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  1. #1
    Neo
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    Asteroid on collision course with Earth. Feb 2013

    Published: 3 March, 2012, 22:32


    To avert a new apocalypse – this time set for February 2013 – scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint, or big guns. The tough part of either scheme is that time has long run out to build a spaceship for any operation.

    NASA confirms the 60-meter (197-feet) asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers in February, has a good chance of colliding with Earth in eleven months.

    The rock's closest approach to the planet is scheduled for February 15, 2013, when the distance between the planet and space wanderer will be under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is lower than the geosynchronous orbit kept by the Google Maps satellite.

    Fireworks and watercolors

    With the asteroid zooming that low, it will be too late to do anything with it besides trying to predict its final destination and the consequences of impact.

    A spaceship is needed, experts agree. It could shoot the rock down or just crash into it, either breaking the asteroid into debris or throwing it off course.

    We could paint it,” says NASA expert David Dunham.

    Paint would affect the asteroid’s ability to reflect sunlight, changing its temperature and altering its spin. The asteroid would stalk off its current course, but this could also make the boulder even more dangerous when it comes back in 2056, Aleksandr Devaytkin, the head of the observatory in Russia’s Pulkovo, told Izvestia.

    Spaceship impossible?

    Whatever the mission, building a spaceship to deal with 2012 DA14 will take two years – at least.

    The asteroid has proven a bitter discovery. It has been circling in orbit for three years already, crossing Earth’s path several times, says space analyst Sergey Naroenkov from the Russian Academy of Sciences. It seems that spotting danger from outer space is still the area where mere chance reigns, while asteroid defense systems exist only in drafts.

    Still, prospects of meeting 2012 DA14 are not all doom and gloom.

    The asteroid may split into pieces entering the atmosphere. In this case, most part of it will never reach the planet’s surface,” remarks Dunham.

    But if the entire asteroid is to crash into the planet, the impact will be as hard as in the Tunguska blast, which in 1908 knocked down trees over a total area of 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles) in Siberia. This is almost the size of Luxembourg. In today’s case, the destination of the asteroid is yet to be determined.

    http://rt.com/news/paint-asteroid-earth-nasa-767/print/
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  2. #2
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    Where's Bruce Willis when we need him?

  3. #3
    Neo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo View Post
    But if the entire asteroid is to crash into the planet, the impact will be as hard as in the Tunguska blast, which in 1908 knocked down trees over a total area of 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles) in Siberia. This is almost the size of Luxembourg. In todayís case, the destination of the asteroid is yet to be determined.
    I can only hope that it hits Texas.

  4. #4
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    We can only hope that it hits Luxembourg then.

  5. #5
    Mid
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  6. #6
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    Bloody Mayan civil servants.

  7. #7
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    I'll be hoping for a huge strike on the EU parliament building when the house is sitting thereby finally putting an end to the fantasy world they are currently living in.

  8. #8
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    Mid has already pointed out, that the chance of that Asteroid hitting earth is one in 4,550 with the present measurements. The probability will be better calculated during the next few weeks, as more detailed measurements of the trajectory will come in.

    The estimated energy is app. 2.2 Megatons of TNT. This is 2 orders of magnitude higher than the Hiroshima bomb. While it is a significant energy it is far from apocalyptic on a global scale. In the worst case an area the size if a major city would need to be evacuated.

    I would be interested in the calculation of a resulting Tsunami in the likely case it will hit in the ocean.

  9. #9
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    ęNo, asteroid 2012 DA14 will not hit us next year | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine


    For the tl;dr crowd, letís get this out of the way right away: asteroid 2012 DA14 is almost certainly not going to hit the Earth next February. And by "almost certainly", I mean it: the odds of an impact are so low they are essentially zero. This does not rule out an impact at some future date, but for now weíre safe.

    So whatís the story?
    A small near-Earth asteroid was discovered in late February by astronomers at the Observatorio Astronůmico de La Sagra in Spain, less than two weeks ago. Designated 2012 DA14, itís estimated to be about 45 meters (150 feet) in diameter, and has an orbit that is similar to Earthís.


    Its orbit is an inclined ellipse, tilted a bit compared to Earthís orbit around the Sun (the positions of Earth and DA14 are shown for August of 2012 ó I picked that randomly to make the orbits clear), and it spends most of its time well away from our planet. However, the path of the rock does bring it somewhat close to the Earth twice per orbit, or about every six months. The last time it passed us was on February 16 Ė two weeks ago ó when it was about 2.5 million km (1.5 million miles) away, equal to about 6 times the distance to the Moon. Thatís usually about the scale of these encounters ó it misses us by quite a margin.

    February 2013: a close shave
    Next year, on February 15, 2013, DA14 will actually get pretty close to Earth. It will pass us at a distance of about 27,000 km (17,000 miles) ó well beneath many of our own orbiting satellites! To the best of my knowledge, this is the closest pass of a decent-sized asteroid ever seen before the actual pass itself.
    However, letís again be very clear: it will miss. In astronomical terms, 27,000 km is pretty close, but in real human terms itís a clean miss.
    [UPDATE: The rt.com article I linked below has changed substantively since I posted my own article here. They have attributed their quotations more clearly, and have taken out most of the more breathless rhetoric. I applaud them for doing so, though I wish they had been more clear in the first place.]
    Unsurprisingly, though very irritatingly, Iíve seen a lot of websites writing about this as if the asteroid will hit. For example, rt.com has a very confused article about DA14 claiming it will somehow both miss us and hit us:
    The rockís closest approach to the planet is scheduled for February 15, 2013, when the distance between the planet and space wanderer will be under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). [...] With the asteroid zooming that low, it will be too late to do anything with it besides trying to predict its final destination and the consequences of impact.
    Blechh. They write that in a way to make an impact seem likely, but thatís not the case at all! Iíve seen several other websites making similarly contradictory or confused claims (Note:I originally included this SFBay article as an example. Itís not confused, but by using the phrase "potentially fateful day" it struck me as exaggerating the fear). The rt.com article even comes right out and says "NASA confirmsÖ [DA14] has a good chance of colliding with Earth". This is simply not true. Iíll note they donít actually give a reference to that, so itís not clear who, if anyone, actually said that, or where they got that information. Either way, itís wrong.

    The fuzzy future
    So weíre safe for now. But what about future passes?
    Thatís harder to say. Predicting where an asteroid will be at some future time depends on a lot of things, including how good the observations are now and how long weíve been watching it. When we observe an asteroid with a telescope, we can measure its position, but not with perfect accuracy. The Earthís atmosphere blurs the image a bit, and other factors make it impossible to get an exact measurement. So we observe it many times, over as long a period as possible, to hammer down those uncertainties.
    There will always be some small amount of fuzziness to the orbit of an asteroid, though, and the farther ahead in the future you look the bigger that fuzziness gets. For next year, we know the orbit of DA14 well enough to know itíll miss, but for future orbits itís harder to say.
    As things stand, right now the JPL website lists the next close pass as February 2020, but we donít know the orbit well enough at this moment to know how close that pass will be*. As things stand, the odds of an impact even then are very, very low (like, 1 in 100,000 ó less than your odds of getting hit by lightning in your lifetime). We canít technically rule it out just yet because, again, the orbit isnít known well enough to look that far into the future. Of course, astronomers are observing the asteroid right now, and will continue to do so. No doubt weíll have better orbital information pretty soon.

    Keep watching the skies!
    So again, because I canít say this strongly enough: asteroid 2012 DA14 is not an impact threat for February 2013. However, we definitely need to keep our eyes on this guy to see if it poses a threat at some future date. If it does, then you can be sure youíll be hearing about it from me, and from other websites too. But make sure you find reliable websites. Too many are too ready to breathlessly report this as doomsday when itís anything but.
    So, at least for February 2013, we can safely say:



    * Iíll note the European NEO-DyS group uses different mathematical techniques, and they donít even list that date as a near pass. Instead, they say itíll be six months later, in September. Again, this shows that given our current observations of DA14, predicting its position that far in the future is very uncertain.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaihome View Post
    make sure you find reliable websites. Too many are too ready to breathlessly report this as doomsday when itís anything but.
    Well, that discounts reading any links posted by ENT or Handsuman

  11. #11
    ENT
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    ^

    Ferret features sqeaks again!

    How's your toe?
    Still feeling sick?
    Take a blood test and get done with it and you'll be able to think clearly again.

    All the bollocks about the Mayan calendar is a load of crap.

    There are two South American Indian calendars.
    One is the popularly referred to Disc calendar, the other is the three cog-wheeled calendar.

    The three wheeled calendar depicts a large cogged wheel with a smaller cogged wheel inner, rotating within its circumferance and another engaged in the cogs of its outer circumferance.

    Supposedly, S.American civilisations never developed a wheel at all, let alone cogged mechanics.
    They also had large and long paved roads.

    Ostensibly, these roads were simply ceremonial avenues, according to the Smithsonian Institute and the Caernrgie Trust, and National Geographic.

    Believe that, and you'll believe that civilisation arose from Europe, that God was given to us by the Jews and that USA foreign policy is the great hope for the future.
    Last edited by ENT; 05-03-2012 at 04:53 PM.

  12. #12
    Balls to Monty
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo
    This is lower than the geosynchronous orbit kept by the Google Maps satellite
    How can the Googlemaps satellite have a geosynchronous orbit? If it was geosynchronous then it would appear to be in the same spot all the time and would only be able to photograph one house.

    The GPS satellites are geosynchronous but not the Googlemaps one.

    I call bollocks on this fraud article.

  13. #13
    ENT
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    Agreed.

  14. #14
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    @ Thaihome

    Very good article. Some of that alarmist crap is unbelieavable. However with a potential for disaster of this magnitude I would not see a chance of one in 4550 as negligible. Even as an impact would not really cause a global scale extinction scenario. But no doubt the risk will get even smaller by the day when new position data come in and the orbit can be calculated with more precision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer
    Well, that discounts reading any links posted by ENT or Handsuman
    Big smile. Have a green.


    Quote Originally Posted by Looper
    The GPS satellites are geosynchronous but not the Googlemaps one.
    They are not, they are below geosyncronous. It is the TV and telecommunications satellites that are geostationary.

    Besides they are not equatorial like the TV satellites but they have orbits passing near the poles to have satellites in position at any place on earth even in the high latitudes.

  15. #15
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    How will confronting it with paint work then?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy
    How will confronting it with paint work then?
    "Painting" or dusting the object with titanium dioxide (white) or soot (black) to alter its trajectory via the Yarkovsky effect.

    Read up the Yarkowsky effect.

    Excerpt:

    Diurnal effect: On a rotating body (e.g. an asteroid) illuminated by the Sun, as on the Earth, the surface is warmer in the afternoon and early night, than in the late night and morning. The result is that more heat is radiated on the "dusk" side than the "dawn" side, leading to a net radiation pressure thrust in the opposite "dawn" direction. For prograde rotators, this is in the direction of motion on their orbit, and causes their semi-major axis to steadily increase, spiraling away from the Sun. Retrograde rotators spiral inward. The diurnal effect is the dominant component for larger bodies greater than about 100 m diameter.
    Everything clear now?

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    It's a good website.


    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thaihome View Post
    make sure you find reliable websites. Too many are too ready to breathlessly report this as doomsday when itís anything but.
    Well, that discounts reading any links posted by ENT or Handsuman


    green owed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post

    I would be interested in the calculation of a resulting Tsunami in the likely case it will hit in the ocean.
    Me, too. If it does hit the likely landing would be somewhere at sea.

    From the Bad Astronomy site (great site): "In astronomical terms, 27,000 km is pretty close, but in real human terms it’s a clean miss."

    Of course, if he is using technical terms I think 27,000 km is "pretty fucking close."
    ďYou can lead a horticulture but you canít make her think.Ē Dorothy Parker

  20. #20
    ENT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thaihome View Post
    make sure you find reliable websites. Too many are too ready to breathlessly report this as doomsday when itís anything but.
    Well, that discounts reading any links posted by ENT or Handsuman

    Yes, you should stick to your personal reference authority, "Popular Mechanics", which you claim to be a good scientific reference for your beliefs.



  21. #21
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    The damage could be worse if it rolls across the earth's surface and back out into the atmosphere. It doesn't have to hit the earth directly. This is my guess for the dinosaurs demise- the astreoid that flew back into space.

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    ENT
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    That asteroid is speculated to have hit the Yucatan plateau thus forming the gulf of Mexico.

  23. #23
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    That's what they think but I just suggest had there been another asteroid which never hit but skimmed, there may have been massive events which could have killed the dinosaurs. The location in relation to the moon and direction and gravitational effects would offer many possibilities. Not all asteroids that enter the atmosphere go into the ground.



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    I vote Mecca.


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha
    I just suggest had there been another assteroid which never hit but skimmed,
    Those kinds of assteroids are known as "haemorrhoids".
    They make people bald.


    From the Scientific Weakly interview: Vol 3, p23.

    "Well, Grasshopper. Did you feel the haemorrhoid taking off your hair?"


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