These media scientists are just too much. Below is bad astronomer Phil Plait validating the Napier Astronomical Model for the Younger Dryas Impact(s) and refuting The Bos’ claim that there is no way to have multiple incoming bodies explode in the atmosphere. In other words, Phil says just a comet whipping by is enough to unleash some unknown measure of hell on a planet — and it might happen next year.
But Phil Plait has never uttered a word regarding the Younger Dryas Hypothesis. I suspect this is because he so “astronomically correct” and throughly politicized that he has never had an original idea himself, and thus does not appreciate good solutions for problems when those solutions are not part of his canon.
Better to stay quiet than to be proven wrong, right, Phil? Good strategy, considering.
Earth to The Bos and Phil: The true cross-sectional area of the potentially dangerous material is larger than the original comet itself — and this rule applies yesterday, today and tomorrow.
And there’s still more. Comets aren’t generally very solid; you can think of them as loose piles of rubble held together by those ices. As the ice sublimates, the comet dissolves a little, and that rubble can escape. This material, usually [!]objects the size of grains of sand up to small rocks, orbit along very nearly the same path as the comet nucleus itself (which is why we get meteor showers). The gas expands into a large fuzzy cloud around the nucleus, called the coma (which is Latin for hair). Although the nucleus may be a few kilometers in diameter, the coma can be several hundred thousand kilometers across!
What makes this so very interesting is that the coma can be bigger than the predicted distance by which the comet will pass Mars. This means it’s entirely possible, even likely, Mars will pass right through this cloud of material. And the closer the comet gets, the more likely it is Mars will get pelted by the debris set loose from the nucleus itself. If that does happen, it’ll be the gods’ own meteor shower for the red planet.