BANGKOK, Thailand, Nov. 13 (UPI) A Thai astronomer has calculated that the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which is the cause of an expected spectacular meteor shower next week, will collide with Earth, causing planet-wide devastation.
The Nation newspaper (Friday) quotes Khao Muanwong (“KAO MUAN-w wong”), who holds a doctorate in astronomy and is the former dean of Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Science, as saying the impact of the comet could be accompanied by huge floods and earthquakes and possibly the end of life on Earth.
The Tempel-Tuttle comet, discovered by Wilhelm Tempel and Horas Tuttle in 1865, orbits the sun every 32.9 years. It is slightly more than a mile in diameter. Khao says, “According to my calculation, based on an astronomical database researched by D.K. Yeomans of NASA, when the comet returns next week, it will hit the Earth.” He says others are aware of the impending impact but have avoided going public with the news.
He says, “I believe that none of my colleagues wants to be the bearer of this bad news.” The Leonid meteor shower, which accompanies Tempel-Tuttle when it comes close to Earth every 32.9 years, is expected to create a once-in- a-lifetime display over much of Asia on the night of Nov. 17-18.
Hotels and other accommodations in northern Thailand, where viewing conditions are expected to be optimal, have been booked out for months in anticipation of the meteor shower.
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