In the 18th century the science of our civilization experienced a turbulent period. Originated quite recently the course of science, later called rationalism, opened up to mankind new horizons. Most of the laws of classical physics and the foundations of modern chemistry were discovered and laid it was then. And it was at this time mankind first tried to look a little further than the other side of the globe, where it usually looked to buy spices or parrots for Royal zoos…
The beginning of the space explorations of the Solar system also began in the 18th century. It was during this period have been discovered the planet Uranus and was practically confirmed by many theoretical calculations on the structure of the Solar system made by another 1-2 centuries ago such «whales» of astronomy, as Kepler, Newton, and Huygens.
For example, in particular, most of the planets, according to Kepler predicted by the rule had to obey the law of geometrical progression. This was later confirmed by astronomers Titius and Bode. So, these two scientists noticed a unique phenomenon – all the planets (including Uranus and outdoor) a fully fit predicted by Kepler and confirmed by their pattern of progression. However, for some reason it was missing one component, namely the 5th. Just opened 7 planets and all the planets from mercury to Uranus was supposed to be 7 members of the progression, however, for some reason, Jupiter is 5th place for some reason was on the 6th, Saturn on the seventh and so on. In General, it turned out that there was another unknown planet and, according to the rule of Titius Bode, it had to be exactly between Mars and Jupiter.
Needless to say that astronomers around the world immediately began to look for this planet, however, could not find it no one. It took about ten years and daring idea forgot, because astronomy has already started to go out of fashion: in its place a new scientific trend – electricity.
But, someone was not going to give up. The Italian Giuseppe Piazzi suggested that perhaps there was indeed such a planet, however, she for unknown reasons disappeared. For example, flew from the Solar system. Or destroyed. The latter assumed that the planet was to remain of its remains.
Piazzi, set a goal to find these fragments, at least, the largest of them. For this, he gathered a group of about three dozen enthusiasts, which started to scrutinize the sky in the region of the Ecliptic. Exactly, and Piazzi discovered the first major fragment of an unknown planet – asteroid Ceres. Over the next five years, it was discovered about a dozen «minor planets» orbiting the Sun in an orbit where the ball should be the one most unknown 5th planet…
Thus, it was proved not only by the fact of its existence, but also her fate. The mysterious planet was destroyed by some cosmic cataclysm. It was immediately coined the name Phaeton.
This name was not accidental. According to legend, the son of the Sun God Helios, Phaeton, took without permission a chariot of the father (symbolizing the Sun) and rode across the sky. But because he lacked sufficient experience, then he got too close to the Ground and it started fires and other disasters. The people prayed to Zeus (Jupiter) and he killed Phaeton with lightning.
The legend was a perfect match for the variant of the actual developments, as the planet Phaethon could be destroyed in the interaction of the gravitational fields of the Sun and Jupiter. According to modern scientists, this could have happened about 10 million years ago.
Well, like all. Another solved the mystery of nature, another plus in the Treasury of science… But did they really? First, the Dating of these events, to put it mildly, far-fetched. No substantial evidence that the Phaeton was destroyed 10 million years ago not yet represented. And, secondly, by any models of motion and interaction of bodies under the influence of gravity, the Phaeton, or rather its fragments, just could not stay on the orbit – they would sooner or later attracted to Jupiter. Tentative term of «purification» of the orbit of Phaeton Jupiter would be 1-2 million years.
Meanwhile, the total mass of the asteroid Belt is roughly equivalent to the mass of the planet Phaeton, according to Kepler’s rule. That is, yet nothing happened. This gives every reason to believe that the disaster occurred recently.
Additionally strange is the fact that almost all the fragments adhere to almost identical orbits. While the number of stray asteroids are relatively small. Well, of course, a lot, a few thousand, but what’s a few thousands compared to millions?
One gets the impression that the planet Phaeton was not torn gravitational interactions, but just «slowly» scattered and continued their journey in a slightly modified form. Undoubtedly, some of it flew into space, but a large number of constituting its substance is still there.
An interesting fact pertaining to many asteroids is that they recently found traces of water and organic compounds. This, of course, not proteins or other complex molecules, but only the methane and other hydrocarbons, but the fact that this already makes us think that the Phaeton could be life.
In addition, you can roughly determine when this event occurred. In Earth’s history has seen many upheavals associated with the fall of meteorites has radically changed not only the climate but also the face of our planet. «Meteor», the origin will have at least three period of cooling, caused by dust contamination of the atmosphere caused the fall of large meteorites. The first occurred 65 million years ago, it was dinosaurs. The second was a little earlier – about 33 ml years ago. It might be that the so-called «Mexican meteorite».
But the last third happened just recently, not more than 25 thousand years ago. Moreover, some scholars tend to believe that it is still ongoing. This extinction is a consequence of the last ice age that occurred around the same time.
In the cave of Liang Bua in Indonesia were found unique drawings depicting the flight of a giant comet, and the ensuing rain of stars. The Dating of the paintings dates back to around 25-27 Millennium BC. It is possible that our ancient ancestors as I could, recorded the beginning of the Apocalypse – the fall of a multitude of relatively small meteorites are not able to cause significant harm to the flora and fauna of our planet, however, managed to cause a Grand dusting of the atmosphere that caused intense cold. The effects of this cold snap resulted in a glacial period in which we live.
There are other evidence that the Phaeton could explode in front of our distant ancestors. In some regions of the Sahara found many fragments of meteorites, without whatsoever of the exact place of fall in the form of large craters. One gets the impression that the stones literally «rained down from the sky». Radiocarbon analysis conducted with them, suggests that the oxidation of carbon contained in them happened around the same time, about 25 thousand years ago.
The clue to the death of Phaeton can be solved in the coming years. And the first steps have already been taken. In 2010, the first spacecraft sat on the surface of the asteroid.