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> I agree with you. I don't see a major bolide impact as being "fair"
> experimentation either.
> I spoke with an astonomer this morning. He stated that the sun
> oscillates in the plane of the galaxy enough to disturb the Ort
> Cloud. He also says that the sun is stable enough that fluctuations
> in the amount of energy given off is enough to change the weather but
> not over long periods. However, changes in the earth's orbit as a
> result of interaction with the other planets does happen and may be a
> cause of the Ice Ages. (I'm sure some of you know this, but since I
> didn't I'm reiterating it for the masses). The tilt of the earth can
> change as well. He did not say if the tilt and/or the orbit of the
> moon could be changed enough to affect life on earth. He did say he
> doubted it. He mentioned that the orbit of the moon could be changed
> by a near miss, but I didn't get to ask about how close, how large,
> and if so, how much change. If it's happened in the past then it was
> so long ago that the orbits are stable and likely to be so forever
> without intervention.
Yeah. I have heard some (certainly not all) of this before. I
do remember hearing stuff about the orbit of the moon being altered by a
large enough planetoid moving between it and the earth when I was in
college. Those folks didn't think it would do much to climate either,
but I always thought it was a pretty cool idea, even if it didn't work.
Department of Geology
University of Pennsylvania
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240 South 33rd Street
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