It’s as if the entire solar system were fixed on one rotating disc, all moving in unison.
In our solar system, Earth and the other planets—as well as planetoids and asteroids—orbit the sun in the same direction that the sun spins. In a sense, it’s as if the entire solar system were fixed on one rotating disc, all moving in unison (except that the planets orbit at different speeds). Those who accept stellar evolution (and the big bang) see this behavior as a legacy of each solar system’s origin from a single gas cloud.
As astronomers have begun to detect exoplanets (those that lie outside our own solar system), the direction of orbit of about a dozen has been determined. For all but one, the planets orbit in the same direction as their parent star. But planet WASP-17b is a nonconformist, it seems: the gas giant rotates retrograde (in opposite direction) from its parent star.
One of the scientists, Keele University’s Coel Hellier, noted, “With everything swirling around the same way and the star spinning the same way, you have to do quite a lot to it to make it go in the opposite direction.” In fact, the retrograde orbit would seem to falsify evolutionists’ hypothesis on planetary formation—if it weren’t for the rescuing devices of planetary collisions and near-misses. The astronomers speculate that a close encounter with another planet or a passing star could have reversed the planet’s orbit.
While those possibilities are theoretically plausible, they effectively allow the planetary formation hypothesis to escape scrutiny: any aberrations, however strange, can be chalked up to unobservable collisions and near-collisions. In our own solar system, for example, Venus rotates in exactly the opposite direction as Earth and the other planets. While creationists can understand such uniqueness as the result of design, evolutionists can postulate whatever collisions would be (hypothetically) necessary to create the anomalies. Both worldviews have their interpretations, but some stretch the facts more than others.
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