a rapid expansion event?


This is an  ESA Rosetta Navcam image of comet 67P/C-G taken on Feb 3 2015.

It may be just a trick of the light, so to speak :-), but from this perspective it sure looks like something popped, …well it does to me at least.


The current view is that the lobed shape of this and other comets is a product of ‘binary contact’ but this view of the comet seems more indicative of separation than evidence of a contact event.

Picture: Copyright: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM, CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO License.





10 thoughts on “a rapid expansion event?

  1. Hi. moonkoon Now you’ve said it it’s hard not to see. I’ve been working on the assumption that expansion was something to do with hydrogen ions/protons saturating the inner/outer core of earth [the suns core, and nickel/iron meteorites], slowly escaping then some cascade of reactions occuring, a bit ‘cold fusion’, sometimes accelerated forced by an electric shock[lightning?] leading to an expansion of minerals. Not sure i’d ever expect something like this but wdik. Anyhow here’s a couple of links to consider https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171113194954.htm https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171122131429.htm I think the idea of water penetrating that deep is ridiculous but the prescence of hydrogen has to be accounted for; once it’s there it [i guess] drives the cascade either chemically or by nucleosynthesis.
    I guess on a comet there’s nothing to restrain the expansion. john

  2. Yes the idea of transporting water by subduction to the core-mantle boundary region is a bit hard to swallow :-), although I do agree with the suggestion that large quantities of oxygen (and hydrogen) may be produced/present down there in the roiling inferno.

    This report (ed: wrong link sorry, that report suggests that water is not subducted and the lower mantle may possibly be dry, I’ll see if I can find the right ref) suggests another possibility, i.e. that the oxygen is produced by the reduction of another metal oxide, silicon dioxide, with the freed oxygen then combining with hydrogen to produce water. The presence of hydrogen is inferred from the conclusion that water exists at depth. I haven’t seen any any discussion as to how the hydrogen actually came to be there.

    I speculate that the hydrogen as well as carbon, nitrogen and oxygen (and maybe others) are products of some type of elemental disintegration process which produces the lighter elements or possibly the source element is directly converted into molecules. I think there may be some evidence for such a process in what we see being ejected from comets which appear to be just lumps of plain old rock (I have expanded a bit on the idea here and here ).

    The two main candidates for this fragmentation process are (fairly obviously I suppose, given their abundance in the earth’s core mantle region) iron and/or silicon.

    I’m writing something about the idea at present and will post it if it doesn’t have too many internal contradictions. 🙂

  3. I’m thinking another way, that carbon nitrogen and oxygen are islands of stability in the breakdown of hydrogen to nickel/iron, mainly because of the limited amount of elements heavier than iron. That there’s hydrogen constantly exiting the core and reacting with whatever is already present, after that there’s a cascade of expansive reactions, this probably proceeds slowly for millenia. Then we have a series of electro-magnetic and kinetic shocks – – – those shocks would affect the more conductive elements and the platinum group, and if the Earth stopped turning and or changed orbit then the specific heat of those metals comes in to play too. Just as a for instance i think the copper deposits by Lake Superior rose from the depths as CuH2 violently reacting as they surfaced and providing a powerful earth for whatever passed and caused the Carolina bays.
    At the moment i’m thinking that i need to know more about precursers to nitrogen and nitrogen chemistry same with magnesium. Your way ahead of me on the minerology/geology, which is great, this process began with me trying to understand the local geology, Cornwall/Lizard.

  4. Here is the silicate reference.

    .… Our planet may be blue from the inside out. Earth’s huge store of water might have originated via chemical reactions in the mantle, rather than arriving from space through collisions with ice-rich comets.

    This new water may be under such pressure that it can trigger earthquakes hundreds of kilometres below Earth’s surface – tremors whose origins have so far remained unexplained.

    That’s the upshot of a computer simulation of reactions in Earth’s upper mantle between liquid hydrogen and quartz, the most common and stable form of silica in this part of the planet.

    “This is one way water can form on Earth,” says team member John Tse at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. “We show it’s possible to have water forming in Earth’s natural environment, rather than being of extraterrestrial origin.”

    The simple reaction takes place at about 1400 °C and pressures 20,000 times higher than atmospheric pressure as silica, or silicon dioxide, reacts with liquid hydrogen to form liquid water and silicon hydride. …

    And re hydrogen, there were a few letters in the NCGT newsletter about the subject.

    … … The Earth is a giant centrifuge: heavy components accumulate in the periphery; light components in the interior. Like the outer planets, Earth’s core must be hydrogen and noble gases. The mantle must be metal hydrides, which are fluidic due to being bathed in high pressured hydrogen, which causes hydrogen nuclei to penetrate the outer electron ring and fluidize the metal. …

  5. Thanks for the links, I’m inclined to thinking that water is made inside the earth too, doesn’t mean it’s right, the centrifuge effect has to diminish as you go deeper, zero at the axis of rotation so a balance between density/lightness pressure/zero gravity/momentum has to be struck. Then there’s conductivity, all of this has to be reflected in the layers we know, if only we had the code.
    The key to water has to be an understanding of the chemistry of the various types of volcano, everything from yellowstone to kimberlites, breccia pipes even china clay pipes, maars like pinacate and laacher see, one things for sure it doesn’t just bubble out of the ground if it’s coming from serious depth, and i’m guessing it carries it’s co-created minerals with it.
    NCGT is paywalled so i need the number of the issue.
    One other idea is that the earth may have more than one magnetic field, the second as a result of a double layer of charge the second being 4-600k deep, and transitioning this layer kicks off reactions as minerals are forced through an electron rich environment, hence the deep earthquakes.

  6. Yes I saw that too. Rosetta/Philae has four dust/particle detectors, Rosetta’s COSIMA and ROSINA, and Philae’s PTOLEMY and COSAC. As I understand it, COSIMA detected high molecular weight organics while the others saw more volatile stuff suggesting perhaps different sources or origins.

    Although Rosetta’s ROSINA and Philae’s PTOLEMY and COSAC instruments detected numerous low-molecular weight volatile organic molecules, COSIMA only saw very large carbon-bearing macromolecules in the dust particles, with nothing in between. This suggests potentially different sources for the lightweight volatile and heavier refractory carbonaceous material detected in the comet. …

    I’m not sure we can draw any firm conclusions about the nature of the bulk of the comet (which appears to be layered rock of some kind with an established fracture pattern) from any of these detections of light or heavy organic/carbonaceous material.

  7. Similar carbonaceous dust was also detected at comet Halley, …suggesting perhaps that at least some of the (possible) layered rock seen on the comet might be oil shale.

    … Some comets contain “massive amounts of an organic material almost identical to high grade oil shale (kerogen),” … for instance, corresponding hydrocarbons were detected during a probe fly-by through the tail of Comet Halley in 1986.
    – Dr. A. Zuppero, U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
    Discovery Of Water Ice Nearly Everywhere In The Solar System

    Now all we need is some plausible explanation as to how the oil shale got to be on the comet. And what, if anything, this says about the origin of terrestrial oil shale deposits.

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