Right now, Comet Elenin, regarded by many as a doomsday comet, is, in all probability, disintegrating thanks to the heat from the Sun. For comet watchers, this makes for an unusual, though not unexpected spectacle as it is common knowledge that comets disintegrate near the intense heat of the Sun all the time. For others, though, this is just the latest in a string of government lies about the comet.
Right now, as 2012 and the much-hyped end of the Maya calendar approaches, doomsday theories are running wild at a pace not seen since the run-up to the year 2000, and the predicted Y2K computer problems that threatened to send the world back to the dark ages. To this end, ideas have emerged suggesting that Comet Elenin is on a collision course with Earth, that it is really an alien space ship, or even possibly a rogue star of immense mass that will distort the very fabric of space-time itself, thus destroying the Earth and all life on it.
The truth of the matter is this: Comet Elenin is nothing more than an ordinary comet, and a rather small one, to boot. As for what the comet is doing, it is disintegrating as has been reported in the news thanks to the latest observations. Want proof of the comet’s breakup? Just go here and take a look at the pictures for yourself. As is easily seen, the nucleus no longer resembles a ball (hence evidence for a breakup), and the comet’s brightness has decreased dramatically, too, signaling that the comet is already rapidly vaporizing into nothing.
Another fact to consider: when it comes to the field of astronomy, it is not a numerically large profession. In astronomy more so than in any other science, dedicated amateurs are responsible for a sizable portion of new discoveries and important observations. To this end, it has been amateurs tracking the progress, and apparent disintegration, of Comet Elenin.
Now, in the old days, as in the time before wide access to the Internet, it may have been possible for a government to suppress findings that it didn’t like. However, come 2011, nothing could be farther from the truth as the Internet, email, and the rapidly proliferating social media networks have done more to ensure that people all over the world with computer access can get their feelings out to the world. To this end, if Comet Elenin were found to be on a collision course with Earth, you would probably hear about it on Twitter or Facebook, not some governmental space agency first.
On the negative side, such outlets can also be used by fear-mongers in order to spread all sorts of lies about the comet (or spaceship, or maybe rogue star, who knows?) that people not educated about the world of astronomy may actually believe thanks to their own naïveity.
The truth is this: Comet Elenin is not going to hit the Earth and, in all probability, is not even going to survive close approach to the Sun, which takes place in just over a week, either.
Hit the ‘subscribe’ button for automatic email updates when I write something new!
Want to read more of my stuff? Check out my other Examiner columns!
Cleveland Astronomy Examiner
Cleveland Photography Examiner
Want even more? Check out my personal website:
Bodzash Photography and Astronomy
For more Space News
Did God create the universe?
‘Curiosity’ reviews roll in after last night’s premiere
DNA, possibly extraterrestrial, found on meteorite
The Sun explodes
Perseids continue after peak
Has ‘Curiosity’ jumped the shark?
Proof of a multiverse discovered?
ESA to blast incoming asteroid
Possible meteor fall in Ohio
PETA: Mars should be a vegan-only planet
Could aliens destroy Earth to end global warming?