Predictions Part I
astronomy and climatology
Superwave Theory Predictions
and their Subsequent Verification
Galactic Core Explosions - prevailing concept (1980): At the time of this prediction, astronomers believed that the cores of galaxies, including our own, become active ("explode") about every 10 to 100 million years and stay active for about a million years. Since our own Galactic core presently appears quiescent, they believed it would likely remain inactive for many tens of millions of years. Although, in 1977, astronomer Jan Oort cited evidence that our Galactic core has been active within the past 10,000 years.
Prediction No. 1 (1980 - 1983): In his Ph.D. dissertation, LaViolette hypothesized that galactic core explosions recur about every 10,000 years and last for several hundred to a few thousand years. He was the first to suggest such a short recurrence time for galactic core explosions and that our own Galactic core undergoes Seyfert-like explosions with similar frequency.
Subsequent concurrence (1998): In 1988, Dr. Abshier, a UCLA alumnus and also a Starburst Foundation volunteer, visited astronomer Mark Morris in his office to explain to him Dr. LaViolette's Galactic explosion hypothesis. Morris dismissed the idea as having no merit. However, Morris apparently changed his opinion after further observation of the Galactic center because ten years later he was quoted in the November 1998 issue of Discover magazine as saying that the center of our Galaxy explodes about every 10,000 years with these events each lasting 100 years or so.
Cosmic Ray Propagation from active cores - prevailing concept (1980 - 1983): At the time of this prediction, astronomers believed that interstellar magnetic fields entrap cosmic rays released from Galactic core outbursts and slow their outward progress so that they reach the Earth after millions of years in the form of a constant low intensity background radiation. They believed that most of the cosmic rays from a core explosion propagated outward perpendicular to the galaxy's rotational plane in the direction of its poles where the magnetic field alignment was believed to be parallel to their direction of travel and to offer the least resistance.
Prediction No. 2 (1980 - 83): Dr. LaViolette's studies concluded that Galactic center cosmic ray volleys interact minimally with interstellar magnetic fields and are able to propagate radially outward along rectilinear trajectories traveling through the Galaxy at near light speed in the form of a coherent, spherical, wave-like volley. He was the first to suggest this idea of a "Galactic superwave."
Verification (1985): Astrophysicists discovered that X-ray pulsars continuously shower the Earth with high-energy cosmic ray particles that have traveled over 25,000 light-years at nearly the speed of light, following straight-line trajectories unaffected by interstellar magnetic fields.
Verification (1997): Astrophysicists detected a strong gamma ray pulse arriving from a galaxy billions of light years away having a redshift of 3.4 (see Prediction No. 13 below). Mainstream media, such as Sky & Telescope magazine, suggested that this gamma ray pulse may be accompanied by a volley of high energy cosmic ray particles travelling at very close to the speed of light along a rectilinear trajectory and that the gamma ray pulse is produced by the radial outward movement of this volley. In effect, they were restating the same Galactic superwave idea that LaViolette had proposed 14 years earlier in the face of stiff resistance from mainstream astronomers.
Verification (2000): Radio astronomers announce at the January 2000 American Astronomical Society meeting that the synchrotron radio emission radiated from the Galactic center (Sgr A*) is circularly polarized. Dr. LaViolette, who was present at the meeting, suggested that the observed circular polarization indicated that cosmic ray electrons were travelling radially away from the Galactic center along straight-line trajectories; see press release. Scientists present at the meeting concurred.
Verification (2014 - 2015): Using NASA's NuSTAR space telescope and ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope, X ray astronomers observe an ionized iron wind moving radially outward in all directions from the active core of galaxy PDS 456 and expanding outward at 30% of the speed of light.
Cosmic Ray Bombardment of the Earth - prevailing concept (1980 - 83): At the time of this prediction, astronomers believed that the background cosmic ray flux has remained constant for millions of years, that intense cosmic ray bombardments occur very infrequently, perhaps every 30 million years, primarily as a result of nearby supernova explosions.
Prediction No. 3 (1980 - 1983): During his dissertation research, LaViolette had concluded that a volley of Galactic cosmic rays had bombarded the Earth and solar system toward the end of the last ice age (ca. 14,000 years BP). Also his findings suggested that other such superwaves had passed us at earlier times and were responsible for triggering the initiation and termination of the ice ages and mass extinctions. He was the first to suggest recurrent highly-frequent cosmic ray bombardment of the Earth.
Verification (1987): Glaciologists discovered beryllium-10 isotope peaks in ice age polar ice. These indicated that the cosmic ray flux on the Earth became very high on several occasions during the last ice age, confirming Dr. LaViolette's theory that Galactic superwaves have repeatedly passed through our solar system in geologically recent times.
Cosmic Debris Around Solar System - prevailing concept (1980 - 83): At the time of this prediction, astronomers believed that the solar system resided in a relatively dust free region of space.
Prediction No. 4 (1980 - 1983): LaViolette hypothesized that large amounts of interstellar dust and frozen cometary debris lie outside the solar system just beyond the heliopause sheath and form a reservoir of material that would have supplied large amounts of cosmic dust during a prehistoric superwave event.
Verification (1984): The IRAS satellite team published infrared observations showing that the solar system is surrounded by nearby "cirrus" dust cloud wisps.
Verification (1988): Astronomer H. Aumann's observations suggested that the solar system is surrounded by a dust envelope 500 times denser than previously thought.
Verification (1992 - 95): Telescope observations revealed the presence of the Kuiper belt, a dense population of cometary bodies encircling the solar system, beginning just beyond the orbit of Neptune and extending outward past the heliopause sheath.
Verification (1999): Observations of the influx of interstellar dust particles using the Ulysses spacecraft lead Markus Landgraf and his team of European Space Agency astronomers to conclude that the solar system is surrounded by a ring of orbiting dust that begins just outside the orbit of Saturn.
Cosmic Dust Influx - prevailing concept (1979): At the time of this prediction, astronomers believed that the rate at which cosmic dust particles have been entering the solar system and the Earth's atmosphere has remained constant for millions of years. They believed that the solar system lies in a relatively clean interstellar space environment and hence that there is no need to expect the occurrence of recent cosmic dust incursions.
Prediction No. 5 (Sept. 1979): LaViolette theorized that if a cosmic ray volley (superwave) had passed by at the end of the ice age, it would have pushed nearby interstellar dust into the solar system. To test this, he began a plan to analyze ice age polar ice for traces of cosmic dust.
Verification (1981 - 82): LaViolette was the first to measure the extraterrestrial material content of prehistoric polar ice. Using the neutron activation analysis technique, he found high levels of iridium and nickel in 6 out of the 8 polar ice dust samples (35k to 73k yrs BP), an indication that they contain high levels of cosmic dust. This showed that Galactic superwaves may have affected our solar system in the recent past. In addition, he discovered gold in one 50,000 year old sample, making this the first time gold had been discovered in polar ice.
Verification (1984): The IRAS satellite team reported observations that the zodiacal dust cloud is tilted 3 degrees relative to the ecliptic with ascending and descending ecliptic nodes at 87° and 267°, but failed to draw a conclusion from this finding. LaViolette realized that the nodes are aligned with the Galactic-center-anticenter direction in support of his earlier prediction that interstellar dust has recently entered the solar system from the Galactic center direction. 1987: He published a paper in Earth, Moon, and Planets journal explaining that the orientation of the zodiacal dust cloud nodes indicates that this zodiacal dust recently entered from the direction of the Galactic center.
Verification (April 1993): NASA's Ulysses spacecraft team published observations indicating that interstellar dust is currently entering the solar system from the Galactic center direction (from the direction the interstellar wind blows towards us) and hence that most of the dust outside the asteroid belt is of interstellar origin. Their findings were predicted by LaViolette's 1983 and 1987 publications. One Ulysses team member had received Dr. LaViolette's publications in 1985, but LaViolette's work was not cited.
Verification (1995): Cosmochemists publish observations showing that Helium-3 concentrations in ocean sediments, an indicator of extraterrestrial dust influx, changed by over 3 fold on a 100,000 year cycle between 250,000 and 450,000 years ago.
Verification (1996): The AMOR radar in New Zealand detected a strong flux of interstellar meteoroid particles, measuring 15 to 40 microns in size, entering the solar system from the Galactic center direction.
Verification (2000 - 2005): LaViolette demonstrates that the acid layers found in 15,850 year old Antarctic polar ice vary in magnitude with an eleven year solar cycle period thereby indicating an extraterrestrial origin for this material. This finding is supported by the discovery mentioned below (2003) that interstellar dust influx varies in accordance with solar cycle phase. The finding that this gas influx event heralded a series of warming trends that ended the ice age, implicates cosmic dust and solar activation as the causal agents responsible for terminating glacial cycles.
Verification (2003): Using data obtained from the Ulysses spacecraft, a group of European Space Agency astronomers led by Markus Landgraf discover that the rate of interstellar dust influx increased three fold from 1997 to 2000 with the approach to solar maximum. They theorize a correlation between solar cycle phase and interstellar dust influx rate, with the influx rate being highest at the time of solar maximum. Such a correlation could explain why the Sun could become locked into an active, dust accreting mode during times of superwave passage.
Verification (2004): Glaciologists find that the concentrations of iridium and platinum in submicron sized "meteoritic smoke" particles present in polar ice are two to three times higher during the last ice age.
Verification (2007): A group of scientists, the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) group, reports high levels of extraterrestrial indicators (Ir, Ni, cosmic spherules, microtektites, 3He, fullerenes at the 12,950 yrs b2k Alleröd/Younger Dryas boundary layer that overlies extinct megafauna and Clovis artifacts.
Tin in Cosmic Dust - prevailing concept (1981): At the time of this discovery, cosmochemists did not believe that extraterrestrial material could have anomalously high concentrations of heavy metals such as tin, antimony, gold and silver. Abundances higher than those typically found in meteorites were looked on with skepticism and evidence that one's samples had been contaminated.
Prediction No. 6 (1981): LaViolette found very high concentrations of tin in several ice age polar ice dust samples, one 49,000 year old sample, in particular. About half of the dust weight was composed of tin. Elevated concentrations of gold, silver, and antimony as well as the cosmic dust indicators iridium, and nickel were also found in the samples. He theorized that due to the presence of iridium and nickel, this tin-rich dust must be of extraterrestrial origin, possibly coming from an anomalous interstellar source.
Verification (Jan. 1984): The tin in the 49 kyrs BP dust sample was found to contain an isotopic anomaly indicating that it was definitely of extraterrestrial origin; see Prediction No. 7.
Indirect support (1989): Cosmochemist F. Rietmeijer published a paper describing the discovery of tin oxide grains inside interplanetary dust particles, with tin abundances much higher than typically found in chondritic meteorites. This helps to substantiate LaViolette's 1983 claim that the solar system contains a dust source enriched in tin which is the source of the tin-rich dust found in polar ice.
Verification (May 2007): A group of cosmochemists report finding high levels of tin (25 - 28%) and copper (1 - 11%) along with ET material indicators platinum and nickel in magnetic separates retrieved from the 12,950 yrs b2k Alleröd/Younger Dryas boundary layer and from Clovis sites. They conclude that the grains bearing these volatile metals are of extraterrestrial origin.
Verification (2014): A group of geologists find particles with high levels of tin averaging 48% by weight in conjunction with high levels of nickel in GISP2 Greenland ice core dust samples that date from the 6th century AD. They conclude that the particles are extraterrestrial and that the dust influx associated with this event caused a significant climatic perturbation for a one to two year period.
Verification (2015): LaViolette carries out energy dispersive X ray analysis at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The 49 kyrs BP dust sample was found to contain tin at an abundance of 49% and lead at an abundance of 8.4%. The average ratio of lead to tin in the sample was found to match closely to the interstellar lead-tin ratio and to deviate widely from the meteoritic lead-tin ratio. This established that the tin-rich particles in this dust had an interstellar origin. Interestingly, both metallic lead and tin are superconducting in interstellar space and this property could explain how they came to be concentrated to such high abundances. Also scanning electron microscope images of the dust particles showed that many of the tin-rich particles were porous aggregates and that one contained hundreds of thousands of nanosphere inclusions, both characteristics indicating the cosmic nature of the particles.
Tin Isotopic Anomaly - state of the art (1981): At the time of this prediction, astronomers speculated that tin found in extraterrestrial material could have isotope ratios different from those of terrestrial tin. But up until that time no tin isotopic anomalies had been reported.
Prediction No. 7 (1981): Having found very high concentrations of tin in several ice age ice core dust samples in association with high levels of iridium, and nickel, LaViolette theorized that this tin-rich dust was of extraterrestrial origin and that if so the tin should have anomalous isotopic ratios.
Verification (Jan. 1984): Geochemists at Curtin University (Australia) in collaboration with LaViolette used a mass spectrometry technique to determine the isotopic ratios of an unirradiated portion of the tin-rich dust sample. They found significant isotopic anomalies in four isotopes thereby confirming LaViolette's prediction that the tin dust is of extraterrestrial origin. This marked the first time that tin isotopic anomalies had been discovered.