Mysterious Oxygen

The NASA IBEX (Interstellar Boundary EXplorer)  is believed to have sampled a ‘stream’ of atoms from outside the heliosphere, the ‘bubble’ formed by the solar wind.  Only hydrogen, helium, oxygen and neon have been measured, with the primary focus on the Ne/O ratio.  One scientist stated that the data are “directly telling us about one of the most mysterious elements in our neighborhood of the galaxy, which is oxygen. When we look at the stars we don’t see enough oxygen.”  This unscientific statement is based on the currently accepted abundance of oxygen in the distant stars as compared to the solar system. The question arises: How do scientists determine the abundance of oxygen in the solar system?

Somewhat surprisingly, solar system abundances are derived from studying meteorites that have fallen to Earth along with absorption spectra of the Sun.  Since all material in the solar system originated in the Sun, its absorption spectra are thought to be a valid source of information on element abundance in the whole solar system. The fact that the element abundances in certain meteorites (measured in the laboratory) are in general agreement with those from the solar absorption spectra has convinced scientists that the meteorites are primordial – the same rocky material from which the terrestrial planets accreted 4.56 billion years ago. Thus the oxygen abundance in the solar system is currently determined by combining the two, not by observing the planets. This results in a bit of an embarrassment because observation of the oxygen on the planets themselves falls far short of the accepted abundance.  Moreover, common sense dictates that the solid rock-like meteorites used to measure the oxygen cannot have formed in the weightless environment of space because rocks of densities greater than 2.0 require a planet-sized body with significant gravity to compress them.  Realizing this, some scientists suggest that the meteorites came from  collisions of asteroids sufficiently large to have experienced differentiation (surface, mantle and iron core), but only one possible (spherical) candidate exists, Ceres.

Assuming that the flux of meteorites falling on the Earth (~109 kg/ year) is isotropic, then those meteoroids that miss the planets and end up falling into the sun might easily be 25,000 times greater, or 2.6×10^6 kg/year. These small meteoroids undoubtedly vaporize before reaching the Sun’s surface and their elements accumulate in its atmosphere. Since this material is cooler than
the Sun’s surface and lies between the photosphere and the Earth, their spectra appear as dark lines on a bright background, and are appropriately called absorption spectra.  Thus it is no surprise that the element abundances determined by the solar absorption spectra and the meteorites are in general agreement.  In other words, the estimated solar abundance of oxygen, indeed all elements heavier than helium are determined from meteoroid material, more specifically from CI chondrites, which contain slightly more oxygen than other types.

Why does the oxygen abundance not show up in the spectral emission lines of the Sun (its photosphere)? Most solar scientists agree that the elements heavier than helium, e.g. oxygen, carbon, silicon, iron, have gradually settled below the solar surface over billions of years and so emission lines of oxygen are very faint.  Recently some specialists claim to have estimated the solar oxygen abundance by observing vibrations or waves in the surface of the Sun, a technique called helioseismology. However, this requires very complex 3D models of solar structure, i.e. the distribution of oxygen and other elements below the surface, which is essentially guesswork, so most models are ‘tweaked’ to give abundances similar to the absorption spectra.

Cyclic Catastrophism

The CC scenario explains that the reason most other stars seem not to have “enough oxygen” is that they have not had recent planetary events resulting in a vast shower of meteoroids producing absorption spectra similar to the Sun. The meteoroids and meteorites falling into Sun and Earth respectively were blasted from a single planet, priori-Mars, when it orbited the Earth between 3700 and 700 BC. These recent transient events produced the large flux of space rocks, which are mistakenly being used to determine the oxygen abundance of the entire solar system. Compounding this error, the ages of the meteorites are mistakenly thought to represent the age of the Sun and the solar system, when they actually reveal the age of priori-Mars (Mars and Mercury). At the onset of the Cyclic Catastrophism (~3700 BC) priori-Mars was a planet with oceans, an oxygen-rich atmosphere, and was covered with vegetation. As a result, much of the rock blasted from it during the Vedic Period contained abundant oxygen, similar to the Earth. The rocks recently blasted from this planet also comprise the regolith which covers Mercury and the near side of the Moon to a depth of several kilometers, but the vast bulk of that material has accumulated in the Sun’s atmosphere for the last 6,000 years producing the deceptive absorption spectra.

Beyond this, the cosmic events of the Cyclic Catastrophism scenario give a radically different view of oxygen in the solar system, an abundance much greater than currently imagined, because of the new understanding of the giant planets. This enormous oxygen abundance stems from the idea that the giant planets are primarily water, in the form of frozen solid methane gas hydrates. This means that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, currently believed to be 99% hydrogen and helium, actually comprise about 340 earth-masses of oxygen! This does not mean 340 times as much oxygen as on the Earth, but a mass of oxygen 340 times the mass of the entire Earth, 7.6 x 10^52 additional oxygen atom which are currently unknown.

The vast mass of water, the primary constituent of methane gas hydrates, along with about 100 earth masses of  other heavy elements encapsulated in Jupiter, (density 1.33) were the source out of which each of the terrestrial planets were formed by explosive impacts.  This also explains how great oceans formed on the planets as soon as they cooled down sufficiently.

The long-lasting Great Red Spot on Jupiter, generated by hot gases still rising from the crater out of which Venus was created some 6,000 years ago,  makes clear that much of the planet-creating energy is the result of a colossal nuclear fusion explosion triggered by the impacts, the fuel for which is the hydrogen and deuterium present in the methane gas hydrate surface of the planet.  The hot gases ejected from the crater for millennia after the impact, formed all the Jupiter satellites, including the giant Galileans, and, believe it or not, the entire main asteroid belt.

So the mysterious element, oxygen, is finally revealed.

A man cannot step into the same river twice – the water has changed and the man has changed.


~ by Angiras on February 7, 2012.

4 Responses to “Mysterious Oxygen”

  1. […] heavy elements in the nascent solar system are uniformly distributed throughout the Jupiter (See: Mysterious Oxygen); (c) The rocky inner planets priori-Mars and Earth were created as a result of similar impacts on […]

  2. Dale, Thanks again for you interest. I think you are referring to the near earth asteroids, which are all rock bodies blasted out of priori-Mars, when it orbited the Earth between 3700 and 700 BC – some as large as 20 km, but irregular in shape. These are stratified because they were originally sedimentary, mantle or nickel-iron rock bodies ejected by deep internal tidal convulsions. Planetary scientists have no idea of Cyclic Catastrophism and resort to the notion that these are the result of main belt asteroids colliding and pieces being deflected into the inner solar system over billions of years. The main belt asteroids and the Galilean moons were formed by hot gases shooting from the crater out of which Venus formed about 5,000 years ago. Their mode of formation or accretion depended on their distance from Jupiter. If very close, the heavy elements in the hot gas would have accreted on the surface but volatile stuff like water could not, because of the high temperature, e.g. Io. The bodies farther away were impacted by frozen, water-rich bodies which condensed and froze before they hit larger bodies, thus the craters on Ganymede and Callisto. Europa is a combination fo these two processes. Initially it was like Io, but because farther from Jupiter it cooled sufficiently for the water to eventually cover the entire surface. The main belt asteriods are primarily water because Jupiter is primarily water, but they do have a small amount of heavy elements – enough to form a terrestrial planet when the energy of the impact is great. A couple of NASA probes passed close to a main belt asteroid and found that the gravity was low. They usually interpret this as meaning it is a rubble-pile, although photos fail to reinforce this interpretation. Not sure this answers you question. Regards, John

  3. Sorry, meant to say, “like your post”..


  4. I was wondering if you have ever seen the NASA pix of the asteroids with what looks like stratification in their structure, almost like they were the result of sedimentary accretion?? How does this come about? If the original planet exploded ie: Van Flandern’s ideas..would such structures survive? If your theory is true, then how did the asteroids become “layered”? Would not a lot of these processes depend on gravity, atmosphere and liquid action of some sort? I am not clear on this aspect of asteroid formation…BTW: like the post!!


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