Short and Long-Period Comets: Support for Evolution?

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Dear hijas,

What do you know about comets? Dirty snowballs or hairy stars, perhaps? They have been observed for millennia and are often considered quite mysterious. Wikipedia describes them as:

an icy small Solar System body (SSSB) that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (a thin, fuzzy, temporary atmosphere) and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet. Comet nuclei range from a few hundred meters to tens of kilometers across and are composed of loose collections of ice, dust, and small rocky particles. Comets have been observed since ancient times.

What do you know about their orbital period; the time it takes them to make one revolution around the sun? Astronomers put this orbital period into two categories: short-period comets (less than 200 years), and long-period comets (longer than 200 years). Halley’s Comet, for example, has an orbital period of 75-76 years. It was last seen in 1986 and won’t return again until 2061 or 2062.

Halley's comet

Each time a comet passes the Sun, they lose some of their mass. We can observe that this is happening in the ‘coma’ and ‘tail’ of the comets. Since comets consist of dust and ‘ice’, and this ice is not just frozen water, but frozen ammonia, methane and CO2, some of the ‘ice’ evaporates at it makes this close pass. This observed loss rate combined with a comet’s maximum orbital period means comets could not have been orbiting the sun for the supposed billions of years that evolution requires. Remember, evolution is a three-stranded cord: cosmological, geological, and biological. Or think of a three-legged stool. You knock one of the legs out, the stool falls over. Biological evolution is seriously eroded , and indeed, a non-starter, if cosmological or geological evidences within the universe indicate that it can’t possibly be billions and millions of years old.

“But wait, we’re missing something here,” you might say. “You haven’t given us all the information.” “What if both short and long-period comets have a natural source that is consistent with billions of years?”

Ah, yes, that’s a good question. Comets are assumed to be primordial. They are assumed to be leftovers from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, and specifically to the formation of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Astronomers have long seen the continued existence of comets today as a problem. They should have all burned out by now. So, what is an evolutionist to do? She doesn’t want any of the legs of her stool to fall over, so she postulates an ad-hoc, unobserved, and theoretical source of those comets we see today from the Oort Cloud.

Jan Oort, a Dutch astronomer, proposed a large spherical cloud of comet nuclei that formed early in the history of the Solar System. This Oort cloud is supposed to be at a large distance from the Sun, putting the comet nuclei too far away to be observed. Theoretically, the Solar System is 4.6 billion years old, thus comets formed at that time and currently residing in this Oort Cloud are supposedly and occasionally knocked and bumped by gravitational effects of other stars into an orbit that takes them around the Sun. But here’s the problem; this Oort Cloud is only theoretical. It’s never been observed. It has no empirical observational proof of its very existence and is completely ad-hoc (for a specific purpose only; lacking justification).

“But what about the Kuiper Belt”, you say. “Astronomers have discovered objects, called Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO’s) beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto, and this could be the source of comets consistent with a billions of years old universe.”

Well, yes, evolutionary astronomers, who assume the solar system is billions of years old, must propose a ‘source’ that will supply new comets as old ones are destroyed. The Kuiper Belt is one such proposed source for short-period comets. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, an estimated billion icy cores in the Kuiper Belt would be needed to replenish the solar system’s supply, whereas only ‘several hundred’ KBO’s have actually been observed, and two, the KBO’s that have been observed have nuclei that are far larger than comet nuclei. This calls into question whether these KBO’s are actual precursors of short-period comets at all.

Bottom line, mis hijas, comets are powerful testimony to a universe that is not billions and millions of years old. They can’t possibly be losing material for the supposed billions and millions of years that the evolutionary timeframe requires, and the supposed sources are either ad-hoc, or seriously in question. Be sure to tell your Momma and I’s grandkids and great- grandkids in 2061 when you see Halley’s comet again what a wondrous Creator we serve, and what amazing testimony a comet truly is!

For further study, please see here: http://creation.com/comets-and-the-age-of-the-solar-system, and http://creation.com/kuiper-belt-objects-solution-to-short-period-comets.

As always, I remain,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas!

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