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Sun, 18 Apr 2021
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Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

CBET 4740 & MPEC 2020-G05, issued on 2020, April 01, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) in infrared images obtained with the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (or NEOWISE; formerly the WISE earth-orbitingsatellite; cf. CBET 4225). The new comet has been designated C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 14 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, March 31.5 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 1 arcmin in diameter and a tail 20" long in PA 115.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 F2 (ATLAS)

CBET 4739 & MPEC 2020-G04, issued on 2020, April 01, announce the discovery of a comet by R. Wainscoat on CCD images obtained on Mar. 22.6 UT with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala, which he then noticed (via posting at the Minor Planet Center's NEOCP webpage) was apparently identical with an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~19) discovered on CCD images taken the previous night with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated C/2020 F2 (ATLAS).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 15 unfiltered exposures, 120-sec each, obtained remotely, from Telescope Live (El Sauce, Chile) on 2020, March 25.3, through 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object appears slightly diffuse compared to the nearby field stars of similar brightness.

My confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)

Comet C/2020 F2 ATLAS
© Remanzacco Blogspot

Fireball 5

Scientists agree: Younger Dryas impact event wiped out ancient civilization

© iStockphoto
The Earth was hit by a fragmented comet around 13,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene Era and scientists are now starting to agree.

A new research paper has been published in Scientific Reports regarding an ancient civilisation in what is modern-day Syria that was wiped out by the cataclysm, as academics finally come round to the idea that yes this event did happen.

Even the sceptic Michael Shermer, who famously debated Graham Hancock on the Joe Rogan podcast has tweeted Graham saying:

"Ok Graham, I shall adjust my priors in light of more research like this, and modify my credence about your theory."

Comet 2

Comet Y4 ATLAS brightening, could become naked-eye bright by spring

© Michael Jäger (main) and Gianluca Masi
Comet ATLAS looked like a misty ball of light with a brighter core (nucleus) on March 11. Hints of a tail are visible in both photos.
Not since December 2018 when Comet 46P/Wirtanen passed near the Pleiades star cluster has a naked-eye comet graced the night sky. It reached 5th magnitude at the time and looked like a small wad of glowing fuzz from a dark sky site. Wirtanen never developed a bright tail, one of the most distinguishing and beautiful aspects of a comet. Since then plenty of comets have passed by, but only a few have been visible in binoculars and most have required a telescope.

Comment: More info and visualizations of the comet:

Also check out SOTT radio's:


The Great Lake Tahoe comet tsunami

Lake Tahoe
© Epoque
One of the best things about the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis is finding catastrophic features that may date to the event, but have not yet been directly connected with it. Today I submit one of the finest examples: The Great Lake Tahoe Comet Tsunami.

Its is a well-published and uncontroversial fact that in the recent prehistoric past a gargantuan rock shelf on the western shore of Lake Tahoe collapsed. FIVE SQUARE MILES of rock and sediment slipped into the gin-clear waters of the deep alpine lake and vomited a 300′ high tsunami wave that raced across the lake in five minutes, crashed on the eastern shore, ran up a 1000 feet high, and retreated leaving scars on the landscape visible today. The oscillating "seiche waves," rocked back and forth and in and out of the lake for half an hour of lacustrine hell.

Lake Tahoe was a bad place on a bad day.

When was the bad day? As determined in the most recent detailed study by James Moore et al. (2014) link below, the youngest estimate for the catastrophic event is our favorite geological and cultural milestone of 12,000 years ago, and the outer limit is 21,000. This range is supported by two sets of data. The older limit is defined by dating a glacial moraine no older than 21,000 years, which was breached by the debris flow. (If it happened today, and was studied thousands of years in the future, it would also be constrained by this early date).


Black Death casts a genetic shadow over England

black death england
The Black Death continues to cast a shadow across England. Although the modern English population is more cosmopolitan than ever, the plagues known as the Black Death killed so many people in the Middle Ages that, to this day, genetic diversity is lower in England than it was in the 11th century, according to a new analysis.

Rus Hoelzel at the University of Durham, UK and his colleagues looked at the mitochondrial DNA from human remains at 4th and 11th century archaeological sites in England, and compared them to samples from the modern population stored on DNA databases such as GenBank. They found there was more variation in the ancient mitochondrial DNA sequences than in modern sequences.

Hoelzel thinks random genetic drift may have lowered genetic diversity naturally. But the large unexpected drop in diversity was more likely to have been caused by population crashes following major outbreaks of the Black Death in England during the 1340s and the 1660s.

"The main factors in support of a role for plague are the timing and the fact that it affected different families [to a differing degree]," says Hoelzel.

Comment: Note that, 600 years ago, they CLOSED BORDERS!

This is something only a handful of countries seem prepared to do with the current Coronavirus epidemic. Russia did so wrt China early on, and it has still only recorded two cases, both of them Chinese nationals, and both now recovered.

But the 'Black Death' of the mid-14th century, and its similar recurrences over the next two centuries, were in a whole other league. The astrobiologists are likely correct: truly civilization-decimating viruses come from outer space...

New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

Arrow Down

Miami Beach impact crater totally ignored by main stream science

If you seek an indication that something is terribly wrong with science look no further. In 2012 brave citizen of Miami Cory Boehne noted that just south of the Port of Miami ship channel, less than two miles from downtown Miami Beach in 30′ of water, was the unmistakable signature of a cosmic collision: A multi-ringed impact complex crater with a central peak.
Impact Crater_1
Cool. At best it is an easily accessible opportunity for complex crater research. So much easier than Greenland or the Moon.

Or, at worst, a chance to demonstrate geological forces other than impact are crafty, and conspire to produce "pseudo-craters" in order to fool pajama scientists like the Tusk.

So what do you think was the response from the scientific "community" to these compelling images? Crickets. Not a word.

Despite what appears to be a sincere attempt to bring some attention to the amazing find, and another wonderful effort by astronomer Charles P.T. O'Dale, as far as I can tell, the community of academic and research scientists in Florida and elsewhere could not get up the gas money to take a boat out there.

See if you can find a single published paper.

Yet again we learn the lesson: The closer the subject hits to home, the more verboten it becomes.

Comet 2

New Comet C/2020 B3 (Rankin)

MPEC 2020-C111, issued on 2020, February 06, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~20) by D. Rankin in the course of the Mt. Lemmon Survey (G96), in images taken on 2020, Jan 29 with a 1.5-m reflector + 10K CCD. The new comet has been designated C/2020 B3 (Rankin).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 16 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, February 03.2 from X02 Telescope Live (El Sauce, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 5" in diameter slightly elongated toward PA 250.

My confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
Comet C/2020 B3 (Rankin)
© Remanzacco Blogspot
Comet C/2020 B3 (Rankin)


Dems clamor for Bolton impeachment testimony as strategically 'leaked' manuscript claims Trump-Ukraine quid-pro-quo

bolton trump
© Reuters / Leah Millis
John Bolton
Ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton's book claims Donald Trump admitted a Ukraine quid-pro-quo, prompting Democrats to declare it's game-over for the US president, as his supporters dismiss it as yet another nothingburger.

Democrats have renewed their demands for Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial after a manuscript of the inveterate hawk's new tell-all book on his time in the White House asserted Trump had told Bolton the administration should keep sitting on $391 million in military aid to Ukraine until Kiev reopened an investigation of Burisma Holdings, the natural gas firm tied to former vice president and Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden's son.

Trump has flatly denied the claim, accusing his former security council chief of lying to sell books and observing that Bolton "never complained about this at the time of his very public termination" in a tweet on Monday. The president reminded his detractors that he "released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations - and far ahead of schedule" and begged them, once again, to read the transcripts of his calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Comment: Those same Democrats refused to let the administration call witnesses during the House sessions. Seems a bit hypocritical now to be demanding more.

Fireball 5

Asteroid fireball explodes over the Great Lakes

Asteroid oevr Great Lakes
© illustration PX Fuel
The asteroid landed in Lake Huron on Tuesday.
The shattered remains of an asteroid now lie on the floor of one of North America's Great Lakes after travelling from beyond Mars to rain down on Earth in a blaze of fire.

Numerous eyewitnesses reported seeing the raging fireball streak across the sky on Tuesday night and experts calculate that it travelled nearly half a billion kilometers before coming to rest in its watery grave on the floor of Lake Huron.

Meteor scientist Peter Brown reported that the trajectory of the space rock's flight reveal that it travelled from the asteroid belt beyond Mars before hitting our planet.

The University of Western Ontario astronomer shared observatory footage on Twitter which captured the space visitor lighting up the night sky.