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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:51 AM

Could a meteorite start a war?

Imagine if a large meteorite were to strike North Korea, for example. Or perhaps worse, imagine a meteor hitting somewhere in either India or Pakistan.

What are the chances that such an event could be mistaken for an attack, or perhaps used as a pretext for retaliation?

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Could a meteorite start a war? (Original post)
Hugabear Feb 2013 OP
snooper2 Feb 2013 #1
onehandle Feb 2013 #2
redgreenandblue Feb 2013 #3
Progressive dog Feb 2013 #4
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #5
sufrommich Feb 2013 #6
BeyondGeography Feb 2013 #7
bluedigger Feb 2013 #8
randome Feb 2013 #9
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #10
DreamGypsy Feb 2013 #12
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #11
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #13
datasuspect Feb 2013 #14

Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:52 AM

1. about 0.000147% chance

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:55 AM

2. In those areas? High.

It's as if Genghis Khan had nukes.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:56 AM

3. If it hits during the Cuban missle crisis, then yes.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:57 AM

4. See reply 1

Except maybe Snooper was a little high.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:00 AM

5. Depends how reactionary those on the receiving end are ... When I saw the initial reports some

thought they were at war and had been attacked. Can't say I blame them if close to a meteor hit like that. ... of course if a nation had the technology to do serious damage to another, then they probably would know it was a meteor. ... but a rogue nation could possibly make use of it as some pretext for retaliation. Now, I'm sure in the US some teabaggers would think it was an Obama strike force coming to get them and go nuts.



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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:05 AM

6. I'd like to think governments know the difference

between a bomb and a meteor. As a civilian I admit,had I seen that meteor,I would have wondered if we had pissed someone off. I wonder how many Russians had the same thought.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:08 AM

7. So many improper responses come to mind

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:12 AM

8. The chances are remote at best.

We should probably devote our resources to more likely risks, and leave this one to fans of apocalyptic fiction.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:14 AM

9. Wouldn't matter if it hit North Korea.

Last edited Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:46 PM - Edit history (1)

They'd launch every missile they have at us and South Korea...and end up obliterating themselves.

Better yet, they'd just ASSUME it was one of their missiles blowing up and release a press statement that they have successfully tested a new weapon.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:19 AM

10. In response, here's an interesting article from 2002....

Near-Earth Objects Pose Threat, General Says

QUOTE:

This summer, much of the world watched as India and Pakistan faced-off over the disputed Kashmir region, worried that the showdown could escalate into a nuclear war.

Coincidentally, U.S. early warning satellites detected an explosion in the Earth's atmosphere June 6, at the height of the tension, with an energy release estimated to be 12 kilotons.

Fortunately the detonation, equivalent to the blast that destroyed Hiroshima, occurred over the Mediterranean Sea.

However, if it had occurred at the same latitude a few hours earlier, the result on human affairs might have been much worse, said Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden, U.S. Space Command's deputy director for operations at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Had the bright flash, accompanied by a damaging shock wave, occurred over India or Pakistan, the resulting panic could have sparked a nuclear war, Worden recently told members of the congressionally mandated Commission on the Future of the U. S. Aerospace Industry in testimony here.

Although U.S. officials quickly determined that a meteor caused the explosion, neither India nor Pakistan have the sophisticated sensors that can determine the difference between a natural near-Earth object impact and a nuclear detonation, Worden said in written testimony.


So, yes....the possibility of a meteor causing a nuclear exchange does exist.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:32 PM

12. Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about the India-Pakistan event...

on the video interview this morning about Chelyabinsk.

http://www.today.com/video/today/50820935#50820935

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:21 AM

11. Yes

And during the Cold War a konguska event over the US or the USSR would have started one.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:45 PM

13. Depends on which type of country the meteorite lands in.

 

I think the advanced nations, with advanced radar and surveillance, would know full well what had happened - a natural meteorite and not an enemy strike.

Some more primitive country like North Korea, though, might not know, as you pointed out. Also, if a bellicose country wants to use it as a pretext for going to war, well then, I suppose there's no stopping them. They'll do what they want to do.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:46 PM

14. no

 

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