Kepler pioneered the search for exo-planets. WIth a few years, thousands of planets had been discovered. Several hundred potentials for life.
Now, it has died. There is enough data to stretch the discoveries out another couple of years. But, Kepler is essentially non-functional. Now, in days gone past, read pre-Obama, we could have sent a shuttle up there, grabbed ahold of it ala repairing the Hubble telescope, and fixed it. Now, due to the complete lack of vision and direction from Obama, we are completely incapable of doing so. Even if we wanted to retrofit some rocket and send guys up there, stabilizing something that big is impossible. It is just as dead as NASA’s vision under Obama.
And, I’m going to bet, none of the liberal arts trained astronomers, and you guys know who you are, will complain out loud about the fact that you have PROFOUNDLY less assets to work with now as they did under Bush, who they DID complain about. The Republican war on science is penny ante stuff compared to what Obama is doing to you guys. That wonderful telescope that was supposed to replace Kepler that you guys say renders my gripe moot, was mothballed so that NASA could spend more time touting global warming.
Something unexpected is happening on the Sun. 2013 was supposed to be the year of “solar maximum,” the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. Yet 2013 has arrived and solar activity is relatively low. Sunspot numbers are well below their values from 2011, and strong solar flares have been infrequent.
As usual, there is no connection made between the sun and global warming stories. They WILL tell you it’s all man-made and that the sun does not affect the Earth’s climate. As usual, we are just expected to believe this is just another coincidence.
News flash people, driving electric cars and using more expensive light bulbs will barely mitigate the Sun’s impact on Earth’s climate. And, the Sun has been noticeably hotter the last thirty years. It’s at a maximum in it’s cycle and NOTHINGis happening. Those sunspots and solar storms COOL the sun. And, I would guess, cool the Earth as well.
When someone presents an argument that includes all of the obviousimpacts on Earth’s climate and what we can do to exist within those parameters, I’ll buy into it. Ignoring the most obvious impact and blaming it all on man is just stupid, and in most cases so far, is doing more harm than good.
Now, right now, with very little data, they are projecting it will miss Mars by about 650,000 miles. That’s a close shave, but not real exciting. The key words however, are being “with very little data”. That leaves a LOT of room for error. Additionally, from what I’ve read so far, this comet is BIG. Big enough to do some serious damage. Possibly would destroy one of Mars’ moons ( they’re not much more than big rocks anyway ). And, it would permanently alter the appearance of Mars. As well as, destroy our rovers and give us a remarkable first-person view of what it would be like getting hit by a comet. This stuff is really cool!
If it survives it’s pass with Mars, it will come pretty close to Venus, and even closer to Mercury. Now, from the orbit guessing I’ve seen so far, they’re not sure how close exactly it’s going to get to Mars. Then, they don’t seem to adjust it’s orbit at all when it does pass Mars. So, watch out Mercury and Venus in December 2014!
If this thing does hit Mars or any other planet, it won’t mean the end of life as we know it on Earth, but it could create some serious problems ala February 15, 2013 times 1,000.
Tossing all the conspiracy theories aside, this will make for one spectacular view in Fall 2014 for sure!
I got a problem with all this. Firsties, I don’t believe there are aliens with super technology floating around Earth’s atmosphere. Just call it a hunch. Secondies, even if they were, shooting it down where they did probably caused more human damage than if they had just let hit a little farther in Siberia, or possibly even the ocean. It wasn’t really that big of a deal. If they were smart enough to fly all over the universe to hang out discretely, they’re smart enough to know that it wasn’t that big of a threat.
Given that, the only option left was the Russians “intercepting” it, which the Russian government actually did say they had done. The Russians do claim to have the fastest missile on Earth right now, the BrahMos. It travels up to Mach 3.0 supposedly. Pretty dang impressive huh? The meteor would have been traveling at about Mach 11 and they would have had about 20 seconds to launch and hit it. That’s all the warning the world got.
But given all the references to Bruce Willis in Armageddon, I felt compelled to point out the obvious. Since Obama’s president, we have no way to get there now. Bruce, like the rest of us, would have to just sit and watch it hit.
Which makes this little poster I found today all that much more perfect: