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Thousands of invisible 'dark' comets may be posing an unseen threat to Earth, according to two British astronomers.
A 'dark' comet is one which has shed its bright water ice, leaving an inner organic crust that reflects only a small fraction of light.
Because it does not glow, a dark comet on collision course with the Earth could easily escape detection until disaster looms
Such dark comets are not unheard of. They occur when an "active" comet's reflective water ice has evaporated away, leaving behind an organic crust that only reflects a small fraction of light.
Originally posted by shadow Clown
reply to post by munkey66
Funnily enough, conspiracy theorist back in like the 80s were saying the fear is the tool that government would use to control the people, they also said first it was russians(check) then it'll be terrorists(check) then asteroids(maybe??) and then finally actual Extra-terrestials(still time) seems like the old shool boys were spot on.
Originally posted by pazcat
I fail to see how this differs from the thousands of supposedly visible comets and meteors that lay undiscovered and could potentialy pose a threat to earth, either way i cant see there would be to much we could do about them if we dont know they are on the way, unless Bruce Willis can see into the future that is.
The rate that bright comets pass through the Solar System suggests there should be 3,000 of them flying around, yet only 25 have been detected. Most may have remained hidden because they are too dark to see, say the astronomers.
In 1983 the comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock passed by the Earth at a distance of five million kilometres, the closest approach of any comet for 200 years.
With just 1 per cent of its surface active and reflecting light, it was only spotted two weeks ahead of its arrival, said Dr Napier.