Skip to comments.Kansas scientists probe mysterious possible comet strikes on Earth
Posted on 12/14/2009 5:27:46 AM PST by decimon
An investigation by the University of Kansas' Adrian Melott and colleagues reveals a promising new method of detecting past comet strikes upon Earth and gauging their frequency
LAWRENCE, Kan. It's the stuff of a Hollywood disaster epic: A comet plunges from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere, splitting the sky with a devastating shock wave that flattens forests and shakes the countryside.
But this isn't a disaster movie plotline.
"Comet impacts might be much more frequent than we expect," said Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. "There's a lot of interest in the rate of impact events upon the Earth. We really don't know the rate very well because most craters end up being destroyed by erosion or the comets go into the ocean and we don't know that they're there. We really don't have a good handle on the rate of impacts on the Earth."
An investigation by Melott and colleagues reveals a promising new method of detecting past comet strikes upon Earth and gauging their frequency. The results will be unveiled at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting, to be held Dec. 14-18 in San Francisco.
The research shows a potential signature of nitrate and ammonia that can be found in ice cores corresponding to suspected impacts. Although high nitrate levels previously have been tied to space impacts, scientists have never before seen atmospheric ammonia spikes as indicators of space impacts with our planet.
"Now we have a possible new marker for extraterrestrial events in ice," Melott said. "You don't just look for nitrates, you also look for ammonia."
Melott studied two possible cometary airbursts with Brian Thomas, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Washburn University, Gisela Dreschhoff, KU adjunct associate professor of physics and astronomy, and Carey Johnson, KU professor of chemistry.
In June 1908, a puzzling explosion rocked central Siberia in Russia; it came to be known as the "Tunguska event." A later expedition found that 20 miles of trees had been knocked down and set alight by the blast. Today, scientists have coalesced around the idea that Tunguska's devastation was caused by a 100-foot asteroid that had entered Earth's atmosphere, causing an airburst.
Some 13,000 years earlier, an occurrence thought by some researchers to be an extraterrestrial impact set off cooler weather and large-scale extinctions in North America. The "Younger Dryas event," as it is known, coincided with the end of the prehistoric Clovis culture.
Melott and fellow researchers examined data from ice cores extracted in Greenland to compare atmospheric chemistry during the Tunguska and Younger Dryas events. In both instances, Melott's group found evidence that the Haber process whereby a nitrogen fixation reaction produces ammonia may have occurred on a large scale.
"A comet entering the atmosphere makes a big shock wave with high pressure 6,000 times the pressure of air," said Melott. "It can be shown that under those conditions you can make ammonia. Plus the Tunguska comet, or some fragments of it, landed in a swamp. And any Younger Dryas comet presumably hit an ice sheet, or at least part of it did. So there should have been lots of water around for this Haber process to work. We think the simplest way to explain the signal in both objects is the Haber process. Comets hit the atmosphere in the presence of a lot of water and you get both nitrate and ammonia, which is what both ice cores show."
Melott cautions that the results are inconclusive because the ice cores are sampled at five-year intervals only, not sufficient resolution to pinpoint peaks of atmospheric nitrates and ammonia, which rapidly would have been dissipated by rains following a comet strike.
But the KU researcher contends that ammonia enhancement resulting from the Haber process could serve as a useful marker for detecting possible comet impacts. He encourages more sampling and analysis of ice cores to see where the nitrate-ammonia signal might line up with suspected cometary collisions with the Earth.
Such information could help humankind more accurately gauge the danger of a comet hitting the Earth in the future.
"There's a whole program to watch for near-Earth asteroids as they go around the sun repeatedly, and some of them have close brushes with the Earth," said Melott. "But comets are a whole different ball game. They don't do that circular thing. They come straight in from far, far out and you don't see them coming until they push out a tail only a few years before they would enter the inner solar system. So we could be hit by a comet and only have a few years' warning possibly not enough time to do anything about it."
We need a SDI type plan to protect us from the next one.
WILL CHECK IT OUT.
I had followed the Shoemaker-Levy collisions with Jupiter but for some reason, never eequated that happening to earth - always thought of just ONE BIG ONE slamming in.
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Very similar to the way Big Science is enforcing Globull Warming orthodoxy today.
This might be of interest to you . . . sunken city . . .
Thanks Quix, I’m checking it out in another tab.
Check out the link Quix posted here:
You’re most welcome.
Thx for all your interesting threads and posts.
Have a blessed CHRISTmas with those you love.
I got an early present, of sorts — someone posted a topic about that link you posted above. I’ve pinged you to it.
Interesting but after the Cuban 'underwater city', call me skeptical.
THANKS BOTH OF YOU.
I think it’s a very interesting discovery.
Somehow . . . I suspect that the globalists and the “ET’s” will turn it to their . . . schemes and constructions on history and reality . . . resulting in the deception of many.
Seems to me, the imaging on this find is much more extensive with much more precision and greatly more . . . roadways and buildings, platforms, ruins . . . particularly the find of post and beam construction.
The images seem a little too crisp...I would expect things to have silted up and eroded more than they appear to have done. Time will tell though.
I’m NOT any kind of expert on ocean currents . . . however, it seems logical to me, that if it is relatively shallow, it may be that ocean currents would have tended to keep it swept relatively clean.
The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes:
Flood, Fire, and Famine
in the History of Civilization
by Richard Firestone,
Allen West, and
One of my 2010 New Year's resolutions is not to sit on the edge of my seat waiting for you to do so....ahem.
Hey, what’s a couple of years at our ages. :’)
Oh, btw, do you remember the name of that video? It has something to do with ice ages, or maybe impacts... I’m drawin’ a blank... and it’s well known that my housekeeping isn’t in the running for any awards...
I can just see you one day..."That's sad, I always meant to send him that video"
It is eerie to come home and see this thread, and then your post regarding Lucifer's Hammer... At lunch today, I was in a bookstore and a book title caught my eye as if there was a strobe light next to it. It was How Things Work... The first thing that popped into my mind was a copy of that title being sealed in 4 Zip-Lock bags and then re-enforced with duct tape! (You would have to have read Lucifer's Hammer to understand this... It had to do with preserving the knowledge that man had already obtained.)
Interesting... Perhaps I should have bought it?
Oh, c’mon, how would I even hear about it? ;’)
Any word from, y’know, who we talked about?
Hopefully engineering manuals are stored everywhere, duct-taped. What to do if this or any critical component goes down, and how to fix it.
We could learn from Katrina, if we wanted to, how they came back up with all local engineering, mechanical, technical, all of those people trying to recover when the City went down.
Nawlins is a ‘teachable moment’ (barf) on recovery, even as slow as it was, in the world of catastrophic events. So was Ike....micro-cosms to study.
Sometimes there is just no substitute for printed knowledge... I have the complete courses from the "National Radio Institute" for beginning and advanced radio technician - two binders, each about 6 inches thick. Now that may sound a bit hokey... But there is tech information explained ("how to" and "why") in those manuals that is now taken for granted because the technology is purchased "in whole" on the microscopic surface of a silicon chip. I build radios and other electrical instruments as a hobby and use "old school" techniques because it is how I have learned to "make it work." I'm self-taught. I friend of mine with his masters degree in electrical engineering and I were talking one day and I asked about construction of some section of a circuit - he just kind of laughed and said "I haven't done that since high school - now I just order it from a catalog."
I collect all the old technology manuals I can, and even have my father's WWII U.S. Navy publication of "Mathematics for the Radioman and Electrician" (he was an Electrician's Mate 1st Class on board a diesel/electric submarine in the South Pacific during the war.) Just for kicks and grins, I even have a box of slide rules and instruction manuals - that will be fun to show the grand-kids someday!
PS: Another thing about "old radio" technology - tubes, big ceramic capacitors, wire wound resitors, and hand-wound inductor coils, etc.: It will survive an EMP hit, whereas modern "silicon based" technology will not. :-)
I was on one of those too in the early 60's (USS Jallao). I went on to a chip-making career that I've now retired from.
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