Chasing the Elusive Brown Dwarf | The Institute for Creation Research

Dust and gas clouds seen around the star AB Aurigae. Hubble Space Telescope, NASA.

Chasing the Elusive Brown Dwarf

A team of astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History will be reporting in the June issue of Astrophysical Journal that a new "object" in space has been discovered that some believe bring scientists “one step closer to understanding how new planets form.”1
 
Could this be another planet? Not exactly. It could be a brown dwarf.

A "brown dwarf" is defined as "a celestial body with insufficient mass to sustain the nuclear fusion that produces radiant energy in normal stars, believed to have formed with enough mass to start nuclear fusion in its core, but without enough for the fusion to become self-sustaining."2

While excited over this discovery, funded by the National Science Foundation, researchers only say they have “construct[ed] an image of material that seems to be coalescing into a body” [emphasis added].
 
An object that seems to be coalescing
 
Scientists cautiously link this "discovery" to planet formation, using language ranging from “possibly” to “may advance theories” to “could be” to “astronomers believe.” 

Principal Investigator Ben R. Oppenheimer insists that “more detailed observations of this star can help solve questions about how some planets form, and can possibly test competing theories.” 
 
NSF Program Manager Julian Christou stated that one of “the biggest, unresolved question[s] of planet formation [is] how the thick disk of debris and gas evolves into a thin, dusty region with planets.”
 
However, Scripture teaches that God created planets on Day Four of creation week. He is no longer creating stars and planets, and there is therefore an alternative explanation to this dust and gas cloud around the star AB Aurigae. 
  
Of course, there is a law of science that must not be forgotten: the second law of thermodynamics, which continues to demonstrate an ongoing state of decay, not the upward onward formation of planets and stars.


* Mr. Sherwin is Science Editor.

References

  1. Press Release, National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=111330&org=NSF  
  2. brown dwarf. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004 (accessed: March 31, 2008).
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