Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Comets Honda, Elenin, and Levy - Doomsday or Hype?

This upcoming month through the beginning of next year will bring three comets very close to earth.  First will be comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova which is currently predicted to be its closest to earth (aphelion) about august 15, 2011 at a distance of 0.06 A.U (Astronomical Units) or about 5.6 million miles ( 9 million KM) which is very close in astronomy terms.

All except for two timesComet Honda (for short) has been getting closer to earth every its orbit:

Honda Aphelion (in A.U)
1948  0.43
1954  0.59
1969  0.30
1975  0.23
1983  0.11
1990  0.29
1996  0.17
2001  0.11
2006  0.09
2011  0.058

This year is unique in that  there is another comet that will also be very close to earth - comet Elenin ( Comet C/2010 X1 ) and will be closest to earth on september 29, 2011 (.432 AU)  Some believe elenin is a brown dwarf star and may cause gravitational problems on earth or with comet Honda.  Elenin and Honda will cross paths around september 15th.  A nice graphic is here:  http://elenin.org/honda-levy.php

 On november 17, 2011, comets Elenin and Levy (Comet P/2006 T7) will cross paths and on  january 25, 2012 Comet Levy will be .213 AU from earth.

Most of the affect, if any, is likely to be from the gravitational pull - meaning an increase in earthquakes and possibly a magnetic pole shift.  If Elenin is a brown dwarf, the affects could be quite dramatic and there is possibility of an earth strike.  The three comets gravitational affect on earth could mean more earthquakes.  The gravitational affects on each other could mean a possible earth strike.

Even if there is no major affects from these comets in 2011-2012, one would have to wonder about Comet Honda in 5-10 years from now since it would be close enough in it's next orbit or two for the earth's gravity to capture it.  It could be that Honda may become a second moon for earth.

Even if there are no major affects from the comets,  watching the sky should be very interesting over the next several months.

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