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Another Expert Agrees With Dark Comet Theory

February 21, 2013 – 11:31 am | No Comment

Astronomer David Asher (from Armagh University) has agreed with Bill Napier and Janaki Wickramasinghe (Cardiff University) that “dark comets” are real and dangerous.
The following quotes are from a paper by Napier and Asher published in Astronomy & Geophysics.

We know that about one bright comet (of absolute magnitude as bright as 7, comparable to Halley’s Comet) arrives in the visibility zone (perihelion q<5AU, say) each year from the Oort cloud. It seems to be securely established that ~1–2% of these are captured into Halleytype (HT) orbits. The dynamical lifetime of a body in such an orbit can be estimated, from which the expected number of HT comets is perhaps ~3000. The actual number of active HT comets is ~25. This discrepancy of at least two powers of 10 in the expected impact rate from comets as deduced from this theoretical argument on the one hand, and observations on the other, is …

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Home » Meteorites, Supervolcanoes

Safety from Meteorites / New SuperVolcano?

Submitted by on November 7, 2011 – 2:15 pmNo Comment

Models that have looked into the effects of a major meteorite impact have, until now, used a featuresless perfect sphere to represent Earth. A new model that incorporates the surface features of our planet has found:

…that the seismic waves resulting from the impact would have been scattered and unfocused, causing less severe ground displacement, tsunamis, and seismic and volcanic activity than previously thought.

So instead of the ripples in a swimming pool being quite uniform, we have ripples in say a small river, with some ducks, a fallen tree, and a pile of mud getting in the way. This means that there will be some areas, even reasonably close to the impact, that will survive intact. If there is ever going to be advanced warning of a large impact, such a model might be able to help humans choose the safest places to hide.

Uturuncu is an ancient volcano in southwest Bolivia. It last erupted 300,000 years ago, and that eruption does not classify it as a supervolcano. However, lately it is been giving indications that it could be a supervolcano in the making:

So far, they know the inflation is surprisingly fast: the center of the patch has risen 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) in the past 20 years. What is more, the uplift extends about 43 miles (70 kilometers) across — similar in size to the caldera that formed in the wake of the latest eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, which blanketed half of the U.S. in ash 640,000 years ago.

…Uturunca could be drawing magma from a dense swarm of nearby volcanoes, many of which are currently active.

The risk it currently presents depends on how long it has been inflating for, and satellite data only goes back 20 years. The investigating geologists say the expansion probably started only recently, and so the magma chamber probably has not yet grown to supervolcanic proportions, but also note that their initial conclusions are far from definitive.

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