Original Broadcast, June 28, 1997 Last Revised, Jan. 30, 2001.
INFINITY #17: Deltas and Minicometsby Daniel H. Harris, Ph.D.
I. The Questions. What recent discoveries [as of 1997] have CONFIRMED the original science presented on INFINITY? What fascinating consequences flow from these latest CONFIRMATIONS of the Bible Based Science presented on INFINITY?
II. INFINITY Presents the Case for Young Oceans and a Young Earth.
INFINITY is a program of hard science, built on a foundation of Scripture. In the last sixteen INFINITY programs we have presented substantial evidence demonstrating that the Biblical account of the great Flood, in the days of Noah, is a description of real historical events.
In INFINITY program #9 we showed that the oceans are less than about thirty thousands years old, and in INFINITY program #13 we used the lack of Supernova remnants in our Milky Way galaxy, and other age indicators, to show that the Milky Way is only about ten thousand years old. These, and other evidences, suggest that the Earth and the universe are approximately ten thousand years old, and that the universal cataclysmic flood in the time of Noah was between five and seven thousand years ago.
In INFINITY program #9, Niagara Falls and the Age of the Earth, broadcast April 19, 1997, we discussed the Mississippi River Delta. We used the known rate at which sediment is carried down the Mississippi River, and the known volume of the Mississippi Delta, to find the delta's maximum age. We found that the present Delta of the Mississippi River is at most 4000 years old. And we stated that, before that time, that is, before about 2000 BC, the Mississippi River must have had a different channel and Delta.
We then went looking for that older delta, and discovered that, about 100 miles west of the present Mississippi Delta, at a location just south of Lake Charles and New Iberia, Louisiana, the floor of the Gulf of Mexico is less sloping than elsewhere. And in that INFINITY, program #9, we stated that the old delta and river channel of the Mississippi, would likely be found at that location, south of Lake Charles and New Iberia Louisiana.
III. Confirmation: the Old Mississippi Delta Exactly as Predicted.
CONFIRMATION of this prediction came in the June, 1997, issue of Scientific American Magazine, beginning on page 82, in an article showing sonar maps of American coastal waters. In that issue on page 85, Scientific American presents a sonar map of the Gulf coast of Louisiana, showing the old channel and delta of the Mississippi, in just the right place. This sonar map of the gulf coast region shows that both the old channel, and the old delta of Mississippi are well below the present level of the gulf. That is, they are both several thousand feet below present sea level, which is in agreement with the accepted wisdom that, sometime after the flood, there was an Ice Age, when much of the Earth's water was tied up in continent covering ice sheets, and world wide sea level was several thousand feet lower than it is today. These two distinct deltas of the Mississippi show that indeed the channel of the Mississippi changed course, and that change of channel most likely occurred near the end of the Ice Age. Which suggests that the end of the Ice Age may have been abrupt and/or even catastrophic, perhaps being part of a wider cataclysm. The new sonar map shows that the old delta and channel of the Mississippi were well below present sea level, and it also shows that the modern Mississippi channel extends very far out into the gulf. These extended channels are likely a result of multiple underwater avalanches, which have caused sediments to flow far out into the gulf, during the formation of both deltas. Thus the deposition of sediments into the gulf may be intermittent, and be in the form of waves of sediment rapidly traveling down slope across the floor of the gulf.
This work is very exciting, and on the cutting edge of Bible Based Science. Who knows what will develop in the next few years. With your help, INFINITY will be there when the news breaks.
IV. INFINITY Describes the Source of Ice in the Solar System.
In INFINITY program #11, Rings and Rocks, broadcast on May 3, 1997, we talked about the small bodies of our solar system and the rings around all of the outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. And we showed that it is more than a coincidence that all the outer planets have rings at the same time. And those arguments showed that the solar system is only thousands of years old. As a core of that argument, in INFINITY #11, we suggested that, some thousands of years ago, two planet sized bodies collided, out in the space that is now beyond the orbit of Mars, and that one of those planets had lots of liquid water, and the other planet was made of rock and metal. We suggested that such a collision would frothy release water ice to fill the solar system, forming the comets and planetary rings. And we suggested, that such a collision might also explain many characteristics of the solar system. That one collision would explain the planetary rings systems,the peculiar tiny satellites of Mars, the backward orbiting satellites of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, the asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and the comets. And it might even explain why, at one time, Mars had water on its surface, forming rivers and lakes. And that same water may also have fallen on planet Earth during the time of the great flood in Noah's days.
In INFINITY program #11, we suggested that it might be possible to explain much of what we see in the solar system, and perhaps trigger the flood, with that one planetary collision.
V. Confirmation: Observations of Frothy Ice Minicomets. Spectacular CONFIRMATION of this idea has come with the apparent demonstration that thousands of small comets are striking the Earth each day. This is part of the ongoing work of Dr. Louis A. Frank, and Dr. John B. Sigwarth, both of the University of Iowa.
A. The Orbiting Instruments. Drs. Frank and Sigwarth have instruments on board NASA's Polar Spacecraft, which looks down on the Earth from orbit, instruments which have captured images both in ultraviolet light and in visible light, showing evidence that many small comets (also called minicomets) are hitting the earth's high atmosphere, traveling at speeds of about thirty mi/sec.
B. The Images Presented. On May 28, 1997, (only three weeks after the broadcast of INFINITY #11), at the Spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Frank presented impressive images of small comets striking the Earth's atmosphere. These images and related data were convincing to formerly skeptical scientists (Ref.1) ;Dr. Frank estimates that the average small comet has a mass of ten to twenty tons, and that about twenty small comets hit the atmosphere each minute. So, some 30,000 small comets hit the Earth each day.
C. High Altitude Break Up. The spacecraft images show that the minicomets start to break up at altitudes of from six thousand to ten thousand miles (above the Earth's surface) as they pass through Earth's Van Allen radiation belts as they are bombarded by electrically charged particles. These frothy low density ice balls are torn apart by electrical forces and by the Earth's magnetic field. On reaching lower altitudes collisions with gas atoms cause heating which converts the minicomets into clouds of water vapor. By the time the minicomets reach an altitude of 600 miles, they are just fast moving clouds of water vapor.
D. Ionospheric Holes. Because the minicomets are converted to water vapor clouds at such high altitudes, the minicomets don't get down to the orbital altitude of the Space shuttle. So Space Shuttle astronauts do occasionally run into a water vapor cloud from a minicomet, but they are not at risk of colliding with the minicomets themselves. The heat released when a minicomet enters the Earth's atmosphere expands each minicomet as it comes to rest in the outermost layer of the Earth's atmosphere, the ionosphere. There the minicomet show up as hole in the ionosphere, some 25 to 50 miles across. In that region, the normally ionized gas, becomes neutralized atoms, and the neutral atoms stop emitting ultraviolet radiation. This hole in the ultraviolet radiation of the ionosphere shows the end of the minicomet. The break up of the minicomets is understandable only if the minicomets are made of extremely low density frothy ice, perhaps networks of long ice needles, with lots of open spaces between the crystals.
E. Telescopic Observations. Even though these minicomets are a million times smaller than the famous and visible comets like Halley's Comet and the recent Comet Hale-Bopp, Dr. Frank and others have observed minicomets with ground based telescopes (Ref. 2).
VI. Minicomets From a Long Ago Collision. The extreme low density and delicateness of the minicomets of the minicomets is exactly what would be expected from the planetary collision model presented in INFINITY #11. If such a gravity bound body of water were dirupted, and the water thrown into the vacuum of space, at such low pressure the water would boil, turning into water vapor and ice, frothy, very low density ice. [Some time later when the water vapor cloud reaches the very cold outer Solar System, the water vapor would be expected to condense on any ice crystals already present, and with many small comets moving through the region further condensation might occur. By these means the comets, minicomets and planetary rings would form. Although Dr. Frank is an establishmen scientist and thus an evolutionist, and so would disagree, it is clear from a Bible Based Sciences viewpoint, that the minicomets provide spectacular CONFIRMATION of the planetary collision, perhaps six thousand years ago, which seems to have triggered the world wide devastating flood in the time of Noah by large impacts, which provided some of the waters above, that fell during the flood, and which provided the frothy water ice that filled the solar system, making comets and the rings of the outer planets.
VII. The Original Suggestion. Dr. Harris made the suggestion of a planetary collision beyond the orbit of Mars, in May, 1992, as part of a proposal seeking to explain the location of the waters above, which fell on the Earth during the flood in Noah's time. In 1992, it was clear that a collision involving a water planet in the cold region beyond the orbit of Mars would produce abundant frothy low density water ice. Such material now appears to be what makes up the minicomets.
So within a month of INFINITY broadcasts 9 and 11, we have seen two important CONFIRMATIONS; the Mississippi channels and deltas, and the images of the minicomets; CONFIRMATIONS of original science presented exclusively on INFINITY; CONFIRMATIONS of a Bible Based understanding of the natural world.
We believe that these CONFIRMATIONS demonstrate that the science of INFINITY is good science. And we expect that future discoveries and observations will continue to confirm that the science of INFINITY is good science.
We believe that God has lifted up INFINITY according to His word in I Cor. chapter 1, verse 27, where the Lord tells us:
"God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, ... and the weak things of the world to confound the ...mighty."
More original INFINITY researches are underway. But these projects can't go forward without your support. INFINITY is a not for profit educational and research organization, supported solely by voluntary donations, and we need your help to continue this important work. If you want this important work to continue, I ask you to pray about becoming a regular contributor.
Ref.1 Now accepting Dr. Frank's claims are Robert Hoffman, Project Scientist for the Polar Satellite, and Thomas Donahue (U. of Michigan) leading authority on atmospheric science.
Ref. 2. see Frank, L.A., Sigwarth, J.B., and Yeates, C.M., Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol.228, 522, 1990.
Ref. 3 for further info on minicomets
see "The Big Splash" by Dr. Louis A. Frank, Birch Lane Press,
New York, N.Y, 1990. And Internet addresses --
see also International Solar-Terrestrial Physics Program
see also Global Geospace Science Program