Impactors strike during the reign of the dinosaurs (image credit: MasPix/devianart)
Impactors strike during the reign of the dinosaurs (image credit: MasPix/devianart)

Asteroids, Comets, Earth, Evolution, Meteor Showers, Meteorites, Meteors, Natural Disasters, Solar System

Russian Asteroid Explosion and Past Impactors Paint a Potentially Grim Future for Earth

7 Mar , 2013 by

The recent meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk brought to the forefront a topic that has worried astronomers for years, namely that an impactor from space could cause widespread human fatalities.  Indeed, the thousand+ injured recently in Russia was a wake-up call. Should humanity be worried about impactors? “Hell yes!” replied astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson to CNN’s F. Zakharia .

The geological and biological records attest to the fact that some impactors have played a major role in altering the evolution of life on Earth, particularly when the underlying terrestrial material at the impact site contains large amounts of carbonates and sulphates. The dating of certain large impact craters (50 km and greater) found on Earth have matched events such as the extinction of the Dinosaurs (Hildebrand 1993, however see also G. Keller’s alternative hypothesis).  Ironically, one could argue that humanity owes its emergence in part to the impactor that killed the Dinosaurs.

The Manicouagan impact crater in Quebec, Canada (image credit: NASA)

More than a dozen known impactors created 50 km sized craters (and larger) on Earth. One such example is the Manicouagan crater in Quebec, Canada.  The crater is 215 million years old, and exhibits an 85 km diameter (image credit: NASA).

Only rather recently did scientists begin to widely acknowledge that sizable impactors from space strike Earth.

“It was extremely important in that first intellectual step to recognize that, yes, indeed, very large objects do fall out of the sky and make holes in the ground,” said Eugene Shoemaker. Shoemaker was a co-discoverer of Shoemaker-Levy 9, which was a fragmented comet that hit Jupiter in 1994 (see video below).

Hildebrand 1993 likewise noted that, “the hypothesis that catastrophic impacts cause mass extinctions has been unpopular with many geologists … some geologists still regard the existence of ~140 known impact craters on the Earth as unproven despite compelling evidence to the contrary.”

Beyond the asteroid that struck Mexico 65 million years ago and helped end the reign of the dinosaurs, there are numerous lesser-known terrestrial impactors that also appear destructive given their size. For example, at least three sizable impactors struck Earth ~35 million years ago, one of which left a 90 km crater in Siberia (Popigai). At least two large impactors occurred near the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary (Morokweng and Mjolnir), and the latter may have been the catalyst for a tsunami that dwarfed the recent event in Japan (see also the simulation for the tsunami generated by the Chicxulub impactor below).

Glimsdal et al. 2007 note, “it is clear that both the geological consequences and the tsunami of an impact of a large asteroid are orders off magnitude larger than those of even the largest earthquakes recorded.”

However, in the CNN interview Neil deGrasse Tyson remarked that we’ll presumably identify the larger impactors ahead of time, giving humanity the opportunity to enact a plan to (hopefully) deal with the matter.   Yet he added that often we’re unable to identify smaller objects in advance, and that is problematic.  The meteor that exploded over the Urals a few weeks ago is an example.

Sketch of the ensuing Tsunami caused by an impactor from Space (image credit: binouse49/devianart).

An artist’s sketch of a tsunami which can be potentially generated by an asteroid/comet impactor (image credit: binouse49/deviantart).

In recent human history the Tunguska event, and the asteroid that recently exploded over Chelyabinsk, are reminders of the havoc that even smaller-sized objects can cause. The Tunguska event is presumed to be a meteor that exploded in 1908 over a remote forested area in Siberia, and was sufficiently powerful to topple millions of trees (see image below).  Had the event occurred over a city it may have caused numerous fatalities.

Mark Boslough, a scientist who studied Tunguska noted, “That such a small object can do this kind of destruction suggests that smaller asteroids are something to consider … such collisions are not as improbable as we believed. We should be making more efforts at detecting the smaller ones than we have till now.” 

Neil deGrasse Tyson hinted that humanity was rather lucky that the recent Russian fireball exploded about 20 miles up in the atmosphere, as its energy content was about 30 times larger than the Hiroshima explosion.  It should be noted that the potential negative outcome from smaller impactors increases in concert with an increasing human population.

The Tungunska impactor is thought to have felled millions of trees in Siberia in 1908 (image credit: Kulik).

In 1908 the Tunguska impactor toppled millions of trees in a rather remote part of Siberia (image credit: Kulik).  Had the object exploded over a city, the effects may have been catastrophic.

So how often do large bodies strike Earth, and is the next catastrophic impactor eminent? Do such events happen on a periodic basis? Scientists have been debating those questions and no consensus has emerged. Certain researchers advocate that large impactors (leaving craters greater than 35 km) strike Earth with a period of approximately 26-35 million years.

The putative periodicity  (i.e., the Shiva hypothesis) is often linked to the Sun’s vertical oscillations through the plane of the Milky Way as it revolves around the Galaxy, although that scenario is likewise debated (as is many of the assertions put forth in this article). The Sun’s motion through the denser part of the Galactic plane is believed to trigger a comet shower from the Oort Cloud. The Oort Cloud is theorized to be a halo of loosely-bound comets that encompasses the periphery of the Solar System. Essentially, there exists a main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, a belt of comets and icy bodies located beyond Neptune called the Kuiper belt, and then the Oort Cloud.  A lower-mass companion to the Sun was likewise considered as a perturbing source of Oort Cloud comets (“The Nemesis Affair” by D. Raup).

A belt of comets called the Oort Cloud is theorized to encircle the Solar system  (image credit: NASA/JPL).

A halo of comets designated the Oort Cloud is theorized to encircle the periphery of the Solar System, and reputedly acts as a reservoir for objects that may become terrestrial impactors (image credit: NASA/JPL).

The aforementioned theory pertains principally to periodic comets showers, however, what mechanism can explain how asteroids exit their otherwise benign orbits in the belt and enter the inner solar system as Earth-crossers? One potential (stochastic) scenario is that asteroids are ejected from the belt via interactions with the planets through orbital resonances.  Evidence for that scenario is present in the image below, which shows that regions in the belt coincident with certain resonances are nearly depleted of asteroids.  A similar trend is seen in the distribution of icy bodies in the Kuiper belt, where Neptune (rather than say Mars or Jupiter) may be the principal scattering body.  Note that even asteroids/comets not initially near a resonance can migrate into one by various means (e.g., the Yarkovsky effect).

Indeed, if an asteroid in the belt were to breakup (e.g., collision) near a resonance, it would send numerous projectiles streaming into the inner solar system.  That may help partly explain the potential presence of asteroid showers (e.g., the Boltysh and Chicxulub craters both date to near 65 million years ago).   In 2007, a team argued that the asteroid which helped end the reign of the Dinosaurs 65 million years ago entered an Earth-crossing orbit via resonances. Furthermore, they noted that asteroid 298 Baptistina is a fragment of that Dinosaur exterminator, and it can be viewed in the present orbiting ~2 AU from the Sun.  The team’s specific assertions are being debated, however perhaps more importantly: the underlying transport mechanism that delivers asteroids from the belt into Earth-crossing orbits appears well-supported by the evidence.

Kirkwood Gaps, histogram of asteroids as a function of their average distance from the Sun.  Regions deplete of asteroids are called Kirkwood Gaps, and those bodies may have been escavated from the main belt owing to orbital resonances (image credit: Alan Chamberlain, JPL/Caltech).

A histogram featuring the number of asteroids as a function of their average distance from the Sun. Regions depleted of asteroids are often coincident with orbital resonances, the latter being a mechanism by which objects in the belt can be scattered into enter Earth-crossing orbits (image credit: Alan Chamberlain, JPL/Caltech).

Thus it appears that the terrestrial impact record may be tied to periodic and random phenomena, and comet/asteroid showers can stem from both.  However, reconstructing that terrestrial impact record is rather difficult as Earth is geologically active (by comparison to the present Moon where craters from the past are typically well preserved).  Thus smaller and older impactors are undersampled.  The impact record is also incomplete since a sizable fraction of impactors strike the ocean.  Nevertheless, an estimated frequency curve for terrestrial impacts as deduced by Rampino and Haggerty 1996 is reproduced below.  Note that there is considerable uncertainty in such determinations, and the y-axis in the figure highlights the “Typical Impact Interval”.

Estimated frequency of impacts as a function of age, diameter, and energy yield.  Results assume an impact speed of 20 km/s and density of 3 g/cm^3 (image credit: Fig. 2 from Rampino & Haggerty 1996, NASA ADS/Springer).

Estimated frequency of impactors as a function of diameter, energy yield, and typical impact interval. Results assume an impact speed of 20 km/s and density of 3 g/cm^3 (image credit: Fig. 2 from Rampino and Haggerty 1996, NASA ADS/Springer).

In sum, as noted by Eugene Shoemaker, large objects do indeed fall out of the sky and cause damage. It is unclear when in the near or distant future humanity will be forced to rise to the challenge and counter an incoming larger impactor, or again deal with the consequences of a smaller impactor that went undetected and caused human injuries (the estimated probabilities aren’t reassuring given their uncertainty and what’s in jeopardy).  Humanity’s technological progress and scientific research must continue unabated (and even accelerated), thereby affording us the tools to better tackle the described situation when it arises.

Is discussion of this topic fear mongering and alarmist in nature? The answer should be obvious given the fireball explosion that happened recently over the Ural mountains, the Tunguska event, and past impactors.  Given the stakes excessive vigilance is warranted.

Fareed Zakharia’s discussion with Neil deGrasse Tyson is below.

The interested reader desiring additional information will find the following pertinent: the Earth Impact Database, Hildebrand 1993Rampino and Haggerty 1996Stothers et al. 2006, Glimsdal et al. 2007Bottke et al. 2007Jetsu 2011, G. Keller’s discussion concerning the end of the Dinosaurs, “T. rex and the Crater of Doom” by W. Alvarez, “The Nemesis Affair” by D. Raup, “Collision Earth! The Threat from Outer Space” by P. Grego.  **Note that there is a diverse spectrum of opinions on nearly all the topics discussed here, and our understanding is constantly evolving.  There is much research to be done.

By
Dan Majaess is a Canadian astronomer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He researches the cosmic distance scale, pulsating stars, star clusters, and terrestrial mass extinctions linked to asteroid/comet impacts.


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William Nicholls
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William Nicholls
March 7, 2013 6:31 PM

Given the stakes, vigilance is warranted. We should better understand the odds and consequences of potential impacts of various sizes, and our ability to manage the risks with technology so we can reasonably decide what’s due vigilance and what’s excessive.

Beckler
Member
Beckler
March 7, 2013 7:07 PM
We should be building a fleet of immensely powerful heavily armed defensive spacecraft. Not just for the comet/asteroid threat, but for that of an aggressive alien civilization. We simply don’t know what’s out there. For all we know, an armada of ships is already massing on the other side of the sun, lying in wait, perfectly hidden. When we do finally see them approaching, good luck getting a defense plan in place in time. The best we could muster would be refurbishing and old shuttle with a battery of thermonuclear devices in its cargo bay. The astronauts would manually target the missiles before attempting a rapid reentry to avoid the barrage return fire. They would also carry sidearms… Read more »
Philip Wilson
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March 7, 2013 9:27 PM

Brilliant! Speaking of sidearms, please assure me you don’t own any.

kbutler
Member
kbutler
March 8, 2013 7:01 PM

Don’t ya just hope ‘n pray this one does not get into the hands of Rush L or Glenn B????? We’ll be building behemoth spaceships to put Fred Saberhagen to shame for his “modest” ideas…

Beckler
Member
Beckler
March 12, 2013 3:21 PM

grin Isn’t it obvious this was a joke? Guess not!

Steven
Member
March 7, 2013 10:51 PM

You have it all figured out, lol

KJRFB
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KJRFB
March 7, 2013 7:36 PM

Great Theory, but one flaw: That won’t stop the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

bugzzz
Member
bugzzz
March 8, 2013 9:14 PM

Your thinking is exactly why I’m glad that solar systems are so far apart and there’s no intelligent life on other planets in this system. If a civilization that could reach another solar system already exists (and they probably do give 13.7 billion years) then they also could easily destroy us if they chose in any number of ways.

Lorin Ionita
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Lorin Ionita
March 12, 2013 2:52 PM

Movies are impossibly optimistic. Even though we are the underdog we will always prevail. But there is a flaw in this. A civilization that would be so advanced to cross over such huge interstellar distances would be much, much more advanced than us. An earthly example would be a dogfight between our current fighter planes and the ones from World War 2. The latter would face impossible odds to win. And that isn’t even 100 years of evolution.

So, in reality if another star traveling civilization would want to destroy us, we would be completely hopeless.

Beckler
Member
Beckler
March 12, 2013 3:09 PM

grin Firstly my original comment was a total joke, I thought that was obvious. Second, yes what you say about other civilizations seems likely to me, but we don’t know that. For instance, even now, we’d be just capable of sending a long term armed generational ship to the nearest systems, and it would probably work. As it is now, we have Zero knowledge about any alien life, or even if there is any! So we can make inferences, but those will generally be wrong, IMO. smile

Kevin Frushour
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March 7, 2013 10:23 PM

Being picky – the Golden Gate Bridge would not still be intact in that picture. The far tower may still be up but the bridge deck should already be snapped.

Paul Searcy
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March 7, 2013 11:54 PM
Much more important than just the tsunami is the heat and debris thrown up by the impact, that’s the aspect that would cause the most immediate problems. (imagine all that splattering mass being ejected and crashing down again all over the earth.) Also the dust thrown into the upper atmosphere has been calculated to block out the sun for many years… no sun, no crops, no food. That’s the main reason there was the global die-off… not because the critters were crushed/vaporized/drowned and broiled… they starved. So, let’s all go buy lots of MREs and be ready for the fireworks! (oh and like the guy below says, build a fleet of star destroyers… that’s just common sense!)
Greg
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Greg
March 8, 2013 12:18 AM
The reasoning of the average human can be painfully warped. Just 20 minutes ago North Korea made national headlines in the U.S. for making yet another idle threat of a nuclear attack on the U.S. Of course North Korea has no such capability and the U.S. has a multitude of ways of neutralizing any such threat should they finally acquire the necessary rocket technology. Yet a much larger explosion now has occurred twice over Russian soil in the last 110 years and there have been numerous close shaves over that time span with much larger space rocks and no government seems motivated enough to worry about that problem and take serious preventitive action. I don’t think any scientist… Read more »
KJRFB
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KJRFB
March 7, 2013 7:35 PM

So, you’re saying if a scientist is initially wrong, his/her degree should be revoked? Screw Scientific Method, THIS GUY has it all figured out! And here I was, thinking the budget was impeding progress. But thanks to Greg, I now know it’s because the government hates cities and states.

Greg
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Greg
March 8, 2013 6:43 AM
You have a confused notion of how science works. If there is little or no evidence of a phenomenon it is perfectly reasonable to presume that it does not exist until such evidence is presented. If we don’t demand evidence, then what is the alternative? To believe a phenomenon exists based on little or no evidence? Not accepting a phenomenon is not the same thing as claiming that it cannot exist! Some people understand only the two sides of the fence, but cannot imagine sitting on it. Science often simply says, “We don’t know yet.” I’m an astronomer, and I can’t say I know of any astronomer who claimed that planets were uncommon. That is a ridiculous assertion.… Read more »
Greg
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Greg
March 8, 2013 5:52 PM
Hi Greg; I was an astronomer during the 90’s. The issue was, as always, the best use of resources. It is risky to fund a project that appears to have little chance of success for technical reasons. In fact, detecting exoplanets was one of the prime goals of astronomy during that period, so there is little doubt that the goal was deemed worthwhile… but there are always squabbles over the allocation of resources. An unfortunate example of this sort of thing is the whining Halton Arp did when his extremely flawed approach to observational cosmology was met with resistance. He didn’t want to accept that people thought his science was bad, so he blamed them for having a… Read more »
Prism2Spectrum
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Prism2Spectrum
March 10, 2013 4:42 PM

As an ancient wise King said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” – Human nature, one of the universal constants. Concepts and notions hard-dried into rigid concrete blocks. Takes the occasional hammer blow to free up new thoughts.

Tim Amato
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Tim Amato
March 8, 2013 2:20 AM

“The impact record is also incomplete since a sizable fraction of impactors strike the ocean.”

Space rocks could be a possible explanation for rogue waves, those of which that are witnessed of course. They have happend in the open ocean on clear days opposing the direction of prevailing waves and can be 70 to 100 feet in hieght. Rogue waves are said to be too numerous to fit into random modeling. I don’t think they are created without some cause; adding to the evidence of under reported impacts.

Prism2Spectrum
Guest
Prism2Spectrum
March 10, 2013 4:24 PM

On an armament-bristling planet, high-wired with all kinds of regional and global surveillance coverage, under nuclear proliferation shadow, would not a body large enough to generate a rogue wave, somehow appear a blip on someone’s “radar screen”? Perhaps not. Fascinating possibility!

dimar
Member
March 8, 2013 4:23 AM

Humans would rather fight for power and possessions, and let God deal with comets and asteroids. My guess is we won’t have the asteroid-care-tech, until we resolve issues related to world hunger and poverty.

bugzzz
Member
bugzzz
March 8, 2013 7:05 PM

I’m less sure of that. It seems like general awareness is growing that asteroids are an existential threat to humanity.

Victorys Spear
Guest
March 8, 2013 2:13 PM
Planet Saqar/Sijil and the Dajjal/False Messiah Question: What is the Sijil or Saqar? and who is the Anti Christ? The Expected Mahdi would not have appeared unless Allah would have made possible for you to discover the tenth planet beneath the seven earths, ITS NAME IN THE Holly Qur’an is planet Sijjil, and if you would not have discovered it I would not have been able to tell you (demonstrate) the centre of this Universe (Earth is the center of this universe and it is expanding from the point of The Kaaba) ???????? ????? ????????? ????????? ?????????? ?????????? ????????????? ????????? ????????? ???? ???????? ????????? When Our Decree issued, We turned (the cities) upside down, and rained down on… Read more »
Jasper Johns
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March 8, 2013 3:43 PM

Geeze. All this recent asteroid business reminds me of this novel I just read
called THE MYOSHI EFFECT which is about an asteroid headed toward earth
and how everybody reacts and the government tries to find a way to
deflect it. Granted the novel is humorous, like Dr Strangelove or
Douglas Adams or something, but how we just reacted to these last 2
space rocks is almost taken from the pages of the book. Fiction and fact
are fast becoming one.

StargeezerJack
Guest
StargeezerJack
March 8, 2013 4:04 PM

Great article. Our future is in doubt from extraterrestrial assault. But humans are the greatest threat. Thousands of issues threaten our existence, but the one that profoundly touches me and many of my astronomer friends is light pollution. The images of Earth at night taken by ISS astronauts reveals the disease that threatens stargazing, something we humans have done for millennia. How do we control light pollution? Please read my website. http://www.darkskyinitiative.org

kate s
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kate s
March 8, 2013 2:37 PM

As for extinctions, Wiki has info on Pangea/Gonwanaland saying since 2007 the lithosphere under India was thin; recent info says thinness due to heat under the lithosphere. Paper from co author D Petit says thinness of Pacific sea floor as a result of the Moon creation is reason we have crustal movement and Venus does not. Perhaps a more fruitful line of inquiry would be one directed toward discovering what heats the Earth core and produces the gas blow outs that are civilization’s reset.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
March 11, 2013 11:35 AM
You are mashing knowns with unknowns from a basis of ignorance. – Yes, the Moon thinning the crust may be responsible for our plate tectonics, Earth is marginal for it. But we are also more massive than Venus and, most importantly geologists think, our greenhouse has not made the water vanish into space. Water lowers the viscosity of the mantle minerals a lot. – The old idea of the Moon emanating from the Pacific is gone since we observed … plate tectonics. The plate movements predicts the large gap/supercontinent assemblages and thin ocean crusts. – About half the Earth core heat flow is from radiactive heating, many years observation of geoneutrinis has established that. The rest is believed… Read more »
Gary
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Gary
March 8, 2013 8:48 PM

Aliens could just push a few rocks with the front grill on their spaceships..wipe most of us out. Then take over the planet and make us slaves to their empire..lol..i wonder what kind of food they like..im hoping their vegitarians..

Greg
Member
Greg
March 9, 2013 1:57 AM

Must you take things so literally? Again I was using hyperbole and attempting to mix in some dark humor. I do find it irritating at times when apparently intelligent professors and post-grads take a stance narrow on a subject using the logic that since something has yet to be observed that it does not exist, especially when there is plenty of indirect evidence that it does.

Greg
Guest
Greg
March 9, 2013 5:46 AM
Science is about weighing evidence and not coming to a conclusion until the evidence warrants it. In fact, indirect evidence “weighs” very little. Science has to be conservative by its very nature. You make the claim that, “For a concrete example I can cite that planet naysayers were still in abundance even after pro-planetary discs were discovered around very young stars.” I find this assertion to be rather bizarre. Again, as an astronomer, I must tell you that you have been misinformed. This statement simply isn’t true. Most astronomers assumed there were planets around other stars. But unlike most non-scientists, we are able to remain undecided until enough facts are in to truly decide the issue. In fact,… Read more »
Prism2Spectrum
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Prism2Spectrum
March 10, 2013 4:05 PM
~ What thinking person on Earth, in view of the dramatic Russian event, and its aftermath, could not view it as a “wake-up call”? But, perhaps of somewhat different sort. More like a warning. The latest manifestation in train(?) of out-of-ordinary occurrences. Sun’s unusual(?) behavior of late, for example. (Part of grander cycle, perhaps.) ~ A recent news item suggests a big, newly arriving Comet of substantial mass(?) COULD hit Mars – and put out the lights on man’s search for life there, depending on possible orbital alteration from cometary outburst. That would be a fearful “wake-up” call indeed: “Big comet slams into terrestrial planet, plunging it into global cataclysm” – knocking out, or destroying, all mankind’s robotic… Read more »
WisdomSpirit
Member
WisdomSpirit
March 11, 2013 1:00 AM

I agree, it was very well said. As you know, lately, over the last 12 months or so. There have been many sightings of comets/asteroids passing by our Eden w/some air bursts. Unlike most planets w/no atmosphere, our Eden is affected 10-X’s more w/more scenario’s. As your well aware of, our atmosphere is key in blocking the in-coming rocks w/air burst types. But when they actually hit our solid Eden, our atmosphere spreads the particles of smoke, dust, and other material’s like a blanket. Are you a bit fearful we have been seeing many lately? I mean, the law of averages do not lie. What do you say? Take care smile… .

Prism2Spectrum
Guest
Prism2Spectrum
March 11, 2013 7:48 PM
~ “As your well aware of, our atmosphere is key in blocking the in-coming rocks w/air burst types.” ~~~ Yes. A reminder that we are under a layered sheltering dome, protecting us from gusts of Solar storm, and showers of Comet born. Don’t forget Jupiter’s hulking mass, which just happens to be located where it serves shielding role, for Earth to last, absorbing the random blast. (Debatable, I’ve heard.) ~ “But when they actually hit our solid Eden, our atmosphere spreads the particles of smoke, dust, and other material’s like a blanket.” ~~~ Sparked memory – _________ National Geographic_____ “Earths atmosphere protects the planet from most whirling space debris, which is usually invisible to us. Most meteoroids that… Read more »
WisdomSpirit
Member
WisdomSpirit
March 11, 2013 11:50 PM
Thanks Priz’m. Your honest reply is refreshing. I work w/Old Man Sol w/PM’s=Preventive Maintenance w/Sat-Com’s… Sol’s constant bombardment of solar wind vs Sats & Sat-Coms keeps us all bizzee. here. Parden my abbrev’s please. I do this at work constantly. It is faster. Don’t mind Tor=Torbjorn Larrson.. He is sort of like a fly. He buzzes around knowing how aggravating he can be w/his opposite assumptions on many subjects. It takes all kinds. He keeps people hereon their toes.. Anyways, ..A friend in Russia who used to live 30 miles away from ground zero. His brother now owns his parents home. Half of the windows were blown broken apart. As a scientists, he & I are somewhat concerned.… Read more »
Prism2Spectrum
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Prism2Spectrum
March 13, 2013 5:53 PM
~ Regarding one, my impression is, more like a prowling Cat, alert for an uncommon rustle, swift to pounce, when you least expect a sudden tussle. (tongue & c..) “He keeps people here on their toes.” – As you imply, that’s a good thing. Bad fruit of orchard tree, can be shaken loose by a stiff breeze. Just dumb layman observation, perceived in others [different forum]: I think one can be so intensely focused on the fine-details of a subject, that the meaningful, broader context can slip out-of-sight. Fade-out in close-up. (I could only dream of such breath of encyclopedic knowledge!) “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” ~ if you work in light of Sol, and Sun’s… Read more »
WisdomSpirit
Member
WisdomSpirit
March 13, 2013 9:38 PM
Takes all kinds to make the world go round. In you, I can see & feel your wanting to continue in type like a poet flowing his words with ease. You remind me of one Jim Morrison of “the Doors”. You must of heard of the good ole boy.(that is one great compliment to you my friend). I myself lack the typing skills, words, or patients. To each his/her own I always say. It comes down to the individual person the importance of each subject matter. For me, it is Ole Man Sol. He has big, small & in between brothers out there by the trillions to the 10th power+. He cannot go super nova’s but he will… Read more »
Prism2Spectrum
Guest
Prism2Spectrum
March 14, 2013 1:33 PM
Thanks for the compliment. You see, Me (no, not me), there is a poet in every heart, if only awakened by a spark. Read Poets of old, and when moved, a rhyme or 20, may spring from your soul. ____ “For [ Paul ] Murdin [ of the Institute of Astronomy, London ], one of Britain’s most popular astronomy commentators, poetry is more than frivolity. ‘There is a similarity between the two disciplines,’ he told the gathering [ of a Poetry reading at Institute ] . ‘You try to exercise your imagination to see what’s under the surface. We study dots of light and often find new, bizarre things of which there is no language construction. We reach… Read more »
WisdomSpirit
Member
WisdomSpirit
March 14, 2013 5:32 PM
Well said as usual Priz’m. A rhyme or 20…lol. When I read that my mind went automatically to today’s joke in music. “RAP” & Hip-Hop”! I am now going to have you go into minds eye in visual & hearing mode. My left hand & right flying up into the air w/both middle fingers standing to attention & saying, RAP this one & hip-hop on that one”! Sorry for my rather uncouth mind bending scenario. But such as life. I can read your posts all day long. An art form many do not have, heavily including myself. Murdin I have heard of & read some of his writings not too long ago. I am a Tesla kind of… Read more »
WisdomSpirit
Member
WisdomSpirit
March 16, 2013 5:47 AM

Priz’m..My last reply was explaining RAP/Hip-Hop & my visual bombardment w/ my gestures. I hope you know it was just a joke of sorts. Near my home/city in Massachusetts, they arrested a group of 17 to 22 yr old’s for apparel ware way below their hips, & listening to loud vulgar RAP/Hip-Hop. I was amazed my jokingly reply to you actually got real factual attention. Funny how things said pops up somewhere in society.

On a scientific note, Ole-Man-Sol is acting up. SOHO is identifying signs of activity. How major? No clue. Stay tuned my friend. Blessings wink

Prism2Spectrum
Guest
Prism2Spectrum
March 17, 2013 4:03 PM
Hello. Frankly, did not really understand first part of your previous reply. Personally, I intensely dislike the militant drum-beat forms of “music” you mention (“vulgar” is aptly descriptive), sprinkled about with offensive lyrics (appalling in underlying themes), too often overheard against my will. I cringe to think what marshal-toned messages are daily programed into susceptible young minds – yearly drilled into the youth of our land. Best I say no more. …. One could almost imagine, that the eruptive disturbances here below, are being reflected back to us from the heavens above. In near Solar Space, we could be in for “exciting”, uncertain times. If things do heat-up, increased celestial turbulence might have cause traceable to, and found… Read more »
WisdomSpirit
Member
WisdomSpirit
March 17, 2013 4:19 PM

You should be a speaker & making this world a better place. And yes, I knew you would dislike “RAP/Hip-Hop”. I detest it as you are well aware of. Well, I figured you might not get what I was trying to convey in the first part of my post to you. But you acclimated yourself brilliantly to the rest.

Ole Man Sol is starting to stir. Stay tuned is applicable as you agreed w/me. Take care.

Prism2Spectrum
Guest
Prism2Spectrum
March 19, 2013 3:15 PM

Thanks.

WisdomSpirit
Member
WisdomSpirit
March 19, 2013 4:35 PM

YW smile..

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
March 11, 2013 11:26 AM

I would not consider the Russian event “a wake up call”. We know impactors happen, to take an example out of a statistical distribution and pretend it is extra informative is frankly dumb.

Prism2Spectrum
Guest
Prism2Spectrum
March 11, 2013 8:11 PM

Perhaps, Mr. Larsson. It would be interesting to know what the consensus is among the general public (especially the Russian public), and the scientific community.

“Medvedev said at an economic forum in Siberia, Interfax reported. ‘It’s proof that not only are economies vulnerable, but the whole planet.’ ” – Guardian, UK – 02.15.13. I see it as the latest in a series of warnings. ( Maybe, just time and chance, the roulette will of blind fate at play. )

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
March 11, 2013 11:24 AM
Dreadful article. Despite an ambitious setting, it takes as its basis a 20 year old review in a field that has progressed immensely. Consequently its desciption is outdated: – The Chixculub impactor is the current consensus prediction, such as it is, for the K-Pg extinction. I don’t have my references handy from where I sit, but there is a recent large review with some 50 names on it. And better dating after that has definitely clarified the datings. Keller’s hypotheses are, as I understand it, not well seen. – The Chixculub impactor is the only impactor unambigiously tied to an extinction. – Hypotheses of periodicity in the extinction or diversity record are not found in recent analyses, where… Read more »
El Paco
Guest
El Paco
March 12, 2013 9:36 AM

Most Central America and All Caribbean countries, including Cuba, are obliterated in the present day simulation, but they only care about “several US states would go missing”. Typical North American observation.

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