Originally posted by megoquest
Now my question is about this solar flare impact on Neat or another new comet.
You are aware, are you not, that solar flares are ionized particles? Their actual density is much less than the atmosphere we breathe. If the comet
was coming into the field of the flare, then it would probably be too close to the sun to escape again.
If the impact created a break up, there would be less than a nine-month lead time for NASA or Space Command to calculate trajectory for these
new smaller pieces.
Try "probably less than 3 days." However, we do have large scale computers around and it's not THAT hard to calculate orbits. You could do it
with three or four observations and a hand calculator if you were so inclined. It would take you several hours, unless you happened to be very good
I'm terrible at math, and I could probably do the calcs by hand (on paper) within 7 hours. It would be quicker if I had a slide rule or if I had a
calculator. With a computer and an orbital mechanics program (there are lots out there that amateur astronomers use), the time to recalculate
trajectory with a known set of parameters is about 2 seconds.
The ORIGINAL problem with calculating the ORIGINAL trajectory is that for an unknown body, it takes several confirmed sightings before they can figure
out what it is and what it's going. At the distances from Earth that they usually spot comets, it takes several nights for it to move far enough
that you can actually detect it's been moving (a thousand miles at the distance of Jupiter is a very very small motion.)
Yesterdays evening news had a story about the US government telling NASA scientist not to comment on the new disaster movie about global
Yes, and you can thank George W. Bush for this one. Seriously. If you don't like the policy, send a couple dollars to Kerry and vote for him in the
fall. Encourage your friends to vote for him.
Speaking as a scientist (grad student), I can tell you that the Bush admin is trying to put all sorts of reins and checks and balances on science so
that we do ONLY the science they approve of. In the name of morality, of course, and the people determining "proper science" are not scientists.
(insert rant about Bush, stupidity, and similar topics here)
This government silencing would definitely be used for something that was real and not a movie. The silencing would be for the ignorance of
the probable and possible trajectory path of the new comet pieces. Just a thought. www.exopolitics.org...
The site so desperately wants a coverup that they ignored some of the facts (just ask around on the Bad Astronomy board for more details than you can
manage to read in an hour... www.badastronomy.com)
The government can't silence 300,000 amateur and professional astronomers around the world. They don't own and control the use of every pair of
binoculars on the planet and every telescope. There isn't any government in the world that controls our local science teacher's star watch program
for his students and there's no government that controls the telescopes that my astronomy hobbyist friends own. And yes, they have all the cometary
tables and so forth.
But... Armageddon tales are great fodder for the imagination. I would take sites such as the one you cited with a whole ocean full of salt... and if
you're interested in watching the skies, then join a local astronomy club and hang out on Bad Astronomy and find out more about it.
It's a fascinating topic, and we certainly need more people who are informed about it and fewer who read Armageddonish websites.