"Never a straight answer"
"NASA always lies about everything"
"NASA knows about (insert object here) and they are hiding the truth from the public so as not to create panic"
"NASA wouldn't tell us anything, even if they knew"
We have all seen comments like this floating around ATS.
NASA has amassed quite the reputation around here and I think its time we discuss why it is NOT possible that they are hiding the truth about any
incoming objects and give proper credit to those who are watching our skies for us.
First of all... the whole process of finding, cataloging, and tracking NEOs (near earth objects) has surprisingly little to do with NASA. They are
commonly credited with the entire process and operation but this is simply not true.
The Minor Planet Center
is the real hub of the operation. This is the place astronomers turn
to when they find an object. The information is then verified by other astronomers and the observations are used to make calculations about the object
in question, such as size, speed, brightness, and orbital parameters.
But, just who are these people that are finding objects, calculating trajectories, and reporting their findings to the MPC?
They are professional, and amateur, astronomers from around the world. Regular people, just like you and me. They aren't NASA "officials" or anything
of the sort.
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.
The effort of tracking and cataloging these discovered objects is a world wide one, that requires the collaboration of thousands of astronomers from
around the world. The minute an object is reported, the cat is no longer in the bag.
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.
NASA doesn't discover these objects to begin with, and the very public that they supposedly lie to and hide the truth from.... are the very people
discovering and submitting the data about these objects.
How can NASA hide the truth from the very folks doing all the legwork for them? Think about that
for a moment.
So, there you have it. NASA isn't hiding the truth about any incoming objects, because it would not be possible
with the amount of people
involved in the collaborative, world wide effort in the current system of finding, monitoring and tracking NEOs.
As you can see.... the whole thing has way less to do with NASA, than most people are even inclined to consider.
edit on 26pmTue, 26 Nov 2013
18:14:05 -060013TuesdayTuesday1311 by daryllyn because: (no reason given)
edit on 26pmTue, 26 Nov 2013 19:03:47
-060013TuesdayTuesday1311 by daryllyn because: (no reason given)