Tuesday 5 March 2013

Will a Comet hit Mars?

A new comet has been discovered called C/2013-A1 You won't find much about it on a Google search, but the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has it listed on its small body database; nothing there except basic features and parameters, but its observation is still officially confirmed, see: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2013A1;cad=1#cad. It's important not to get it mixed up with "the Comet of the Century", Comet ISON, because ISON's official number is almost the same: C-2013- S1. So when I first heard about this here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2286654/Is-Mars-hit-comet-Direct-hit-Red-Planet-cause-BILLION-megaton-blast.html I did think that this was just another piece of typical Daily Mail bollocks, due to the twisting of info on ISON. But I've checked it out and it's not. Comet C/2013-A1 was discovered 3rd of January by Robert McNaught at the Sliding Spring Observatory in Australia. It's still a long way off, seven times the distance of the Earth to the sun, between orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. But then on 27th of February an astronomer called Leonid Elenin (familiar name?) stepped into the ring by discovering that C/2013-A1 will pass extremely close to Mars on the 19th of October 2014. He predicted between 200,000 and 30,000 miles away! Very close in cosmic terms! It's still too early to narrow that estimate down to a more precise figure, but there's a small chance it could collide with Mars! It's a very big comet, astronomers can tell by looking; about 20 to 30 miles across. It's also travelling at a speed of thirty-four miles per second. If it struck the surface of Mars it would produce a "cataclysmic" explosion, over one billion megatons, far bigger than all Earth's nuclear weapons put together. We can't know for sure for a while to come. Comets' trajectory notoriously difficult to predict because solar wind and radiation causes water inside to eject and this alters their course. But if it did turn out to be on a collision course then the impact crater would be over three hundred miles across and over a mile deep; it would cause major damage to Martian surface and environment. The newspaper laments that Curiosity and all other NASA probes on Mars could be destroyed. But is there a far worse danger?

I've had awful thought: If C/2013-A1 does impact Mars, where about's on the surface will it strike? Could it land on Cydonia? This is the small region of Mars which appears to have artificial structures built on it. If so then those marvelous wonders and treasures, "our inheritance" as David Percy calls them, would be destroyed, lost to us forever. For those Gatekeepers coveting the secret of Cydonia it would be a very convenient way of disposing of the evidence. A random stray comet; there is no more watertight case for plausible deniability! It makes you wonder where this comet came from and whether its trajectory really is random. If it turns out we're really talking of an impact on Cydonia what's going to happen, is there anything we can do to stop it? It seems not at first glance, but alternatively if this is a deliberate act then whatever means was used to make it happen could easily be employed to make it un-happen, if we can expose this massive act of vandalism. There is a video circulating at the moment which appears to show a UFO intervening with the descent of the meteor which exploded above Chelyabinsk a couple of weeks ago, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqJP3til0Ig. If UFO's were willing to help us out that time could they possibly lend a hand again... if you're reading this, Fellers? I'll be keeping an eye on this story and as soon as updates emerge I'll let all HPANWO-readers know.

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