A “Young” Saturn, Like Always, Or Like Never Before?

Posted by Chris Parker | October 15, 2006 0



Creationists have long pointed to the rings of saturn as evidence of a young universe. The ago of the universe is currently pegged at 4.5 billion years, but the rings of saturn are obviously much, much younger. Spectacular new photos of saturns rings indicate that their have been significant changes in the rings in just the last 25 years.


If the rings were billions of years old, we should expect the system to have reached equilibrium by now, but instead it is changing extremely rapidly, as one might expect from a “young” system.


One can’t prove the universe is young with this data. We can say that while the rapid changes might be “puzzling” to materialists, it is exactly what creationists might have expected. The question is; is saturn a very young system still undergoing rapid changes, or do we just happen to be observing the “right” two hundred year window, out of 4.5 billion years?


Scientists Baffled by Changes in Saturn’s Rings
ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer
Monday, September 5, 2005“


This marvelous panoramic view was created by combining a total of 165 images taken by the Cassini wide-angle camera over nearly three hours on Sept. 15, 2006. The full mosaic consists of three rows of nine wide-angle camera footprints; only a portion of the full mosaic is shown here.


Color in the view was created by digitally compositing ultraviolet, infrared and clear filter images and was then adjusted to resemble natural color. The mosaic images were acquired as the spacecraft drifted in the darkness of Saturn’s shadow for about 12 hours, allowing a multitude of unique observations of the microscopic particles that compose Saturn’s faint rings. 


Ring structures containing these tiny particles brighten substantially at high phase angles: i.e., viewing angles where the sun is almost directly behind the objects being imaged”. ..JPL NASA Click and Drag Photo to resize. . New observations by the international Cassini spacecraft reveal that Saturn’s trademark shimmering rings, which have dazzled astronomers since Galileo’s time, have dramatically changed over the past 25 years.

Among the most surprising findings is that parts of Saturn’s innermost ring — the D ring — have grown dimmer since the Voyager spacecraft flew by the planet in 1981. A piece of the D ring also has shifted, moving 125 miles inward toward Saturn.

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