TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
Solar system simulations resolve an enigma regarding the spin axes of the outer gas giant planets, effectively undermining one argument some young-earth creationists YECs) use to advocate a few-thousand-year-old cosmos. For decades, astronomers assumed that collisions with smaller bodies accounted for the fact that the spin axes of the gas giant planets did not exactly align with the sun’s axis, despite other evidence arguing against any collisions. However, recent simulations show that gravitational interactions between the gas giant planets in the early solar system (as the planets slowly changed orbits) naturally explain the spin axes of all four gas giants. These results not only solve a long-standing problem in RTB’s cosmic creation model (and remove an objection used by YECs), they also highlight the dynamic nature of the early solar system and the fine-tuning necessary to ensure a life-supporting planet like Earth.
- Adrián Brunini, “Origin of the Obliquities of the Giant Planets in Mutual Interactions in the Early Solar System,” Nature 440 (2006): 1163-65.
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