24 Hour Operation Sysop - Tom Mickus Toronto FREE ASTEROID.TXT - +quot;The End Of A Chapte

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====================================================================== <> * 416-237-1204 * PC-Pursuitable * File Requestable * HST * 24 Hour Operation * Sysop - Tom Mickus * Toronto * FREE ====================================================================== ====================================================================== ASTEROID.TXT - "The End Of A Chapter?" FSR (Vol.34, No.3, Sept., 1989) - by FSR Editor Gordon Creighton - To Subscribe: Annual Subscription, 4 Issues. United Kingdom: 12 Pounds Sterling United States: US $30 (Money Order) Other Countries: 15 Pounds Sterling AIRMAIL: USA add $10, Others 6 Pounds - Address: The Editor, FSR Publications Ltd, P.O. Box 12, Snodland, Kent ME6 5JZ, ENGLAND ====================================================================== NOTE: Use of "_underlining_" marks such as these are meant to indicate italicized words within the article. ====================================================================== THE END OF A CHAPTER? --------------------- As all our information media continue to bombard us with depressing reports about the Ozone Layer; the "Greenhouse Effect"; the melting Ice-Caps and the rising seas; the rapid loss of the Earth's great tropical rain-forests; the massive pollution of land and sea and atmosphere; the terrifying overpopulation of the Earth by Man, the Great Predator; and the accelerating destruction of numerous other species of life, it is evident that many - even among the great unthinking masses of humanity - are beginning to preceive that "SOMETHING IS HAPPENING". And, here and there among them, the more perceptive ones are even starting to see that the close of one of the _Great_Chapters_in_the_Book_of_Life_ on_Earth_ may be at hand. Should this indeed be so, then it is nothing new! For these things have occurred repeatedly before. For what we are discussing is "Catastrophism", and we know that the old-fashioned Victorian idea of "Gradualism", once so dear to the hearts of such folk as the geologist Lyall, has now been totally discarded. Today we already know from the scientific evidence, of _at_least_77_reversals_of_the_Earth's_ Poles_. Firstly, there is the problem of the actual _wandering_ of the physical Poles, and this is no doubt connected with the slow processes of Continental Drift and the movements of the Plates. Secondly, as stated already, there is the question of the _magnetic_ reversals. It seems that there have been twenty of these in the last 4,500,000 years, which gives us a rate of _about_one_reversal_ every 200,000 years, on an average. There have been found to be several sorts of time-interval between them. One of the intervals is of about 700,000 years, while another is of about only 10,000 years. The longest interval yet discovered by our scientists happens to be in fact our current interval, as it seems that the last big reversal was about 690,000 years ago, though the scientists Folgheraiter and Mercanton have also found a brief period of reversal about 3,000 years ago. Findings of scientists in the Geological Department of the University of Minnesota (published in the London _Sunday_Times_ of July 15, 1984) indicate that a new "flip" is indeed pending. They found that the Earth's magnetic field has halved in strength over the past 4,000 years. The actual reversal may, the scientists say, "take a few years, or a couple of thousand if History is any guide". Clearly, when it does happen, magnetic compasses will be useless for navigation during the change, and the protection which the Earth's magnetic field at present gives us against solar radiation could be altered, no doubt bringing major changes in climate (such as we are already experiencing). Clearly, also, all creatures that utilize the Earth's magnetism for their navigation - birds, fish, and honey bees for example - will be thrown into utter confusion and their survival will be in doubt. And what about ours? (Incidentally, we have heard of all sorts of theories about the cause of extinction of the dinosaurs - such as the explosion of a Supernova. But this magnetic field reversal might also have been the cause.) All Life Is Lived On A Razor's Edge All life is miraculous and perilous, anyway, and we live on the razor's edge. In an earlier article, "Will The Earth Be Struck Again Soon?" (in FSR 30/5, 1985), I gave an outline of the view of Dr. Allen Hynek and fellow-astrophysicists regarding a further danger with which our planet is faced - _and_has_always_been_faced_ - namely the possibility of another major _strike_ soon by an asteroid or a comet, from which it seemed pretty evident that a good many astronomers think we might 'cop' something quite nasty again before very long. Such a view has recently received much confirmation. In his article, _The_Dynamics_of_Armageddon_, published in the journal ASTRONOMY NOW, the Oxford University astrophysicist Dr. Victor Clube has pointed out that, since about 1970, the previous scientific thinking about the likelihood of great geophysical disasters on our planet have been revised most drastically. He says that it is now perceived that, even within the tiny span of recorded history, the impact or near passage of comets have had quite startling effects upon the Earth. Comet Encke, And Another Near-Miss By An Asteroid Subsequently, on October 24, 1988, in an article in the London _Daily_Telegraph_, Dr. Clube showed that, in particular, COMET ENCKE, which, with its million-mile swathe of debris _intercepts_Earth's_orbit_ once_every_3.3_years_(!), represents a terrible danger to this planet, and he adduces cogent evidence to show that in both the 5th century A.D., there were what he calls veritable "waves of attack" against the Earth by Encke. He also thinks, incidentally, that the famous "Tunguska Phenomenon" of 1908 was almost certainly a large chunk of ice about 40 yards wide and weighing some 30,000 tons, which had got detached from Encke's Comet. But now (Daily Telegraph, April 21, 1989) we learn that our Earth has just narrowly escaped being struck by a fresh, _totally_unknown_, asteroid weighing some 400,000,000 tons, which passed within half-a-million miles of us in March of this year! Dr. Henry Holt, the Northern Arizona University astronomer who discovered this "beastie", using the Mount Palomar Optical Telescope, says that the thing had come in from the direction of the Sun, so that the Sun's glare had prevented anyone from detecting its approach sooner, and that, "If it had appeared only a few hours earlier, it would have nailed us". "Half-a-million miles from Earth" mean that, as it passed us, the size of the gap separating the asteroid from us was only twice the distance from the Earth to the Moon. In 1937 the asteroid HERMES (400 million tons) also came within half a million miles of us. If we are to go on having many such "close shaves", then assuredly it can only due to some Very High Guidance - in other words DIVINE PROVIDENCE. But - can we always count on it? IF WE ARE WORTH PRESERVING, MAYBE SOMEBODY WILL CONTINUE TO SEE TO IT THAT WE ARE PRESERVED. As we contemplate these Immensities, we realize more acutely than ever that ALL OF LIFE IS LIVED UPON A RAZOR'S EDGE. What the purpose of our existence here is, not one of us knows, but we can be certain that _we_are_here_because_we_are_useful_to_Somebody_or_to_Something_. Let us ever be thoughtful and mindful, then, for should we cease to be useful, might not our time be running out? _What_do_all_the_signs_indicate?__Are_we_not_all_living_on_ borrowed_time_now_? ================================= EOF ======================================= ============================================================================= = IF YOU HAVE ANY UFO RELATED INFORMATION THAT YOU WOULD LIKE US TO SEE = = OR HAVE DISTRIBUTED, YOU CAN NOW SEND IT VIA OUR NEW UFONET FAX LINE. = ============================================================================= = ------>>> UFONET FAX HOTLINE - 24 Hrs - (414) 351-2075 <<<------ = =============================================================================


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