Extrasolar Planets Thwart Cosmic Evolution

Human nature being what it is, after people learned that planets orbited the sun and that the stars are also miniature suns, they would have wondered if those distant suns had their own planets. In the 1990s, the first extrasolar planets (exoplanets) were discovered.

Seeing distant objects on Earth is difficult enough, and the problem is much greater with such huge distances. People see pictures of planets with romantic names like TOI-1231 b, but such detail has never been observed — those pictures are artists' renderings.

People have wondered if other stars have planets. Yes, and astronomers have learned a great deal about some. They are unfriendly to cosmic evolution.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / R. Hurt (SSC-Caltech) (Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)

I can't help but wonder if God built intellectual surprises into creation that would be discovered as we advanced in science. If you study on it a spell, you might realize that as scientists learn more about the world and the universe, they become more arrogant. Scientism and materialism become supreme, and atheism is on the rise while logic is being twisted beyond recognition.

Operating from their materialistic presuppositions, secular scientists expect their discoveries to fall into line with what they anticipate. When observations run contrary to their expectations, they are surprised and pretend to be excited. This helps illustrate that their worldviews are irrational.

They found that "simple" cells became far less simple. Specified complexity is frequently observed, and much of that is irreducible. Space probes have revealed the actions of planets and their moons to be well out of keeping with materialistic storytelling. Worse for them, what is observed is well in keeping with a biblical worldview, all the way down to recent creation.

Planets beyond our solar system were discovered, but they, too, are uncooperative to materialistic presuppositions. Dr. Jason Lisle wrote three articles on exoplanets that we will examine. They are not too technical, and they answered some of my own questions.

Planets orbit their stars, but really, stars and planets orbit each other. Newton's third law of gravity were instrumental in detecting the first three exoplanets. The first cosmic evolution-defying factor is that these planets were orbiting a pulsar. When a star explodes into a supernova, the inner parts compress so much, it's an extremely dense mass of neutrons. This neutron star spins amazingly fast, giving out radio pulses. No planets should be hanging around. See how that works? Astronomers noticed that a pulsar was less regular than it should be, and they gave the spooky names of Draugr, Poltergeist, and Phobetor to the planets. I wonder if they were found near Halloween which inspired such naming.

Another method is the Doppler shift. Analyzing the light from a star tells astronomers what it's made of and also about its motion. If the shift is to the red, it's taking off for parts unknown, and the blue shift says it's coming closer to be right friendly-like. All this study of light and chemistry tells us a great deal about stars and planets orbiting them.

It's difficult, but some exoplanets have been directly imaged. Nothing impressive to get a print to hang on the wall in the living room, they're more like dots that are brighter than other dots. But it's happened.

Thirty years ago, the only known planets were those in our solar system.  But now, astronomers have detected over 4,800 planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy.  These extrasolar planets challenge secular origins scenarios and confirm biblical creation.

To read the rest, see "Extrasolar Planets – Part 1". This is fun, and I hope you'll come back for the next installment.

The most productive way to detect these space balls has been the transit method. Ever see pictures of a transit of Venus across our own sun? Or for that matter, astronomers like to see moons transit planets like Jupiter. Exoplanets transit their stars and can be detected that way. The transit method is tricky, and involves other star systems to be pretty much edge-on to us.

This takes a great deal of patience (some have extremely long orbits, others are rapid) as well as taking into account other factors that cause decreases in a star's light. It follows a specific pattern from dimming to brightness. Lather, rinse, repeat. Add in the Doppler method we read about in Part 1, and we can know about the planet itself. Some planets are...truly bizarre.

We have been examining extrasolar planets – planets that orbit a star other than the sun.  The first exoplanets were discovered by measuring the slight wobble their gravity induces on their star.  Amazingly, and despite the challenges involved, around 50 exoplanets have now been directly observed using powerful telescopes.  But the majority of exoplanets have been discovered using the transit method.  This technique, along with the others, has allowed us to discover nearly 5000 extrasolar planets.

You can continue by clicking on "Extrasolar Planets – Part 2". We have one more to do after this, hope you come back.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Lizbeth B. De La Torre (Usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)

This next part demonstrates how astronomy requires knowledge in many areas. Light that comes in can be separated and analyzed through spectroscopy. Analyzing a star's spectrum reveals its temperature and composition, and this is used with the Doppler effect. Something else that is fascinating is the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. This tells of the star's rotation.

According to the dominant speculation for the formation of solar systems, the nebular hypothesis, a cloud of hot gasses cooled, coalesced, and formed the sun and planets. This does not explain why our inner planets are rocky and outer planets are gas giants, or why some exoplanets are "hot Jupiters" orbiting very close to their stars.

Also, everything should be on the same plane and rotating in the same direction. Venus, Uranus, and Pluto have retrograde rotations (rotating the opposite directions than the rest), as do some of the moons of outer planets. Some exoplanets are mavericks as well, doing the retrograde thing. Some are full-on renegades, having perpendicular orbits! These are not anticipated by cosmic evolution stories, but are in keeping with biblical creation and our Creator who seems to like mixing things up.

In many instances, we know only the orbital period and minimum mass of the planet.  In cases where the planet passes directly in front of its star, we are also able to estimate the size of the planet, its true mass, and therefore its density.  But through some careful measurements and ingenious reasoning, there is additional information we can learn about exoplanets.  And these new discoveries challenge the secular view of origins.

This series is concluded at "Extrasolar Planets – Part 3".

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