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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 » NASA

Doomsday 2012 Fact Sheet: Flawed

Submitted by on September 3, 2012 – 4:45 pm5 Comments

The source of the disinformation (once again) is David Morrison from NASA. Over at the SETI Institute is a 2012 Doomsday Fact Sheet. I’ve reproduced it in full, with my more expert opinion in red:

 

There is widespread and unnecessary fear of doomsday on December 21, 2012. Some people worry about a Maya prophesy of the end of the world, others fear a variety of astronomical threats such as collision with a rogue planet. Opinion polls suggest that one in ten Americans worry about whether they will survive past Dec 21 of this year, and middle-school teachers everywhere report that many of their students are fearful of a coming apocalypse. Following are brief facts that address these doomsday fears.

Mayan Calendar: The Maya calendar, which is made up different cycles of day counts, does not end this year. Rather, one cycle of 144,000 days (394 years) ends and the next cycle begins. MISLEADING: It is a 25,000 year cycle that ends this year, then begins again. By saying 394 years, he suggests that the last end of cycle was 1618, when nothing terrible happened. It’s like telling someone that New Year’s Eve happens every month.

Mayan Prophecy: The ancient Maya did not predict the end of the world or any disaster in December 2012. Such doomsday predictions are a modern hoax. OPINION, NOT FACT. There is plenty to suggest they thought Dec 2012 would be tragic. Given that thousands of their books were burned, and only four survived, it is quite likely that what they really believed went up in smoke – that doesn’t mean they never believed it. The Popol Vuh certainly says that the last three times the Long Count ended, gods destroyed humans. So a fair assumption would be that they expected the same for this year. The Aztecs, who inherited the Mayan calendars, carved their catastrophic prediction for this year in their famous Sun Stone.

Planet Nibiru: Nibiru is probably the minor name of a god found in ancient Mesopotamian writing. There is no planet named Nibiru, and the fictional books by economist Zecharia Sitchin about a civilization on this planet are a hoax.

Rogue Planet Headed for Earth. For the past decade there have been reports of a rogue object (Planet X, or Nibiru, or Hercubolus, or even Comet Elenin) that will collide with Earth in December 2012. These claims are not true. If such a threatening world existed, it would be one of the brightest objects in the sky, and astronomers would have been tracking it for years. If it existed, its gravity would be distorting the orbits of planets, especially Mars and Earth. Astronomers know that it does not exist.

Planet Alignments: There is no alignment of planets in Dec 2012. There is an approximate lining up of the Earth and Sun and the center of our Galaxy in late December, but this happens every year. In any case, planet alignments have no effect on the Earth. BAIT AND SWITCH. No half-decent 2012 researcher has suggested a planetary alignment, because there isn’t one, and that’s a fact. Debunkers keep bringing this up, but never cite their source because there isn’t one. He then says there is a galactic alignment, but planetary alignments are harmless. The planetary alignment does happen every year recently, but it is unique to our era. It won’t be aligned 100 years from now.

Pole Shift: There is nothing strange this year about either the magnetic poles or the rotational poles of the Earth. The magnetic polarity changes every million years or so, but that is not happening now, and it probably takes thousands of years when it does happen. A sudden change in the rotational axis has never happened and is not possible. If there were any change in the Earth’s rotation, it would be instantly apparent by failure of our GPS systems. CHANGING TUNE. For years now NASA has categorically stated that magnetic pole shifts take thousands of years, ignoring multiple orthodox studies suggesting it could be as quick as one year. Now Morrison says probably takes thousands of years.

Increasing Disasters. Our planet is behaving normally in 2012, although we see more and more news stories about natural disasters. There has been no increase in earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. There has been an increase in extreme weather, including both droughts and floods, which are partly attributable to global warming, but this has nothing to do with a 2012 doomsday.

Solar Outbursts: The Sun’s ongoing 11-year activity cycle is expected to peak in 2013, not 2012. Solar outbursts (flares and CMEs) can damage orbiting satellites but will not hurt us on the surface. The strength of the 2013 solar maximum is predicted to be lower than average, not higher. WRONG and MISLEADING. Solar outbursts won’t affect us biologically, but they can easily destroy our power grids, and to millions that would be harmful. Also, even though a massive solar event is more likely at the peak of the cycle, the Carrington Event occurred at the solar minimum, so any talk of the strength of the maximum is disinformation.

Bunker Conspiracy: Accusations of a massive government cover-up are nonsense. No government could hide an incoming planet or silence hundreds of thousands of scientists. Rumors that huge bunkers have been built in the U.S. or elsewhere to shelter the elite are lies. Apparently a few people are building private shelters, but their fear of 2012 is misplaced and they are wasting their money. PARTIAL LIE. Very large bunkers exist in multiple countries to protect our leaders. Mount Yamantau can hold tens of thousands of people, and it is pretty much accepted as factual. But yeah, a lot of the stories regarding bunkers for the elite are not true.

Scaring Children: The group most vulnerable to doomsday claims is children. Teachers report that many of their students are frightened and some are even considering suicide. This is the most tragic consequence of the 2012 hoax. YES and NO. Some children are deeply concerned, but the number of suicides are very small, and tiny compared to all teen suicides. Whether it is communists, nuclear war, global warming or 2012 – many teens always worry deeply about something.

The End of the World: The idea of the sudden end of the world by any cause is absurd. The Earth has been here for more than 4 billion years, and it will be several more billion years before the gradual brightening of the Sun makes our planet unlivable. Meanwhile there is no known astronomical or geological threat that could destroy the Earth. MISLEADING. True doomsday experts and survivalists are careful to call it The End Of The World As We Know It. Nobody suggests the planet is in danger – just humans.

Cosmophobia: Many young people write to me that they are scared of astronomy. When they read about some new discovery, the first thing they think is that it might hurt them, even if it is happening in a distant galaxy. There is no reason for such fears, which I call cosmophobia (fear of the universe). This rash of concern seems to be the result of too many conspiracy theories and sensational stories featured on the Internet and irresponsible news outlets. Astronomical objects are so distant that they cannot threaten the Earth. Please don’t be afraid of the Sun or the planets or comets or asteroids. The universe is not your enemy. EMBARRASSINGLY WRONG. What he should say is that while the Sun, asteroids and comets have caused major catastrophes on Earth, and certainly will again, the odds of them happening in this lifetime is tiny. It is concerning that a “senior NASA scientist” believes that a comet or asteroid cannot harm us.

5 Comments »

  • Johan says:

    “more expert opinion”???

    There is no 25,000 year cycle ending this year. That is simply John Major Jenkins idea that lacks substantial support.

    There is no evidence at all that the Maya believed in an apocalypse. You mix time periods. The codices and Popol Vuh are Postclassic/Early Colonial and new ideas emerged after the Maya collapse. Show us some evidence from the Classic period when the Long Count was in use. The Aztecs did not inherit the Maya calendars… The Sun stone has nothing to do with the Long Count.

  • Robert Bast says:

    So the rest of my criticisms are valid – that’s nice to know! And that’s why I said more expert… The codices and Popol Vuh are all we have – the rest were burned. Isn’t it more likely that the ideas in the Popol Vuh are inherited rather than brand new? And the Sun Stone, well the Aztecs believed in multiple ages ending in destruction just like the Maya (if you accept the Popol Vuh). And an age for the Maya was most probably the Long Count – and certainly not a lesser time frame.

  • Bill Hudson says:

    Well, you certainly have a high opinion of yourself. Nobody can dispute that.

    Besides latching on to the fictional 25,000 year cycle, we’ve got an attempt to shift the burden of proof (e.g., the Maya believed x, but the Spaniards burned all of the evidence).

    You attempt to shift the blame for a major blunder in the “2012 doomsday” literature to the ‘scientists’ by proposing that planetary alignments are a red herring (if “no half-decent 2012 researcher” suggests this, then there are a lot of less than half-decent 2012 researchers, because this is a very common topic).

    You also forward what a misinterpretation of geologic evidence (there is no evidence that magnetic pole reversals can occur within 1 year. We have some evidence that magnetic fields can move rapidly, but that is far outweighed by the evidence showing that the pole reversals take between a few hundred to several hundred or perhaps a few thousand years).

    You also attempt to revitalize the ‘massive solar flare’ argument (Yes, a solar flare can cause power outages. How many spacecraft do we have watching the sun now? Did the largest solar flare ever caught on instruments in 2003 cause widespread power outages? Why not?). In addition, the “solar cycle of 2012″ was one of the early claims made to support the validity of the “end of the Maya calendar”, and that idea is still active today. You act as if your particular set of 2012 ideas are the only ones that people should listen to. Are you the only ‘half-decent’ 2012 researcher? You do understand that there are a lot more people talking about 2012 that just you?

    The point about the ‘Bunker Conspiracies’ is that people are being told that ALL governments are building these massive end-of-the-world bunkers for the world elite, for example, under Denver International Airport. I’ve never understood why the Government would choose to build a massive bunker under a public airport when a few miles away there is a huge airport on a military base, closer to Cheyenne Mountain with plenty of privacy and plenty of runway. The bunker conspiracy people point to the Svalbard seed vault, which is a well publicized giant refrigerator with no living space. Whatever Mount Yamantau is, the Russians aren’t talking. So maybe it is a ‘bunker’ for the Russian elite, or maybe it is a nuclear waste storage dump, or maybe…. we can speculate all day.

    Your callous attitude toward the amount of fear caused by these rumors is telling.

    “True doomsday experts and survivalists … ” and “Nobody suggests the planet is in danger … ” I’ll take ‘No True Scotsman fallacies’ for $1000, Alex.

    And finally, the bit that you call ‘Embarrassingly Wrong’… Doctor Morrison has been involved with NASA projects to map the distribution of asteroids, discover the parent bodies of meteor showers, and in many other ways discover *if* there is something to be concerned about. He’s well aware of the potential dangers that comets and asteroids pose. The mind-set that he is addressing here is that some people think *every* new discovery means danger. We discover a planet circling another star, and he gets (and I get) questions like “can this hurt us?” Now that we’re out there actually mapping the distribution of asteroids, we made a major discovery… there are about 10% fewer large asteroids than we expected. The chance of a life-killing impact, already tiny, just dropped significantly, but nobody is talking about it. Instead many people are talking about this 2012 nonsense.

    You tried many of these arguments in the forum at 2012hoax.org. You were handed your head back on a silver platter.

    What makes people like you so difficult to deal with for scientists is the same thing that Velikovsky and Sitchin did… you speculate broadly across multiple disciplines, and scientists (such as Johan) are only comfortable talking about one or two at the most. What makes you so damaging is that you apparently believe your own shtick and have a pretty good delivery. You also apparently don’t concern yourself with the consequences.

  • Robert Bast says:

    Bill, thanks for your input.

    Do you realize that you pretty much repeated many of my points. I did day that risks from asteroids and comets are rare. I did say that the conspiracy theories about giant bunkers are wrong, although some are real.

    There are certainly two camps regarding solar flares. Yes, there are safeguards in place, but a NASA-sponsored report suggests a great calamity could occur. And keep in mind that the singular satellite that warns power companies is well past its use-by-date, and an official was “surprised” that it was still functioning. A solar storm can take out the satellite that warns us…

    For magnetic reversals, again it is debatable. Three separate studies have suggested that rapid changes, and whether than can translate into rapid reversals remains to be seen.

    But my key point here is how flawed, overall, Morrison’s writing is. He certainly misleads deliberately, to make his “nothing to worry about” more easy for people to understand. But it’s not scientific. NASA should stick to real science, not half-baked misleading science to skew public opinion.

  • [...] David Morrison  are quick to discount solar flare activity as a potential doomsday threat; many 2012 researchers find flaws with the science and assumptions reported by even highly-respected NASA [...]

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