Thursday, February 17, 2011

Small comet defeats pseudoscientist

        On Coast to Coast AM last night, the "science [sic] adviser" Richard Hoagland stated that the comet Tempel 1 is an alien spaceship, a proposition that even the infinitely gullible George Noory refused to swallow.

        With a breathtaking lapse of logic, Hoagland first alleged that NASA had deliberately delayed releasing the images acquired by Stardust-NExT for seven hours in order to substitute doctored-up fakes, and then declared that the 7-hour-late images themselves proved that this object was artificial. His argument was as follows:

Look closely into the crater. You can see layers. But you can't make layers in zero-g.

        Who said anything about zero-g? Tempel 1's mass is 7.5 x 1013 kg—enough to create a micro gravitational field. Although certainly very small, Tempel 1's gravity was sufficient that some of the debris thrown out by the Deep Impact experiment fell back into the crater.

        Just as our own planet periodically passes through dust clouds, creating seasonal meteor displays like the Perseids and Geminids, so any comet is bound to pass through similar clouds, and inevitably some will adhere even in the very small gravity of Tempel 1. It does not stretch my imagination that dust might accumulate in layers, although I personally can't see Hoagland's "layers" any more than I could see his rivits [sic] holding Phobos together.

        Tempel looks just like a battered rock that's been around for billions of years. Fans of RCH should ask themselves if Tempel is:

a) An alien spaceship cunningly disguised to look like a rock, or
b) A rock.

        They might also ask themselves: Is Richard Hoagland:

a) A scientist, or
b) A showman

4 comments:

Chris Lopes said...

To be honest, there actually was mention (by the people actually studying these things) of layers even before this new mission. However, there are other explanations (as you pointed out) besides "alien spacecraft".

This pattern is becoming something of a joke. Every time NASA releases pictures of a comet, asteroid, or moon, it's a space ship and part of the "drip, drip, drip" thing. Apparently, the alien civilization responsible for these things was very sloppy. They seem to have littered the solar system with their trash. It's amazing such a careless civilization actually managed space flight to begin with, but there you go.

el said...

I agree with you guys. Hoagland has officially lost his marbles.

Chris Lopes said...

el,

Not lost his marbles, more like grasping at straws. See the natives were getting very restless on both his public and private FB pages, so he had to come back with something. That something was this silliness, that even some of the true believers are having a hard time accepting. If the pattern holds, he'll make very big promises (and might even throw in a "paper" on it) with lot's of sound and fury, then change the subject when it's convenient. It's the act of a desperate man.

Biological_Unit said...

Billions of years ago.

How many times have we heard that about numerous Planetary Science issues? It can never be refuted, obviously.