Mercury Mission Is Jaw Dropping

The innermost and smallest planet in the Solar System which orbits the sun slightly under 88 days has been the focus of many articles for Messenger’s amazing data collecting mission. Finding things that no theorist would have ever predicted. In fact, last March the mission revealed some eye-popping data that has sent many of them back to the drawing board. Mercury is different from what has been described in the textbooks.

In last week’s journal of science, strange hollows were discovered on Mercury. Could this be something like on Mars which has similar features? It has been speculated that Mars features were a consequence of evaporating carbon dioxide ice. But there is no carbon dioxide ice on Mercury, so what is it? Evidence of volcanism! The strange hollows have been observed with three flybys, and the extent of them exceeded expectations, described by the BBC as having enough lava to cover Washington DC by 26,000 km.

Space.com says…

“Based on the way this lava apparently eroded the underlying surface, the researchers suggest it rushed out rapidly. We can’t say if it took 2.7 days or 15 years or any exact time from orbit, but it wasn’t hundreds of millions of years,” Head added.

Mercury’s northern high latitudes had largely escaped view until now. When we flew by Mercury the first time with Mariner 10, we weren’t really sure if volcanism caused these smooth plains,” Head told SPACE.com. Now we’re in orbit with Messenger, we’re up close and personal, just going around and around and really building up our picture of Mercury.”

What is strange about this observation when it comes to the old age framework, why would very massive volcanism turn on like that, last a few short years, and then stop and then remain unchanged for billions of years?

One of the reasons there is a Mercury mission is trying to solve, it’s magnetic field mystery. Back in the 1970s, scientists were surprised to find that Mercury had one because with the “dynamo theory” it should have frozen out long ago. It suggested that Mercury was younger than billions of years. Mercury’s magnetic field is unable to provide protection from the solar wind.

Science daily writes…

“Only six months into its Mercury orbit, the tiny MESSENGER spacecraft has shown scientists that Mercury doesn’t conform to theory. Its surface material composition differs in important ways from both those of the other terrestrial planets and expectations prior to the MESSENGER mission, calling into question current theories for Mercury’s formation. Its magnetic field is unlike any other in the Solar System, and there are huge expanses of volcanic plains surrounding the north polar region of the planet and cover more than 6% of Mercury’s surface…. Theorists need to go back to the drawing board on Mercury’s formation,” remarked the lead author of one of the papers, Carnegie’s Larry Nittler. “Most previous ideas about Mercury’s chemistry are inconsistent with what we have actually measured on the planet’s surface.”

While some claim planetary scientists enjoy surprises for job security reasons, and designing a spacecraft to be able to gather data is quite a feat, the old-age framework has been one of the reasons why observations are not matching up with theories. Increasing complexity for a theory is never good, it often leads to telling a story and passing it off as better than empirical data. Suggesting bursts of massive lava all over the north, then shut off for billions of years, while things are being hollowed out in a process that could still be ongoing today, is forcing the data into the framework.

While suggesting that a planet is smaller than Titan is able to keep an iron core liquid long enough so that a global magnetic field can survive.  As a result of this complexity, they have to create a planet with elements that were believed not possible to exist so close to the sun, but then keep vast deposits of it intact after billions of years of solar heat and bombardment. Their story telling is not nearly as good as the data itself. The Mercury is a great mission so far and it’s making clearer rather than more complex that it is younger (thousands of years) and designed by a Creator, namely God!

Messenger Mission Has Begun With Mercury

This is going to be an historic exploration of Mercury, Mariner 10 visited in the planet back 1971 with only a few brief passes which caused a stir back then. Now settled in orbit, Messenger will be collecting breath-taking data for the next three years! This is welcomed news for creation science as the second smallest planet in the solar system has been a major challenge for evolutionists but confirming data for creationism.

Last time Mariner 10 flew by the planet it gathered some interesting data as well, such as Mercury’s magnetic field was discovered! Evolutionary scientists have come up with a story called the ‘dynamo’ theory, which was designed for the assumption of the solar-system being billions of years old and still have a magnet field because all other mechanisms would require that the planets be very young!

The reason why Mercury had been such a surprise for evolutionists because of  its magnetic field that contains north-south asymmetry which affects interaction of the planet’s surface with charged particles from the solar wind. Why would a small planet like Mercury having a magnetic field be a problem for planet evolution? Because for a planet to be billions of years old and still have a magnetic field, there must be fluid motions within a planet’s core.

Therefore, the core itself must be molten. As one scientist put it, ‘Mercury is so small that the general opinion is that the planet [i.e. its core] should have frozen solid aeons ago’ which presents a problem and therefore, the core cannot be molten, and so evolutionary theories would have to conclude that Mercury cannot have a magnetic field. But yet it does and now its magnetic field is labeled as one of the mysteries of science as a result of the data not matching up with a fundamental theory in planet evolution and hopes Messenger will give them enough data to come up with a solution.

Other observational data which does not match up with the assumptions of planetary evolution and considered another mystery of science, is the high density that Mercury has which is also second to Earth’s density in the solar system. This is a problem within the slow-and-gradual-development models. Like in other cases in the solar system that have particular data problems, the unobserved and historic catastrophic collision was invoked. What is the evidence for this collision? Nothing!

Even with little gravity, this surprise consists of Mercury having an atmosphere but even more of a surprise, Mercury is loosing its  thin atmosphere and this of course presents a problem with the assumption that the planet is billions of years old. So it somehow needs “the atmosphere has to be constantly regenerated” says one scientist. How this happens is unknown, again they lay hope on the Messenger mission will give them ideas.

This historic exploration of Mercury will certainly be of great interest. Keep in mind discoveries can happen by accident as it doesn’t normally follow a particular method. Also, discoveries can happen by a hunch or a dream or even by mistake! But when it comes to explaining those discoveries that is an entirely different concept. Remember to keep discovery and explanation separate from one another when reading articles such as these.  Scientists with their reporters will often mix them together, giving the illusion there is only one explanation between the two but there is not! The next three years is going to be exciting, can’t wait to see what is going on with Mercury!

Messenger Spacecraft Starts Its Mission

On March 29, 1974, one of the more surprising discovering during that year was Mariner 10 was not only able to find that  Mercury has a lightweight crust, but the planet also contained a weak magnetic field which is about one-hundredth as strong as the magnetic field on earth.

Duane Gish writes

“One of the most popular theories on the source of the earth’s magnetic field is the self-generating dynamo theory. Such a theory requires that the planet have a relatively high speed of rotation. Mercury, however, rotates very slowly, revolving once in 88 earth days. Therefore, the self-generating dynamo theory won’t work for Mercury.  Some new theory must be hatched to account for Mercury’s magnetic field.”

Because it didn’t generate the interest like Mars, exploration of the planet was put on hold till the idea of Messenger came about. One of its primary objectives is to study Mercury’s magnetic field in order to account for its existence.

Science Daily points out…

“The vector fluxgate Magnetometer, or MAG, is a joint development between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. MAG will collect magnetic field samples at a rate of up to 20 times per second. These measurements will be used to discover the nature and origins of the planet’s global magnetic field, determine the magnetic properties of its outer layer or crust, and explore new types of space weather that are thought to be unique to Mercury.”

The magnetometer is quite an amazing invention, well designed for its task on studying Mercury, and no doubt will complicate even more the dynamo theory. Back in 2008, Messenger was able to gather some information about Mercury’s magnetic field. This data was valuable, because in 1984, a creation scientist made the following scientific prediction based on the universe being young, not billions of years old.

D. Russell Humphreys writes an article about his prediction in 1984…

“M e r c u r y ’s decay rate is so rapid that some future probe could detect it fairly soon. In 1990 the planet’s magnetic moment should be 1.8% smaller than its 1975 value [measured by the Mariner 10 spacecraft].”

Although no spacecraft visited the planet in the 1990s, Humphreys argues the planet’s magnetic moment would be expected to be about 4% lower in 2008 than it was in 1975. He arrives to that conclusion based on…

“Creationist theories of planetary fields expect such a decrease because electrical resistance in a planet’s core will decrease the electrical current causing the magnetic field, just as friction slows down a flywheel.”

He continues…

“The smaller the core or the greater the resistance, the faster the field will decay…”

Messenger has successfully validated Humphreys prediction, now since the Spacecraft has just entered Mercury’s orbit a few days ago with it’s MAG measuring tool, scientists should get an accurate reading which is exciting and  is expected to agree with the creationist model, but it’s also expected not to agree with the evolutionary model which will make the story even more complicated due to another falsification along with this falsification that includes creation scientists not making predictions in science outside the evolutionary framework.

New Mercury Observations Reveals Surprises

Messenger’s latest fly by of Mercury, was very interesting. The probe gathered important data about the planet’s surface and it’s magnetic field. What they found was an enormous amount of solidified lava on the surface of Mercury. This indicates the planet has gone through a lot of volcanic activity sometime during it’s history.

The massive lava presence consisted of 3,600 miles just in one crater, which was more than enough lava to cover a major city with. In fact, it could cover a major city 12 times over. More observations included…

“This hemisphere of Mercury is smoother than the other hemisphere, and we need to think hard about why that’s the case,” Zuber said.” National Geographic.

“Scientists also noted a large “wrinkle ridge”—a feature that probably forms when a planet shrinks. The planet probably has undergone a considerable amount of contraction, but we can’t go so far as to say how much until we take many, many more measurements.”

This is quite plausible considering the planet had undergone major volcanic activity and with it being close to the sun placed purposely in an environment (like space) which is really cold. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is still some volcanic activity going on under ground.

The biggest surprise, mainly to evolutionary scientists and intelligent design proponents (not to creation scientists) is Mercury’s magnetic field. It goes against what is known as the dynamo theory. In this explanation, the liquid core or the planet in general should have frozen out long ago because of the supposedly enormous age of the planet. Mercury’s magnetic field is actually revealing a much younger age, which is in line with the Creationist model.

The latest observation of the magnetic field they found so surprising that it “knocked their socks off” sort of speak…

“Mercury’s magnetic field has a strong interaction with the solar wind, casting a long tail on the night side.  For a world that was thought to be too small and dead to possess a magnetic field at all, Mercury was shown to have a symmetric dipole field.  Furthermore, it is closely aligned with the rotation axis – another difficulty for theory.  In addition, atoms of magnesium, sodium and calcium were detected in the planet’s tenuous atmosphere.”

When scientists uses the term; “another difficulty for a theory” it means the data is not showing what a theory said it should be doing. Their particular work will include various explanations on how the data got different from the theory, but didn’t actually falsify the theory itself. The framework is limited and has been obviously falsified in this case, but their explanations are far from being limited.

On a site note, concerning magnetic fields. It has been reported that evolutionary scientists had firmly rejected just 10 years ago, has been falsified. A magnetic portal denied at one time, has been discovered. The portal opens every 8 minutes, allowing tons of high energy particles to flow through. It connects the Earth and Sun. Seems the magnetic related theories in evolutionary thinking has been taking a beating lately.