The Apple Of God's Eye

April 11, 2010

Massive Survey Of Cosmos Proves Dark Matter Defies Law Of Physics

This dark matter map was created by the Hubble Telescope by measuring light from distant stars thought to have been deflected by dark matter. The map of half the Universe reveals dark matter filaments, collapsing under the relentless pull of gravity and growing clumpier over time - dailymail.co.uk

Most astronomers believe that the universe began in a Big Bang up to 15 billion years ago. The Big Bang model holds that the resulting universe should contain exactly the “critical density” of matter required to keep it geometrically “flat,” with just enough gravity to balance the outward momentum, slowing it down.  The result: a cosmos coasting indefinitely on the verge of collapse.

Here’s the bad news for this theory. New evidence from a massive survey of the cosmos (which included 446,000 galaxies) was recently carried out by an international team using the Hubble Space Telescope. It indicates that stars and galaxies are flying apart in all directions at an ever-increasing rate – thanks to an anti-gravity boost from some kind of unseen “dark matter” of an exotic nature, of which most of the universe exists. Normal matter is only a few per cent of the total, so most of the universe is dark, dark matter and dark energy, and scientists have absolutely no clue what its physical nature is.

The  Province.com quoted University of B. C. astronomer Ludovic Van Waerbeke as suggesting that dark matter is counteracting the pull of gravity on a cosmic scale. If the new results hold up, scientists said, they could have enormous ramifications for theories of cosmic “evolution.”

In other words, scientists are surprised to find that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, and they have no way to explain this phenomenon because it is supposed to be impossible according to the law of physics. (more…)

October 28, 2009

Our Incomprehensibly Large Universe!

stevekanaras.blogspot.comThe Hubble telescope has shown us countless billions of galaxies in areas of the universe which we once thought were empty. For example, by focusing on a small speck in the sky in an area that was thought to be void of stars, astronomers soon discovered that this small speck actually contained 1,500 galaxies! And remember that each galaxy can contain untold millions of stars and some astronomers now believe that there may be as many galaxies in the sky as there are stars in our own galaxy.

Space travel

In an effort to learn more about space, mankind has put men on the moon and brought them back home safely, built a space station where astronauts can stay for months at a time. But space travel carries some great risks, and is quite costly. And these adventures of man into space are merely flying hundreds of miles into the sky—they come nowhere close to probing the true depths of space!

After reaching the moon, astronomy’s next goal is to put a man on Mars—a planet in our solar system about 150 million miles from Earth (compare to the moon at only 240,000 miles away). Even if this journey is successful, the trip of 150 million miles is a mere jog compared to the vastness of space. We might intrude into space, but we as humans cannot even begin to conquer it. Getting to Mars is only one planet of a vast solar system, part of an even larger galaxy—one of trillions of galaxies in this huge universe which are billions of light years away from Earth.

Light travels at over 186,000 miles per second; a light year is how far light can travel in a year moving at 186,000 miles per second, which figures out to be close to 6 trillion miles. (To travel just one light year at 100 miles per hour, it would take almost 7 million years.) Another measurement astronomers use is an au (astronomical unit). An au is the distance between the Earth and the sun—about 93 million miles.

The Giant Milky Way

All the space vehicles, manned or unmanned, still travel within our one galaxy—the Milky Way—one of millions or billions of galaxies. The Milky Way is considered a giant galaxy and contains about 400 billion stars. It is a spiral galaxy, which means that from a distance it looks like a pinwheel, or a big disc in the center with flat arms going out in all directions.

To get an idea of how vast this galaxy is, to travel the distance from the outer end of one disc to the outer end of another would take 100,000 years traveling at the speed of light.

Located on one of these discs—which is rotating around the center of the galaxy—is our solar system: the sun, moon, Earth and the planets. The star of our solar system, the sun, is located about two thirds of the way out from the center of the galaxy—roughly 28,000 light years from the center. Whereas it takes the Earth one year to orbit the sun, it takes the sun 250 million years to make just one orbit of the center of the galaxy.

Unmanned Spaced Probes

1Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 to explore where nothing from Earth had ever been before. Now they each are much farther from Earth than any space vehicle has ever been. Speeding outward at more than 38,000 miles per hour, both continue to send back scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space program.

Voyager 1 remains operational, currently pursuing its extended mission to locate and study the boundaries of the Solar System, including the Kuiper belt and beyond. Its original mission was to visit Jupiter and Saturn; and it was the first probe to provide detailed images of the moons of these planets.

“Voyager 1 is currently the farthest human-made object from Earth, and as of August 28, 2009, it is about 110.94 AU (16.596 billion km, or 10.312 billion miles) from the Sun, and has passed the termination shock, entering the heliosheath, with the current goal of reaching and studying the heliopause, which is the known boundary of the solar system. If Voyager 1 is still functioning when it finally completes the passage through the heliopause (effectively becoming the first human-made object to leave the solar system), scientists will get their first direct measurements of the conditions in the interstellar medium. Its primary targets were the planets Jupiter and Saturn and their associated moons and rings; its mission was the detection of the heliopause and particle measurements of solar wind and the interstellar medium. Both of the Voyager probes have far outlasted their originally-planned lifespan. Each probe gets its electrical power from three radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which are expected to continue to generate enough electric power to let the probes keep communicating with Earth at least until the year 2025.” (Wikipedia)

By that time, Voyager 1 will be more than 12.4 billion miles from the sun. In some 296,000 years, if Voyager 2 was still traveling, it would pass Sirius, the brightest star in our sky, at a distance of about 4.3 light years (25 trillion miles).

Even more amazing were the Pioneer projects. Pioneers 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973—the fastest man-made objects to leave the Earth, launched at the incredible speed of 32,000 miles per hour. That is fast enough to pass the moon in 11 hours, and Mars’s orbit (50 million miles away) in just 12 weeks.

“Pioneer 10 (also called Pioneer F) was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, which it entered on July 15, 1972, and to make direct observations of Jupiter, which it passed by on December 3, 1973. By some definitions, Pioneer 10 has become the first artificial object to leave the solar system. It is the first human-built object to have been set upon a trajectory leading out of the solar system. However, it still has not passed the heliopause or Oort cloud. The last weak signal from Pioneer 10 was received on January 23, 2003, when it was 12 billion kilometers (7.5 billion miles) from Earth. It is now heading in the direction of the star Aldebaran (about 68 light years away) in the constellation Taurus at roughly 2.6 AU per year. It will take Pioneer 10 over 2 million years to reach it. (Wikipedia)

Pioneer 11 was to go on after passing Jupiter 400 million miles away. Using this giant planet as a sling shot, Pioneer 11’s speed now reached 108,000 miles per hour. By 1979, Pioneer 11 flew within 13,000 miles of Saturn. In November 1995 the last communication from Pioneer 11 was received, as the Earth’s motion carried Saturn out of the view of the spacecraft antenna. Pioneer 11 is now headed toward the constellation of Aquila, just northwest of the constellation of Sagittarius and may pass near one of the stars in the constellation in about 4 million years.

Conclusion

We can barely begin to imagine how vast our universe is by how vast our own galaxy is! Manned and unmanned spacecraft can barely cover any significant ground in the area called “space.” Despite the incredible speeds of some of these vehicles, they are still millions of years away from the closest stars. The more we venture out into space, the more the immenseness of it staggers our imagination. That’s why I find it amusing when scientists make definitive statements about something that is so hard to comprehend. It’s better to keep the attitude humble, allow God to reveal truth to us and realize on our own, we really don’t know what we are talking about.

October 9, 2009

The Earth: The Only "Goldilocks" Planet!

Mixing astronomy and fairy tales isn’t commonly done, but scientists studying the “Goldilocks Zone” may have found the perfect spot, and it’s right in our back yard. It’s a spot in space that’s inhabitable to life forms — not too hot and not too cold — just right!

Many scientists are now realizing that the factors required for a civilization to exist are almost impossibly complex – and must be exceedingly rare, even in a universe as incomprehensibly vast as ours. Consider the following facts and how perfectly aligned they had to be to even entertain the notion of life. Then realize how foolish it is to believe that life on earth came from nothing:

The Earth

  1. Is the perfect distance from both the sun and moon to have a stable, predictable orbit. Twenty four hour days ensure the earth’s entire surface is properly warmed and cooled daily.
  2. It is the perfect size and mass. If it were less dense, an atmosphere wouldn’t form and remain. If it were more dense, the atmosphere would be uninhabitable. As it is, our atmosphere allows just the right amount of radiation to keep us warm, but not kill us.
  3. Earth’s metal core produces a magnetic field that protects the surface from radiation from space. Radioactive heat from the core, mantle and crust creates plate tectonics necessary for life.
  4. Humans need 27 elements to live. Earth has just the right mix of them.
  5. Earth has just the right amount of water in the proper ratios of liquid, solid,  and gas. A little more and the continents would be drowned. A little less and the planet would probably be too hot to host life.

The Moon

  1. The mass ratio of the moon compared to the earth is 50 times greater than that of any other known moon-planet combination. Yet it is the perfect size to stabilize the tilt of earth’s rotational axis. Without our moon, the tilt of our planet would vary from zero to 85 degrees, producing catastrophic climate changes.
  2. The gravity of the moon creates tidal movement. Thus, ocean waters do not stagnate – they clean the waters on the coasts from toxins and enrich them with nutrients. Yet these massive ocean movements never spill over across the continents.
  3. The ocean currents also regulate climate by circulating enormous amounts of heat.

The Sun

  1. Most stars (2/3 to 3/4 of them) are found in groups of two, three, four and more. If we had more than one sun, it would make life far less stable on earth because of erratic gravitational effects, and/or possible dangerous eruptions of tidal gas passing between the stars.
  2. 95% of all stars are less massive than the sun. A smaller, less dense sun would mean we’d have to be much closer to it to stay warm. The tidal locking would create synchronous rotation – where the same side of the earth always faced the sun. Thus, half the planet would freeze.
  3. It has the perfect luminosity. Because it is a yellow star, its energy lies mostly in the visible part of the light spectrum – not even 10% of its energy is ultraviolet. If it was much hotter, producing mostly ultraviolet light, life would be impossible. If it was a small red star, the supply of visible light would be inadequate.
  4. The sun’s size and distance from earth creates stable temperature fluctuations that allow the earth’s water to remain in perfect balance among its three phases: liquid, solid and gas.

Solar System

  1. Giant planets act as “comet and asteroid catchers.” Their gravity cleans up our solar system of space junk that might otherwise collide with earth. Cosmic collisions can cause mass extinctions.
  2. Our solar system is unusually rich in metal content, necessary for advanced life.

Cosmic Location

  1. Evidence suggests that elliptical galaxies lack enough elements heavier than helium to host advanced life. Spiral galaxies like ours have enough.
  2. Within the Milky Way, we sit in the “galactic habitable zone,” – far enough from the center that we’re not killed by radiation, but close enough that sufficient heavy elements needed for life are present.
  3. We’re nowhere near dangerous star clusters, quasars, nebulae, neutron stars, or supernovas.
  4. Real estate brokers often say the key to property value is location, location, location. If this principle applies to the cosmic scene, earth’s location would be considered way beyond prime. The earth appears to reside in the only neighbourhood in the universe where human life can exist and thrive long enough to enjoy a global, high tech civilization and to discover how rare they are.

For decades, scientists have been debating the conditions needed to replicate an Earth-like probablility of complex beyond the microbial level. We now know that the number of planets in our own galaxy alone could easily tally in the hundreds of billions. Astrobiologist vainly cling to the faint hope that a number of these could be carpeted in the  chemistry we call life, thus proving that life on Earth may be unique, but not miraculous.

Well, good luck because as I’ve shown, there needs to be an exceedingly (and almost impossible) complex host of conditions present for such a scenario. This cannot happen by fiat, nor can it be sustained. Yes, scientists will keep looking, but they won’t find a penny’s worth of evidence otherwise.

August 1, 2009

The Earth: A Perfect Spot For Viewing The Cosmos

Editors Comment: A beautifully written column on the greatness of the cosmos and our view of it in the perfect spot of our galaxy. The article is originally from the Trumpet.com.

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Some folks saw a black sunrise last Wednesday. The Gulf of Khambhat, just east of India, experienced an unusual total solar eclipse at sunup. (For an idea of what it looked like, click here.) It lasted 6 minutes, 39 seconds, the longest eclipse of the sun projected to occur this century.

It’s extraordinary that our gargantuan sun—864,300 miles in diameter, 332,840 times the Earth’s mass—can be visually obscured by the moon, which is a tiny two tenths of 1 percent of its size. But the relative distances of these two heavenly bodies from Earth, coupled with their unusually exquisite roundness, make the perfect solar eclipse possible.

This has proven quite helpful to scientists who are trying to unriddle the mysteries of the universe. Hundreds of years ago, a perfect eclipse helped observers confirm that stars are composed of gas. More recently, an eclipse helped verify the theory of relativity, showing that light is bent by the sun’s gravity. That we see a perfect eclipse (rather than a super-eclipse, in which our moon would completely obscure the sun) gave us our first glimpses of the sun’s gaseous chromosphere, which has yielded additional insights about stars.

Aren’t we lucky?

No other planet has the perfect configuration of sun and moon sizes and relative distances to view a perfect solar eclipse that enables astronomical observations such as we can make on Earth, this jewel of a planet.

But this is only one of several unique physical conditions that make our study of the heavens possible, and so richly rewarding.

Case in point: We can’t see our air. Imagine how motivated you would be to contemplate the night sky if all you saw was a canopy of impenetrably thick clouds of particles and gasses. Happy for us, Earth’s atmosphere is transparent. Not only is our oxygen-rich air necessary for life, its invisibility also happens to make gazing up at the stars a whole lot more interesting and informative than would be the case on most planets.

Another favorable circumstance: our position within our galaxy. The Milky Way is an incomprehensible 100,000 light years across, and we sit in its slim “galactic habitable zone” (ghz)—just far enough from the center that we’re not killed by radiation, but just close enough that sufficient heavy elements needed for life are present. At the same time, our position is a perfect seat for viewing the rest of the cosmos.

Why? Many reasons. For one, it is so beautifully dark here. Light can be the enemy of astronomical discovery—for basically the same reason that you want the lights off in the theater while watching a movie. Conveniently, our solar system is in the darkest part of the galaxy’s ghz, far from all the Milky Way’s brightest lights. We live almost exactly halfway between two of the Milky Way’s spiral arms, which are crowded with radiant stars and thick dust clouds that would obscure our view. Our vision is also free of any nearby gaseous nebulae. We likewise live thousands of light years away from the galaxy’s many blinding star clusters. In his book Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Dr. Hugh Ross explains how the same cosmic dust that shields us from the radiation emanating from the galactic core “also blocks out most of the blazingly bright light shining from the thousands of dense star clusters situated in the core that otherwise would ruin astronomers’ efforts to explore the universe.”

Making matters even more favorable, the Milky Way happens to be in the darkest habitable area of its galaxy cluster. While a typical galaxy cluster has over 10,000 tightly packed galaxies, ours has only about 40, all but two of which (one being the Milky Way) are small or dwarf galaxies. On top of that, our galaxy cluster, called the Local Group, is in the darkest habitable part of its supercluster of galaxies, the Virgo supercluster.

Thus, there is virtually nothing in the way of our peering deep into the outer reaches of the cosmos.

Another convenient feature of our cosmic vantage point is how protected we are from potential collision events. The four gas giant planets in our solar system—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune—do us a big favor by shielding Earth from dangerous space projectiles like asteroids and comets. Their gravitational pull tends to absorb or deflect the most dangerous of these colliders. Yet they’re not too efficient: The few smaller asteroids that have made it through and hit Earth have actually aided in scientific discovery without wiping humans out. (It’s also worth noting that these huge planets are not so close as to block or wash out our view of space. If gigantic Jupiter resided where Mars currently does, it would be 1,550 times brighter to us than it is now.)

The more scientists learn about the universe, the more of these outstandingly helpful conditions they identify. “For some reason our Earthly location is extraordinarily well suited to allow us to peer into the heavens and discover its secrets,” say the grateful astronomers who authored The Privileged Planet. A host of finely tuned factors “are not only necessary for Earth’s habitability; they also have been surprisingly crucial for scientists to measure and make discoveries about the universe. Mankind is unusually well positioned to decipher the cosmos.”

Scientists have come to refer to Earth as a “Goldilocks planet.” That is, in every conceivable way, conditions aren’t too hot or too cold, too large or too small, too close or too far—too anything. No matter what is measured, it is “just right.” Not only for the existence of life, but also for discovery. And to a mind-boggling level of precision. Even the minutest deviation would make cosmic observation difficult or impossible—or would wipe out the prospect of life.

Maybe it’s not luck after all.

A growing number of astronomers are acknowledging the possibility not only that the precise conditions for life on Earth were specifically, painstakingly established by a creative mind of extraordinary intelligence—but also that this Power ensured we would be able to follow the signs back to their source. The multiplicity and exactitude of these signs “reflects masterful engineering at a level far beyond human capability—and even imagination. It testifies of a supernatural, superintelligent, superpowerful, fully deliberate Creator,” wrote Dr. Ross.

Yes it does. As King David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalm 19:1). He was celebrating the fact that God revealed Himself to us in the universe He created. Perhaps he knew more than today’s astronomers would give him credit for.

God wanted us to make these cosmic discoveries. Romans 1:20 says that “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Revised Standard Version). It is there for everyone to see—and more and more as our technology improves. All we need to do is open our eyes and acknowledge its Author.

“Clearly, Someone wanted human beings to exist and thrive. Just as clearly, Someone wanted us to see all He had done in the universe,” Dr. Ross continued. “His purposes for human existence must be highly valuable.”

May 31, 2009

The Universe: Evolution Or The Work Of God’s Fingers?

antifan-real.deviantart.com

Whenever we read about evolution, it’s usually preceded by the word theory. A theory, according to Webster’s, is described as “speculation, an idea, hypothesis or a scheme.” A theory then is an unproven statement.

Darwin’s theory of evolution teaches that the first life upon the earth came by “spontaneous generation,” or by “electrochemical action,” or some unknown process millions of years ago in the warm ocean slime. Thus it is the theory of evolution that life sprang out of dead matter, or that the living came from the non-living.

Now probability is the mathematics of chance, and therefore probability should have a great deal to do with evolution.
Given a monkey, a typewriter and a stack of paper, by chance alone, words, sentences, even whole books could be written, right? This is a doctrine deemed holy by a not-insignificant number of educated men in the biological and geological sciences today. (more…)

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