Skip to comments.Small Comets and Our Origins
Posted on 10/19/2004 11:13:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Given the reality of the dark spots, which soon became known as "atmospheric holes" because of their appearance in the images, there is only one explanation which has endured over all these years to present. That is, the holes are due to the shadowing of the atmospheric light by an object above the atmosphere. This object simply cannot be a stony or iron meteor because the holes are very large, tens of miles in diameter. A rock of this size would provide a disastrous impact on the Earth's surface. As it turns out, water vapor is very good at absorbing the atmospheric light and thus appearing as a atmospheric hole in the images taken by the spacecraft camera. The only other step in the interpretation is to note that a cloud of water vapor will have only a brief existence in interplanetary space so that it must be delivered to Earth as a small comet filled with water snow which is disrupted and expands as it impacts into our atmosphere.
(Excerpt) Read more at smallcomets.physics.uiowa.edu ...
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The Original DiscoverySigwarth and I analyzed over 10,000 images and learned a good deal about the black spots in the process. Our interpretation of the events continued to involve meteor impacts into Earth's upper atmosphere.By counting the spots in our images we were able to estimate the rate at which these objects appeared. This was the simplest measurement to do. We saw ten holes per minute on the daylight side of Earth. So we doubled that figure to obtain the rate of these objects over the entire face of Earth. There had to be about twenty such objects entering the atmosphere every minute. That was an alarming number of objects.
by Louis A. Frank
with Patrick Huyghe
Out ThereI spent more than a year answering the objections of critics. But I didn't convince them. It was 10,000 to 1 -- actually 2, myself and John Sigwarth, whose task as my graduate student assistant had been to help me resolve this black-spot mystery. "We have taken a representative poll of current opinion in this field," an editor at Nature wrote in rejecting a small-comet paper we submitted to them in 1988, "and the verdict goes against you." It was my first encounter with taking polls as a way of doing science.
by Louis A. Frank
and Patrick Huyghe
Now, a decade later, many of those who had "voted" against us are changing their minds. In May at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union, we presented images acquired by our ultraviolet camera aboard NASA's Polar spacecraft, a satellite sent up to study the Sun's effects on the Earth's environment. This camera, too, had picked up the black spots in the Earth's sunlit atmosphere. And this time there was no doubt; these black spots or atmospheric holes, as we called them, occurred in clusters of pixels or picture elements, not single pixels as in the Dynamics Explorer images. The phenomenon could not be due to instrumental artifacts. We could also see these black spots expanding and moving as they entered Earth's atmosphere. And the filters on our visible-light camera confirmed that these objects consisted of water -- enough water to produce clouds of water vapor 50 miles across, high in the atmosphere.
The new evidence stunned many of our former critics into admitting that we had been right. The University of Michigan's Thomas Donahue, one of the world's leading experts in atmospheric science, said so, as did Robert Meier, a space physicist from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. "I guess I'll just have to swallow crow," wrote one detractor. These former critics now agree that these objects are indeed water-bearing, but they don't want to call them small comets because they don't have the dust that the large, well-known comets do. That's okay. Call them "cometesimals" if you want -- that's the term Donahue prefers -- but the fact remains: They carry lots of water just like the large comets, and they are millions of times smaller than Hale-Bopp and Halley.
At first glance, this apparent resolution to the small-comet affair would seem worthy of applause -- the scientific process of debate, peer review and criticism would appear to have functioned admirably. But the gap between appearance and reality is a large one. After I presented my findings on the small comets in 1986, the scientific community did its best to extinguish my career. In the past decade, I have been unable to get any other projects off the ground. Before the small-comet findings became public, my success in this regard was envious; I was able to get instruments on board several major spacecraft -- Polar, Galileo and Geotail. But after my small-comet announcement, I got nothing. I had my ongoing projects, such as the one on Polar that eventually produced the confirmatory data. But the new projects I proposed went nowhere -- even those that had nothing to do with small comets.
The Big Splash:
A Scientific Discovery That Revolutionizes the Way We View the Origin of Life,
the Water We Drink, the Death of the Dinosaurs, the Creation of the Oceans,
the Nature of the Cosmos, and the Very Future of the Earth Itself
by Louis A. Frank
with Patrick Huyghe
I read it fairly quickly, and didn't see addressed the
issue of orbital hazard.
Have they computed the risk level to orbiting craft?
If significant, could we have expected losses by now?
Have there been any that could be attributed to these
Thanks for this and all your other threads, which I read but usually do not respond to.. love your tagline!
> The detonation of these glorified ice cubes takes
> place at a much lower altitude than satellites ...
The detonation isn't the threat I had in mind;
just the impact.
This and global warming is gonna get the water level up, maybe I should think about a boat dock...
Check out part four of his lecture:
"The origins of our oceans always have been a fascinating mystery. In his classic paper of 1951 William Rubey... was puzzled by the large amount of water which was unaccounted for. Even at the time of writing his seminal paper he queried astronomers as to whether it was possible that this water was being supplied by an infall of objects from interplanetary space. The responses of astronomers were negative... Large amounts of water are now believed to be lost as subduction of continental plates carries oceanic water under the surface... This water was thought to be recycled to the surface by outflow of gases from volcanic activity. This was a natural suggestion in consideration of the dramatic activity of volcanoes... In a recent classic paper of 1999 David Deming reports on the amount of water which is returned to the Earth's surface by volcanic activity and finds that: 'The losses of surface water due to subduction into the mantle are greater by factors of 7 to 20 than the supply given by volcanic activity. The rate of a cosmic influx of water to compensate for the water loss to the mantle is similar to that derived by Frank and Sigwarth  from observations of small comets.' ...The significance of the small comets is obvious: our Earth would be dry and barren without an extraterrestrial influx of water."
A giant snowball? Ever since seeing the Carolina Bays less than a year ago on this forum(first time I'd heard of 'em), they appear to have been made by the breakup of a......snowball. Has this been completely poopooed?
Simply put, I believe that these near flat, shallow, structures were formed by terminal flare induced steam explosions of wet exposed ground. The wet spots could have been beaver ponds, springs, marshes, wet weather ponds, slow flowing creeks, and so on. The principal requirement here is that the water on the ground be exposed sufficiently to the sky so as to receive enough radiant energy from the incoming bolide to produce a violent phase change or steam explosion. A geologist might think of these features as "top induced maars" as the structures of Carolina Bays have similarities to conventional maars, which are produced by Earth mantle heat induced steam explosions. *I don't regard this as plausible. It's somewhat analogous to, "oh, the Chicxulub impact didn't kill off the dinosaurs, it's just a huge coincidence."
A Re-evaluation Of The Extraterrestrial Origin Of The Carolina BaysAbstract: Controversy as to the origin of the Carolina Bays has centered on terrestrial versus extraterrestrial theories. Meteoritic impact has been considered the primary causal mechanism in extraterrestrial models, but alternatives such as comets and asteroids have not been adequately considered. Comets may explode during fall and produce depressions which would conform to the morphology of the Bays. Only a comet appears to satisfy the constraints imposed both by extraterrestrial requirements and observed terrestrial characteristics.
by J. Ronald Eyton & Judith I. Parkhurst (April 1975)
Luis E. Ortiz & Susan Gross, editors
Thomas M. Donahue, pioneering planetary scientist, dies at 83Robert R. Meier appears to be alive and healthy.
Detroit Free Press
October 19, 2004, 12:27 PM
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