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Nearby Star Forecast To Skirt Solar System 135

PipianJ writes "A recent preprint posted on arXiv by Vadim Bobylev presents some startling new numbers about a future close pass of one of our stellar neighbors. Based on studies of the Hipparcos catalog, Bobylev suggests that the nearby orange dwarf Gliese 710 has an 86% chance of skirting the outer bounds of the Solar System and the hypothesized Oort Cloud in the next 1.5 million years. As the Oort Cloud is thought to be the source of many long-period comets, the gravitational effects of Gliese's passing could send a shower of comets into the inner Solar System, threatening Earth. This news about Gliese 710 isn't exactly new, but it's one of the first times the probability of this near-miss has been quantified."

Comment Re:Ted was not a saint (Score 2, Informative) 90

Even a wacky conspiracy theorist starts to look credible when some one trys to assasinate him.

Err... what part of suggesting that people tried to assassinate Ted is not a wacky conspiracy theory in its own right?

They invited him there! He went there at great expense with the sole intention of trying to make peace and mend relationships. It seems as though the intention was to lure him there and beat him senseless in the middle of some forign country!

Who are you claiming invited Ted to DebConf? The conference was widely announced in the Debian developer community, with information on how to register and apply for travel sponsorship; obviously these announcements didn't claim "Ted need not apply", but did he receive a personal invitation from the organizing committee that none of the rest of us did? If not, in what sense was he being "lured" to Mexico? It would require a remarkable degree of naivete for him to believe he would be welcomed warmly by everyone on the organizing committee, after making unsubstantiated claims of sponsorship favoritism based on fabricated details, accusing the organizers of religious discrimination for being unable to accomodate his singular dietary requirements, and describing the venue as a "second-rate hotel in a third world country."

While some of the behavior I witnessed at the formal dinner was disappointingly uncivilized, it does say something about how much he actually "mended relationships" there that people found the rumors credible enough to warrant attempting to eject him from the dinner. (No, not "assassinating" him, not "beating him senseless" -- generally if you're trying to injure someone you don't do so by pushing them towards the door on the far side of the building...) I don't know if someone in Ted's company thought it would be funny to let people think he had brought a prostitute, but evidently others at the event didn't find this idea humorous at all.

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