Parenago’s Discontinuity: Correlation with Appearance of Molecular Signatures in the Spectra of Main Sequence Stars




    In previous blog entries and publications [1-3], we have investigated the possibility that Parenago’s Discontinuity provides evidence for universal self organization or volitional stars. Discovered by Pavel Parenago, this anomaly presents evidence for faster motions of cooler, less massive, redder stars around the galactic center than corresponding motions of hotter, more massive, bluer stars. This stellar velocity discontinuity in main sequence stars out to about 260 light years from the Sun seems to be congruent with the appearance of molecular signatures in the spectra of these stars. This is effect supports the hypothesis that a version ofpanpsychism is correct—a field of proto-consciousness permeates the universe. This field interacts with molecular matter through the pressure of vacuum fluctuations, often referred to as the Casimir Effect.

    Although competing explanations for Parenago’s Discontinuity do not seem adequate, many questions remain. Among them is the venue of the effect—is it local or galactic? References 2 and 3 present evidence that it is observed in giant stars out to distances greater than 1,000 light years, which renders local explanations less viable. Europe’s GAIA space observatory is now operational. Its observations of the motions and velocities of ~1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy during the next few years will hopefully demonstrate whether Parenago’s Discontinuity affects stars in all regions of our galaxy.

    The analysis considered here refers to original research on stellar spectra to investigate how close the velocity discontinuity corresponds to the onset of molecular spectral signatures. As will be demonstrated, the agreement is quite good.




    In 1932, Otto Struve and P. Swings collaborated on an observationalstudy of the stellar spectral bands produced by CH and CN molecules in stellar photospheres [4]. The authors of this reverence report that, based upon their observations, molecular spectral lines are present in stars of F8 spectral class and later on the Uhertzprung-Russell Diagram.

    Among their observational stars are six that were classified at the time as F8 stars. As presented in Table 1, three of these stars are currently considered to be F8 supergiants (F8 I). The others have been reclassified.

    If the reader refers to Fig. 1 of Ref. 1 or Fig. 13.3 of Ref. 2, he/she will discover that Parenago’s Discontinuity is presented as a plot of the average star velocity component around the galactic center (relative to the Local Standard of Rest) versus the (B-V) color index. The apparent magnitudes of the star in the blue range of the visual spectrum and near the green-yellow center of the visual spectrum are respectively the B and V magnitudes. The apparent magnitude system is a logarithmic comparison of light intensity received from stars. The lower the apparent magnitude, the brighter the star. A low (B-V) color index indicates a hot, blue, comparatively massive star. A high (B-V) color index indicates that the surface temperature of the star is cooler, the star is redder and it isles massive. Reference to the figures mentioned above reveals that the velocity discontinuity is sharp and is centered near (B-V) ≈ 0.55. For comparison, the (B-V) color index of the Sun is about 0.63 [8,9].

    It is of interest to determine how close the discontinuity in Fig. 1 of Ref. 1 and Fig. 13.3 of Ref. 2 is to the (B-V) color index of an average F8 main sequence star (Luminosity Class V). As described in Refs. 1 and 2, the data presented is from Allens’s Astrophysical Handbook and observations of main sequence stars by the Hipparcos spacecraft out to about 260 light years [10,11].

    One approach to a further study of Parenago’s Discontinuity is the refer to tabulations of basic photometric observations of bright stars. One such tabulation is comprehensive listing of observations of more than 9,000 bright stars published by Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona (Tuscon) in 1966 [12]. The accuracy of (B-V) color index determinations in this source is listed as about 0.011 magnitudes in Table 8 of Ref. 12. 

    Table 2 presents (B-V) color indices for all F8 stars located in this source. The BS# (Bright Star Number) is from the Catalogue of Bright Stars [13]. Luminosity classes in Table 2 are for giant stars (III), subgiants (IV), main sequence stars (V) and for transitional stars between the main sequence and giant phases (IV—V).

    Note from the data presented in Table 2 that there are 8 main sequence stars, 4 subgiants, three transitional stars and only one giant in the sample. Because of the paucity of giants in this data set, not much can be done with correlating Parenago’s Discontinuity in giant stars (Fig. 23.1 of Ref. 2) with giant star spectral class. It is interesting however, that the (B-V) = 0.65 for this star correlates well with the discontinuity in this figure.

    For the other stars in the sample, there is not very difference among (B-V) color indices for main sequence, subgiant, and transitional stars. For main sequence stars in the sample, the average (B-V) color index is about 0.53.




    Figure 1, which is similar to Fig. 1 of Ref. 1 and Fig. 13.3 of Ref. 2, presents the relative star motion velocity (in km/s) around the galactic center vs. star (B-V) color index. Notice that (B-V) = 0.53, the value derived above for average F8 main sequence stars, correlates very well with the velocity discontinuity.




  1. G. L. Matloff, “Invited Commentary—Olaf Stapledon and Conscious Stars: Philosophy or Science”, JBIS, 65, 5-6 (2012).
  2. G. L. Matloff, Starlight, Starbright: Are Stars Conscious?, Curtis Press, Norwich, UK (2015).
  3. G. L. Matloff, “The Nonlocality of Parenago’s Discontinuity and Universal Self-Organization,” IAA-FSE-15-06-03. Presented at 9th Symposium on the Future of Space Exploration, Turin, Italy, July 7-9, 2015. Published in Axiom (Journal of the Institute for Interstellar Studies,)  1,  14-19, 2015.
  4. P. Swings and O. Struve, “The Bands of CH and CN in Stellar Spectra”, Physical Review, 39, 142-150 (1932).
  5. R. Burnham, Jr., Burnham’s Celestial Handbook: An Observer;s Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System, Revised and Enlarged Edition, Dover, NY (1978).
  6. A. R. Upgren, “Parallax and Orbital Motion of the Triple System 26 Draconis from Photographs Taken with the Sproul 24-inch Refractor”, Astronomical Journal, 67, 539-543 (1962).
  7. G. M. Kennedy, M. C. Wyatt, B. Sibthorne, G. Duchene, P. Kalas, B. C. Matthews, J. S. Greaves, K. Y. L. Su, M. P. Fitzgerald, “99 Herculis: Host to a Circumbinary Polar-Ring Debris Disc”, Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society, 421, 2264-2276 (2012).
  8. S. K. Croft, D. H. McNamara, and K. A. Feltz, Jr., “The B-V) and (U-B) Color Indices of the Sun”, Pub. Astronomical Soc. Pacific, 84, 515- 518 (1972).
  9. R. J. Northcott ed., The Observer’s Handbook 1968, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Toronto, Canada (1968).
  10. G. F. Gilmore and M. Zelik, “Star Populations and the Stellar Neighborhood”, in Allen’s Astrophysical Data, 4th ed., A. N. Cox (ed.), Springer-Verlag, NY (2000), Chap. 19.
  11. J. J. Binney, W. Dehnen, N. Houk, C. A. Murray, and M. J. Preston, “Kinematics of Main Sequence Stars from Hipparcos Data”, Proc. ESA Symposium Hipparcos-Venice ’97, ESA SP-402, Venice, Italy, 13-16 May 1997, pp. 473-477 (July, 1997).
  12. H. L. Johnson, R. I. Mitchell, B. Iriarte, and W. Z. Wisniewski, “UBVRI Photometry of the Bright Stars”, Communications of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (Communication No. 63), Volume 4, Part 3, U. Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ (1966).
  13. D. Hoffleit, Catalogue of Bright Stars, Yale University, New Haven, CT (1964).


                                    TABLE 1. Swing & Struve (1932) F8 Stars



                     Star Name           Current Spectral and Luminosity Class     Reference Number 


                       γ Cyg                                  F8 I                                               [5]

                      α UMi                                  F8 I                                               [5]

                      δ CMag                                   F8 l                                               [5]

                     ε Hyr                                  G0 III                                             [5]

                   26 Dra                       Triple Star: G1V, M1V, M0V (in doubt)         [6]

                   99 Her                       Double Star: F7V, K4V, debris disk          [7]








           TABLE 2. (B-V) Color Indices for F8 Spectral Class Stars (from Table 2 of Ref. 12)



                               BS#                     Luminosity Class           (B-V)


                              235                             V                          0.50

                              236                             V                          0.53

                              458                             V                          0.54

                              963                        IV                          0.51

                             1101                        V                          0.57

                             1674                        V                          0.52

                             3591                           III                          0.65

                             4112                        V                          0.52

                             4540                        V                          0.55

                             5304                           IV                          0.54

                             5694                         IV-V                        0.54

                             5986                         IV-V                        0.52

                             7172                      IV                          0.53

                             7955                         IV-V                        0.54

                             8170                           V                          0.53

                             8905                      IV                          0.61