As written in the Bible, God created the Sun, the Moon, and the stars on day 4 of the creation week, and we can assume this includes comets and all other objects in space. There are about 100 short-period comets and over 500 long-period comets discovered so far, which is still too many comets in our solar system, even if it is supposedly 4.6 billions of years old.
Comets have very elliptical or stretched orbits, unlike the circular orbits of planets. A comet’s orbit can be changed due to collisions with other objects or even just having a close encounter with a massive planet, like Jupiter. When a comet comes close to these planets, it can be sling-shot around (possibly toward or around the sun) due to the gravity of the planet and it also melts partially as it goes around the sun.
After a certain number of trips, the comets completely burn up and cease to exist. Creation Astronomer, Jason Lisle, estimates that “Comets can orbit the sun for only so long (perhaps about 100,000 years at most) before they completely run out of material.”[i]
Comets often orbit at long distances from the sun, but “if a comet’s orbit takes it too far from the Sun, then the comet could easily be captured by the gravitational attraction of other stars and thus would be lost to the Solar System.” This estimation of the maximum distance from the sun then tells us that comets must orbit around the sun within 11 million years. That means that in the supposed 4.6 billion year history of our solar system, they would have done nearly 400 trips around the sun, more than enough trips to have melted away completely.
Comets can be burned up, thrown out, or even consumed immediately by crashing into the sun or another planet. Evidence of these collisions are the craters that can be seen on some of our moons and planets. Objects (comets) in outer space will not last indefinitely.
Even one of the most famous comets, Halley’s Comet, was bigger and brighter in the past. It is estimated to be only a few thousand years old and may only withstand trips for the next 40,000 years.[ii]
If the Kuiper Belt does exist, as some evidence may suggest, it would provide some answers for short-period comets, but it still can’t explain everything. Creation Astronomer Spike Psarris says that, “Unfortunately for evolution, recent discoveries have shown the Kuiper Belt model doesn’t work any better than the Oort Cloud did.” He also explains how comets had “silicates that the evolutionary model says CAN’T have been out there where comets were supposedly born.”[iii] Naturalistic explanations for the origin of today’s comets are still riddled with problems and questions.
In fact, the Oort cloud cannot be observed and may never be observed. A popular secular astronomer, Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan, wrote that, “Many scientific papers are written each year about the Oort Cloud, its properties, its origin, its evolution. Yet there is not yet a shred of direct observational evidence for its existence.”[iv] So we must ask the question: Is it scientific? It has to exist to make sense of the long age of the solar system and the existence of long-period comets. Studies have shown that over the supposed 4.6 billion years, many forces should have dissipated the Oort Cloud and so again, it shouldn’t be there.
Referencing our solar system, cosmologist Hal Levison says that “the standard model can’t produce anywhere near the number of comets we see.”[v] Therefore, naturalists are forced to assume that maybe comets came from other solar systems and have been captured by our sun and now orbit around our solar system. This model is challenged by the fact that the chances are extremely slim to actually capture these objects into orbit around our sun. It is more likely that the sun would either sling comets out and away or actually pull them into itself. To cause an object to come into a stable, precise orbit, necessitates a complex amount of forces being applied on the object.[vi]
Comet Hartley 2 is particularly intriguing in that it is still spewing out carbon dioxide from one of its sides as it spins through its orbit of the sun. It is a mystery how it formed, why it is spinning the way it is, and why it still has carbon dioxide. It appears to be quite young and further challenges the long-age naturalistic explanations.[vii]
There have been objects found orbiting beyond the orbit of Neptune, which would be in the region of the Kuiper Belt, but those objects are much larger than what a comet’s size should be. Also, if the Kuiper Belt model is correct, there should be “around a billion icy cores” out there that have yet to be observed.[viii] This is similar to the idea of transitional fossils of geology/biology; there are still not enough found to justify their models.
What the Bible Says: Gen 1:14-19
by Brian Mariani and others
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[i] Dr. Jason Lisle, The New Answers Book 2, Chapter 9: Does the Bible Say Anything about Astronomy, March 4, 2010, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab2/bible-say-anything-astronomy, accessed January 20, 2014.
[ii] Danny Faulkner, “Comets and the Age of the Solar System,” December 1, 1997, Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v11/n3/comets, accessed January 20, 2014.
Chaisson, Eric and Steve McMillan. 1993. Astronomy Today Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, p. 339.
[iii] Spike Psarris, What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy, Vol II Our Created Stars and Galaxies, Creation Astronomy Media, DVD, 2012.
[iv] Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, Comets, Random House, New York, 1985, p 201.
[v] Coulter, Dauna, The Sun Steals Comets From Other Stars, November 23, 2010, NASA Science: Science News, http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/23nov_aliencomets/, accessed January 22, 2014.
[vi] Brian Thomas, M.S., New Comet Origins Idea Adds New Problems, December 9, 2010, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/new-comet-origins/, accessed January 22, 2014.
[vii] Thomas, Brian, M.S., Young Comet Challenges Solar System Formation Theory, June 28, 2011, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/6217/, accessed January 22, 2014.
[viii] Newton, Robert, Kuiper Belt Objects: solution to short-period comets?, Journal of Creation 16 (2): 15-17 August 2002, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/kuiper-belt-objects-solution-to-short-period-comets, accessed January 22, 2014.