Solar System Geysers—Each a Fountain of Youth | The Institute for Creation Research

Solar System Geysers—Each a Fountain of Youth

A sticky problem for nature-only origins just got 100 times worse.

When discovered about ten years ago, a remarkable plume of water ice ejected from Enceladus, an icy moon in Saturn’s E ring, left secular notions of the moon’s origin up in the air. Detailed inspection of Enceladus now shows not just one, but 101 geysers shooting ice particles into space through four fissures that cut across a basin in its south-pole region.1

If these geysers formed billions of years ago as secular origins models insist, then small Solar System bodies should be old, cold, and dead—that is, geologically, magnetically, and otherwise completely inactive. Enceladus already broke this “cold” mold once with its towering water-ice plume, and then a second time when close measurements revealed more heat than expected.2

Secularists have difficulty modeling any means by which the moon could still have the material and energy necessary to spout geysers, both of which should have been spent millions of years ago. However, from the perspective of recent creation, still-active planets and moons like Enceladus come as no surprise.

Scientists have gathered and analyzed in-depth imaging and detection by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-managed Cassini spacecraft. They published their results in the July 2014 issue of the Astronomical Journal.3 The Cassini website reported, “These results, together with those of other Cassini instruments, now strongly suggest that the geysers have their origins in the sea known to exist beneath the ice underlying the south polar terrain”4  

So, the geyser’s water and heat comes from beneath the icy crust of Enceladus, but why are they still there after billions of years? Tidal flexing has been the first model to which secularists looked for answers. In it, gravity squeezes the planet, generating heat and power. Tidal flexing does occur, but a 2011 study revealed that it doesn’t even supply one tenth of the geyser-riddled moon’s heat-generating power.2

The Astronomical Journal study authors wrote, “If regional tidal heating is occurring today, it may be responsible for some of the erupting water and heat.” Thus, heat from tidal flexing “may” cause “some” of Enceladus’ activity, but certainly not all of it.

Instead of admitting that Enceladus looks young, they punted the issue by saying, “Future Cassini observations may settle the question.”3 Acquiring more data may not be the key to understanding Enceladus’ activity. In this case, interpreting the data in light of recent creation provides none of these troublesome contradictions.

Full explanations for what fuels the 101 moon plumes continue to elude secular thinking, but Enceladus’ ongoing activity can be understood—even expected— if it were created thousands, not billions of years ago.

References

  1. Cassini Spacecraft Reveals 101 Geysers and More on Icy Saturn Moon. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Posted on jpl.nasa.gov July 28, 2014, accessed August 3, 2014.
  2. Thomas, B. Heat of Saturn Moon Far Surpasses Long-age Expectations. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org March 29, 2011, accessed August 3, 2014.
  3. Porco, C., D. DiNono, and F. Nimmo. 2014. How the Geysers, Tidal Stresses, and Thermal Emission across the South Polar Terrain of Enceladus Are Related. The Astronomical Journal. 148 (3): 45.
  4. Bursting at the Seams: The Geyser Basin of Enceladus. CICLOPS. Posted on ciclops.org July 28, 2014, accessed August 3, 2014.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on August 8, 2014.

The Latest
NEWS
Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Next Week
Both amateur and professional stargazers have an opportunity to see a little more of God’s glory revealed in the heavens1 next week. The...

NEWS
Great American Outdoors Act, Signed into Law by President
In a bipartisan legislative achievement to promote better stewardship of American public lands, U.S. Senators and Representatives finalized their bill...

NEWS
Grandmothers, Eat Fish to Protect Your Brains!
This month the American Academy of Neurology published a medical science study showing that senior women can fight air pollution hazards, including brain...

NEWS
Embarrassment Continues over Evolutionary Blunder about “Junk...
Recent research from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) continues to highlight how evolutionary theory influenced...

NEWS
God’s Plan Is Best: Salmon Need Saltwater Acclimation
Once again, results are better when aquaculture imitates the natural life cycle of Atlantic salmon.1,2 In other words, the closer fish farmers...

NEWS
Inside August 2020 Acts & Facts
Have you heard about ICR’s new President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Randy Guliuzza? What can we learn from an old prayer? Is creation evidence...

NEWS
After 30 Years, Red Kites Soar in British Skies
Good news is always welcome. So, it’s good to learn of another conservation comeback. This time it’s the red kite happily soaring in Great...

CREATION PODCAST
Meet Dr. G
Hear the history and heart of ICR’s newly appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Randy Guliuzza. He has served as ICR’s National...

ACTS & FACTS
'Doing Business' in Good Times and Bad
No doubt many of you, like me, have been earnestly looking for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. He called all believers to be godly “salt”...

APOLOGETICS
Sentinels Are Needed in Perilous Times
Watch out! Dangers lurk everywhere—these are surely perilous times.1 One of the apologetics-exhorting themes in Jude’s epistle...