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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dark Night of the Comet

" Intersection with the debris of a large (50-100 km)
short-period comet during the Upper Palaeolithic provides a
satisfactory explanation for the catastrophe of celestial origin
which has been postulated to have occurred around 12900 BP,
and which presaged a return to ice age conditions of duration
~1300 years. The Taurid Complex appears to be the debris of
this erstwhile comet; it includes at least 19 of the brightest
near-Earth objects. Sub-kilometre bodies in meteor streams
may present the greatest regional impact hazard on timescales
of human concern.

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