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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Johnson, Mar 19, 2002.
Here's the story. A real confidence builder.
Yuck. These things are too many and too short between lately... or are they just better at detecting them? Either way, it's scary.
People are looking for them and thus we see far more than we used to.
More evidence that we need to get off this rock.
We better keep Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and the other boys informed in case we need them to save us.
Holy Shit! The odds of collision are only 1 in 10 million!?!?
I doubt that number. Why? Because the odds of someone winning the Texas Lottery are 1 in 19 million, and people regularly win it. I imagine the odds of other state lotterys are similar. So people win those lotterys all the time. Your odds of getting hit by lighting are very high. People get hit by lightning all the time. Not to mention the fact that space is HUGE and the Earth is teeny tiny and an asteroid is infinitesimal.
I need a basic statistics primer. So how is it that something with odds similar to things that happen all the time does not happened more regularly?
And how did 'they' come up with those odds? And who are 'they'? All joking aside, it would be nice to have some confidence in those odds. If the odds are 1 in 5 that the Earth is going to be hit by a planet killer, I would like to devotesome resources to the problem. If they are 1 in 5 trillion, I think I can put that on my to-do later list.
Yeah, Robert, I started to actually think about this after I posted my message You're right - the odds of someone winning the lottery are probably very low. The odds of one specific person winning the lottery are very high.
I'm also curious how the odds of getting hit by an asteroid are derived.
You know I am worried about this type of news.
I can be reached by:
- Work Phone
- Cel Phone
- Home Phone
- Text Messages
Surf the net
read the USPS mail
AND I NEVER HEARD A DAMN THING ABOUT THIS UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER AND DONE WITH!!!!!
But JasenP, that's the point. Even the scientists didn't know about it until after it had passed. The whole point was that we can't detect asteroids coming from the direction of the sun because we can't "see" them. It's an astronomical blind spot.
Why can't we see them? It's not as though the sun is in the way all the time, is it?
Also, at what point would the earth's gravity pull the rock into itself? This one was only 1.2x the distance to the moon. If it were .5x, would gravity pull it in? (How fast was it going?)
I'm not certain if any of these "statistics" have any real meaning, but here is how they seem to be presented on the JPL website :
JPL estimates that there are at most only 1000 sizeable asteroids in near earth orbit that have a chance of striking Earth.
They also use a 100 year range as their basic timeframe. Thus a strike by a sizeable asteroid in the next 100 years is only 1:1000.
If you decrease the time down to 10 years, it becomes 1:10000. Decrease it down to 1 year and the odds increase to 1:100000.
I imagine the 1 in 10 million estimate is some combination of the above, as they are probably assuming that the asteroid in question might itself come into contact with another asteroid, deflecting its course into earth.