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Electric Comets III: Mass vs. Charge

8 Dec 2014, 00:08 UTC
Electric Comets III: Mass vs. Charge
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Stuart Robbins at Exposing PseudoAstronomy has posted Part 2 of his critique of James McCanney's odd claims about electric comets and the rest of the universe. Definitely worth a listen.Meanwhile, I'll address some of the claims floating around about the measured mass and density of Comet 67P (Wikipedia). By measuring the motion of the Rosetta spacecraft around the comet, they have been able to estimate the mass of the nucleus at about 1e13 kg or 10 trillion kilograms. Current measurements suggest this value is accurate to within about 10%, so future estimates should fall in the 9-11 trillion kilogram range, with some smaller probability that they fall outside that range.Rosetta Blog: Determining the Mass of Comet 67P/C-GThis will not be the final word on the comet mass as at various times during the mission, Rosetta will be moved to locations where more precise measurements are possible. Note that the standard model for comets will also expect some rate of mass loss.Using that mass estimate and the measured volume of the comet constructed from imagery, we get a mean density of 0.4 gm/cm^3, significantly less than water and around what you expect for the 'dirty snowball' model.When I saw this estimate, ...

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