Reasons to Believe

Solar System Design

  • A TNRTB Best of: Rare Solar System, Rare Sun

    Working at Reasons to Believe provides many opportunities for us to travel around the country and the world, not only to engage skeptics in discussion about science/faith issues, but also to encourage … more

  • A TNRTB Best of: Recap on the Late Heavy Bombardment

    A growing body of evidence indicates that early Earth experienced a period of cataclysmic bombardment by comets and/or asteroids. Scientists refer to this period as the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB). … more

  • Ultraviolet Habitable Zones

    Two years ago, the discovery of Earth-sized planets around M-dwarf stars generated well-deserved excitement in the astronomical community. These stars comprise more than 75 percent of all … more

  • What Wiped Out the Dinosaurs? Part 2: The Effects

    In last Monday’s article, I discussed the conclusions drawn by a panel of 41 scientists from their careful review of over twenty years’ worth of research findings concerning the cause of … more

  • Planet Shredded Before Our Eyes

    Over the last two decades, astronomers have discovered more than 430 extrasolar planets. Although the initial expectation was that these planetary systems would resemble the solar system, the data … more

  • What Wiped Out the Dinosaurs? Part 1: The Cause

    They claimed their detection of iridium enrichment at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (65.5 million years ago) implied that an asteroid, approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter, … more

  • Design of Outward Migration of Gas Giant Planets

    On June 5–6, 2012, a rare solar system event will occur. Venus will transit across the face of the Sun. Such a transit occurs when Venus aligns perfectly between the Sun and Earth allowing … more

  • Results from a Refurbished Hubble

    In the last several years, the Hubble space telescope has taken deep space photographs. This involved choosing an area of the sky not obscured by bright objects like stars or nearby galaxies, and … more

  • Differences between Ganymede and Callisto Explained

    How do two similar objects form in similar conditions yet end up in vastly different final states? Whether studying human twins, planets, or moons, differences provide powerful tools in understanding … more

  • Enhanced Activity in Solar-Type Stars

    Many stars share certain characteristics with the Sun, such as age, metallicity (abundance of elements heavier than helium), luminosity, and effective temperature. Yet, these stars exhibit much higher … more

  • Small Extrasolar Water World Discovered

    Extrasolar planets frequently make news; in particular, a recent discovery by a team of 19 American and European astronomers is attracting attention. The newly detected planet is now the second … more

  • Further Comments on Comets

    About a year and a half ago I wrote about the controversy between some creationists and the astronomy community over whether the short-lived nature of comets argues for a young earth or for a … more

  • Outward Migration of Gas Giant Planets

    Since the first discovery of an extrasolar planet in 1995,1 astronomers have detected more than 400 extrasolar planets, most of which are gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The … more

  • Recap on the Late Heavy Bombardment

    Scientists refer to this period as the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB). Any impactor larger than a few hundred yards in diameter would unleash a destructive blast at least ten times larger than the … more

  • Rare Solar System, Rare Sun

    This finding persuaded many astronomers and millions of lay people to conclude that Carl Sagan was right—our Milky Way Galaxy (MWG) was filled with billions of planets, most of which would prove … more

  • Planet Formation Requires Metals

    If humanity is so important, why is the universe so old? Chapter 3 of Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, by Hugh Ross, provides a few answers to this important question. Recent research offers … more

  • Bombardment Makes Civilization Possible

    What is the common thread among the following items: pacemakers, spark plugs, fountain pens and compass bearings? Give up? All of them currently use (or used in early versions) the two densest … more