Franklin Museum Astronomer Calls for "Better Defense for the Earth"
March 30, 2013 • 10:14AM

In an op-ed posted today on, the website of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Derrick H. Pitts, the chief astronomer of the Franklin Institute Science Museum, calls for "an early-warning system—a cosmic 'heads up'—to detect the wanderers zooming through the solar system." Noting that objects colliding with Earth have previously resulted in the extinction of species (i.e. the dinosaurs), Pitts calls for readers to call their members of Congress, and ask "what he or she is doing to protect us from becoming the next big cosmic extinction."

Unlike the dinosaurs, mankind has the brain power to defend the planet, he says, by developing systems of detection and deflection. But what is currently being done is totally inadequate, especially given the danger that even small rocks, like the one which exploded over Chelybinsk, represent to civilization.

Pitts does not mention the ongoing efforts by the Russians to get an international effort for the defense of earth underway, nor does he explicitly call for an international program. But he draws attention to the threat—thus making him one of the few outside LaRouche PAC to put mankind on the track for a solution.