Tuesday, May 23, 2006

NASA said it! I believe it! That settles it!

Other stories about Comet 73-P on Burning Taper:
It's official. We're safe!

NASA says:
There will be no tsunamis, firestorms or mass extinctions to spoil your Memorial Day weekend.

Although the Internet is rife with speculation that a fragment of Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 will strike the Earth on May 25, neither the main comet nor any of its more than 40 fragments pose a danger to Earth.

"We are very well acquainted with the trajectory of Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3," said Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office. "There is absolutely no danger to people on the ground or the inhabitants of the International Space Station, as the main body of the object and any pieces from the breakup will pass many millions of miles beyond the Earth."

However, you can see the comet falling apart right before our eyes, thanks to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Recent Hubble images have uncovered many more fragments than have been reported by ground-based observers. These observations provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the demise of a comet nucleus.

None of the comet's fragments will come closer than 5.5 million miles to Earth during its closest approaches May 12-28. That's more than 20 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

The main fragment, designated fragment C, will pass closest to Earth on May 12 at a distance of approximately 7.3 million miles. It will be visible to small telescopes during the morning hours in the constellation Vulpecula. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope will observe the comet in May.

Astronomers have been observing the comet for more than 75 years. The trajectory of this comet has been monitored and refined over time, and its path around the sun is well understood. Amateur and professional astronomers around the world have been tracking its spectacular disintegration for years.

The comet is currently comprised of a chain of fragments, named alphabetically, stretching across several degrees on the sky. (The sun and moon each have an apparent diameter of about 1/2 of a degree.) Ground-based observers have noted dramatic brightening events associated with some of the fragments indicating that they are continuing to break-up and that some may disappear altogether.
I find it interesting that Eric Julien's prediction has garnered so much attention on the Internet, including on this site, that NASA had to directly respond to his tsunami forecasts.

Image: Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys took images of the disintegration of Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3's fragment B. Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (APL/JHU), M. Mutchler and Z. Levay (STScI)

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  1. How easily you lose the faith! How can you believe 'NASA', heck 'NSA' is practically their name. They are part of the gummint and, clearly, the gummint doesn't want you to know about this impending disaster.

    It's quite obviously a dissinformation effort on their part and not worthy of serious consideration. The crop-circle said, I believe it, and that settles it.

    Tomorrow, when I am on my airplane flight to Sacramento California, I hold high expectations of having my plane hit by a tsunami at the precise moment our wheels touch the ground. It is a glorious and magnificant way to die.

    Your negative attitude about the prophesied outcome is discouraging to say the least.

    Don't spoil our fun with your gullible acceptance of the NASA naysayers.

    Be one with the Comet my brother.

  2. Wear your tennis shoes and mix up your Kool-Aid in advance, then, O Ye of Little Faith. NASA should be believed PRECISELY because they are our gummint, rockets red glare and all, and if they say jump you say how high is the Moon?

    I mean, they faked all those Moon landings, yes, but a-ha, we're on to them, so now they couldn't lie if they tried 'cause we're ever-vigilant.

    And really, tonight is all that matters... once we know who is this year's winner on American Idol, who cares if the world ends tomorrow?

  3. Pfft, everyone knows we landed on the Moon in the 50s.

  4. "Don't spoil our fun with your gullible acceptance of the NASA naysayers."

    You do realize the irony of your claim, don't you?

    Being gullible enough to believe Eric Julien's crap in the first place already puts you very low. Any sane person can tell that when there needs to be that much "info" to justify something that the guy is making it up. Julien's site isn't even consistant.

    You also sound like you want this to happen, which is pretty retarded. Keeping your guard up and taking precautions is one thing, but idolizing it like a religion is rediculous. I think you need mental help.

  5. Thank you, Dr. Freud. Glad to read your diagnosis of the other comet comentators.

    If you knew John, Gg and me, you'd know we're being sarcastic. Honing our stand-up acts, even.

    Be one with the Comet, my anonymous friend. Be one with the Comet.

    — Widow's Son

  6. Nasa, is not, part of the "gummint". Just funded by it.

  7. Where can I get me some of this here gum mint? I want mine in FBI flavour, and the wife wants some sticks of CIA. Yee, and indeed haw.


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