Violent Solar System Birth

Violent Solar System Birth

Imagine a luxurious house on a remote ranch. Looking out the windows you see majestic mountains on one side and a scenic ocean expanse out the other. The location insures that you can enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery without disruptions. Such imagery corresponds to the solar system’s location in the Milky Way Galaxy (MWG). In fact, some scientists have argued that Earth’s idyllic habitat in the MWG reflects the work of a Designer who fashioned Earth with the explicit intent of humanity discovering his handiwork displayed throughout the universe.

Regardless, the solar system did not start out in such prime real estate. As discussed in a previous TNRTB, a chaotic and violent cluster of stars birthed our home. According to this scenario, a number of supernovae occurred in the cluster during the time period when the solar system formed. After formation, the Sun and all its planets were ejected from the dense cluster of stars before any interactions with adjacent stars disrupted the orderly orbits that now characterize Earth and the rest of the planets.

New research confirms that one of these supernovae in the dense star cluster probably triggered the formation of the solar system while simultaneously seeding it with an abundance of elements heavier than helium. This seeding enhances the concentration of radioactive isotopes incorporated into Earth so that it sustains life-critical plate tectonic activity for billions of years. While astronomers believed that supernovae could trigger star formation and simultaneous seeding, they had not been able to model the process on a computer using realistic conditions.

Early computer models of the process assumed a constant temperature for the supernova shock wave and the solar nebula. In reality, the collision of the shock wave with the nebula will cool the shock and heat the nebula. As described in an The Astrophysical Journal article, advances in computer modeling remedied this deficiency. However, in order for the nebula to remain sufficiently cool so that it collapses, it must contain an abundance of water and carbon dioxide. Consequently, before a life-sustaining solar system can form, at least one or two generations of stars must live and die in order for adequate quantities of carbon and oxygen (essential components of water and carbon dioxide) to exist.

This research provides further evidence that life arose in the universe as soon as the universe could support it. Such timing comports well with the idea that a supernatural Creator fashioned the universe with the purpose of creating life—particularly human life.