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Sat, 19 Jan 2019
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Comets

Telescope

Comet chemistry theory put to the test

A dying comet has prompted astronomers to take issue with a mainstream theory about the impact of "space weather" on these enigmatic wanderers of the Solar System.

Magnify

Comet theory collides with Clovis research

A comet theory put forth by a group of 25 geo-scientists suggests that a massive comet exploded over Canada, possibly wiping out both beast and man around 12,900 years ago, and pushing the earth into another ice age.

©USC
Site where most pre-Clovis work is being done.

University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear said the theory may not be such "out-of-this-world" thinking based on his study of ancient stone-tool artifacts he and his team have excavated from the Topper dig site in Allendale, as well as ones found in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Star

Younger Dryas Cometary Impact AGU Press Conference, Acapulco, Mexico, May 23, 2007

Investigations of a buried layer at sites from California to Belgium reveal materials that include metallic microspherules, carbon spherules, nanodiamonds, fullerenes, charcoal, and soot. The layer's composition may indicate that a massive body, possibly a comet, exploded in the atmosphere over the Laurentide Ice Sheet 12,900 years ago. The timing coincides with a great die-off of mammoths and other North American megafauna and the onset of a period of cooling in Northern Europe and elswhere known as the Younger Dryas Event. The American Clovis culture appears to have been dramatically affected, even terminated, at this same time. Speakers discuss numerous lines of evidence contributing to the impact hypothesis. The nature and frequency of this new kind of impact event could have major implications for our understanding of extinctions and climate change.

Part 1

Bizarro Earth

The Younger Dryas Impact Event and the Cycles of Cosmic Catastrophes - Climate Scientists Awakening



The eagle screams,
And with pale beak tears corpses. . . .
Mountains dash together,
Heroes go the way to Hel,
And heaven is rent in twain. . . .
All men abandon their homesteads
When the warder of Midgard
In wrath slays the serpent.
The sun grows dark,
The earth sinks into the sea,
The bright stars
From heaven vanish;
Fire rages,
Heat blazes,
And high flames play
'Gainst heaven itself"

R.B. Anderson, "Norse Mythology," 1875

NASA seems to spend a lot of time looking for and thinking of ways to divert errant asteroids that might possibly hit earth. However, they keep reassuring the public that the probability of actually being hit by an asteroid is extremely small. So why all the attention?

Bizarro Earth

Did a comet zap the woolly mammoths? Scientists posit huge explosion over Canada 12,900 years ago

There are intriguing new clues in the mystery of how the woolly mammoth met its demise in North America more than 10,000 years ago.

For decades, scientists have debated whether the giant, elephant-like beasts were driven to extinction by the arrival of overzealous human hunters or by global warming at the end of the Pleistocene era, the last great Ice Age. Some say it was a combination of the two.

Recently, a group of more than two dozen scientists offered a new explanation. They have found signs that a comet -- or multiple fragments of one -- exploded over Canada about 12,900 years ago with the force equivalent to millions of nuclear weapons. That unleashed, they said, a tremendous shock wave that destroyed much of what was in its path and ignited wildfires across North America.

Gear

Let's blame humans for everything: Humans and not comet (gawd forbid) had help finishing off woolly mammoths

Humans might have finished off the woolly mammoths, but the genetics of the giants apparently helped them decline well beforehand, scientists now find.

The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was coated in hair up to 20 inches long and possessed extremely long, curved tusks up to 16 feet in length. The giants lived for tens of thousands of years, apparently going extinct roughly 12,000 years ago, around the end of the last ice age.

For years, scientists suspected that ancient human tribes hunted the mammoths and other ice age giants to oblivion. Recent research seems to contradict this notion, however - for instance, a comet or tuberculosis may have helped kill off the American mastodons (Mammut americanum), closely related to mammoths.

Bulb

Did A Comet Hit Great Lakes Region, Fragment Human Populations, 12,900 Years Ago?

Two University of Oregon researchers are on a multi-institutional 26-member team proposing a startling new theory: that an extraterrestrial impact, possibly a comet, set off a 1,000-year-long cold spell and wiped out or fragmented the prehistoric Clovis culture and a variety of animal genera across North America almost 13,000 years ago.

Telescope

Green Comet Lovejoy Enters Solar System From Below

Comet Lovejoy, discovered just last week by Terry Lovejoy of Thornlands, Australia, is on its way into the solar system. The existence of this lovely green comet was confirmed by John Drummond of Gisborne, New Zealand.

Telescope

New Comet Discovered - It's Green - 'Comet Lovejoy'

There's a new comet in the southern hemisphere: Comet Lovejoy (C/2007 E2). Terry Lovejoy of Australia discovered it on March 15th using, remarkably, not a telescope but only an off-the-shelf digital camera. The green comet is too dim to see with the naked eye, but it is a nice target for backyard telescopes. After five days of monitoring, the comet's orbit is now known with some accuracy and it is possible to make predictions about Comet Lovejoy's future movements and brightness. Details.

Meteor

Scientist: Comets blasted early Americans

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A supernova could be the "quick and dirty" explanation for what may have happened to an early North American culture, a nuclear scientist here said Thursday.

Richard Firestone said at the "Clovis in the Southeast" conference that he thinks "impact regions" on mammoth tusks found in Gainey, Mich., were caused by magnetic particles rich in elements like titanium and uranium. This composition, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist said, resembles rocks that were discovered on the moon and have also been found in lunar meteorites that fell to Earth about 10,000 years ago.