Andy Lloyd's

Dark Star Blog

 

   

Blog 84   (April-May 2021)

(You're a bit early)

 

  News, links, videos and comment relating to the Dark Star Theory 

 

 

An Embedded Protoplanet?

The Moon may not be made of green cheese, but what it is made up of bears remarkable similarity to rocks on Earth.  This disfavours a capture theory for its origins, and leaves scientists with two main possibilities: The Earth and Moon formed alongside one another from the same proto-planetary building blocks; or the Earth got walloped by another protoplanet early on, creating on orbiting debris field that coalesced into our rather over-sized Moon.  Many scientists think that the 'Giant Impact Hypothesis' is the most likely possibility.  They've even given a name for our thunderous protagonist: 'Theia': 

If this was the case, you would naturally think there would be strong evidence for this enormous impact on Earth.  The problem is that the Earth crust is incredibly mobile (with respect to geological time periods), and continental drift and the shifting of tectonic plates have eradicated any evidence left from the scene of the crime 4.5 billion years ago.  But...could chunks of the impactor remain hidden below the crust in the next layer down - the mantle?  And, if so, how could we possibly find out?

Scientists conducting seismic studies of the Earth's mantle have identified 'blobs' of dense, hot material towards the very bottom of the mantle, near to the Earth's core itself.  These LLSVPs (Large Low-Shear Velocity Provinces) have been studied indirectly for years.  A recent paper penned by a team from Arizona State University argues that the LLSVPs may be leftover remnants of Theia (2).  They reason that if Theia's mantle is be iron-rich, and so denser than the Earth's, it would thus gradually sink down towards the Earth's core (3,4).  Indeed, the two LLSVP blobs are located on opposite sides of the Earth's core, below the Pacific Ocean and West Africa respectively. 

Taking this thought exercise forward, the ASU team performed calculations to explore the dynamics of what might happen to Theia mantle within the Earth mantle following the Moon-forming impact. They had to make a pretty major assumption about the constituents of Theia's mantle.  On that basis, they were able to conclude the following:

"Theia’s mantle may be several percent intrinsically denser than Earth’s mantle, which enables the Theia mantle materials to sink to the Earth’s lowermost mantle and accumulate into thermochemical piles that may cause the seismically-observed LLSVPs.  Our hypothesis is also consistent with the isotope geochemistry of OIBs and lunar samples." (2)

OIBs are 'oceanic island basalts', and there is evidence of emerging noble gases from rocks in keys areas exhibiting unusual isotope ratios.  The geochemical arguments here are quite complex.  Do the OIBs stem from LLSVPs?  Is there mantle rock involved here that predates the alleged collision?    In order to sidestep the issues raised by these theoretical arguments it is necessary to bore down into the mantle and do some science.  That, as you can imagine, would be quite a feat of engineering.

 

Written by Andy Lloyd,  6th April 2021

References:

1) Main image: The Giant Impact hypothesis for the origin of the LLSVPs Image credit: Li et al.

2)  Q. Yuan et al. "Giant impact origin for the large low shear velocity provinces" 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2021 (LPI Contrib. No. 2548) https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2021/pdf/1980.pdf

3)  Bob Yirka "New theory suggests large blobs of material in Earth's mantle are remnants of protoplanet Theia" 26 March 2021 https://phys.org/news/2021-03-theory-large-blobs-material-earth.html

4)  Inverse “An ancient protoplanet may be buried beneath the Pacific Ocean” 29 March 2021 https://www.inverse.com/science/ancient-protoplanet-may-be-buried-under-pacific-ocean with thanks to Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

A recent review of Darker Stars

Planet X (if it exists) is elusive because the new solar system is very large and many new found objects emit no visible light of their own and are too small to generate detectable inferred radiation. Planet X could be similar. Also, its orbit may be highly elliptical with an aphelion of perhaps of 2000AUs; very dim and beyond our current instrumentation. The author makes the case that Planet X may be shrouded in circumplanetary dust making it even more difficult to detect.

This is a highly informative, comprehensive, and accessible book and it makes a good case for Planet X and many undiscovered objects in the new solar system. It is also a treasure trove of outer solar system information. The author does a lot of speculating , but provides supporting rational and some evidence. Well worth the read.

Rich, USA.  7 March 2021

 

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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