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Asteroid Phaethon

13 October 2010

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon sometimes acts just like a comet – it light up the night sky with meteor showers. However, most of the time it behaves like an asteroid – a piece of rock orbiting in space. University of Central Florida (see http://news.ucf.edu/UCFnews/ October 13th … scientists have been doing a bit of telescope gazing and a spot of mathematical modelling and they think they have found significant similarities between it and another asteroid, a big one in the asteroid belt, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. This one is known as Pallas. The orbit of Phaethon crosses that of the earth and its debris produces the Geminid meteor shower every December. Pallas, on the other hand, appears to have an anomolous orbit (see Clube and Napier in The Cosmic Serpent) – but are they two parts of a once larger body.

Meanwhile, over at Cosmic Tusk (see http://cosmictusk.com )Vance Holliday has replied quite forcefully to Rick Firestone and the YD boundary event hypothesis which is clearly ruffling a lot of feathers. Holliday is pretty devastating so the reposte will have to be good – the clash of minds and mindsets is fascinating.

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