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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.
http://star.arm.ac.uk/preprints/2009/539.pdf

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 » Asteroids, Government

Critical Asteroid Telescope Might Shut Down

Submitted by on July 9, 2012 – 10:15 amNo Comment

More evidence that global governments are incredibly ignorant of the serious asteroid threat. Detection of asteroids is severely under-funded, even though it has the best long-term cost-benefit ratio of almost anything they could pay for. An Australian telescope at the Sliding Spring observatory, the only one searching for asteroids in a particular region of the sky, lost its U.S. funding last year, and unless somebody fronts up with $180K this month, it will be shut down.  Leaving us blind to a potential killer asteroid.

Catalina uses a range of northern hemisphere telescopes – and the Sliding Spring Survey. But in October, Catalina cut off cash to the survey due to growing costs, caused partly by changes in the exchange rate between the Australian and US dollars. That decision was “very difficult”, says Steve Larson, who heads Catalina.

Since then, the southern survey has been limping along with temporary funding from the Australian National University in Canberra, but the extension is set to expire at the end of July, says survey operator Rob McNaught. [New Scientist]

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