Feeds

Boffins issue stealth comet apocalypse alert

We're all going to die, part 347

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

Not content with scaring us half to death with dire predictions about killer comets, asteroids, tsunamis, plagues, global warming, floods, locusts and general pestilence, scientists have now discovered a new threat to humanity - the invisible killer comet.

According to the Independent, a team led by Chandra Wickramasinghe at Cardiff University's Centre for Astrobiology says that the chances of Earth being wiped off the celestial map are much greater than previously thought because of the presence of giant invisible comets "made up of loose material [which] reflect so little light that they cannot be seen".

Avoiding the natural desire to panic, professor Wickramasinghe remained calm enough to say: "It's possible we need to think again about mitigating strategies," although he did not elaborate as to whether these strategies might include deploying Bruce Willis to destroy the comet with his bare hands (if he can find it) or simply retiring to the nearest piece of high ground, getting completely drunk and hoping that you'll escape the blast, the subsequent tsunami, the nuclear winter which would undoubtedly follow during which space microbes would destroy 94 per cent of survivors* in the manner of the Andromeda Strain.

Mercifully, though, the Bruce Willis option might not be a hopeless as it at first seems, because by 2008 we can rely on NASA's shiny new Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer which - since it is half-a-million times more powerful than previous telescopes - will be able to "de-cloak" stealth comets.

So there you have it - problem solved. Because if you can see 'em, then you've got enough time to develop a "mitigating strategy" before all life on the planet is wiped out. We at El Reg will sleep sounder in our beds tonight knowing that the threat from stealth comet apocalypse has been duly mitigated. ®

*The other six per cent? Eaten by locusts, naturally.

Related stories

Brits scan skies for impact threats
Scientists call for nanotech caution
Asteroid apocalypse: the online guide
Flood, pestilence and beef sarnies
The world will end tomorrow - official

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.