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

eburacum

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Hancock says that the last time this meteor stream posed a threat was between 12,800 years ago and 11,600 years ago. A very wide, and imprecise, range. That is his input data.

He then predicts the return of a hypothetical dangerous object in that stream in 2030, apparently able to narrow it down to a single year. The output of this calculation can't be more accurate than the input, as I'm sure you'll appreciate.
 

Mythopoeika

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15 million miles! Why are they even reporting that?
 

ramonmercado

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15 million miles! Why are they even reporting that?
In the great scheme of things its close enough. The distance Earth moves in its orbit in about a day. There also may be smaller fragments in its wake which could have their trajectory/orbit affected by Earth's gravity even if the main rock isn't. Depending on its periodicity they could come closer to Earth next time round.
 

rynner2

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‘Spooky’: the 1,300ft-wide asteroid to hurtle close to Earth on Halloween
TB145, a medium-sized chunk of rock and ice could that cause ‘continental-scale devastation’, will fly by at a distance slightly farther away than the moon
Alan Yuhas in New York
Friday 23 October 2015 20.53 BST

A large asteroid discovered only weeks ago will tear past the Earth on Halloween, Nasa has announced, estimating that it will come closer than any object of its size in the next 20 years.
The asteroid, nicknamed “the Great Pumpkin” and “Spooky” but technically known as TB145, is an estimated 1,300ft (400 meters) wide – 20 times bigger than the meteorite that screamed across the Russian sky and exploded over Chelyabinsk in 2013, shattering windows with shock waves and debris that injured more than a thousand people.

The Chelyabinsk object entered the atmosphere at about 12 miles (19km) per second. TB145 will fly past at around 22 miles per second (78,300mph), about 300,000 miles (483,000km) from Earth, slightly farther than the moon.

Scientists at Nasa’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies discovered TB145 on 10 October and announced it to the public this week. The asteroid will make its closest approach on 31 October at about 1.05pm ET (5.05pm GMT). Nasa estimates that no similar object will make a comparable approach until 2027.

TB145 has an unusually oblong orbit, in an area searched less often than the flat-disc plane on which the solar system is arranged. TB145 slices through that plane at a 40-degree angle. Now it’s been spotted, the center’s Paul Chodas said its trajectory was “well understood”.
TB145 last passed by in 1975, when the Earth was at a different place in its orbit around the sun and Nasa’s surveys of the sky were far less comprehensive.

Lance Benner, of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement: “Such a unique orbit, along with its high encounter velocity, raises the question of whether it may be some type of comet.”

Although TB145 will hurtle by “relatively close by celestial standards”, Chodas said in the statement “it is expected to be fairly faint, so night-sky Earth observers would need at least a small telescope to view it”.
Would-be skywatchers can turn to the internet for live telescope views provided by the Virtual Telescope Project.

The asteroid is far too small to exert any kind of gravitational pull on Earth’s plates or tides, Nasa said, with Benner adding that the agency would use radar imaging to examine the object in greater detail. The radar should reveal not only the surface of the object, but also whether it has a companion moon which could in turn provide clues to the object’s mass and density.

Had the asteroid been on a collision course with Earth, three-weeks’ notice “would have been too late to do anything about it”, Chodas told Popular Science.
“An asteroid of this size is really difficult to deflect with only 20 days’ warning,” he said.

Astronomers estimate that they have identified more than 90% of the largest “near-earth objects”, numbering more than 10,000 so far. TB145 ranks among the medium-sized objects, and was discovered by the Pan-STARRS telescope at the University of Hawaii.

A medium-sized chunk of rock and ice like TB145 could cause a catastrophe on Earth – “continental-scale devastation”, in Chodas’ words – if not quite a global disaster on the scale of the six-mile-wide asteroid that is blamed for the death of the dinosaurs. Medium-sized asteroids hit the earth once every 100,000 years, according to Nasa’s estimates.

etc...

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/23/spooky-tb145-asteroid-close-to-earth-halloween
 

skinny

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three-weeks’ notice “would have been too late to do anything about it”, Chodas told Popular Science.
How will we prepare when it is on target? Would we be told? Best not to, I'd say. Word would get out though. The last days would be horror beyond imagining with abandonment of all social care or concern for others by a vast majority. I know exactly where I'd take my family to wait it out in relative peace.
 

rynner2

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How will we prepare when it is on target? Would we be told? Best not to, I'd say. Word would get out though. The last days would be horror beyond imagining with abandonment of all social care or concern for others by a vast majority.
I don't see that. Most people, unable to do anything about the impact, would probably just carry on as before - there's comfort in routine. And the threat of disaster would make many people grateful for the love and help they've received in their lifetime, and willing to give this love back, or pass it on, while it's still possible. Certainly those who believe in an afterlife would not contemplate abandoning their responsabilities.
 

skinny

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If the brutes let them.
 

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?
 

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.
 

Xanatic*

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We really need to get started on that planetary defense program though. First the Chelyabinsk meteor, now one that looks like a human skull. What are we waiting for, an asteroid with the words "I'm gonna kill y'all!" written across it?
 

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.
 

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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
 
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