According to this report, Mars-bound Comet Siding Spring was discovered by Rob McNaught on 3 January at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia after which all of the information relating to this threat was turned over to Project Wormwood run by IPS Radio and Space Services and established at Learmonth Solar Observatory to participate in the first two phases of Planetary Defence.
IPS Radio and Space Services is the Australian Space Weather Agency, providing advice to customers in the Australasian area on the near-space environment, and the effects it has on communications, navigation, satellite operations, and other technological systems, whereas the majority of Project Wormwood activities are follow-up astrometry (position measurements) that are required to obtain precise orbits for space objects (asteroids/comets) that have previously been discovered by other programs.
US scientists report that they expect Comet Siding Spring’s closest approach to Mars to occur on 19 October 2014, at about 11:45AM. PDT (18:45 GTM), which their latest orbital plot places its closest approach to Mars a little farther out than previously estimated — at about 117,000 kilometers (73,000 miles) from the surface of the Red Planet.
Richard Zurek, chief scientist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Mars Program Office and project scientist for NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), had previously warned that if Comet Siding Spring did impact Mars it “could be a huge, global event” and further warned “we will have to start thinking about what precautions we should take.”
Where US safety measures would include positioning their orbiters so that they are on the other side of Mars at the time of comet impact, this report continues, the “lethal potentiality” of Comet Siding Spring cannot be underestimated, specifically as its size, 50 km (31 miles) would result in an upper limit energy of impact that could reach 20 billion megatons and leave a crater measuring 44 km (338 miles) in diameter.
The greatest danger to Earth should Comet Siding Spring impact Mars, ROSCOSMOS experts state in this report, would be the massive debris field ejected into space which would then plummet towards the Sun and eventually crossing our planets orbit.
Spurred into action after the 500-kiloton explosion the Chelyabinsk Meteor above the Urals region [see video HERE] on 15 February, Russia sped-up allocation of some 58 billion rubles (over $1.9 billion) for its planetary defense network, and the 5,000 new emergency bomb shelters built in Moscow between 2010-2012 to save people in case of potential attacks are further advised by ROSCOSMOS in this report to be used for planetary defense too.
Curious to note about this report is a dissenting summary of its findings and recommendations by a minority of ROSCOSMOS experts who note that the as yet “unexplained orbital adjustments” being made by Comet C/2012 S1 (Comet ISON) as it nears its 1 October rendezvous with Mars, and its apparent “128 stand still” that has puzzled US scientists, means that Comet Siding Spring cannot be ruled out as an “intelligently directed space object” like Comet ISON is now appearing to be too.
As we had previously noted in our report “Experts Puzzled After Great Comet Makes Mars Orbital “Adjustments,” Comet ISON has made a number of “unexplained orbital adjustments” around the planet Mars seemingly to better align itself with the Red planets strange moon Phobos which Russian astrophysicist Iosif Samuilovich Shklovsky, in 1958, stated was a metallic hollow “craft,” a finding supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) who last year reported:
“One reason to suspect that Phobos is not a captured asteroid is its density. Analysis of Mars Express radio science data gave new information about the mass of Phobos based on the gravitational attraction it exerts on the spacecraft. The team concluded that Phobos is likely to contain large voids, which makes it less likely to be a captured asteroid. Its composition and structural strength seem to be inconsistent with the capture scenario.”
To what the truest reasons Comet ISON and Comet Siding Spring are “targeting” Mars nearly one year exactly apart in 2013 and 2014 are, basically, still unknown, but it cannot go unnoticed that Project Wormwood has put on its website this most cryptic of warnings:
The third angel sounded his trumpet,
and a great star, blazing like a torch,
fell from the sky on a third of the rivers
and on the springs of water
- the name of the star is Wormwood."