Particles from Distant Space!

Quick Takes

on November 1, 2018
Featured in Answers Magazine

For the first time, scientists have traced the possible origin of a subatomic particle that came from outside our galaxy. These fast-moving particles, called neutrinos, rarely interact with matter. This one passed through an ice cap near the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica.

Scientists traced its path to a patch of sky, then identified nine possible origins, with a blazar galaxy as the most likely source.

A blazar is a type of quasar galaxy with a supermassive black hole in its center that chews up stars and expels subatomic particles. Blazars are labels for rare instances when these galaxies point directly at earth, spewing their stream of particles directly in our direction.

If astronomers are right in their calculations, this neutrino traveled approximately 3.7 billion light-years before reaching us. But how could this be possible in an earth that’s only 6,000 years old? It’s essentially the same question people ask about the travel of starlight from galaxies that are similar distances away.

Creationists have proposed several viable explanations for starlight travel, based on relativity or other factors, which would explain distant neutrinos as well. Different problem, same answers.

Every time a new question arises that cause people to question the Bible, we need to turn to the first principles. God’s Word is true, and every time we learn more about the universe, we confirm its truth. In areas where our knowledge is limited, we need to trust the one with limitless knowledge.

This tiny space traveler is just one more helpful reminder of the vastness of God’s creation and how much we have yet to learn.

Answers Magazine

November–December 2018

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