Surprising Water Found on Inner Solar System Objects
Recently-visited objects in the inner solar system show evidence of water ice or volatile materials.
According to secular models of the solar system, the inner objects should be rocky, and the outer objects should be icy. Over billions of years, volatile materials such as water should evaporate away. That appears to be happening before our eyes at an exoplanet around another star, where a comet-like tail shows the light element helium being stripped away by the star’s heat (Phys.org). The Earth’s oceans create a problem for secular theories, leading to rescue hypotheses that invoke comets bringing the water after the Earth cooled.
That’s what theorists believed in the past. Now, there’s increasing evidence for water in the inner solar system, to the surprise of planetary scientists.
Asteroid Bennu Had Water! NASA Probe Makes Tantalizing Find (Live Science). The exclamation point in the headline expresses the surprise in the science. NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft just arrived at a small asteroid named Bennu, located in the asteroid belt. One of the first discoveries was “hydrated minerals” (minerals with water content). This is particularly surprising given that they believe Bennu is a collision product:
The discovery suggests that liquid water was once plentiful in the interior of Bennu’s parent body, which scientists think was a roughly 62-mile-wide (100 kilometers) rock in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. (Bennu is likely a pile of rubble that coalesced after a massive impact shattered that larger object hundreds of millions of years ago.)
Bennu was chosen as a target to learn about the possible water content of asteroids, as a possible source of the water in Earth’s oceans. Seth Borenstein says at Phys.org that the water is in the form of wet clay, not liquid water, at least today. But…
“There’s evidence of liquid water in Bennu’s past,” said NASA scientist Amy Simon. “This is great news. This is a surprise.“
The asteroid is also unexpectedly covered in boulders 10 meters high. The spacecraft is slated to retrieve some samples and return them to Earth in Sept. 2013, if it can land safely on the boulder-strewn surface. The team hopes to find evidence of organic molecules, too.
Photos from Japan space rovers show rocky asteroid surface (Phys.org). The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) recently arrived in orbit at another asteroid named Ryugu. Like the Americans, the Japanese face a difficult landing on a body that was rockier than expected. Ryugu shows no sign of a smooth surface for Hayabasu-2 to land and collect samples, according to orbital photographs and information from two probes delivered to the surface.
He said the data collected so far shows similarities, including the shape and surface, with Bennu, an asteroid being investigated by NASA with its spacecraft Osiris-Rex. The initial findings show the asteroids are more moist and studded with boulders than initially thought.
Evidence for carbon-rich surface on Ceres (Astrobiology Magazine). The asteroid or dwarf planet Ceres is like a chemical factory with a unique mineralogy, according to ongoing analysis of the data provided by the Dawn spacecraft last year. Its “carbon-rich compounds are intimately mixed with products of rock-water interactions, such as clays,” the report says. To rescue formation theories, scientists are having to posit unusual circumstances:
Ceres is believed to have originated about 4.6 billion years ago at the dawn of our solar system. Dawn data previously revealed the presence of water and other volatiles, such as ammonium derived from ammonia, and now a high concentration of carbon. This chemistry suggests Ceres formed in a cold environment, perhaps outside the orbit of Jupiter. An ensuing shakeup in the orbits of the large planets would have pushed Ceres to its current location in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
[Note: Passive voice is the last resort of scoundrels; ‘is believed to’—by whom? Did you believe that? Readers should not let scientists sweep everyone into their belief system with Tontological statements. They should say, “Secular materialists believe Ceres originated about 4.6 billion years ago….]
‘Blueberries’ on Mars Have a Watery Past. But Scientists Are Still Baffled. (Space.com). The small concretions found on Mars by the Opportunity Rover in 2004 provided the “earliest evidence we had that Mars was once incredibly wet,” this article says. Unlike their counterparts on Earth, which have a calcite center, these concretions are made of the iron mineral hematite all the way through. “Based on those observations in the field and chemical modeling, the scientists suggested that floods of iron-rich, gently acidic water washed over the original calcite structures.” The water may have submitted the calcite to “overwash,” dissolving out the calcite nucleus. The mystery of the blueberry recipe extends into the Martian atmosphere:
The second potential implication would relate to another long-standing debate about Mars — what happened to its once-thick atmosphere. The authors in the new study argued that this atmosphere could have gone into the carbonate ions locked in calcite precursors to the blueberries.
But that wouldn’t solve the atmospheric mystery, Steve Ruff, a planetary geologist at Arizona State University who works on the Opportunity mission, told Space.com. “My sense of what we know about the area of the hematite that we can map from orbit is it’s not a huge area,” covering less than 1 percent of Mars’ surface, he said. There just aren’t enough blueberries to pack away very much atmosphere.
Effects of a Weak Intrinsic Magnetic Field on Atmospheric Escape From Mars (Geophysical Research Letters). This paper confirms that magnetic fields are necessary to retain an atmosphere. Oxygen and carbon dioxide escape 25% faster without a magnetic field, according to these scientists’ simulations. Mars currently has a thin atmosphere and very little surface water, and yet “Mars does not have a global magnetic field such as that of Earth,” the scientists admit. To save the evidence of abundant water in the past, “it is expected that ancient Mars had a global magnetic field.” Another possibility, though, is that Mars is young.
In the Smithsonian’s Apollo 8 commemoration yesterday (12 Dec 2018), NASA Director Jim Bridenstine mentioned the possibility of a global ocean 10 miles under the Martian surface. He also indicated evidence for “hundreds of billions of tons” of water in the shaded craters on the poles of the moon.
Some scientists confuse their imaginations with reality. They feel so confident in their overall worldview, they bluff recklessly in their stories of how the planets formed, even when they admit the numerous problems that remain to be solved. One such example is found on Science Daily (Nov 21), where the language of ‘evolution’ and ‘missing links’ is brought in to support the secular model. Building on observations of Comet “Chury” from the Rosetta spacecraft, Jürgen Blum pronounces our knowledge complete:
Professor Blum explains the implications of the team’s observations “Our results show that only a single model for the formation of larger solid bodies in the young solar system may be considered for Chury. According to this formation model, ‘dust pebbles’ are concentrated so strongly by an instability in the solar nebula that their joint gravitational force ultimately leads to a collapse.”
This process forms the missing link between the well-established formation of ‘dust pebbles’ (‘planetary building blocks’ formed in the solar nebula by sticking collisions between dust and ice particles) and the gravitational accretion of planetesimals into planets, which scientists have pondered over for years.
What Professor Blum is not telling you, though, is that disk instability was recently called a ‘heretical’ view by other planetary scientists who relied on accretion. Accretion theory, on the other hand, motivated the heresy when scientists realized that doesn’t work, either (dust particles bounce off and erode each other, instead of sticking together). Did you notice? Blum just assumes that little pebbles will stick together. Then he believes that an instability in the planetary dust disk will sweep them together into planetesimals big enough to grow.
The media love the scientists’ bluffing, and eat it up. They regurgitate it uncritically to the public, because they never want to have to go back to the clear alternative, “In the beginning, God created.” Better a long series of chance miracles than that!
Food for Thought: Dr Walt Brown has long contended that comets and asteroids were ejected from the Flood waters that roared out of the “fountains of the great deep” as described in Genesis. This would account for the presence of water and volatile compounds on these objects. Given the shock among secular scientists at finding water, volatiles, clays and organics on comets and asteroids, this view deserves a hearing. Although a maverick view among many creationists, it is defended by Brown in detail here, with some videos and other material on the home page creationscience.com.