Blue Supergiants

Alnilam (Epsilon Orionis), lighting up NGC 1990As I said yesterday, in Blue Stars Confirm Recent Creation Jason Lisle outright denies the possibility of stellar formation. But he takes his time getting there.

Orion is one of the most well-known and easily recognized constellations of the winter sky. The three bright blue stars in Orion’s belt seem to draw our attention instantly. Such stars are a strong confirmation of the biblical timescale.

As is so often the case, Lisle’s idea of “confirmation of the biblical timescale” – strong confirmation – is just something that (he claims) the, ah, more commonly accepted timescales cannot explain. That’s all he has, really. All any creationist has.

Most stars generate energy by the process of nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium in the stellar core. This is a very efficient power source. Theoretically, a star like the sun has enough hydrogen in its core to keep it burning for ten billion years. But that’s not the case with blue stars.

While he keeps calling them ‘blue stars’ he really means blue supergiants.

Blue stars are always more massive than the sun. This means they have more hydrogen available as fuel. Yet, blue stars are much brighter than the sun; some are over 200,000 times brighter! They are “burning” their fuel much more quickly than the sun, and therefore cannot last billions of years. Based on their observed luminosity, the most massive blue stars cannot last even one million years before running out of fuel.

The star he mentions as being “over 200,000 times brighter” than the sun is Alnitak, pictured above, the central star of Orions belt. This star is supposed to have a main sequence life of 2.8 million years, and wikipedia reckons it has about one million before it goes supernova. But this is not a problem if they can be replaced – Lisle’s task is to prove to us that they cannot.

None of this is a problem for the biblical timescale of about 6,000 years for the age of the universe. But if the universe were 13.7 billion years old, as secularists allege, then it really shouldn’t have blue stars. Yet blue stars abound in every known spiral galaxy. It seems that these galaxies cannot be even one million years old.

Actually, if we trust wikipedia (again):

Because of their extreme masses they have relatively short lifespans and are mainly observed in young cosmic structures such as open clusters, the arms of spiral galaxies, and in irregular galaxies. They are rarely observed in spiral galaxy cores, elliptical galaxies, or globular clusters, most of which are believed to be composed of older stars.

So yes, they are probably ‘found in every spiral galaxy,’ but only in the parts that are themselves young. Curious that, isn’t it?

Secular astronomers must assume that new blue stars have formed recently to replace all those that have burned out over deep time. They claim that some nebulae (clouds of hydrogen gas) eventually collapse under their own gravity to form a new star. Some astronomy textbooks even have pictures of nebulae labeled as “star-forming regions” or “stellar nurseries,” as if star formation were an observed fact. But it is not. Star formation has never been observed.

Pillars of Creation, Eagle nebulaAh, here we go. Lisle doesn’t actually have anything specific to blue supergiants, and one wonders why he even brought them up.

Star formation is a long process – we have not been watching for nearly long enough to see the entire process unfold before our eyes in the case of a single star. But there are many stars in the sky, and we can see examples of all stages: Orion is famous, after all, for it’s star forming Nebula, while the so-called “Pillars of Creation” are themselves stellar nurseries. Protostars are also known to exist. If Lisle wishes to contend that these are not as as they seem then he better have damn good reason.

His reasoning is that stars cannot form, as the repulsion between the gas that forms them would be too great. It’s worth noting that if this is all he’s getting at then he may as well have said that all stars confirm creation, on the grounds that they cannot form without supernatural intervention.

Star formation is problematic at best.

His citation for this is a paper put on arXiv in 2008 that is basically a call for the launch of a “space-based interferometer” to find solutions (or collect data to distinguish which solution is the correct one). It doesn’t seem to think that there is a fundamental problem with stellar formation, and the quote would be better rephrased as “star formation is problematic at worst.”

Gas is very resistant to being compressed. On earth, gas always fills its container. In space, there is no container. So gas expands indefinitely. If the gas could be forced into a sphere that is very small (in comparison to a nebula) such as the sun, then the gas would be held together by its own gravity. However, in a typical nebula, the gas pressure far exceeds the miniscule force of gravity. Secular astronomers now believe that external forces, such as a shockwave from an exploding star, are necessary in most cases to trigger star formation. Observations confirm that gas clouds expand; they do not appear to collapse into stars.

Gas clouds exist in equilibrium and require disturbance to begin the process of becoming stars – otherwise there would be no such clouds left. The same applies to the issue of the other forces that keep the cloud apart that he gives: magnetic pressure and angular momentum (though the latter can be carried off by planets as well, at least to some degree).

Lisle concludes:

Gas pressure, magnetic field strength, and angular momentum all work to prevent star formation. From a scientific perspective, naturalistic star formation appears unlikely at best. The evidence seems far more consistent with the biblical account—it appears that stars were supernaturally created only thousands of years ago. With blue stars scattered across the cosmos, our universe certainly “looks” young.

Blue supergiants are quite interesting. They actually oscillate between red and blue stages, throwing off ring nebulas as they transition. These rings are known to interact, but over timescales that while short in a cosmological context are still much too long for Bishop Ussher. They may be young, but not that young.

5 thoughts on “Blue Supergiants

  1. His “arguments” are the most misleading pile of crap I’ve ever heard. One hopes that God forgives Creationists for lying, because they do an awful lot of it.

  2. If stars are formed by shokwaves from other colliding stars, then how the first star is formed.

    • Stars almost never collide with each other because the space between each star is very large compared to the size of the star itself so that does not trigger star formation.

      Dense molecular clouds collapse into protostars when the forces bringing particles together becomes stronger than those moving them apart and the particles begin to coalesce, accelerating the process further. Many clouds are in equilibrium and don’t collapse unless triggered by an external event. In some cases, this may be due to a supernova shockwave, in other cases, due to the winds of nearby stars but an external force is not always necessary.

      The early universe was very different to what we have now. Hydrogen and Helium were by far the most dominant elements and I don’t think there were too many shockwaves present either… However, the universe was anisotropic, that is, it wasn’t uniform in all directions and in places, the density would have been high enough for molecular clouds to collapse and protostars would be able to form. Star formation is still a fairly new branch of astrophysics and we don’t know everything there is to know yet but we’re getting there…

      You can read more about it here:

  3. It is funny how these idiots think that by trying to debunk one theory that somehow proves their point. They still can’t explain how the light from the farthest stars has taken millions of years to reach us which of course means that the universe is not young. I don’t have to be an astronomer to figure that one out.

    • Oh and they also ignore that inconveniant “WMAP” which shows the universe to be billions of years old.

      Their approach to secular science is to say well we have “proved” this to be wrong so therefore all non-biblical science is wrong.


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