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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

How To Tell People The Sky Is Falling?

Submitted by on July 10, 2012 – 7:27 pmNo Comment

Asteroids and comets represent, in the long-term, very serious threats to modern civilization. And little is being done about it. NASA spends a tiny amount of money looking for Near Earth Objects. A couple of non-government organizations are researching the best ways to prevent a collision. A third aspect is now starting to fall into place – how to tell people?

To deal with potentially hazardous Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that could strike the Earth, there is need to establish an effective international communications strategy – but doing so is a daunting task, one that demands effective use of mass communication tools.

That key view is addressed in The Near Earth Object Media/Risk Communications Working Group Report issued by Secure World Foundation.

The key takeaway from the report  for me is that, globally, it will be hard for people to know who to trust, when being told an asteroid will or won’t hit us. Misinformation could be more readily accepted than the truth. I think the global solution is easy – listen to the BBC. They are the most likely to get it right.

I also found this interesting:

Because of the psychology of how the public, including policymakers, perceives risk, policymakers may not have the will to invest in ‘just in case’ plans for NEOs. The public does not worry much about threats that are not immediate, that appear abstract, or that have never actually been witnessed or experienced by someone like themselves. The more aware of risk the public becomes, the more readily it is alarmed. Still, most people have little or no understanding of numerical probabilities and have a binary reaction to learning about a threat or crisis: “Does it affect me or not?”

The report mentions the possible scenario of an imminent threat (a few days to a few months). While the report is all about how to communicate the story, they don’t really have any suggestions regarding what people will be told to do. Obviously they will be told not to panic. Experts will talk of a few years of less sunlight. Questions will be raised about food supplies. And then, once all the shelves have been emptied, governments will recommend that we all stock up.

And that really is the last piece of the puzzle, preparing for the worst, just in case. There’s no point telling people to prepare at the last minute. Food and water supplies need to be stored by governments, on behalf of their citizens – enough to last a few years. That’s the only solution.

Rice and tinned food would be a good start, along with bottled water. $5 a day per person would easily cover the food and water. In Australia that would be would be 1000 days x $5 x 22 million people = $110 billion.  Obviously with such a huge total cost, that isn’t going to happen. The government will not be able to save you, and they have no plans to!

So you need to make your own preparations. If you don’t, and an asteroid heads our way, you have nobody else to blame.

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