Do you know how many amateur astronomers are out there? Not only in the US but worldwide? Have you ever taken a look at recently discovered comets and asteroids and checked to see how many were discovered by enthusiasts rather than NASA or other government funded agencies?
ISON itself was discovered and tracked by a pair of amateur astronomers beholden to no government.
If ISON (or any other incoming celestial body) was any danger to earth, you would have heard about it from the telescope junkies all over the planet by now. This kind of talk, that the government shutdown is being done partially to hide ISON's danger to earth is pure paranoia and an insult to amateur astronomers everywhere.
You're assuming that astronomy works like it does in Hollywood. Since the government has the biggest telescopes, they get first chance to see and then hide the big threats coming at us until the last moment. Ridiculous.
In fact, what you're claiming is that we NEED these government agencies to protect us from astronomical threats, and that's some pure statist BS right there. Give me the amateur and student astronomers over government bureaucrats any day.
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