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

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.
 
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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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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.
 

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
 

Jim

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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
Sorry but you don't seem to have stabilized around a coherent topic, or maybe it’s me.
The URL’s from post 539 and 540 provide straightway data concerning a meaningful search for the demise of the Dinosaurs (and other flora and fauna) at the end of the Cretaceous period. The factors are numerous as the articles point out and since nobody was there they are doing their best with what they have.
I think with the new dating techniques and knowledge of weathering geology is at a pinnacle compared to years gone by.
 

special_farces

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True, I rattled that last post off too quickly - edging round my interest in the public engagement and perception of science without nailing it (as if that could be done in a few paragraphs). I'd hazard a guess that most people 'know' an asteroid impact led to a mass extinction. For geologists and palaeontologists discovering the cause or causes are obviously a work in progress. I also find it interesting that the notion we face an impending doom from some immense cataclysm ebbed away as the earth sciences became established, but it is now popular again, in part due to the work on mass extinctions and discoveries such as the Yucatan crater or the Yellowstone caldera to name just two.
 
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Potentially hazardous asteroids are still looming large in the minds of scientists engaged in planetary defense issues. Numerous strategies describing deflection of near-Earth objects (NEOs) have been proposed, including methods employing kinetic impactors, robotic mining, and gravity tractors. However, one of the concepts has recently received attention as one of the most serious proposals.

The project, named DE-STAR (Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation), envisions a large phased-array laser in Earth orbit to deflect asteroids, comets, and other NEOs endangering the planet. There is also a much smaller, though similar system being considered, called DE-STARLITE, that could travel alongside the target, slowly deflecting it from nearby over a long period.

According to the authors of these proposals, their goal was to create an orbital planetary defense system capable of heating the surface of potentially hazardous objects to the point of vaporization. They emphasize that vaporization on the surface of an object continually ejects vaporized material, creating a reactionary force that pushes the object into a new path. This can be accomplished by lasers deployed on spacecraft stationed near the asteroid.

The system should be capable of projecting a laser at a distant asteroid with sufficient flux to heat a spot on the surface and vaporize solid rock. Currently, high-powered lasers deliver sufficient energy density to melt and vaporize any known material. ...

http://phys.org/news/2016-03-laser-weapon-earth-killer-asteroids.html
 

rynner2

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Scientists develop mini Death Star to protect us from asteroids
American researchers believe laser beam could be used to deflect space rocks on collision course with planet Earth
By Rob Crilly, New York
11:01PM GMT 03 Mar 2016

It sounds like a weapon straight out of Star Wars. Imagine the Death Star's superlaser used not to destroy worlds but to protect our own from approaching asteroids.
That is the concept being developed by American researchers who believe they have found a way to use a high-power laser beam to deflect space rocks that are on course to hit Earth.

The idea has been around for years but the team at the University of California say laboratory tests show their De-Star - or Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation – could actually work.
They envisage putting an unmanned De-Star craft in orbit. At the first sign of a impending disaster it would target the asteroid with a high-energy laser, causing part of the rock to vaporise in a process known as sublimation.
That ejection of gas would then create sufficient force to alter the course of the rock.

Qicheng Zhang of the University of California, Santa Barbara, one of the authors of the project, told Astrowatch.net: “Generally speaking, the technology is available today.
“The main challenge with building a full De-Star is the necessary scale to be effective.”

They have tested the technique on earth, by blasting a piece of basalt – an igneous rock similar in composition to some asteroids.
The technique was tested by directing a laser onto basalt - which has a composition similar to asteroids.
They found that when it glowed white-hot, it began to lose mass.

Travis Brashears, a student who has worked with the group, said last year: “What happens is a process called sublimation or vaporisation, which turns a solid or liquid into a gas.
“That gas causes a plume cloud — mass ejection — which generates an opposite and equal reaction or thrust — and that’s what we measure.”

They managed to use the effect to slow and the reverse the rotation of a spinning piece of basalt.
The forces involved mean the team needs plenty of warning of impending doom. They estimate they could use a 10 kW laser – less powerful than some used by the US military, for example – to deflect a 100m wide asteroid over a period of 30 years.

At the same time, they are working on a smaller version that could fly alongside asteroids, acting as a last line of defence if there was less of a warning.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/sci...-Death-Star-to-protect-us-from-asteroids.html
 
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De-star? Don't be too proud of this technological terror. The ability to deflect an asteroid is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
 

rynner2

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Asteroid could be about to wipe out life on Earth, online pastor says in video that is almost certainly false
It’s true that a small asteroid will be flying past — and that Nasa had to revise its projections — but it’ll be very surprising if the rock really will bring about Earth’s ‘last hour’
Andrew Griffin

An asteroid is about to fly past Earth —and some people are convinced that it’s a sign of the end times. (It's not.)
The rock, known as 2013 TX68, is almost certainly going to pass by us without making any difference to life on Earth. But an internet pastor claims otherwise — arguing that it could be our “last hour”.
"The end times are here,” said Anita Fuentes in a video that was reported by The Sun. “It could be the last hour, the last second.
"We have to pay attention to all this that we're seeing."

But the claims have been completely rejected by Nasa, which has a centre specifically to track asteroids. The agency has confirmed that there will be no threat from the asteroid.
It did say that it had miscalculated the date and distance that the rock would fly by, last month. But the Earth is still very much safe.

"We already knew this asteroid, 2013 TX68, would safely fly past Earth in early March, but this additional data allow us to get a better handle on its orbital path," said Paul Chodas, manager of Nasa’s centre for tracking Near-Earth Objects. "The data indicate that this small asteroid will probably pass much farther away from Earth than previously thought."

The agency admitted that the rock might fly a little closer to Earth than expected. But it will get no closer than 15,000 miles — way further away than would be needed to cause any meaningful difference on Earth.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...or-says-in-video-that-is-almost-a6919346.html

Technical data:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_TX68
 

Jim

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Doesn't Revelations mention stars falling to earth at the end times?
You are correct, Revelations does predict stars falling to earth. Remember when the book was written they didn't know the difference between a star and any other type of heavenly body, I.E.: asteroids, etc. Anything that could light up the shy would be called a star.

However what happens is guys like this extremist take things out of context. Claiming this asteroid is curtains for us here on earth, when rynner2 clearly showed it wasn't dangerous.
 
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