Project Wormwood..Learmonth Solar Observatory, Australia
“The third angel sounded his trumpet,
and a great star, blazing like a torch,
fell from the sky on a third of the rivers
and on the springs of water
– the name of the star is Wormwood.”
PLANETARY DEFENCE AT LEARMONTH SOLAR OBSERVATORY
Planetary Defence is defined as that activity concerned with protecting the Earth and its inhabitants from destruction due to impact by a large piece of space debris such as an asteroid or a comet.
The term “Planetary Defense” is believed to have first been used by Major Lindley N Johnson in a paper written for the Air University SpaceCast 2020 study in academic year 1993-1994 to explore required future space capabilities for the US Air Force. (Dr Johnson is now the NEO Observation Program Scientist at NASA HQ – 2004). A link to Johnson’s paper can be found in the Links section of this web site.
However, the term received its wide use and promotion by Colonel Simon (Pete) Worden when he was commander of the US Air Force Space Command 50th Space Wing. It was a term used to indicate the realisation that we are under bombardment from outer space. Not from an alien agressor, but from a sporadic bombardment by naturally occuring objects in the solar system: asteroids and comets – fragmentary space debris – which occasionally are perturbed onto a collision course with Earth.
The term furthermore, is a recognition that our technology has now advanced to the point where not only can we search for and track such objects, but where we may also be in a position to deflect them from their intended path, and thus avert a disaster or catastrophe.
In the sense of a program, planetary defence then has three phases. The first phase is sometimes not stated, but it is really the most important of them all, for without it, the other two are doomed to fail.
Recognition is an awareness, by a broad spectrum of the population that there is a threat. It may be infrequent, but when it occurs it is devastating.
Surveillance of the near space environment is carried out by optical telescopes, aided by the new CCD imaging revolution. There are several programs, both large and small, around the world that are currently dedicated to searching the skies for potential impactors. Surveillance also includes the computer systems (both software and hardware) that keep track of the many tens of thousands of asteroids and comets that have been discovered, and search for possible orbital intersections with the Earth.
The third phase, of impact mitigation, has been much discussed, but there has been no universal consensus on how an impact threat should be handled. There are currently no programs anywhere in the world that have a defence in readiness.
Project Wormwood is a small program run by IPS Radio and Space Services (a unit of the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources) and established at Learmonth Solar Observatory to participate in the first two phases of Planetary Defence.
pretty amazing..wormwood is a biblical term for what some say is a planet/object that will bring destruction to the earth..and the australian government and the US in their wisdom decide to call this operation “wormwood”..its real but i dont know if its still operational..check out the links..this is for “planetary defence”..in defence of what?
“we may also be in a position to deflect them from their intended path, and thus avert a disaster or catastrophe.”
i find this pretty remarkable in light of other things we have posted lately..