The are a lot of strange sounds around lately (NOTE: subscribers can still listen to these special reports). Two unusually powerful explosions occurred in Siberia on February 9th and 12th–were they caused by the same thing as the Tunguska explosion of 1908? The explosions were so huge that the residents of nearby cities felt powerful tremors and many of them ran out into the street in a panic.
When our satellites search for other planets that might harbor life, they always search for water. But now, for the first time, astronomers have detected around a burgeoning solar system a sprawling cloud of water vapor that’s cold enough to form comets, which could eventually deliver oceans to dry planets. And with oceans, life could spring up–or maybe migrate to the planet from another place.
A few hours after a comet discovered by amateur astronomers on September 30 impacted the sun, a massive coronal mass ejection took place directly opposite the object’s impact point. Previously, solar scientists would have assumed that this wasa coincidence, but observation of another sungrazer on July 5 revealed significant interactions with the sun’s atmosphere.
So it now seems possible that comets–the largest of which are tiny in comparison to the sun–can nevertheless cause sreactions from the solar disk. Scientists at NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory will be studying this matter with interest.
Comets make people crazy, and with the 2012 end-of-the-world scenario in people’s minds (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show), the hype surrounding a minor cometary body called Comet Elenin is approaching a point similar to the outbreak of lunacy that accompanied the passage of Comet Hale-Bopp, which led to the mass suicide of a cult group in late 1995.