Events triggered by the 40,000 year BP superwave

OC inquired:

“Do you think the C 40,000 BC superwave event had anything to to do with this?  Significant new information shows that the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption from the Phlegrean Fields, southern Italy, was much larger than hitherto supposed and in fact one of the largest late Quaternary explosive events.  The eruption can be dated to 40,000 calendar years ago, within the interval of the so-called Middle to Upper Paleolithic ‘transition’.  Its position can be precisely correlated with a number of other environmental events, including Heinrich Event 4 (HE4), the Laschamp excursion, and a particular cosmogenic nuclide peak.”

Yes, many of the events you describe here would have been caused by the 40,000 years before present superwave.  Actually the Vostok ice core indicates that the beryllium-10 concentration peak (the cosmogenic nuclide peak) began its rise around 45,000 years before present (B.P.), or around 43,000 years B.C; see the Vostok Be-10 chart below.

Earth's cosmic ray exposure based on the Vostok beryllium-10 deposition rate record

The 40,000 superwave passage date that I had estimated from the observed polar azimuthal extent of the Fermi bubble relative to the galactic plane was based on the assumption that we lie 23,000 light years from the Galactic center.  Other astronomers prefer to use a slightly greater distance estimate of 26,000 light years.  If we were to instead use the 26,000 light year distance value, we would then calculate a superwave passage date of 45,000 years B.P.  So we can say that the Fermi gamma ray bubble predicts that its associated superwave would have passed the Earth between 40 and 45 thousand years ago.

Looking at the Cariaco Basin radiocarbon record, we see that there was also a pronounced and prolonged rise in the atmosphere’s radiocarbon excess.  This began around 44,000 years ago and peaked around 40,000 years ago; see graph below.

Radiocarbon record from the Cariaco Basin ocean sediment core (Hughen, et al. 2004). Arrows indicate times of rapid increase in C-14 excess.

This too was likely due to the arrival of superwave cosmic rays from the Galactic center.  At no time in the past 50,000 years did Earth experience such a pronounced and prolonged rise in atmospheric C-14 concentration.  The superwave would have injected cosmic dust into the solar system and this would have aggravated the Sun causing an increase in severe solar storms.  So it is not surprising that we find the Laschamp excursion coinciding with this event.  Also Heinrich event H5 occurred in the midst of this event (42,000 to 43,000 years B.P.).  As I describe in my dissertation update, Heinrich events mark times of pronounced glacier wave activity when sudden climatic warming caused mountainous waves of glacial meltwater to sweep across the ice sheets and out into the ocean, depositing continental debris far out to sea.  This would be another symptom of a superwave passage.  It is difficult to tell if the CI volcanic eruption was also causally associated with the superwave passage.  For a causal connection one might either look to isostatic changes due to ice sheet thickening or thinning, or to gravity wave effects.

OC further inquired:

“Regarding the beryllium-10 concentration peaks (please remember I’m not a scientist), there is one around the time of the Toba super-volcano explosion … roughly 73,000 BC as well.  What could be said about that event with relation to a superwave event (gravity wave connected?), or do we know?”

This is an interesting observation.  Two major volcanic eruptions appear to correlate with the dates of major Be-10 peaks in the Vostok record, i.e., with passage dates of major superwaves.  It would be interesting to do a complete statistical analysis of volcanic eruption dates to see if a sound correlation is found with Be-10 peak dates.  I have not done this.

P. LaV.

The Fermi Gamma Ray Bubbles: Evidence for the superwave cosmic ray propagation theory

Gamma ray bubbles seen toward the Galactic center extracted by the Harvard team from Fermi telescope data

MSNBC interview on how the superwave theory explains the recently announced Fermi bubbles:

The team of Harvard University scientists who discovered the Fermi bubbles (Su, Slatyer, and Finkbeiner), lean toward the interpretation that the gamma ray emission from the bubbles is synchrotron radiation created by ultra relativistic cosmic ray electrons emitted from the core of our Galaxy.  See the draft of their paper posted at:  In general, cosmic ray electrons that have energies high enough to produce gamma ray synchrotron radiation have relatively short lifetimes, meaning that they radiate away their energy in a period of time that is short by astronomical standards.  On this basis, the Harvard team estimates that these cosmic ray electrons have a “cooling time” of on the order of 10^5 – 10^6 years. In other words, we may conclude that they have been in flight for no more than this long and possibly even a shorter period of time.  Thus the bubble would have an age less than this upper limit value, and as I show below, we may determine that the main bubble likely has an age of ~40,000 years.

The Harvard team notes that the outer boundary of the bubble is quite sharply defined and that its interior surface brightness is relatively flat (i.e., uniform).  They state this indicates a sharp increase in cosmic ray intensity at the bubble walls.  They consider various formation mechanisms and as one likely mechanism have suggested that the emission is the result of a sudden outburst of cosmic ray electrons from our Galaxy’s core; see p. 39 of their preprint.  They appear to consider a subrelativistic blast wave type model for the outward propagation of the cosmic rays to the bubble perimeter.  However, they note several difficulties in the explanation.  The short lifetimes of the cosmic ray electrons would require that they move relatively rapidly outward from the core and second the uniformity of the bubble emission suggests that little time has been available for the nonuniformities to develop in this cosmic ray “wind” due to diffusive effects.

Both of these time limit difficulties are solved if the cosmic ray electrons are assumed to propagate radially away from the galactic core in all directions at very close to the speed of light.  In other words, the problems are solved if we assume that these cosmic rays propagate as a superwave.

Illustration of a Galactic superwave outburst excerpted from the video Earth Under Fire

A sudden outburst propagating relativistically would also explain why the bubble maintains a sharp outer edge.  The synchrotron gamma ray emission we are seeing from the bubble would come from cosmic rays that had been scattered away from their rectilinear outward flight, either by collisions with photons, ionized gas, or due to being captured into spiral orbits around magnetic field lines.  In this way their emitted gamma ray synchrotron beams which are directed into very narrow cones aimed in the forward direction of travel (relativistic beaming effect) become visible to us at our near perpendicular viewing direction.

Another difficulty that the Harvard team points out is their interpretation that the bubble is produced by cosmic ray jets emitted from the Galactic core.  The point is that you wouldn’t expect to have two jets exactly diameterically opposed to one another.  The question they have is why is one jet opposed to the other?  This problem too is resolved by the superwave model.  The jet model assumes that cosmic rays are emitted as a confined beam in one direction whereas the superwave model assumes isotropic emission forming an spherical superwave shell that expands in diameter as the superwaves move outward.  The reason why we see two opposed bubbles is because the cosmic rays aimed upward and downward relative to the galactic plane escape more freely and with greater intensity due to the fact that the torroidal magnetic field surrounding the galactic core does not impede the outward flight of the cosmic rays; see diagram below.

Illustration of the unimpeded propagation of cosmic rays in the Galaxy's polar direction.

The diffuse gamma ray halo (see image below), which was discovered in 1997 and is seen at high galactic latitudes and in all directions around the galactic disc, is also generated by outward moving superwave cosmic rays.

Galactic map showing the Milky Way's diffuse gamma ray halo. Abscissa indicates galactic longitude. (courtesy of D. Dixon, D. Hartmann, E. Kolaczyk, and NASA)

I had pointed this out in 2001 in an updated edition of my Ph.D. dissertation entitled Galactic Superwaves and their Impact on the Earth,

and had described this diffuse gamma emission halo as being additional evidence that we reside within a shell of outward propagating superwave cosmic rays.  In describing this emission, astrophysicists in 1997 had noted that the cosmic ray electrons producing this gamma emission have a relatively short lifetime and hence could not be propagating very far from their point of generation.  Yet no sources were readily apparent and so they wondered where did these high energy cosmic rays originate from.  Dr. Dixon, one of the discovery team stated:
“What is so curious about the newly discovered gamma-ray cloud is that the photons do not appear to be coming from any compact sources, like other galaxies or a black hole.  The reason this is interesting is that there isn’t any obvious source for these gamma rays, based on astronomical observations in other wavelengths of light.  That is, as far as we can tell using other telescopes, the space around our galaxy is rather empty of the kinds of things which we would expect to generate gamma rays in the observed brightness distribution.”

In 2001 I believe I was the first to point out that the cosmic rays producing this diffuse gamma emission had a galactic core origin.  I had pointed out that the cosmic ray origin problem noted by the astronomers discovering the halo could be resolved if we assume that this gamma emission is produced by superwave cosmic rays that have been in flight on the order of 10^4 years or so.

The Fermi bubble emission is part of this omnidirectional  diffuse gamma ray halo, but it is brighter than the rest due to the fact that the cosmic ray electrons traveling in the general direction of the Galaxy’s poles encounter less resistance from the Galaxy’s core magnetic field.  So in suggesting that the Fermi gamma ray bubbles might be produced by cosmic ray electrons recently emitted from the Galactic core, the Harvard team confirms my earlier proposal about the origin of the cosmic rays energizing the Galaxy’s gamma ray halo.

The Harvard team also acknowledges the existence of fainter larger gamma ray bubbles outside the main inner gamma ray bubble, noting that this points to previous events.  They acknowledge that this indicates ongoing cyclic activity on a shorter timescale than had previously been acknowledged.  This supports another aspect of the superwave theory that superwaves are recurrent.  I have proposed a rather short recurrence period, with major explosions of our galactic core occurring on cycles of 12,000±1000 and 25,000 ±2000 years.

To estimate an age of the gamma ray bubble on the basis of the superwave hypothesis, consider the diagram below.

Estimating the age of the bubbles on the basis of the superwave hypothesis.

Knowing that the outer edge of the bubbles extend 50° above and below the Galactic plane, and knowing that we lie ~23,000 light years from the Galactic center, geometry tells us that the outer edges of the bubbles lie about 27,000 light years from the Galactic plane.  The hypotenuse distance from the upper edge to us calculates to be 36,000 light years.  So Adding 27,000 years for the superwaves speed of light flight upward, plus 36,000 years for the generated gamma emission to reach us gives that the outburst left the core 63,000 years ago.  Considering that the same superwave took 23,000 years to reach us, we conclude that the superwave event associated with this gamma ray bubble passed us 40,000 years ago (63k – 23k). When we look at the beryllium-10 ice core record from Vostok, Antarctica, we see that one of the largest magnitude and longest lasting Be-10 peaks is centered at 40,000 years before present; see posted diagram below. In terms of cosmic ray output, it greatly surpasses the smaller ones that passed us at the end of the ice age around 11,000 to 16,000 years ago, these more recent lower magnitude events presumably being responsible for bringing the ice age to a close.

Earth's cosmic ray exposure based on the Vostok beryllium-10 deposition rate record

We see a similar double lobe phenomenon going on in other galaxies.  For example, X-ray and radio emission lobes are also seen flanking the core of radio galaxy Centaurus A, the closest galaxy to us exhibiting activity in its core; see the photo below.

Edge on active galaxy Centaurus A showing double lobes of X-ray and radio synchrotron emission

Emission lobes are also seen flanking the galactic core of the edge-on spiral M82; see the Hubble Space Telescope photo below.

The galaxy M82 showing double emission lobes

The discovery of the Voorwerp gas cloud also supports the superwave theory that core explosions can turn on and off relatively rapidly, i.e. within tens or hundreds of years.  In this case the Voorwerp is observed to be illuminated by light from a quasar in the core of the background spiral galaxy IC 2497 which currently is seen to have a quiescent core; see photo below.  Estimates of the light travel time from the galaxy’s core to Voorwerp and then from this cloud to us suggest that galaxy’s core quasar shut off and returned to quiescence sometime within the past 70,000 years.

Voorwerp cloud in the foreground is illuminated by light from a quasar in the core of background spiral galaxy IC 2497 that has since shut off. (photo courtesy of WIYN/William Keel/Anna Manning)

See story at:

The shells imaged recently in galaxy NGC 474 also are evidence of recurrent superwaves propagating isotropically from the cores of active galaxies; see photo below.

Galaxy NGC 474 with surrounding luminous shells. (Courtesy of Mischa Schirmer)

In conclusion, I believe that the discovery of the gamma ray bubble provides strong confirmatory evidence for the superwave theory and is corroborated by the ice core evidence.

For information on past confirmations of the superwave model of relativistic, rectilinear cosmic ray propagation see:
(Prediction No. 2).

Also see the press release at:

(You will notice I don’t use the word “black hole” but instead use the more theory-neutral term “galactic core.” I state my opinion about black holes at the following link:

Paul LaViolette, Ph.D.
The Starburst Foundation