The Creation Wiki is made available by the NW Creation Network
Watch monthly live webcast - Like us on Facebook - Subscribe on YouTube

# Sun has most of mass but little angular momentum of solar system (Talk.Origins)

Response Article
This article (Sun has most of mass but little angular momentum of solar system (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CE302:

The sun has 99 percent of the mass of the solar system, but less than 1 percent of the angular momentum. It is spinning too slowly to have formed naturally.

Source: Brown, Walt, 1995. In the Beginning: Compelling evidence for creation and the Flood. Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation, p. 19.

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Among solar-type stars, there is a strong correlation between age and rotation rate; the younger stars spin more rapidly (Baliunas et al. 1995). This implies some kind of braking mechanism that slows a star's rotation. A likely candidate is an interaction between the star's magnetic field and its solar wind (Parker 1965).

This is an interesting theory, but it fails to consider what the actual initial rotation rate of the sun would need to have been to satisfy the conservation of angular momentum. First of all, however, it should be noted that the figures in the claim itself are not accurate. The correct figures are 99.9 percent of the mass and 2 percent of the angular momentum. This translates into the planets having 50 times the sun's angular momentum while the sun would have needed to start out with 700 times the planets' combined angular momentum.

So just to get even with the planets the sun would have to be rotating 50 times faster than it actually is rotating. To satisfy the law of the conservation of angular momentum, it would have started rotating 700 times faster than that. That means that the sun's initial rotation rate was 35,000 times it present rate. Now the sun is presently rotating at one revolution per 25.38 Earth days, so a rotation rate that is 35,000 times faster than at present produces an initial period of revolution of 1 minute and 2.65 seconds.

This is not the worst of it. According to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, the equatorial rotational velocity is 2.0578 km/s, which means that the initial equatorial rotational velocity would be 72,023 km/s or nearly a quarter the speed of light.

It gets even worse. The sun's surface escape velocity is 617.23 km/s, which is 116.7 times smaller than the initial equatorial rotational velocity of 72,023 km/s. The result is that the sun would literally fly apart. That is assuming it formed that way to begin with, which of course it could not have.