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A "NEAT" Controversy

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Tonight's guest Daniel Durda has studied smaller objects moving in our solar system such as asteroids and comets. Recently there was an eruption of controversy surrounding the comet NEAT(1), with accusations spreading via the Internet that NASA was covering up information about its trajectory. According to an article(2) on Space.com, web-based rumors widely circulated that the comet was planet-sized and could radically alter Earth's weather.

In fact the comet, which was observed receiving a coronal mass ejection(3) as it approached the sun, is only a few miles wide according to scientists. It currently is heading back to the outer solar system and away from Earth. Yet, a report that recently surfaced associated with the Rand Corp. added to the controversy. It was suggested that if the Earth was about to be hit by a large asteroid, authorities might not inform the public in order to avoid mass panic, when nothing really could be done to prevent it. Later it came out that the information was from a graduate student at the Rand School who said his quotes were misconstrued.

Meanwhile, one might wonder, how does Nancy Lieder, the guru-ess of Planet X weigh in on NEAT which was said to occupy roughly the same space as her predicted body? "Comets are hardly likely to be mistaken for the Planet X complex, which will be red, primarily, and so much larger than comet bodies...," she wrote in a ZetaTalk session dated Feb. 22, 2003. She goes on further to state that when the X complex does become visible in the sky, it will be misidentified by NASA and their "lackeys" as an "asteroid bunch, passing comet, unusual comet, Mars closest pass in many eons, or whatever."

--L.L.

1. http://cometography.com/lcomets/2002v1.html
2. http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/comet_conspiracy_030228.html
3. http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/

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