==| Chapter 1  |==
The Little Bang Theory
  ==| Chapter 2  |==
The Tharsis Bulge of Mars
  ==| Chapter 3  |==
Mars Puts On A Little Weight
  ==| Chapter 4  |==
The Biggest Volcanoes
  ==| Chapter 5  |==
Where Astra Fragmented
  ==| Chapter 6  |==
Ancient Ring System of Mars
  ==| Chapter 7  |==
The Flood of Mars - Its Ice Age
  ==| Chapter 8  |==
Tilts of Mars and The Earth
  ==| Chapter 9  |==
The Energy Exchange
  ==| Chapter 10  |==
Angular Momentum Exchange
  ==| Chapter 11  |==
The First Nine Clues
  ==| Chapter 12  |==
Clues Ten, Eleven And Twelve

The Place In Space Where Astra Fragmented
When I wrote my treatise about the system [the Solar System], I had an eye upon such principles as might work with considering men for the belief in a Deity, and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.
Isaac Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis 
Principia Mathematica.


The issue of this chapter is, "Where was that place in space where Astra fragmented"?  There are several ways to locate a place in space.  If one is dealing with planets or asteroids, the plane of reference is the "ecliptic plane."  This is the plane on which all of the planets revolve save Pluto.

Another method of locating a place in space is simply to say Astra's demise, and the genesis of the asteroids, occurred on the Roche Limit of Mars.  But this does not indicate where Mars was on the occasion.

Another method of locating the event relative to other planets and the fixed stars is to use coordinates of celestial longitude and latitude.  Arbitrarily, the Earth's autumnal node is at 0°.  The vernal equinox, March 21, the first day of spring, is at 180°.  But this indication does not indicate how far Astra was from the Sun on the occasion of its fragmentation.

The distance from the Sun where Astra fragmented can be approximated by averaging the distances of the perihelion's of the fifteen largest asteroids, and establishing that "average distance" from the Sun.  If this average agrees with the ancient orbit of Mars, progress is achieved.

But what is meant by "average" for the fifteen largest asteroids and their perihelion's?  Are they to be each given equal importance, like the delegation to the Senate from each state?  Or are their perihelion distances to be weighted, like our House of Representatives?  In this case it is better to ascertain their weighted average.

In astronomy, usually distances from the Sun are measured in either kilometers or "au."  One au. is 93,000,000 miles, an astronomical unit.  In this volume, miles are the unit of measure.  Conversion to au. or kilometers is easy.

Average Asteroid Perihelion Distances From The Sun

The first theory is that Astra fragmented on the Roche Limit of Mars.  The second theory is that ancient Mars had a different orbit, more eccentric and less round than its modern orbit.  The third theory is that when Astra fragmented, it was approaching its closest distance to the Sun, its perihelion.  This means Astra had a greater velocity than Mars.  Astra overtook Mars, so close as to create its own demise.

If this thinking is sound, it may be possible to generally locate where the demise of Astra occurred.  The orbits including their perihelion's of the larger, more massive asteroids are known.  What is the average distance of their perihelion's?  What mode is to be used?  One mode disregards the weight or the mass of the asteroid.  Small asteroids and large ones would be of equal significance.  As was mentioned above, the better method is to weight the results according to the masses of the various asteroids.

The method used here favors recognizing that a large asteroid is a bigger factor than a tiny one.  Table VI lists the perihelion's of the fifteen largest asteroids.  The largest asteroid, Ceres, dominates.  The mass of Ceres is 57% of the total mass of all fifteen of the largest asteroids.

The largest three asteroids are Ceres, Pallas and Vesta.  Their collective mass is 79% of the total of the fifteen largest.  The average perihelion distance of the trio, Ceres-Pallas-Vesta thus dominates even more the collective average of the largest fifteen.  Table VI provides this information in miles, which is more common, but less scientific than kilometers or au.  It relates better to the general readers of English.

Table VI - Perihelion Distances Of The Fifteen Largest Asteroids

CERES 622 .242   57.6% 237,150,000
PALLAS 377 .050   12.8 196,230,000
VESTA 334 .037   08.8 199,950,000
Hygeia 279 .022   05.2 264,120,000
Euphrosyne 229 .010   02.4 227,850,000
Interamnia 217 .010   02.4 239,940,000
Davida 200 .008   01.9 247,380,000
Cybele 192 .007   01.6 279,930,000
Europa 179 .006   01.4 255,750,000
Patienta 171 .005   01.2 262,260,000
Eunomia 169 .005   01.2 199,950,000
Juno 155 .004   00.9 184,140,000
Psyche 155  .004   00.9 235,290,000
Doris 155 .004   00.9 272,490,000
Undina 155 .004   00.9 276,210,000

The average perihelion of the Ceres-Pallas-Vesta trio is 226,650,000 miles.  However, the average perihelion of the fifteen largest asteroids calculates at 232,200,000 miles.  The perihelion of Ceres alone is 237,150,000 miles.  The average perihelion distance of the fifteen above suggest that the perihelion of Ceres, today, is slightly farther out than the place in space where Astra fragmented.

Astra as a planet ceased to exist while Mars absorbed tens of thousands of fragments of Astra, and gained a little weight, perhaps 1.5%.  It also is probable that Mars gained a little angular momentum and a little energy.  While the Solar system lost a small planet, it gained 5,000+ tiny asteroids instead.

The Probable Distance Of Astra's Fragmentation

This study points to a distance somewhere between 225,000,000 miles and 228,000,000 miles for the fragmentation of Astra.  See Table XIII, p. 2, col. 3.  It is estimated that the old aphelion of Mars was 228,805,000 miles from the Sun.

The suspicion is that Astra fragmented at a distance of 225,000,000 miles, (or 2.46 au.)  Large fragments such as Hellas, Isidis, Argyre, etc. cannot be assessed although they too were part of Astra.  Table XIII indicates that the aphelion of old Mars was 228,805,000 miles.  If correct, Astra caught Mars just a few weeks after its old aphelion.

This is how far out Mars was from the Sun when the red planet and Astra had their fateful ruckus ... their explosive rendezvous ... their final furious fragmentation.  Figure 9 illustrates the place and the geometry of the fateful approach of tiny Astra, as it was overtaking another relatively small planet.  The diameter of Astra is estimated at 1,600 miles, somewhat larger than Pluto, but only 74% of the diameter of the Moon.

Aphelion Distances Of The Fifteen Largest Asteroids

THE PROBABLE APHELION OF ASTRA.  Can the average of the fifteen largest asteroids also indicate where the aphelion of ancient Astra's orbit was?  Probably.  Ceres, the largest, has an aphelion of 377,400,000 miles.  As was mentioned earlier, Ceres alone has more mass than the next largest fourteen combined.

When the average aphelion of the fifteen largest is calculated and weighted, it is likely that the aphelion of Astra was between 400,000,000 and 405,000,000 miles from the Sun.  This is 82% to 84% of the way out toward Jupiter.  In astronomical units, Astra's ancient aphelion is estimated at approximately 4.35 au.

Figure 9 illustrates the most probable geometry of approach for Astra and Mars, on that ancient collision course.  Mars, at the slowest part of its ancient orbit, was beginning to return to the inner, warmer regions.  Astra was on its way back out to a cold region 4.3 times the Earth's distance from the Sun.  In this geometry, Astra's velocity was considerably higher than that of Mars.  Thus it was Mars which was overtaken by Astra.  There is a some evidence, and a probability that the place where Astra fragmented was in late Cancer - at about 290° celestial longitude.  Thus the location of where Astra was converted into asteroids, is given (1) by celestial longitude, (2) by distance from the Sun and (3) by distance from where Mars was at that time.  Astra was 2.5 radii from the center of the red planet.

Evidence For The Rotation Of Astra

Little Astra, like most other planets including Pluto, apparently had rotation.  The spin rates for eight of the asteroids, in hours, are known.  Their spin rates are as follows, in descending asteroid size:

Table VII - Spin rates for 
eight of the asteroids
Ceres 9.07 hours
Eunomia 6.08
Vesta 5.34
Juno 7.21
Davida 5.17
Psyche 4.30
Hebe 7.74
Nemausa 7.78
Astra's diameter is estimated at 1,600 miles plus or minus 100.  When Astra rotated, those parts of it farther from its spin axis, in its equatorial zone, rotated fastest.  Probably, the spin rate of Astra was about five hours.  Materials close to the spin axis rotated slowly; materials in its equatorial crust rotated rather rapidly.

When Astra fragmented, the spin components of its various fragments was passed on to its fragments.  Thus it follows that when the gigantic Hellas, Isidis and Argyre fragments hit the crust of Mars, and penetrated through its crust, they did so while still rotating.  They were rotating at spin rates around 9.5 hours, much faster than Mars, at 24.6 hours.

These large fragments passed through the crust of Mars into the Martian innards - its magma with original spin still in tact.  The Martian magma thus had to absorb not only the additional mass and the additional energy of these three fragments but their additional angular momentum (rotation) as well.  Mars took three very hard shots that day, rotating Hellas, Isidis and Argyre.

Astra's diameter is estimated at 1,600 miles plus or minus 100.  When Astra rotated, those parts of it farther from its spin axis, in its equatorial zone, rotated fastest.  Probably, the spin rate of Astra was about five hours.  Materials close to the spin axis rotated slowly; materials in its equatorial crust rotated rather rapidly.

When Astra fragmented, the spin components of its various fragments was passed on to its fragments.  Thus it follows that when the gigantic Hellas, Isidis and Argyre fragments hit the crust of Mars, and penetrated through its crust, they did so while still rotating.  They were rotating at spin rates around 9.5 hours, much faster than Mars, at 24.6 hours.

These large fragments passed through the crust of Mars into the Martian innards - its magma with original spin still in tact.  The Martian magma thus had to absorb not only the additional mass and the additional energy of these three fragments but their additional angular momentum (rotation) as well.  Mars took three very hard shots that day, rotating Hellas, Isidis and Argyre.

INTERNAL DISTRESS FOR MARS.  When Astra fragmented, Mars suffered GREAT INTERNAL DISTRESS.  The Tharsis and Elysium Bulges, and its Valles Marineris rift all reflect an initial, sudden internal distress within Mars.  Spin rates for these fragments increased its internal distress, already at epic proportions.  It is no wonder that the crust of Mars soon rifted in order to accommodate its new conditions.

On the other hand, the Martian volcanoes, Olympus Mons, Pavonis Mons, Arsia Mons, Ascraeus Mons, etc. reflect the subsequent series of internal distress of Mars during the Mars-Earth flybys and the Mars-Venus flybys.  Volcanoes are built by many successive eruptions.  Bulging and rifting were the primary products of absorbing 30% Astra's fragments.  Volcanism was the primary method of relieving its internal distress during Mars-Earth flybys and Mars-Venus flybys.

Figure 9 - The Place in Space Where Astra Collided With Mars
(And Mars Acquired its Catastrophic Third Orbit)

Thus, there were three different methods of relieving internal distress for Mars, (a) bulging, (b) rifting and (c) volcanism.  In addition, there were three different causes of its internal distress, (A) Astra, once (B) Venus, perhaps 100 times, and (C) the Earth, perhaps 150 times.  Is it any wonder that the collective Scars of Mars make a good subject for science, for ancient history and for cosmology?

Dating The Fragmenting Of Astra

There is some evidence in Greek mythology as to the dating of the fragmentation of Astra.  But there is a better method to date that event, a method not yet used.

Your authors do not know whether Astra fragmented at the onset of the Mars-Earth Wars, or possibly it fragmented midway during these ancient cosmic skirmishes.  More research on this subject is needed, and it should not be that expensive.  The necessary equipment already exists in many places.

This study points to the probability that Astra fragmented about 225,000,000 miles from the Sun, at about 290° longitude, on the Roche Limit of Mars.  While the date is not known, ancient Greek mythology may provide a clue as to when it happened.  They have accounts that their early pre-flood ancestors saw the event occur in the heavens.

A Solution By Computer Simulation

There are some 5,000 asteroids of which the orbits for at least a thousand are known.  In astronomy, it is possible to program orbits of asteroids 20,000 years or more into the future.  Similarly, a computer simulation can be programmed to retro-calculate backward.

The theory is that if this model is correct, and the orbits of the 200 largest asteroids are retro-calculated, at some specific time and place, they will tend to congregate.  This place will indicate (a) where Astra fragmented, and (b) when it fragmented.

The problems are:

a) Acquiring orbital data on the 200 largest asteroids

b) Programming the perturbations caused by Jupiter

c) Programming the perturbations caused by Saturn

d) Programming the perturbations caused by Uranus

e) Programming the perturbations caused by Neptune

f) Acquiring the appropriate computing equipment

g) Acquiring the expertise

h) Acquiring the funding and the time

PREDICTION I.  This team has confidence in the theories and sub-theories of this research.  It is expected that a retro-calculation of the orbits of the asteroids will reveal them congregating at some particular place and on a particular date in the past.  That will be the place and the date that where and when Astra fragmented.  It will be the date when Mars became a battered bastion of catastrophism.

PREDICTION II.  The second prediction is that when this retro-calculation of the asteroids is completed, that date will be neither earlier than 15,000 B.C.E. nor later than 3,000 B.C.E.  This is but a tiny 12,000-year window out of multiplied millions of years in the gradualist time scale.

PREDICTION III.  The third prediction is that the place of the debacle of Astra in the cosmos will be within 5,000,000 miles, plus or minus, of 225,000,000 miles from the Sun.

PREDICTION IV.  The fourth prediction is that the location of the fragmentation of Astra will be between 280° and 300° of celestial longitude.

PREDICTION V.  Prior to 15,000 B.C.E., the Solar System had ten planets, not nine, from Mercury out to Pluto.

Time and skilled computer simulation will tell if these predictions are true.  There is a 7% possibility that the predicted longitude zone will be correct "just by chance".  There is another 10% chance that the predicted distance of Astra's fragmentation will be correct "just by chance".  There is a 0.7% chance both will be correct by chance.  More will be said about "chance" and gradualism in Chapters 11 and 12.

Merrily, the gauntlet is thrown down.  Such a challenge should test the grit of gradualism.  Dare the gradualists and the semi-gradualists accept the challenge to retro-calculate for the fragmentation of Astra?  At risk is the paradigm of gradualism in the history of the Solar System.

The Fragmentation Of Astra In Greek Mythology

The ancestors of the Greeks remembered and kept the story of an ancient event in the heavens, an explosion of something.  It reads like the fragmentation of Astra.  Their "timing" reference is loose; it was sometime during their first age, their "golden age."  This was their era before Noah's Flood when it was a different world, with different latitudes and climates.

In Volume III, a foundation will be laid dating Noah's Flood in one October afternoon in 2484 B.C.E.  That was when the "golden age" ended, succeeded by the ages of silver, bronze and iron.

The golden age was a time when the climate of the Earth, or at least of North America, and Northern Eurasia was more temperate, when the vegetation was verdant and when men commonly would live long enough to enjoy their great-great grandchildren, according to some ancient sources including American Indian legends.  A foundation for the "Golden Age" may be laid in a later volume.

It was during the golden age when the Sumerians mapped the heavens into 360°, and divided it into 30-degree divisions.  The Greeks called it their "zodiac."  "Zoa" was their name for the animals, of which seven or eight were nominated as signs of the various 30-degree zones.  In their era, the fixed stars did not move; just about everything else might, including mean sea level, the crust and the cardinal directions.

The account of the fragmentation of Astra comes from Greek cosmo-mythology.  It is suspected that there were earlier versions in Hittite, in Sanskrit and perhaps in Sumerian.

ASTRAEA.  Astraea, in ancient Greek mythology, the "star maiden," daughter of Zeus and Themis, or of Astraeus the Titan and Eos ("the dawn"), in which case she is identified with Dike.  During the golden age she remained among men distributing blessings. But when the iron age began, she left the earth to disgust, and was placed among the stars as the constellation Virgo.  She is represented with a pair of scales in a crown of stars. [n1]

Lempriere draws from many of the same sources in his description of Astra.

ASTRAEA, a daughter of Astraeus, king of Arcadia, according to others, of Titan, Saturn's brother, by Aurora.  Some make her daughter of Jupiter and Themis, and others consider her the same as Rhea, wife of Saturn.  She was the goddess of Justice, and lived upon the earth, as the poets mentioned, during the golden age, which is often called the age of Astraea, but the wickedness and impiety of mankind drove her to heaven in the BRAZEN AND IRON AGES. [n2]

Thus it is that ancient Greek cosmo-mythology discusses something much like the fragmentation of Astra in their heavens.  It is possible that there was a confusion between the Astra fragmentation and the Glacis fragmentation, discussed in Chapter 7.

This team suspects that Astra fragmented sometime between 15,000 B.C.E. and 3,000 B.C.E.  Greek mythology favors a later date.  Greek mythology may or may not be correct.  Thus a carefully operated computer simulation program will involve programming asteroid positions and asteroid orbits for up to 20,000 years past, at the very least and possibly further.

One final perspective exists on which further commentary is needed.  The ancient Greek accounts of the fragmentation of Astra have it that the celestial explosion and disappearing of a former star occurred in the zone of early Virgo, 330 to 360°.  This model has the location of the fragmentation of Astra in Cancer, at 290 to 300° longitude.  Greek mythology and the conclusion of the authors are 40° apart.

Ancient Hellenic Eyeballing Of Astra

She was, however, the last of the divinities who retired from the habitations of men, and after her return to heaven she was placed among the constellations of the zodiac, under the name of Virgo or Erigone.  She is represented with a stern, but majestic countenance, holding a pair of scales in one hand, and a sword in the other. [n3]

If the estimate of Astra's diameter is 1,600 miles, its reflective surface was 38% of the diameter of Mars.  When .38 is squared to compare Mars surface area and Astra disc area, it equals .15.  If Astra was of similar reflectivity (albedo in astronomical parlance) as Mars, it was 15% as bright as Mars at equal distances.  Could Astra have been seen by the naked eye at 225,000,000 miles?  Yes, with difficulty.

At 225,000,000 miles, on a collision course with Mars, tiny Astra would have been difficult to see.  The reported existence and sighting of ancient Astra is a two-edged topic.  First, could the Greeks (who call themselves Hellenes) possibly have seen it so far away?

Second, why would the Greeks and their antecedents claim there once had been another planet in the cosmos unless they had seen it?  Third, why would they have described the demise of a fictitious former planet in an scenario that was both sudden and explosive?

Astra's demise is a two-edged topic on yet another plane.  It may be that the ancient Greeks were mistaken totally in their story of Astra.  But then, it also may be that modern traditional 19th and 20th century astronomers have been mistaken on their guesses about the genesis of the asteroids.  In this case, it would not be the first time the ancients, their records and their stories, have been underestimated by modern skeptics.  Nor will it be the last.

Hebrew cosmo-mythology has several parallels.

The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.
He deviated the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smitten through the proud
By his spirit he hat garnished the heavens; his hand hat formed the crooked serpent.   Job 26:11-13

The crooked serpent, or dragon was Mars with a cometary tail.  See chapter 7.  In Chaldean cosmology, and in Hebrew cosmology, the crooked serpent went by a variety of names, Rehab, Asp, Teammate, Behemoth, Leviathan, etc.  In Greek cosmology, Ares had more than fifty nicknames, Lotan being one.  Lotan is cognate with Leviathan.


The average distance to the Sun of the perihelion's of the 15 largest three asteroids is about 232,000,000 miles.  A bit closer in, at 225,000,000 miles, approximately, is a place in space where Astra fragmented.  Those fragments which missed Mars continue to orbit, mostly in the region between Mars and Jupiter.  Over 5,000 of them are known to exist.

Story 10 in our skyscraper of planetary catastrophism is THE PLACE IN SPACE THAT ASTRA FRAGMENTED.  It was about 225,000,000 miles from the Sun, on the ecliptic plane, PLUS OR MINUS 5,000,000 MILES.  Of the twelve zones of the zodiac, the evidence favors that the fragmentation occurred in late Cancer, at some 290 to 300° of longitude.

Ancient Greek cosmology relates the time Astra (Astraea) fragmented; it was seen by Greeks or their ancestors in the heavens, and disappeared reportedly in Virgo.  Astraea is represented by a celestial tiara, a crown of stars and a pair of scales. [n4]

Her ancestry is confused.  Some reported she was a niece of Saturn, the daughter of Titan and Aurora.  Her place was in the heavens during the golden age, sometimes called the "Age of Astrae."  She was the last of the (planetary?) deities to retire from the heavens.

Story 11 is that the aphelion distance of the ancient orbit of Astra can also be estimated from the aphelion's of the asteroids.  ASTRA WENT OUT BETWEEN 400,000,000 AND 405,000,000 MILES FROM THE SUN.  This is 84% of the distance from the Sun to Jupiter.  By contrast, the modern orbit of Mars is only 30% of the distance to Jupiter.

The "ancient Greeks" consider themselves to be "Hellenes."  They consider themselves to be descendants of Hellas, who was a grandson of Iapetos, identical with Japheth in the Genesis account in Hebrew.  Thus, Hellas, patriarchal father of the Greeks, was a great grandson of Noah.  Greek mythology goes back virtually to accounts passed on by passengers of the Ark.

With story 11, the reader is 40% of the way to the penthouse of planetary catastrophism.

End of Chapter 5  -  Where Astra Fragmented