[meteorite-list] Re: Meteorite-list Digest, Vol 26, Issue 30 (Schoner's theory)
From: Steve Schoner <schoner_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon Feb 13 23:16:10 2006
My theory on tektite formation:
Go back to the impacts of cometary material on Jupiter in July of 1994. I think in this there is a clear demonstration of how tektites are formed. There were huge plumes of plasma extending out into space, and large dark clouds of re-condensed dust from the impacts after-wards.
Now, I remember seeing an abstract regarding those plumes put out by I think Dr. Shoemaker. In this abstract it was posited that the plasma cloud achieved temps at nearly a million or more, such that water molecules and all organic molecules were disrupted so that hydrogen separated from its oxygen bonds. Now, it was stated in this abstract that the hydrogen escaped out into space but the free oxygen remained and fell back with the remnants of the plasma plume. In other words, the hydrogen was "fractionated" from the oxygen and ejected away from the plume.
Now consider this. Tektites are virtually free of water. The remaining cometary plasma was mostly vaporized silicates and oxygen, and both were in a environment with a paucity of hydrogen which had escaped out into space. The rock vapor latched onto free oxygen. The result would be a glass with very little if any water. And that would explain the huge dust clouds (<nano>micro-tektites)remaining. But I wonder if any large tektites condensed from those plasma plumes and fell into Jupiter's depths.
No craters were produced, yet huge dust clouds floated in Jupiter's atmosphere for months.
I ran this by Dr. Shoemaker sometime before his untimely death, and shortly later he was taken from us, thus I never got a response.
Could such happen here on earth?
Just imagine a huge cometary impact into our atmosphere. A complete disruption, with a plume of cometary plasma erupting out into space. Hydrogen fractionated from the plasma cloud, the remaining silicate material and oxygen re-combining to form a glass, and the glass then falling back to earth in some cases several thousands of miles form the impact point.
No crater produced because the impact may have happened over the ocean, or simply because the comet disrupted in the air and never reached the ground.
Received on Mon 13 Feb 2006 11:14:17 PM PST