Jupiter’s Volcanic Moon Continues To Put On A Show

One of the most remarkable phenomena happening in our solar system today, is Io where it continues to show massive volcanic activity. Io is only slightly bigger than Earth’s moon and is the third largest among moons orbiting around Jupiter. Planetary scientists are busy mapping its surface and are in the process of coming up with new ideas about what drives its activity.

In the highlights in the paper, “Volcanism on Io: New Insights from Global Geologic Mapping”  it says…

“We produced the first complete, 1:15M-scale global geologic map of Jupiter’s moon Io

► Io was mapped into 19 material units: plains (65.8% of surface), lava flow fields (28.5%), mountains (3.2%), and patera floors (2.5%) ► The distribution of plains units is geographically constrained: White plains (dominated by SO2 + contaminants) occur mostly in the equatorial antijovian region (±30o, 90o-230oW), possibly indicative of a regional cold trap.

“► Bright (presumably sulfur-rich) flow fields make up 30% more lava flow fields than dark (presumably silicate) flows (56.5% vs. 43.5%), and only 18% of bright flow fields occur within 10 km of dark flow fields ► These results suggest that primary sulfur-rich effusions are an important component of Io’s recent volcanism.”

“► We mapped 425 paterae (volcano-tectonic depressions), which cover only 2.5% of Io’s surface, but correspond to 64% of all detected hot spots ► The freshest bright and dark flows make up about 29% of all of Io’s flow fields, suggesting active emplacement is occurring in less than a third of Io’s visible lava fields.”

“► The greater areal extent of gas-derived diffuse deposits (red + white, 85%) compared to presumably pyroclast-bearing diffuse deposits (dark (silicate ash) + yellow (sulfur-rich ash), 15%) indicates that there is effective separation between the transport of pyroclasts and gas in many Ionian explosive eruptions…”

The research produces good evidence for creationism, which advocates a young universe which is not billions of years old. Not surprising that evolutionary Planetary scientists are forcing the data into the old-age framework rather than exploring questions like how does molten material erupt onto the surface without plate tectonics? And why are heavy elements seen in the ultramafic lavas remain near the surface rather than submerging deep into the interior billions of years ago? How would Io really look with all this massive volcanic activity on this small moon happening for billions of years? Is their answer, “stuff happens” because it happens?

Alien Biology

A mysterious announcement with a touch of hype was presented last month, NASA was calling for a news conference in December. Could it be? Did NASA actually discover life on other planets?  Speculation exploded all over the internet! As it turns out, it failed commentators speculations. What they discovered was evidence of a bacterial strain found on Earth that was capable of metabolizing arsenic and incorporating it into structural molecules of the cell.

GFAJ-1, was found at Mono Lake in California. When a shortage of phosphorus occurs, this particular bacterial strain is able to incorporate arsenic into its biological structures. This may seem strange or counter-intuitive but the key is in its concentration which can render it  non-toxic when it reaches a certain level. Arsenic has similar chemical properties as phosphorus does. This certainly does not constitutes evidence for alien life forms!

Moreover, researchers discovered GFAJ-1 suffered a fitness loss. There was a 38% drop in growth rate when fed on arsenic rather than phosphorus and also the bacteria that was fed arsenic appeared structurally weaker than those fed on phosphorus as demonstrated by the robust integrity of the phosphorus fed cells in comparison to the arsenic-fed cells when prepared for analysis. Not only isn’t this proof for alien life forms, this observation wouldn’t be good for expectations in the framework of evolution.

This was well-orchestrated publicity stunt by NASA in order to obtain attention for itself. Speaking of alien life forms, a video appeared where AP reporter Seth Borenstein states, “Evidence for E.T. is mounting daily, but not proven,”. The video begins by claiming, “Science is not about blind faith” which is true, good science is not about blind faith, but he’s talking about no examples to go by but claim they know what they are looking for.  Borenstien states, “Lately, a handful of new discoveries make it seem more likely that we are not alone – that there is life somewhere else in the universe”. Alien biology is all about man’s imagination rather than emperical science.

How good are scientists speculating about what’s out there in space? It’s one thing to talk the big talk, it’s another thing to back up that talk. The Cassini mission which has been utterly amazing with it’s observations has gathered more observational data of the geysers on Enceladus. This phenomena continues to erupt out the south pole. How good were scientists at predicting such an observation on Enceladus? Scientists believed based on it’s assumed age of billions of years old that Enceladus should be an inactive moon, frozen out long ago. The geysers were discovered last year show bright jets shooting gas and dust outward at supersonic speeds.  These particles create the E-ring we see around Saturn. Active geysers would have never been predicted by scientists because of  very old age assumptions.  The solar system as well as the universe is way younger and yes there is more activity yet to be discovered! Now scientists speculated on the level of complexity of these geysers contain, the new data shows them to be more complex than previous thought.

My point is this, scientists who are into alien biology are going by blind faith, they have trouble predicting what’s in our own solar system let along trying to predict what is further out there!

Trying To Keep Observations Old When They Look Young

Keeping Saturn old was not much of a challenge for secular planetary scientists, it was easy to just assume  the planet with it’s rings was 4.5 billion years old and they expected to observe those expectations.  However, the Cassini mission didn’t turn out the data in what they expected. For example, Saturn’s rings with its array of beautiful colors and shapes that in 1610 were called by Galileo who was the first to discover them, “”handles” or large moons on either side of the planet. Many years later, Christann Huyges proposed that Saturn was surrounded by a solid ring. The first pictures of majestic rings were taken in 1979 by Pioneer 11.

The Cassini spacecraft began to take highly detailed pictures of Saturn’s rings that were absolutely breath-taking but surprises began to mount for those who believe the Universe is billions of years old because Saturn’s rings are young-looking. The ices are way too clean to be 4.5 billion years old being under the forces acting upon them that are so pervasive. So the old idea that proposed the rings formed when Saturn did fell out of favor with a need for new imaginative explanations.

One has turned up and this is not a new idea in particular but a variant of another idea, according to the BBC news:  “Saturn’s rings may have formed when a large moon with an icy mantle and rocky core spiralled into the nascent planet.” Whenever observations in our solar system do not match the old age framework or a particular theory based on naturalism, an asteroid or comet is then evoked as the alternative explanation. For example, that alternative explanation has been used for other planets like Mercury and Venus. It was funny to read that Carl Murray thought it was “a clever way to explain the peculiarly icy nature of the rings” lol.

In Science Daily, the article boosts about how in 1979, Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun from Tel Aviv University’s Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences “developed the theory that there were lakes on Titan. Upon falling to the moon’s surface, he theorized, the hydrocarbons in the atmosphere would form lakes with a depth of approximately 43 meters had they been covering the entire surface of Titan. In addition, he hypothesized that the same elements would form aerosols in the atmosphere.” Later estimations were even higher based on the assumption it’s billions of years old. What Cassini spacecraft actually found in 2005 concerning bodies of liquid on the surface of Titan are restricted to scattered lakes in the polar regions!  The prediction vastness of the lakes was falsified while his other prediction concerning the lakes being hydrocarbons rather than water was verified.

In 2005, the Cassini spacecraft made a starling discovery, there are active geysers at the south pole of little moon Enceladus! It had astronomers shaking their heads, how could a small dead moon be still be geologically active after 4.5 billion years? It should have been frozen out billions of years ago because of lack of bulk, they say. Some computer models were created to find an alternative explanation to keep the moon old, Cassini Project Scientist Dennis Matson came up with a subsurface ocean picks up ions in the rock that bubble upward and explode out the south polar cracks. Questions emerge, like how the ocean survived for billions of years in a moon just 500 miles across, why they erupt at the south pole, and why other moons don’t do this?

JPL came up with another story which calls for friction between the sides of subsurface cracks to keep the interior warm.

“Enceladus’ orbit around Saturn is slightly oval-shaped. As it travels around Saturn, Enceladus moves closer in and then farther away. When Enceladus is closer to Saturn, it feels a stronger gravitational pull from the planet than when it is farther away. Like gently squeezing a rubber ball slightly deforms its shape, the fluctuating gravitational tug on Enceladus causes it to flex slightly. The flexing, called gravitational tidal forcing, generates heat from friction deep within Enceladus.”

Questions emerge with this story, Why does this happen only at Enceladus, and not nearby Mimas or Tethys?  What makes this unique to this one moon?  Don’t other moons librate?  Isn’t all other moons of Saturn have perfect spheres and don’t they have tidal stresses too?

It’s truly amazing on what has been discovered! While the Cassini mission has thrown secular theories a loop, it has provided a wealth of great information on confirming the Bible!

Learning About The Moon Has Challenged Theories

Walking along the lakeshore at night listening to the sounds of the water gently hitting the shoreline, then looking up to gaze at the moon. It dominates the night-time sky, controlling the tides, admired for its design from God, sparking curiosity on what it holds. As a young man, I dreamed of what it would be like to live on the moon and looking at the earth from there while exploring the utter most parts of it!

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), now past its first year of operation, has revealed some interesting things, our moon is more complex than previously thought. Secular science outlets deem it’s age (4.5 billion years) as a foregone conclusion while creating a story about a late heavy bombardment 3.9 billion years ago from the asteroid belt, formulating the maria (seas) of lava, smaller craters from near-Earth impactors, and ongoing space weathering and regolith formation as the moon cooled down into the body we see today.

New discoveries have challenged the story. This is evident with three papers that were published on September 17 (here, here and here), “For the first time we’re actually detecting how complex the lunar surface is,” one of the authors said, Benjamin Greenhagen of JPL, remarked.  “It’s a bit of a paradigm shift.”

A popular science site contained headlines like “NASA’s LRO Exposes Moon’s Complex, Turbulent Youth” while others like National Geographic contained “New Type of Moon Volcano Discovered” and science daily with it’s usual take, “Moon’s Craters Give New Clues to Early Solar System Bombardment.” All the reports agreed that these finding makes their story about the moon’s past more complex.

As the data continues to get better, are planetary scientists headed in the right direction in learning about the moon’s origin? Are they getting any closer to a real explanation about the moon’s origin? Scientists in play now are at the stage of admitting more anomalies in the current paradigm which is considered routine in science.  Only when these anomalies accumulate to the point of unwieldiness, or younger scientists enter the field with different ideas, can the paradigm get replaced.

The current paradigm includes a time framework and numerous unproveable assumptions.  Entrenched assumptions currently include the Age of the Solar System (4.5 billion years).  However, the new data points to a youthful moon rather it’s assumed billions of years range. In that old age framework, the moon was suppose to be frozen, producing no activity or in other words, geologically dead. But Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showed scientists evidence to the contrary. The moon is still forming new surface features with incredible shrinking activity!

Also, the moon contains young-looking lava flows!  Volcanism was assumed to have stopped billions of years ago on  the moon. Crater-count dating estimates the lava flows to be only 2.5 million years – far younger than the ancient times when volcanism was supposed to have stopped.

Some critics are quick to point out, this particular estimate is not 6,000 years and their old age framework just needs the data to be tweaked into it because at 2.5 million years with or without the possibility of it being younger, the old age story unravels and becomes useless to go by.  Evolution of the moon (and everything else we see today) requires vast amounts of time! The fact of the matter is, the estimate is closer to what the Bible gives than what the story on how long it took to evolve!

Why isn’t the moon dead if it’s billions of years old as predicted by evolutionary theory?  How could gas and lava get to the surface if it’s suppose to be frozen out? Why does the surface differ so much from one area to the next? A host of many specialized conditions are then dreamed up to explain the anomalies.

Scientists are often oblivious with their assumptions while spending time on paradigms. Faith without evidence is invoked with the anomalies which are mere puzzles to them that will be solved within a approved consensus. “Our Created Moon” by Whitcomb is an excellent book which explores the moon’s purposeful design.

So when you walk outside at night and look up to the stars and observe the moon, not only think of it’s rarity and beauty but this reality, without God’s design, we couldn’t exist on earth!