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No. 33: May-Jun 1984

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Bad Spin Split

Astronomers have long realized that the angular momentum of the sun is only 1/180th that of the solar system as a whole. The overwhelming majority of the angular momentum is tied up in planetary motion. To make matters even more puzzling, the angular-momentum vectors of the sun and the planetary system are 7 apart. The implication is that the sun and planets could not have been formed by the rapid condensation of a molecular cloud -- the present theory. Rapid condensation requires that the sun get a much bigger share of the angular momentum. These anomalies have led T. Gold to propose a slow-condensation model, in which several hundred million years are required rather than the tens of thousands of years in the current scenario. Another unexpected feature of Gold's model makes the sun a degenerate object, perhaps a neutron star. As the author of this article states:

"Gold has stood the conventional view of the origin of the solar system on its head."

(Maddox, John; "Origin of Solar System Redefined," Nature, 308:223, 1984.)

Reference. The above "spin-split" enigma is discussed more thoroughly in ABB3 in our Catalog: The Sun and Solar System Debris. See description of this book at here.

From Science Frontiers #33, MAY-JUN 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987