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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 » Supervolcanoes

Supervolcano Campi Flegrei: Alert

Submitted by on February 8, 2013 – 5:34 amNo Comment

The following news could be anywhere from meaningful to meaningless. The primary problem is that scientists have never witnessed a supervolcanic eruption. They don’t know what indicators they should be looking for, and how much of a warning we get.

Presumably an eruption is preceded by a build-up of magma, and presumably that would cause the ground to rise to some degree:

Italy’s Department of Civil Protection recently raised the alert level for the Phlegraean Fields, where Wiersberg said the ground was rising by about three centimetres a month.

There are concerns that a magma chamber under the fields, presumably connected to the one under Mount Vesuvius, east of Naples, is filling up, the rising pressure possibly heightening the danger of an eruption.

That might be reason for concern, and certainly the Italian government are covering themselves. But if you compare it to some other, relatively recent activity, then there’s no reason for concern:

As Wiersberg pointed out, however, the two episodes of considerable ground uplift since the 1960s were not followed by an eruption. The uplift in the early 1970s, about 1.50 metres in three years, was somewhat greater than the current one, he said.

Or, are these three episodes all part of a cycle of movements that indicate an eruption is likely? Nobody knows. Perhaps just don’t live near a supervolcano, ever.

Story from News24.

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