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It's Coming Right At Us!!


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122 replies to this topic

#1 of 123 OFFLINE   Julie K

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:02 AM

It's 2 km wide, traveling fast enough to destroy a continent and trigger global climate changes, and will hit us in February 2019.

Too bad we don't have an aggressive space program, isn't it?

This is the most threatening object so far detected. However, future observations will almost assuredly reduce the uncertainties in the orbit and the object will pass a comfortable distance away from us. But there will be a day when observations reduce the orbital uncertainties to the point where we can say an object will hit us.

Too bad we don't care enough to do anything about it.
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#2 of 123 OFFLINE   Mike__D

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:06 AM

LOL, I just posted this link in this thread:

The 2054 thread....

#3 of 123 OFFLINE   Julie K

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:08 AM

Ah, but we'll be long gone by 2054 if this thing hits us Posted Image
"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

#4 of 123 OFFLINE   Mike__D

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:16 AM

Exactly what I was joking about yesterday, then they release this story.

It is kind of scary knowing we only have a small percentage of the sky charted as far as objects like this are concerned.

Discovery did a few shows on this, and compared it to driving a car down numerous intersections in a row, that had no stop lights and heavy traffic crossing.

#5 of 123 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:30 AM

This is interesting. It is about the same size as the comet that hit Earth in Deep Impact. An object of that magnitude would have wiped out all the people along the eastern seaboard (the ones that were running away from the approaching tsunami). There was a website devoted to this very topic. They used a supercomputer to calculate what would really happen in the Deep Impact scenario. A shockwave would spread out from the impact causing a ripple of 3 meters in the land (ground) itself.
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#6 of 123 OFFLINE   Dennis Reno

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:41 AM

Quote:
Too bad we don't care enough to do anything about it.
Hey speak for yourself! I, for one, do care. Posted Image Unfortunately I don't posses the financial means to put up much of a defense!

However, world governments don't appear to give a rats ass about this scenario. They are too interested in forcing the Kyoto treaty down everyone's throat to prevent the so-far unproven "Global Warming" to pay attention to real threats to humanity.
Quote:
But there will be a day when observations reduce the orbital uncertainties to the point where we can say an object will hit us.
I'm afraid you are correct. It may not happen in our lifetime, but it will happen.

edit
This is a great article from earlier this week regarding the threat of NEOs (no, not the NEO from The Matrix.) Very odd timing for that article, I think there may be a conspiracy at work!

#7 of 123 OFFLINE   Chet_F

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:56 AM

The odds for this "Coming right at us!!" asteroid:

"this asteroid has been given a 0.06 on the Palermo technical scale, which means it shouldn't bump getting run over by a llama off your list of worries."

Taken from Slashdot. I guess I wouldn't worry about this one. I have to say that I am in agreement with others...we need to invest more money on this scenario and how to combat it if it does come to pass.
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#8 of 123 OFFLINE   CharlesD

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:56 AM

Quote:
They are too interested in forcing the Kyoto treaty down everyone's throat to prevent the so-far unproven "Global Warming" to pay attention to real threats to humanity.


Posted Image

Oh please. The Kyoto Teaty has NOTHING to do with a lack of interest in the space program.

#9 of 123 OFFLINE   Dave Poehlman

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:58 AM

Everyone should know it's actually Bloop's mothership.

#10 of 123 OFFLINE   KyleS

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Posted July 24 2002 - 03:15 AM

It is scary that our governments, especially ours, doesnt spend more money on our space programs in case something like this asteroid is coming at us.

There have been a couple of ELE comets that we think have hit earth and some people say that one object hitting us possibly made the moon (anyone with info on this I would love to read about it more).

I am all in for giving taxes straight to the space program.

KyleS

#11 of 123 OFFLINE   Dennis Reno

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Posted July 24 2002 - 03:29 AM

Quote:
Oh please. The Kyoto Teaty has NOTHING to do with a lack of interest in the space program.
Sorry Charles, I believe it does.

IMO, you have two potential threats to humanity, one with historical proof, the other based on conjecture. There is a finite amount of resources (time and money) to distribute. How many millions of dollars have been spent in an effort to prove the existence of "Global warming"? Tens of millions? Hundreds of millions? The UN even has held "Global Warming Conferences". Now compare that to how much time and money is being spent on the detection of NEOs.

In 1999, NASA budgeted $3.5M for its ENTIRE NEO Search Program. Yet hundreds of millions are being spent on satellites to study the atmosphere and the effects of global warming!

Do the math yourself. Compare the amount spent pursuing the proof of and potential cures for Global Warming versus the amount spent trying to detect NEOs. IMO, I would rather spend tens or hundreds of millions trying to prevent "a sure thing" than chasing a "maybe".

#12 of 123 OFFLINE   CharlesD

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Posted July 24 2002 - 03:37 AM

You are basing your argument on a false assumption. There is not a "save humanity" fund that either goes to climate research or to NEO efforts. Money spent on climate research comes from different sources than the money that goes to NEO research.

The problem is much larger than just whether or not we are looking for NEOs (although that would be a good place to start!) What point is there seeing something coming if we lack the capability to do anything about it? We need to do a great deal more than just look for NEOS if we are going to ever be able to do something about a potential "Dinosaur killer" coming our way.

#13 of 123 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted July 24 2002 - 03:42 AM

I would rather spend tens or hundreds of millions trying to prevent "a sure thing" than chasing a "maybe".


You might as well argue that we should stop spending money on HDTV, and instead give it all to NEO research. After all, what is more important, HDTV or the survival of mankind? There are something like 2 million HDTV sets in the US today, that's about $4 billion worth of equipment. What if we had given all that to NEO instead?

/Mike
/Mike

#14 of 123 OFFLINE   Dennis Reno

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Posted July 24 2002 - 03:48 AM

Quote:
There is not a "save humanity" fund...
Posted Image
Quote:
Money spent on climate research comes from different sources than the money that goes to NEO research.
The vast majority of funding for Global Warming and NEO research comes from governments. There may be some generous individuals that provide sizable donations, but tax dollars foot the majority of the bill! Whether it is through federal grants, UN appropriations, etc., it is the taxpayer (indirectly) paying for these studies!

Maybe the IRS will include an "NEO Funding" check box on next year's 1040 form!

#15 of 123 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:05 AM

There is a simple and unavoidable truth - pollution is bad; anything which reduces pollution is good. It's not meant to sound like a lecture, folks, but the USA is an appalling energy-waster (with, before anyone says it, the UK et al not far behind), which means that a lot of utterly unecessary waste is being produced by power stations, etc, to satisfy a spiralling and largely illogical and selfish consumer demand. Even if you don't believe in global warming (and I personally think it's been over-hyped), that doesn't stop pollution being a bad thing, especially when a lot of it (excess packaging, gas-guzzling autos, dumbass over-use of electrical gadgets) is avoidable without anyone's basic quality of life being affected (and the first jackass who replies 'hey, buddy, I couldn't live without my 4000 litre 2 billion horsepower sports car' proves my point).

The asteroid scare is probably just a scare, but if not, we have plenty of time in which to find a solution. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

#16 of 123 OFFLINE   Julie K

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:08 AM

Come on folks. Let's not turn this into a political thread, or even one about pollution.

It's about the very real hazards of near earth objects. It may be that we don't have plenty of time to do something about it. And how can we do "something" if we have a grounded space program?
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"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

#17 of 123 OFFLINE   Dennis Reno

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:12 AM

Just in case the lock does come crashing down upon us, sorry for redirecting the thread. I didn't mean to start a political or environmental debate, I was simply attempting to point out how little is spent in regards to NEOs!

Micke - thanks, but I think I would rather die in the incredible explosion, shock wave or firestorm, all while enjoying HD programming!

#18 of 123 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:16 AM

Please, let's not derail Julie's thread with irrelevant commentary on political hot potatoes.

Quote:
Too bad we don't care enough to do anything about it.

Now, that's the crux. Here we are in a media-saturated age where self-gratification seems to be the modus operandi for so many people, and a stunning announcement about a two-kilometer-wide asteroid possibly intersecting Earth's orbit is relegated to articles posted in the science sections of various online publications. That's pretty damn disturbing.

It's apathy that has emasculated the United States manned and unmanned space efforts, and this asteroid seems to be telling us, "I'm the price you pay."

#19 of 123 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:20 AM

To put it in a bigger perspective... so what? So what if 2 billion people die and civilization is wiped out? Yeah it'll be horrible, but it's nature. There are some things we can't change, and maybe this is one of them.

It's not like we're bringing this on through some behavior of ours (like the aforementioned pollution or terrorism, two things that we can and SHOULD stop). Of course I want scientists and others to find a way to reduce risks and minimize damage, but if that doesn't happen... well... for those who'll survive, life will go on. It always does. For those who die... it's a natural death. Things like this WILL happen.

It's like when you're on a camping trip, a hike or something, things that seem so important when you're home are all of a sudden a memory at best, and don't matter anymore. Humans are amazingly adaptable. We as a race managed to live for thousands of years without our modern lifestyle, and we're still basically the same. We can do it again.

I guess it just gives me a certain calmness to know that even a distaster like this, humanity will survive in one form or another.

/Mike
/Mike

#20 of 123 OFFLINE   Julie K

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:24 AM

Quote:
To put it in a bigger perspective... so what? So what if 2 billion people die and civilization is wiped out? Yeah it'll be horrible, but it's nature. There are some things we can't change, and maybe this is one of them.

On a cosmic scale it doesn't matter if humans go extinct.

However, I will likely still be alive in 2019 so I find it matters a great deal to me. I think it would matter a great deal to most people and would like to change it if they could.

Quote:
I guess it just gives me a certain calmness to know that even a distaster like this, humanity will survive in one form or another.
Tell that to the dinosaurs...
"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."


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