Skip to comments.Long-Destroyed Fifth Planet May Have Caused Lunar Cataclysm, Researchers Say
Posted on 03/25/2002 2:42:10 PM PST by vannrox
Asteroid Vesta: The 10th Planet? Discovery Brightens Odds of Finding Another Pluto Nemesis: The Million Dollar Question HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Our solar system may have had a fifth terrestrial planet, one that was swallowed up by the Sun. But before it was destroyed, the now missing-in-action world made a mess of things. The temporary existence of more than 4 planet-sized bodies in the inner Solar System is consistent with the currently favored model for the formation of the Moon. Work by Chambers and Lissauer also supports the view that our Moon is a leftover of a massive collision between Earth and a Mars-sized body 50 million to 100 million years after the formation of the Solar System. Wendell Mendell, a planetary scientist here at NASA's Johnson Space Center, said the new theory is intriguing. "By thinking that the Solar System was really quite different in a major way with an extra inner planet, we might be able to develop some sort of self-consistent scenario that explains a lot of things. But all this is at the very early stages now," Mendell said. "You're going to have to be very, very specific on what sites you go to collect new samples," Schmitt told SPACE.com. "It may be very difficult to get an answer without using missions to fairly large impact craters that penetrate through the ejecta. Those impacts are sort of a drill hole into the lunar crust," he said.
Space scientists John Chambers and Jack Lissauer of NASA's Ames Research Center hypothesize that along with Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars -- the terrestrial, rocky planets -- there was a fifth terrestrial world, likely just outside of Mars's orbit and before the inner asteroid belt.
Moreover, Planet V was a troublemaker.
The computer modeling findings of Chambers and Lissauer were presented during the 33rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held here March 11-15, and sponsored by NASA and the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
It is commonly believed that during the formative years of our solar system, between 3.8 billion and 4 billion years ago, the Moon and Earth took a pounding from space debris. However, there is an on-going debate as to whether or not the bruising impacts tailed off 3.8 billion year ago or if there was a sudden increase - a "spike" -- in the impact rate around 3.9 billion years ago, with quiet periods before and afterwards?
This epoch of time is tagged as the "lunar cataclysm" - also a wakeup call on the cosmological clock when the first evidence of life is believed to have appeared on Earth.
The great cover-up
Having a swarm of objects clobbering the Moon in a narrow point of time would have resurfaced most of our celestial next door neighbor, covering up its early history. Being that the Moon is so small, Earth would have been on the receiving end of any destructive deluge too.
Moon-walking astronauts brought back a cache of lunar material. Later analysis showed that virtually all impact rocks in the "Apollo collection" sported nearly the same age, 3.9 billion years, and none were older. But some scientists claim that these samples were "biased", as they came from a small area of the Moon, and are the result of a localized pummeling, not some lunar big bang.
There is a problem in having a "spike" in the lunar cratering rate.
That scenario is tough to devise. Things should have been settling down, according to solar system creation experts. Having chunks of stuff come zipping along some hundreds of millions of years later out of nowhere and create a lunar late heavy bombardment is a puzzler.
If real, what were these bodies, and where were they before they scuffed up the Moon big time? The answer, according to Chambers and Lissauer, might be tied to the the Planet V hypothesis.
"The extra planet formed on a low-eccentricity orbit that was long-lived, but unstable," Chambers reported. About 3.9 billion years ago, Planet V was perturbed by gravitational interactions with the other inner planets. It was tossed onto a highly eccentric orbit that crossed the inner asteroid belt, a reservoir of material much larger than it is today.
Planet V's close encounters with the inner belt of asteroids stirred up a large fraction of those bodies, scattering them about. The perturbed asteroids evolved into Mars crossing orbits, and temporarily enhanced the population of bodies on Earth-crossing orbits, and also increased the lunar impact rate.
After doing its destabilizing deeds, Planet V was lost too, most likely spinning into the Sun, the NASA team reported.
"This idea and others within the last few years show that the Solar System is filled with all sorts of gravitational resonances...that a lot of potential orbits in the Solar System are chaotic and unstable," Mendell told SPACE.com. "My sense is that this is a new idea. It's another thing to throw into the pot that's not totally crazy."
The work suggests there's a match up in timing, Mendell said, with asteroids striking the Moon and causing the effects that are seen in the dating of Apollo lunar rocks.
"We're moving into a really new regime," Mendell added, "where the Solar System is not a static dynamic place from day one to now. It really might have had some nuances and synchronicities associated with it that we have not really tried to exploit before."
It takes a drill hole Setting the early Solar System and lunar history record straight means going back to the Moon.
"The Moon is still the keystone to our understanding of the Solar System," NASA's Mendell said.
That too is the view of Apollo 17 astronaut, Harrison "Jack" Schmitt. Getting back to the Moon to sort out the real story is a must, he said.
Places on the Moon where older, large basins have deposited ejecta are ideal research zones, Schmitt said. Digging into such sites could yield impact glass formed by basins perhaps dating older than 3.9 billion years old, he said.
Just taking spot samples -- say from the Moon's South Pole Aitken basin -- could be risky, in terms of uncovering the Moon's rocky history, Schmitt said. Such a huge area would take multiple robotic or human exploration missions, each with significant roving abilities.
Also known as the "Big Backside Basin," Aitken is the largest impact crater on the Moon, and one of the biggest in the Solar System.
For the near term, sets of low-cost, mini-robotic landers carrying specialized gear would be ideal in opening up the Moon to further exploration, Schmitt said.
"Numbers of targeted missions could get a lot of great information on some of these fundamental questions that we still haven't been able to answer," Schmitt said.
Getting back to the Moon with a settlement for resource exploitation is another step forward. From such a site, human explorers can survey various lunar locales - even the Moon's side that we Earthlings never see, Schmitt said. "Then we can do the kind of thing that Apollo did for the near side of the Moon," he said.
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Nemesis: The Million Dollar Question
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Our solar system may have had a fifth terrestrial planet, one that was swallowed up by the Sun. But before it was destroyed, the now missing-in-action world made a mess of things.
The temporary existence of more than 4 planet-sized bodies in the inner Solar System is consistent with the currently favored model for the formation of the Moon. Work by Chambers and Lissauer also supports the view that our Moon is a leftover of a massive collision between Earth and a Mars-sized body 50 million to 100 million years after the formation of the Solar System.
Wendell Mendell, a planetary scientist here at NASA's Johnson Space Center, said the new theory is intriguing.
"By thinking that the Solar System was really quite different in a major way with an extra inner planet, we might be able to develop some sort of self-consistent scenario that explains a lot of things. But all this is at the very early stages now," Mendell said.
"You're going to have to be very, very specific on what sites you go to collect new samples," Schmitt told SPACE.com. "It may be very difficult to get an answer without using missions to fairly large impact craters that penetrate through the ejecta. Those impacts are sort of a drill hole into the lunar crust," he said.
Does timing agree with any major extinction event? Anyone?
May I take the liberty of suggesting that we send all liberal Democrat politicians and movie stars to the new lunar settlement? I will start a collection to pay for it.
That's because the Moderators hate redundant posts: The fifth planet was already posted here.
This was all before the rise of life on earth. Maybe it was a trigger event.
If there was life before 3.9 billion years, there is no remaining evidence of it. I believe life as we know it didn't appear for another 400 million years or so, far as we can tell. Life forms were very simple for a very long time, single cellular guys for over 2 billion years. The interesting multicellular stuff didn't start until about 500 million years ago. There were occasional mass extinctions during those last 500 million years.
They called it Vulcan. Any astronomers remember that story?? - Tom
The interaction of the Earth and the Moon slows the Earth's rotation by about 2 milliseconds per century. Current research indicates that about 900 million years ago there were 481 18-hour days in a year.
I don't actually think that it's the interaction between the Earth and the Moon that slow's Earth's rotation... I think it's Commie Pinko Leftists. They keep wanting to cut the work week, for the same pay, to create 'more jobs'... and this slows progress, and since we all know that the universe revolves around them, well, I think it's plain to see, that if we don't stop the Leftists, and soon, there will be 962 9-hour days per year...
This is talking about stuff billions of years ago.
Most of the early Speculation involved a "Near Miss" of Jupiter, resulting in the "Tidal Forces" of intense gravitation ripping the "Planet" apart--Thus the "Asteroid Belt..."
But there's also the "Velikovsky Model," in which the Planet Venus is the "Stray Astronomical Body" responsible for both the Moon & MANY Other Phenomena in the Skies!
One MINOR point----Velikovsky DID predict "surface Conditions & Chemistry" on Venus FAR More Accurately than "Astronomers" of his time! (surface Temperatures ~ 700+degrees; Chemistry Mostly Hydrocarbons!)
But--of Course--Velikovski was a "Von Daniken-Level" "Whack-Job!!"
Only goes to show the depth of our Ignorance!
You are a kind and generous soul.
However, back in August, Alec Baldwin said that if Bush's approval rating ever rose above 60%, he would colonize the moon. He has alreaddy renigged on his promise, stating that ex-wife was quoted out of context and was punch drunk at the time anyway.
The planet Vulcan is supposed to be in the same orbit as Earth, just directly opposite the sun, and thus perpetually invisible to us from Earth. Well, that's the so-called theory, or notion, at any rate! ;-)
Your math is backwards. Slowing the rotation of the Earth will present fewer days of longer duration. Try 243 36-hour days per year or some other convenient variant that totals 8760 hours per year.
The structure of a planet could cause it to explode as it cooled. Kind of like an implosion.
As you pointed out, in the early 50's he predicted that Venus would be much hotter (specifying the temperature that would be found within 35 degrees) than can be accounted for by "greenhouse" effect at a time when "astronomers" and "planetologists" were confident that Venus was covered by water oceans and temperatures only 50 deg. F. above Earth's, accurately described the chemical makeup of the atmosphere of Venus that was later corraborated by probes when most astronomers and planetologists were convinced that Carbon Dioxide (actually almost non-existent) would be the primary component, and that they would find some strange things about the actual rotation of the planet... and we find that not only is Venus revolving retrograde, it is apparently tidally locked on Earth!
More and more archealogical anomolies are being found that calls our current orthodox chronology into question.
It seems to me that the test of any theory is how well does it predict actual events. Using this as a criteria, Velekovsky seems to doing all right.
Thanks for the answer. That leads to another question. C14 works because something alive "eats" the carbon, and when it dies, no more carbon is collected in it. By measuring the C14, and knowing the half-life, a good guess to the age the thing died can be determined.
What is the process that causes rocks to collect whatever is being used (potassium?), then stop collecting it so the age can be determined? Wouldn't all rocks show the age they were formed? Or could they be formed out of older rocks, and show that age? And if a planet exploded and showered rocks on the moon, would the age be when they were formed or when they showered? Couldn't they shower down at different times, yet show the same age?
I'm sure it is something simple that I am missing, here, isn't it?
I like the answer. Guess I was asking for that.
I'll try again. How does one determine the age of a rock? And counting the rings won't quite work here.
Maybe counting the candles on the cake?
Well finally, after so many centuries dominated by Archimedes, Ptolemy, Galileo, Kepler and many others, the truth comes out.
A CommiePinkoLeftistcentric Cosmology. Will wonders never cease?
Sire, je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothese.
When Newton presented his work on Celestial Mechanics, he stopped short of a complete work--treating the planets and the Sun as a series of individual two-body problems. At the time, he is said to have remarked concerning the remaining and unaccounted for perturbations in the orbits of the planets: "The rest is in the hands of the Creator."
Laplace, the great mathematician, set himself the ambitious task of refining and perfecting Newton's calculations involving mechanics in a book that should offer a complete solution of the great mechanical problem presented by the solar system. The result was the highly acclaimed five volume set, Mecanique Celeste. In it he shows that the (current) solar system is stable and self-regulating.
When Laplace presented the first edition of his work to Napoleon--so the story goes--Napoleon alluded to Newton and remarked, "Monsieur Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator." To this Laplace replied bluntly, "Sire, I had no need for that hypothesis."
As I see it, it's more than most people could do to try to completely run to ground more than a handful of lines of evidences involved in the Velikovsky controversies and see where they lead, particularly for people who still have to work for a living and have limited resources for hobbies.
Nonetheless, I have made the effort to do that in a few cases and, in every instance in which I have, the raw evidence unequivocably supports Velikovsky and damns Sagan and pretty much all of Velikovsky's later-day critics.
One such case is the question of thermal balance on Venus and the various infrared flux meters andmeasurements of Albedo which were taken around 1978 - 1980 by the Pioneer Venus probe.
There are two possible explainations for the 1000 F surface temperature of Venus: Velikovsky's, which is that Venus is in a process of cooling either from a recent creation or from heat generated during recent catastrophic events (i.e. is natively hot), and Carl Sagan's "super greenhouse" theory, which is standard doctrine amongst astronomers, despite being ridiculous.
Sagan in fact is also noted for another super greenhouse theory, i.e. the one which says we should all be dead from the Kuwaiti oil fires in 91. Far as I know, I'm still here and Sagan is still dead. In fact, people living in Kuwait are still alive, and Sagan is still dead...
Sagan's theory would require that Venus' atmosphere be in thermal balance, i.e. since all the heat would be derived from the sun, heat taken in and given out should equal eachother.
I have noted that this is in sharp disagreement with with actual findings, and that astronomers have made a habit of doctoring the findings and have actually found themselves in the position of having to explain AWAY 100% of the raw data. All of the probes which carried infra-red flux (upward vs. downward readings) meters to the surface measured a sharp upward ir flux, which is in keeping with Velikovsky's version, but not that of Sagan.
Astronomers have posted oficial position papers (Revercomb/Suomi et. al) explaining the manner in which each and every such probe "failed", without bothering to try to explain why they should not all be summarily shitcanned for failing to oversee the proper manufacture of so simple an instrument in even one case out of at least four (instruments were not all the same).
And then there is the question of F.W. Taylor's description of massive thermal imbalance as measured from outside the atmosphere (from the article on thermal balance by F.W. Taylor in "VENUS", Hunton, Colin, Donahue, Moroz, Univ. of Ariz. Press, 1983, ISBN 0-8165-0788-0, pp 657-658).
"Measurements of albedo are more difficult to calibrate than those of thermal flux, because of the problem of obtaining an accurate reference source. Using earth-based measurements, Irvine (1968) calculated a value for A [albedo] of 0.77 ñ 0.07, which was later revised upward to 0.80 ñ 0.07 by Travis (1975). The Pioneer Venus infrared radiometer had a 0.4 to 4.0 m channel calibrated by a lamp from which Tomasko et al. (1980b) obtained a preliminary albedo for Venus of 0.80 ñ 0.02.
"Another approach to determining the albedo is simply to assume that the atmosphere is in net radiative balance, whence the equation:
(1-A)E 4 0 sigma * theta = --------- b a^2 should apply. Here E is the solar constant, and a the distance 0
from the sun. This expression allows the albedo to be calculated from thermal measurements alone."
"In this way, a value of 0.79 + 0.02 - 0.01 has been obtained from Venera radiometry (Ksanfomality, 1977, 1980b) and [a value] of 0.76 ñ 0.006 [has been obtained] from Pioneer Venus emission measurements (Schofield et al., 1982).
"Clearly the Pioneer measurements of emission and reflection are not consistent with each other if net radiative balance applies. (Emphasis added.) A source inside Venus equal in magnitude to 20% of the solar input (i.e., accounting for the difference between A = 0.76 and A = 0.80) is very unlikely, since Venus is thought to have an Earth-like makeup, which would imply internal heat sources several orders of magnitude less than this. Also, even if such sources were postulated, it is difficult to construct a model in which these fairly large amounts of heat can be transported from the core to the atmosphere via a rocky crust without the latter becoming sufficiently plastic to collapse of the observed surface relief. This could be avoided if the transport was very localized, i.e., via a relatively small number of giant volcanoes. Although large, fresh-looking volcanoes do appear to exist on Venus...and the composition of the atmosphere is consistent with vigorous output from these, a simple comparison with terrestrial volcanism shows that the volcanic activity on Venus would have to be on an awesome scale to account for the missing 5 X 1015 W [watts], or so, of power. A more acceptable alternative is that the preliminary estimate of 0.80 ñ 0.2 for the albedo from the P. V. [Pioneer Venus] measurements is too high, since the uncertainty limit is now known from further work to be too conservative. (J. V. Martonchik, personal communication.) A fuller analysis of the P. V. [Pioneer Venus] albedo data--still the best, in terms of wavelength, spacial and phase coverage, and radiometric precision, which is likely to be obtained for the foreseeable future--is likely to resolve this puzzle. In conclusion, then, the best thermal measurements of Venus WITH THE ASSUMPTION OF GLOBAL ENERGY BALANCE yield a value for the albedo of 0.76 ñ 0.1; this is the most probable value."
Let's examine what Taylor is saying. The term "albedo", stripped of the four-syllable adjectives, is a measure of reflectivity, the percentage of light which bounces back from something.
Taylor is saying that there are two ways to measure this albedo, a direct method, and an indirect method involving a formula which relates albedo to thermal emissions, assuming thermal balance holds. The direct method:
"The Pioneer Venus infrared radiometer had a 0.4 to 4.0 m channel calibrated by a lamp from which Tomasko et al. (1980b) obtained a preliminary albedo for Venus of 0.80 ñ 0.02."
doesn't go into detail, but makes it clear that they either did one of the following things, or something entirely like one of them:
a. Brought the satellite to the dark side of Venus, beamed a light towards Venus, and measured how much of that light returned.
b. Brought the satellite to the light side of Venus, and simply turned the instrument towards the sun, and then towards Venus, and computed a ratio of the light intensities.
Taylor also mentions the indirect method:
"Another approach to determining the albedo is simply to assume that the atmosphere is in net radiative balance, whence the equation:
(1-A)E 4 0 sigma * theta = --------- b a^2
should apply. Here E-zero is the solar constant, and a the distance from the sun. This expression allows the albedo to be calculated from thermal measurements alone.
He notes that, if thermal balance does hold, the two techniques should produce the same number, but that they don't, and that the difference is so great, that a massive heat source on Venus would be needed to explain it, entirely in keeping with Velikovsky's version of the entire thing.
He notes that further study is needed, since he sees no way for Venus to have such a heat source given standard versions of solar-system history, and that the .76 value derived for albedo is therefore the "most probable" value.
He notes that the Pioneer Venus readings are the best we've had and the best we're likely to get for a long time:
A fuller analysis of the P. V. [Pioneer Venus] albedo data--still the best, in terms of wavelength, spacial and phase coverage, and radiometric precision, which is likely to be obtained for the foreseeable future--is likely to resolve this puzzle.
Thus between the infra-red flux meters of the descender probes and the phenomena Taylor describes, all of the raw data flatly contradict Sagan and "super-greenhouse", and scientists are left having to explain away 100% of the raw data. That's no way to do science.
Van Flandern sees the destruction of Mars as having been a couple of million years ago; I see it as a few thousand to a few tens of thousands.
The problem is (for anybody wishing to assign a million-year ago to the event), that the faces on Mars (notice the s for plural on the word 'faces' ) are those of modern humans and there's no real way to picture modern humans walking around here or on Mars two million years ago.
The image of the face which NASA published three years ago was at a very steep viewing angle and had most of the detail eliminated via a high-pass filter; that amounts to a big, stupid lie on NASA and JPL's part. The finding basically blows their stupid pseudo-religious beliefs and they are in a state of denial on account of it.
This is the image of the face which NASA released about three years ago:
This image was said to prove the entire controversy regarding Cydonia to be a bunch of buncombe, and to prove that the structures at Cydonia all to be natural geological formations.
More recently, Dr. Tom Van Flandern, a former director of celestial mechanics at the Naval Abservatory, and others have noted that the image which NASA and JPL released, aside from being a worst possible case in terms of viewing angle and lighting, had actually been "cleaned up" or something like that via the use of a high-pass filter which is a standard image processing device for removing detail. Van Flandern notes that the basic help function for Adobe's Photo Shop product notes:
High Pass Filter: Retains edge details where sharp color transitions occur and suppresses the rest of the image. The filter removes low-frequency detail in an image. Useful for extracting line-art and large black-and-white areas from scanned images.
Van Flandern notes that, as to JPL's motives in using such a filter device on this particular image and then handing it to the public, "we are left with an unhappy choice between dishonesty and incompetence."
When we consider that the raw image looks like:
and that the same image with minimal computer enhancement, which does not add any information looks like:
All of that is bad enough, i.e. it might convince people that NASA and JPL told a big, stupid lie to the American people and to the world. But it's getting worse; consider the new and more direct overhead image of the face which NASA released during May of 2001.
Several things are clear. First and most obvious is that anybody still trying to claim that this thing is a mesa or any other kind of natural formation is dillusional. I notice several things, which I have indicated in the marked-up image below
First is that there is only one possible way to build such a thing, i.e. to pile up stones into the rough shape you need, large stones on the bottom and then progressively smaller ones, and then put some sort of a hard facing over the entire thing. You can see how this has been done in the image. On the left side from which wind and sand come, the facing is almost entirely eroded and, even where the underlying stone shows, everything has been worn smooth. On the right side, we can see that part of the facing remains, much of it having fallen off to the side in heaps. We can see the cutout in the facing for the left eye which I have noted, and we can see where the facing fell and broke away from the nose, which is what you would expect. We can also see the rough stones of the nose area, which have not all been worn smooth.
Second is that the megalith is heavily damaged, and has suffered more than one kind of damage. My guess is that the entire rock plate on which the megalith sits was picked up and slammed down, and that the megalith was deformed in the process. You can see the places where the hard casement has been pulled apart on the right side. The megalith has been compressed along the axis from lower left to upper right which I have marked with the blue line, and stretched along the other axis from lower right to upper left. The angle A between the line of the headdress on the left side and the line along the top is thus less than the original 90 degrees. The line through the center of the face has been deformed from the original straight line to the curved line which I have drawn. The basic shape of the mouth is still there, albeit moved to the left as I have noted. You can see where the outer casing has broken away from part of the outline of the mouth on the right.
You can see the ridge along the eyebrows as I have noted, you can see the indentation for the right eye and the outline of the left eye cut into the facing and still in reasonably good shape. You can see the rise for the nose as well as the area where the casing broke away from the nose on the right, and part of the remains of nostrils, and you can see the basic lines of the mouth.
Unless of course you're STUPID like the feebs at NASA who're still working triple shifts trying to convince the world this thing is a mesa. In that kind of case, no amount of technology will help. There has never been a cure for stupidity, and there will never be one.
A short while ago, Dr. Van Flandern and other associates gave a presentation at the National Press Club which may be viewed at Metaresearch.
Information has been coming in for two or three years now from the device presently over Mars. Massive evidence of Mars having been inhabited fairly recently has been accumulating. As Metaresearch and other www sites dealing with the subject note, this includes evidence of settlements:
Click on image for full NASA image. Note the terracing, and the rows of structures which are heavily weathered to the upper right of the image but which retain their rectangular corners on the lower left (leeward) side.
Other human faces have been found carved in the surface, e.g.:
One other thing which is basically simple and requires no degrees in astronomy to comprehend... they keep on finding meteorites of Martian origin on Earth and for every one they find, logically, there must be many more lying around. I don't easily picture all those Martian meteorites lying around for millions of years (as would be the case if the event which spawned them occurred millions of years ago) and not all get covered up one way or other.