The sun is one of these rare stars…
In the latter half of this decade, science revealed the importance of our solar system’s position in the galaxy between two spiral arms, where certain life-disturbing phenomena rarely occur and where our view of the galaxy and of the universe beyond is unobstructed.1 A new piece of research by two Russian astronomers shows that our position is special in yet another respect.2 Our sun and its satellites stay between the spiral arms.
The stability of our position is possible because the sun is one of these rare stars with a “galactic co-rotation radius.” Let us explain. Typically, the stars in our galaxy orbit the center of the galaxy at a rate that differs from the rate of the trailing spiral arms. Thus, most stars located between spiral arms do not remain there for long. A star revolving around the galaxy’s center at a slower or faster rate than the spiral arm structure itself will eventually be swept inside a spiral arm. Only at a certain precise distance from the galaxy’s center, the “co-rotation radius,” can a star remain in its place between two spiral arms, orbiting at precisely the same rate as the galaxy arms rotate around the core.3,4
As people in the real estate business say, “Location is everything.” The fact that the sun’s location is fine-tuned to permit the possibility of life – and even more precisely fine-tuned to keep the location fixed in that unique spot where life is possible – powerfully suggests divine design.
(For a fuller discussion of this topic, see our first issue of Facts for Faith.)
by Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez
- Hugh Ross, “A Window to God’s Glory,” Facts & Faith, v. 10, n. 2 (1996), pp. 1-2.
- Yu N. Mishurov and L. A. Zenina, “Yes, the Sun is Located Near the Corotation Circle,” Astronomy & Astrophysics, 341 (1999), pp. 81-85.
- Guillermo Gonzalez, “Is the Sun Anomalous?” Astronomy & Geophysics, in press (1999).
- Guillermo Gonzalez, “Solar System Bounces in the Right Range for Life,” Facts & Faith, v. 11, n. 1 (1997), pp. 4-5.