Monday, September 29, 2008

Mass Accretion On Mars: More Evidence For Growth

Scientists have identified iron (Fe), the sixth most adundant chemical element in the universe, all over the surface of Mars. Iron is one of the heaviest elements which do not require a Supernova for their creation. Scientists recognize that Mars is accreting mass, as all astronomical bodies must do because of gravity, (in the form of iron) from meteorites, thus growing. The New Scientist: Mars iron is ideal for building future bases.

FUTURE colonisers of Mars needn't worry about lugging materials from Earth to build their bases - the most widely used building material on Earth, steel, could be manufactured on the Red Planet.

The rover Opportunity has found elemental iron - a key ingredient of steel - peppered across the Martian surface as a result of collisions with iron-rich meteorites.
They also say mass accretion contributed to Mars's unique magnetic field: Giant impact explains Mars's wonky magnetic field.

The strange magnetic field of Mars, which is concentrated in the planet's southern hemisphere, could have been caused by a giant impact.

The finding clears up one of the biggest remaining mysteries about the planet.

The study, led by Sabine Stanley of the University of Toronto, has shown that the asymmetric field could be linked to the planet's strange surface features.

The relatively smooth, flat surface of Mars' northern hemisphere lies around 6 kilometres lower than the more mountainous surface of the southern hemisphere. Earlier this year, researchers proposed that this "Mars dichotomy" can be explained if a huge object, almost as big as Earth's moon, hit the northern hemisphere of Mars at a shallow angle.

It has long been known that the planet's oddly shaped magnetic field – first observed by the Mars Global Surveyor in 1985 – originated about the same time as the Mars dichotomy.
And Mars was decapitated (and killed?) by the biggest impact in the system: Almighty smash left record crater on Mars.

EVERY scar tells a story, yet a huge gash on Mars has long proven very hard to read. Now a peek beneath the planet's surface reveals that the scar is the largest known impact structure in the solar system - gouged out by a collision that reshaped the Red Planet.
"My research, based on irrefutable evidence of constant accretion of meteorites and meteor dust, concludes that Earth began as an asteroid remnant of an earlier comet captured by the Sun. The proto-planet then grew over uncountable years (possibly many more than the 4.5 Ga now believed) in an accretion process that is still underway and will continue into the future at an accelerating pace because of Earth’s constantly increasing mass and gravitational power." -- Lawrence S. Myers, cryptologist/geoscientist, 2005


Quantum_Flux said...

Gosh, gravitation is clearly not the force that brings dust to my CRT TV screen, perhaps it's also not the force that brings dust clouds together and solar wind to the magnetic fields. Perhaps electricity plays a larger role in planet formation than gravitation does. Maybe that research is off, I'm skeptical of gravitational capture of Earth being some renegade comet, the orbit is too much of a circular shape than an elongated ellipsical shape for that to be the case.

OilIsMastery said...

Granted, I also thought the comet comment is speculative but the gravity formation and mass accretion concept seems to be confirmed by observational data.

Planets Forming In Pleiades Star Cluster, Astronomers Report

ScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2007) — Rocky terrestrial planets, perhaps like Earth, Mars or Venus, appear to be forming or to have recently formed around a star in the Pleiades ("seven sisters") star cluster, the result of "monster collisions" of planets or planetary embryos.

Yeah you read that right, it says "planetary embryos".

Astronomers Discover Planet Building Is Big Mess.

ScienceDaily (Oct. 19, 2004) — Planets are built over a long period of massive collisions between rocky bodies as big as mountain ranges, astronomers announced today.

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal surprisingly large dust clouds around several stars. These clouds most likely flared up when rocky, embryonic planets smashed together. The Earth's own Moon may have formed from such a catastrophe. Prior to these new results, astronomers thought planets were formed under less chaotic circumstances.

"It's a mess out there," said Dr. George Rieke of the University of Arizona, Tucson, first author of the findings and a Spitzer scientist. "We are seeing that planets have a long, rocky road to go down before they become full grown."

Yup, you read that right. it says "embryonic planets" and "grown."

Quantum_Flux said...

Yeah, clearly planets are built up from inelastic collisions with smaller things, and I don't mean to discout the role that gravitation plays in planet formation.

Anaconda said...

To Oil Is Mastery:

Planets do "form" and/or "grow."

The relevant question is "how" and/or why, and at what time and rate in the over all planetary "lifespan."

In other words, what is the astrophysical "mechanics" of planetary formation?

Now, the implication of the post, as I understand it, is that instead of an initial planetary formation, then minimal random accretion by foreign astrological bodies, where the initial "formation" is the principle planetary mass forming "event," accretion over time constitutes the "event."

Some thoughts:

The accretion over time theory is an astrophysical "Uniformtarianism" type theory.

Uniformitarianism has been discredited as the prime law of geological science, as demonstrated by scientific investigations of the Earth's geological record.

Catastrophism seems to have an equal is not more powerful impact on Earth's formation and "mechanisms."

Earth's geological formation can be described using both theories.

So, getting back to the contention of the post: I'm open to the observational and theoretical science, on this question, although observational science has more 'sway' on my opinion; but, at this point, I favor the initial planetary mass forming "event," rather than a gradual accretion.

Because if planetary formation is due to accretion, then it would make sense that all planets would be more physically the same than different.

Accretion doesn't explain the variability of planetary construction -- rocky planets versus giant gas planets -- that is observed in the solar system's planets.

But as ever, I'm open to additional scientific evidence that challenges my opinion and potentially persuades me to revise my opinion.

Respecting the scientific method, helps prevent man's understanding of the Universe from being frozen in dogma and the dead hand of authority based on previous limited and incomplete observational analysis.

Quantum_Flux said...

However, in the same way that Ionic Breezes work by creating an EM field to collect the dust, perhaps dust clouds in space or giant star nebulaes form due to Birkeland plasma currents (I'm amazed by this idea). Of course, this is something that can be tested if it hasn't already been tested.

OilIsMastery said...


Can you say more about why accretion is uniformitarian? Is all formation material the same? Don't we find different types of dust forming different types of stars?

What mechanism causes planets to stop growing? If it's gravity that causes small astronomical bodies to start growing, what causes the gravity to stop accretion and growth when it's larger and has a stronger gravitational field?

Anaconda said...

To Quantum_Flux:

I see that the Electric Universe has grown on you a bit: "...perhaps dust clouds in space or giant star nebulaes form due to Birkeland plasma currents (I'm amazed by this idea)."

Electromagnetism has been known as the "strong" force and Gravity as the "weak" force for a long time.

That idea is what attracted me to this theory because it makes sense that the "strong" force would be the "active" force at the great distances involved in galaxtic relational mechanics.

As well as the theory's implication for Abiotic Oil formation here on Earth.

Anaconda said...

To OilIsMastery:

Perhaps, I can answer your second question first: "What mechanism causes planets to stop growing?"

My answer to your question is the absense of material available for accretion.

The solar "field," once material starts to collaspe (whatever "force" causes the collaspe), is "swept" clean of the majority of material. What is left tends to be remnants or debris, which simply doesn't have the mass to add substanitally to the previously formed planets.

Are there random collisions between planets and this solar debris? Yes. And the collisions do add to the mass of the planet involved in the collision, but I suggest the primary planet forming "force," whether gravity or electromagnetic plasma currents, quickly (in an astrological time frame) "gathers" the planetary "building material" into planetary disks that then further collaspe into planets as we know them. This process is likely to happen as a chain-reaction, cascading "event."

Similar to chemical or nuclear reactions.

Some kind of energy activation level is reached that keys the start of the planetary building process which then accelerates because of the constant force applied to the planetary "building material."

Constant force equals acceleration.

One can even argue that the force increases, as the planetary bodies enlarge, causing an exponential acceleration of the chain-reaction.

This would tend to increase the "sweeping" effect and cause the planetary building process to be even more "catatrophic," therfore, emptying the "field" more quickly and completely of planetary 'building material" leaving less material available for a steady, gradual accretion process over solar time.

So it's not that the force "ends," but, rather, that the force has less material available to "act on."

Now to your first question: "Can you say more about why accretion is uniformitarian?

The post suggests the "accretion" happens over a significant period of time. It suggests that a "steady rate" of accretion slowly builds the planets.

That this same "force" acts "over and over" without any accelerated time frames, but is gradual.

That sounds like Uniformitarianism to this ear.

As I originally stated both uniformitarianism and castatrophism can be appled to Earth formation, this idea may be able to be applied to planetary formation.

Yes, different types of dust forms different types of stars.

So something would have to be different to result in different types of dust.

This suggests dramatically different types or amounts of force were at work to create those different types of stars.

Accretion as stated in the post suggests there should be similar types or amounts of force.

The evidence suggests dramatically different levels or "catatraphic" differences in the force applied in various points of the Universe.

I hope the above discussion clarifies my opinion.

OilIsMastery said...

I heard back from our friend Dr. Tassos. He has discussed this with our friend Dr. Myers and Dr. Tassos agrees with you.

Quantum_Flux said...

Moon Dust: NASA's Dirty Secret

lunar dust suffers from a terrible case of static cling. UV rays drive electrons out of lunar dust by day, while the solar wind bombards it with electrons by night. Cleaning the resulting charged particles with wet-wipes only makes them cling harder to camera lenses and helmet visors. Mian Abbas of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will discuss electrostatic charging on the moon and how dust circulates in lunar skies.

Luckily, lunar dust is also susceptible to magnets. Tiny specks of metallic iron (Fe0) are embedded in each dust particle's glassy shell. Taylor has designed a magnetic filter to pull dust from the air, as well as a "dust sucker" that uses magnets in place of a vacuum. He has also discovered that microwaves melt lunar soil in less time than it takes to boil a cup of tea. He envisions a vehicle that could microwave lunar surfaces into roads and landing pads as it drives, and a device to melt soil over lunar modules to provide insulation against space radiation. The heating process can also produce oxygen for breathing.