It is said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The
evidence for the early migration of the Earth (or possibly the Earth/Moon binary
system) takes the form of the water in various parts of the solar system. This
water, which consists of a mixture of isotopes, carries its own signature, which
various according to where in the solar system the water first formed.
Similarly, isotopic signatures can be derived from the elemental composition of
rocks, helping scientists to slowly piece together the puzzle of the early solar
system. Results are proving surprising.
The arguments involved become complex (and I have tried to do them justice in my
book Dark Star,
as well as on in-depth analysis on this
website) but the
picture that emerges from the evidence is that the water on Earth and the Moon
is unexpectedly abundant, given how close they are to the Sun, and that the idea
of water being brought to the Earth and Moon by comets is an insufficient
explanation for what we see here.
I have therefore argued that the best explanation for what we see is that the
Earth system initially formed where the asteroid belt is currently now, and
migrated in to its current position following an early catastrophic event
(involving the Dark Star). The more distant location for the early Earth
provides us with a strong explanation for why the Earth has so much non-cometary
water on it: it was too far from the Sun for the early solar heat to have driven
the volatile water off. Such a scenario is in keeping with Zecharia
Sitchin's theories of where the Earth formed.
grist for this particular mill is now provided by recent studies of moon rocks
which, when combined with the newest theories of Moon formation, lead the
scientists in exactly the same direction. Here's the quote from New
"So if the
moon's water came from Earth, where did Earth's water come from? The impact that
formed the moon happened within about 100 million years after solid bodies began
to form in the solar system – an eye-blink in astronomical timescales.
[Alberto] Saal [of Brown University, R.I.] doubts that Earth could have
accumulated enough water from asteroid strikes in that time. "The
implication, although I cannot absolutely prove it, is that probably the Earth
formed with water," he says. The trouble is that our planet is currently too
close to the sun for it to have retained water as it coalesced from the swirling
disc of material that was to become the solar system.
that Earth may have formed near where the asteroid belt is now, which is far
enough from the sun for water to condense. The planet would then have migrated
inward. It'll be a tough theory to prove, because Earth's geologic activity has
been recycling rocks, and thus erasing the evidence, for billions of years.
That's what makes moon rocks so valuable.
"All that we
know now is because we have a fossilised record of what happened
years ago on the moon," says Saal. "We couldn't get that conclusion from looking
at the Earth." (1)
It appears that the interior
waters of the Earth and Moon have the same source (2), leading to the conclusion
that they were always there from the beginning of the life of Earth. I
would imagine, then, that should the Inward Migration Hypothesis be correct,
then we should find similar water compositions among the asteroids in the main
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
After all, if the Earth started its life there and was
catastrophically expelled, then shouldn't at least some of those asteroids have
been part of the early Earth? The composition of some meteorites suggests
planetary origins, or at least that the were once fragments of very large planetessimals early in the life of the solar system:
most unusual about these rocks [designated GRA 06128 and GRA 06129] is
that they have compositions similar to Earth's andesite continental crust - what
makes up the ground beneath our feet," says University of Maryland's James Day,
lead author of the study. "No meteorites like this have ever been seen before."
A smoking gun may be around the
corner as space agencies and mining companies turn their attention towards
asteroids. Scientists working with
the data from WISE are currently piecing together the history of the asteroid
families, projecting back in time to glue the pieces of the original 'vases'
together (4). It seems evident to me that Sitchin's work is receiving
further vindication from cutting-edge science, and that these endeavours will
soon offer his idea some long-awaited proof.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Sceptics argue that there is no evidence that a planet larger than Mars ever
existed in the zone currently occupied by the asteroid belt. Furthermore,
the very presence of mighty Jupiter in this region makes the probability of the
formation of a terrestrial planet not just low, but virtually impossible.
not a single piece of concrete evidence that would suggest that there ever was a
full-sized planet in the asteroid belt,” said Nick Moskovitz, a planetary
scientist at M.I.T. “In the region of the Main Belt, it’s dynamically impossible
in the presence of Jupiter’s gravitational influence for small bodies to collide
and stick together to form a full-sized planet.”
the mass of the Main Belt — which extends just past the orbit of Mars to about
three and a half times the distance from the Earth to the Sun — has not changed
much over the 4.5 billion year life of the solar system. Moskovitz says the belt
that we see today is the result of a population of bodies that have spent the
subsequent 4.5 billion years interacting and colliding with one another."
I'm generally sceptical when
sceptics make such sweeping generalisations. The history of science is
awash with examples of such bold statements proving laughably erroneous years
later. One only needs to review the remarkable variety of extra-solar
planets discovered in the last decade or so to see how theoretical positions
held by astronomers beforehand subsequently required serious revision.
Andy Lloyd, 20th-31st May 2013
1) L. Grossman "Moon Water Came
From Young Wet Earth" 9 May 2013,
with thanks to Lee and Beau
A. Saal, E. Hauri, J. Van Orman & M. Rutherford "Hydrogen Isotopes in
Lunar Volcanic Glasses and Melt Inclusions Reveal a Carbonaceous Chondrite
Heritage" Science, 340(6138): 1317-1320, 9 May 2013,
3) Science Daily "Half-Baked
Asteroids Have Earth-Like Crust" 8th Jan 2009,
thanks to Lee
T. Phillips "New Asteroid Families
Discovered" May 2013
B. Dorminey "Main Asteroid Belt No Remnant Of
Exploded Planet" 31 Jan 2013