Reasons to Believe

Extrasolar Planet Formation

TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information

Two astronomers have discovered an additional design feature for the solar system. They have developed the most detailed theoretical model to date for planetary system formation. Their calculations reveal that planets of masses between 10 and 100 Earth masses should be quite rare. Also, large planets located more distant from their stars than 20 to 30 astronomical units (1 AU = Earth’s distance from the sun) should be non-existent. This implies that Uranus (14.5 Earth masses, 19 AU) and Neptune (17.6 Earth masses, 30 AU), both of which are critical for stabilizing the dynamics of the solar system’s planets, have low probabilities of forming. This may be indicative of divine design.

S. Ida and D. N. C. Lin, “Toward a Deterministic Model of Planetary Formation. I. A Desert in the Mass and Semimajor Axis Distributions of Extrasolar Planets,” Astrophysical Journal, 604 (2004), pp. 388-413.


RTB articles: Hugh Ross, “Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity,” Facts for Faith, quarter 1, 2002, issue 8, pp. 24-31.

RTB video: Journey Toward Creation, 2nd edition

RTB book: The Creator and the Cosmos, 3rd edition

Subjects: Extrasolar Planets

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.