Reasons to Believe

Potential to Detect Extrasolar Comets

TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information

Scientists are designing a telescope capable of directly imaging extrasolar earth-like planets, and their efforts will likely yield more evidence for a creator’s fine-tuning. Research by a UCLA astrophysicist shows how the new telescope will be able to detect earth-sized planets around other stars and also comets around those same stars. The main challenge is how to filter the much brighter starlight to see the relatively dim planet shine. In general, the smaller the object is, the harder it is to detect, so one would expect that anything smaller than Earth (like comets or asteroids) would be nearly impossible to see. It turns out that when a comet approaches the Sun, its dust tail reflects a similar amount of light as does Earth. So, a telescope capable of imaging rocky, earth-like planets will also be able to detect bright comets. This result is significant because analysis of light from comets gives insight into the early times of planetary system development. Increased understanding of planetary systems will allow scientists to study and appreciate intimate details of the Creator’s work.

o   M. Jura, “Direct Detection of Extrasolar Comets is Possible,” Astronomical Journal 130 (2005): 1261-66.


·         Related Resource

o   Hugh Ross, The Faint Sun Paradox

·         Product Spotlight

o   The Creator and the Cosmos, 3rd ed., by Hugh Ross

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.