Is it not the job of a scientist to explore all possibilities? Space is vast, the timelines between events long and the odds of anything "going wrong"
in our lifetime slim. Dismissal of any kind of an event off hand would of course give a mathematically minded person the odds of being right.
Incredible odds of being right actually, the odds of being wrong somewhere in the range of the odds of me winning the lottery.
Nonetheless we owe it to ourselves as scientists to take seriously all possibilities if for no other reason... discovery.
Let us work from several truisms. Explore possibility, reverse engineer the bizarre theories of doom not from a POV of debunking them, but rather to
explore the manners and conditions in which they could occur in some form and what variables could make them possible.
Comets being "scary" is not purely superstition, in our lifetime we have witnessed a collision with Jupiter, but this in itself is not the only
threat, Comets and Asteroids both have varying compositions, which makes absolute prediction not entirely possible.
Lost in the rabble I have a couple of questions, Size and Composition being Two. Do we have an accurate and complete knowledge of either?
Above and beyond that I have many things I can look at here. IF I had to take a bet, if I had to place money, my commentary would be the same as
yours, the Odds as I said above would be vastly in favor come January 31st of absolutely nothing happening, but taking size and composition as
unknowns into account as well as factoring in some plausible scientific theories I'd like to know IF you can say the words IMPOSSIBLE to all of the
following possibilities. Not highly unlikely.
1: Comet Ison is believed to be new, is it IMPOSSIBLE that there is a body that periodically disturbs the Oort cloud? That Ison is visible and has
attention but there could be an actually threat of periodic release of material into the inner solar system, much of it too small to be seen. That
within the more bizarre theories, there could be a "period" of higher risk or periods of higher risk based on events that HAVE occurred during the
time span in which humans have inhabited the Earth and fear of comets or comets as a sign of potential danger is not unwarranted? Bear in mind, I'm
talking about a 70,000 to 135,000 year period in which man be it not in our exact current form has had "camp fires" and the ability to relate
2: Is it Impossible that even if we knew the scale of an object entering the solar system, if we did not know it's Internal composition, something
small could be a piece of "something" with a far greater gravitational pull than one would expect? Be highly electrically or magnetically charged and
or capable of creating "phenomena" out of the ordinary even from a distance, could not such an object spending time in the outer system like the Oort
cloud for most of it's life Gravitationally pick up enough material to be "coated" as it enters the solar system appearing to be an ordinary Comet as
it burns off but in reality something "highly unusual"
3: If an ordinary large Comet is it Impossible for it to have ordinary satellites that can be pushed off by out gassing creating the potential for a
variety of small bodies to deviate from planned course. Would not even a small piece of a large Comet a city Killer for example in a day and age of
Nuclear reactors be a severe threat if it impacted it the wrong place? And as part of same question in a similar vein, with an unknown composition
internally be this Comet several large chunks traveling together or a singular body, as it heats rounding the Sun is it Impossible for it to explode
as interior material heats up creating a shot gun effect in which you have several or many pieces on short notice coming closer to the Earth than
predicted or even colliding?
4: How large is this Comet? Does the possibility exist that it is an extremely Large Comet? If not when exactly did we have enough information to
determine the bodies actual size and dismiss that fear 100%, if it is a Large Comet and broken into pieces or simply fragile in the nature as to how
it's held together could it not have a more dangerous debris field compared to most of the Comets we have observed? Is it impossible that it is very
large and similar to my favorite candy bar "Effing Crumbs Everywhere"
5: Can we 100% discount Biological material frozen within an object that contains water, there are many scientists that see this as possible are there
not? Additionally has the theory of a planetary explosion or collision in the early solar system been disproven if not and this "material" is from
that period is it 100% impossible that rudimentary life like a Virus or Bacteria could survive within such an object?
6: Are Comets Safe? Even if not on Trajectory for collision are there no unknown variables? Is every single body that passes through our system simply
a dirty snowball? Does nothing exist within the depths of space between stars that could be headed in an opposite direction by whatever means, areas
of denser material we could pass through, Gravitational phenomena is impossible? There are not Millions of failed Stars? Large Jupiters, planets
ejected from finished systems. If planet X is complete nonsense is it impossible that one day we wake up and there is some Neptune sized ejecta from
somewhere else that enters the system (certainly not saying that is what this is) but do we not owe it to ourselves to carefully and closely examine
all possibilities of anything we notice entering our solar system when we live on a world that at least once was pulverized during the course of
evolution, when in the course of Human History we Do have evidence of some extreme events like a body exploding over North America while Homo Sapiens
have walked the Earth?
7: Is it not what we do as Scientists, explore any and all possibilities no matter how remote in order to facilitate discovery?
edit on 18-9-2013 by penninja because: (no reason given)