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Barraged
2003-Aug-13, 03:13 PM
So, lots of talk about an object near the sun or comets near the sun that we cannot see that are about to hit earth, any truth? Any proof? I was just wondering, I mean, I need to know whether I will make it Disneyworld in October and all. :)


Kelly, who is sick of being confused by dommsayers and hype mongers.

8-[

kilopi
2003-Aug-13, 03:37 PM
So, lots of talk about an object near the sun or comets near the sun that we cannot see that are about to hit earth, any truth? Any proof? I was just wondering, I mean, I need to know whether I will make it Disneyworld in October and all.
Disneyworld is safe, so far as we know now. :)

daver
2003-Aug-13, 07:15 PM
So, lots of talk about an object near the sun or comets near the sun that we cannot see that are about to hit earth, any truth? Any proof? I was just wondering, I mean, I need to know whether I will make it Disneyworld in October and all.
Disneyworld is safe, so far as we know now. :)

Yep. Comets respect their KBO brethren, and will try not to demolish any park devoted to Pluto.

kilopi
2003-Aug-13, 07:56 PM
Comets respect their KBO brethren, and will try not to demolish any park devoted to Pluto.
I give up.

How about this: there are only four major planets in the solar system. The rest are minor planets. That way, we don't have any problems with whether or not Earth/moon is a double planet or not. It's a double minor planet. Jupiter has a few minor planets in orbit around it.

Doodler
2003-Aug-13, 07:58 PM
Unless they are a member of the extremist Al-Quaoar sect which may take exception to Pluto's infidel status as a planet.

:P

tracer
2003-Aug-13, 09:25 PM
I hate to break up your little pun-party here, but I think I'll answer the OP:


So, lots of talk about an object near the sun or comets near the sun that we cannot see that are about to hit earth, any truth? Any proof?
Short answer: No.


Long answer:

We know of no comets on a collision course with the Earth. What you have probably gotten wind of is the frequent misinterpretation of SOHO data. Images from the SOHO satellite are posted in close-to-real-time, allowing every nutball with a conspiracy theory to see things that aren't there. All it takes is one bright object that moves around from one image to the next, and people who know nothing about astronomy or how to interpret SOHO data will jump up and scream "Aliens!" or "Planet X!" or "Comet!". Then, of course, when NASA fails to inform the world that said bright spot was anything unusual, the know-nothings assume they're covering up THE TRUTH. Obviously, it's because the bright spot was on a collision course with Earth, and NASA doesn't want to cause a panic. :roll:

The chances of an undetected comet being on a collision course with Earth are very remote, due to the small number of comets around and the fact that almost all of them are on super-long orbits that will only pass through the inner solar system once every few million years. However, the chances of an undetected asteroid being on a collision course with Earth are somewhat higher. There are many asteroids known to orbit the sun at or around the same distance that the Earth does (called "near-Earth asteroids"), some of which even cross the Earth's orbital path from time to time (called "Earth-crossing asteroids"). Thus far, no asteroids have been detected that threated Earth, but based on how rapidly new asteroids are being discovered, we know that there are a lot of big rocks zinging around up there that we haven't detected yet.