Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Rampson Theory of Solar System Genesis - Introduction - Setting the stage

A Short History of the Early Universe

The Big Bang started the chain of events that eventually led to the Earth and mankind. After the initial "Bang", the Universe expanded like a giant balloon. While this expansion was taking place, the initial "dust" (hydrogen,helium) formed into "structures" where gravity started pulling them together.

First, Hypergiant stars (the size of galaxies) formed, and they "burned out" quickly - supernova-ing and "enriching" the surrounding dust with heavier elements (metals), while becoming supermassive black holes.

The Big Bang
These supermassive black holes had tremendous gravity, and they pulled more and more "dust" in - growing larger (more gravity). This gravity and the dust movement created Galaxies. And while this dust was moving, gravity caused more stars to form. These stars were not as large as the first (Gen I) stars, these were (just) the "Giant" stars. This Gen II star formation went on for 4 billion years and was pretty much complete by 9 billion years ago (Gya). So for the first 4-5 billion years of the Universe, it was a black hole/galaxy/star builder - after that, it pretty much flies away (galaxies moving apart).
Star formation in a galaxy
It is right at the end of this Gen II star building epoch, where our own Solar System story starts.

(NOTE: This Intro is highly condensed - even to the point of inaccuracy. There are many different theories about parts of this timeline - I have tried to make it simple in order to get past it quickly and delve into my own Solar System theory.

The Rampson Theory of Solar System Genesis - Part 1 - The early years

Right at the beginning

Star-forming regions in the Eagle Nebula
Around 9 billion years ago (Gya), there existed a contracting molecular cloud of gas and dust (AKA a Nebula). This cloud was a stellar nursery where many stars were being born. Two of these stars paired up (called a binary star system).
Cool picture of the 2nd closest stars to the Earth - Alpha Centauri A and B over the rings of Saturn.
This was our pre-Solar System. The first star was a Blue Giant star named "King.

A Blue Giant star
and a (smaller) "Main sequence" Star about 8 times larger than the Sun - named "Queen"

A Yellow Class G star

Giant stars tend to have short lifespans. A Blue Giant star might only "burn" for 100,000 years. It was King's time, so he blows up in a spectacular supernova.

Supernova Type II?

Note: That should be a supernova at the center, and the planet on the upper left should be the G-class star Queen (being almost snuffed out). Find me a better picture!). It does show the dust cloud nicely.

The supernova left a neutron star at its center - called Spider (lines show Very strong magnetic fields).

Neutron star
The Neutron star Spider and Queen stayed a binary pair with Spider orbiting Queen.

This arrangement was stable for 2-3 billion years, but eventually Queen "used up" Hydrogen in its core. This caused the core to contract and the outer layers to swell immensely. Fusion starts in these outer layers and a Red Giant star is born.

A Red Giant star
As Queen expands into a Red Giant, the Neutron star Spider (that is still orbiting) starts to "run into" the outer layers. As Spider started "sucking up" this gas, it turned into a pulsar. A pulsar basically "sucks" gas from a nearby star (Queen) and turns that into energy (X-rays, gamma-rays,etc.).

Pulsar with Red Giant companion star

Eventually, Queen also reaches the end of her life. She is not large enough to supernova, so what happens to her is she sheds her outer layers (forming a planetary nebula), and her core becomes a white dwarf star called Rabbit.

White Dwarf star in the center of a Planetary Nebula
Usually, this planetary nebula expands "forever" - it can grow beyond 1 light year in size.

Expanding Planetary Nebula
But in this case, there was a neutron star (Spider) with the gravity of 2+ Suns - and the white dwarf star (Rabbit) with the gravity of 1+ Sun. The planetary nebula could not escape from these 2 stars.

Binary stars

The Rampson Theory of Solar System Genesis - Part 2 - Master Blaster


The Solar System (now around 7-8 billion years ago) consists of a binary set of stars - Spider (a pulsar) and Rabbit (a white dwarf) in the middle of a giant "dust cloud" (Planetary nebula). This is the same dust cloud that the current/original Solar System Genesis theory starts with.

The Ant Nebula
In other words, The Rampson Theory of Solar System Genesis adds 2 stars into the traditional (conventional) theory.

A white dwarf star like Rabbit spends its time sucking up gas/dust and growing bigger. Once it gets to a certain size (~1.4 Suns) it will blow up in a spectacular supernova. But in this case, the binary stars are BOTH sucking up gas/dust. Spider is a pulsar, and it "pulses" with gamma rays, x-rays, whatever rays - and not to mention it's (one of) the strongest magnets in the Universe. Poor Rabbit is exposed to these "blasts".

Pulsar hitting companion star

Not to mention the rest of the dust cloud gets blasted also (although most pulsars blast perpendicular ...).

So the analogy here is a starving man with abundant food around him. He grabs some food and starts eating. Eventually that guy behind him slaps him on the back and he spits out the food. The white dwarf Rabbit is sucking in gas/dust, trying to get big enough to supernova - but the pulsar (Spider) blasts him - and all of the gas/dust shoots back into the cloud.

White dwarf stars grow bigger by taking in gas/dust/particles and fusing them (Nuclear Fusion) through its tremendous gravity. The longer the gravity can work on the material - the denser it can become. So depending on when Rabbit gets blasted, that determines what kind of material gets shot back out into the cloud.
A Nova
This is called (just) a "Nova" - as opposed to the "super" kind. Material fuses and builds up on the white dwarf star - until it gets blasted out. In this way, you "enrich" the surrounding dust cloud with "material" such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water ..., and yeah and maybe some boron and beryllium (BIG HINT).

So now let's run through the "standard" existing Solar System (dust cloud) model. The dust cloud slowly collapses and begins spinning (faster and faster). Planetesimals (small planet pieces) "accrete" (stick together and grow bigger and bigger) and eventually form into the original 4 planets (as the cloud dissipates). The lighter density planets (Gas Giants) Jupiter and Saturn are formed further out, and the higher density (rocky) planets form closer to the center. But because of the (Nova-induced) "enriching" - the rocky planets gain lighter density material (Venus and Earth get atmospheres, water, Lithium ...etc.).

The timeline is now 4.6 Billion years ago. The Sun is just now beginning to shine . . .

The Rampson Theory of Solar System Genesis - Part 3 - Here comes the Sun (and the wind)

Stoke the furnace

4.6 billion years ago, the star Sol (our Sun) started shining (through fusion).

The Sun
Once this fusion started, the "solar wind" also started. This "wind" (of charged particles), started "blowing" on (what was left of) the dust cloud. This is like taking a plate of bread crumbs and blowing on them - they go flying (away). If your little brother was sitting across from you when you did this - there would be crumbs all over his face.

A Little Brother
There were no little brothers at this time, but there was a Spider and a Rabbit. For billions of years, these binary twin stars were sucking in dust and blasting out "stuff" (pulsing/novas). With the solar wind now working, there's no need to suck - the dust gets "jammed" down your throat.

With all this extra "food", Rabbit gets fatter and fatter - and Spider gets less and less "reliable" as a pulsar (sputters?random direction pulses - not hitting Rabbit). Over the next 70,000 years, Rabbit grows to a size that is 50% bigger (more massive) than the Sun. That is way too big for any Rabbit - so he dies.

And so it begins . . .

The Rampson Theory of Solar System Genesis - Part 4 - Journey to the Center of the Earth

Let there be light

When white dwarf stars like Rabbit die - they blow up in the biggest, brightest, explosion in the Universe (a Type I supernova).
Computer simulation of Type I (white dwarf) supernova
A white dwarf star is made of a very dense material. It's mass is greater than the Sun, yet it is compacted into the size of the Earth. DENSE.

White Dwarf Star compared with Earth
White dwarf stars spin (the faster the spin, the fatter it can get before it explodes). So what happens when a spinning white dwarf supernovas? All of that DENSE material is "thrown out" - but only in the plane of the spinning i.e. it explodes "sideways" - very little material goes in the 3rd (up/down) dimension.
Ring of Death
This blast wave and dense "projectiles" (shrapnel) just happened to be in our own Solar System! You would think that this blast would obliterate everything in its path. Luckily it didn't - or I wouldn't be around to write this ...

First in the line for the destruction is ...

The Sun

The Sun
Within seconds (or milliseconds), the young Sun was hit with this DENSE material. It didn't flicker out, but it was blasted, bombarded and choked. The blast wave slowed its rotation. This was a major body blow! But since it is mostly gas, chunky material just goes right through.

Next in line for destruction is ...


Planet Venus (sans atmosphere)

Venus had recently cooled and probably had a molten center (like a volcano with magma moving underneath it). Ten minutes after the supernova, Venus was struck by a "chunk" of DENSE material about the size of the Moon.

Supernova debris hits Venus
The impact stopped Venus from rotating, and actually made it rotate in reverse - slowly. The "chunk" went clean through Venus and emerged on the other side "covered" in Venus magma (LOTS of sulfur). This trip though Venus slowed the "chunk" down, while changing its direction. It's new direction took it towards the Sun, and the Sun's gravity captured the new planet Mercury. The impact also slammed Mercury's magnetic field 20% toward its North Pole.

Young Planet Mercury
Note: lots of Venus magma was also blasted into space, creating meteors and asteroids.

Asteroids orbiting the Sun

And the Piece de resistance ...

The Earth

Young Planet Earth

It's been almost 30 minutes since the supernova, and a chunk of DENSE material (called Theia) about the size of Mars is approaching the Earth. The Earth at this time is Water World - completely covered by an ocean and a thick atmosphere (of mostly carbon dioxide and nitrogen). Underneath the water is a rigid crust maybe 100km/60miles thick.  Beyond that - all the way to the center of the Earth is the mantle (the consistency of caramel or very thick tar). Think of old, stale chocolate Milky-Way bar - hard as a rock on the outside, with a not-quite-so-hard center.

Picture Theia as a motorcycle going at full speed with a (small) SUV crossing in front of it. The motorcycle rockets into the SUV and pushes it (SUV) sideways. The initial impact site would have glass (from the SUV windows) laying in 2 rows/piles - along both sides of where the motorcycle came through. Let's also say that a passenger in the SUV was ejected (away from the motorcycle impact).

That's the story of the Earth - and of the Moon and Mars. The passenger that was ejected represented a chunk of Earth mantle rock that was ejected from the Theia Impact (now called the Giant Impact Hypothesis - I call it the Big Whack). This "chunk" becomes the planet Mars as it finally gets captured by the Sun's gravity after a billion-year, 100 million mile trek (at the next Titius-Bode point).

The 2 piles of glass represent the Earth's crust that was thrown out from the Big Whack. These "blobs" were caught in Earth's gravity field, so they started to orbit the (new) Earth (very close to each other). Eventually the 2 blobs merged and became the Moon (see

The Earth now had a red-hot cannon ball stuck at its core, and the entire Earth melted. The blast wave stripped 99% of the atmosphere away, so much of its water and atmosphere was gone (Mars "stole" some when it was "launched"). It would be another billion years before the Earth has a solid surface again.

The Big Whack also sprayed asteroids (and water) into the Solar System. The inner Solar System now consists of Mercury, Venus, The Earth, The Moon, and Mars - and millions of asteroids! Over the next billion years, these asteroids would hit every planet and Moon many, many times (the so-called Late Heavy Bombardment). The Earth was mostly molten during this time, so most of the asteroid impacts were "splashes" - that's why it doesn't look like the other planets today (pineapples).

It is now 3.5 Billion years ago, The asteroids (new planetesimals) are mostly gone - having pelted the inner planets. The Earth is finally solid (again). But Mars isn't doing so well. It's losing the water and atmosphere it "stole" from the Earth (not enough gravity to hold on to it) - and is getting too cold for liquid water (no interior furnace like the Earth / too far from the Sun).

The Earth and Moon

What happened to the outer planets Jupiter and Saturn? Where do the planets Uranus and Neptune come from? The rest of the story is incredible - and it's available at or search for Rampson at Kindle version available.