May 28, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

Young Planet Around Young Star Claimed

A star estimated to be one million years old already has a planet in orbit around it, the Spitzer Space Telescope (Hubble’s counterpart for infrared astronomy) has found.  Astrobiology Magazine says this challenges old theories.  Alan Boss (Carnegie Institute) thinks this supports his disk-instability model for planetary formation, in which gas giants can form quickly, in just hundreds or thousands of years (see 05/07/2001 headline).  If so, “that has profound implications for the prevalence of planetary systems similar to our own,” he says.  “That means you can make gas giant planets – a major component of our own solar system – in a short time scale, in even the shortest-lived disc.”
    Spitzer also found organic material in the disks of some stars, reports Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The “raw ingredients for life” appears to be in icy bodies that might be comets.  If so, “Scientists believe these comets may have endowed Earth with some of its water and many of its biogenic, life-enabling materials.”

It also means our solar system doesn’t have to be as old as claimed even under naturalistic presuppositions.  Funny that you can have young-earth theories for other stars, but not our own.
    “Raw ingredients for life” again; sure.  Iron ore and gypsum are raw ingredients for buildings.  Once upon a time, these ingredients organized themselves into cities and factories and concert halls.

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Categories: Astronomy, Origin of Life

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