I'd never heard of this "theory." Sounds very wrong to me, but then astrophysics is not my specialty.
Anyone care to take it on?
Here's the excerpt which inspired me, from In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood (7th Edition) by Dr. Walt Brown.:
quote:The Origin of Asteroids and Meteoroids SUMMARY: The “fountains of the great deep” launched rocks as well as muddy water. As rocks moved farther from Earth, Earth’s gravity became less significant to them, and the gravity of nearby rocks became increasingly significant. Consequently, many rocks, assisted by their mutual gravity and surrounding clouds of water vapor, merged to become asteroids. Isolated rocks in space are meteoroids. Drag forces caused by water vapor and thrust forces produced by the radiometer effect concentrated asteroids in what is now the asteroid belt. The so-called mavericks of the solar system (asteroids, meteoroids, and comets) resulted from the same event.
A few Questions: Q. Can water be used as a medium to propel rocks into space? Q. Can the "radiometer effect" guide asteroids into stable orbit? Q. Does Quartz melt at 1300 degrees Fahrenheit? Q. Is a mechanical engineer qualified to discuss Astrophysics?
My Answers: No, No, No, and No. But, as I say, this is not my field of expertise.
quote:There's a new article in Nature about the rotation of asteriods that I believe falsifies a YEC origin for the solar system.
I don't have access to the full article, and all I know I either read from the abstract or heard from the discussion of the article on NPR today. Basically astronomers have found that the asteroids that make up the asterioid belt do not tumble and rotate randomly, as was thought before. Instead, many of the asteriods rotate in sync or in harmony.
The explanation for this is believed to be eons of exposure to sunlight, which, over much time, gives the asteriods a "push" that sets them rotating in similar ways. As the solar radiation falling on asteriods so far from the sun is so very slight, it must have taken millions of years to set the asteriods spinning the way that they are.
This falsifies a young creation for the solar system because 6000 years isn't nearly enough time for sunlight to have that effect. In a young solar system the asteriods' rotation would be totally random as a result of occasional, unpredictable collisions.
Or that's what I got from the radio. (The relevance to the EvC issue is my own reasoning.) Perhaps somebody with access to the online version of the Nature article (Planetary Science: Spin Control for Asteriods by Richard P. Binzel) - somebody who doesn't have to pay $18.00 to see it, anyway - could post an excerpt and correct the mistakes I've likely made.
(I suppose God could have set the asteriods spinning that way to "test our faith", but that's a non-answer, really. God could do anything he wants under that reasoning, including giving us false memories. But a Chrisitan God of Truth wouldn't lie to us to test our faith, so it's not even a Biblical answer.)
Couldn't find a creationist to challenge my point. I guess I'd like to see how a violent upsurge of water could both knock almost an entire planet's-worth of stone into orbit (and leave a habitable world behind) while at the same time synchronizing their rotational periods. I doubt that your mechanical engineer has the answer.
Q. Can water be used as a medium to propel rocks into space?
That sounds implausible to me.
Q. Can the "radiometer effect" guide asteroids into stable orbit?
The asteroid would have to already be in a stable orbit. The effects of radiation pressure are small, and would have to act over a very long time. Unless the asteroid were already in a somewhat stable orbit, it would not remain close enough to the source of radiation for there to be much effect.
SiO2 has many different crystal structures, which are stable or metastable at various ranges of temperatures and pressures.
Per An Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals by Deer, Howie, & Zussman, the ultimate melting point of SiO2 is 1730o Celsius, which (if I did the conversions correctly) equals 3115o Fahrenheit.
Now, I believe the above is for pure SiO2. The presence of water effects the crystallization temperatures. Offhand, I think this is getting into a hybrid area that also involves solution effects.
1300o Fahrenheit equals 690o Celsius. Offhand, this seems to be in the ballpark of the temperature that the last Quartz will crystallize out, when in a cooling high water environment. Once again, this is more a matter of crystallizing out of an water solution, rather that crystallizing out of a melt.
Or something like that.
Edited to repair coding, which I lost when I did a non-raw text copy and paste.
This message has been edited by minnemooseus, 12-06-2005 03:32 PM
Guess I'm going to have to review the article now to see if our guy may have been referring to just that. But I don't believe he was. I got the distinct impression that he was talking about the temperature of fusion. I used to play with quartz powder, fusing it into globules for use in homemade jewelry so when I saw that temp. for the melting point of quartz I figured our guy for a crackpot.
Theology is the science of Dominion. - - - My God is your god's Boss - - -
It would appear that I was correct. Here it is, copied and pasted:
quote:As explained in Figure 132, temperatures eventually reached 1,300F., sufficient to melt quartz and allow iron and nickel to settle downward and become concentrated in the pillar tips. (Quartz, the first major mineral in granite to melt, would dissolve or drip into the subterranean water.) A similar gravitational settling process concentrated iron and nickel in the Earth’s core. [See “Melting the Inner Earth” on page 357.]
And this somehow happened under water?
There is a page which supposedly explains how this happened. I'm not following the text very well, but the graphic is adequately revealing. How did he get these pictures, I wonder.
The lowest temperature Quartz crystallization scenario is how pegmatites are formed. These are the VERY coarse grained rocks that might be found as the final phase of a granite bodies formation. I don't know if there are any examples of the reverse process having happened.
Obviously, the final pegmatite crystallization is happening at something greater than standard atmospheric pressures, as the boiling point of water is at or above that c. 700o Celcius temperature.
In all, Walt Brown seems to be, at best, working in the realm of dubious quality science fiction.
My favorite parts of his "theory" are: 1) Asteroids would of necessity have chemical and isotopic compositions like Earth's crust - and they don't. 2) Asteroids launched from the cannon of the midocean ridges would all be on earth-intersecting orbits - all of them don't seem likely to have gotton promoted to new orbits on the first time around. Noah would have needed to dodge a lot. 3) Launched by superheated steam.....how did that cool before falling back to earth, again? Radiation into a vacuum, with no heat directed arkwards?
It's true that asteroids are pretty much void of quartz, and Brown handwaves this away by saying it melted away, but he apparently doesn't know much about asteroids/meteorites. Meteorites have a lot of volatile minerals, including things like clays, iron sulfide, and magnetite. These minerals all vaporize/change at temperatures much lower than 1300 F. Why aren't they all gone as well?