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12 January 2023
Astronomy, Catastrophism

At https://technologyreview.com/2011/10/17/21387/ … is a story going back to 1883. Jose Bonilla counted 450 objects, each surrounded by a sort of mist, passing across the face of the Sun. He published his account in the French journal L’Astronomie in 1886. It was largely dismissed by scientists and it was even suggested the objects were insects or birds passing in front o fhis telescope. The usual sort of debunking exercise without any kind of follow up investigation. Now, as far as 2011 is concerned, we have an explanation that would never have been considered at the time. It may have been a comet that broke apart as it rounded the sun, producing a debris trail that passed fairly close to the earth. At https://arxiv.org/abs/1110.2798 … ‘Interpretation of the observations made in 1883  in Zacatecas [Mexico]: A fragmented comet that nearly hits the earth.’ Bonilla, in his small observatory at Zacatecas in Mexico, was the only person, anywhere in the world, that claims to have observed the event. I don’t suppose many people look directly at the Sun but they would have noticed something, or some things, passing between earth and the sun, one would have thought. However, Zacatecas is the same latitude as the Sahara, or northern India and SE Asia, and observatories here were in short supply. The authors suggest parallax. You will need to read the article at the prepublication web site above in order to make up your own mind. It’s a fascinating idea – but can it be proven? Perhaps that is why the article has been mostly ignored. Mainstream does not like catastrophic events – even near misses.

Each fragment, we are told, was as big, if not bigger, than the one thought to have caused the Tunguska event in 1908 – not long afterwards. Thery proceed to offer a frightening scenario boud to upset mainstream, by adding, if they had all collided with the earth, one after the other, there would have been 3275 airburst events similar to the Tunguska one, over a two day period. That would have been an extinction event, they emphasize. Mainstream must have been steaming, which may account for why it did not progress beyond arxiv into a major journal. Or perhaps it did. I don’t know. Full but short article at https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1110/1110.2798.pdf

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