Hot Planets

(This article has been reproduced from the Center for Scientific Creation. The original article can be found here.)

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upiter, Saturn, and Neptune each radiate away more than twice the heat energy they receive from the Sun.[a] Uranus[b] and Venus[c] also radiate too much heat. Calculations show that it is very unlikely that this energy comes from nuclear fusion,[d] radioactive decay, gravitational contraction, or phase changese within those planets. This suggests that these planets have not existed long enough to cool off.[f]


a – H. H. Aumann and C. M. Gillespie Jr., “The Internal Powers and Effective Temperatures of Jupiter and Saturn,” The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 157, July 1969, pp. L69–L72.

  • “Jupiter radiates into space rather more than twice the energy it receives from space.” G. H. A. Cole, The Structure of Planets (New York: Crane, Russak & Co., Inc., 1978), p. 114.
  • M. Mitchell Waldrop, “The Puzzle That Is Saturn,” Science, 18 September 1981, p. 1351.
  • Jonathan Eberhart, “Neptune’s Inner Warmth,” Science News, Vol. 112, 12 November 1977, p. 316.

b – Ibid.

c – “The Mystery of Venus’ Internal Heat,” New Scientist, Vol. 88, 13 November 1980, p. 437.

d – To initiate nuclear fusion, a body must be at least ten times as massive as Jupiter. [See Andrew P. Ingersoll, “Jupiter and Saturn,” Scientific American, Vol. 245, December 1981, p. 92.]

e – Ingersoll and others once proposed that Saturn and Jupiter could generate internal heat if their helium gas liquefied or their liquid hydrogen solidified. Neither is possible, because each planet’s temperature greatly exceeds the critical temperatures of helium and hydrogen. (The critical temperature of a particular gas is that temperature above which no amount of pressure can squeeze it into a liquid or solid.) Even if the temperature were cold enough for gases to liquefy, what could initiate nucleation? When I mentioned this in a private conversation with Ingersoll in December 1981, he quickly acknowledged his error.

f – Paul M. Steidl, “The Solar System: An Assessment of Recent Evidence—Planets, Comets, and Asteroids,” Design and Origins in Astronomy, editor George Mulfinger Jr. (Norcross, Georgia: Creation Research Society Books, 1983), pp. 87, 91, 100.

  • Jupiter would have rapidly cooled to its present temperature, even if it had been an unreasonably hot 20,000 kelvins when it formed. Evolutionary models require too much time. [See Edwin V. Bishop and Wendell C. DeMarcus, “Thermal Histories of Jupiter Models,” Icarus, Vol. 12, May 1970, pp. 317–330.]

(This article was taken from the book, In the Beginning by Dr. Walt Brown. The book can be purchased from the Center for Scientific Creation. The original article can be found online here. For more information about Dr. Walt Brown, click here).

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