Let's talk about comet ISON, shall we? More specifically.. I want to discuss the myths and misinformation that are plaguing the interwebz about
Cheesy's favorite comet. I've seen this stuff spewed on Youtube, and the misinformation is bleeding over into the forums right here on ATS.
Let's deny a little ignorance:
1. NASA is lying about comet ISON and hiding the doom-y, gloomy truth from the public.
There’s a scene from the 1998 movie Deep Impact where the president, played by Morgan Freeman, reveals a terrible truth… the U.S. government
has known for over a year that a doomsday comet is headed straight towards Earth, with Hollywood CGI destruction sure to follow.
While dramatic, the scenario is also extremely implausible. On any given evening, amateur astronomers are sweeping the skies using telescopes mounted
in backyard observatories that are the envy of many major universities. This effort to discover comets is collaborative and worldwide. If the “Big
One” were headed our way, even the likes of Morgan Freeman couldn’t keep it secret.
As soon as an object is discovered, the information is released to the world-wide community of professional, as well as amateur astronomers. There is
a rush to confirm, observe, and record data about the object in question and then the data is compiled to calculate the size and orbital path. More
observations, means a more accurate picture of the object.
So that public that NASA is 'hiding the truth' from... are part of the whole process from discovery, to observations, to calculations. How can it be
hidden from the very people doing the legwork?
When a discovery is made — be it by amateur or professional — the first task is to gain enough observations of the object to ascertain its
orbit. Once again, we see the international collaborative methods employed by modern science. Already, the cosmic cat’s out of the bag as
observatories worldwide make follow up measurements. There are no secrets about Comet ISON that hundreds of astronomers could keep quiet
It isn't possible to hide this kind of information from the public because of the collaborative and world wide effort in finding and tracking objects.
NASA funds the Minor Planet Center, which is where objects are reported, data is collected, and results made public. NASA actually has surprisingly
little do with any of it, which is another very common misconception.
2. Comet ISON has other objects in tow.
One currently circulating claim states that Comet ISON has “companions” that have been imaged trailing it. While comets do indeed fragment on
occasion, the culprits that can be seen in the .gif animation circulating the internet are easily identified by photography experts as hot pixels in
One youtube user, is a fan of taking images and adjusting the contrast to show 'hidden' objects within or around the comet. He is doing nothing more
than enhancing these hot pixels and other photographic artifacts/anomalies and lying to the viewers about what he has supposedly 'exposed', when in
truth.... they are nothing more than common findings in these types of images. You can find anything if you look hard enough... and apparently..
people really want to find that doom to up their views on teh youtubez, even if it means lying to the viewers and propagating ignorance and fear.
If and when ISON fragments... we will certainly know about it with so many dedicated astronomers and other sky-watchers out there keeping tabs on all
3. Comet ISON is going to hit us/Comet ISON is Niburu/The debris field will wreak havoc on earth
Scientists have defined this comet’s orbit very precisely, and it won’t hit Earth. So, no Comet ISON is not Nibiru — that ‘tenth planet’
destined to destroy Earth that conspiracy lovers can’t seem to let go of.
The debris — which might create a very nice meteor shower — is made up of extremely tiny grains of dust, no more than a few microns wide. Since
they will be hitting Earth’s atmosphere at speeds up to 200,000 km/hr (125,000 miles per hour), the particles will burn up.
Over 6400 observations have been used in calculating ISON's orbit which leaves a very small margin of error. This data is obtained from professional
and amateur astronomers around the world, so it is NOT NASA fudging the numbers, since they aren't even NASA's numbers in the first place.
The debris field of dust left in the comet's wake, will harm no one and will not cause any damage. We pass through debris fields of past comets many
times a year and one can enjoy several annual meteor showers as a result.
So, there you have it, folks. ISON is just a comet, it poses no danger to earth, its not niburu, it has nothing in tow, NASA is not lying, and it will
pass much like Elenin and the others... without incident.
Please stop propagating ignorance and fear mongering.
edit on 26pmTue, 26 Nov 2013 16:35:04 -060013TuesdayTuesday1311 by daryllyn because: (no