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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 02:57 PM

An asteroid is coming, and scientists are excited. Fear not, Earth is safe

Source: CNN

(CNN) -- Look out for Asteroid 2012 DA14.

It is heading toward Earth at 17,450 miles per hour, according to NASA, and the tug of our planet's gravitational field will cause it to accelerate when it gets here.

But it's not going to strike us, when it passes by on February 15. NASA is adamant about this.

"Its orbit is very well-known," said Dr. Don Yeomans, NASA specialist for near-Earth objects. "We know exactly where it's going to go, and it cannot hit the Earth."

But it will give the Blue Planet the closest shave by any object its size in known history, Yeomans said. Gravity will cause it to fly a curved path, tugging it closer to Earth's surface than most GPS or television satellites.
















The Number: Hazardous asteroids
While the asteroid is moving at a good clip, space rockets have to accelerate to an even higher speed to escape Earth's gravity and make it into space. Though 2012 DA14 will be flying more slowly, its trajectory will keep it from falling to Earth.


Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/05/world/space-asteroid/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

36 replies, 4410 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply An asteroid is coming, and scientists are excited. Fear not, Earth is safe (Original post)
backtoblue Feb 2013 OP
bluestateguy Feb 2013 #1
daleo Feb 2013 #19
Psephos Feb 2013 #25
Ter Feb 2013 #28
daleo Feb 2013 #34
Psephos Feb 2013 #36
UncleYoder Feb 2013 #30
Ter Feb 2013 #27
Cirque du So-What Feb 2013 #2
Mnemosyne Feb 2013 #11
TwilightGardener Feb 2013 #3
sdfernando Feb 2013 #4
backtoblue Feb 2013 #5
TwilightGardener Feb 2013 #13
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #15
backtoblue Feb 2013 #16
TheMadMonk Feb 2013 #17
FSogol Feb 2013 #29
whistler162 Feb 2013 #18
onlyadream Feb 2013 #6
longship Feb 2013 #7
backtoblue Feb 2013 #9
Delphinus Feb 2013 #14
Deep13 Feb 2013 #8
backtoblue Feb 2013 #10
callous taoboy Feb 2013 #32
penndragon69 Feb 2013 #12
red dog 1 Feb 2013 #20
elleng Feb 2013 #21
red dog 1 Feb 2013 #22
CreekDog Feb 2013 #23
elleng Feb 2013 #24
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #26
jambo101 Feb 2013 #31
Earth_First Feb 2013 #33
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #35

Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:02 PM

1. Fortunately that rock is too small to destroy the whole planet if it hit

Only one or two small countries, tops.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:16 PM

19. It' s not very big

I read that it was 48 meters. I wouldn't want to be near it, if it hit, but I don't think it would be worse than a small A-bomb.

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Response to daleo (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:28 AM

25. Actually, about 700 Hiroshima-sized bombs.

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Response to Psephos (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:57 AM

28. I could be wrong, but I think they mean the energy of 700 Hiroshima's

 

I'm pretty sure setting off 700 in a city would be a lot worse. They said the same thing about major volcano's.

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Response to Ter (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:40 PM

34. So it would be like a good sized h-bomb

Hiroshima was about 15 Kilotons, so this one would come in at about 10 megatons. The largest bomb ever tested was about 60 megatons.

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Response to daleo (Reply #34)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:56 PM

36. Sounds about right. :) n/t

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Response to daleo (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:17 AM

30. " Mr. President,

I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed, but I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops, uh, depending on the breaks."

General Turgidson

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:54 AM

27. Two things

 

1) I think that article is wrong. I heard it is half the size of a football field, so it is not the closest shave to Earth in recent history. The one that hit Russia in 1908 was supposedly the size of a full football field.

2) That one caused enough damage to level a city (thankfully, it hit wilderness). This one can not destroy a country.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:03 PM

2. Yeah, that's what they said about Melancholia

and look how THAT turned out!

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:38 PM

11. Exactly. nt

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:05 PM

3. Um...I hope they know what they're talking about in terms of trajectory.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:14 PM

4. Yeah lets hope that

they aren't the same ones that got meters and feet confused!

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:14 PM

5. here's some food for thought

"Asteroids can be chock full of metals and other materials, which could be mined for use on earth or on space stations. NASA has discussed the possibility of capturing near-Earth asteroids and placing them into Earth's orbit to study them and extract their resources."


Personally, I would feel better about using research to PUSH AWAY near-Earth asteroids as opposed to PLACING them in our orbit.
Once we can detect and deflect, then lets think about the gold.






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Response to backtoblue (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:42 PM

13. It'd be kind of cool to "lasso" them, but once they're in our orbit...

how do we get rid of them? Would be like space junk or something...

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:29 PM

15. Find a way to shoot them into the sun?

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:14 PM

16. hmmm, lets say we catch it, make it our pet, and start mining on it

What if we mine too deep, it splits apart and then changes it's trajectory towards earth?

It'd kinda be like the guy who played with the bears and then they ate him. We'd be toast.

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Response to backtoblue (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:14 PM

17. Larn some fizziks damn it.

 

Split in 2 or a thousand pieces, UNLESS something imparts significant momentum to some or all of those pieces, they will STAY IN THE SAME BLOODY ORBIT.

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Response to backtoblue (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:58 AM

29. Pet? You should use, "Space-based Companion."

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:51 PM

18. And what would PETA say?

PETA(People for the Ethical Treatment of Asteroids) that is.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:15 PM

6. If a small bit of space debris hit it

then.... well. Kaboom!

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:20 PM

7. Phil Plait's TED Talk on near Earth asteroids.

Here:


The Bad Astronomer is pretty damned good.

R&K

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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:30 PM

9. Pretty interesting fella

Thank you for sharing this!

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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:51 PM

14. That was enjoyable!

Thank you.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:27 PM

8. I shot down a lot of asteroids in the 1980s. Pretty sure I could manage it still.

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:37 PM

10. I totally defended the planet from space invaders back in my day...

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Response to backtoblue (Reply #10)


Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:40 PM

12. Perhaps we will get lucky

and this thing will be caught by earths gravity
and settle into a stable orbit !

Then we could practice asteroid mining with minimal risk.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:45 AM

20. "The closest shave by any object it's size in known history"?

Especially in astronomical terms, 17,200 miles from Earth is pretty damn close....
.
.and it's the size of an office building?

.

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Response to elleng (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:09 AM

22. Excellent link, thanks.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:18 AM

23. you know, it may look far, but they FALL DOWN

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:53 AM

26. "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."

Spoken by General John Sedgwick, immediately prior to being struck in the face and killed by a Confederate sniper at the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, May 9, 1864.

http://www.civilwarhome.com/sedgwickdeath.htm



.

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Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:22 AM

31. If it were going to impact the Earth.

Do you really think the powers that be would announce to the world that a massive solar body is about to impact the Earth?

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Response to jambo101 (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:49 PM

33. Absolutely not.

Shit, NASA refused to inform the Columbia crew of their impending death, why would I feel they would tell the general public of their own demise?

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Response to jambo101 (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:03 PM

35. They wouldn't be able to conceal it.

There are no "powers that be" which control every observatory in the world, and a few backyard astronomers with good equipment and some good knowledge could puzzle out a lot of it.

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