me...Be Rational!

Outspoken Caveman
Comet ISON
Origins of Comet Ison

Outside my loft window, as I struggle to write this article, daylight sneaks up to light the stage of Douglas Firs, where local squirrels soon resume their successful entertainment business. Out on the eastern horizon, comet ISON slowly rises and fades away during these brief few days of visibility before attempting the Sun's Banzai Pipeline. For those who appreciate signs and wonders in the heavens, comet ISON made Thanksgiving 2013 a major event.

After Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok detected a new comet on September 21, 2012, comet ISON was deemed so significant, it was named after the International Scientific Optical Network itself. AKA "C/2012 S1", scientific experts believed comet ISON had the potential to be the most spectacular comet of the century.

According to astronomer Carl Sagan (Druyan and Sagan 1985), comets are 'floating icebergs' which have been orbiting the Sun for billions of years. For many, this is hard to believe.

Comets lose a large percentage of their material every time they orbit within visible distances of Earth. The average lifetime of an individual comet is quite short, and is a major issue in the debate of creation versus material origins of the Universe. In fact, the comet nucleus is not visible. It is the tail of a comet that puts on a show as the comet melts away. Whether by decay, collisions, or by ejection from our solar system, many comets disappear each year. Such will be the case for ISON.

According to Matthew Knight of Lowell Observatory, Comet ISON really is unique! Comet ISON is a rare, sun grazing comet, flying so close to the Sun it passed through the Sun’s outer corona, flying within 724,000 miles of the Sun's surface. While it may seem incredible that anything can survive this inferno, the comet is moving so fast it did not remain long in the brutal environment.

Oort Cloud
OORT CLOUD THEORY
Distance from the Sun: 5,000–100,000 AU
The Sun and planets sit inside the tiny yellow dot above, within a giant sphere called the Oort cloud. This reservoir of trillions of ice chunks extends 100,000 astronomical units out, tethered to the Sun by gravity. Astronomers believe these objects got thrown out of the inner solar system as the planets took shape 4.5 billion years ago. Occasionally these castaways pass near Earth.
source: sciencenews.org " Voyager's View"

Historically, just about all known comets that came extremely close to the Sun were members of the Kreutz group. Kreutz comets have periods of 500-1000 years and therefore will perish within the solar system.

Comet ISON is different. Traveling on a hyperbolic path, at about 120,000 mph, comet ISON will be ejected from the solar system forever.

The fact that comets exist during our lifetime has been a major thorn in the side of philosophers and scientists who promote the material origin of the Universe.

In 1950, Dutch Astronomer Jan H. Oort proposed a new theory to counter the evidence that comet’s live a short life. Called “Oort Cloud Theory”, Jan Oort postulated an immense spherical reservoir of comets orbiting up to one light year from the Sun.

Oort’s conjecture is that comets are typically tens of millions of miles apart, weakly bound to the Sun, enabling passing stars and other forces to readily change their orbits, often sending them into the inner solar system. According to Oort’s theory, every so often something shakes one of these dirty snowballs loose and sends it careening toward the inner solar system.

Scientists speculate that relatively recently, comet ISON was knocked out of the distant Oort cloud and began its journey towards the Sun. They say ISON is a pristine comet, unaffected by any previous visits to the Sun's vicinity and unchanged since its creation billions of years ago at the time of the formation of the solar system.

“We’ve never had a comet that seems to come directly from the Oort Cloud, on its first passage to the inner solar system in four billion years, all the way to within three solar radii of the solar surface,” says astronomer Michael Kelley of the University of Maryland, College Park.

If you research Oort cloud, you will find terms like: hypothetical, inferred, disputed, "no direct observations", conjecture, postulate, speculate, etc.

A passing star would necessarily need to pass below the plane tangent to a comet's aphelion in order to nudge a comet in the direction of the Sun. The occasion of such an event is thought be extremely unlikely. However, if it were to occur, the statistical chance of a resulting path aimed at the corona of the Sun is only somewhat better than infinity to one. The chance it showed up in our lifetime is even smaller.

Nevertheless, building a cascading complex of theories does not eliminate the problem of origins. How can you account for the origin of the Oort Cloud? The current theory for Oort Cloud origins is based on the idea of ejection from the inner solar system. Now consider the path of matter ejected out away from the Sun, destined to become future comet source material. What meta-physics can be conjured to stabilize its position far from the solar system?

It’s difficult to understand how someone who claims to believe in science, who understands Newtonian physics, and who has any appreciation for mathematics, would also believe in Oort Cloud Theory unless their belief was driven by philosophical preconceptions. Many scientists admit their belief in Oort Cloud Theory is not based on strength of evidence, but rather, their rejection of competing philosophies.

According to Carl Sagan, “Many scientific papers are written each year about the Oort Cloud, its properties, its origin, its evolution. Yet there is not a shred of direct observational evidence for its existence.”

References