Aurion Mission

Friday, July 15, 2011

Deep Impact—The Smoking Guns?
Several years ago, Wallace Thornhill accurately predicted what Galileo investigators would find when they looked at the “volcanoes” on Jupiter’s closest moon Io. He said that the plumes would not be “volcanoes” but discharges moving around the edges of the excavated areas, exactly as NASA discovered on Io, and as now appears to be occurring on Tempel 1. He said the plumes would be much hotter than NASA officials expected (in fact they produced the same kind of whiteouts now seen on Tempel 1). And he said that the supposed “lava lakes” on Io would be cold (they are simply the excavated terrain beneath the surface, exposed by the etching process.) Now it is becoming more clear every day that Thornhill’s successful predictions for Io, make what is happening on Tempel 1 all the more significant. In the above pictures we see that the dominant positions of the white spots are on the rims of craters and the cliffs rising above valley floors. A particularly telling example of this relationship is seen in the picture here
In fact the active areas in the upper picture above reveal uncanny similarities to the discharge activity on Io as observed in previous Pictures of the Day. One of the features of electric arc erosion noted by Thornhill many years ago, is the tendency to create scalloped edges as it cuts away material from the cliffs edges it is acting on. This tendency we see abundantly on Io, which makes an observation in a NASA release on Deep Impact all the more noteworthy: "The image [of the nucleus] reveals topographic features, including ridges, scalloped edges and possibly impact craters formed long ago”. (The phrase “long ago” has no scientific basis; it is merely the projection of an unfounded assumption; continual ablation of cometary ices by solar heating of the surface would not permit the preservation of such abundant, sharply defined craters for long periods of time).
On Io, the darkest surfaces are associated with recent arcing along the edges of craters and cliffs, exposing the underlying rock. Electrostatic fallback of ejecta covers the flat areas with lighter material.