News Stories

How Did They Know?

Craters are being found in Australia based on Aboriginal Dreaming Stories, but the Aborigines have been in Australia for around 50,000 years, while the craters are millions of years old. Are the Aborigines actually a far older population, or are the craters younger (or is there another explanation for the discrepancy)?

An Australian astronomer found a huge, bowl-shaped crater by searching Google Earth. But he knew where to look by listening to an Australian Aborigine "Dreaming Story" about a star that had fallen into a waterhole.

On The Age website, Deborah Smith quotes Duane Hamacher as saying that it could be pure chance, ''but if so, it's an incredible coincidence.'' According to Hamacher, traditional Aboriginal wisdom about the heavens is impressive and Smith quotes him as saying, ''It is impossible to survive on a continent like this for 50,000 years and not have an intimate knowledge of the natural world around you, including the night sky.''

The aborigines were almost destroyed by an asteroid hit and it's something the rest of us need to beware of as well. A group of international experts wants to make sure that doesn't happen, so they are planning a global detection and warning network to deal with possible asteroid threats to Earth. It would be an interdisciplinary group, including asteroid tracking specialists, space scientists, former astronauts, United Nations authorities, as well as disaster management, risk psychology and warning communication experts. Let's hope they don't wait too long.

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