Wednesday, November 07, 2007

History Channel: Inner Planets, more indirect warnings about megadisasters

The History Channel series The Universe, while surveying the solar system and other astronomy matters, at least provided another warning about possible megadisasters with the Nov 6 broadcast of "Mercury and Venus: The Inner Planets."

The first half hour was about Venus, and covered the well known runaway greenhouse effect that has risen temperatures on Venus to almost 900 o F. There are clouds of sulfuric acid and lighting that does not reach the ground. The insinuation is that a runaway carbon dioxide (and methane) greenhouse effect could happen on Earth.

The second half hour dealt with Mercury, and the most ominous portion concerned asteroid crater, and especially the Coronas Crater, that created a small mountain in the middle. A similar asteroid (10 miles), if it hit the earth in Arizona, would case the submersion of one fourth of the United States, and the rising of a mountain off Madagascar.

On Nov. 20, the program was "Saturn: Lord of the Rings" and the coverage of Titan, with an unlimited supply of hydrocarbons (if they could be brought back) was striking visually. The dynamic surface is like a pudding, and the sky has a twilight smog, and the lakes and rivers consist of liquid hydrocarbons.

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