A new study in The Astronomical Journal, shows our solar system may be one of a kind in the universe. And the very properties that make our planetary arrangement unique are also the elements that make Earth habitable, Jay Richards, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and co-author of The Privileged Planet, told me.
Astrophysicists at the Université de Montréal studied 909 planets and 355 stars and discovered that, unlike our solar system, planets in other systems are similar in size with regular spacing between their orbits, “like peas in a pod,” lead researcher Lauren Weiss said in a statement.
In our solar system, Jupiter, the biggest planet, is 28.5 times larger in diameter than the smallest planet, Mercury, and the inner planets have surprisingly large spaces between their orbits. The researchers noted that the variations could suggest our solar system formed differently than others in the universe. Weiss said these disparities “would not occur if the planet sizes or spacings were drawn at random.” The researchers attributed the distinct properties of our planets to disruptions caused by the sizes of Jupiter and Saturn. Of course, they entertained no notions that the unusual drawing of our planetary bodies shows the artistry of our Creator.
Richards noted the study certainly shows something highly unusual about our planetary arrangement: Our oddball solar system, made up of a few rocky planets in the inner part, with one right in the habitable zone, and a couple of big gas giants in the outer part protecting the rocky planets, is exactly what life requires. “If you are trying to build a habitable system it needs to look very, very much like the one we have here,” he said.
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Photo courtesy: Religion News Service
Publication date: Janaury 26, 2018