Anyway, said busted myth is that the Zodiacal Cloud has anything to do, as long taught, with asteroids banging off each other in the asteroid belt. Nope, it is rather a result of comets. And not comets sublimating as they approach the sun, but rather comets shattering into ever and ever smaller pieces. Breaking up as we see with the approaching comet Schwassmann Wachmann, SW3.
Richard Kerr (Science Magazine)
This is revolutionary. And that is what bugs me. You would never know it reading Kerr’s article. Richard Kerr of Science knows a lot of things and has been around a long time. So he should know better than to write such a story without some elucidation of its implications.
So, if I may: It means there are a lot of big — or one big — short period comets missing from our impact frequency statistics. It suggests that a lot more cometary material has entered the inner solar system in the last tens of thousands of years and simply broken apart, as with Biela’s Comet in just the last century. It is the smoke from the gun — and gun is still loaded.
The longer these old-guard pontificators of science like Richard Kerr ignore the implications — if not the evidence itself — of the danger of disintegrating short period comets, the more determined the Tusk becomes to post and post and post and post….
Previous studies had suggested that much of the zodiacal light came from the dust of colliding asteroids, but the only way this model could reproduce the great breadth of the zodiacal cloud above and below the plane of the planets was to have the dust come from the comets that orbit in the vicinity of Jupiter’s orbit. Those comets already range much farther from the plane of the planets than asteroids do, and Jupiter’s gravitational effects would drive their dust even farther afield. To make the modeled zodiacal cloud as dense as the real one, the dust had to come from comets falling apart, not just those shedding dust near the sun, the team reports in the 20 April issue of The Astrophysical Journal.