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Small Comets and The Sun
The Hollows on Mercury and Water Vapor in Sunspots are Evidence Frank's Small Comets Make it All The Way to The Sun
Professor Louis Frank assumed all the small comets in the small comet flux would disintegrate in the Sun’s increasing heat as they neared the center of our Solar System. It was a reasonable assumption, but Frank was mistaken. Clear circumstantial evidence exists that Frank’s small comets are impacting Mercury and also are the source of the water vapor that is imaged in the sunspots. Frank knew about water vapor ‘forming’ in the sunspots. He knew nothing of the volatiles and the hollows on Mercury’s surface. Apparently, his assumption about heat destroying the small comets before they could reach the innermost part of the solar system made him assume small comets could not be the source of the water vapor first imaged in the sunspots in 1995. He references the water vapor discovery in the sunspots to support the fact there is a lot of water in the solar system and universe. Louis Frank didn’t imagine small comets crashing into the Sun - but they do.
For those of you new to Abbott’s Almanac, you probably have no idea why or what I’m talking about - small comets? I write a lot about Professor Louis A. Frank and his team of graduate students who discovered, a hitherto unknown class of planetary objects composed almost entirely of water. Ten million of what they decided to call ‘small comets,” each weighing around forty tons, plow into Earth’s atmosphere annually. Their discovery was nothing short of amazing and the epitome of disruptive. The only thing more amazing is how science’s peer review process was able to completely bury Frank’s discovery and make it disappear.
Graphite is carbon. Graphite's melting point is between 3000 - 7000 Kelvin. That is the temperature range of the Sun’s surface. Diamonds and graphite are the only two mineral forms of carbon. Graphite cleaves very easily, but ‘soft’ is not an accurate description. Graphite is tough stuff. Carbon fiber composites and carbon buckyball molecular structures are leading edge building material when it comes to strength and weight. The spherical shape is the theoretical ideal shape of a pressure vessel, both to contain and resist pressure, hence the bathysphere illustration. Frank probably thought the main reason the small comets disintegrate entering earth’s atmosphere was heat. I think it must be mostly pressure, asymmetrical pressure on the spherically shaped carbon exterior of the small comet on impact. Re-entry temperatures can reach 2100K for spacecraft. There is a reason the outer coating on the space shuttle’s heat-shield tiles is graphite. Frank correctly envisioned the small comets had a thin carbon mantle encapsulating and protecting them from dispersion and disintegration until they drew near enough to a planet to be captured by Newton’s third law. Frank never imagined the carbon mantle would be as tough at it is. He never imagined they could draw as close to the sun, intact, as they do.
Frank used the snowball analogy to explain the small comets’ density and composition. Imagining the small comets’ beginning: When the small comets were created, there were some very high temperatures and pressures. The carbon mantle didn’t form around a solid ice cube, but formed over very dense, very hot, water vapor. As the small comet cooled, the water vapor contracted inside the carbon sphere creating negative pressure or vacuum pressure. (Gauss and Newton both did the math on spherical vessels and figured it all out, it’s very cool) When the small comet nears the sun and heats up again, the spherically shaped graphite mantle isn’t ruptured by the now reversed interior pressure. It is the asymmetrical pressures of impact that disrupt the carbon mantle’s integrity. Neither the increasing heat nor the uniform pressure changes effect the small comets much on their journey towards the Sun. I like the analogy of eggs; easy to break on impact, not so easy to crack otherwise.
The Sun accounts for more than ninety-nine percent of the mass in the Solar System. Extrapolating from Frank’s calculations on how many small comets impact planets is based on their mass, I am guessing Frank would calculate 50,000 small comets impact the Sun every second. The ten million small comets impacting the earth every year are also moving towards the Sun. All the solar system’s small comets are moving towards the Sun. As a percentage of all the small comets, ten million is but a tiny, tiny, fraction. Fifty thousand a second sounds absurd, but…
Is the water vapor imaged in sunspots created by autoignition of hydrogen with oxygen? The first big problem with the idea is there isn’t much in the way of heavy elements in or on the sun. Oxygen used to be assumed to constitute 1.5% of the sun’s mass, but research has recently halved that amount. There is very little oxygen on the Sun’s surface. Oxygen and Hydrogen auto-ignite at 880 Kelvin and form water. Water molecules disassociate at between 3000K and 4000K with approximately fifty percent of the H2O molecules being disassociated at 3500K - that’s lab data. Sunspot temperatures range between 3200K and 4500K, the surrounding solar surface is a little more than 5800K. If I haven’t lost you, infalling small comets are the likely source of the water vapor we image in sunspots. There is not enough oxygen on the sun to facilitate creating water vapor in the sunspots and the temperatures are all wrong too. In the sunspot surface areas, the temperatures work with a small comet source. Water vapor from small comets would linger long enough to be imaged before its molecular decomposition. All the temperatures work with the small comet hypothesis. None of the temps work with the ‘sunspots make water’ hypothesis. No oxygen and the “O” in H2O is missing. What oxygen we do image may very well be the disassociated oxygen from the water molecules delivered by the small comets.
What about Mercury and it’s ‘hollows’ landform?
The hollows are a Mercurian landform discovered by the MESSENGER mission spacecraft which was operational between 2011 - 2015. Years after Frank suffered a stroke (2003) which effectively ended his career (he died in 2014). These tiny pockmarks on the heavily cratered Mercurian surface are appearing in real time (I love that phrase, “real time” but I’m not sure what it really describes.) They are happening now; they are very recent history. They sure look like what I imagine a small comet impact zone would look like if it impacted Mercury’s 840°F surface at 20,000 miles an hour. Exploding small comets are creating the hollows. The Mercurian surface has so much graphite on it, NASA speculates the planet has a graphite crust. NASA can’t imagine how a graphite crust could have formed in the first place, but with enough time and chance anything is possible. Or so they say.
Mercury is covered in volatiles, and they predominate in the thin atmosphere, or exosphere. An exosphere that is transient and constantly being eroded and renewed. Sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium are the predominant elements of the exosphere which is robust enough to maintain a sodium-rich tail. Ionized water vapor and hydroxyls are also present. There is an unexplained, large presence of sulfur on Mercury. Volatiles such as these should not be sticking around on the Mercurian surface. The only reasonable explanation for their presence is they are being resupplied constantly by Frank’s small comets. Earth’s oceans contain the same major elements by mass in this order: Chloride, Sodium, Magnesium, Sulfate, Calcium and Potassium. There has to be a common source for Earth and Mercury’s volatiles. Volatiles are present on Mars too, but that will have to wait for another substack.
Also, there are at least a trillion tons of glacial ice in Mercury’s permanently shaded craters. The surface of that ice is differentiated by crystalline characteristics that indicate some of it has formed quite recently. There is no good explanation how glacial and crystalline water-ice could be present in vast quantities for millions of years on Mercury’s surface. Water itself is a volatile. The ice present on Mercury’s surface has to be delivered by the constant infall of Frank’s small, water-bearing comets.
My own guess is Mercury’s small comet infall is disproportionately greater than Earth’s. Mercury rapidly orbits the Sun every eighty-eight days. It is reasonable to assume the flux of small comets is increasingly dense as it draws closer to the Sun. Mercury’s surface is certainly covered with enough hollows, graphite, volatiles and water-ice to make it a plausible assumption.
Erle Stanley Gardner’s twentieth-century lawyer-protagonist, Perry Mason said numerous times, “circumstantial evidence can be the very best evidence.” Mason was clever at demonstrating in court through cross-examination, all the ways eyewitness identifications can be erroneous. Frank’s peers were the scientific equivalent of eyewitnesses who got it wrong. “We don’t see them” doesn’t mean we should think, “they are not there.” No one is able to end the small comet debate. It won’t end - not until someone finds the errors in Frank’s work and explains away this growing mountain of circumstantial evidence. But at present, it sure has been totally forgotten. Obviously, this is all above my pay grade. I feel like I’m in a movie where the little kids solve the mystery and rescue the hostages with their decoder ring and secret key that unlocks all the doors. More likely, we are stuck in a movie where rest home patients are the unlikely protagonists.
In any case, it is nothing short of amazing that no one else is connecting the dots. Dear readers, welcome to the all-new, peer-review, clubhouse. Frank’s small comets are still infalling. The circumstantial evidence is truth’s friend.