June 19, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Hopes Die for Enceladus Longevity

Ever since Enceladus, the little 300-mile-across moon of Saturn was found in 2005 to be erupting out its south pole, scientists have tried to explain how it could be possible.  They have looked high and low for an energy source to power the geysers of the little moon dubbed “Cold Faithful” for billions of years.  There have been no answers yet, and none seem to be forthcoming.
    An article on Space.com says this little moon should be frozen solid.  All they can give as a plausible length of time for geysering activity is 30 million years.  That is less than 1% the assumed age of the solar system (4.6 billion years).  The geysers put out 5.8 gigawatts of heat.  Neither tidal heating nor radioactive decay are sufficient to produce that kind of energy output, given Enceladus’ size and the nature of its orbit.
    James Roberts (UC Santa Cruz) lamented, “There is no possible combination of parameters that allow for a thermally stable ocean” under the icy crust.  Researchers trying to keep this little moon hot for billions of years are resorting to ad hoc scenarios like imagining prior episodes of eccentric orbits.  Such historical, unrepeatable events are not observable.  They also do not explain why neighboring moons, though larger, show no activity – like Mimas, though it is subject to more tidal stress than Enceladus.

The consensus old age of the solar system has been falsified.  They just won’t admit it.  How much longer do you want them to tweak their models to keep Enceladus hot?  Remember, they have to do it with Io and Neptune and Uranus and Pluto also.  Numerous phenomena in our solar system mandate an age limit far shorter than 4.6 billion years.  Long ages are no longer necessary for planet formation or for any other geological feature.  The only one who wants them is Charlie, and he doesn’t count.
    So many requirements of evolution have been falsified, the superstructure of evolutionary theory floats disconnected from the ground of evidence, supported by the hot air of its defenders.  They can’t keep it up forever.

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Categories: Physics, Solar System

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