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Asteroid Near-Misses (AKA: Holy Shit! We're All Going to Die)

rynner2

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VIDEO:
Nasa tracking Asteroid TB145 with radio telescopes

An asteroid called TB145 will pass within a few hundred thousand kilometres of the earth.
Astronomers only discovered its existence this month.
Scientists say it will not hit us for a least 100 years.

Tim Allman reports

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34684761
 

Graylien

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Come to think of it, it would be interesting if it was. What effect would it have if we knew for certain that a mass extinction asteroid thingy was going to hit us in 100 years?
 

Tribble

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Quite suitably for Halloween - TB145 looks rather skull-like. One for the Pareidolia thread!

asteroid-2015-TB145skull-e1446281665726.jpg


http://earthsky.org/space/big-asteroid-will-safely-pass-earth-on-halloween-october-31-2015
 

Xanatic*

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I also saw it referred to as a dead comet, yet it's still flying around. So it's some form of zombie.
 

rynner2

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I also saw it referred to as a dead comet, yet it's still flying around. So it's some form of zombie.
'Dead' means it's run out of ice and gases to put on a comet display when the sun warms it. But this doesn't affect the law of gravity, so yes, 'it's still flying around'.

But I suspect you knew that!

(Zombies, indeed!)
 

Xanatic*

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Yes, except I didn't think comets had a crunchy center. I thought they were all ice and gas.
 

Mythopoeika

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Come to think of it, it would be interesting if it was. What effect would it have if we knew for certain that a mass extinction asteroid thingy was going to hit us in 100 years?
Effect? Maybe the human race will finally get off its collective butts and do something about it?
The pessimist in me says the general reaction will be 'nah - we'll just hide our heads in the sand'.
 

Tribble

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The next 2 weeks are going to be a little busy - killer asteroids and Planet X are going to visit.

A colossal asteroid so big some claim its gravitational pull could cause earthquakes and volcanoes on Earth is set to skim past the planet on Christmas Eve.

The 1.5 mile wide slab of space rock - known as 2003 SD220 - is so large it could potentially wipe out a continent in the case of a direct hit.

This monster asteroid is one of 17 being closely monitored by Nasa and other astronomy experts due to its proximity to earth.


http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/monster-asteroid-could-cause-earthquakes-7019482

Amateur star-gazers, UFO hunters and survivalists believe a prophesied encounter between Earth and a large heavenly body known as Nibiru or Planet X will take place by April 2016.

But the doomsdayers are increasingly certain the collision or catastrophic near miss will happen in December 2015.

They say an increase in comets, asteroids and natural disasters is down to the incoming planet and claim to hold evidence Governments around the world are secretly preparing for the impending disaster – by amassing coffins and training soldiers to deal with inevitable anarchy in the aftermath.


http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/wei...calypse-prophecy-conspiracy-theory-nasa-truth


 

rynner2

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Away from tabloid-land, I find:
Asteroid to pass Earth on Christmas Eve
Asteroid 2003 SD220 will pass safely, at more than 28 times the moon’s distance. Will it cause earthquakes? Gosh, no.

A large asteroid is approaching the Earth-moon system and will provide a good opportunity for radar observations in the days ahead. Asteroid 163899 – also known as 2003 SD220 – will come closest to Earth on Christmas Eve (December 24, 2015). It’ll pass at a safe distance, and there’s no need to worry about reports claiming it will skim the Earth, or cause earthquakes. At its closest, asteroid 2003 SD220 will be some 6,787,600 miles (11 million km) from our planet’s surface. That’s more than 28 times the Earth-moon distance! It’s so far away that only professional and advanced amateur astronomers are likely to capture optical images of this space rock.

Don’t believe any media suggesting that this space rock may cause earthquakes. Those assertions are misleading and incorrect. Even if 2003 SD220 were passing closer, it’s doubtful earthquakes would result. In fact, there’s no scientific evidence that an asteroid’s flyby can cause any seismic activity, unless it collides with Earth, but – in this case – that clearly will not be the case.

This asteroid isn’t a newly discovered object. Its name – 2003 SD220 – indicates its discovery year. The Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS) program in Flagstaff, Arizona discovered the asteroid on September 29, 2003.

One notable feature of this asteroid is its large size. Preliminary estimates suggested a size of 0.7 miles to 1.5 miles (1.1 km to 2.5 km). Now the size estimate has been bumped up, after recent radar observations from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. The new observations suggest the asteroid is about 1.25 miles (2 km) long.

The asteroid is thought to have a very slow rotation of about one week.

Although some other asteroids such as 2015 TB145 (the Halloween asteroid) and 2004 BL86 (January, 2015) were visible using 8″ telescopes, the Christmas asteroid will be much more difficult to see because of its distance.

However, using radio telescopes, astronomers are already observing this asteroid by bouncing radio signals from the space rock’s surface. The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is studying asteroid 2003 SD220 from December 3 to 17, while the Goldstone Antenna in California is analyzing the space rock from December 5 to 20.

This space rock – whose shape can be compared to a chicken tender – will make its approach to Earth on December 24, 2015 but will return again in 2018. NASA astronomer and asteroid expert Lance Benner said in a Goldstone radar observations planning document:

2003 SD220 is on NASA’s NHATS list of potential human-accessible targets, so observations of this object are particularly important.
The 2015 apparition is the first of five encounters by this object in the next 12 years when it will be close enough for a radar detection.

The Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) is a program developed to identify those near-Earth objects that may be well-suited for future human-space-flight rendezvous missions.

Although this is a huge asteroid, there is no danger of a future collision. The orbit of asteroid 2003 SD220 is well known and NASA has verified that the space rock will not pass at any dangerous distance during the next two centuries.
...

https://earthsky.org/space/christmas-eve-asteroid-163899-2003-sd-220

Photos and orbital diagram on page. If like me you wonder what a chicken tender is, this may help:
http://www.thekitchn.com/what-the-heck-is-a-chicken-tender-meat-basics-214892

(But that doesn't erase my first impression that this asteroid is shaped like a giant turd! :twisted: )
 

Mythopoeika

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If that hit us, the sh*t would really hit the fan.
 

Analogue Boy

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Giant comets hovering on the edge of the solar system pose a much greater risk to life on Earth than we thought, scientists say

The list of potentially destructive rocks should be increased, the scientists recommend, and humanity should do better to keep a closer eye on

Earth could be at much greater risk of a comet strike than people think, according to a new report by scientists.

A whole set of previously underestimated comets sitting at the edge of our solar system might actually make their way here and collide with us, the scientists have warned.

Usually, scientists look at the asteroid belt that sits between Mars and Jupiter when seeking out potentially dangerous rocks. But scientists have also discovered a huge set of “centaurs” — giant comets that should be added to the list of rocks that we are worrying about, according to the scientists.

None of the rocks is thought to pose any immediate threat. But while collisions are rare they could be a huge problem — previous collisions with one of them might have wiped out the dinosaurs, the scientists say.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...ater-risk-to-life-on-earth-than-a6789351.html
 

PeteByrdie

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...previous collisions with one of them might have wiped out the dinosaurs, the scientists say.
They say that about every discovery concerning small bodies in the Solar System they make.
 

PeteByrdie

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Analogue Boy

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I see your point. What we need is a new take on an event that happened millions of years ago. Never mind if it's true or not.
 

rynner2

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I see your point. What we need is a new take on an event that happened millions of years ago. Never mind if it's true or not.
Why do we need a 'new take'? The iridium evidence for dinosaur extinction by asteroid impact seemed pretty good when the theory was proposed, in the late 70s, and I'm not aware of any major changes in that since. It certainly backs up the idea of a worldwide catastrophe.

I find web warriors who challenge accepted ideas, not because they have alternative evidence, but because they have a keyboard and an internet connection, rather tiresome! :twisted:
 

PeteByrdie

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Why do we need a 'new take'? The iridium evidence for dinosaur extinction by asteroid impact seemed pretty good when the theory was proposed, in the late 70s, and I'm not aware of any major changes in that since. It certainly backs up the idea of a worldwide catastrophe.

I find web warriors who challenge accepted ideas, not because they have alternative evidence, but because they have a keyboard and an internet connection, rather tiresome! :twisted:
I don't think anyone here is questioning the evidence for dinocide by extraterrestrial blunt object. I just get tired that the press can only deliver science about small solar system objects by tying it to everyone's favourite plastic toy/movie monster with little mention of other mass extinction events, or even Tunguska which was recent and only failed to cause devestating damage to human life because of the remoteness of the location it hit.
 

ramonmercado

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An asteroid as long as a basketball court will give Earth a close shave next month — though scientists aren't sure just how close.

The near-Earth asteroid 2013 TX68, which is thought to be about 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter, will zoom past our planet on March 5. The space rock could come as close as 11,000 miles (17,700 kilometers) — less than 5 percent of the distance from Earth to the moon — or stay up to 9 million miles (14.5 million km) away during the flyby, NASA officials said.

"The variation in possible closest-approach distances is due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery," NASA officials wrote in a statement Wednesday (Feb. 3). [Potentially Dangerous Asteroids in Pictures]

There is no danger that 2013 TX68, which was first spotted in October 2013, will collide with Earth on this pass, researchers said. However, there is an extremely slight chance — less than 1 in 250 million — of an impact on Sept. 28, 2017, and even lower odds during flybys in 2046 and 2097.

- See more at: http://www.space.com/31825-near-earth-asteroid-flyby-2013tx68.html?cmpid=514648#sthash.8s1ayqSp.dpuf
 

ramonmercado

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A strike by a medium-size asteroid could change Earth's climate dramatically for a few years, making life difficult for people around the world, a new study suggests.

Such an impact on land (as opposed to at sea) could cause average global temperatures to plunge to ice age levels and lead to steep drops in precipitation and plant productivity, among other effects, researchers said.

"These would not be pleasant times," Charles Bardeen, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said in December during a presentation at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. [Potentially Dangerous Asteroids (Images)]

Short-term climate change
Bardeen and his colleagues modeled what would happen to Earth's climate if a 0.6-mile-wide (1 kilometer) space rock plowed into one of the planet's landmasses. Such an impact would probably gouge out a crater about 9 miles (15 km) wide, throw huge amounts of dust into the atmosphere and trigger large-scale fires that lofted lots of soot into the air, provided the strike didn't occur in a desert area with little vegetation, Bardeen said.

The material lofted after this hypothetical asteroid strike would stay in the atmosphere for a long time — about six years in the case of dust and 10 years for soot, according to the researchers' results for the "worst-case scenario" (which assumed widespread fires).

- See more at: http://www.space.com/31867-asteroid-strike-mini-ice-age.html?cmpid=514648#sthash.0WWiiiSP.dpuf
 

PeteByrdie

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All the more reason we should be building vast, self-contained vertical farms to meet our food requirements.
 

rynner2

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Asteroid to zoom past Earth in March flyby – but how close will it come?
Is it time to call Bruce Willis? Asteroid 2013 TX68 is on course to pass by Earth in March but Nasa says we shouldn’t be worried by fears of Armageddon
By Mark Molloy
3:45PM GMT 09 Feb 2016

Bad news: There’s an asteroid heading our way.
Good news: Nasa are confident it won’t crash into planet Earth.
A small asteroid will zoom past Earth on March 5 and come so close we might be able to see it in the sky, according to Nasa.
Asteroid 2013 TX68, which flew past Earth at a comfortable distance of about 1.3 million miles two years ago, is set to return.
It could fly as "close" as 11,000 miles to our planet. That would be close enough to be seen with a powerful telescope and a closer distance to Earth than some orbiting communication satellites.

Nasa insists that there is no possibility of an impact and say it could even pass Earth as far out as nine million miles.
“This asteroid’s orbit is quite uncertain, and it will be hard to predict where to look for it,” explained Paul Chodas at Nasa's Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS).

“There is a chance that the asteroid will be picked up by our asteroid search telescopes when it safely flies past us next month, providing us with data to more precisely define its orbit around the sun.”
Nasa scientists have identified an extremely remote chance that this small asteroid could impact on September 28, 2017, with odds of 250-million-to-one.
Flybys in 2046 and 2097 have an even lower probability of impact, they added.

“The possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern,” Mr Chodas adds. “I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/sci...-2013-TX68-to-zoom-past-Earth-on-March-5.html
 

PeteByrdie

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Asteroid to zoom past Earth in March flyby – but how close will it come?
Is it time to call Bruce Willis? Asteroid 2013 TX68 is on course to pass by Earth in March but Nasa says we shouldn’t be worried by fears of Armageddon
By Mark Molloy
3:45PM GMT 09 Feb 2016

Bad news: There’s an asteroid heading our way.
Good news: Nasa are confident it won’t crash into planet Earth.
A small asteroid will zoom past Earth on March 5 and come so close we might be able to see it in the sky, according to Nasa.
Asteroid 2013 TX68, which flew past Earth at a comfortable distance of about 1.3 million miles two years ago, is set to return.
It could fly as "close" as 11,000 miles to our planet. That would be close enough to be seen with a powerful telescope and a closer distance to Earth than some orbiting communication satellites.

Nasa insists that there is no possibility of an impact and say it could even pass Earth as far out as nine million miles.
“This asteroid’s orbit is quite uncertain, and it will be hard to predict where to look for it,” explained Paul Chodas at Nasa's Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS).

“There is a chance that the asteroid will be picked up by our asteroid search telescopes when it safely flies past us next month, providing us with data to more precisely define its orbit around the sun.”
Nasa scientists have identified an extremely remote chance that this small asteroid could impact on September 28, 2017, with odds of 250-million-to-one.
Flybys in 2046 and 2097 have an even lower probability of impact, they added.

“The possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern,” Mr Chodas adds. “I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/sci...-2013-TX68-to-zoom-past-Earth-on-March-5.html
Is anyone else not that confident that there's 'no chance' of it colliding with Earth when they don't know whether it'll be 11,000 or nine million miles away?
 

rynner2

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Is anyone else not that confident that there's 'no chance' of it colliding with Earth when they don't know whether it'll be 11,000 or nine million miles away?
That's a hell of a lot better than saying it it could miss by plus or minus 11,000 miles! :D
 

eburacum

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According to Wikipedia the 'best fit' distance is 2,800,000 miles; the range of uncertainty is between 19,000 miles and 9,300,000 miles. Obviously the error bars are larger on one side than the other, though I'm not sure why. I presume that 19,000 miles is the distance from Earth's centre; the distance to the surface would be slightly less.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_TX68
 

special_farces

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Very fiddly ting, orbital mechanics. Even when a big lump of rock lands in plain site, it can be tricky figuring out it's orbit:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160215090651.htm

But according to NASA, the March 5 asteroid is going through a cloud, which makes it sound bloody low to me:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4888

And regarding Dinogeddon mentioned a few times in this thread - geologists still can't agree on the scale of the contribution, if any, the Chicxulub impact made to every dinosaur checking out.

Here's some random links discussing the problem:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127141707.htm
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427010803.htm
http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/2014/14-69.htm

(Just wondered if my sig should be 'Rocks - I love them perhaps a bit too much'.)
 

Jim

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Why do we need a 'new take'? The iridium evidence for dinosaur extinction by asteroid impact seemed pretty good when the theory was proposed, in the late 70s, and I'm not aware of any major changes in that since. It certainly backs up the idea of a worldwide catastrophe.

I find web warriors who challenge accepted ideas, not because they have alternative evidence, but because they have a keyboard and an internet connection, rather tiresome! :twisted:
I've examined the dinosaur phenomena in detail. The URL only list 2 of more logical theories that I've come across as to why the dinosaurs went extinct. Others include the difficulty the dinosaurs had with adapting to the change in the plant life as more plants became deciduous in nature. Others that an asteroid or volcano only put the icing on the cake since a climatic cooling was already underway.

http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/dinosaur-extinction/
 

PeteByrdie

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And regarding Dinogeddon mentioned a few times in this thread - geologists still can't agree on the scale of the contribution, if any, the Chicxulub impact made to every dinosaur checking out.

Here's some random links discussing the problem:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127141707.htm
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427010803.htm
http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/2014/14-69.htm
Interesting reads! I hear every now and then that the asteroid theory has been thrown into doubt, but then everyone just goes back to repeating it. I suppose non-avian dinosaurs existed for some 150 million years, and survived many extinction events, perhaps just waiting for that perfect storm of impact, climate change, eruption, and viable competitors waiting in the wings for a niche to open that encouraged their evolution. Such a convergence might be hard to piece together from the sparse fossil record and geology.
 
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special_farces

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Current thinking amongst geologists seems to be - one coffin, lots of nails.

I believe the impact explanation arose and remains the explanation in popular culture for a number of interesting reasons. First of all, we are in a period where very simple A B C explanations are the dominant norm. a) there was a big rock in space b) it hit the earth c) all dinosaurs plus mosasaurs, lots of species of shellfish, most of the Foraminifera etc died because of all the fire and dust and general terribleness*. On the other hand crocodiles, birds and mammals like it toasty warm, so they were OK.

Secondly there is the fall and rise of catastrophism in earth sciences. For over a hundred and fifty years geology was a science that rejected the notion of rapid large or planet wide changes. Enormous floods, immense upheavals, cities buried in brimstone were purely for the frankly overwrought and fictional Bible. Earthquakes and volcanic activity might be devastating, but these were localised events that could not level civilisations, never mind cause mass extinction. The 'standard model' was of an ancient planet v e r y slowly changing. To explain the landscape, text books described complex theories of basin spreading and the gentle rise or fall of the crust to form mountains and seas. Marie Stopes and Alfred Wegener’s ideas on continental drift were seen as, at best, on the fringe and at worse the musings of cranks. Even the work on ocean ridges undertaken by Columbia University in the late 50’s, which really began the modern study of plate tectonics was met with strong scepticism.

But by the early 70’s I believe two trends were converging. The threats of atomic war and large scale environmental destruction led to a sense of finitude and if not impending total annihilation then at least a dystopian near future. And in the fields of geology and astronomy the mass of evidence for the earth being a dynamic and changing system, often subject to extreme, violent and often brief events was becoming more accepted. The cosy ideas of the previous generation of geologists were replaced with super calderas, immense post glacial floods, tsunamis and a host of ever more extreme possibilities. And so currently we are always on the brink of featuring in our very own disaster movie, which gives a trip to Sainsburys a bit of an edge.

The discovery of impact debris all around the world at the KT boundary was a remarkable scientific achievement, and the correlation with the immense impact scar buried under Yucatan is I believe undisputed. Yet how this fits in with (to pick just a few things geologists have discussed since the early 80’s) volcanism in what would become India, a changing climate due to the widening Atlantic and the rapid changes in the evolution of the flowering plants is still being researched.



* You can put anything into that formula–ideas about social healthcare, social security systems, immigration, causes of criminal behaviour–lots of people really really do not like complexity. For example: a) The EU is dominated by Germany and France b) Lets be honest, historically the UK has had a hard time with those buggers c) Therefore the EU is just a bad thing. See Trump, Daily Mail et al
 
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