Something's Up With Comet "C/2002 V1"...02/23/03
by Mitch Battros (ECTV)
There is a great deal of noise circulating the newsrooms surrounding the arrival of comet "C/2002 V1". There is good reason it should be.
First I want to bring attention to the SOHO (solar and heliospheric observatory) photos made available by Nasa and JPL. It appears there may have been a grave mistake, or another cover up by the United States Space Agencies. First take a look at the photo which is circulating the internet. Photo: http://science.nasa.gov/spaceweather/swpod2003/21feb03/soho1.gif
Note: when viewing the SOHO photos, remember to reverse the east and west limbs. This does not affect north and south.
You can see comet "C/2002 V1" coming in from the north and coming around the western limb. As the comet heads down towards the western side, we see a tremendous CME (coronal mass ejection) explode from the Sun, directly towards the comet. No one disputes this fact. However, what we can see clearly in this next photo is the photo had been turned upside down.
That's right, upside down. Photo: http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/2003_02_12/C2002_v1.gif
This means the CME is directly Earth bound. If this is correct, watch for sudden windstorms to occur. Also watch for huge and spectacular Aurora's which may come down to 35 degree's latitude. Keep an eye on the Kp index and GOES for spikes in geomagnetic flux. http://www.maj.com/sun/noaa.html
Now, lets consider the size of this comet. I had to take a double look when I located the diameter of comet "C/2002 V". It is approximately 176,000 miles across. This is twice the size of Jupiter. Twenty two times the size of Earth. Remember, the size of the last known "planet buster" asteroid 65 million years ago was about 6 miles in diameter. Any celestial orb 1 kilometer or (.6 miles) is considered a great danger to Earth. This would mean even a small particle from the tail of this comet could be devastating.
I do not believe there is any danger of a near miss, however, there is no doubt in my mind, a celestial orb of this size coming into our solar system will have an effect on ever planet. Just what that will be, no one in the science community really knows.
This story is only beginning to develop. I believe some of our astronomy colleagues will be coming forward with new information in the coming days. Hmm, nothing like a war to distract a person looking to the sky's. But perhaps this surge of energy we witnessed last Friday will continue. Perhaps an invasion of Iraq can be avoided, while at the same time safety of all counties can be secure. Again, only time will tell how this plays out.
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