Monday, September 09, 2013

Comet ISON Offers Doomsday Deja Vu | VIDEO

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Comet ISON

By Ray Villard

     We think a wayward comet is the leading culprit in the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But has a comet ever killed anyone? The Tunguska atomic bomb-sized blast in 1908 could have, if the comet had exploded over a city rather than desolate Siberia. . . .

. . . Now that Comet ISON is heading for a close encounter with the sun in late November, the Internet is again abuzz with UFO ghost tales, not to mention doomsday theories, mysticism, and miscellaneous strange ideas that go bump in the night.

For starters let’s look at the UFO allegations. A selection of pictures form the Hubble Space Telescope data archive were interpreted by some UFO sleuths as an image of a spaceship, not a diminutive icy nucleus of a primeval body.

Among the online speculation:

“Cloaked and seen engines”

“The winged planet”

“Klingon battle formation”

“This isn’t how they wanted us to see it!”

“Game changer”

In reality the comet is streaked because Hubble wasn’t tracking it in the particular series of five exposures originally posted on a comet blog. The moving comet left a trail in the exposures and appeared to follow an arc due to the fact that Hubble is also moving through space in Earth orbit. Similar trails are commonly seen in other Hubble fixed target observations of background stars where a moving asteroid strays into the field of view and can trace out a “C” or “S” shape on the camera detector.

A comprehensive explanation of this ISON image can be seen below:

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