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Io's iron core

The Galileo space craft, which is in orbit about Jupiter, has recorded some observations which show that Jupiter's moon, Io, has an iron core. The core seems to extend about 1800 kilometers across, or about half the diameter of the moon.

It was the radio waves beamed to earth from Galileo on December 7 of last year (when it passed within 900 km. from Io,) which first hinted of an iron or iron sulfide core. The radio beam showed a slight change of course in Galileo which could only happen if Io were not of uniform density. Now, what does this mean? So far only the earth is suspected of having an iron core. No other planet has shown evidence of one. Not Venus, not Mercury, and not Mars or any of the outer planets. Yet solar system evolutionary models require that the heavier elements such as iron gravitate to the sun and should thus settle in the inner planets. Not, so, according to Io. The question for evolutionists is: if Io is an eighth iron by volume, what of the solid portions of other planets and satellites?

Hyakutake versus the evolutionists1

Comet Hyakutake's orbit is mature. That means that, according to evolutionary astronomers, it has made “many trips” to the inner solar system. Its period is roughly 10,000 years. Over all that time it should have lost most of its volatile materials, most particularly, water.

But measurements of the water evaporating from Hyakutake showed a nearly constant amount of vapor from mid-February to early April, about 6 tons per second. Only a slight increase was noted over that time. This means that this is Hyakutake's first visit to the inner solar system.

What this means is that, if this is the comet's first time near the sun, then it could not have originated by being knocked out of the hypothetical ”Oort cloud,” the source of comets proposed to explain why there are still comets around after billions of years. If it had recently been knocked out of the cloud, then its orbit would not yet have matured into a stable ellipse. Surprise! surprise! It's as if the comet is less than 10,000 years old.

As if that is not enough, there's the sulfur problem. Hyakutake has a high abundance of diatomic sulfur (S2). Diatomic sulfur is unstable relative to the other forms of sulfur molecules. Again, this is evidence arguing that the comet is young. If it were old, then the sulfur would have to come from the comet's inner coma or its nucleus, regions well protected from most of the massive evaporation.

The Tethered Satellite experiment

During the 75th Shuttle mission, a satellite fastened to the Columbia space shuttle unreeled to nearly 13 miles above the Columbia's payload bay. Just short of its full distance the tether broke. The cause was that the voltage in the tether wire was very much higher than expected. The finding is revolutionizing plasma theory since the current theory did not predict the result. From NASA's original press release we quote Dr. Nobie Stone, the mission scientist for the tethered satellite experiment.

Even the quick-look made to date reveals that this data harvest is rich in content. Perhaps the most significant finding is that tether currents proved to be up to three times greater than existing theoretical models predicted prior to the mission. With the amount of power generated being directly proportional to the current, this bodes well for technological applications.

Reversing the direction of current flow puts the system into an electric-motor mode. This harnessed energy could furnish thrust for reboosting a space station, satellite or Shuttle in a decaying orbit.

Traditionally, the primary source of power for long-term space platforms has been solar arrays. Those cells can only produce power when exposed to sunlight during the two-thirds of each 90-minute orbit when a space station, for instance, is not on Earth's dark side. However, a tether system might provide a constant source of energy. It is very efficient and might serve as an effective back up power system.

Other important revelations from the STS-75 mission include obser vations of the satellite's thrusters interacting with the ionosphere while moving rapidly in Earth orbit. Stone said that, when the thrusters were fired to adjust the satellite's spin rate, the neutral gas emitted became ionized.

The tethered satellite researchers noted that, at that point, “a sudden jump” took place in the level of current flow, while the satellite's potential (voltage) dropped several hundred volts. They traced this effect to the small amount of gas, released from the thrusters, becoming ionized in the vicinity of the satellite. A greater, more efficient current flow was observed. “The effect of neutral-gas ionization is not taken into consideration by existing theoretical models of current collection in the ionosphere,” Stone said.

Also, for the first time ever, the high voltage plasma sheath and wake of a high-voltage satellite moving rapidly in the ionosphere was measured. “This is virtually impossible to study in a laboratory and is difficult to model mathematically,” Stone said.

After the failure of the tether, mission scientists at Huntsville did a lab simulation of the situation in space and passed a tether through a metal guide. The chamber was darkened and electrical arching was observed between the metal guide and the roof of the chamber. It was thought that holes in the insulation for the tether caused the original problem, but the arching was observed even without “holes” in the insulation. Evidently the insulation used on the tether was not enough to deal with the voltages actually encountered.

Fred Hoyle on new theories

The March 1995 issue of Scientific American had a profile of Sir Fred Hoyle. On page 47 of that article Hoyle is quoted on attempts by scientists to publish new findings leading to a modification or overthrow of an existing theory. His findings are particularly true for geocentricity and creationism, although they also apply to such findings as the rotation of clusters of galaxies. Hoyle says: “Science today is locked into paradigms. Every avenue is blocked by beliefs that are wrong, and if you try to get anything published by a journal today, you will run up against a paradigm, and the editors will turn it down.”

This also applies to propositions to conduct experiments to which ”conventional wisdom” already “knows the answer.” It would not be possible, for example, to repeat the Michelson-Morley experiment with higher accuracy since the conclusion is deemed forgone. Ditto experiments designed to show the one-way velocity of light. After all, relativity ”proves” that the one-way speed is the same regardless of the direction in which the light travels.

Saturn's shattered satellites

On August 10, 1995, the rings of saturn were edge-on and observed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The rings of Saturn are seen edge-on about every 14 years. The last time was in 1980. Such edge-on events allow telescopes to look for satellites so faint that they are lost in the glare of the rings at other times. This time, researchers think that they may have discovered several orbiting clumps of icy rubble that could be the remnants of recently shattered moonlets orbiting near the outer edge of Saturn's ring system. Some astronomers say this could represent the discovery of a new class of objects in the solar system. Why do they say this? Why, if Saturn is 5 billion years old, then all such moonlets around it must have been oblitterated long ago. So there needs to be a source to provide new moonlets, and what better place for those than in the unknown and unobservable outer regions of the solar system?

The latest Hubble pictures gave astronomers an opportunity to confirm the presence of two new satellite first discovered by the Space Telescope in images taken during the May 22 ring plane crossing. Rather than solving the moon question, however, the August observations confront astronomers with a new mystery: “We realized these moons are too bright to have gone undetected when the Voyager spacecraft flew by Saturn in 1980 and 1981” said Phil Nicholson of Cornell University.

A further complication is that the August pictures seem to show at least three new objects, and in different orbits from the two May objects. ”They also appear to be very elongated or arc-like, unlike a satellite should be. One possibility is that they are large clouds of debris from small satellites shattered by impacts with chunks of space debris (possibly comets), sometime during the 14 years since the Voyager 2 flyby.” Just as a small handful of chalk dust can make a large dust cloud if tossed in the air, a shattered moonlet would be much brighter and more visible than when all of its mass is compressed into a single solid body.

The discovery of objects in this transitional phase is not totally unexpected, says Nicholson, because one scenario for the origin of Saturn's ring system is that it is made up of countless fragments from several pul verized moons. This idea is reinforced by the fact the new objects orbit Saturn near the narrow F ring, which is a dynamic transition zone between the main rings and the larger satellites. Moonlets in this region can be easily disrupted by Saturn's tidal pull if they are fractured by an impact, forming a cloud of debris. Eventually such a cloud would spread around the moon's orbit to form a new ring.

The dynamics of this “bumper car” zone are also evident in Hubble's observations of the satellite Prometheus. Although a third object seen in the May images was first suspected to be another new satellite because its location did not match the predicted position for any of the known satellites charted by Voyager, it now appears that this body is in fact Prometheus, which has slipped in its orbit by 20 degrees from the predicted position. Nicholson suggests that this may be a consequence of a ”collision” of Prometheus with the F ring, which is believed to have occurred in early 1993. The moon may have passed close enough to one of the denser, lumpy regions of the F ring to have its orbit changed.

All those mechanics aside, the point is, ultimately, that the rings of Saturn are much, much more consistent with a 6,000-year old creation than they are with an evolutionary origin for the solar system some 6 billion years ago.

Relativity and rotating orbits2

Supposedly, one of the crowning “proofs” of the theory of Relativity is that it correctly predicts how fast the orbit of Mercury (the entire orbit, not Mercury itself) should rotate about the sun. Have you ever wondered why only Mercury is ever noted as a “proof?” The reason is simplicity itself: Relativity only accounts for Mercury's “perihelion precession,” as the orbital rotation is called. Relativity gives the wrong values for all the other planets' orbits. Now, it seems, it's even giving the wrong answers for stellar orbits.

The double star DI Herculis is a faint binary about 2,000 light-years from us. The system is made up of two blue stars (hot and heavy) which are less than 20 million miles apart. It takes them a bit over ten-and-a- half days to complete a revolution about each other. Now relativity predicts that their orbit should rotate 4.27° per century, but the actual rate is 1.05° per century. This is too small for relativity.

As if that were not bad enough, another binary star system, AC Camelopardalis exhibits the same problem with relativity. Apparently, whenever strong gravitational fields are involved, relativity fails to account for the observations. Yet it is precisely such circumstances for which relativity was developed!

Reservoirs shorten days

Since World War 2, some 10 trillion (1012) tons of water has been pooled in reservoirs. As a result, the axis of rotation and the length of the day has been changed says Benjamin Fong Chao of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. According to Chao, the water has reduced the mass of water around the earth's equator and so has shortened the day, just as a spinning skater speeds up when he draws his arms in toward his body. Each day is now about 8 millionths of a second shorter than it was 40 years ago. This is about one percent of the total yearly changes in the length of a day. Other causes include atmospheric pressure, wind speeds, and ocean currents. As for the axis of rotation, it has moved about 60 centimeters (24 inches) away from the North Pole toward western Canada. This is about 5% of the total wandering over the last 100 years.

Sounds fatal to geocentricity, doesn't it? Well, consider this, most of the major wanderings of the pole as well as changes in the length of the day can be removed by picking a different axis of rotation. Beyond that, the Bible does allow the earth to totter which amounts to the shifting of the rotational axis. It may even be possible that the earth does turn a little, and very slowly, in response to these changes. The Bible only forbids daily and yearly motions to the earth, but, as in Isaiah 24, for example, some motions are allowed it. Finally, if the earth is in exactly the center of mass of the universe, then the universe itself, particularly, the firmament, will react to any changes in mass distribution in the earth. What this means is that although conventional wisdom assumes that the earth, as the smaller body, should change its “motion:” in that central situation, the universe could change its motion instead.


1 Cowen, Ron, 1996. “Bright Comet Poses Puzzles,” Science News, 149(22):346-347.

2 Naeye, Robert 1955. “Was Einstein wrong?” Astronomy, 23:54.

Translated from WS2000 on 14 February 2005 by ws2html.