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Re: new aspect of extinction



From: "Mike Brett-Surman" <MNHPB018@SIVM.SI.EDU>
 >
 >  Although most have pointed to an impact as the cause of the extinction
 >  (and I have no doubt of the bombardment), I feel that it was the one
 >  that missed us that actually did the damage.  The gravitational effect
 >  of a really big asteroid just missing us would be enough to cause a
 >  slight "wobble" of the earth on it's axis, which would explain the
 >  sudden and drastic change in the seasonal light cycles. 

I think you are seruiously overestimating the mass of even a large
asteroid relative to the Earth.  I doubt even the largest known
asteroid would be large enough to even cause measurable tidal effects,
let alone change the Earth's axial tilt.

On the other hand, an off-center *impact* might well have that as
one of its side effect.  The force generated by such an event is
prders of magnitude larger than the gravitational effects. And if
the force vector were oriented correctly relative to the rotational
axis, it could have substantial effect on the rotation.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.