Monday, January 14, 2008

An ‘Inconvenient’ Galaxy

Do galaxies dance? Well it seems they don't form the way we've been taught they do. As it turns out astronomers are puzzled once again. This time it's because they've found a galaxy that has arms trailing off in the direction of spin, and against it! Oops! So much for the idea that galaxies gradually form from spinning disks and that stars and planets slowly form and dust trails off... and... it was such a nice story too wasn't it? :)

Here's what Answers In Genesis had to say about it.

An entire galaxy stands in the way of the general understanding of galactic spiral arms, according to research presented this week to the American Astronomical Society at a meeting in Austin, Texas.

Scientists from the University of Alabama, Bevill Community College, and (formerly) the U.S. Naval Observatory presented a “puzzling” conclusion from their astronomical observations: a spiral galaxy whose arms wind in the opposite direction from most galaxies—something the University of Alabama’s Gene Byrd calls “an inconvenient truth to many . . . [but] nonetheless, a reality.” The conclusion is based on observations of two components within the galaxy, NGC4622, which is some 200 million light-years from earth in the constellation Centaurus.

Byrd explained, “Contrary to conventional wisdom, with both an inner counter-clockwise pair and an outer clockwise pair of spiral arms, NGC4622 must have a pair of leading arms.” Since the galaxy must rotate one way, one of the pairs of arms—either the inner counter-clockwise pair or the outer clockwise pair—must be in the same direction as the galaxy’s rotation.

The team’s results will be published in Astronomical Journal.

This finding reminds us that “well-established science,” even when intuitive, is frequently contradicted by unexpected observations and data-crunching. Theories that were lauded as undeniably true by yesterday’s scientists often turn up in the dustbin of science history as observations expand and new hypotheses accumulate. Knowing this, which would you rather put your faith in: current science theories that change from decade to decade or the inerrant, unchanging Word of the Creator God?

1 comment:

Lou Martuneac said...


Thanks for posting this, I enjoy Creation science.


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