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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 » Archaeology

Information That Lasts Forever

Submitted by on July 29, 2012 – 11:27 pmNo Comment

I presume forever is impossible, seeing as our universe probably has a finite existence ;)

But if you want some information to last a very, very long time, it would need to be:

  1. In a language that will always be understood
  2. In a format that can always be read
  3. Durable

The current trend is for English to become the global language of planet Earth. But languages (for example, English), can evolve rapidly – so the best we can do is write the information in basic English and preferably with as many synonyms as possible.

The format is easy – visual. Digital is hard to spot, and hard to decode once technology has moved on or disappeared.

Durability is difficult. Fortunately the nuclear waste industry has a strong need for leaving super-durable, easily read messages – and here’s a solution they have come up with:

Patrick Charton of the French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA presented one possible solution to the problem: a sapphire disk inside which information is engraved using platinum. The prototype shown costs €25,000 to make, but Charton says it will survive for a million years. The aim, Charton told the Euroscience Open Forum here, is to provide “information for future archaeologists.” But, he concedes: “We have no idea what language to write it in.”

Archaeologist Cornelius Holtorf of Linnaeus University in Sweden showed meeting participants an early attempt at warning future generations: a roughly 1-meter-wide stone block with the words “Caution – Do Not Dig” written in English with some smaller text explaining that there is nuclear waste below. But who knows what language its discoverers will understand in thousands or hundreds of thousands of years—or even if they will be human beings?

I suggest they write it in dozens of languages, using every synonym for danger and nuclear and buried they can think of. Fortunately the new solution is capable of storing a lot of info for a very long time:

The sapphire disk is one product of that effort. It’s made from two thin disks, about 20 centimeters across, of industrial sapphire. On one side, text or images are etched in platinum—Charton says a single disk can store 40,000 miniaturized pages—and then the two disks are molecularly fused together. All a future archaeologist would need to read them is a microscope. The disks have been immersed in acid to test their durability and to simulate ageing. Charton says they hope to demonstrate a lifetime of 10 million years.

I think €25,000 is an absolute bargain for 40,000 pages. That’s less than 1 Euro per page. Sounds like an opportunity to get 40,000 opinions of our current world written in a variety of languages (or drawn) and placed somewhere as a million-year time capsule. I’d pay 1 Euro to be part of that!

Could be sent on the next Voyager spacecraft too :)

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