Friday, August 14, 2015

No, there is no comet hitting the Earth next month

Time now again for Science Friday.

Or in this case, perhaps "pseudoscience Friday."

All this time I thought that climate change was going to be what does us in for good. Turns out we could have been spewing all the CO2 into the atmosphere that we wanted because nothing was going to make any difference. Because next month, it's all coming to an end. That is if the posts I keep seeing on Facebook have any validity and...spoiler alert...they don't.

Here's what I'm talking about: I've been seeing plenty of links on Facebook which state that in September of 2015, we will have an Extinction Level Event as a comet will impact the Earth, unleashing cosmic destruction, to paraphrase Thundarr the Barbarian. That's right. Death from space. Didn't you know that? I guess you don't because NASA has been concealing this all along or so they say. That is if the linked article by David Big is accurate. And that's a BIG "if."

The specific window for the comet hit is September 15th-28th. The estimated impact area will be somewhere off the coasts of Venezuela and Brazil, bringing about massive tsunamis along with an ash cloud. Great. That and somehow "they" have managed to keep NASA's Near Earth Object monitors quiet about the whole thing. I suppose this is to avoid mass panic in the coming days as we all face the inevitable as the corporate and political elite go on to survive in their massive and no doubt luxurious underground shelters.

But wait! There's more! The recent Jade Helm exercises were meant as a dress rehearsal, preparing for martial law to take place after the comet disaster. Of course if you ask me, I can't imagine there would be much left for the "secret government" to lord over after such a comet strike. Are we doing anything about this? Anything at all? Have Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck been called to fly up to the three-mile-wide rock and blow it up? Maybe. What the article does say is that the nuclear powers of the world have been test firing their missiles so that as the comet approaches, we might be able to unload every silo at it in hopes of breaking it apart enough and mitigating the damage.

There are videos attached at the link. They spewed burbles of biblical gobbledygook and in the end really just seemed like cartoons only with bad animation.

Is any of this correct? Well in a way, yeah. A hit from a comet of such size would indeed churn out destruction far worse than what even nuclear war could dish out. What is wrong with these claims? So much. First of all, if such a comet were approaching the Earth, the average person would see it. It would be pretty bright in the sky and quite difficult for even the most adept disinformationist and cover-up artist to conceal. That and the space science involved here is This is not happening. I've sent an email to Phil Plait who runs the Bad Astronomy blog for Slate in hopes that he will cover this end of things in greater depth, no doubt doing a far better job than I could.

Still, there really is bad news. You know all those problems and responsibilities that you have? You're still on the hook for them.

That and climate change is still a problem.

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