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This image shows a Small Comet streak (in yellow box). This image was captured by the IRO on January 20, 1999. The longer black streaks are star trails.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Dr. Louis A. Frank, The University of Iowa and NASA

Small Comets Bring Water to Earth
News story originally written on March 1, 2001

It was in the early 80's that the Small Comet theory came into being. During this time, Louis A. Frank working with John Sigwarth noticed black spots on Dynamics Explorer I's data. Reluctant to just ignore this noise, Frank and Sigwarth worked for 4 years to finally come up with the fact that Small Comets are entering the Earth's atmosphere. In 1997, a series of photographs taken by the VIS (Visible Imaging System) camera aboard NASA's Polar spacecraft were released. These photographs were further proof that these Small Comets really do exist.

Finally, new evidence has been found that supports the Small Comet theory. This evidence is in the form of ground-based observations of these snowy visitors taken between October 1998 and May 1999 by the Iowa Robotic Observatory (IRO) located in Arizona. Dr. Frank and Dr. Sigwarth were able to capture 9 more images of Small Comets during this time period.

With all of this evidence in support, it does appear that there are about 20 snow comets weighing 20 to 40 tons each that crash into the Earth's atmosphere every minute. The comets are no danger to life on Earth because they disintegrate in the atmosphere. In fact, these Small Comets might have been very beneficial to life on Earth. In a paper published in the March 1, 2001 issue of the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research, Dr. Frank and Dr. Sigwarth are now theorizing that the water in the Earth's oceans might have arrived by way of these small snow comets.

Dr. Louis Frank has been a University of Iowa faculty member since 1964. He has been the experimenter, co-investigator or principal investigator for instruments on 42 spacecraft! Dr. John Sigwarth has been Research Scientist at the University of Iowa since 1989. He currently is project scientist for the Visible Imaging System on the Polar spacecraft of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Last modified February 28, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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