When you look at it, the sun, it seems very close. However, light from the sun takes 8 minutes to get from the sun to the earth. The sun is so big, you could take around one million earths and fit them into the size of the sun. The sun is the closest star to Earth at a distance of 93 million miles.[i] Our sun is considered an average star, although very special to our solar system in many ways. Not only does it provide light to the earth, it provides heat for the planet as well. How old is the sun? How did the sun form? How did the earth form around the sun? How has the sun changed over time?
Around 4.6 billion years ago, the sun was formed out of a huge cloud of dust and gas. Most of these gases were condensed into the center of the cloud, due to gravity and other external forces. The condensing of the gases within this cloud made it very hot and allowed the fusion reactions to begin, lighting up the sun and giving off the energy which is so essential for the earth as we know it. The leftover matter of this cloud, further away from the sun, coalesced into our planets.[ii]
The sun is the largest object in our solar system, but is simply referred to as, and rightfully so, an “ordinary” or “medium” sized star. The sun contains about 70% hydrogen and 28% helium and the last 2% is composed of heavier elements.[iii] The age has been calculated to about 4.6 billion years based on the methods of helioseismology, which examines the rate of fusion today and determines how long the sun has been burning.[iv] Regions of the sun rotate around its axis at different rates, around its equator, the sun rotates every 25.4 days, but near the north and south poles it takes 36 days to rotate. At the core of the sun, temperatures can reach up to 28 million degrees Fahrenheit.
The sun is expected to be around for about 10 billion years. Since the sun is approximately 4.6 billion years old, it has used up about half of the hydrogen that it has in its core. Eventually, it is going to run out of hydrogen, but before that it will swell into a red giant star which will then envelope and destroy the whole earth.
An interesting conundrum, the young sun paradox, was first brought up by Carl Sagan and George Mullen in 1972, which says that the sun was dimmer in the past and therefore the earth would have been colder. But geology has shown that the earth was warmer in the past than we would be anticipate, because, for the majority of its existence it has had liquid water. Complex interactions with larger oceans, less clouds, and life evolving (which influenced the gases of the atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect), kept the earth sufficiently warm and stable.[v] One researcher says, “we show that the paradox is definitely not as challenging as was believed over the past 40 years. While we can’t say definitively what the atmosphere looked like back then without more geological evidence, it is certainly not a stretch at all with our model to get a warm early Earth that would have been hospitable to life.”[vi]
From a naturalistic standpoint, the Sun’s Angular Momentum, or lack thereof, seems to be a challenge. The more mass in the center (like the sun), the faster it should spin, but we observe that the sun rotates very slowly. One hypothesis suggests that there was originally more mass in the center of our protostar, but during the T Tauri stage much of the mass was expelled from the center, slowing the inner rotation rate. Another hypothesis is that the planets may have migrated towards or away from the sun during their formation and thus changing the rotation rates. Some even suggest that an extra gas giant planet, or what makes up the Kuiper Belt, may have originally been closer to the sun, but may have been catastrophically expelled from the solar system.[vii]
During the developing solar system, there would have been an incredible amount of chaos; objects were impacting each other everywhere. The beginning of the solar system was very turbulent and catastrophic, but over time, the largest objects (now planets) gained dominance and cleaned up our solar system to make it the way it is today. Planets, or moons, rotating too slow or too fast or in strange directions or even revolving in random fashion is most certainly due to all of the tumultuous impacts and gravitational interactions of a vast myriad of early solar system objects. With so many variables, it is difficult (if not practically impossible) to give an exact answer to every strange movement in the solar system today, let alone the universe. However, scientists are constantly learning more and more and arriving at satisfactory answers. Our understanding will only get better. What should not happen is to simply lie down amidst the overwhelming amount of information and resort to saying, “oh, we can’t figure it out, so God just did it that way.” That perspective only impedes the progress of science.
by Brian Mariani and others
Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?
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One thing to keep in mind, each blog is one piece of evidence. Evidence has to then be interpreted, which is not a fact…but evidence strengthening or weakening a specific hypothesis or theory. So there can be multiple ways of interpreting the same evidence. I am not being unscientific, but asking more questions and being skeptical is being more scientific. I am still working on these, so please help with your comments.
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[i] Sun: Read More, last updated May 5, 2014, NASA, http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Sun&Display=OverviewLong, accessed June 25, 2014.
[ii] Dr. Cathy Imhoff, The Sun, 2014, Scholastic, http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/sun-0, accessed June 25, 2014.
[iii] The Sun, 2013, Nine Planets, http://nineplanets.org/sol.html, accessed June 25, 2014.
[iv] Jonathan Sarfati, Age of the Sun, November 13, 2011, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/sun-age, accessed June 25, 2014.
[v] Andrea Thompson, Clouds May Hold Key to Why Early Earth Didn’t Freeze Over, March 31, 2010, Space.com, http://www.space.com/8118-clouds-hold-key-early-earth-didnt-freeze.html, accessed June 25, 2014.
“Why Earth is not an ice ball: Possible explanation for faint young sun paradox,” Purdue University, ScienceDaily, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120530152034.htm, accessed June 25, 2014.
[vi] CU study shows how early Earth kept warm enough to support life, July 9, 2013, University of Colorado Boulder, http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2013/07/09/cu-study-shows-how-early-earth-kept-warm-enough-support-life, accessed June 25, 2014.
[vii] Origin of the Solar System, Geol212: Planetary Geology Fall 2014, University of Maryland, Department of Geology, http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/geol212/lectures/26a.html, accessed June 26, 2014.
Tobias Chant Owen, Solar System, last updated April 11, 2014, Encyclopaedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/553008/solar-system/242068/Solution-to-the-angular-momentum-puzzle, accessed June 26, 2014.