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Dead, defunct, abandoned … Comet ISON

11 December 2013

Disappointment all round. Comet ISON is effectively dead – zilch (see http://phys.org/print305804079.html). There is no evidence of a zombie half existence – or a resurrection along the lines of a flare up after a period of quietude. However, we are informed in this piece that scientists now recognise not all comets are dirty snowballs – some of them are rocky asteroids disguised as comets (such as Comet Wild2). This leaves a problem and this is how can a comet from the outer solar system contain minerals formed in the inner solar system. The consensus theory is lacking – as theory clearly does not match reality.

Yet, the theory has dominated cosmology for many a long year. It is in the comfort zone of astronomers. Surely, it can't possibly be wrong. Astronomers using infra red telescopes have looked at an asteroid in the Asteroid Belt and found that it contains water ice – whch is supposed the be a feature of comets. Not rocky asteroids. Conversely, Comet Wild 2 was in all characteristics a rocky object – and definitely not a dirty snowball. What is going on.

Compromise is one way to react when undecided on which side of the fence one's bread should be buttered. Cosmological theory has been slewed to accommodate reality and it is arbitrarily suggested there are comets that are dirty snowballs and asteroids which are wholly rocky in nature but there are all manner of objects out there that are both comet and asteroid, part of one thing and part of the other. This then leads to the chicken and egg situation – the inner and outer solar system conundrum.

At http://spaceweather.com (on the 8th December) we have news of a meteor outburst over Canada, and Europe on the next day. It appears to emerge from the constellation of Andromenda – hence its name, the adromenids. It is thought to be debris left behind by Comet Biela which broke apart in the 19th century. Can we expect debris from Comet ISON to form a new annual meteor shower?

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