August 18, 2006

Stars observed from 2,500 years before Universe was created

In astronomy, we literally witness objects and events from times in the past before when young earth creationists claim the Universe was created. In this particular case, we're observing a globular cluster (NGC 6397) in the Milky Way galaxy from approximately 8,500 years ago. Will young earth creationists take the facts into account and acknowledge the observational falsification of their religious doctrine?

A few will, but then they won't be young earth creationists any longer. But those who refuse to take the scientific facts into account are, of course, completely wrong to pretend that young earth creationism is scientific.

Incidentally, the Intelligent Design advocates of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture pretend to be expressing concern about teaching science properly. But if their concern about proper science was genuine, then why is it that they cannot bring themselves to express criticism of the religious viewpoint of young earth creationism, which is completely falsified by science - even going so far as to award positions on the staff of the CSC to young earth creationists? Answer: Because their expressed concern about science is a charade, and part of the long-time creationist conspiracy to promote religion as science.

Faintest Stars in Globular Cluster NGC 6397
(Hubble Space Telescope News Center, 8/17/2006)

Looking like glittering jewels, the stars in this Hubble Space Telescope image at left are part of the ancient globular star cluster NGC 6397. Scattered among these brilliant stars are extremely faint stars. Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys has taken a census of the cluster stars, uncovering the faintest stars ever seen in a globular cluster. Globular clusters are spherical concentrations of hundreds of thousands of old stars.

The Advanced Camera found the faintest red dwarf stars (26th magnitude), which are cooler and much lower in mass than our Sun, and the dimmest white dwarfs (28th magnitude), the burned-out relics of normal stars. The light from the dimmest white dwarfs is equal to the light produced by a birthday candle on the Moon as seen from Earth.

The image at lower right shows the faintest red dwarf star (the red dot within the red circle) spied by Hubble.

The image at upper right pinpoints one of the dim white dwarfs (the blue dot within the blue circle) seen by Hubble. The white dwarf has been cooling for billions of years. It is so cool that instead of looking red, it has undergone a chemical change in its atmosphere that makes it appear blue.

The images were taken with visual and red filters. NGC 6397, one of the closest globular clusters to Earth, is 8,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Ara.


Anonymous said...

why do you use so many fake names and alternate personas?

SteveG said...

Wait, wait... Let me get this straight... Here you make an anonymous post, and then in failing to identify yourself, you hypocritically ask me about using "so many fake names and alternate personas." Please do explain what in the world you think you're talking about, because frankly I have no idea what you're talking about. I even have a plainly identified profile page linked to this blog, and I'm using my name. So, Mr. Anonymous, why don't you explain your hit-and-run insinuation?