Date sent: Wed, 05 Feb 1997 13:39:12 -0500 (EST)
Priority: NORMAL

If you have ever wondered who was the first scholar who
thought about protecting human civilisation from cometary
impacts, you are in for a real surprise:

The following quote from 1822(!) - which certainly
belongs to one of the most 'prophetic' visions ever
formulated - was discovered by Dr Duncan Steel, the
British-Australian astronomer and author of "Rogue
Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the
Million Megaton Menace that threatens Life on Earth" (New
York et al: John Wiley & Son, 1995).

> "Who knows whether, when a comet shall approach this globe and destroy it, as
> it often has been and will be destroyed, men will not tear rocks from their
> foundations by means of steam, and hurl mountains, as the giants are said to
> have done, against the flaming mass? - and then we shall have the traditions
> of the Titans again, and of wars with Heaven." [Year = 1822]
> Medwin's "Conversations of Lord Byron",
> Princeton Univ Press, 1966, p.188


Date sent: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 08:58:12 +0100
From: Bas van Geel
Subject: Meteoroids and earth magnetic field?

Subject: a question to Prof Bailey after having seen the article in THE
TIMES 4 February 1997:

> It is also possible that dead comets, technically known as cometary
>asteroids, >may disintegrate far faster than the team supposes. This would
>mean that many >may now be little more than PENCIL-THIN STREAMS OF
>METEOROIDS which would be >hard to detect but which could cause no harm to
>the Earth.

Thinking about some sharp temporary increases of the 14C content of the
atmosphere during the Holocene, I would like to ask the following question
to Prof. Bailey:

Would such PENCIL-THIN STREAMS OF METEOROIDS have any affect on the earth
magnetic field, and - as such - on the incoming cosmic rays on earth? (more
cosmic rays as a consequence of a weaker earth magnetic field means higher
production of 14C and 10Be)

Bas van Geel

| Dr Bas van Geel | Internet E-mail |
| University of Amsterdam | Phone secr. :+31-20 525 7844 |
| Faculty of Biology | Direct phone :+31-20 525 7664 |
| Kruislaan 318 | Fax :+31-20 525 7662 |
| NL - 1098 SM Amsterdam | |
| The Netherlands | |


CCCMENU CCC for 1997