Main guest, planetary scientist Dr. Dan Durda discussed asteroid Toutatis as well as other developments in the solar system. This is its closest pass since 1353, and it won't be this close again until 2562, he said of the asteroid that will safely come within one million miles of Earth on September 29th.
Should an asteroid the size of Toutatis (3 miles x 1½ miles) hit our planet it would have the impact of a 2 million megaton explosion (more than all the world's nukes), cause an 8.8 quake, and an unbearably loud sound that would shatter glass up to 300 miles away from the crash, he detailed. There are approximately 1100 asteroids passing by Earth, he said, and while we are not in danger of 60% of them, the paths of 40% of them have yet to be identified.
Durda also commented on private ventures which he believes are key to opening up space exploration and travel. He also offered analysis of the finding of methane on Mars, saying that it could indicate some type of life on the planet, though he thinks it is more likely the result of hydrothermal activity.
First half-hour guest Budd Hopkins of the Intruders Foundation discussed the life and work of fellow alien abduction researcher John Mack who was killed in an auto accident yesterday. He was "an extremely eloquent spokesman" of "enormous personal warmth" and curiosity and "will be sorely missed," said Hopkins, who revealed that Mack had become increasingly worried about the direction of the US government and had recently become involved in a voter registration drive in Maine. Ironically, he was also at work on a new book examining the evidence for the survival of consciousness after death, he noted.
Astronomy journalist Dr. Sky briefly discussed viewing Toutatis, during the second half of Tuesday's first hour. Because of the bright Harvest Moon it will be difficult to view the asteroid. However, he said people in the Southern Hemisphere will have a good opportunity to observe the fast-moving Toutatis, if they use a telescope.
Appearing during the second half of the first hour, was geologist Jim Berkland who commented on the 6.0 earthquake that hit today in California. The quake occurred during the monthly window he predicted, with indicators that included a full moon, high tides, and an increase in missing animal reports.
Bumper music from Tuesday September 28, 2004