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Russian 'meteor' was actually a tiny asteroid, NASA says (45 feet across, 10,000 tons & 40,000 mph)
The Los Angeles Times ^ | February 16, 2013 | Monte Morin

Posted on 02/15/2013 11:28:48 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

At a news conference Friday, NASA scientists said the object that exploded over Russia was a “tiny asteroid” that measured roughly 45 feet across, weighed about 10,000 tons and traveled about 40,000 mph.

The object vaporized roughly 15 miles above the surface of the Earth, causing a shock wave that triggered the global network of listening devices that was established to detect nuclear test explosions.

The force of the explosion measured between 300 and 500 kilotons, equivalent to a modern nuclear bomb, according to Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

“When you hear about injuries, those are undoubtedly due to the events of the shock striking the city and causing walls to collapse and glass to fly, not due to fragments striking the ground,” Cooke said.

Scientists believe the object originated from the asteroid belt, a vast collection of debris orbiting between Mars and Jupiter that consists of leftover bits from the formation of the solar system. The asteroid probably traveled for a year before it burst into the atmosphere Friday. As yet, no fragments have been recovered, but experts believe the asteroid was rocky in nature, and not formed of dense iron and nickel...

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: asteroid; catastrophism; chebarkul; chelyabinsk; meteor; russia
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1 posted on 02/15/2013 11:29:02 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When I saw the damage from it this morning on Drudge, I knew it was no “meteorite”.


2 posted on 02/15/2013 11:38:50 PM PST by Fledermaus (I'm done with the GOP. Let them wither and die. We need to start over.)
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To: Fledermaus

Could’ve been Obama’s drone, though.


3 posted on 02/15/2013 11:50:18 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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>> 45 feet across, weighed about 10,000 tons

In thumper terms, that’s about 1,250,000 16 pound bowling balls.


4 posted on 02/15/2013 11:56:21 PM PST by Gene Eric (The Palin Doctrine.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Its a sobering thought that this was NOT detected untill it struck, nothing man made can hit it and that it can happen anytime and anywhere.

We may have been kept out of the loop so no panic scenarios would occur and then again I must suspect we do have either railgun or lasers that could hit it.


5 posted on 02/16/2013 12:00:38 AM PST by Eye of Unk
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Russia seems to be a landing spot for these objects


6 posted on 02/16/2013 12:03:42 AM PST by Figment
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To: Eye of Unk

Think again. There ain’t a damned thing we can do. We are at the mercy of the Lord , and when times up, it’s up. Fire and brimstone for everyone


7 posted on 02/16/2013 12:08:07 AM PST by Figment
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To: Fledermaus

When the rock hits the ground its a meteorite


8 posted on 02/16/2013 12:11:54 AM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Eye of Unk; 2ndDivisionVet
We may have been kept out of the loop so no panic scenarios would occur and then again I must suspect we do have either railgun or lasers that could hit it.

Unless someone dreams up some stratospheric application of aerogel (which will still admit water vapor and sunlight) to trap the pesky things.

9 posted on 02/16/2013 12:17:16 AM PST by thecodont
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Videos taken of the thing are pretty amazing.


10 posted on 02/16/2013 12:20:50 AM PST by windsorknot
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To: GeronL

Definitely upon impact it is a meteorite. In the atmosphere a meteor in all cases? Michael Medved spent a lot of time mocking people who thought it was an “asteroid” and saying it was just a meteor. He is a little arrogant and apparently he was wrong. However I’m not clear on space rocks in the solar system which are not asteroids since asteroids definitely pass and hit earth and are not limited to the area between Mars/ Jupiter.

I remember the amateur astronomer who has discovered many of these (Levy?) Saying from his observations over a lifetime, he believes it is most likely a fairly big one will slip into the atmosphere before it ever is detected.


11 posted on 02/16/2013 12:31:36 AM PST by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way)
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To: Fledermaus

By definition it was no ‘asteroid’ either. An asteroid is a chunk of rock that has not entered the atmosphere. When an asteroid does enter the atmosphere it is then known as a meteor.


12 posted on 02/16/2013 12:37:59 AM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: Andrei Bulba

An asteroid is an object in the asteroid belt. A meteor is an object that burns up in the atmosphere, a meteorite is an object that hits the ground, and a meteoroid is an object in space. So an asteroid is just a different type of meteor/oid/ite.


13 posted on 02/16/2013 12:39:08 AM PST by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The Earth Impacts Calculator figures it had an explosive yield of about 155kt and pegs the average interval between such impacts at 26 years.

However, they may be a bit low on their energy estimate, given they peg the sound intensity at "barely audible".

14 posted on 02/16/2013 12:39:31 AM PST by cynwoody
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To: TigersEye

From what I understand, for the big ones like this, they generally use the term “bolide”, which sounds much cooler.

Also, general thread question, when is it a “meteoroid”, and when an “asteroid”? Where’s the line?


15 posted on 02/16/2013 12:40:04 AM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They had thought this thing was 10 tons, now 10,000 tons? Quite a difference. We are lucky it exploded at 15 miles up. They couldn’t see it because it approached Earth from the direction of the sun. The article says it is the smaller ones they can’t detect, but I have to believe they can be well larger than this and go unseen.


16 posted on 02/16/2013 12:42:39 AM PST by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way)
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To: Little Pig

As I said; outside the atmosphere it’s an asteroid. While falling through the atmosphere it’s a meteor.


17 posted on 02/16/2013 12:43:27 AM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: Andrei Bulba

Doesn’t 10,000 tons sound a little high for a rock 45 ft. across? I don’t know how to do the math to determine the density for that. Yet they say it wasn’t ‘dense’ like nickel or iron.


18 posted on 02/16/2013 12:46:43 AM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: TigersEye

In my day job I deliver concrete, at one cubic yard its about 4,000 lbs. So a rock of 45 feet across would be about how many cubic yards?


19 posted on 02/16/2013 12:53:17 AM PST by Eye of Unk
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; 444Flyer; left that other site; F15Eagle; Jeremiah Jr
Don't short the Incediary Index. :)

Revelation 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

5464 chalaza {khal'-ad-zah}
probably from 5465;; n f
AV - hail 4; 4

1) hail

from 5465...

5465 chalao {khal-ah'-o}
from the base of 5490;; v
AV - let down 6, strike 1; 7

1) to loosen, slacken, relax
2) to let down from a higher place to a lower

from the base of 5490...

5490 chasma {khas'-mah}
from a form of an obsolete prim chao (to "gape" or "yawn");; n n
AV - gulf 1; 1

1) a gaping opening, a chasm, a gulf

Cf.

chasm (n.)
1590s, "deep crack in the earth," from Latin chasma, from Greek khasma "yawning hollow, gulf," related to khaskein "to yawn," and thus to chaos. In English in 17c. often spelled chasma.

 

What's a Chelyaba anyway?

It's a Bashkir word meaning "pit".

http://chelyabinskteaching.blogspot.com/2011/09/whats-chelyaba-anyway.html

20 posted on 02/16/2013 12:53:43 AM PST by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: LukeL

Agree with you and Tigerseye except the definition of asteroid is orbiting the sun, most but not all being in the asteroid belt. So agree upon entering the atmosphere it was a “meteor”. I’m not certain of NASA’s clarification that it was a small asteroid, however other things can enter the atmosphere such as a comet though again they orbit the sun and can be viewed as icy asteroids which produce a visible tail.

Mostly nomenclature I guess, however they said this one probably traveled a year before hitting us. Because it must have been in space for millions of years, I think they mean it got deflected inward from the asteroid belt, probably by an impact with another object.

This baby came at us much faster on a different path than the near miss asteroid so it’s sobering to think a deflection can head for us on short notice and go unnoticed till impact.


21 posted on 02/16/2013 12:54:05 AM PST by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; 444Flyer; left that other site; F15Eagle; Jeremiah Jr
Don't short the Incendiary Index. :)

Revelation 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

5464 chalaza {khal'-ad-zah}
probably from 5465;; n f
AV - hail 4; 4

1) hail

from 5465...

5465 chalao {khal-ah'-o}
from the base of 5490;; v
AV - let down 6, strike 1; 7

1) to loosen, slacken, relax
2) to let down from a higher place to a lower

from the base of 5490...

5490 chasma {khas'-mah}
from a form of an obsolete prim chao (to "gape" or "yawn");; n n
AV - gulf 1; 1

1) a gaping opening, a chasm, a gulf

Cf.

chasm (n.)
1590s, "deep crack in the earth," from Latin chasma, from Greek khasma "yawning hollow, gulf," related to khaskein "to yawn," and thus to chaos. In English in 17c. often spelled chasma.

 

What's a Chelyaba anyway?

It's a Bashkir word meaning "pit".

http://chelyabinskteaching.blogspot.com/2011/09/whats-chelyaba-anyway.html

22 posted on 02/16/2013 12:54:17 AM PST by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: Andrei Bulba

Again I remember a sci-fi novel where a war involved changing the trajectories of asteroids to impact a planet, some were even aimed by attached booster rockets.

Imagine some nation with the ability to launch rockets into space, land on a nearby orbiting rock and the make it change course to strike a specific part of planet Earth.


23 posted on 02/16/2013 12:58:35 AM PST by Eye of Unk
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To: Eye of Unk

Er uhhh, asking me to do math is risky. Let’s say it was a cube 45 ft. on a side for ease. I believe that would be 91,125 cu ft. That is 3,375 cu. yds. By your figures that would make a concrete cube 45 ft. per side 13,500,000 lb.s or 6,750 tons. Wow! I guess a rock that big could be 10k tons.


24 posted on 02/16/2013 1:06:31 AM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: Eye of Unk

Do you remember the name of that novel?


25 posted on 02/16/2013 1:12:34 AM PST by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: Andrei Bulba

I’ll give the NASA scientist a break. It was the article title and not his quote that seemed to make a distinction between an asteroid and a meteor based on size. Which is incorrect because size has nothing to do with that. And, FWIW, it was an asteroid until it hit our atmosphere.


26 posted on 02/16/2013 1:13:41 AM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hmmm.... Russian scientists have found three distinct impact sites - one in a frozen lake.

Yes, it exploded during descent, but it wasn’t disintegrated or vaporized completely. Parts of this mini-asteroid became meteorites.


27 posted on 02/16/2013 1:19:38 AM PST by LibertyRocks
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This event is a blessing as it is warning, we need to develop space assets to mitigate these risks...


28 posted on 02/16/2013 1:24:11 AM PST by GraceG
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The asteroid probably traveled for a year before it burst into the atmosphere Friday.

--From the article

So... It didn't start "traveling" until a year ago?! It was motionless all the preceding time?

Journalists! Sheesh!

Regards,

29 posted on 02/16/2013 1:27:17 AM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: Eye of Unk; TigersEye

Volume of a sphere is:

V = (4/3) × pi × r^3
with pi = 3.141592653589793

Or, just use this online calculator:

http://www.basic-mathematics.com/volume-of-a-sphere-calculator.html

The figure I’ve seen most was a 15 meter diameter. Whether that’s when it exploded, or when it 1st entered the atmosphere, I am unsure. It might have burned off quite a bit of material before it exploded. Nonetheless, assuming a roughly spherical shape, and a 15 meter diameter:

Ice is around 917 kg / cubic meter (varies slightly depending on how cold it is and how it formed), so I came up with around 1600 metric tons assuming the whole thing was ice.

Granite would be around 2700 kg / cu. meter, which gives a mass of roughly 4711 metric tons.

Iron is 7870 kg / cu. m, so that’d run it up to 13,747 metric tons. Now we’re talkin’...

Somewhere in there, 10,000 tons is not an unreasonable estimate, but might be a bit high, as this was likely a “stony” meteorite, I’ve read.

If this had been a fairly solid chunk of nickel-iron, and had not come in at a shallow angle, somebody would not be there any more. Maybe a lot of somebodies.

The AP article on Fox Online was quoting a figure of 10 tons along with the 15 meter diameter. I assume the density of their own brain cells was their reference. (If you are smart and you don’t know, you ask!)


30 posted on 02/16/2013 1:36:50 AM PST by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
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To: LibertyRocks

Upon re-reading I see I half mis-understood the first quote. I thought the scientist was saying nothing hit the ground, but he was only addressing the cause of injuries (which now have been counted into over 1,000 people with - last I checked - 34 needing hospitalization.)

Also, we are lucky it came in at an angle and the atmosphere had time to break it up. Had it come straight down it may not have broken up, and - according to some - could have taken out that whole city of 1 million people.

There was no advance warning because of its positioning between the Earth and the Sun on approach.

I watched a documentary last night and some scientists from NASA were talking about a scenario just like this. They stated that even if one was coming that we saw there is nothing we could do about it.


31 posted on 02/16/2013 1:37:52 AM PST by LibertyRocks
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To: Eye of Unk

Better yet is “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein. The “Loonies” (inhabitants on Earth’s Moon) rebel against an oppressive Earth Gov. & plunk the Earth with steel jacketed 100 ton boulders launched by magnetic catapult.

Great read: That book did more to make me a conservative back in my late teens than anything my parents could have done or said.


32 posted on 02/16/2013 1:43:39 AM PST by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
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To: Paul R.
The AP article on Fox Online was quoting a figure of 10 tons along with the 15 meter diameter.

Alert Mayor Bloomberg. Earth is being bombarded with styrofoam meteors! lol

33 posted on 02/16/2013 1:50:51 AM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: LibertyRocks

If we had an even half-###’ed space program the last 20 years, by now we’d have the capability to spot from multiple locations, and the ability to hit something while it’s far enough away to be effective. It doesn’t actually take all that much to deflect one of these things “sufficiently” if it’s a couple weeks or more out. The bigger the asteroid or comet is, the harder it is to deflect, but the easier it is to detect further out, so even less angular deflection is needed.

Also, there is a stupid notion (given that a lot of these people are supposedly “scientists”), that blowing one up closer in results in an even worse rain of pieces upon us than if we leave it alone.

Wrong.

The smaller the pieces, the more they burn up in the atmosphere.

Toughest is probably a large “mushy” comet, as you may not be able to push on it without it coming apart. No problem though: Comets are easily spotted, so nuke it 2 months out, and almost all the pieces will have new trajectories that will easily miss the Earth.


34 posted on 02/16/2013 2:01:45 AM PST by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
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To: TigersEye

Hahaha!

On another thread I also speculated “cotton candy”.


35 posted on 02/16/2013 2:05:33 AM PST by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
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To: TigersEye

Hahaha!

On another thread I also speculated “cotton candy”.


36 posted on 02/16/2013 2:05:51 AM PST by Paul R. (We are in a break in an Ice Age. A brief break at that...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Exaggeration

It was the equivalent of a rather small modern nuke....about 20-35 times Nagasaki

But a tiny fraction of tsar bomba.....1%


37 posted on 02/16/2013 2:07:00 AM PST by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: Paul R.

“Journalists” are notoriously inept at mathematics. Or any of the hard sciences and disciplines which require logic.


38 posted on 02/16/2013 2:12:54 AM PST by abb
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Book


39 posted on 02/16/2013 2:16:00 AM PST by Newtoidaho
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To: wastedyears
That is a tactic used in The Shiva Option by David Weber and Steve White, which is a sequel to In Death Ground. Humanity and her allies are in a fight-to-the-death with the Arachnids (similar to the Bugs from Starship Troopers) and one of the tactics used on one of the Arachnid homeworlds is Operation Sledgehammer. This involves using fleet tugs to pull asteroids out of the system's belt and send them careening toward the planet. The Arachnids manage to shoot a couple of them down, but several get through and pulverize the planet.

This tactic has been used in several books over the years, but that is the only one I can remember at this time.

40 posted on 02/16/2013 2:19:18 AM PST by Stonewall Jackson (Molon Labe!)
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To: Eye of Unk

45 foot squared and cubed would be 3375 cubic yards

3375 X 4000= 13.5 million pounds

Divided by 2204 lbs = 6125 metric tonnes

If the matter approximated water...granite...ash.... silicates....iron.....clay....slag.....calcium sulfate and most importantly limestone


41 posted on 02/16/2013 2:26:22 AM PST by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: Stonewall Jackson

Awesome, I’ll add it to my Amazon wish list to remember to get it another day. Thanks


42 posted on 02/16/2013 3:08:29 AM PST by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Another smaller fireball over California this morning.


43 posted on 02/16/2013 3:22:53 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Find out about the huge meteor that exploded over Russia in this SPACE.com Infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration
44 posted on 02/16/2013 3:26:24 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Figment

The only thing I can think of is a magnetic force.


45 posted on 02/16/2013 3:38:42 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57569589/russian-meteorites-not-caused-by-asteroid-flyby-nasa-says/


46 posted on 02/16/2013 3:42:02 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: cripplecreek

Using a plane in this diagram....a deliberate reminder of 9-11??


47 posted on 02/16/2013 3:46:12 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau

Planes are a pretty common scale comparison.


48 posted on 02/16/2013 3:49:21 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Figment

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/apr/HQ_11-098_New_Mineral.html


49 posted on 02/16/2013 3:50:39 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Stonewall Jackson; wastedyears

On a related note, Lucifer’s Hammer by Niven and Pournelle is a great book about the aftermath of large meteorite strike on Earth. Highly, highly recommended. And Pournelle is an old school conservative. Besides FreeRepublic, he’s the only guy I send money to, to support him and his web site.


50 posted on 02/16/2013 3:50:47 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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