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Meteor swarm spawns new and dangerous branch

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Mushroom

Oh dear.

Better buy a hard hat then...

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Re: Oh dear.

"Come friendly fireballs and fall on Slough!"

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Tunguska

I thought they'd determined Tunguska was caused by a Tesla wireless power transmission experiment that went horribly awry.

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Alien

Re: Tunguska

Russian version of Roswell?

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Re: Tunguska

"Your alien overlord" quoth "Russian version of Roswell?"

Apart from the minor difference that the event at Tunguska actually happened?

Oh - and Ed., isn't describing this 30,000 year old cometary breakup as 'new' a bit odd?

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Re: Tunguska

"Oh - and Ed., isn't describing this 30,000 year old cometary breakup as 'new' a bit odd?"

Cosmologically speaking, that's a wee babby. That's not to say that new things aren't happening all the time in the 'verse, but on comparative scales, it's quite recent.

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Pint

Re: Tunguska

"30,000 year old cometary breakup"

Age of solar system, 4.6 billion years ∴ 30,000 year old collision = new.

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting use of statistics...

... to infer the presence of 100m-sized chunks from a single observation of a 1m-sized chunk.

(A 100m chunk is of course 100^3 = 1 meeeeellion times more massive)

Makes for good headlines and continued funding though.

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Re: Interesting use of statistics...

That's what I was thinking. That and the phrase "lies, damned lies and statistics" !!

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Re: Interesting use of statistics...

That might be true, but as far as big rocks in space are concerned, all of humanity is playing peek-a-boo like a toddler : can't see it = not there. That is not good and it likely means that we will wake up to this threat only when half a continent has been erased from existence.

That will be a very expensive wake-up call and I approve any measure that will keep the funding going on this subject.

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Happy

Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

Yup, that's what the dinosaurs thought too.

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Re: Interesting use of statistics...

1m sized chunks and one 150m sized one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting use of statistics...

But where will we outsource to then?

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Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

The Quaternary extinction event was quite recent and while there are meany theories (including a comet strike), nobody actually knows why, approximately 11,000 years ago every large animals went extinct across North America.

We know that we have had very large meteor impacts in the past but for some reason we don't believe that it could ever happen again.

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Re: Interesting use of statistics...

A meteor strike? No way, that'll never happen but we going to keep buying lottery tickets. We only believe statistic when it suits us.

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Trollface

"we will wake up to this threat only when half a continent has been erased from existence"

As long as it's half the North American continent*, that's fine by me.

(We all know which half I'm talking about - and it's not the ice-hockey-playing half.)

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Re: Interesting use of statistics...

When the impact is big enough, evolution will have to start over.

If you believe in some sort of higher being keeping an eye on us down here, you can think of it as some sort of "Reset Button" in that being's "Game of Life".

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Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

nobody actually knows why, approximately 11,000 years ago every large animals went extinct across North America

Sure they do: the arrival; of homo sapiens. As in Australia and Europe, our arrival was quickly followed by population crash and extinction of megafauna.

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Mushroom

Re: Interesting use of statistics...

<"lies, damned lies and statistics" !!>

They are popular scientific tools.

Climatologists use them every day.

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Joke

Re: Interesting use of statistics...

>But where will we outsource to then?<

India, of course!

They can do just as good a job using only Asstrology

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

Ummm, Eskimos ate the American megafauna...

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Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

"Sure they do: the arrival; of homo sapiens. As in Australia and Europe, our arrival was quickly followed by population crash and extinction of megafauna."
It was also contemporaneous with the Younger Dryas climate event and a possible impact by an extra-terrestrial impact. It's hard to envisage these two latter as non-contributing factors. Likely it was a perfect storm as they say...

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Anonymous Coward

@Rainer - Re: Interesting use of statistics...

Hoping this time evolution will restart without humans. Way much better for our Earth!

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Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

I would suggest a little better approximation of the time frame as 12900- 11600 yrs ago. Whatever happened around 12900-12800 years ago depending on age dating marked then end of the North American megafauna as well as most of the humans of the time and brought on a period called the younger dryas Cooling. I highly recommend Graham Hancocks' 'Magicians of the Gods' chapters 3&4 as an eye opener on this subject. His and Randall Carlsons' Theory involves a or a series of comet fragment impacts that relate directly to the meteor steam discussed above.

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Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

That's the conventional theory - homo sapiens arrived ate all the large animals and then decided to switch to a healthy vegetarian diet once they had eaten all the meat. The problem is that there's no evidence to support it - homo sapiens was around for tens of thousands of years prior to the extinction and then, in one year, ate everything?

Fact is, nobody actually knows why, it's just a guess.

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Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

"homo sapiens arrived ate all the large animals and then decided to switch to a healthy vegetarian diet once they had eaten all the meat. The problem is that there's no evidence to support it - homo sapiens was around for tens of thousands of years prior to the extinction and then, in one year, ate everything?"

Here's what the evidence suggests:

"The late Pleistocene witnessed the extinction of 35 genera of North American mammals. The last appearance dates of 16 of these genera securely fall between 12,000 and 10,000 radiocarbon years ago (≈13,800–11,400 calendar years B.P.), although whether the absence of fossil occurrences for the remaining 19 genera from this time interval is the result of sampling error or temporally staggered extinctions is unclear. Analysis of the chronology of extinctions suggests that sampling error can explain the absence of terminal Pleistocene last appearance dates for the remaining 19 genera. The extinction chronology of North American Pleistocene mammals therefore can be characterized as a synchronous event that took place 12,000–10,000 radiocarbon years B.P. Results favor an extinction mechanism that is capable of wiping out up to 35 genera across a continent in a geologic instant."
Emphasis mine.

Synchronous extinction of North America's Pleistocene mammals

A lot more than "just a guess".

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Joke

Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

@Pompous Git - Noah forgot to put the 19 mega-fauna on board? Heh! Heh!

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Devil

Re: Interesting use of statistics... "lies, damned lies and statistics"

"Noah forgot to put the 19 mega-fauna on board? Heh! Heh!"
It's hard to figure out how he got any fauna from North America, Australasia or Antarctica on board.

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Re: "we will wake up to this threat only when half a continent has been erased from existence"

CustardGannet said:

"(We all know which half I'm talking about - and it's not the ice-hockey-playing half.)"

Isn't just horrible when your children get mad at you, move out on their own, refuse to move back even when you try to kick down their door and force them to, then do BETTER than you ever thought of?

Isn't even more horrible when your nasty neighbors come calling and you have to beg your children to come back and protect you...Twice?

Greetings from the States! :)

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Alert

We need to wipe out all the asteroids. Yeah wipe them all out. You know those asteroids are very bad, people. Very bad. We are gonna wipe them off the face of the galaxy! Yeah. And we'll make the greys pay for it.

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Sounds just like Donald :) Now can someone in the USA tell him he's fired ? :D

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Trollface

Dont be silly, we dont need to wipe them out, we're not racist after all. No, no, all we need is to build a wall to keep out those bad hombre Meteors and of course we will make them pay for it....

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We shouldn't build a wall or try to destroy them. We should open our arms and welcome them, show them our ruling classes have scaly skin too and let them eat our children.

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"We need a meteor travel ban. Those meteors from the Taurids... the asteroid belt... you know who I mean. Ban them from coming here, ban those meteors. Only I can do it."

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Anonymous Coward

We need to wipe out all the asteroids

I will build a triangular wire-frame ship out of unobtanium. It'll fire dashes and destroy asteroids. That'll do it. Schematic follows:

▷ - - - - - - - - - - ⎈

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That sounds like GREAT plan. A really GREAT plan, the BEST ever! A YUUUGE, REALLY GREAT plane.

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Trollface

You're clearly not treating this appropriately seriously. What we need to do is build a Dyson-sphere that is incidentally strong enough* to bounce any would-be illegal immigrants. Uh, sorry, space rock. It's ok, we'll still be able to launch outer space probes through it - we'll just build a hatch into it somewhere. No, of course it's NOT a back door! Spheres don't have a "back" side!

* maybe we should build it with a moat. With sharks and lasers. What? Look, there are some tiny animals that don't die in space, I saw it on TV - if they can do it, so can the sharks, they'll just have make an effort and breathe harder!

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I welcome our new meteor overlords

if they can flash cook a pizza for me!

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Re: I welcome our new meteor overlords

"... if they can flash cook a pizza for me!"

I'll have heaps of pepperoni, spicy beef, ham, salami, chicken, basically all the ones for carnivores.

The meteor the better.

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Re: I welcome our new meteor overlords

""... if they can flash cook a pizza for me!""

Get lots of smart cookies on this site

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Devil

Re: I welcome our new meteor overlords

I'll have heaps of pepperoni, spicy beef, ham, salami, chicken, basically all the ones for carnivores.

The meteor the better.

This is true. The problem is it's also likely to be topped with a lot of long-pig.

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Joke

Request

Come friendly bombsasteroids and fall on Slough!

It isn't fit for humans now,

There isn't grass to graze a cow.

Swarm over, Death!

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Re: Request

Damn, you beat me to it!

I knew I shouldn't have taken the afternoon off work...

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Trollface

Re: Request

Is that a reboot of "black hole sun / won't you come" or the other way around...? Or is it the prequel?

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Happy

FAKE NEWS!

The regular and often-unspectacular Taurid meteor shower

I would like to object to The Register publishing fake news such as this.

I live in England. There is no such thing as a spectacular meteor shower!

Perhaps someone needs to publish some research on the power of astronomical events to cause cloud cover. It's almost as if they're hiding...

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Re: FAKE NEWS!

Not true - We have lots of spectacular meteor showers.

All that you're lacking is a decent (i.e. higher than the cloud-layer) vantage point.

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Trollface

Re: FAKE NEWS!

"I would like to object to The Register publishing fake news such as this."
Of course it's fake. It's published on Arxiv and was endorsed by one of its authors.

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This is true!

Also, the UK gets plenty of sunshine, you just need a decent vantage point.

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Happy

Re: This is true!

Could I get something to pipe all this glorious sunshine to me here at ground-level? Say a 20,000 foot long tube with mirrors inside. We could call it a sunbrella. Hold it above your head, while walking down the street, and be bathed in sunshine, whatever-the-weather.

Right, I'm off to email Dragon's Den. Offering them 0.001% of my company for ONE MEEELLION POUNDS!!!!!

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Lets use Teresa May logic and just ban asteroids.

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