YOU MAY have heard the recent news about observations regarding the immense black hole believed to lie at the center of our galaxy. Here’s one article at Scientific American: Closing In on the Milky Way’s Central Black Hole. It’s interesting stuff. For example:
Ghez’s team [that’s Andrea Ghez, a professor of astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles], focused on S2, a relatively bright star with a short orbit around the black hole, whereas Gillessen’s group [that’s astrophysicist Stefan Gillessen of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany] determined the orbits of 28 stars, including S2. “It really is amazing to see that we can describe the motions of that many stars” by assuming one massive central anchor, Gillessen says. “The stars fly around wildly, in all directions, at different radii. But all that governs that is simply Newton’s law.”
The motion of S2, Gillessen says, gives an outer boundary to the central object, which, combined with its inferred mass, helps prove that it is a black hole. “Having four million solar masses sitting there, not shining…and being confined by [the orbit of] the star S2 is really a convincing case,” he says.
And this is very intriguing:
“In principle, these stars could test general relativity, because they get into a very strong gravitational field at the central black hole,” Ghez says. “And if the measurements are precise enough, you should be able to see the impacts on the orbit.”
As fascinating as this is, your Curmudgeon doesn’t usually write about such matters, preferring to stick with familiar territory. But the highly esteemed creationist website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) doesn’t recognize any boundaries on their expertise.
We marvel at the vast sweep of the knowledge mastered by the folks at ICR. Here, for your edification, is the creationist view of this new astronomical observation: Fast-orbiting Stars Puzzle Astronomers. The bold font was supplied by us.
First, they mention the news:
German astronomers have been meticulously tracking the orbits of 28 stars nearest to the center of the Milky Way spiral galaxy. Over the 16 years of their study, one of the stars travelled so fast that it completed a full revolution. Though the galactic core is dark, its mass has been estimated based on the behavior of the stars that orbit it so closely. These observations seem to confirm that a black hole exists at the core of the Milky Way, but they also raise significant questions about the stars’ origins.
Questions about the stars’ origins? The Scientific American article seems to have missed that. Let’s read on:
They quote a single sentence from this article at the website of the European Southern Observatory (ESO):
Excitingly, future observations are already being planned to test several theoretical models that try to solve this riddle.
What riddle? The one ICR mentioned about the origins of the stars? Unlike the typical ICR reader, we looked at the referenced ESO article. Here’s the relevant quote:
One particular star, known as S2, orbits the Milky Way’s centre so fast that it completed one full revolution within the 16-year period of the study. Observing one complete orbit of S2 has been a crucial contribution to the high accuracy reached and to understanding this region. Yet the mystery still remains as to how these young stars came to be in the orbits they are observed to be in today. They are much too young to have migrated far, but it seems even more improbable that they formed in their current orbits where the tidal forces of the black hole act. Excitingly, future observations are already being planned to test several theoretical models that try to solve this riddle.
Aha! In true creationist fashion, they quote-mined ESO to convert a “riddle” about orbits into a question about the origins of stars. Having invented this cosmic riddle, what are they going to do with it?
Let’s skip to the end of the creationist article. They conclude, not with the hope of testing general relativity, but with a surprising prediction — although we should have expected it. Here it is, with bold added by us:
The precise construction parameters of cosmic structures like these stars and the rules that govern them will only be intelligible as products of a supernatural Creator.
We’ve been avoiding subjects like this because of our lack of expertise. But ICR boldly goes where we fear to tread, and fearlessly predicts that their theory will prevail. We shall see.
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