RSR's List of Star Formation Problems

a star* Star Formation Problems: Real Science Radio hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams discuss the problems with star formation and the laws of physics that collapse the theory... but not the nebula! See also Part 2 and Part 3!

Standard Models Start Late: The models for star formation begin, amazingly, with the explosion of preexisting stars (e.g., "When these forces fall out of balance, such as due to a supernova shock wave, the cloud begins to collapse") or, as with the classic study by Larson which assumed a starting point where the hypothetical condensation was already well under way. Analytical calculations and computer simulators do not show that star formation is possible based upon the known laws of physics.
Star Rotation: The "angular momentum problem" as Larsen calls it (2003, The physics of star formation), recognizes that the rotation rates of the potential star-forming nebulae are a thousand times greater than could possibly be contained in a star (without it flying apart). As a spinning nebula condensed, its spin would be conserved, like a figure skater pulling in her arms, so that the rotation rate of a star would be wildly fast beyond anything known in the universe.
Condensing Nebula: Condensing a gas cloud, like the Eagle Nebula, would increase pressure and temperature, which would then expand the cloud, because the weak force of gravity is easily overpowered by the cloud's pressure, as well as its angular momentum. Further, the cloud would have to be more massive than an average star yet orders of magnitude smaller than any known nebulae.
Magnetic Strength: The journal Science published what amounts to a parallel of the angular momentum problem,  "Interstellar clouds are permeated by magnetic fields that we believe to be effectively frozen to the contracting gas; as the gas cloud collapses to form a star, the magnetic field lines should be compressed ever closer together, giving rise to enormous magnetic fields, long before the collapse is completed. These fields would resist further collapse, preventing the formation of the expected star; yet we observe no evidence of strong fields, and the stars [allegedly] do form, apparently unaware of our theoretical difficulties."
Dark Matter to the Rescue (Again): If gravity working on matter were sufficient to explain star formation, scientists would not be pinning their hope on dark matter. As explained in 2007 by a Reuters science correspondent Dark matter key to formation of first stars, "As the universe initially was only helium and hydrogen, dark matter was critical in providing the gravitational force to pull these elements together to form stars. Now that there are other objects in the galaxy [including pre-existing exploding stars], dark matter is not needed to form stars." Then again in 2014 a Nature paper on the formation of the first stars and galaxies was described by Caltech's Richard Ellis, "Now we can get to grips with how stars and galaxies form and relate it to dark matter. You can make stars and galaxies that look like the real thing. But it is the dark matter that is calling the shots." As a theory rescue device, dark matter is rather flexible! 
Population III: The BB predicts that the "first generation" of stars stars, referred to as Population III stars, would have been comprised only of hydrogen and helium (without metals, i.e., heavy elements) and that they should still be plentiful. Yet even though many millions of stars have been studied and cataloged, not even one Population III star has been found. "Astronomers have never seen a pure Population III star, despite years of combing our Milky Way galaxy."  -Science Jan. 4, 2002, p. 66 (see this reference and many more). Recently this problem was defined away by claiming that the smallest Pop III stars would have been a thousand times more massive than previously claimed and so would more rapidly expend their nuclear fuel. But then in Nov. 2018, an allegedly 13.5 Gyr-old very small binary star system was discovered rewinding the wildly morphing stellar evolution hypothesis.
No Dust to Form Molecular Hydrogen: If the so-called first generation stars could overcome all other star formation hurdles and have their formation helped by the use of molecular hydrogen, an additional problem (not unlike the difficulty of forming raindrops without a pollution/particulate nucleus) exists in that hydrogen atoms are unlikely to bond without a landing surface of sorts.
Blue Star Assembly Line: Short-lived (1M to 10M-yr) Blue "straggler" stars unexpectedly found in allegedly much-older clusters.
Particular Stars Acknowledged as Unexplainable: See below, examples of individual stars, one nearby and one faraway, that leading scientists say, "should not exist" according to current theory, regarding research published in leading journals.
Millions of Years of Missing Stage 3 Supernovas: An explosion appeared in the night sky in 1054 A.D. as a supernova remnant (SNR) forming the Crab Nebula. Big bang theory predicts a significant rate of star explosions (one every 25 to 100 years). Yet, not only are there millions of years of missing SNRs of Stage 3 diameter, further, the number of Stage 1 and Stage 2 SNRs correspond well to the expected number if the universe is less than 10,000 years old. (For more on this, check out this RSR program.)

The lack of awareness of these problems, even among science buffs in the general public, is evidence of the bias in popular science media sources, as in the example below from Astronomy Cast, hosted by Fraser Cain, the founder of Universe Today. The physics haven't changed since a Cambridge professor summed up the stellar evolution problem:

The process by which an interstellar cloud is concentrated until it is held together gravitationally to become a protostar is not known. In quantitative work, it has simply been assumed that the number of atoms per cm3 has somehow increased about a thousand-fold over that in a dense nebula. The two principal factors inhibiting the formation of a protostar are that the gas has a tendency to disperse before the density becomes high enough for self-gravitation to be effective, and that any initial angular momentum would cause excessively rapid rotation as the material contracts. Some mechanism must therefore be provided for gathering the material into a sufficiently small volume that self-gravitation may become effective, and the angular momentum must in some way be removed." Eva Novotny, Introduction to Stellar Atmospheres and Interiors, Oxford University Press.

And here's the admission from Neil deGrasse Tyson in his Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, p. 187:

Not all gas clouds in the Milky Way [or any galaxy] can form stars at all times. More often than not, the cloud is confused about what to do next. Actually, [we] astrophysicists are the confused ones here. We know the cloud wants to collapse under its own weight to make one or more stars. But rotation as well as turbulent motion within the cloud work against that fate. So, too, does the ordinary gas pressure you learned about in high-school chemistry class. Galactic magnetic fields also fight collapse: they penetrate the cloud and latch onto any free-roaming charged particles contained therein, restricting the ways in which the cloud will respond to its self-gravity. The scary part is that if none of us knew in advance that stars exist, front line research would offer plenty of convincing reasons for why stars could never form

Years ago NASA scientist John C. Brand in The Physics and Astronomy of the Sun and Stars provided the circular reasoning for believing that the laws of physics can do what otherwise appears impossible:

Contemporary opinion on star formation holds that objects called protostars are formed as condensations from the interstellar gas. This condensation process is very difficult theoretically, and no essential theoretical understanding can be claimed; in fact, some theoretical evidence argues strongly against the possibility of star formation. However, we know that the stars exist, and we must do our best to account for them.

* Problems with the Formation of Particular Stars: A black hole is not a star but the carcass, so to speak, of certain stars after their deaths. If there are black holes that "shouldn't exist", because standard theory cannot account for the circumstances of their formation, that then becomes yet another kind of problem with star formation. For example (see this also at
- Faraway supermassive black hole shouldn't exist: but it does. If the big bang theory were true, the black hole at 12.8 billion light years away containing the mass of 12 billion Suns that by the big bang theory, "simply can't exist", shouldn't be there. But it is. Likewise the mature distant galaxies, distant galaxy clusters, and the superclusters, shouldn't exist by the big bang theory, but they do. The black hole that shouldn't exist is described in a 2015 Nature paper, a 2016 Science News "not enough time" report, and in this EuroNews video:

(There's also a nearby massive black hole that "should not even exist", but it does, according to Prof. Liu Jifeng who headed the stunning research published in the March 2019 journal Nature, the formation of which "would be extremely challenging within current stellar evolution theories." We parenthesize this waiting for further reseach to hopefully determine whether or not this is actually a binary black hole pair.)

Solar System Formation Problems: (We would make updates at From its physics to its major predictions, the nebular hypothesis theory of solar system formation has failed. The California Institute of Technology manages NASA's exoplanet database. Caltech's astronomer Mike Brown stated: “Before we ever discovered any [planets outside the solar system] we thought we understood the formation of planetary systems pretty deeply… It was a really beautiful theory. And, clearly, thoroughly wrong." Exoplanet discoveries, with their masses, sizes, composition and orbital characteristics different than what has been predicted for decades by the standard model of solar system formation, including with their retrograde orbits, highly inclined orbits and hot jupiters, have effectively falsified that model.

So, the impressive scientific discoveries that taken together completely falsify the nebular hypothesis of solar system formation include these:
exoplanets contradict the predictions of the nebular hypothesis theory
- our Sun is missing 99% of its expected spin (but angular momentum must be conserved)
- our Sun's rotation is seven degrees off the ecliptic (so did our orbits or the Sun tip?)
planets would not form because as admitted in Nature in 2013, "according to standard theory [i.e., gravity], dust grains orbiting newborn stars should spiral into those stars rather than accrete to form planets”
- small bodies spiral in so quickly, in just a few hundred orbits, that Nature 2014 by anti-science blind faith claims "sub-metre-sized pebbles [grew] into 100-km-sized bodies, possibly in a single leap [??] ... through an unknown process."
- the dust grains and small rocks that do collide break apart instead of accreting to form planetesimals
- the "probably turbulent" protoplanetary disk "strongly stirs" accretions causing such collisions
- metre-sized bodies "take as little as 100 years to end up close to the star, where they quickly evaporate"
- the short lifetime of metre-sized bodies means there is a "limited opportunity" for them to grow 
- the asteroid collisions alleged to form meteors would have littered the asteroid belt with micrometeoroids yet probes surprised NASA showing the debris diminished on their journey there
- the quintillions of small blobs of gas and dust imagined forming in space have no mechancism to compact themselves into the dense black rocks of meteorites
- the meteorites that cannot be explained cannot themselves be the explanation for the claimed meteoritic bombardment of the formation of planetesimals and planets
- even if the laws of physics enabled planet formation, 4.5 billion years is far too little time to build large planets, whether rocky or gaseous
- "a major embarrassment... Jupiter and Saturn... no one has a satisfying explanation of how they were made" Science 2002
- "Little is known about how microscopic dust particles can grow 14 orders of magnitude bigger to become a giant planet within the relatively short lifetime of the disk" Nature 2015
- the missing predicted uniform distribution pattern of solar system isotopes
- the extremely consistent Uranium isotope ratio, absurd if formed in space
- Earth doesn't produce Helium-3 yet it's too slippery for meteors to trap
- the other rocky planets don't have a lot of radioactivity in their crust as Earth does
- the missing expected uniform distribution of Earth's radioactivity
- the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters 2004 sums up that "we do not really understand the physics of planetesimal formation, or how the planets came to have their present chemical compositions"
- the contrary-to-expectations fine-tuning of the solar system
- the many contrary-to-expectation transient events in the solar system
- as it would have been evolving, a faint young Sun can't explain the early Earth's warm climate
- that proponents are catastrophists trying to prop up the theory by claiming planetary catastrophes everywhere (list below)
star formation has seemingly intractable physics problems (consider the Philae landing)
- contrary to an Oort or Kuiper origin, comets contain Earth-like minerals and rounded boulders  - short-period comets still exist even though they have lifespans of only thousands of years
- the 1,346 trans-Neptunian objects with known orbits reach perihelion at the ecliptic
- the MNRAS published analysis showing simulations can never demonstrate both planet and asteroid formation
- peanut-shaped asteroids present a deep, unsolved mystery to secular astrophysicists
Mercury has greater density than can be accounted for by evolutionary accretion
- NASA's 45-year lunar dust data collector shows that miles, not inches, should have accumulated in billions of years
- the rocky planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars would rotate far more slowly if accreted from a condensing nebula
- the origin of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn has no "satisfying explanation" as per the journal Science in 2002
- the impact hypothesis for the formation of the Moon would have degassed the water, yet much is found there
- of the 170+ moons, as with others generally, those that would be explained as forming with their planets should have orbits lying near their equatorial plane but many do not
- 30 moons orbit retrograde (backwards)
- that Uranus rotates perpendicularlyPluto rolls, and Venus rotates backwards.
So the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the BBC, Nova, Bill NyeLawrence Krauss, etc., wrongly built public confidence in the secular origins nebular hypothesis story. The longstanding claims of solar system formation were invented ad hoc to account for the particulars of our own solar system. Now that thousands of exoplanets are being discovered, the story telling will simply become, as with epicycles and levels of Darwinian selection, more complex.

* Update on Comet Formation & Composition: See the chart in Bryan Nickel's Hydroplate Theory Overview 2015 video at 46 minutes in, describing the composition of comets, asteroids, meteors, and interstellar dust as including water, salts, silicates, crystalline silicates, limestone, clay, cubanite, olivine, iron, nickel, [possibly non-biological] organics, amino acids, [and apparent] cellulose and bacteria. Consider also the Europeans Space Agency's astounding accomplishment by landing Philae on Comet 67P. This makes obvious Nickel's description at 48 minutes in, of the impossibility of any natural accretion of comets unless their rock components (rounded boulders, etc.) were traveling at the same speed and on the same trajectory, and also aerobraked by the water vapor surrounding the newly forming comets. And see the Craig Covault quote Bryan presents at 50:30 from Aviation Week & Space Technology on the formation of the Itokawa asteroid from two skyscraper sized objects colliding at 4500 mph!  

Galaxy Formation Problems

Huge Galaxies: appear at such great distances that they would have had to form too rapidly for a BB time frame.
Spiral Galaxies: near and far, have the same amount of spin, whether next door or 10 billion light years away.
Huge and Spiraled: "The biggest challenge to the standard model of galaxy formation could be the number of large galaxies showing the spiral structure in the early universe" acknowledged in 2003 in Science News.
Clustered Galaxies: near and far, are strongly clustered, contradicting the expected influence of gravity over time
Galaxy Superclusters: enormous galaxy clusters like bubbles, the Great Wall, filaments, the Sloan Great Wall, which is more than a billion light years across, all lack the time for gravity to pull them together.
Even Temperature Resists Galaxy Formation: The big bang model says that gravity working on an uneven distribution of matter would create galaxies, but the background temperature of the universe (CMB) is about 2.73 degrees Kelvin with less than 1/10,000th of a degree variation, indicating an extreme "eveness by which gravitational pull in every direction would tend to prevent clumping such that galaxies would not form in a mere 14 billion years.
Fractal Universe: if the universe is fractal, as it appears, the big bang then doesn't explain galaxy distribution.
Mature Galaxies: 12B lightyears away where we should only see infant galaxies formed, we see mature galaxies
Spiral Galaxies "Too Perfect": Cosmologists say that the missing collisions in pristine galaxies is "an embarrasment"
Closest Bulge a Mystery: Even the formation of the closest one to us, the bulge within our own Milky Way, is a mystery.
Galaxy Spin: The big bang does not explain even why galaxies spin.
Spiral Arms: after supposed billions of years, their spiral arms should now be deformed.
Fast Moving Arms: The big bang requires hypothetical entites to justify the great speed of the spiral arms of galaxies.
Simulation Can't Validate Standard Theory: In 2011 the Royal Astronomical Society reported on a failed effort at University College London to mathematically validate by computer simulation the traditional theory of the formation of the spiral arms of galaxies.
New Theory of Galaxy Arm Formation Fails: While the BB model claims that spiral galaxy arms are billions of years old, even by a new theory publicized by the RAS, a galaxy "arm breaks up" after only 100 million years. 
Stars First, or Galaxies? The long-time editor of the journal Nature admits that the big bang theory doesn't even help scientists determine which formed first, stars or galaxies. And they have the most difficult time even explaining where our own Moon came from, let alone the entire universe. Thus, far from being able to explain how the universe could form apart from God, they are groping in the dark.
Transparency Problem: Surprised astronomers are seeing objects that are apparently far more distant than any that they expected to be able to see. Images from NASA's FERMI telescope have recently exacerbated the "transparency problem" because, comparing observation to big bang predictions, there is a tremendous amount of missing "infrared light between galaxies", apparently, billions of years worth. According to New Scientist, this "may call into question our understanding of how galaxies are born", which of course was rather questionable already (per this list). As noted at, this transparency problem may exacerbate another problem, the one regarding where to hide all the additional regular matter allegedly created in the big bang, the equivalent of "twice the amount of material we can see in stars and hot gas. Where are those particles?" Yes. Where?
And RSR's own Density Problem: As journalists, here at Real Science Radio we typically report what others have published. But consider NASA's acknowledgement of the missing density problem after sophisticated measurements indicate that there exists only half of the expected baryons (normal matter) that should exist in the universe based on the prediction of the big bang theory. Therefore RSR now asks, if there actually is only half the ordinary matter, and thus less gravitational attraction, than previously presumed, with that much less matter to coalesce, does such missing matter imply yet another problem for galaxy formation?

* Planet Formation Problem: This is left as an exercise for the student. If you have a few valid examples of why planets cannot form naturally, feel free to email them to

* Which Came First -- Stars or Galaxies?: A chicken-or-egg uncertainty applies also to the universe. In 1931, Georges Lemaître, father of the big bang theory, spoke to the British Association in passing of the, "formation of extra-galactic neulae out of a uniform mass of gas or stars..." but, which was it? Then, almost 70 years later, according to John Maddox, physicist and 23-year editor of the journal Nature, scientists still couldn't determine:

“Which objects came first, stars or galaxies? Theoretical science offers no clear guidance, while observations of the distant (or early) universe do not yet go back far enough. [RSR 2014 Update: In the years since Maddox wrote this, the world's astronomer's extraordinary scans of the universe have not answered even this basic question. So, continuing with this excerpt...] The general (and fair) assumption is that the first objects in the sky would have sprung from naturally occurring variations, or fluctuations, of the density of matter in an otherwise uniform gaseous cloud. Places where the density of the matter is, by chance, greater than the average would sometimes grow by gravitational attraction at the expense  of neighboring patches and then, having become still more massive, would attract further gas until they had assembled enough to make a star, or perhaps a whole galaxy.” - John Maddox, What Remains to be Discovered, pp. 48-49

* Oversold by Astronomy Cast: The uncertainties above, regarding planet, star and galaxy formation, suggest that the public confidence in the big bang is unjustified. This misrepresentation comes from believers in the big bang who operate popular science outlets including for example Astronomy Cast, hosted by astronomer Pamela Gay and Universe Today founder Fraser Cain. This entertaining and educational podcast nonetheless has a blindspot large enough to leave listeners in the dark regarding the most severe problems with claims of secular origins. As a typical episode, their fun Rotational Inertia show does discuss star formation but without even mentioning any of the relevant problems. At 17:30, Dr. Gay says of a nebula of gas and dust that, "something triggers it to collapse", but she does not remind her audience that neither gravity form a protstar nor a shock wave from an exploding star would be available to trigger the collapes of initial nebulae to for the first stars. And then, "During that collapse, whatever it was that tirggered that collapse probably istigated some sort of force that set this whole thing rotating. As this whole thing is rotating, initially, it's really big. As it collapses, it's like an ice skater bringing her arms in." As in ten thousand other pop science articles, books, and programs, Cain and Gay here didn't bring up the nebulae collapse problem (which failure gives their audience undue confidence in their origins belief system), but now, they have edged right up to the angular momentum problem of star formation, in that, as a gas cloud condenses, by the law of the conservation of angular momentum, stars would be spinning impossibly fast. So at this point, the informed listener is waiting to hear a description of the problem. But instead, here's how Dr. Gay ends the oft-told story: "And as it collapses it gets faster and faster and faster." And... that's it! Not a hint of any difficulties. Yet another just-so secular origins story that glosses over inconvenient law of physics including in this instance, the angular momemtum problem. (As a separate example of the bias in the same podcast, we learn that we don't have to feat that the Sun will overheat half the Earth by tidally locking us because, "we're just lucky" that the moon is there to protect us; yet it seems that everytime a "just so" life-saving coincidence is appealed to, it would be forthcoming to mention that there are scores of "we're just lucky" fine-tuned physical constants, ratios, and integrated systems, most of which are needed for our very existence.)

For an update on all of this, and for the many mainstream scientific discoveries of which the Astronomy Cast audience may never learn about, see our popular articles and! (To see how popular these articles are, just Google: big bang predictions. We're ranked #1! And we do well for: evidence against the big bang. Usually in the top 3. And even for: big bang evidence, we're usually on the second page of results!)

* Related Nova/BBC Observation: Notice something ironic about the scripts of the nature television programs from the Discovery Channel, Nova, and the BBC, about the sophistication of life on earth. When you start with nothing created everything, or, zero plus zero equals everything, there's no end to the mistakes you will make. So, almost everything they say disproves everything they believe, which is based on nothing.

* Darwinist Wildlife Officials Blunder with Fish: Real Science Radio reports on the wildlife officials that created an ecological catastrophe by following Darwinist advice. These officials instructed the fishing industry that it could only 'keep' the larger fish caught, and would have to release smaller fish. By removing information from existing fish genomes (which is a leading creationist mechanism for descent with modification), this unwise strategy severely altered the genetic pool of various species, including cod, removing the genes needed for growing large fish. As a result the average length of some species have shrunk by a third, and even after a 15-year moratorium, the larger fish have not returned. For all the natural selection hype, it is sad that Darwinist governments have blown what would have been a major application of true selection principles.

* COVID Quarantine Note: The COVID-19 quarantine interrupted our series on star formation. RSR reported on the pandemic itself, as with all of our broadcasts, from a biblical perspective. You can hear that series beginning at When the quarantine lasted so long the guys decided in late April to no longer wait for Fred to be back in studio to continue this series. So he joined Bob via Zoom for Part 2 and Part 3.

* Star of Bethlehem: At Christmas sometime you may want to hear Real Science Radio's program!

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