The wet-comet model (WCM) of the structure and composition of comets was developed in 2005 to replace the “dirty-snowball” model (DSM) of Fred Whipple, because the first comet flybys of P/Halley “armada” revealed a very different landscape. Subsequent flybys of P/Borrelly, P/Wild-2, P/Hartley, P/Tempel-1 have confirmed and refined the model, so that we confidently predicted that the Rosetta mission would encounter a prolate, tumbling, concrete-encrusted, black comet: P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Unfortunately, the Philae lander team was preparing for a DSM and the anchors bounced off the concrete surface, but the orbiter has returned spec- tacular pictures of every crevice, which confirm and extend the WCM yet a sixth time. We report of what we predicted, what was observed, and several unexpected results from the ROSETTA mission.
Primordial comets are comets made of Big Bang synthesized materials—water, ammonium, and carbon ices. These are the basic elements for life, so that these comets can be colonized by cyanobacteria that grow and bioengineer it for life dispersal. In addition, should they exist in large enough quantities, they would easily satisfy the qualifications for dark matter: low albedo with low visibility, gravitationally femtolensing, galactic negative viscosity, early galaxy formation seeds, and a self-interaction providing cosmic structure. The major arguments against their existence are the absence of metals (elements heavier than He) in ancient Population III stars, and the stringent requirements put on the Big Bang (BB) baryonic density by the BB nucleosynthesis (BBN) models. We argue that CI chondrites, hyperbolic comets, and carbon-enriched Pop III stars are all evidence for primordial comets. The BBN models provide the greater obstacle, but we argue that they crucially omit the magnetic field in their homogeneous, isotropic, “ideal baryon gas” model. Should large magnetic fields exist, not only would they undermine the 1-D models, but if their magnitude exceeds some critical field/density ratio, then the neutrino interacts with the fields, changing the equilibrium ratio of protons to neutrons. Since BBN models are strongly dependent on this ratio, magnetic fields have the potential to radically change the production of C, N, and O (CNO) to produce primordial comets. Then the universe from the earliest moments is not only seeded for galaxy formation, but it is seeded with the ingredients for life.
In 1871, Lord Kelvin suggested that the fossil record could be an account of bacterial arrivals on comets. In 1903, Svante Arrhenius suggested that spores could be transported on stellar winds without comets. In 1984, Sir Fred Hoyle claimed to see the infrared signature of vast clouds of dried bacteria and diatoms. In 2012, the Polonnaruwa carbonaceous chondrite revealed fossilized diatoms apparently living on a comet. However, Arrhenius' spores were thought to perish in the long transit between stars. Those calculations, however, assume that maximum velocities are limited by solar winds to ~5 km/s. Herbig-Haro objects and T-Tauri stars, however, are young stars with jets of several 100 km/s that might provide the necessary propulsion. The central engine of bipolar astrophysical jets is not presently understood, but we argue it is a kinetic plasma instability of a charged central magnetic body. We show how to make a bipolar jet in a belljar. The instability is non-linear, and thus very robust to scaling laws that map from microquasars to active galactic nuclei. We scale up to stellar sizes and recalculate the viability/transit-time for spores carried by supersonic jets, to show the viability of the Arrhenius mechanism.
Information density can increase locally if one is careful to control the flow of entropy. Not diffusively but through clever use of “invariants of the flow”. Replacing entropy with true invariants of the flow, we show how information can be concentrated or “added” consistent with the observation of increasing complexity on the Earth. Analogous to a digital computer made of fluid components, the “calculation” proceeds by clever manipulation of boundary conditions. Magnetized comets possess exactly the properties needed to produce the simplest entropy invariant, making them a prime candidate for driving evolution. They may also provide the origin of the chirality or ”handedness” of life. Thus the Origin-of-life, evolutionary progress paradox can be solved, but at the cost of requiring the universe to be in a highly information-dense initial state.
The analysis of all groups of Archaea performed in two-dimensions have demonstrated a specific
distribution of Archaean species as a function of pH/temperature, temperature/salinity and pH/salinity. Work
presented here is an extension of this analysis with a three dimensional (3D) modeling in logarithmic scale. As it
was shown in 2D representation, the “Rules of the Diagonal” have been expressed even more clearly in 3D
modeling. In this article, we used a 3D Mesh modeling to show the range of distribution of each separate group of
Archaea as a function of pH, temperature, and salinity. Visible overlap and links between different groups indicate a
direction of evolution in Archaea. The major direction in ancestral life (vector of evolution) has been indicated: from
high temperature, acidic, and low-salinity system towards low temperature, alkaline and high salinity systems.
Specifics of the geometrical coordinates and distribution of separate groups of Archaea in 3 D scale were analyzed
with a mathematical description of the functions.
Based on the obtained data, a new model for the origin and evolution of life on Earth is proposed. The
geometry of this model is described by a hyperboloid of one sheet. Conclusions of this research are consistent with
previous results derived from the two-dimensional diagrams. This approach is suggested as a new method for
analyzing any biological group in accordance to its environmental parameters.
The discovery of microfossils on carbonaceous meteorites has electrified the public with the first concrete evidence
of extraterrestrial biology. But how these organisms colonized and grew on the parent body–the comet–remains
a mystery. We report on several features of cyanobacteria that permit them to bioengineer comets, as well as
a tantalizing look at interplanetary uses for magnetite framboids that are found in abundance on carbonaceous
chondrites. We argue that these structures provide important directionality and energy harvesting features
similar to magnetotactic bacteria found on Earth.
It has been seven years since we presented evidence for liquid water on comets and the wet comet theory that
comets melt and undergo an irreversible phase change on their rst passage through the inner solar system, and
since then there have been three more comet
ybys and analysis on returned cometary material. We review the
wet comet model and discuss the new data, showing that the model not only has been further vindicated, but
explains several more independent observations. Not only do comets show evidence of some melting, they show
evidence of complete melting.
The Origin-of-Life (OOL) is defined as an information threshold and compared to the Shannon information of the
universe. It is shown that the information content of a minimally viable cell must be greater than the capabilities
of the universe to calculate with a random search, and must therefore include coherence. Since No-Free-Lunch
theorems argue that there are no better algorithms than random searches, we eliminate several alternate theories
of OOL that rely on "smart" algorithms, including the anti-entropic "luck" solution. Then high negentropy states
can only be achieved by coherent addition of pre-existing negentropy via some low-entropy mechanism. Since
most cosmologists believe information is conserved, it is shown that the addition of information corresponds to
a flow of information through Fourier space from large to small scales. The requirements on the information
"adder" for low temporal entropy, high spatial coherence, rapid coherent addition, and dense Fourier space flow,
are shown to be met by comets. We close with a speculation that the fractal dimension of the galactic matter
distributed through the cosmos may reveal the details of a dark matter origin in comets.
Three recent discoveries support the existence of an extra-planetary, cometary biosphere that is capable of
spanning the galaxy: 1) the discovery of ancient cyanobacterial fossils on carbonaceous chondrites, which are
widely believed to be extinct comets, 2) the observations and theory that all short-period comets have irreversibly
differentiated by melting and undergo periodic remeltings, and, 3) the observation that comets can accrete inner
solar-system material, including spores from other infected comets. While no direct observation of sub-cellular,
fossilized viruses exist, their ubiquity and proximity with cyanobacteria suggest that the proposed cometary
biosphere also carries a full complement of bacteriophages. Recent work transcribing viral DNA of bacteriophages
reveals an active horizontal transfer of genes though a vector that doesn't itself benefit from the genes. Thus the
cometary biosphere is capable of transporting genes throughout the galaxy that are not themselves expressed
in space, suggesting that evolution may occur not just in time, but in space as well, making the Earth and its
history less significant for a cosmological theory of evolution. That is, evolution is driven not by innovation, but
by communication, albeit at a slow cometary speed and the transfer of a life ecosystem through a low bitrate
channel can be modelled as a bootstrap process. Thus cometary evolution suggests that the history of earth
represents the spatial relativity of a bootstrap process at the speed of life.
Recent observations of cyanobacterial fossils on carbonaceous chondrites have conclusively established the presence
of fossil organisms on extraterrestrial bodies widely presumed to be comets. Likewise, the data from four
cometary flyby (and one impact) missions and the exploration of a peculiar S-type asteroid, show evidence of liquid
water in the past or present. In addition, sand grains returned from the tail of comet P/Wild-2 demonstrate
that comets accrete inner Solar System material. So it is a short step to propose the separate and independent
existence of a cometary biosphere, the ecosystem of organisms that exploit the niche of an extraterrestrial environment.
This paper attempts to lay the framework for such a hypothetical ecosystem, and establish criteria for
its continued existence and spread.
Three recent in situ spacecraft missions have explored comets or asteroids, producing data in conflict with the
standard comet paradigm, the Whipple Dirty Snowball Model (DSM). We have developed an alternative Wet
Comet Model (WCM) which proposes that comets undergo an irreversible phase change to a wet comet when
they enter within Mars orbit. The WCM may explain some of the observational discrepancies seen by Deep
Impact, Stardust and Hayabusa. In particular, it accurately predicted Deep Impact observation of organics,
biominerals, and meltwater temperatures. Predictions concerning Stardust's returned cometary dust particles
have yet to be falsified, but if comets are largely composed of the silicates seen by Stardust, there may be a
cometary explanation for Itokawa's low density rubble-pile observed by Hayabusa.
Early greek philosophers laid the philosophical foundations of the distinction between bio and abiogenesis, when they debated organic and non-organic explanations for natural phenomena. Plato and Aristotle gave organic, or purpose-driven explanations for physical phenomena, whereas the materialist school of Democritus and Epicurus gave non-organic, or materialist explanations. These competing schools have alternated in popularity through history, with the present era dominated by epicurean schools of thought. Present controversies concerning evidence for exobiology and biogenesis have many aspects which reflect this millennial debate. Therefore this paper traces a selected history of this debate with some modern, 20th century developments due to quantum mechanics. It finishes with an application of quantum information theory to several exobiology debates.
The electron-microscope analysis of the Orgeuil carbonaceous chondrite, thought to be the extinct core of a comet, shows many archaen microfossils adapted for both cold and hot liquid water environments. Since water is a prerequisite for life, its presence on a comet would have important implications for interplanetary cross-contamination of the planets as well as strongly impact the dynamics and evolution of a comet. Therefore we develop a wet comet model to explore the consequences of liquid water on Mars-crossing comets and hypothesize that all the periodic comets, such as P/Halley, P/Wild-2, and P/Borrelly show signs of significant liquid water processing. The wet comet model is shown to be compatible with observation, as well as provide significantly better explanations for well-known cometary anomalies. Finally, the model predicts that the results of both Rosetta and Deep Impact missions will deviate from expectations.
We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of ~ 1AU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.