE breakup age.

H Chondrites

80 million atomic years

L Chondrites

70 million atomic years

LL Chondrites

70 million atom,ic years

E Chondrites

70 million atomic years

R Chondrites

45 million atomic years

CK Chondrites

55 million atomic years

CO Chondrites

65 million atomic years

Eucrites

80 million atomic years

Diogenites

50 million atomic years

Howardites

70 million atomic years

Aubrites

70 million atomic years

Angrites

65 million atomic years

 

Chondrites, carbonaceous chondrites and achondrites are included in this list.

 

Average breakup age for these types is 65.8 million atomic years.

Three inliers were omitted from this count as it appeared they resulted from a secondary breakup. These were the CV Chondrites at 30 million, the Acapulcoites at 15 million and the Ureilites at 30 million atomic years. The outcome is that the majority of stony meteorites give a consistent
testimony that the breakup of the parent body occurred about 65.8 million atomic years ago.

With regards to iron meteorites, all methods combine to give CRE ages with peak representation about 650 million atomic years. [3] However this appears to be sometime after the initial breakup. This breakup time of the iron meteorite parent body is consistent if the method of noble gas analysis is used. Table 2 reveals the earliest CRE ages by this method for the various types of iron meteorite or siderites.


 
TABLE 2: Breakup times of the 5 types of iron meteorite.

 

Type of iron meteorite

 

CRE breakup age

Group I

900 million atomic years

Group II

700 million atomic years

Group III

800 million atomic years

Group IV

900 million atomic years

Ungrouped

750 million atomic years

 

All iron meteorites included in this list.

 

Average breakup age for these meteorites is 810 million atomic years.

 

The conclusion is that the iron meteorite parent body broke up initially about 810 million atomic years ago with the subsequent fragmentation events peaking about 650 million atomic years ago.

The third main type of meteorite is the stony-irons or lithosiderites. We link them together with the IVA subgroup of the irons with the following results:

TABLE 3:  Breakup times of the stony-iron meteorites
.

 

Type of stony-iron

 

CRE breakup age.

Mesosiderites

330 million atomic years

Pallasites

230 million atomic years

Group IVA irons (a)

255 million atomic years

Group IVA irons (b)

217 million atomic years

 

The stony-irons and associated types all included.

 

Average break-up age for stony irons is 258 million atomic years

Though the data are a little more sparse and scattered in this case, the stony-irons seem to indicate that the breakup of their parent body occurred around 258 million atomic years ago.

4. CRE ages and the ZPE
Before moving on to the consequences of these three break-up times and their link with geological events on earth, we must pause for a moment. In a changing Zero Point Energy (ZPE) scenario we must ask how firm these dates are. In the case of the radioactive elements, which were produced by the cosmic rays, the radio decay rate has been established above as being inversely proportional to the ZPE strength. This removes the problem with the latter part of the scenario. However, the key component is the production rate of radioactive elements and noble gases by the cosmic rays. This depends on cosmic ray production rates which in turn depend on supernova explosions, solar flare activity, and the electric and magnetic fields threading through the galaxy.

In Appendix 5 on Radiant Energy Emission, as well as in Part 5 on the ZPE and Plasma Behavior, the rate of burning of stars, both by nuclear and plasma/electrical processes, is discussed. It is shown there that the rate of stellar burning, whether nuclear or plasma/electrical, is inversely proportional to the ZPE strength in the same way that radioactive decay is. That means theproduction rate of cosmic rays is also inversely proportional to the ZPE strength, and so was proportionally higher in the past. In other words, the various methods by which the atomic age of objects is established, are all working in synchrony with each other. With this understanding that cosmic ray production is moving in concert with other atomic data, then we can safely accept that the production of the new isotopes is similarly affected. The result is that CRE dates are registering ages which are concordant with other atomic data.

 B. Geological Significance of CRE Ages

This leads us to the geological significance of the three break-up dates of the meteorite parent bodies. In the geological column, there are 4 main Eras separated by 3 catastrophic events which ended each Era (see Figure IV). The first Era, the Archaeozoic, which started about 4.5 billion atomic years ago, was effectively ended with the “Snowball Earth” catastrophe. This event occurred during the Neoproterozoic in what has come to be termed the Cryogenian Period. This period extends from 850 to 635 million atomic years ago. This closely corresponds to the 810 to 650 million atomic years we have noted from the break-up of the parent body for the iron meteorites.

In geology, the Paleozoic Era followed the Archaeozoic and ended with the Permian extinction event which occurred about 251 million atomic years ago. This closely corresponds with the date for the break-up of the stony-iron parent body at 258 million atomic years. The Mesozoic Era, which followed the Paleozoic, ended with the Cretaceous/Tertiary extinction event at 65 million atomic years. This is closely mirrored in the data for the stony meteorites which gives a break-up age of 65.8 million atomic years for the parent planet or asteroid. The Cenozoic Era which followed was punctuated by the last Ice-age.

The implication is that these solar system events had their counterparts in the catastrophes which are recorded in the geological column. Whatever it was that caused the break-up of the parent bodies for these three types of meteorite, it was also, either directly or indirectly, the cause of the main catastrophes recorded in the geological column. In confirmation of this, we note that there are massive craters of the appropriate atomic age at the end of each of the geological Eras. The first of these is in the Neoproterozoic in Australia and is called MAPCIS standing for Massive Australian Precambrian/Cambrian Impact Structure. The structure has multiple rings with the outermost visible ring being about 2000 km (1,200 miles) in diameter. The innermost ring is 500 km (310 miles) in diameter. The mass concentration (mascon) and gravitational anomaly at the structure center is 640 km (400 miles) across while the magnetic anomaly is 700 km (440 miles) across.[4] Figure V gives more details.

Daniel Connelly who is doing the main research on MAPCIS has taken the youngest age of the rocks in the area to give an age for the structure of about 545 million atomic years. This is near the Neoproterozoic/Cambrian boundary. However, Neoproterozoic strata exist near the impact zone. In addition, the Adelaide Geosyncline (also known as the Adelaide Rift Complex) forms part of the outer ring in Figure V, so the impression is that it was, in all likelihood, initiated by the impact. Since this Complex has a Neoproterozoic age [5], it is taken here that this is also the formation time of MAPCIS rather than at the Cambrian boundary.

In the case of the second Catastrophe, namely the Permian extinction, there is a crater 380 km wide in Wilkes Land, Antarctica, and the Bedout crater, 250 km in diameter, off the north coast of Western Australia. Both craters are of the correct geological age, namely about 251 million atomic years. 

geologic column

Figure IV:The Geological column showing the 4 major Eras. The boundaries of each Era are marked by geological catastrophes. Note that the Archaeozoic is often called the Precambrian, and the snowball earth strata (now called the Cryogenian) extends from the jagged line at 700 million atomic years up to the change in color about 590 million atomic years. This geological boundary is being reassessed. Ascending in the rock record, the next major catastrophe is the Permian extinction at the end of the Paleozoic around 251million atomic years ago. The latest catastrophe closed the Mesozoic at the Cretaceous/Tertiary extinction, 65 million atomic years ago.

 

Figure V: The MAPCIS structure in Australia from satellite images. Pseudotachylite, a rare rock that is formed by intense friction, has been found in arcing deposits up to 161 km long and many kilometers wide ringing the impact zone. A web of ground faults radiates from this zone. The bolide was about 30 km in diameter, impacted at 40+ km/s, and penetrated 45 km into the crust exposing eclogite, a form of rock only found at that depth.A rare alloy concentrated in iron meteorites is osmiridium. It is found in Neoproterozoic strata in the impact zone and in a radiating pattern in the same strata across eastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and New Caledonia.  

The Antarctic structure is shown in detail in Figure VI. At the same time, some 3 million cubic kilometers of basalt was outpoured to form the Siberian Traps near the antipodal point of the Wilkes Land crater. We see this phenomenon on other planets. The objects which formed these craters transmitted a pressure pulse through the planets. At the antipodal point on Mercury, chaotic terrain was formed. On Mars, uplift and volcanism resulted at the antipodal points. In the case of the earth, the passing of the pulse released pressure from the antipodal crust. This pressure release caused the hot rock in the upper mantle to liquefy with its subsequent outpouring on the surface as flood basalts.

 

Figure VI: On left, a combined image of gravity fluctuations and airborne radar in the Wilkes Land region of East Antarctica. The edges of the crater are colored red and blue; a concentration of mantle material is colored orange (center). On right, an outline of East Antarctica with the mascon circled.

A similar event is linked to the Cretaceous Tertiary extinction episode. The Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan dates from that time and is accompanied by a handful of other craters of approximately the same age. The Yucatan crater was initially assessed as being 180 km wide. However, more recent work suggests that this is only the inner ring to a complex crater which is over 300 km wide. Images of the structure are shown in Figure VII. Again, at the time of formation of this crater, India was at the antipodal point.

Figure VII: Left - Chicxulub structure showing 2 inner rings; Yucatan coast in white. Right - vertical plot of gravity anomal; outer rim bottom right shown in red. Complete structure shows a central peak with three main rings.

As a result, over a million cubic kilometers of basalt was outpoured to form the Deccan Traps in Western India. Since this event, India has drifted north to its present position and is no longer antipodal to the Yucatan.  Thus in all 3 cases of catastrophes ending the geological Eras on earth, the formation of massive craters was involved. The noteworthy coincidence in all 3 cases is that the break-up times of planetary bodies in our solar system preceeded these geological catastrophes by a very short amount of time astronomically.

C. The Parent Body for Meteorites

Since meteorites are only fragments, it is presumed that they have originated in a larger, parent body that was broken up. The question then becomes 'Where do the meteorites come from?' The answer to this question is fairly certain to astronomers. For example, The Cambridge Atlas of Astronomy, p. 122, states: "Therefore, it is now thought that the majority of meteorites come from the asteroids, whose diversity amply covers all classes of meteorites." Furthermore, there is some order in this asteroidal diversity. The majority of asteroids orbit between Mars and Jupiter. However some 60% of them are dark and are concentrated in the outer regions of the main belt, while 30% of them are light and are found predominantly in the inner regions of the main belt. The remaining 10% are made up of several other minor categories.

The dark asteroids of the outer belt are rich in hydrated minerals, or minerals that contain water locked up in their crystal structure, while their darkness "is attributed to the presence of a few per cent of carbon on the surface" [Cambridge Atlas, p. 152]. They are therefore classified as C-type (carbonaceous) asteroids. These asteroids are considered to be the specific originators of the carbonaceous chondrites, among other types of stony meteorite. This view has recently been strengthened by data obtained from the NEAR spacecraft examination of the 66 km long C-class asteroid Mathilde, whose surface has the same spectroscopic signature as the carbonaceous chondrite meteorites [Veverka et al., Science, Vol. 278, pp. 2109-2114, (1998)].

The 30% of asteroids which are light colored are classified as S (silicaceous) because they are made up of silicates (including pyroxenes and olivines) similar to the Moon, as well as metals (iron and nickel). This class of asteroid is considered to give rise to the stony-iron meteorites. Though most of the S type asteroids inhabit the inner region of the main belt, a number of them have orbits which carry them into the inner solar system, past the earth and towards the sun, such as the Apollo-Amor group.

The 10% of asteroids in the minor category includes a significant proportion of class M (metal) asteroids, like the 260 km Psyche, which is entirely nickel-iron [Ostro, Campbell & Shapiro, Science, Vol. 229, pp. 442-446, (1985)]. The metallic meteorites seem to derive from them or their parent body.

Bearing in mind all the foregoing evidence on the relationship between the meteorites and asteroids, the Cambridge Atlas [p. 154] states: "the majority of the asteroids are fragments of primordial bodies of greater size, metallic asteroids originating, for example, from the core of a larger, differentiated body." So it is considered that the asteroids themselves came from some larger parent body.

The Cambridge Atlas [p. 154] then concludes there are two possibilities for the larger parent body. "The first involves the existence of a mother planet, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, which itself was fragmented." However, because it is difficult to find a reason for this original planet to disrupt, it was decided that the gravitational might of Jupiter prevented a large planet from forming. As a result, it is concluded that a whole population of smaller parent objects was formed, and that these later fragmented through collision.

However, several lines of evidence favour the explosive disruption of a mother planet. [See T. Van Flandern, "Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets," p. 216, North Atlantic Books, California, 1993. Also, Meta Research Bulletin, Vol. 4:3, September 15, (1995)]. First, many asteroids have subsidiary moons around them or are surrounded by orbiting pieces of debris. This is difficult to explain by the second option, but would be expected on the explosive disruption of a parent planet. Second, the distribution of asteroids contains explosion signatures similar to those that were first catalogued for fragments of artificial satellites that blew up in earth orbit. Third, there is the suggestion of an explosion from the pattern of dark residue on moons in the outer solar system that may have resulted from a blast wave travelling through. Fourth, the mean relative velocity between asteroids, about 5 km/sec, is too high to result from collisions, fragmentation, or planetary perturbations.

The fifth line of evidence comes from the NEAR space probe. Its data indicate that some asteroidal bodies like Eros are heavily fractured and contain fragments that have undergone small displacement [Wilkison op. cit.], while the characteristics of others like Mathilde can only be explained if they are a "rubble pile" rather than a monolithic fragment [see W. F. Bottke "Are Asteroids Rubble Piles", Paper for 23rd Meeting of the International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, Erice, Italy, September 10, (1998). So all these data indicate that the asteroids themselves came from some larger parent body.

On this basis, then, the first possibility for the formation of asteroids and meteorites is favoured, namely a parent planet that fragmented, disrupted, or exploded sending debris through the solar system with asteroids and meteorites being the left-overs. Because of the mineralogy of the S-type asteroids, it appears that they are the remains of the major parent planet, which we will call Planet Y, with an interior that contained a core, a mantle and a crust. The C-type asteroids do not seem to have been so differentiated, and must have come from a smaller body, perhaps the moon of this planet, which may have had a chondritic interior which had undergone some phase changes due to heating, and an unheated, carbonaceous chondritic upper layer.

In this way, the events which gave rise to the asteroid belt and meteorites, by the breakup of an original planet and its moon, can be shown to have caused events recorded in the geological column. The cause of the breakup now must be discussed.

D. Radioactive Elements in Planetary Cores

We have seen how both the asteroids and meteorites are considered to come from a larger body (or bodies) many of whose minerals have either undergone phase changes or else have been changed by heating. As a result, it becomes apparent that a major source of heat is needed to perform this task. Plasma physics indicates that, because of Marklund convection, the planets were formed already layered. The majority of radioactive elements would be concentrated towards planetary centers by Marklund convection.

This is becoming an accepted scientific position for reasons different from those employed in plasma physics. In this case, Arthur Calderwood, from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, pointed out that it is possible to construct a model of the earth's interior using the full standard C1 chondrite abundance of uranium and thorium within the silicate earth. When this is done, the model also requires that the core be enriched by 1420 parts per million in potassium [Journal of Conference Abstracts, Vol. 5 (2), p. 280, 2000, Cambridge Publications, Goldschmidt 2000, September 3rd ­ 8th, 2000, Oxford, UK].

The suggested reason why the enrichment occurs is that potassium forms a stable, high pressure metal alloy with nickel-iron in its liquid state, and so would be incorporated into the core during its formation. As a result, this model predicts that most of today's mantle heat flux comes from the core rather than from the mantle as required by the traditional interpretation. [Calderwood, op. cit., p. 283]. He pointed out that the traditional interpretation requires the lower mantle, below 660 kilometres, to be a chemically distinct reservoir rich in potassium, uranium, thorium, and argon 40 [op. cit., p. 280].

However, in fairness to the traditional model, it must be pointed out that a 1999 re-assessment of 1997data indicated that it is the bottom 1000 kilometres of the mantle, starting at a depth of 1700 kilometres, that contains anomalous reservoirs of heat producing elements ["Researchers propose new model for Earth mantle convection", MIT News Release, 31 March, 1999]. This becomes a middle position between the Calderwood proposal and the traditional view, and both are more or less in accord with the plasma physics model.

E. The Role of Radioactive Heating

When considering the heating due to radioactive decay, it must be remembered that radiation amplitudes (including heat) were lower when the ZPE was higher as outlined in Part 2, and Part 5 C, and in detail in Appendix 5. This results in all the planets starting off in a layered and cool state. The evidence favors this position for our own planet. A study by William Peck and Stephen Mojzsis of zircons from the Jack Hills rock formation in Western Australia has revealed that oceans, continents and flowing water existed 4.3 to 4.4 billion atomic years ago [Nature, Vol. 409, 11th January, 2001, A. N. Halliday, pp.144-145; S. A. Wilde et al, pp. 175-178; S. J. Mojzsis et al., pp. 178-181]. With those radiometric dates, these zircons are the oldest items found so far on earth. The data thus indicate a hydrological cycle in operation and hence a cool surface for the earth from the earliest times. This contrasts with the standard model in astronomy, which usually prefers a hot accumulation of solar system bodies following which they then cool to form a crust, core etc.

The proposition here is that planetary interiors, including that of Planet Y and its moon, were initially cool. Consequently, the currently observed heat flux from planetary surfaces has to come from some other mechanism as they heated up over time. In the case of Planet Y, this heat source must also be partly responsible for the fragmentation of the planet and its moon.

Interestingly, in the case of meteorites and hence asteroids, the source of heat is already known and acknowledged. Isotopic anomalies occur in meteorites, among which is a super-abundance of magnesium 26 correlated with the abundance of aluminium in the samples. It is stated that "This excess of magnesium 26 very probably results from the radio-active decay of aluminium 26. Heat from a 'short'-period radioactive element, such as aluminium 26, would be sufficient to melt bodies of a size greater than 10 kilometres." [Cambridge Atlas, pp. 122-123]. When it is remembered that aluminium 26 would have an accelerated decay rate with low ZPE values, a potentially viable scenario opens up.

The mechanism whereby the heat from rapid radioactive decay of short half-life elements caused a fracturing of Planet Y and its moon can be found in the composition of the original material making up these bodies. As noted for the carbonaceous chondrites, some interstitial water is present and water is also locked up in the crystal lattices in minerals such as serpentine. Serpentine contains 13% water in this form and, when it is heated, the water is expelled and the resulting mineral is olivine. It is therefore possible that some of the olivine in differentiated bodies may have derived from serpentine. In some bodies, water content goes up to 20%.  [http://www.scribd.com/doc/6716357/Meteorites-and-Liquid-Water.]

 As water is expelled from the pores and the hydrated minerals deep in the interior of a large body and the heat builds up, tremendous pressures would eventually result which had the potential to shatter a large but weakly agglomerated body.

The action of hot water thereby becomes important in the understanding of the processes involved. There is evidence of the presence of hot water in a number of meteorites. For example, in case of the Tieschitz meteorite, a H/L chondrite, it is stated that radiometric clocks were reset about 2 billion years ago by aqueous fluid. [6, 7] It was commented that “Chondrules in this meteorite show evidence for varying degrees of aqueous alteration.” [8]

 In a similar way, in June 2000, scientists at the University of Manchester and the Natural History Museum in London used the decay of Iodine 129 to Xenon 129 to date crystals in the Monahans meteorite. They established a radiometric age for the halite (NaCl) and sylvite (KCl) crystals of 4.57 billion years. [9] It is stated that “The Manchester team hypothesizes that the decay of the radioactive material within the original parent body provided enough heat energy that the water present …evaporated, leaving the salt crystals (formed of sodium chloride or ‘halite’) behind. Within these halite crystals are very small pockets or ‘inclusions’ that contain water.” [9] They go on to state that “The presence of liquid water on the meteorite has important implications for understanding the geology of moons and planets with large amounts of heat in their interiors. Volcanic activity is closely linked with the availability of water, which plays a major role in the formation of magma.” [10]

 This evidence suggests that water was being driven out of mineral structures in the interior of the parent body towards the surface by the heat of radioactive decay. Indeed, the effect of radioactive decay is seen in the halite on the Monahans meteorite as the halite has "acquired purple and blue colours during the long transit through the radioactive decay of elements in close proximity" [op. cit.]. More likely than a long transit time for the crystals would be the accelerated decay rate of the radioactive elements due to low ZPE values which would result in the same discolouration.

As a result of these considerations, it may be deduced that low ZPE values caused an accelerated the rate of decay for all radioactive elements. However it seems to be the short half-life radioactive elements that were largely responsible for heating the interior of Planet Y and its moon, from which the asteroids and meteorites were derived. Furthermore, this also means that the radiometric data from meteorites indicating 4.6 billion atomic years as the age of the Solar System may instead be referring to events whereby radiometric clocks were reset by processes associated with this heating.

This is not only true for the parent of the stony meteorites; it applies to the iron meteorites as well. While it is true that Marklund convection resulted in layering of planetary interiors, as radioactive heating occurred in the core-mantle region of planetary interiors, metals separated from the silicates. This event can be dated radiometrically.  In the case of the Canyon Diablo meteorite, it is stated that "About 4.55 b.y [billion years] ago, inside the parent body, a melting process separated the nickel-iron alloy from the silicates with which it was originally associated." [11] Similarly, radiometric data for the Caddo County meteorite also indicate that silicates separated from the metal about 4.53 billion years ago. In these cases the 4.6 billion years does not refer to the formation of the object but rather to the atomic time of the initial heating event. Since similar processes were acting in other bodies in the solar system, including the earth, a similar date for the re-setting of radiometric clocks might be expected.

F. An Early Event Radioactively Dated.

Another important event occurred in the solar system somewhere around 3.9 to 3.5 billion atomic years ago. It is recorded by some achondrites from the crust and at least two stony-irons from deeper in the interior of the asteroidal parent planet. The Stannern achondrite records it as an impact event at 3.7 billion atomic years ago in which some isotopic clocks were reset. The Millbillillie meteorite records this major impact event radiometrically dated as occurring 3.55 billion atomic years ago. An achondrite from the Sahara labelled as S99555 records a late isotopic disturbance on the parent planet at 3.54 billion atomic years. Two stony-irons (Bondoc and Estherville) also record this event radiometrically as occurring 3.9 billion atomic years ago.

These radiometric dates are of significance in that they also coincide with an event recorded on Mercury, the Moon and Mars. This event is called the "Late Heavy Bombardment" in which a cloud of debris swept through the entire solar system leaving craters on the moons of the giant planets as well as on Mercury, Mars and the Moon. The radiometric dates for this event from Lunar samples range from 3.92 down to 2.76 billion atomic years, with the majority of samples returning dates above 3.05 billion atomic years [Cohen, Swindle and Kring, Science, Vol. 290, pp.1754-1756, 1 December 2000]. Cohen et al. state that "A 'spike' in the impactor flux at ~ 3.9 Ga [billion atomic years] is the easiest way to match the impact melt age data." They further state that "Impact ages in euchrites [achondrites], mesosiderites [stony-irons], and other meteorites have a similar distribution: none are older than ~ 3.9 Ga, with ages tailing down to 3.4 Ga or younger, suggesting the cataclysm affected the entire inner solar system, including Mars."

This evidence is important. It indicates that the parent bodies for asteroids and meteorites were also hit in this Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB). Consequently, Planet Y could not have been the source of the impacting objects. The source of the impactors for the LHB must thereby have been located in the outer solar system, and may have given rise to the Kuiper Belt of objects and the comets in a similar way to which Planet Y and its moon gave rise to the asteroid belt and meteorites. The exploration of one possibility among several options in this matter was performed by Harold Levison and published in Icarus for June 2001 and New Scientist for 7 April 2001.

This LHB was responsible for the major impact basins on the Moon. It has been suggested that about 50 recognised circular basins over 300 km in diameter were formed at that time [D. E. Wilhelms, "The geologic history of the moon," U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1348, pp. 57-82 (1987). Also, P. D. Spudis, "Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution," Geological Society of America Special Paper 293, pp.1-10 (1994)]. H. H. Schmitt states that "the source of these basin-forming impactors has not been identified," but then goes on to list four possibilities. Of these the two most likely are the injection into the inner solar system of objects from the proto-Kuiper-Edgeworth Belt of cometary objects due to the orbital resonance with Neptune, and the break-up of the planetesimal precursor of the Main Belt Asteroids ["Source and Implications of Large lunar Basin-Forming Objects" presented at 31st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston TX, 13-17 March 2000]. However, because the evidence presented above indicates the precursor planet that formed the asteroid belt also underwent the LHB event, this indicates that the LHB reflects a break-up of a planetary object in the Kuiper Belt rather than the asteroid belt. The breakup of this Kuiper Belt object is likely to have been the originator of the comets.

G. Crater Forming Processes

The breakup of the Kuiper Belt planetary object as well as Planet Y and its moon were cataclysmic events. The showers of debris sent through the solar system would have resulted in numerous impact craters. However, the disruption of these planetary bodies and their plasmaspheres or magnetospheres would have been accompanied by massive electromagnetic effects which also reached throughout the entire solar system. These electromagnetic effects would occur because of the high voltage differential that existed in the early solar system due to the low strength of the Zero Point Energy.

These electromagnetic effects could manifest in at least two different ways. First, the explosive disruption of these original bodies and their plasmaspheres and magnetospheres would trigger a series of plasma interactions throughout the solar system involving massive lightning bolts and associated phenomena. Second, even the fragments of these original objects would also have had a much higher potential difference compared with the planets that they were interacting with than exists now. This high potential difference would induce strong electric and magnetic effects as these fragments came close to other bodies. As a result of this two-fold plasma-electrical interaction, it is likely that there is another source for the craters resulting from these events.

It has been shown by several experimenters that the craters resulting from electromagnetic pulses, electrical machining and arc discharges are exactly similar to what we see on planetary surfaces and the surfaces of the moons and asteroids in our solar system. In 1963 Dietz indicated that lightning bolts, which are essentially the same as a Bennett or Z-pinch plasma, might create craters with associated shocked minerals in the same way as impacting objects. [12] In 1965, Ford used a spark machining apparatus that showed the similarity between Lunar craters and those obtain by plasma- electrical means. [13] More recently, in 2008, Desai et al. produced craters in metal which demonstrated that the characteristics of the craters themselves, as well as crater chains, and the production of smaller craters on the rims of larger ones, was easily obtainable by electrical means. [14] While these experiments have been relatively small-scale, Alfven, Peratt and other have shown that such plasma interactions can be up-scaled by over 14 orders of magnitude. [15]

In 2011, C.J. Ransom of the Vemasat Research Institute experimented with Z-pinch plasma discharges acting on material more likely to be found on the surfaces of planets and moons. In so doing, he demonstrated on a larger scale than those experimenting before him that the resulting craters are exactly what we see on planetary surfaces and the surfaces of the moons and asteroids in our solar system.

C.J. Ransom writes “Craters were formed with features similar to craters found on planets, moons and asteroids. Features included craters with rims, rimless craters with with no debris nearby, nearly rimless craters with debris adjacent to the crater, craters with spherules…craters with flat bottoms, multi-ringed craters, craters that resembled canyons and rilles. The vast majority of the plasma formed craters were circular although occasionally the plasma discharge produced noncircular craters.” [16]

In addition, craters with central peaks have been produced in all size ranges. Also craters with central peaks on which another crater exists have been reproduced. Many enigmatical features seen on Mars, Mercury, Venus, dwarf planets and moons are explicable by this process. One example from many can be seen in Figure VIII which compares some craters from electrical maching with those on Mars.

Figure VIII: Left – laboratory craters (some with central peaks) from electric discharge machining. Note that the ground is discolored where the discharge was strongest. Right – Similar craters on Mars: many with flat floors, which are difficult to reproduce by impact.  

 

Figure IX: Left - Electric discharge craters in sand with both flat and bowl-shaped floors. Right – EDM crater in steel, which also has a central peak.

The conclusion is that there is a strong possibility that many craters throughout the solar system have resulted from the plasma-electrical discharges. These discharges would have been contemporaneous with the breakups of the Kuiper Belt Planet, and Planet Y and its moon and the impacts of asteroidal debris resulting from these breakups.

H. Electrical Machining of Planet Surfaces

There is a further possibility. The research of Paul Anderson has indicated that some features of the earth’s surface may have been electrically produced. He took satellite images of various mountain ranges and river systems and digitized them. He then took images of the effects of lightning interactions and machining and digitized them. Third, he took features that were known to result purely from the action of water and its erosion and digitized them. He discovered that in a surprisingly large number of cases, the mountain and river systems were not following the water erosion pattern. Rather they were following the pattern of machining by electric interactions. The action of water erosion was only seen at the heads of the systems.

The Abstract reads in part:

“The macroscale appearance of river beds, mountain ranges and other geological features exhibit characteristics which are typical of electric discharge machining (EDM) on a dielectric medium. This paper explores the hypothesis and presents evidence that most canyons and riverbeds were first formed by electric arcs and not created through fluvial erosion. ... Furthermore, the geological features exhibited self-affinity, which is not a characteristic of fluvial systems, but is a characteristic of electrical discharges on dielectric materials.” [17]

 The conclusion is that many features on the earth’s surface may have resulted from such electromagnetic interactions rather than slow geological erosion processes. The implication is that some of the surface features of other planets, like Mars, may also have resulted from electric discharge machining. However, the features caused by these electromagnetic interactions, as well as the craters, formed very rapidly in laboratory experiments. Even when upscaled to planetary dimensions, it is expected that such features on the earth and planets would form in a much shorter time-frame than geology and geomorphology would normally expect.

I. Summary of Effects for Planets

With the information gained from the dwarf planets and meteorites, it is now possible to assess the effects of similar processes on the inner planets of the solar system.

  • To begin, the plasma physics approach suggests that the planets were probably formed in a layered and cool state.

  • From there we also note that water was present in the crystal structure of some of the minerals making up planetary interiors.

  • Third, short half-life radioactive elements were probably concentrated in planetary mantles and cores by Marklund convection. In addition, enrichment of metals with radioactive elements due to metal-alloy formation would concentrate them further.

  •  Fourth, low Zero Point Energy values resulted in accelerated decay rates for these radioactive elements.

  • Fifth, the heat from this process drove off the water locked up in the primordial minerals as the internal temperatures of the planets increased.

  • Sixth, this process resulted in a build-up of pressure, which ultimately resulted in either the catastrophic outgassing of water onto the surface of the planet or the explosive disruption of the planet itself. In the early days, this is the likely cause of the breakup of the planet in the outer reaches of the solar system that gave rise to the Kuiper Belt objects and comets. It is also the likely cause for the later disruption of both Planet Y and its moon which gave rise to the asteroids and meteorites.

  • Seventh, as heating continued, the interiors of planets became molten and mobile. As rocks in planetary interiors became molten, their volume increased. This exerted further pressure on the crustal layers of planets and either split the crust, or resulted in a massive ourpouring of magma across the surface of the planet from crustal fissures.

  • Eighth, the evidence presented in Part 6 on plasma physics and the ZPE indicates that a very high voltage gradient existed in the early solar system. In addition, all planetary plasmaspheres or magnetospheres would be at higher potentials than pertain today. This means that all four of these explosive events in the solar system would be accompanied by strong electrical and magnetic effects. These effects would include cratering and electric discharge machining of planetary surfaces.

  • These four events affecting the solar system and earth were a). The breakup of the Kuiper Belt object that gave rise to the LHB impactors about 3.9 billion atomic years ago. b). The initial breakup of Planet Y starting 810 million atomic years ago with the process peaking about 650 million atomic years ago. c). A secondary breakup of Planet Y about 258 million atomic years ago. d). The breakup of the moon of Planet Y about 65.8 million atomic years ago.

 Let us briefly examine some of the inner planets to see what effects these events events had on them individually.

J. Solar System Summary

1. Mars

The history of the planet Mars basically accords with the data from the minor planets. This might be expected as it is the closest of the inner planets to the asteroid belt, and so, compositionally, it should have been very similar. Although this is only an overview, some of the details on which it is based can be found in The Cambridge Atlas of Astronomy, page 126, accompanied by diagrams. First, there was the period of initial heating, just as for the minor planets. Studies of meteorites originating from Mars place this about 4.5 billion atomic years ago [E. Jagoutz et al., Meteoritics, Vol. 29, p. 478 (1994), also L. E. Nyquist et al., Lunar and Planetary Science, Vol. XXVI, p. 1065 (1995)].

Second, this was followed by the Late Heavy Bombardment impacts and electrical machining effects. This is revealed by shock metamorphism and crushing that dates about 4.0 billion atomic years in meteorites from Mars [Ash, Knott and Turner, Nature Vol. 380, p. 57 (1996), also A. H. Treiman, Meteoritics, Vol. 30, p. 294 (1995)]. By using topographic data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), Herbert Frey of the Geodynamics Branch of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre discovered an unexpectedly large grouping of major impact basins buried under the northern plains on Mars that resulted from this LHB. Frey discussed these findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Boston, Massachusetts on 8th November 2001.

As detailed in the section on our own Moon, this LHB formed the major impact basins in the north and cratered uplands in the south. However, these major impact basins were later covered with basaltic magma from its interior and now make up the lowland Mare plains. On the Moon these (predominantly) northern plains contrast with the heavily cratered areas, which are mainly in the south. In a very similar way for Mars, it now seems likely that the action of the LHB on that planet may have been responsible for the majority of craters by electrical machining and impact. The demarcations between what are now the lowland plains of the northern hemisphere and the heavily cratered terrains of the south only came later.

Figure X: Elevation map of Mars with the lowland plains in the North and cratered uplands in the South. The deep blue Hellas Planitia (bottom right) is the deepest point on the current surface. It has at its antipodal point the Tharsis Uplift with its huge volcanoes including Olympas Mons. This is typical of antipodal responses to events causing massive craters on Mercury, the Moon and on Earth. The earthly counterparts are the Wilkes Land crater in the Antarctic with the antipodal Siberian Traps basalt outpouring, and the Chicxulub crater and the antipodal Deccan Traps basalt layers. On Mercury there is the fractured terrain at the antipodal point of the huge Caloris Basin.

The third phase of activity then occurred. As the internal heating of Mars continued, water from the minerals in its mantle was pushed towards the surface. The action of water on the surface of Mars has been dated at 1.39 billion atomic years using the rubidium/strontium system on carbonate minerals in meteorite ALH84001 from Mars [M. Wadhwa and G. W. Lugmair, Meteoritics, Vol. 31, A145 (1996)]. Note that an earlier date using different isotopes has been questioned since it is not well defined [E. K. Gibson et al., Lunar and Planetary Science Vol. XXVIII, p. 1544 (1997)]. Indeed, there is evidence of considerable surface erosion associated with this phase of activity.

The water involved in this activity was probably outgassed from the interior of Mars. Evidence of the action of water takes a variety of forms. For example, the largest outflow channel system on Mars is found on the north-west slopes of the Tharsis region. Dr James M. Dohm of the University of Arizona stated: "The best explanation is that they were formed by catastrophic floods that at their peak potentially discharged as much as 50,000 times the flow of the Amazon river, Earth's largest river." In the news release from the University of Arizona for 3rd August 2001 Dohm elaborated further: "At sustained peak discharge rates, floods through the valleys would have filled a large ocean (96 million cubic kilometres) hypothesized for northern Mars in about 8 weeks, and a smaller ocean (14 million cubic kilometres) in the same region in about 8 days, according to the scientists' calculations. The large ocean is equivalent to about a third the volume of the Indian Ocean, or more than three times the volume of the Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea, South China Sea and Arctic Ocean combined. The smaller ocean is equal in volume to the Arctic Ocean." The basis for these statements appear in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 106, June 2001.

It may be food for thought that if this has happened on Mars, similar, but upscaled events might also have happened on earth. In a 2001 article on Mars, the statement has been made that "scientists have always had a great deal of trouble explaining just where those gigantic eruptions of high- pressure water came from ­ especially since the patches of collapsed, ’chaotic’ ground from which they seem to have gushed usually don't look anywhere near big enough to contain amounts of water capable of carving such huge flood channels." Despite the various solutions proposed, the matter is still one of debate. However, one possible answer to the problem is that these patches of collapsed, "chaotic" ground may in fact be the location of the Martian equivalent of earth's black smokers of the south-east Pacific rise or the “fountains of the deep” as some call them.  Both would have burst out with water from deep in the interior of the planet, which, in turn, originated from the radioactive heating of hydrated minerals in the mantle.

Fourth, as the heating of the mantle continued, and the rock there became at least partly molten, a period of volcanic activity occurred with a massive outpouring of lava covering a major portion of the northern hemisphere lowland plains at that time. The Cambridge Atlas p. 125 makes an important comment: "The ancient terrain shows networks of channels which generally end abruptly at the boundary of the regions covered by the formation of the more recent plains." This magmatic outpouring not only truncated the network of channels at the edge of the plains, but also may have vaporised a significant portion of any water in those lowland areas. In any case, the water on Mars has since been lost, perhaps through several mechanisms aided by the low atmospheric pressure and its weak gravitational field. This aspect of the topic is one of continuing scientific discussion.

Finally, as the breakup of Planet Y and its moon occurred, other cratering events and further electrical machining took place on the surface of Mars, including on the northern plains. It was during one of these episodes that the Hellas Basin was formed and the antipodal uplift of Tharsis resulted. Both Hellas and Tharsis are less heavily cratered than the rest of the southern surface, so the craters that they do have came from events later in time than the LHB. In addition some mobility of the Martian mantle may have been needed to produce these volcanic features, even though electric machining can produce “blisters” with characteristics matching those of Olympas Mons and its surroundings.

In summary, the sequence of events on Mars seems to be as follows: (1) Initial heating of the interior. (2) The LHB, which seems to have formed large impact basins in the northern sector of the planet and many of the craters in the south. (3) As heating continued, surface erosion occurred as water was outgassed from the interior. Perhaps oceans temporarily existed in the low-lying northern areas at this time. (4) The mantle became mobile and magma was outpoured (probably basaltic) covering the northern lowlands and holding the potential to vaporise much of the water. (5) Finally the three-fold breakup of Planet Y and its moon gave rise to further electrical machining of the surface with additional craters, including the great Hellas Basin and its antipodal Tharsis uplift.

2. Our Moon

In a way very reminiscent of the minor planets and Mars, the history of the Moon can also be delineated. Following its formation, the interior of the Moon heated up, and the Late Heavy Bombardment occurred. This LHB was responsible for the major impact basins. It has been suggested that about 50 large circular basins as well as many smaller craters were formed at this time. The process of crater formation was probably both by impact and by electrical interaction.
 
Because the Moon is smaller than Mars, there was not the quantity of water to outgas. Instead it was probably incorporated into the highly fluid basalt that was outpoured to form the great Maria plains as a result of the radioactive heating of the Lunar interior. This occurred in two phases. First, there was an older basalt with a high titanium content and ages ranging from 3.8 to 3.5 billion atomic years which inundated Mare Tranquillitatis and the Taurus-Littrow mare regions and other portions of the eastern hemisphere as seen from earth. This includes the areas explored by Apollo 11 and 17. Second, there exists a younger, low titanium group of basalts associated with Mare Imbrium, and Mare Serenitatis and Oceanus Procellarum, which generally date from about 3.4 to 3.1 billion atomic years. These central and western regions of the near-side of the Moon include the areas visited by the Apollo 12 and 15 astronauts [M. W. Davidson, Florida State University, Tallahassee, in "Moon Rocks Under the Microscope."

 Over 90% of observed volcanic deposits on the Moon were emplaced during this period from 3.8 to 3.1 billion atomic years. J. W. Head, L. Wilson, and D. Wilhelms state: "The source of heat required for melting and depth of origin is a major outstanding question in the petrogenesis of mare basalts" [Paper 1112 "Lunar Mare Basalt Volcanism", 28th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 1997]. The end of major eruptions of mare basalt around 3 billion atomic years ago ushered in a stage of lunar development in which only minor changes to the surface occurred [see D. E. Wilhelms, 1987 op. cit.]. Since then, a few significant craters such as Copernicus and Tycho were formed. Their ages are about 850 million and 70 million atomic years respectively [L. T. Silver, Eos, Vol. 52, p.534 (1971) and Silver & Schultz, Geological Society of America, Special Paper 190, October 1981, pp. ii and xiv]. Thus the formation of Copernicus appears to be related to the initial breakup of Planet Y and the formation of Tycho appears to be related to the breakup of its moon. Thus these break-up events have played an important part in Lunar history.

The sequence of events on the Moon therefore appears to be as follows: (1) Initial heating of the interior. (2) The LHB forming massive basins. (3) The continued heating of the interior that resulted in highly mobile basalts flooding the massive basins, which then delineated the low-lying Mare plains from the highly cratered uplands. (4) Later impact and electrical events, associated with the breakup of Planet Y and its moon, formed a few significant craters. The importance of the radioactive heating of the lunar interior may thereby be assessed.

3. Venus

Despite the abundance of water in carbonaceous chondrites, the question of water on Venus is one of continuing study. It is usually considered that the primordial material of which the planets were composed was more depleted in volatiles closer to the sun. Nevertheless, the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the atmosphere of Venus indicates that water had indeed been outgassed from the interior initially, just as in the case of Mars. However, this was subsequently lost to the planet because of its proximity to the sun.

The Cambridge Atlas [p. 74-75] has this to say about the early conditions: "Therefore, it is possible that at the start of the evolution of the secondary atmosphere, through outgassing of material locked up during the formation of Venus, the environment at the surface was relatively moderate. Just as at the surface of earth, water was present in a liquid state and carbon dioxide gas formed a small fraction of the atmosphere. The atmosphere of Venus rapidly evolved to become very dense with, as major components, carbon dioxide gas and water vapour in the lower atmosphere and molecular hydrogen in the upper atmosphere." This water was then lost through increasing heat and definable escape mechanisms.

A letter to the Journal Nature for 3 June 1993, pp.428-431, by D.H. Grinspoon, points out that ”The high abundance ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in the atmosphere of Venus (120 times that on Earth) can be interpreted either as a signature of a lost primordial ocean [Donahue et al, Science 216, 630-633 (1982)], or asteady state in which water is continuously supplied to the surface of Venus by … volcanic outgassing…” That research tends to support the contention that water is being driven out of the interior of the planet towards the surface.

The surface and interior structure of Venus have been a topic of continuing scientific discussion since a wealth of data was sent back by the Magellan probe. Topographically, Venus contains several continent-sized plateau highlands that rise 3 or more kilometres above the lowland plains that comprise about 80% of that planet's surface. These gently rolling plains are thought to be primarily due to effusive eruptions of basaltic lava upon which has been superimposed a random distribution of impact craters.

This random distribution is coupled with the fact that few craters display signs of significant modification by either tectonic or volcanic processes. In a paper entitled "Magellan: A new view of Venus' geology and geophysics" D. L. Bindschadler states "The impact crater distribution appears to be most consistent with models that call for a near-complete resurfacing of the planet prior to 300 ­- 500 Ma [million atomic years]. Subsequent to this period of extreme [volcanic] activity, [geological] process rates declined and impact craters began to accumulate, with only minor modification and resurfacing since." He finally concludes that "most, if not all, of the plains region on Venus are the result of a rapid volcanic resurfacing that occurred ~ 500 m.y. [million atomic years] ago. The possibility of such an ‘event’ presents a challenge to our understanding of the mechanics of the eruption and emplacement of magma, as well as the interior dynamics required to create and extrude these plains" [U.S. National Report to IUGG, 1991-1994 in Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 33 Supplement, 1995].

On the modeling produced by plasma physics, these plains were the result of the interior of Venus heating up. The increase in volume due to mantle rock becoming liquid then produced a network of cracks on the surface out of which magma poured out shortly thereafter. This magma would then have engulfed and covered the craters which resulted from the Late Heavy Bombardment. The craters which were formed following the solidification of the magma which formed the plains, were those which came from the breakup of Planet Y and its moon.

From the evidence available, it seems as if the sequence of events on Venus probably goes somewhat as follows: (1) The Late Heavy Bombardment forming craters which were later covered in magma. (2) Ougassing of water from the interior, which may have formed an ocean, and assisted in forming the greenhouse type atmospheric conditions. (3) Outpouring of basaltic magma from the interior resurfacing the planet and obliterating craters formed in the LHB and vaporizing the ancient ocean. (4) Impacts and electrically formed craters from the 3-fold breakup of Planet Y and its moon become superimposed on the new basaltic surface. These events are thereby largely in accord with the approach suggested by the minor planet data.

4. Mercury

There have been two spacecraft sent to study the planet Mercury. These were the Mariner 10 probe and, since 2010, the MESSENGER mission. Data is still being collected and assessed from this second mission, but a preliminary geological map of the whole surface has been made. An analysis of these data and comparisons with other bodies in our solar system has been made by Robert G. Strom and his team. His initial assessment reads as follows:

“From studies of the crater size-frequency distributions on the Moon and terrestrial planets, it has been recognized that the inner solar system has been dominated by two populations of impacting objects [18]. The first population (Population 1) is the result of the LHB, and the second population (Population 2) has been mostly derived from near-Earth asteroids. … In addition to these two primary impact populations, a third population of craters occurs at relatively small diameters [up to 20 km].” [19] These facts confirm the general conclusions adopted here.

In relation to Mercury itself Strom and his team write: “The primary crater population on Mercury has been modified by volcanism and secondary craters. Two phases of volcanism are recognized. One volcanic episode that produced the widespread intercrater plains occurred during the period of the Late Heavy Bombardment… The second episode is typified by the smooth plains interior and exterior to the Caloris basin, both of which have a different crater size-frequency distribution than the intercrater plains, consistent with a cratering record dominated by a younger population of impactors.” [19] 

The Strom analysis therefore supports the contention that the LHB was the first and primary cratering event, which also produced the “inter-crater plains.” They actually state that “It was known from Mariner 10 observations that Population 1 craters [from the LHB] dominated the cratering record on Mercury…” Since Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, the Marklund convection process operating in the filaments from which the solar system was formed probably resulted in a higher concentration of radioactive elements in the core of Mercury compared with the other planets. As a result, the great craters which formed on other bodies with the LHB, and then filled with magma later, may have filled with magma almost immediately on Mercury. 

Sometime after the LHB event, the giant Caloris basin was formed along with a second outpouring of magma to form the “smooth plains.” The Population 2 craters are found on top of these “smooth plains”. Finally the third population of somewhat smaller craters was formed after the Population 2 cratering event. Thus on Mercury we have a). the Late Heavy Bombardment; b). the event which formed the Caloris basin and associated features; c). the Population 2 cratering event and c). the third population of craters with relatively small diameters.

 It is therefore suspected that the LHB features result from the breakup of the Kuiper Belt planet around 3.9 billion atomic years ago. It is also very likely that the Caloris basin features date from the initial breakup of Planet Y some 700 million atomic years ago as Caloris is of similar size to the MAPCIS structure on Earth and the Hellas structure on Mars which all date about the same age. The Population 2 cratering event probably dates from the secondary breakup of Planet Y, about 258 million atomic years ago, while the third class of craters dates from the breakup of the moon of Planet Y around 65.8 million atomic years ago. There thus seems to be a consistency in what we are viewing throughout the solar system.

5. Earth

In the case of our home planet, a study by William Peck and Stephen Mojzsis of zircons from the Jack Hills rock formation in Western Australia has revealed that oceans, continents and flowing water existed 4.3 to 4.4 billion atomic years ago [Nature, Vol. 409, 11th January, 2001, A. N. Halliday, pp.144-145; S. A. Wilde et al, pp. 175-178; S. J. Mojzsis et al., pp. 178-181]. With those radiometric dates, these zircons are the oldest items found so far on earth. These data suggest that oceans and a supercontinent already existed on this planet at an extremely early date. This is readily explicable in terms of the models which come from plasma physics and astronomy, but gravitationally based astronomy finds this evidence difficult to deal with.

It is usually assumed that the LHB left no record on earth. However, if one looks at other bodies in the solar system and the effects of such a bombardment there, whether the results were caused by impacts or a series of electromagnetic pulses, the situation changes somewhat. Around the earth there are a series of cratons where granitic intrusions and metamorphism have stabilized the crust and sub-crustal regions.  These cratons date shortly after those times given by direct radiometric measurements of the LHB event elsewhere. The proposition is that these craton dates represent the date of cooling of the molten material which rose in a plume around the site where either impact or lightning strikes occurred from the LHB. On this basis a map showing the cratons or stable shield areas of the earth is probably also showing where the LHB events occurred on earth. This is done in Figure XI.

 

craton map

Figure XI: Stable craton or geological shield areas older than 2.5 million atomic years. These are probably the areas affected by the Late Heavy Bombardment, whether by impact or electrical discharge.

The next major event in this scenario is the occurrence of a world-wide debris layer that dates from about 800 million to 600 million atomic years ago. This essentially coincides with the initial breakup of Planet Y as well as the impacts and lightning strikes that this event caused on other planets. At that stage, the heating of the earth’s interior had driven the water that had been locked up in minerals towards the surface. The electric discharge or the impact which caused the MAPCIS structure in Australia ruptured the crust and the water which had been building up under pressure exploded out delineating lines of weakness in the crust which later would become the mid-ocean ridges. In a similar episode on Mars, recall that the calculations revealed the equivalent of a third the volume of the Indian Ocean was flooded into the low-lying Martian plains in about 8 weeks.  

This outgassing of water from the interior explains why diamictites occur. The diamictite (or tillite) usually has rock fragments from several hundred kilometers away trapped in with local rock fragments. The whole mix is contained in a matrix which only forms in warm to hot water. However, geologically speaking, rocks and rock fragments are usually carried great distances only by ice. Since some of these rocks were found at the equator at sea level, then it was assumed that the world was covered with ice. The “snowball earth” scenario was then developed. However, it could also have formed by catastrophic outgassing of water from the interior as discussed here.

After this outgassing of water, the temperatures of the earth's mantle and core continued to increase. Shortly after the secondary breakup of Planet Y, the Wilkes Land crater formed and the energy pulse sent through the earth caused the outpouring of the Siberian Traps basalt. This rampant volcanic episode occurred at the time of the Permian extinction about 250 million atomic years ago.

As heating continued, the mantle became more mobile, more water was released, and the viscosity of the magma was lowered. A highly mobile layer, rich in water lies beneath the crust and is called the asthenosphere. It is on this layer that the continents are drifting today. The interior of the earth was now completely molten. When rock changes from a solid to a liquid, its volume increases by more than 10%. This change in volume placed further pressure on the crust. Shortly after the time of the breakup of the moon of Planet Y, the Chicxulub crater was formed some 65 million atomic years ago. This again released the pressure on the crust, which split along what is now the mid-ocean ridge system, especially in the Atlantic. These lines of weakness had been partly formed earlier by the ougassing event around 700 million atomic years ago.

At the same time, the pressure pulse from the the Chicxulub event formed the Deccan Traps basalt at the antipodal point. This is the Cretaceous/Tertiary extinction event. Since the mobility of the asthenosphere was close to its maximum, the event gave an impetus to continental drift. Atomically, this event dates at some 65 million years ago. An expanded discussion of these events and the redshift correction with which they are associated can be found in the geological model which will be presented elsewhere.

One final point needs to be noted. When Figure XI is examined in detail, and the continents rearranged in their Pangea, or pre-Paleozoic, form, a remarkable circumstance comes to light. The majority of these craton areas are clustered around the near-polar regions in both the north and the south. This suggests that they are also clustered about the magnetic poles. As a result, it might be suspected that the Late Heavy Bombardment interaction which gave rise to the cratons was probably more plasma-electrical in nature than actual actual impact of cosmic debris. A similar situation holds for the MAPCIS crater in Australia that resulted from the initial breakup of Planet Y around 800 million atomic years ago. The same thing can be said for the Wilkes Land crater associated with the secondary breakup of Planet Y around 258 million atomic years ago. The one outstanding exception is the Chicxulub Crater in the Yucatan which came from the breakup of the moon of Planet Y around 65.8 million atomic years ago. We thus conclude that the plasma-electrical factor really played a very important role in this sequence of events.

(Note: When atomic years are corrected to orbital years, the Late Heavy Bombardment corresponds roughly to the time of Abel's murder and the birth of Seth. 800 million atomic years ago is just before Noah's Flood. 258 million atomic years ago just before the Babel catastrophe. And the 65.8 million atomic years ago is just prior to the breakup of the continents at the time of Peleg. "Time, Life and Man" may help with understanding the dating.)

References for Part II

[1] W.I Axford, Proceedings of the 17th International Cosmic-Ray Conference, Paris, 12 (1981), pp.155 ff.
[2] R.E. Lingenfelter, et al., in “Acceleration and Transport of Energetic Particles Observed in the Heliosphere,” (R. Mewaldt et al. eds.) pp.375 ff. American Institute of Physics, New York, 2000.
[3] O. Eugster et al. “Irradiation Records, Cosmic Ray Exposure Ages, and Transfer Times of Meteorites,” in Meteorites and the Early Solar System II, pp.829-851, D.S. Lauretta and H.Y. McSween (Eds.), University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2006.
[4] MAPCIS research: http://www.mapcis.net/mapcis_research.html
and here: http://www.mapcis.net/mapcis_case.html and is also here:
http://www.austhrutime.com/mapcis.htm.
[5] W.V. Preiss, The Adelaide Geosyncline, Bulletin 53, Geological Survey of South Australia, 1987.
[6] A.N. Krot et al., “Timescales and Settings for Alteration of Chondritic Meteorites” in Meteorites and the Early Solar System II, pp.525 ff. D.S. Lauretta and H.Y. McSween (Eds.), University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 2006.
[7] N. Krestina et al., “Sm-Nd System In Single Chondrules From Tieschitz (H3)”in Lunar and Planetary Science XXVII, pp701-702.
[8] R.D. Ash et al., “Oxygen Isotopes In Isolated Chondrules from the Tieschitz Ordinary Chondrite: Initial Compositions and Differential Parent Body Alteration,” in Lunar and Planetary Science XXIX, 1854. pdf.
[9] http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=157
[10] J. Whitby, in a science news release from University of Manchester team Thursday June 8th, 2000 titled “Deep Space Brine”at:
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=1990.
[11] http://www.meteoritestudies.com/protected_CANYOND.HTM
[12] R. Dietz, in The Moon, Meteorites, and Comets: Solar System IV, p.288, Eds.B. Middlehurst and G. Kuiper, University of Chicago Press 1963. 
[13] B.J. Ford, Origin of the Lunar Craters, Journal of British Interplanetargy Society, Spaceflight 7(1):13, 1965.
[14] T. Desai et al., Laboratory Craters: modeling experiments for meteorite impact craters? IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci 2008; 36(4):1132-1133.
[15] A.L. Peratt, Physics of the Plasma Universe, p. 48, Springer-Verlag New York 1992.
[16] C.J. Ransom, Laboratory Modeling of Meteorite Impact Craters by Z-Pinch Plasma, The Open Astronomy Journal, 2011, 4, (Suppl 2-M4) 185-190.
[17] P.E. Anderson, Electric Discharge Machining of the Earth’s Surface, (in press).
[18] R.G. Strom et al., Science 309 (2005), pp. 1847-1850
[19] R.G. Strom et al., Planetary and Space Science, 59 (2011), pp 1960 - 1967

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Appendix

While these considerations may well be important in refined models, the purpose of this Appendix is to obtain some feel for the situation with regard to radiogenic heating of the earth's interior. To this end, a simplified approach is adopted where it is assumed that the rate of heat production in the earth's interior is similar to that of dunite [Slusher & Gamwell, ICR Monograph "The Age of the Earth", pp. 50, 52]. It is acknowledged that the rate of heat production by radiogenic material in dunite is around 1.73 x 10-15 calories/gram/second, which is about 4.5 times higher than that usually pertaining in meteorites [Slusher & Gamwell, p. 51, Table A]. In adopting this higher value, it may be assumed that any genuine enrichment factors have been covered. In order to perform the necessary calculations, the number of calories per gram per year are needed for dunite. Since there are about 3.1557 x 107 seconds in an orbital year, then the heat production rate for dunite is 5.46 x 10-8 calories per gram per year.

It is at this point that light-speed enters the discussion. From the redshift curve, it was noted that the total time ticked off by radiometric clocks from the time the sun started shining until the present was 10.68 x 109 atomic years. Rocks formed at the beginning of Noah's Flood now register an age of 0.720 x 109 atomic years. This means that there were 9.96 x 109 atomic years of ageing in the 1656 years from Creation to the Flood. This represents 93.3% of all ageing from Creation until now. This means that the average atomic clock rate was (9.96 x 109)/(1656) = 6 x 106 atomic years per year from Creation to the Flood. This was also means that the heat production rate was on average 6 million times faster than now. Thus the heat production rate for dunite in the period from Creation to the Flood also became (5.46 x 10-8) (6 x 106) = 0.3276 calories per gram per year. Thus over the 1656 years to the Flood, the total number of calories per gram becomes 0.3276 x 1656 = 542.5 calories per gram. In order to convert this into a temperature, the quantity needed is the specific heat, S. This specific heat can be shown to be independent of light-speed and is defined as the number of calories/gram/degree. Therefore the number of degrees can be found from the equation Temperature = (calories/gram)/S. From the figures given above, the temperature in degrees then is given by 542.5/S.

The usual range of specific heats for rocks range from S = 0.3 down to S = 0.1. As a result, the temperature of rocks in the mantle at the time of the Flood would range from 542.5/0.3 = 1808 degrees Celsius up to 542.5/0.1 = 5425 degrees C. This latter temperature is close to that suspected to pertain in the core, which is estimated to be from 5400 to 5700 degrees K [Steinle-Neumann et al, Nature, Vol. 413, p. 57, 6th Sept, 2001]. Since a 4.5 fold enrichment of radiogenic elements has been assumed in this calculation, these temperatures are in basic agreement with the traditional model which proposes an enriched lower mantle. Thus a temperature of 1800 degrees at the top of the lower mantle and a temperature of 5400 degrees in the core at the time of the Flood appears to be a reasonable proposition. Since this heating represents 93.3% of the total up to the present, a final temperature for the core today would be at a maximum of about 5815 degrees, with the mantle being at about 1940 degrees.