Figure 1

Protostar system L1448 IRS3B, showing central binary pair of protostars (IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b) orbited by a less massive but much brighter companion protostar (IRS3B-c) in a circumbinary orbit.

The brighter companion star points to an alternative flip-flop formation mechanism, where the companion formed first at the center of the system, followed by a twin-binary disk instability, which ‘condensed’ a much-larger twin-binary pair from a massive accretion disk. Equipartition during subsequent orbital interplay caused the three stellar components to evolve into a hierarchical trinary system, in which the smaller, older core evaporated into a circumbinary orbit around the younger more-massive twin-binary pair, which spiraled in to form a close binary.

Image Credit: Bill Saxton, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NRAO/AUI/NSF – Publication: John Tobin (Univ. Oklahoma/Leiden) et al.


This alternative conceptual ideology suggests three novel primary mechanisms for the formation of gravitationally-bound objects:
– Flip-flop fragmentation (FFF)
– Trifurcation
– Hybrid accretion

– Flip-flop fragmentation (FFF), forming gas/ice-giant planets, brown dwarfs and companion stars:
     FFF suggests that excess angular momentum in collapsing molecular clouds may create accretion disks that are much more massive than their diminutive cores, and thus inertially dominate the system. Inertial dominance may initiate disk instability, which condenses 1 or 2 objects more massive than the central core. The more massive disk instability object(s) cause an inertial flip-flop where the diminutive core is injected into a satellite orbit around the much-larger, younger disk instability object(s).
     These former core satellites evolve into gas giant planets, brown dwarfs or companion stars. ‘Symmetrical FFF’ condenses a twin-binary pair of disk instability objects, while ‘asymmetrical FFF’ condenses a solitary disk instability object.

– Trifurcation, forming twin-binary pairs, such as, Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune, & Venus-Earth:
     Trifurcation suggests that when symmetrical FFF condenses a twin-binary pair of disk instability objects, the twin-binary pair are capable of rotationally fragmenting the central core into 3 components, hence, trifurcation.
     During orbital interplay between the twin-binary pair of disk-instability objects and the diminutive central core, hyperbolic-trajectory close encounters transfer kinetic energy from the more-massive twin-binary components to the less-massive core by the mechanism of equipartition. Successive kinetic energy kicks ultimately evaporate the former core into a circumbinary orbit around the much-larger twin-binary pair.
     These close encounters also tend to transfer rotational kinetic energy to the core, which may cause the core to spin up to the point of distorting the core into a bar-mode instability. Additional rotational pumping may cause the bar-mode arms to pinch off into separate gravitationally-bound Roche spheres orbiting around the diminutive residual core in a process designated, ‘trifurcation’. Trifurcation, in turn, promotes next-generation trifurcation of the residual core, possibly forming multi generations of twin binary pairs. Trifurcation is the suggested origin of 4 sets of twin-binary pairs in our solar system, namely, (former) binary-Companion, Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune, and Venus-Earth, with Mercury as the final residual core.

– Hybrid accretion, nominally forming super-Earths:
     Hybrid accretion (Thayne Curie 2005) is a suggested planet formation mechanism for forming planets by the hybrid mechanism of forming planetesimals by streaming instability followed by core accretion of these streaming-instability planetesimals. Trillions of planetesimals presumably condense by streaming instability against the magnetic corotation radius at the inside edge of protoplanetary disks. When core accretion reaches the nominal mass of a super-Earth around a solar-mass star, the newly-formed hybrid-accretion planet is able to clear its orbit, effectively pushing the inner edge of the accretion disk out to its outer resonances.
     Thereafter, a second generation of planetesimals may condense by streaming instability to form a second-generation hybrid-accretion planet. In this manor a cascade of hybrid-accretion planets may form from the inside out. Hybrid-accretion moons may also form by this mechanism, such as the larger planemo moons of Uranus.

A brief history of the solar system:
1) Symmetrical FFF — binary-Sun (disk-instability objects) + Brown Dwarf* (original core)
2) First-generation trifurcation — binary-Companion + SUPER-Jupiter* (residual core)
3) Second-generation trifurcation — Jupiter-Saturn + SUPER-Neptune* (residual core)
4) Third-generation trifurcation — Uranus-Neptune + SUPER-Earth* (residual core)
5) Fourth-generation trifurcation — Venus-Earth + Mercury(?) (residual core)
     A diminutive Brown Dwarf system with a much-more-massive accretion disk underwent symmetrical FFF, condensing a twin-binary pair of disk instability objects. The much greater overlying mass of the twin-binary disk-instability protostars resulted in a mass-segregation flip-flop, in which the diminutive Brown Dwarf core was evaporated into a circumbinary orbit around the twin-binary components, which concomitantly spiraled in to form binary-Sun. Equipartition during orbital close encounters not only evaporated Brown Dwarf outward, but also caused spin-up trifurcation, fragmenting Brown Dwarf into a twin-binary pair with presumed super-Jupiter-mass components. Since trifurcation engenders next-generation trifurcation by equipartition spin up, 1st-generation trifurcation engendered three successive generations of trifurcations, forming 2nd-generation Jupiter-Saturn, 3rd-generation Uranus-Neptune and 4th-generation Venus-Earth, with a leftover residual core, Mercury(?). The twin binary pair of super-Jupiters remained gravitationally bound to form binary-Companion, which orbited a few hundred AU from binary-Sun for 4 billion years. Binary-Sun spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma in a luminous red nova, and binary-Companion spiraled in to merge 4 billion years later at 635 Ma in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. Mars is presumably a diminutive hybrid-accretion planet that formed around Brown Dwarf.

* Note, unorthodox capitalization indicates unorthodox definitions. ‘SUPER-Jupiter’, ‘SUPER-Neptune’ and ‘SUPER-Earth’ are the names for the objects from which Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune and Venus-Earth arose respectively by trifurcation, where the objects may not meet the size requirements for orthodox super status. ‘Brown Dwarf’ is the name of the original solar system core which underwent symmetrical FFF followed by 4 generations of trifurcation. And ‘binary-Companion’ is the name of the former binary companion to the Sun, whose binary components likely had the mass of super-Jupiters. Finally, ‘binary-Sun’ is the name of the binary stellar pair that spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma to form the Sun.


Star formation stages:
1) Starless core: May be a transient phase or may progress to gravitational instability infall
2) Prestellar core: A gravitating prestellar core ends with the formation of the second hydrostatic core when hydrogen gas endothermically dissociates into atomic hydrogen at around 2000 K.
3) Protostar (Class 0, I, II, III): Begins with the formation of the second hydrostatic core.
4) Pre-main-sequence star: A T Tauri, FU Orionis, or larger (unnamed) pre-main-sequence star powered by gravitational contraction
5) Main-sequence star: Powered by hydrogen fusion

“Starless cores are possibly transient concentrations of molecular gas and dust without embedded young stellar objects (YSOs), typically observed in tracers such as C18O (e.g. Onishi et al. 1998), NH3 (e.g. Jijina, Myers, & Adams 1999), or dust extinction (e.g. Alves et al. 2007), and which do not show evidence of infall. Prestellar cores are also starless (M⋆ = 0) but represent a somewhat denser and more centrally-concentrated population of cores which are self-gravitating, hence unlikely to be transient.” (André et al. 2008)

In Jeans instability, the cloud collapses at an approximately free-fall rate nearly isothermally at about 10 K until the center become optically thick at ~10-13 g/cm3 after 105 yr (Larson 1969), at which point when the temperature begins to rise, forming a ‘first core’ or first hydrostatic core (FHSC). Supersonically infalling gas in the envelope is decelerated and thermalized at the surface of the first core (Masunaga et al. 1998).

When the temperature reaches about 2000 K, the hydrogen begins to dissociate endothermically, forming a ‘second core’, the birth of a protostar. The protostar grows in mass by accreting the infalling material from the circumstellar envelope, while the protostar keeps its radius at ~4 R☉ during the main accretion phase. (Masunaga et al. 1998)

“Enoch et al. (2009a) discovered a massive circumstellar disk of ∼1 M☉ comparable to a central protostar around a Class 0 object, indicating that (1) the disk already exists in the main accretion phase and (2) the disk mass is significantly larger than the theoretical
prediction.” (Machida et al. 2011)

“The size of the first core was found to vary somewhat in the different simulations (more unstable clouds form smaller first cores) while the size, mass, and temperature of the second cores are independent of initial cloud mass, size, and temperature.
Conclusions. Our simulations support the idea of a standard (universal) initial second core size of ~ 3 × 10−3 AU and mass ~ 1.4 ×10−3 M☉.”
(Vaytet et al. 2013)

“Class 0 objects are the youngest accreting protostars observed right after point mass formation, when most of the mass of the system is still in the surrounding dense core/envelope (Andre et al. 2000).”
(Chen et al. 2012)

“The compact components around the Class 0 protostars could be the precursors to these Keplerian disks. However, it is unlikely that such massive rotationally supported disks could be stably supported given the expected low stellar mass for the Class 0 protostars: they should be prone to fragmentation”.
(Zhi-Yun Li et al. 2014)

Hybrid accretion planets and moons:

An alternative planet formation mechanism proposed by Thayne Curie 2005 marries streaming instability with core accretion in a hybrid planet formation mechanism, designated here as, ‘hybrid accretion’.

Thayne Curie suggests this as a planet formation mechanism for forming gas/ice giant planets. Alternatively, this mechanism is suggested here as the mechanism for nominally-forming terrestrial super-Earths, rather than gas/ice giant planets with elevated gas concentrations.

Planetesimals are suggested to condense by streaming instability against a young stellar object’s magnetic corotation radius, at the inner edge of the accretion disk. These planetesimals may core accrete to form a hybrid accretion planet. When the hybrid-accretion planet reaches the nominal size of a super-Earth around a solitary Sun-sized star, super-Earth is able to clear its orbit of gas, dust and planetesimals, effectively pushing the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk out to its strongest outer resonances. Thereafter, a second generation of planetesimals may ‘condense’ by streaming instability against the super-Earth’s outer resonances, which may core accrete to form a second-generation super-Earth. In this way a multiple-generation ‘cascade’ of super-Earths may form from the inside out in low warm/hot orbits around solitary stars. Additionally, the process should create an asteroid belt beyond the hybrid accretion cascade comprised of leftover planetesimals.

The size of hybrid accretion planets will be a function of the central object’s mass, and indirectly its magnetic field strength, rotation rate and protoplanetary disk density, which sets the magnetic corotation radius. Debris disks may also form hybrid accretion planets, but debris disks will more likely form a solitary immature hybrid accretion planet, along with a smattering of smaller minor planets and an asteroid belt beyond. The high dust component of debris disks will presumably condense much-much-larger planetesimals than a more-gaseous protoplanetary disk. Mars is suggested to be a hybrid accretion planet formed around Brown Dwarf, prior to symmetrical FFF which condensed the stellar binary-Sun components from the oversized accretion disk. If most hybrid accretion objects found to date are in the super-Earth-mass range, it’s presumably because we’ve concentrated our searches for exoplanets around solar-mass dwarf stars. Larger stars, however, more often form in binary pairs or larger multiple-star systems, which are presumably not conducive to forming hybrid accretion planets.

Streaming instability planetesimals presumably condense at the inner edge of accretion disks around giant planets, as well. The 5 planemo moons of Uranus; Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon, are perhaps the best example of a moony hybrid-accretion cascade in our solar system. At Saturn, Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, excepting Titan and presumably including Iapetus are a likely hybrid-accretion cascade of moons as well.

The observed pattern of Uranian moons, tending to increase in size with orbital distance but not tending to decrease in density is the suggested pattern of hybrid accretion, where the most distant planemo moon in a hybrid-accretion cascade may break the pattern, if it hadn’t reached maturity before the accretion disk dissipated.

– Hybrid Mechanisms for Gas/Ice Giant Planet Formation (Thayne Currie 2005),

Flip Flop Fragmentation (FFF):

This is an alternative conceptual ideology for the formation of gas/ice giant planets, brown dwarf satellites and companion stars around a larger central star, formed by a flip-flop process in which the system turns itself inside out. This suggests that ice/gas giant planets, brown dwarf planets, and companion stars may be the progenitors of their host star, and thus older than their host stars. Satellite objects formed by FFF are suggested to form in systems in which the accretion disk inertially dominates the system, that is, when the accretion disk is much more massive than than its central prestellar/protostellar object.

FFF (disk instability) of massive disks surrounding diminutive prestellar or protostellar objects is suggested to occur by means of (spiral) density waves, where the mode of the density wave dictates the type of disk instability. Two types of density-wave modes may undergo FFF:
1) an asymmetrical (m = 1 mode) density wave, which may condense a solitary disk instability object in a process designated, ‘asymmetrical FFF’, and
2) a symmetrical (m = 2 mode) density wave, which may condense a twin-binary pair of disk instability objects in a process designated, ‘symmetrical FFF’.

In a dark core with ‘excess’ angular momentum undergoing freefall collapse, by definition, the ‘excess’ angular momentum of the infalling gas will grow the accretion disk much faster than the inner edge of the accretion disk can infall to grow the central prestellar core or protostellar core. When a massive disk overlies a diminutive core, the much-greater inertia of the disk may be able to amplify disk disk inhomogeneities by positive feedback with the diminutive core in a manor which gradually shifts the center of gravity outward, away from the core. The outward shift in the center of gravity of the system may foster the formation of a separate Jeans mass Roche sphere to appear in a growing disk inhomogeneity, resulting in asymmetrical disk instability, causing asymmetrical FFF.

Asymmetrical FFF planets are alternatively designated, ‘spin-off planets’, since they form as cores which spin off into a satellite orbit.

Asymmetrical FFF may occur repeatedly as long as the accretion disk is fed at a sufficient rate with gas having excess angular momentum, forming systems with multiple gas/ice giant spin-off planets.

Spin-off planets may initially orbit the system barycenter at a considerable distance from an incipient disk instability, only to gradually spiral in to a much tighter orbit over time as the incipient core gradually gains mass by infalling gas from the surrounding accretion disk.

Mini-Neptunes, with hydrogen-helium atmospheres, appear to be the most prevalent planets in the galaxy, but the high metallicity of mini-Neptunes and larger ice-giant planets with respect to their hydrogen-helium envelopes suggests either an alternative formation mechanism, or a substantial loss of volatile hydrogen-helium during/following asymmetrical FFF. This conundrum suggests a missing underlying mechanism at play or a missing alternative planet formation mechanism. Here’s a possibility: if dark matter turns out to be gravitationally-bound Earth-mass globules of baryonic gas designated ‘paleons’ by Manly Astrophysics, and if gaseous paleons contain moon-mass sedimentary ice and silicate cores, and if paleons sometimes ‘decloak’ to form giant molecular clouds, then giant molecular clouds may be rife with moon-mass, icy, ‘minor rogue planets’ which may sink to the center of prestellar systems to form mini-Neptunes in the early prestellar stage of star formation.

Symmetrical FFF may involve the central core in oscillatory feedback between the competing bilateral lobes of a symmetrical density wave. Negative feedback of a sufficiently-massive core presumably damps down bilateral disk inhomogeneities, but if the disk-to-core mass ratio exceeds a threshold, negative feedback may switch to positive feedback, fostering the materialization of a twin-binary pair of Jeans mass Roche spheres on opposite sides of a massive disk. Symmetrical FFF presumably requires a much more massive disk than asymmetrical FFF, with a correspondingly older, more-massive central core, such that symmetrical FFF may occur with increasing frequency in larger giant star systems. Symmetrical FFF also presumably requires relatively quiescent systems, with insignificant external and internal perturbation, in order to form more stable but more delicate symmetrical density waves, compared to less-stable asymmetrical density waves.

While a system which spins off a gas/ice giant core in an asymmetrical FFF episode may undergo subsequent asymmetrical FFF episodes (if continually supplied by infalling gas with excess angular momentum), one or more gas/ice giant cores presumably inflict sufficient internal perturbation on the system to preclude forming a symmetrical density wave required for symmetrical FFF. This predicts that gas/ice giant planets should not be found in systems which also contain symmetrical FFF progeny. Thus gas/ice giant planets should not be found in systems with twin-binary pairs of stars, which also contain a smaller tertiary companion star or brown dwarf.

In asymmetrical FFF, the flip-flop mechanism is inertial, which automatically shifts the center of gravity of the system from the lower mass core towards the more-massive disk instability. And conservation of angular momentum puts the diminutive core into a barycentric satellite orbit around the incipient disk instability. In symmetrical FFF, the flip-flop process is not automatic, but instead dynamic, requiring an intermediate ‘interplay’ phase, in which the tertiary components (the twin-binary pair and the diminutive core) compete for central dominance of the system. Ultimately, equipartition of kinetic energy causes the diminutive core to ‘evaporate’ into a hierarchical circumbinary orbit around the twin-binary pair, as the twin-binary pair sinks inward to conserve system energy and angular momentum.

L1448 IRS3B (See Figure 1):
     The Class 0 protostar system, L1448 IRS3B, is suggested to have formed by symmetrical FFF. This triple system is composed of a similar-sized binary pair, IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b, with a combined mass of ~ 1 M☉ in a 61 AU binary orbit, and a distant tertiary companion, IRS3B-c, that has a minimum mass of of ~ 0.085 M☉ at a separation of 183 AU from the binary pair. This system may become more hierarchical over time, coming to resemble the Alpha Centauri system at half the mass.
     “Thus we expect the [L1448 IRS3B] orbits to evolve on rapid timescales (with respect to the expected stellar lifetime), especially as the disk dissipates. A natural outcome of this dynamical instability is the formation of a more hierarchical system with a tighter (few AU) inner pair and wider (100s to 1,000s AU) tertiary, consistent with observed triple systems.”
(Tobin et al. 2016)
     The tertiary star, IRS3B-c, is embedded in a spiral arm of the outer disk, where the spiral arm has an estimated mass of 0.3 M☉. The standard model of companion star formation expressed by Tobin et al. suggests that IRS3B-c formed in situ by gravitational instability from the spiral disk, making IRS3B-c younger than IRS3B-a & IRS3B-b, but problematically, circumbinary IRS3B-c is brighter at at 1.3 mm and 8 mm than its much more massive siblings, as is clearly apparent in the image above. Alternatively, the brighter tertiary companion, IRS3B-c, appears to refute the standard model and support the alternative asymmetrical FFF origin, attributing greater brightness to greater age, making the diminutive companion the progenitor of the younger, larger twin-binary pair.

Galactic FFF:

If FFF extends to the galactic scale, then proto spiral galaxies may be relic spin-off cores from repeated instances of galactic asymmetrical FFF during the formation of spiral galaxies by top-down gravitational collapse, as opposed to the bottom-up galaxy formation model proposed by Lambda-CDM.

Globular clusters are suggested to be the former spin-off cores of proto-spiral-galaxies experiencing continual infall of gas with excess angular momentum.

When intergalactic gas with a high specific angular momentum falls onto a spiral disk of a proto-spiral-galaxy with a diminutive core and the spiral disk becomes much more massive than the core, the disk may undergo asymmetrical disk instability, which inertially displaces the former core to satellite status around the incipient disk instability as a proto-globular-cluster.

Time constraints, however, create a serious objection to sequential galactic asymmetrical FFF episodes to form the 150 globular clusters of the Milky Way, which suggests that infalling gas with excess angular momentum may undergo intermediate collapse to spin off globular cluster cores during infall onto the Milky Way spiral disk, thus enabling parallel spin offs of dwarf spirals from infalling gas.

Symmetrical galactic FFF may be a solitary occurrence in the life of a spiral galaxy, turning an unstable proto-spiral-galaxy with excess angular momentum into a stable, mature spiral galaxy. The Large Magellanic Cloud of Milky Way Galaxy and Triangulum galaxy of Andromeda galaxy are suggested to be the former cores of these sister spiral galaxies prior to each galaxy undergoing galactic symmetrical FFF.

Galactic symmetrical FFF may occur when a spiral galaxy with a massive overlying disk compared to a diminutive core reaches sufficient size and maturity that a symmetrical density wave can arise despite continued infall of gas from beyond. As in stellar symmetrical FFF, galactic symmetrical FFF presumably causes a bilateral, spiral disk instability which causes the spiral disk to collapse to form a twin-binary pair of disk-instability objects orbiting a diminutive core. Subsequent interplay with equipartition of energy presumably causes the former core to evaporate out into a circumbinary orbit around the twin-binary pair which spiral in to merge.

Symmetrical galactic FFF presumably forms super-massive black holes (SMBHs) by direct collapse in the centers of the twin-binary disk instability objects which ultimately merged to form Sagittarius A*. And the box/peanut structure in the central bulge of the Milk Way may be the fossil remnant of the twin-binary pair merger.

Hot Jupiter and cold Jupiter spin-off planets:
(See Figure 2)

The distinct bimodal distribution of gas-giant exoplanets into hot Jupiters in low ‘hot’ orbits and ‘cold Jupiters’ in much-higher ‘cold’ orbits suggests a primary mechanism, rather than the secondary mechanism proposed by the standard model of core accretion followed by secondary planetary migration. The bimodal distribution is suggested to be the result of a temporal hiatus in spinning off prestellar/protostellar cores by the asymmetrical FFF mechanism.

Hot Jupiters are defined as gas-giant exoplanets with low (hot) orbits around their host stars, with orbital periods of less than 10 days. Hot Jupiters are suggested to spin off during the prestellar phase of a nascent star system when the core is in freefall, prior to the formation of a first hydrostatic core (FHSC).

By comparison cold Jupiters orbit their host stars at an average distance of about 2 AU. Most cold Jupiters are also suggested to spin off by the asymmetrical FFF mechanism, but cold Jupiters are suggested to spin off during the later protostellar phase of a nascent star system, after the formation of a second hydrostatic core (SHSC). The difference in age between younger prestellar systems spinning off hot Jupiters and older protostellar systems spinning off cold Jupiters may be attributed to larger accretion disks around older protostellar systems, which give older spin-off cores a greater flip-flop boost that translates into higher colder orbits. And the distinct bimodal separation between the two groups is attributed to a temporal hiatus in asymmetrical FFF spin off, during the circa 1000 year duration of the first hydrostatic core (FHSC).

– Hot Jupiters: Spin off by asymmetrical FFF during the early prestellar phase
– Bimodal gap: No spin-off planets formed during the puffy FHSC phase
– Cold Jupiters: Spin off by asymmetrical FFF during the later protostellar phase

The distinct bimodal separation between the two populations is presumably caused by a hiatus in asymmetrical FFF during the circa 1000 year first hydrostatic core (FHSC) phase. The puffiness of the FHSC phase may viscously connect the core with the accretion disk, preventing the necessary positive feedback between the disk and the core from amplifying into full-fledged disk instability. The outer shock front of the FHSC phase extends out to radii on the order of ~ 5–10 AU (Tsitali et al. 2013), which would extend well beyond the inner edge of a protoplanetary accretion disk.

In a prestellar object, the potential energy released by gas undergoing freefall accretion is radiated away, largely by dust and chemical compounds, notably carbon monoxide, maintaining the core temperature at around 10 K. When the core density reaches about 10^13 g cm-3, it becomes optically thick to infrared radiation, causing the internal temperature to rise. This rise in temperature creates a ‘first hydrostatic core’ (FHSC), with compression becoming approximately adiabatic. The FHSC phase is thought to last about 1000 years, by which time the core temperature rises to about 2000 K. At around 2000K, the core undergoes a brief ‘second collapse’, on the order of 0.1 yr, caused by the endothermic dissociation of molecular hydrogen. Following the fleetingly-brief second collapse, the prestellar object transitions to a ‘second hydrostatic core’ (SHSC) phase to become a protostar.

By comparison with a ~ 5–10 AU FHSC diameter, the initial radius of the SHSC is only about 1.3 solar radii (Larson 1969). “The [second hydrostatic] core then begins to lose a significant amount of energy through the combined effects of convective energy transport from the interior and radiative energy losses from the surface layers; as a result the core contracts by a significant factor in radius. This phase of the evolution, represented in Fig. 3 by the section of the curve between approximately 10 and 100 years after the formation of the stellar core, is quite analogous to the pre-main sequence contraction of a star along the ‘Hayashi track’.” (Larson 1969)

Note the distinct bimodal distribution of ‘hot Jupiter’ and ‘cold Jupiter’ exoplanets, with hot Jupiters having periods of less than 10 days and cold Jupiters with semimajor axes centered around 2 AU.

Image credit: Penn State, Eberly College of Science, ASTRO 140



Our solar system’s three twin binary pairs of planets, consisting of Jupiter-Saturn, Uranus-Neptune and Venus-Earth, suggest a third planet formation mechanism, designated ‘trifurcation’. Trifurcation may occur during the interplay phase of symmetrical FFF, during which equipartition causes the more-massive twin-binary-pair components to transfer orbital kinetic energy to the smaller core during hyperbolic-trajectory close encounters. In addition to this orbital energy and angular momentum transfer, equipartition in close orbital encounters is also suggested to transfer rotational energy and angular momentum to the core, causing an increase in the rotational rate, or a ‘spin up’. Scheeres et al. 2000 calculates that the rotation rate of asteroids tends to increase in close encounters of asteroids with larger planemo objects.

As rotational spin up causes a core to begin to exceed its self gravity, the core is distorted into a bar-mode instability which ultimately fails in the form of ‘trifurcation’. In trifurcation, the self gravity of bilaterally-symmetrical bar-mode arms causes the arms to pinch off into new gravitationally-bound Roche spheres, orbiting the diminutive residual core from which they pinched off. So a solitary Roche sphere distorted into a bar-mode instability is transformed into a trinary system composed of
a twin-binary pair of disk-instability objects in Galilean orbits around the residual Roche sphere of the diminutive residual core.

At the instant of trifurcation, the trinary components closely resemble a vastly-smaller version of the trinary components of symmetrical FFF, in that both systems are comprised of a twin binary pair orbiting a much smaller core–a ‘former core’ in the case of symmetrical FFF and a ‘residual core’ in the case of trifurcation. And exactly like symmetrical FFF, the triple components of trifurcation undergo interplay, including the equipartition transfer of orbital and rotational energy and angular momentum transfer from the the larger twin-binary components to the much-smaller residual-core component. And like symmetrical FFF, equipartition of kinetic energy in the interplay between trifurcation trinary components can cause next-generation trifurcation in the residual core. Trifurcation can apparently foster next-generation trifurcation far-more efficiently than symmetrical FFF can foster trifurcation to begin with, noting the relative abundance of triple-star systems with (similar-sized) twin binary pairs having much-smaller companions (such as Alpha Centauri and L1448 IRS3B), compared to the often observed uniqueness of our solar system, with its suggested four generations of trifurcation:

In our own solar system, symmetrical FFF lead to 4 generations of trifurcation, which created successively-smaller twin binary pairs, like Russian nesting dolls:
1) 1st-gen trifurcation of Brown Dwarf = binary-Companion + SUPER-Jupiter
2) 2nd-gen trifurcation of SUPER-Jupiter = Jupiter-Saturn + SUPER-Neptune
3) 3rd-gen trifurcation of SUPER-Neptune = Uranus-Neptune + SUPER-Earth
4) 4th-gen trifurcation of SUPER-Earth = Venus-Earth + Mercury(?)

Trifurcation is essentially a fractionation process which pinches off the more volatile components into the bar-mode arms, compared to the denser elements which are left behind in the residual core. Thus in the trifurcation of the SUPER-Jupiter residual core, more of the volatile hydrogen and helium was pinched off in the Jupiter-Saturn twin-binary pair, leaving behind a higher rocky-iron percentage in the SUPER-Neptune residual core. Thus each succeeding generation of twin-binary components is composed of higher-density elements, winding up with residual-core Mercury(?) having a proportionately-larger iron-nickel core than its twin-binary siblings, Venus and Earth. Alterntively, only the Venus-Earth binary pair sunk into the inner solar system, while the residual core evaporated out of the trinary prior to sinking inward by binary mass segretation, in which case the residual core was lost from the planetary realm and Mercury is a hybrid-accretion asteroid formed from the secondary debris disk from the binary spiral-in merger of former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma.

Trifurcation makes makes predictions (unlike pebble/core accretion), such as multiple generations of twin binary pairs in size regression with density progression.

The dynamics in multiple trifurcation generations may become rather chaotic, with orbital close encounters between between twin binary pairs and their residual core tending to make the twin binary pairs spiral in toward ultimate merger, while orbital close encounters of twin binary pairs with their parent twin binary components will tend to make them spiral out toward separation. In our own solar system, the twin-binary symmetrical FFF components are suggested to have spiraled in to for former binary-Sun, which ultimately merge at 4,567 Ma, and the twin-binary super-Jupiter-mass components are suggested to have spiraled in to form former binary-Companion, which ultimately merged 4 billion years later at 635 Ma, while the 3 planetary twin-binary pairs spiraled out and separated to form 6 planets.

The bar-mode instability pathway of trifurcation predicts that in the trifurcation of an internally-differentiated object, the residual core should acquire a higher density than its much-larger twin binary pair siblings. I.e.., in the trifurcation of a rocky-iron SUPER-Earth with an internally-differentiated iron-nickel core, lower density crust and mantle material should be preferentially centrifugally slung into the bar-mode arms that pinch off to form the twin-binary pair, while a larger proportion of the denser core material should remain in the residual core. And indeed Mercury(?) has a proportionately-larger iron-nickel core than Earth, although Earth just barely edges out Mercury in density due to the compression of its much-higher gravity. Third-generation trifurcation-product Uranus also has lower density than second-generation trifurcation-product Jupiter, presumably for the same reason, with Uranus presumably having a proportionately-larger iron-nickel core than Jupiter. So each generation of twin-binary pairs should be composed of material with a higher density than its proceeding generation.

FFF and trifurcation are suggested catastrophic mechanisms for increasing system entropy by projecting mass inward. While trifurcation reduces subsystem entropy by trifurcating a residual core, this decrease in entropy must be more than offset by an increase in entropy of the larger system, generally by causing a larger twin binary pair to spiral inward.


Pinch-off moons:
     Since the iron core of Earth’s Moon is disproportionately small compared to Earth’s iron core, the Moon is apparently not the residual core of twin-binary Venus-Earth nor the residual core of a former twin-binary-Earth, whose components subsequently spiraled in to merge and leave the residual core as its moon, as is suggested to have happened in the Jupiter system. The Dynamical Bar-mode Instability simulation offers a suggestion for a volatile-enriched origin for Earth’s Moon in the form of self-gravity pinch off of the trailing tail associated with the Earthly bar-mode arm. Similarly, the trailing tail associated with the twin Venusian bar-mode arm presumably also pinched off to form a former (retrograde) moon around Venus. This same mechanism could similarly explain two other oversized ‘pinch-off moons’ of the giant planets, namely, Titan at Saturn and Triton at Neptune. The mass ratio of Earth’s pinch-off Moon to Earth is much higher than is Titan and Triton are to their respective planets, but pinch-off moons in gaseous systems may lose the vast majority of their original mass by volatile outgassing, due to insufficient gravity to retain hydrogen and helium. Two of the pinch-off moons are prograde, namely, Earth’s Moon, and two are/were retrograde, namely Triton and Venus’ suggested moon which presumably spiraled in to merge at 541 Ma.
     From the 4 suggested examples of trifurcation planets with pinch-off moons in our solar system, pinch-off moons appear to have an equal affinity for prograde and retrograde orbits, for an unknown reason.

(Virtual) trifurcation moons:
     The four oversized Galilean moons of Jupiter in two twin-binary pairs with a generational density progression suggests two generations of trifurcation, but missing is missing a still-higher-density residual-core moon. Moony trifurcation points to a former binary-Jupiter, suggesting that pinched-off bar-mode arms with excess angular momentum may be induced to trifurcate, if only in a virtual manor, which allows their twin-binary planetary components to spiral back in and merge.
     The residual core of the Jupiter bar-mode-arm trifurcation apparently underwent two additional moony trifurcations, forming the first-moony-generation trifurcation twin-binary pair, Ganymede (1.936 g/cm3) and Callisto (1.8344 g/cm3), and second-moony-generation trifurcation twin-binary pair, Io (3.528 g/cm3) and Europa (3.013 g/cm3), with a missing still-higher-density residual core of Io and Europa.
     Interestingly, the D/H (deuterium/hydrogen) ratio of Saturn is lower than that of Jupiter by a factor of 0.71 + 0.22% – 0.15, contrary to standard-model predictions of a higher ratio (Pierel et al. 2017). But if plasma overflowed Jupiter’s Roche sphere in the binary spiral-in merger, then hydrogen fractionation would be the expected outcome, with the giant 2 to 1 mass difference between deuterium and protium.
    Additionally, enstatite chondrites, which lie on the 3-oxygen-isotope Brown Dwarf-reservoir terrestrial fractionation line, could be core material from polar jets squirting from the merging iron-nickel cores of former binary-Jupiter. Dating evidence of enstatite chondrite formation overlapping with a thermal event in the asteroid belt that melted water ice in CI chondrites and deposited dolomite provides corroboration for a Jovian cataclysm: 29I–129Xe age of enstatite chondrites (4,562.3 +/- 0.4) (Gilmour et al. 2009), and 53Mn–53Cr age of dolomites dated at 4,563.8–4,562.5) (Fujiya et al. 2013).

Hybrid accretion moons:
     Hybrid accretion moons presumably form around solitary giant planets, and Jupiter’s suggested former binary status may have precluded hybrid-accretion moon formation until after its binary-merger around 4,562 Ma, forming particularly-diminutive hybrid-accretion moons inside the orbits of the Galilean moons from the binary-Jupiter-merger debris. Even the presence of a solitary pinch off moon, like Titan at Saturn, appears to constrain the size of hybrid accretion moons, where Saturn’s suggested hybrid accretion moons are the same size as Uranus’ moons’, around a planet with only 15% of its mass.

Mars and Oort cloud comets:

If an unknown process produced extensive
aqueous alteration in the material that formed
cometary meteorites, then CI chondrites are the
meteorites most likely to be cometary, since they
match most of the other characteristics, including
chemical composition, strength, relative abundance,
and abundance of interstellar grains.
(Campins & Swindle 1998)

Mars and the Oort cloud comets may be the original denizens of the Brown Dwarf system, with Oort cloud comets having formed by streaming instability, either against the magnetic corotation radius of the Brown Dwarf itself, or against the outer resonances of Mars or other former hybrid-accretion planets of a former potential cascade of hybrid-accretion planets.

This origin for Mars (and a trifurcation origin for the other planets) would make Mars the oldest planet in the solar system.

The leftover planetesimals from the hybrid-accretion of Mars around Brown Dwarf have been scattered into the Oort cloud or out of the solar system altogether by the chaotic upheaval of symmetrical FFF followed by 4 generations of trifurcation of Brown Dwarf. And any remaining Brown Dwarf planetesimals were presumably vaporized by the binary-Sun-merger luminous red nova at 4,567 Ma, but a few may have been reintroduced in the form of CI chondrites.

The presumed Brown Dwarf protoplanetary disk former origin of CI chondrites suggests a close affinity with Mars, and indeed CI chondrites lie very near the Martian fractionation line. CI chondrites have a ∆17O (‰) of +0.41 (Burbine & O’Brien 2004), compared to the Martian fractionation line of +0.321 ± 0.013‰ (Franchi et al. 1999). If the ∆17O difference between Mars meteorites and CI chondrites is the result of KBO contamination during the late heavy bombardment, when Mars was presumably peppered with hot classical KBO population which lie on the TFL (with a ∆17O of 0.0‰), then the Martian surface magma sampled by Martian meteorites is contaminated with 22% KBO input.

Venusian cataclysm:

    Venus is suggested to be Earth’s twin from the fourth-generation SUPER-Earth trifurcation. Venus may be Earth’s twin in another way as well, if Venus formerly had a pinch-off moon, presumably similar to Earth’s moon in size and composition. Venus’ moon, however, was presumably in a doomed retrograde orbit like Triton around Neptune. Triton’s decaying orbit will spiral in to merge with Neptune in about 3.6 billion years, while Venus’ former pinch-off moon may have already done so in a ‘Venusian cataclysm’, presumably 541 Myr. A retrograde-spiral-in-moony-merger Venusian cataclysm would have completely resurfaced the planet. Indeed, the nearly-random spatial distribution of Venus’ low crater count, suggests 300-500 Myr resurfacing (Price & Suppe 1994), or 300-1000 Myr resurfacing (McKinnon et al. 1997).
    Pancake-shaped coronae on Venus, caused by mantle upwelling, may be evidence of a protracted digestion of its former moon, and Venus’s sulfurous atmosphere is presumably sustained by continued volcanic outgassing. “Sulphur dioxide is a million times more abundant in the atmosphere of Venus than that of Earth, possibly as a result of volcanism on Venus within the past billion years.” (Marcq et al 2013)
    The sudden appearance of all modern phyla on Earth in the Cambrian Explosion is consistent with catastrophic merger-Explosion contamination by our closest planetary neighbor. This would make Venus the cradle of complex life in the inner solar system, which it relayed to Earth in its 100% extinction event cataclysm. And presumably Venus contaminated the entire inner solar system with Venusian lifeforms, to a greater or lesser degree.
    For Venus’ retrograde orbit to be the outcome of a retrograde moon merger requires that the moon’s retrograde orbit had more angular momentum than Venus’ former prograde rotation. Part of the prograde-to-retrograde rotation transition (angular momentum transfer) would have occurred during 4 billion years of Venus-moon tidal interactions, and part of the transfer would have been cataclysmic, at impact.
    Since an object in a circular orbit has only half the potential and kinetic energy necessary to achieve escape velocity, presumably very little solid material from either the former moon and planetary surface escaped the planet. Volatile loss, however, may have been sufficient to significantly reduce the solar incidence on Earth, which is suggested to have caused the Baykonurian glaciation at the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic boundary.
    Finally, the heat budget of Venus could be negative if Venus is still cooling off from the merger.

Protoplanetary disk and 3 debris disks condense 4 planetesimal populations:

Protoplanetary disk and 4 debris ring/disks condense 4 planetesimal populations:

– Brown Dwarf protoplanetary disk (>> 4,567 Ma) — Mars, Oort cloud comets, CI chondrites(?)
– Primary debris disk (inferred) (> 4,567 Ma) — old hot-classical KBOs
– Secondary debris disk (4,567 Ma) — asteroids, chondrites
– Tertiary debris disk (inferred) (635 Ma) — young cold-classical KBOs, Ceres(?)

Brown Dwarf protoplanetary disk, protoplanetary reservoir, >4,567 Ma:
     Former Brown Dwarf is suggested to have condensed trillions of kilometer-scale planetesimals from its protoplanetary disk by streaming instability, many of which are suggested to have accreted to form Mars and possibly other (missing) planets in possible former cascade of hybrid-accretion planets around Brown Dwarf. The vast majority of the leftover Brown Dwarf planetesimals were scattered into the Oort cloud or out of the solar system altogether during the upheaval of symmetrical FFF followed by 4 generations of trifurcation. Any remaining kilometer-scale planetesimals in the inner solar system were presumably vaporized by the binary-Sun-merger luminous red nova at 4,567 Ma. Later, a few Brown Dwarf planetesimals may have been reintroduced into the inner solar system in the form of CI chondrites.

Primary debris disk, homogenized Brown Dwarf reservoir, >4,567 Ma:
¶    Rotational fragmentation of a core might aptly be called quadrification rather than trifurcation in a mass-balance accounting which includes evaporated and centrifugally spun-off dust and gas during trifurcation. In other words, trifurcation may be an exceedingly messy and inefficient process, creating a massive ‘primary debris disk’ around former binary-Sun, arising from the 4 trifurcation generations. This homogenized Brown-Dwarf-reservoir primary debris disk would have had a 3-oxygen-isotope Brown Dwarf fractionation line, which we know as the ‘terrestrial fractionation line’ (TFL).
¶    The extreme mixing inherent in the violent act of trifurcation may largely preclude light-isotope fractionation into the evaporated primary debris disk. As the gas and dust cools and settles, however, reverse fractionation will cause the heaviest isotopes condense and chemically react first and preferentially undergo gravitational collapse by streaming instability, such that KBOs condensed from the primary debris disk will inherit a heavy isotopic signature. So somewhat counterintuitively, trifurcation evaporation followed by streaming instability may imbue hot classical KBOs condensed from the primary debris disk with a heavy isotopic signature compared to the 4 trifurcation generations from which they sprung. And the elevated 87Sr/86Sr ratio of Earth’s continental crust compared to its mantle is in part suggested to result from hot-classical KBO impacts with gneissic cores having a heavy isotopic signature compared to bulk Earth.
¶    Additionally, trifurcation of internally-differentiated objects with iron-nickel cores would spin off and evaporate siderophile-depleted fragmentation-debris dust and gas, which was depleted in iron, nickel, and the platinum group elements, including iridium.
¶    The primary debris disk is suggested to have condensed a siderophile-depleted (hot-classical) KBO population against Neptune’s outer resonances by streaming instability, with a heavy-isotope and TFL signature. The rhythmic pulse of a binary-Sun likely precluded the condensation of inner solar system asteroids from the primary debris disk, but small inner solar system asteroids might have been vaporized anyway in the binary-Sun-merger luminous red nova at 4,567 Ma.
¶    Thus, the lack of iridium in extinction-event boundary sediments may not preclude an extinction event caused by a hot-classical KBO impact condensed from the primary debris disk.

Secondary debris disk, binary-Sun-merger reservoir, 4,567 Ma:
     Binary-Sun components spiraled in to merge at 4,567 Ma in a luminous red nova, which elevated the core-merger temperatures to the point of fusing r-process radionuclides, predominantly 26Al and 60Fe. The solar-merger debris was also variably enriched in the helium-burning stable isotopes, 20 Ne, 16O and 12C. Calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs) with canonical 26Al concentrations presumably condensed from polar jets squirting from the merging cores of the binary-stellar components. Chondrules formed over a duration of 3 million years, perhaps formed by super-intense solar flares melting dust motes into glassy chondrules during a 3 million year flare-star phase of the newly-merged Sun.
     The luminous red nova imparted little angular momentum to the nova debris, which apparently confined the secondary debris disk to the inner solar system, precluding the condensation of solar-merger KBOs beyond Neptune. Asteroids presumably condensed quickly against the magnetic corotation radius inside the orbit of Mercury, while the short-half-life radionuclides were still hot and could melt and internally differentiate the early asteroids. Undifferentiated chondrites likely condensed in situ against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances over the next 5 million years, after the short-lived radionuclides had largely decayed away.
     If the planet Mercury is not a 4th-generation-trifurcation residual core, then Mercury is likely to be a hybrid-accretion planet accreted from refractory asteroids condensed against the Sun’s greatly-expanded solar-merger magnetic corotation radius.

Tertiary debris disk, binary-Companion-merger reservoir, 635 Ma:
     The super-Jupiter components of former binary-Companion presumably spiraled in to merge at 635 Ma after emitting a powerful super-Jupiter wind during the circa 85 million years of the Cryogenian Period in the contact binary phase of the binary spiral-in merger. The super-Jupiter wind presumably fogged the inner solar system, reducing the solar radiation incident on Earth sufficiently to freeze the oceans in a global Snowball Earth. An asymmetrical merger explosion gave the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. While the binary-Companion merger at 635 Ma was considerably less energetic than the binary-Sun merger at 4,567 Ma, the binary-Companion merger debris inherited the angular momentum of former binary-Companion, which was more than sufficient to create a tertiary debris disk beyond Neptune. The tertiary debris disk apparently condensed a young population of cold classical KBOs in situ, principally against Neptunes outer 2:3 resonance.
     The young, cold-classical KBO population should lie on the TFL like the old hot-classical KBO population, but the young population will have a siderophile signature, since the binary-Companion-merger debris would include siderophile core material, although perhaps not in direct proportion to the bulk Companion composition, so the young cold-classical KBO population should be at least considerably-less siderophile depleted (compared to CI chondrites) than the old hot-classical population of the primary debris disk.
     The tertiary debris disk should inherit the Brown Dwarf D/H (deuterium/hydrogen) ratio, assuming that both 4 billion year old binary-Companion components were super-Jupiters, below the 13 Jupiter mass lower limit for deuterium burning. If one component were a brown dwarf and one a super-Jupiter, then the tertiary debris disk should inherit half the Brown Dwarf D/H ratio.
     Ceres is devoid of large impact craters >~280 km, whereas collisional models predict 10–14 craters >400 km (Marchi et al. 2016). This suggests widespread resurfacing of the minor planet, or alternatively, that Ceres missed out on the late heavy bombardment, suggesting it may have condensed from the tertiary debris disk. And the water-ice layer in Ceres mantle might be consistent with a temporary inward migration of the frost line due to sunlight shielding by a tertiary debris disk in the asteroid belt.

Estimating a minimum mass for the former Brown Dwarf and former binary-Companion:

Mercury: m[M] = .055 m[E]
Venus: m[V] = .815 m[E]
Earth: m[E] = 1 m[E]
Uranus: m[U] = 14.54 m[E]
Neptune: m[N] = 17.15 m[E]
Saturn: m[S] = 95.16 m[E]
Jupiter: m[J] = 317.8 m[E]

SUPER-Earth: m[V] + m[E] + m[M] = 1.87 m[E]
SUPER-Neptune: m[U] + m[N] + SUPER-Earth = 14.54 + 17.15 + 1.87 = 33.56 m[E]
SUPER-Jupiter: m[S] + m[J] + SUPER-Neptune = 95.16 + 317.8 + 33.56 = 446.52 m[E]
Brown Dwarf: ?

Residual-/original-core mass progression:
SUPER-Earth / Mercury = 1.87 / .055 = 34
SUPER-Neptune / SUPER-Earth = 33.56 / 1.87 = 17.9
SUPER-Jupiter / SUPER-Earth = 446.52 / 33.56 = 13.3
Brown Dwarf / SUPER-Jupiter = m[BD] / 446.52 = say 10(?)
therefore m[BD] = 4465.2 m[E] / ( 317.8 m[E] / 1 m[J] ) = 14 m[J]

binary-Companion = m[BD] – SUPER-Jupiter = (4465.2 – 446.52)/(317.8/1) = 12.6 m[J]

The Brown Dwarf original core of the solar system was likely a low-mass brown dwarf of circa 14 Jupiter masses at the time of symmetrical FFF, and binary-Companion was circa 12.6 Jupiter masses, so each twin-binary component of former binary-Companion likely had about mass of about 6 Jupiters, which would have been safely below the 13 Jupiter mass lower limit of a brown dwarf where deuterium fusion is calculated to begin.

Since deuterium burning in brown dwarfs can last for 100 million years, the likely few million years of the Brown Dwarf existence prior to its trifurcation during symmetrical FFF likely only burned a few percent of its total deuterium. And the binary-Companion components were likely far enough below the 13 Jupiter mass threshold for deuterium burning to have preserved all their deuterium, such that the tertiary debris disk was likely not deuterium depleted compared to Saturn (where Jupiter may have become fractionated during the binary-Jupiter merger, due to loss of volatile isotopes from its Roche sphere).

Note, this is a minimum mass estimation assuming no volatile loss during trifurcation. A more realistic estimate would increase masses by a significant but unknown percentage.

Solar system summary and evolution:

     A massive accretion disk around a diminutive brown-dwarf-sized core underwent symmetrical FFF, condensing a twin pair of disk-instability objects. The resulting system, comprised of a massive twin binary pair of prestellar objects orbiting a diminutive Brown Dwarf, was dynamically unstable, resulting in a period of orbital interplay which evaporated the central core into a circumbinary orbit around the twin binary pair which became binary-Sun. But orbital interplay caused Brown Dwarf to spin up and undergo 4 generations of trifurcation, forming a binary-Companion, along with 6 or 7 trifurcated planets. Perturbations from binary-Companion caused the solar components to spiral in and merge at 4,567 Ma in a luminous red nova which created the secondary debris disk from which asteroids and chondrites condensed by streaming instability, and Mercury may have formed by hybrid accretion.

Brown Dwarf trifurcations:
     Our solar system at one time is suggested to have consisted of 5 twin binary pairs, formed by symmetrical FFF, followed by four generations of trifurcation;
1) Symmetrical FFF — binary-Sun + Brown Dwarf (original core)
2) First-generation trifurcation — binary-Companion + SUPER-Jupiter (residual core)
3) Second-generation trifurcation — Jupiter-Saturn + SUPER-Neptune (residual core)
4) Third-generation trifurcation — Uranus-Neptune + SUPER-Earth (residual core)
5) Fourth-generation trifurcation — Venus-Earth + Mercury(?) (residual core)
     The orbital close encounters of Brown Dwarf with the twin binary pair of disk instability objects caused Brown Dwarf to spin up and ultimately trifurcate, forming a trinary orbital system composed of a twin-binary pair of super-Jupiters orbiting a much-smaller SUPER-Jupiter residual core (where the term ‘SUPER-Jupiter’ refers not to size but to its status as progenitor of Jupiter & Saturn in the next-generation trifurcation). The much-greater overlying mass of the twin-binary super-Jupiters constituted an unstable system, resulting in dynamic interplay in the newly-minted trinary system, causing a second-generation trifurcation, forming a smaller trinary system composed a twin binary pair of gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn) orbiting a diminutive SUPER-Neptune core. The third-generation trifurcation formed Uranus and Neptune with a much-smaller SUPER-Earth core, and likewise, the forth-generation trifurcation formed Venus & Earth, with a much-smaller residual core in the form of Mercury(?). Alternatively, Mercury could be a hybrid-accretion asteroid from the binary-Sun merger secondary debris disk.

     The super-earth-mass twin-binary components of binary-Companion did not separate like the binary components of the three younger trifurcation generations, creating a quaternary system, composed of (close)-binary-Sun and (close)-binary-Companion in a wide binary orbit around the solar system barycenter, with a Sun-Companion separation of hundreds of AU.
     Perturbations from the rest of the solar system caused binary-Companion components to spiral in over time, and as the super-Jupiter components spiraled in, the binary super-Jupiter orbital energy was translated into increasing the Sun-Companion eccentricity over time. This steady increase in the Sun-Companion eccentricity over time caused tidal perturbation to progress through the Kuiper belt, causing the late heavy bombardment of the inner solar system by KBO impacts. Ultimately, binary-Companion’s binary components merged at 635 Ma, giving the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun. And the binary-Companion-merger tertiary debris disk condensed a young population of cold-classical KBOs against Neptune’s outer 2:3 resonance.

     Mercury is the suggested residual core of the fourth-generation trifurcation and a sibling to the much-larger twin-binary pair, Venus-Earth. Trifurcation predicts siderophile enrichment on the TFL, while a hybrid-accretion origin predicts a refractory enrichment with 16O enrichment, but a large iron-nickel core is compatible with both alternatives.
     Alternatively, Mercury could be a hybrid-accretion planet, formed from core accretion of secondary-debris-disk asteroids condensed against the super-extended magnetic corotation radius of the newly-merged Sun at 4,567 Ma. But even a trifurcation origin could have significant subsequent contamination by asteroid impacts from the secondary debris disk if Mercury is partly or largely responsible for perturbing the asteroid population out of their magnetic corotation radius formation orbits.

     Venus is suggested to be the twin of Earth from the fourth-generation SUPER-Earth trifurcation. Venus may be an Earth twin in another way, if Venus formerly had a pinch-off moon, similar to Earth’s moon in composition and scale, but in a doomed retrograde orbit, like Triton. Triton will one day spiral in to merge with Neptune while Venus’ pinch-off moon may have already done so in the ‘Venusian cataclysm’, causing the recent resurfacing of the planet, with resurfacing presumably occurring between 300-500 Ma (Price & Suppe 1994). The actual cataclysm merger date is presumed to be 541 Ma.
     The numerous pancake-shaped coronae on Venus may result from a messy digestion of the moon that still occasionally spills out in surface eruptions, and the oppressive sulfurous atmosphere is presumably also a direct result of continued cataclysm outgassing, 541 million years on. “Sulphur dioxide is a million times more abundant in the atmosphere of Venus than that of Earth, possibly as a result of volcanism on Venus within the past billion years.” (Marcq et al 2013)
     The sudden appearance of all modern lifeform phyla on Earth in the Cambrian Explosion supports merger-explosion contamination by definition, making Venus the cradle of complex life in the inner solar system which it relayed to Earth (et al?) in its 100% extinction event cataclysm.
     Venus’ present retrograde orbit suggests that the former retrograde moon’s orbit had slightly more angular momentum than Venus’ former prograde rotation.
     Finally, the heat budget of Venus could be negative if Venus is still cooling off from the merger.

     Earth is suggested to be the twin of Venus from the fourth-generation SUPER-Earth trifurcation, in which Earth is suggested to have acquired a pinch-off moon, from the secondary pinch-off the trailing tail of the bar-mode arm which formed Earth in the primary bar-mode-arm pinch off.
     Multiple impacts from a 541 Ma quaternary debris ring may have eroded the continental tectonic plates to cause the Great Unconformity, and Venus may have contaminated Earth with higher lifeforms in the Cambrian Explosion in the 100%-extinction-event Venusian cataclysm.
     The continental tectonic plates on Earth are suggested to be cored by extraterrestrial, lithified, metamorphosed, authigenic KBO-core gneissic sediments delivered by icy KBO impacts, largely during the late heavy bombardment, although surviving basement rock may largely derive from the long tail following the most-intensive impact period of 4.1–3.8 Ga. (See section, AQUEOUS DIFFERENTIATION OF KUIPER BELT OBJECTS (KBOs))

Mars, Oort cloud comets and CI chondrites:
     Mars is suggested to be a hybrid-accretion formed around former Brown Dwarf from its protoplanetary disk, whose leftover planetesimals were scattered into the Oort cloud or out of the solar system altogether by the upheaval of symmetrical FFF and 4 generations of trifurcation. CI chondrites, which do not contain binary-solar-merger chondrules, may sample this Brown Dwarf protoplanetary reservoir.

     Jupiter is suggested to be a twin of Saturn from the second-generation SUPER-Jupiter trifurcation. Rather than condensing into a solitary object, the Jupiter bar-mode arm apparently spun up and trifurcated to form binary-Jupiter with a residual moony core. The residual moony core apparently underwent two additional generations of trifurcation to form 1st-gen. Ganymede and Callisto, and 2nd-gen. Io and Europa, with a missing residual core to Io and Europa.
     Several other pieces of evidence point to a former binary-Jupiter and its spiral-in merger around 4,562 Ma. Dating of CI chondrites, which lie on the TFL, appears to coincide with a thermal event in the asteroid belt that melted water ice in CI chondrites which deposited dolomites in this age range. Enstatite chondrite material, with a particularly-low oxygen fugacity, is suggested to have squirted from the merging iron-nickel cores by way of polar jets. Additionally, Jupiter has an elevated D/H (deuterium/hydrogen) ratio compared to Saturn, which suggests fractionation of Jupiter’s hydrogen, which might have occurred if Jupiter overfilled its Roche sphere in the binary-merger explosion. (see subsection, Moons: for citations)

     Saturn, is suggested to be a twin of Jupiter from the second-generation SUPER-Jupiter trifurcation. Saturn apparently acquired a pinch-off moon (Titan) like Earth, but apparently did not trifurcate into a binary pair like Jupiter. Saturn also appears to have a cascade of smaller hybrid-accretion moons, namely, Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, and likely Iapetus, which likely condensed from the trifurcation debris with a TFL signature.

     Uranus is suggested to be a twin of Neptune from the third-generation SUPER-Neptune trifurcation. Uranus either did not acquire a pinch-off moon or subsequently lost it. The absence of a pinch-off moon may have fostered a denser trifurcation-debris accretion disk, which formed a particularly-robust cascade of hybrid-accretion moons. Uranus hybrid-accretion moons are about the same size as Saturn’s suggested hybrid-accretion moons, but around a planet less than 1/6 the size. Uranus’ sideways tilt is unexplained, but hardly surprising in a solar system which underwent 4 generations of trifurcation.

     Neptune is suggested to be a twin of Uranus from the third-generation SUPER-Neptune trifurcation. Neptune apparently has a pinch-off moon, Triton, albeit in a retrograde orbit around the planet. Neptune’s smaller moons do not represent a neat cascade of hybrid-accretion moons.

Asteroids and chondrites:
     Asteroids and chondrites are suggested to have condensed from binary-Sun merger at 4.567 Ma from the secondary debris disk. The binary-solar-merger luminous red nova may have briefly engulfed the solar system out to the Kuiper belt. The low angular momentum content of the luminous red nova apparently precluded the formation of a distant debris disk beyond Neptune, but apparently formed an inner solar system debris disk, which may have condensed asteroids with ‘hot’ radionuclides against the Sun’s magnetic corotation radius, near the orbit of Mercury. Chondrites formed over the next 5 million years, likely condensing in situ by streaming instability against Jupiter’s strongest inner resonances.
     Mercury may or may not be a hybrid accretion asteroid formed in situ beyond the Suns’ recent-merger-expanded magnetic corotation radius of the Sun.

Hot classical KBOs:
     Hot classical KBOs in are suggested to have condensed from a primary debris disk, shortly prior to 4,567 Ma, which was largely composed of trifurcation debris from the Brown Dwarf reservoir. Hot-classical KBOs condensed from the primary debris disk should lie on the TFL, with a siderophile-depleted composition.
     The high-inclination, high-eccentricity ‘hot’ classical KBOs were presumably scattered into their hot (perturbed) orbits by Sun-Companion tidal effects. The late heavy bombardment is suggested to have been caused by the ‘tidal inflection point’ (low tide) moving through the cubewanos from about 4.1–3.8 Ga, driven outward by the spiral in of the binary-Companion components which caused an exponential increase in the Sun-Companion eccentricity over time.
     Orbital perturbation by the tidal inflection point in Precambrian Era and by Neptune in the Phanerozoic Eon is suggested to cause internal ‘aqueous differentiation’ in KBOs, which precipitates authigenic gneissic sediments to form gneiss-dome composition cores, with quartzite, marble and schist mantling rock, having a siderophile-depleted TFL signature. Lithified, metamorphosed KBO cores are suggested to constitute a sizable component of the continental tectonic plates. Neptune is the nemesis of the Kuiper belt in the present Phanerozoic Eon, as KBOs continue to adjust to the loss of former binary-Companion and are intermittently perturbed inward by the intermediate pathway of becoming centaur minor planets.

Cold classical KBOs:
     Cold classical KBOs are suggested to have condensed in situ from the tertiary debris disk formed from spiral-in merger debris of former binary-Companion at 635 Ma. The low-inclination, low-eccentricity ‘cold’ orbits are presumably the result of in situ condensation without subsequent perturbation.
     Cold classical KBOs are often found in binary systems composed of similar-size and similar-color (twin) binary pairs, unlike hot classical KBOs which are rarely found in binary pairs. Hot classical KBOs were presumably also formed in binary pairs before being disrupted by Sun-Companion perturbation. Additionally, cold classical KBOs tend to be red in coloration, while hot classical KBOs are more heterogeneous, tending toward being bluish.
     Presumably few if any cold classical KBOs have been perturbed by Neptune into the inner solar system because of the stability of their low-inclination low-eccentricity orbits, although, End Cretaceous sediments surrounding the 66 Ma Chicxulub crater have been found to contain elevated iridium concentrations.

Pluto system:
     The Pluto system presumably formed in situ by streaming instability against Neptune’s strongest outer 2:3 resonance, possibly by way of symmetrical FFF, followed by several generations of trifurcation.
     The geologically active surface of Pluto, revealed in 2015 by the New Horizons spacecraft, might point to its membership in the young KBO population, condensed from the 635 Ma tertiary debris disk.
     The Pluto system presumably formed by symmetrical FFF, condensing a twin-binary pair, Pluto and Charon, from a debris disk, followed by 2 or more generations of trifurcation of the former core. The enormous size difference between the smaller twin-binary disk component, Charon, and the larger twin binary moons trifurcated from the former core, suggests the absence of a higher-generation trifurcation pair, directly analogous to the suggested solar-system absence of a former binary-Companion. And the loss mechanism may be the same: a former first-generation-trifurcation twin-binary pair of the former core may have spiraled in to merge in an asymmetrical merger explosion that gave the newly-merged moon escape velocity from the Pluto system.
Assuming a missing first-generation twin-binary pair, the second-generation trifurcation of the original core may have formed the twin-binary pair Nix (50 x 35 x 33 km) & Hydra (65 x 45 x 25 km) + a residual core which underwent a third-generation trifurcation to form the twin-binary pair Styx (16 x 9 x 8) & Kerberos (19 x 10 x 9 km) + a residual core or forth-generation trifurcation whose components may be too small to see with the Hubble Wide Field Camera that discovered Styx & Kerberos. The densities of the smaller moons are unknown so a density progression can not be established, although objects too small to have undergone internal differentiation would not be expected to exhibit a density progression.

Detached Objects:
     Detached objects, also known as extended scattered disc objects (E-SDO), distant detached objects (DDO) or scattered-extended objects are a class of minor planets belonging to trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), with perihelia sufficiently distant from Neptune to be considered detached from planetary influence.
     The relative aphelia alignment of detached objects, such as Sedna and 2012 VP-113, is suggested here to be a fossil alignment of KBO aphelia with the former Sun-Companion axis, where shorter period KBOs have randomized their aphelia orientations since the loss of binary-Companion at 635 Ma.

Flip-flop perturbation of KBOs:

‘Flip-flop perturbation’ is a suggested orbital perturbation mechanism in wide-binary systems, caused by the low-tide transition between orbital aphelia (of objects orbiting the larger binary component) gravitationally attracted toward a companion star on one side of the low-tide transition, the ‘tidal inflection point’ (TIP), and orbital aphelia centrifugally slung 180° away from the companion star by the orbit of the larger star around the binary barycenter. Sun-Companion TIP, corresponds to the low tide transition between the two lunar high tides on Earth.

The semimajor axes of all heliocentric orbits were aligned with the Sun-Companion axis prior to 635 Ma, where generally, the orbits closer to the Sun than the solar system barycenter (SSB) had their aphelia centrifugally slung 180°away from binary-Companion, while orbits beyond the SSB had their aphelia gravitationally attracted toward binary-Companion, but the Sun-Companion system was an eccentric wide-binary system, with growing eccentricity over time, which greatly complicates the picture.

Secular perturbation of our former binary-Companion’s super-Jupiter components caused them to spiral in for 4 billion years, translating close-binary (super-Jupiter–super-Jupiter) potential energy into wide-binary (Sun-Companion) potential energy. This energy transfer increased the Sun-Companion eccentricity over time around the solar system barycenter (SSB), progressively increasing the maximum Sun-Companion separation at apoapsis, presumably at an exponential rate over time. By Galilean relativity with respect to the Sun, the SSB could be said to have spiraled out through the Kuiper belt at an exponential rate for 4 billion years, fueled by the orbital potential energy of binary-Companion’s super-Jupiter components.

(Negative) gravitational binding energy is an inverse square function of distance, such that a circular orbit of 100 times the radius will have 1/10,000 the binding energy. Angular momentum, by comparison, is an inverse square root function of the radius of a circular orbit, such that an orbit of 100 times the radius will have only 10 times the angular momentum. Since an inverse square function is much steeper than a square root function, the super-Jupiter components of binary-Companion could dramatically reduce the wide-binary Sun-Companion binding energy of the system without having much affect on angular momentum. Periapsis of an orbit is a good measure of its relative angular momentum, while apoapsis is a good measure of its relative binding energy, so the 4 billion year spiral-in of the binary components of binary-Companion effectively increased the Sun-Companion apoapsis at an exponential rate, causing the SSB apoapsis to effectively spiral out through the Kuiper belt and into the scattered disc over time, but without materially affecting the Sun-Companion periapsis.

Tidal perturbation of KBOs by the Sun-Companion system can be visualized by lunar tides on Earth. Earth has two lunar high tides, a gravitational attraction high tide on the Moon side of Earth, and a mostly centrifugal high tide on the far side of the Earth, away from the Moon. And while the near side and far side lunar high tides are relatively symmetrical, they are not symmetrical around the Sun-Moon barycenter axis, which is only about 1/4 of Earth’s radius below Earth’s surface on the lunar side. Instead, the tides are symmetrical around TIP (low tide), which comes close to passing through Earth’s center. Similarly, the tidal inflection point of the solar system was not coincident with the SSB, but closely associated with it.

Lunar TIP on Earth is the lunar low tide transition, which is the point at which ocean water is either gravitationally attracted toward the Moon or centrifugally slung away from it. As ocean water rotates across TIP it transitions from being more gravitationally attracted toward the Moon to being more centrifugally slung away from it. And by analogy, when Sun-Companion TIP crossed the semimajor axes of KBOs for the first time, their orbits underwent aphelia precession, from being gravitationally attracted toward binary-Companion to being centrifugally slung away from it. This dynamic flip-flop mechanism is designated, flip-flop perturbation.

Late heavy bombardment:
At 4,567 Ma, the Sun-Companion TIP started out at about 35.8 AU at Sun-Companion apoapsis, which can be derived from the late heavy bombardment data collected by Apollo missions (see subsection, ‘Sun-Companion eccentricity increases at an exponential rate for 4 billion years’). The Sun-Companion SSB/TIP periapsis at 4,567 Ma is unknown. The increasingly eccentric Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB caused the TIP to reach the Plutinos by 4.22 Ga, perturbing Plutinos into the inner solar system which caused the narrow first pulse in a bimodal late heavy bombardment (LHB) of the inner solar system. Plutinos orbit the Sun in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune, with semimajor axes of about 39.4 AU. TIP reached the leading edge of the cubewano population by about 4.1 Ga, initiating the broad second and main pulse of the LHB. The cubewano population of KBOs is centered at about 43 AU, with semimajor axes between the 2:3 and 1:2 resonances with Neptune.

KBO aphelia reset:
The Sun-Companion orbit around the SSB passed apoapsis and headed back toward periapsis, but flip-flopped orbits had hysteresis so they were not easily reset. The reset hysteresis was due to the greater average distance of the flip-flopped orbit from the SSB, resulting in a greater average centrifugal force, and greater eccentricity resulted in greater hysteresis. A KBO that passed exactly though the SSB would have momentarily experienced zero centrifugal force of the Sun around the SSB, so a highly-eccentric KBO that flip-flopped 180° away from the SSB experienced a substantial increase in average centrifugal force away from binary-Companion, expressed as hysteresis resistance to reset-flip-flop, back toward binary-Companion. More circular KBO orbits may have experienced repeated flip-flop–reset-flip-flop perturbation until the KBOs were either perturbed out of the Kuiper belt or perturbed into sufficiently eccentric orbits that resisted subsequent reset-flip-flop.

Evidence for the first pulse of a bimodal LHB:
– Lunar rock in the range of 4.04–4.26 Ga, from Apollo 16 and 17, separates the formational 4.5 Ga highland crust from the 4.1–3.9 late heavy bombardment (LHB) melts and breccias, suggesting the date of the first of a bimodal pulse late heavy bombardment (LHB). (Garrick-Bethell et al. 2008)
– Whole-rock ages ~4.2 Ga from Apollo 16 and 17, and a 4.23–4.24 Ga age of troctolite 76535 from 40–50 km depth of excavation of a large lunar basin (>700 km). The same 4.23 Ga age was found in far-side meteorites, Hoar 489 and Amatory 86032. Samples from North Ray crater (63503) have been reset to 4.2 Ga. Fourteen studies recorded ages from 4.04–4.26 Ga (Table 1). (Norman and Neomycin 2014)
– In addition to lunar evidence, a 4.2 Ga impact has affected an LL chondrite parent body. (Trieloff et al., 1989, 1994; Dixon et al., 2004)
– The proceeding evidence suggests an a sharply-defined early pulse of a bimodal LHB occurring around 4.22 Ga, when the tidal inflection point is suggested to have crossed the 2:3 resonance with Neptune, where the resonant Plutino population orbit.

The relative aphelia alignment of detached objects today, such as Sedna and 2012 VP-113, is suggested to be a fossil alignment of KBO aphelia with the former Sun-Companion axis, where shorter period KBOs have randomized their aphelia orientations since 635 Ma.

Sun-Companion eccentricity increases at an exponential rate for 4 billion years:
(See Figure 3)

The actual mass of our former binary Companion is unknown and relatively insignificant for the suggested perturbation of KBOs by the tidal effects of the former binary-Companion, so the Alpha Centauri star system is arbitrarily chosen for scaling purposes, with our Sun corresponding to the combined binary mass of Alpha Centauri AB, and our former binary-Companion corresponding to the mass of Proxima Centauri. Since Alpha Centauri AB is almost exactly two solar masses, a former binary Companion half the mass of Proxima Centauri completes the symmetry, suggesting a .0615 solar mass (1/16.26 solar mass) for former binary-Companion.

Note: The following calculations are for the solar system barycenter (SSB) rather than for the ‘tidal inflection point’, where the tidal inflection point is related to the SSB, but not coincident with it. The tidal inflection point is defined as the low-tide point whose passage caused aphelia precession in KBOs, where the the tidal inflection point is define with respect to the semi-major axes of KBOs. The tidal inflection point is a more complex calculation that is beyond this conceptual approach, so the simpler SSB is calculated as an approximation.

Assuming exponential wide-binary orbit inflation r = 10at+b,
linearized as, log(r) = at + b
.     ‘r’ is the log(AU) wide-binary (Sun-Companion) separation
.     ‘t’ is time in Ma (millions of years ago)
.     ‘a’ is the slope, corresponding to the exponential rate
.     ‘b’ is the y-intercept, corresponding to the present (0.0 Ma)

Solve for ‘a’ and ‘b’:
1) SSB at 2:3 resonance with Neptune (39.4 AU):
1.5955 + 1.2370 = 4220m + b
2) SSB at the classical Kuiper belt spike (43 AU):
1.6335 + 1.2370 = 3900m + b
.      1.5955 = log(39.4 AU), log of Plutino orbit
.      1.6335 = log(43 AU)
.      1.2370 = log(1 + 16.26) This scales the Sun-SSB distance to the Sun-Companion distance. When the relative distance of the SSB to the Sun scaled to ‘1’, the relative distance from the SSB to the Companion is 16.26, so the total relative distance from the Sun to the Companion is (1 + 16.26) = 17.26. Adding log(17.26) = 1.2370 is the same as multiplying the distance in AU by 17.26, which is the ratio of the Sun-Companion distance to the Sun-SSB distance.
Solving for ‘a’ and ‘b’, yields:
.     r = -t/8421 + 3.334
.     a = -1/8421
.     b = 3.334

t = 4,567 Ma, r = 618 AU, SSB = 35.8 AU
t = 4,220 Ma, r = 679 AU, SSB = 39.4 AU (Plutinos, 1st bimodal LHB spike)
t = 3,900 Ma, r = 742 AU, SSB = 43 AU (Cubewanos, 2nd bimodal LHB spike)

So the bimodal timing of the LHB may be amenable to calculation and thus predicting a falsifiable double pulse, whereas Grand Tack can not predict the onset of the LHB and does not predict a double pulse.
1) The Sun-Companion tidal inflection point crosses Plutinos in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune (39.4 AU) at 4.22 Ga, causing the first pulse of a bimodal LHB
2) The tidal inflection point reaches the peak concentration of the main belt cubewanos at 43 AU at 3.9 Ga.

Binary-Companion is presumed to have sculpted the inner edge of the inner Oort cloud, which is thought to begin between 2,000–5,000 AU from the Sun, which is in line with a .0615 solar mass binary-Companion (1/2 the mass of Proxima Centauri) reaching apoapsis distance of 1859 AU from the Sun by 635 Ma, having shepherded the comets outward for 4 billion years by progressive orbit clearing.

Figure 3

Suggested outward sweep of the Sun-Companion solar system barycenter (SSB) through the Kuiper belt at an exponential rate, driven by the spiral in of the binary super-Jupiter components of former binary-Companion. The ‘tidal inflection point’, associated with the SSB, perturbed Kuiper belt objects into the inner solar system during the late heavy bombardment:

– 35.8 AU at 4,567 Ma

– 39.4 AU at 4,220 Ma, 1st pulse of LHB by Plutinos

– 43 AU at 3,900 Ma, 2nd pulse of LHB by cubewanos

– Binary-Companion merges in an asymmetrical binary spiral-in merger at 635 Ma, giving the newly-merged Companion escape velocity from the Sun


Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and Plutinos formed by gravitational instability:

“We have searched 101 Classical trans-Neptunian objects for companions with the Hubble Space Telescope. Of these, at least 21 are binary. The heliocentric inclinations of the objects we observed range from 0.6-34°. We find a very strong anticorrelation of binaries with inclination. Of the 58 targets that have inclinations of less than 5.5°, 17 are binary, a binary fraction of 29+7-6 %. All 17 are similar-brightness systems. On the contrary, only 4 of the 42 objects with inclinations greater than 5.5° have satellites and only 1 of these is a similar-brightness binary. This striking dichotomy appears to agree with other indications that the low eccentricity, non-resonant Classical trans-Neptunian objects include two overlapping populations with significantly different physical properties and dynamical histories.”
(Noll et al. 2008)

“The 100 km class binary KBOs identified so far are widely separated and their components are similar in size. These properties defy standard ideas about processes of binary formation involving collisional and rotational disruption, debris re-accretion, and tidal evolution of satellite orbits
(Stevenson et al. 1986).”

“The observed color distribution of binary KBOs can be easily understood if KBOs formed by GI [gravitational instability].” “We envision a situation in which the excess of angular momentum in a gravitationally collapsing swarm prevents formation of a solitary object. Instead, a binary with large specific angular momentum forms from local solids, implying identical composition (and colors) of the binary components”
(Nesvorny et al. 2010)

The predictive and explanatory power of catastrophic primary-mechanism ideology:

– Bimodal late heavy bombardment (LHB):
+++ Our former binary-Companion perturbed Plutinos in a sharp early bimodal pulse at 4.22 Ga, followed by perturbation of cubewanos from 4.1–3.8 Ga in the broader main bimodal pulse.
– – – Grand Tack does not predict a bimodal LHB, yet alone explaining a narrow early pulse followed by a broader main pulse.

– Bimodal distribution of hot and cold Jupiters:
+++ Asymmetrical FFF explains the distinct gap between the bimodal distribution of gas-giant exoplanets into hot Jupiters in low ‘hot’ orbits and cold Jupiters in higher ‘cold’ orbits.
– – – The standard model suggests that planetary migration causes some gas-giant planets formed in cold ‘Goldilocks’ orbits to migrate inward and become hot Jupiters, but planetary migration can not explain the distinct gap between the two populations.

– Bimodal distribution of hot and cold classical KBOs:
+++ The bimodal populations are explained by formation by streaming instability from two separate debris disks, with perturbation of the old hot classical population by former binary-Companion.
– – – The Grand Tack hypothesis provides no distinct mechanism for the two populations.

– Twin binary pairs of solar system planets:
+++ Asymmetrical FFF followed by 4 generations of trifurcation explains the apparent 3 twin-binary pairs of planets in our solar system.
– – – Hierarchical (pebble) accretion does not predict and can not explain the apparent 3 twin-binary pairs of planets in our solar system.

– Short-lived radionuclides (SLRs) of the early solar system:
+++ The suggested binary spiral-in merger of our former binary-Sun at 4,567 Ma eliminates three variables in the standard model of early solar system SLRs; timing, proximity, and dilution factor of an ad hoc nucleosynthesis event close to solar formation. The bullseye symmetry of a defining event (versus the offset asymmetry of a fortuitous event) also eliminates the improbable outcome of homogenous mixing (canonical 26Al/27Al ratio) of external input from a high-energy event into a delicate Jeans mass.
– – – Some versions of the standard model purport to sidestep the timing and proximity variables by suggesting that the shock wave of a nearby supernova induced the gravitational collapse of our Jeans mass.

– Venusian cataclysm and retrograde rotation, and the Cambrian Explosion:
+++ The spiral-in merger of a former Venusian moon at 541 Ma is suggested to have kicked the planet into a retrograde rotation and melted the crust, resurfacing the planet. The Venusian cataclysm so close to Earth had a spillover effect, apparently contaminating Earth with Venusian phyla, causing the Cambrian Explosion on Earth. The Venusian cataclysm is also suggested to have fogged the inner solar system, causing the Baykonurian glaciation at the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic boundary. So the Venusian cataclysm purportedly unifies Venusian retrograde rotation, ‘recent’ resurfacing of Venus, Venus’ thick sulfurous atmosphere, the Cambrian Explosion and the Baykonurian glaciation on Earth.
– – – In the standard model, these various phenomena require disparate (ad hoc) causes.

– Aphelia alignment of detached objects:
+++ The relative aphelia alignment of detached objects, such as Sedna and 2012 VP-113, is suggested to be a fossil alignment of KBO aphelia with the former Sun-Companion axis, where shorter period KBOs have randomized their aphelia orientations since the loss of the Companion at 541 Ma.
– – – The standard model generally requires an unobserved Planet 9 to explain the alignment.


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