Hubris In Action
Much of science today is built upon ideas that are outdated and poor first guesses. But the actual definition of science is that it nourishes itself on its past accomplishments. It is my hope that over the next few months that science, specifically space science, will be faithful to its real nature.
Sometime in January JPL will be watching as they blast off the Deep Impact Satellite from Cape Canaveral. The satellite has two components; the impactor and the satellite. The impactor is a 1 x 1 meter, 820 pound, copper headed little beasty. It is designed to create a crater between the size of a house, up to the size of a football field. They are going to set the impactor in the path of Temple 1. The comet will hit the impactor at a speed of 23,000 miles an hour.
So what is the big deal about this project. Let's take a closer look at some of the issues.
I will be using the press release numbered 04-392. There are a number of images, animations, comet images and other tidbits at the Deep Impact Website. The website is actually very well done and has some good info and images. I would encourage you to take a good look at it, including the Small Telescope Science Program. You might note some familiar names there.
The first issue that I would like to approach is the assumed idea that the solar system came about via The Accretion Theory. The Accretion Theory, strickly speaking states that the sun passed through a gasseous cloud and the planets were formed out of the material from the cloud. However, most space scientists today believe that the solar system began forming around 12 billion years ago. The sun was spinning and formed a disk out of which the planets formed.
Most of the writers and scientists for TMG, of course do not subscribe to this theory. The larger majority of TMG members subscribe to the ideas and theories of Velikovsky and also to Creationism, or somewhere in that general vacinty. James McCanney's theories are also high on our list. So of course this experiment is troubling. The follwing quote is from the Deep Impact Web page:
"The Deep Impact mission will dig deep beneath the surface of a comet to get a first-ever look at the frozen collection of ice and dust left over from the formation of the solar system. Why are we doing it? We learn about comets by studying the ice and dust that flows naturally from a comet as it is warmed by the Sun."
Not only does this quote state that they expect to find answers to support their theory of solar system formation, but it also states that they believe that comets are ice and dust. With this theory there isn't really a satisfactory explaination of why some of the moons travel in the opposite direction of the planets in the plane, nor why some of the planets spin against or spin at different speeds or not at all.
(Artwork, Pat Rawlings) One thing that has always perplexed us, is the claim that the sun heats the nucleus of the comet and that this causes the outflow of gasses. To do this the claim is that the comets begin to outgass H2O somewhere roughly between 2 and 3AU's(AU = 93,000,000 Miles). Other gasses sublimate (the term for solids turning directly into a gas) at farther distances. The coma is made up of these sublimated gasses as is the tail of the comet. The comet Hale Bopp, for instance, measured 12,000 miles out past Jupiter. The question is, was it already sublimating or was it the actual size of the comet? This question and the others that we posed, sure stirred up a swarm of angry scientists at us. But the questions were never satisfactorily answered. Another point should be made here conerning comets. There has been at least two famous recent comets that no water, (CO2, CO, CS, or OH) were found: Shoemaker-Levy and Borelly. We suspect that there are many others. Check out our past page on Hale Bopp conerning these issues CLICK HERE. Also you might want to read our report on the Comet Borelly.
"We will be capturing the whole thing on the most powerful camera to fly in deep space," said University of Maryland astronomy professor Dr. Michael A'Hearn, Deep Impact's principal investigator. "We know so little about the structure of cometary nuclei that we need exceptional equipment to ensure that we capture the event, whatever the details of the impact turn out to be," he explained.
Does this sound like a promise to you? I wanted to include this quote, because in the past we have heard scientists associated with NASA/JPL and the like say that they had cameras, powerful cameras, and yet the photos were never seen. For example, I was just speaking of Hale Bopp, remember how they called it the "Comet of the century"? Hubble was focused on it and we were told that the images were restricted for one year following the actual imaging, so that the scientists could make a living from the publishing. The last time I looked at the calendar it was almost 2005 and we still only have a couple of high resolution images from HST! Even after we have asked and asked and asked for them. The shuttle carried an infrared telescope on several missions, and after asking a number of times for those images, we were refused. If any one wants to come forward with any of these images, we will keep your name in confidence. So we're posting this comment to see what we get to see after the event. In addition to the satellite with these powerful cameras, the Hubble, the Chandra and Spitzer will be watching. Also The Small Telescope Project will be watching (check out the names here, you'll see a couple of old friends - well maybe they're not friends!).
The following comment took me by surprise!
"In the world of science, this is the astronomical equivalent of a 767 airliner running into a mosquito," said Don Yeomans, a Deep Impact mission scientist at JPL. "It simply will not appreciably modify the comet's orbital path. Comet Tempel 1 poses no threat to the Earth now or in the foreseeable future," he added.
If you remember, it was Mr. Yeomans that got upset when Brian Marsden of Harvard stated that a certain asteroid was going to come very close to the earth in the future. From their conflict (and I can only imagine what their private conversation was like) the NASA/JPL machine developed a policy wherein only a certain group of insiders would be able to discuss such an event prior to the public knowing. It's interesting that this quote is even included. Why even bring it up? I don't believe that there's a chance that a problem could develop (and we're one of the most criticized groups around). We've even had several JPL scientists openly call us quacks or the like! It's just interesting that they felt the need to add this quote. What do you make of it?
One group believes that the comet will shatter into thousands of pieces like the comet Toit-Neujmin-Delporte as seen below.They claim that the explosion will be 16,000 megatons of power (derived from the 140 million metric tons of mass of the comet) and the pieces have a a good chance of hitting Mars in the year 2022.
Another interesting point, is that the lead point of the impactor is made of copper. Isn't copper a very conductive metal? Isn't it a reasonably soft metal? Just to remind everyone, our belief is that comets are highly conductive and that what we see as the tail and the anti-tail are actually the comet's connection to the solar flux field. The sublimation is actually charges entering and leaving the comet. You can see a more detailed explaination in McCanney's article on small comets HERE.
One of the weirdest items in this whole deal is the fact that the impact will take place on July 4th. I'm starting to believe the late Chuck Shramek's idea, that the government plans these dates to coincide with important Masonic dates. What do you think?
Finally I'm always concerned about the costs of these little programs. I have no idea how many tax payer dollars this program is costing. It just bugs the heck out of me, when tax payers pay so much and there really isn't any accountability; They claim propriety or whatever and the paying public eats dirt. So what's new? Same old tactic, different day. See ya' down at the tax collector.