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Comet put on list of potential Earth impactors
New Scientist ^ | 1 June 2005 | David L Chandler

Posted on 06/02/2005 9:04:31 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

On 26 May, JPL's unique orbital calculation software determined that Comet Catalina was on what could possibly be a collision course with Earth, though the odds of such an impact were small: just 1 chance in 300,000 of a strike on June 11, 2085. Based on the 980-metre size estimate, that would produce a 6-gigaton impact - equivalent to 6 billion tonnes of TNT.

Astronomers expected the addition of further observations to the calculations to rule out any possibility of a collision, as happens with most newly-seen objects.

But that did not quite happen. The comet's predicted pathway actually drew even closer to making a perfect bull’s-eye with the Earth - its predicted path passes within 1000 kilometres of the where the centre of our 12,700-km-diameter planet will be around that time.

However, uncertainty in the exact timing of the comet’s pass through the line of Earth’s orbit dropped the odds of an impact to about 1 in 120 million. That is very low, but the observations so far cannot categorically rule a collision out.

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


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: astronomy; bigsplash; brianmay; catastrophism; comet; cometcatalina; comets; dunce; emiliospedicato; impact; louisafrank; louisfrank; notsogreatflood; originofoceans; originoftheoceans; panspermia; patrickhuyghe; queen; smallcomets; spedicato; thebigsplash; twit; water
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I originally saw this linked on the Coast to Coast AM website. I went into the NEO site from JPL, but there was no page. A Google search yielded the same (non-functioning) URL, but the cached version is available (click on the colorful Google link).

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1 posted on 06/02/2005 9:04:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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Roman Comet 5,000 Times More Powerful Than A-Bomb
  Posted by freedom44
On News/Activism 10/17/2004 3:36:42 PM PDT · 52 replies · 1,693+ views


Scotsman ^ | 10/17/04 | John von Radowitz
People living in southern Germany during Roman times may have witnessed a comet impact 5,000 times more destructive than the Hiroshima atom bomb, researchers say. Scientists believe a field of craters around Lake Chiemsee, in south-east Bavaria, was caused by fragments of a huge comet that broke up in the Earthís atmosphere. Celtic artefacts found at the site, including a number of coins, appear to have been strongly heated on one side. This discovery, together with evidence from ancient tree rings and Roman reports of ìstones falling from the skyî, has led researchers to conclude that the impact happened in...
 

'Deep Impact' Spacecraft to Travel to Comet
  Posted by ChristianDefender
On News/Activism 11/26/2004 12:01:30 AM PST · 17 replies · 557+ views


FoxNews ^ | 11-26-04 | Fox News
BOULDER, Colo. ó Where the movie "Deep Impact" depicted a comet hurtling to Earth, a real-world namesake is set to go the opposite direction to eventually slam into a comet. Deep Impact ó as the spacecraft is called ó will travel six months to reach a comet, named Comet Temple 1. It will then release an 825-pound impactor to search out and collide with the 5-mile long, 2-mile wide comet. The minds at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation (search) have been working on the spacecraft since 1996.
 

New Comet Now Visible to Naked Eye
  Posted by Right Wing Professor
On News/Activism 12/08/2004 8:40:35 PM PST · 84 replies · 2,592+ views


Yahoo ^ | December 8, 2004 | Robert Roy Rritt
A comet discovered earlier this year has now moved close enough to be visible without binoculars or telescopes by experienced observers under dark skies. It is expected to put on a modest show this month and into January. Comet Machholz will be at its closest to Earth Jan. 5-6, 2005, when it will be 32 million miles (51 million kilometers) away. People with dark rural skies and a good map should be able to find it on Moon-free nights now into January. Backyard astronomers have been watching Machholz for months through telescopes. It was spotted by naked-eye observers for the...
 

NASA to send celestial hammer to break open comet
  Posted by Diamond
On News/Activism 12/23/2004 9:20:12 AM PST · 47 replies · 798+ views


EARTHTimes.org ^ | 2004-12-20 | I. A. Harry
Space News | Home NASA to send celestial hammer to break open comet Posted on : 2004-12-20| Author : I. A. Harry| News Category : Space Scientific curiosity is going to cause a minor collision in space. On January 12, 2004, NASA is scheduled to launch a spacecraft named Deep Impact. This spacecraft will fire an 800-pound impactor right into the path of the 4-mile wide comet Tempel 1. The collision is scheduled to take place on July 4, 2005. The mission is stated to cost approximately $ 330 million. Scientists at NASA are very eager to know what...
 

Comet comes to wish us a Happy New Year
  Posted by FairOpinion
On News/Activism 01/01/2005 10:45:55 AM PST · 13 replies · 613+ views


EarthTimes ^ | Jan. 1, 2005 | Dan. Y. A
Go out in the open tonight after your dinner and look to the south east of the dark sky. See whether you can spot a celestial body with blue gas tail and the edge of an orange-yellowish dust tail emerging at very different angles from the coma. Thatís comet Machholz. The comet also code named as C/2004 Q2 is the 10th comet discovered by Don Machholz of Colfax, California, on August 27th. The comet will be closest to earth on Sunday and Monday, when it will be 32 million miles away. This is close in astronomical terms. It will be...
 

Comet or Meteorite Impact Events in 1178AD?
  Posted by blam
On News/Activism 01/03/2005 3:59:02 PM PST · 62 replies · 2,032+ views


SIS Conference ^ | 1-26-2003 | Emilio Spedicato
1. Introduction As related by Clube and Napier in their monograph The Cosmic Winter, see [1], in the year 1178 A.D. four wise men of Canterbury were sitting outside on a clear and calm 18th June night, a half Moon standing placidly in the starry sky. Suddenly they noticed a flame jutting out of a horn of the Moon. Then they saw the Moon tremble and its colour change slowly from light brilliant to a darker reddish tone. Such a colour remained for all the time the Moon was visible during that phase. This story is found in a manuscript...
 

Astronomers try to make comet sense of festive apparition
  Posted by missyme
On News/Activism 01/04/2005 8:27:59 PM PST · 24 replies · 402+ views


Scotmans News ^ | Jan 4th, 2005
A COMET that appeared in the night sky over Christmas has invited comparisons with the Star of Bethlehem. But it is amateur astronomers with telescopes and binoculars who are pursuing the object rather than Wise Men bearing gifts. Comet Machholz will be at its most visible tomorrow and Thursday. Even then it will be no more than a faint smudge of light difficult to see with the naked eye. A pair of binoculars pointing south should pick it out near the Pleiades star cluster. Comets have been proposed as an explanation for the star that guided the Three Wise Men...
 

'Deep Impact' Probe to Try to Puncture a Comet
  Posted by crushelits
On News/Activism 01/09/2005 8:03:12 PM PST · 9 replies · 368+ views


washingtonpost.com ^ | Monday, January 10, 2005 | Guy Gugliotta
When it comes to space exploration, where scientists often measure their needs in milli-this and micro-that, Deep Impact, as its name suggests, has all the subtlety of a punch in the mouth. Barring unforeseen delays, NASA will launch on Wednesday a 1,325-pound spacecraft on a one-way trip to the comet Tempel 1. On July 3, the spacecraft will jettison an 820-pound copper projectile in the comet's path and get out of the way as comet and projectile meet at a relative speed of 23,000 mph. This, perhaps not surprisingly, will happen on July 4, and if you are somewhere in...
 

Blasting Into the Core of a Comet to Learn Its Secrets
  Posted by neverdem
On News/Activism 01/11/2005 5:13:06 PM PST · 9 replies · 549+ views


NY Times ^ | January 11, 2005 | WARREN E. LEARY
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 - Since the earliest days of the solar system, comets have periodically smashed into Earth, blasting holes in the surface and scattering cosmic debris. Now it is our turn to strike back. On Wednesday, NASA is to launch a spacecraft called Deep Impact toward the comet Tempel 1. In six months, if all goes well, the craft will release an 820-pound copper-core "impactor" that will smash into the comet's nucleus at 23,000 miles per hour, excavating a crater that scientists say could be as large as a sports coliseum. Launching of the spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral...
 

Heads Up North America...Comet Machholz Visible Tonight
  Posted by My Favorite Headache
On News/Activism 01/11/2005 7:22:02 PM PST · 42 replies · 2,349+ views


Comet Machholz ^
Comet Machholz (Comet 2004 Q2) Page Comet Machholz is current overhead in the early evening. Comet hunter (and SJAA club member) Don Machholz discovered it last August. How he discovered the comet was described in his article in the SJAA Ephemeris. The comet is now nearly overhead at California latitudes. In a dark sky it should be visible as a non distinct patch of light. As of January 4, 2005 it was even visible within the San Jose city limits. Unfortunately the weather there has not been cooperating. The comet is easily visible in telescope finder or binoculars
 

Deep Impact on course for comet collision!
  Posted by missyme
On News/Activism 01/12/2005 11:21:56 AM PST · 25 replies · 715+ views


CNN ^ | Jan 12th, 2005
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- A NASA spacecraft with a Hollywood name -- Deep Impact -- blasted off Wednesday on a mission to smash a hole in a comet and give scientists a glimpse at the frozen primordial ingredients of the solar system. With a launch window only one second long, Deep Impact rocketed away at the designated moment on a six-month, 268 million-mile journey to Comet Tempel 1. It will be a one-way trip that NASA hopes will reach a cataclysmic end on the Fourth of July. Scientists are counting on Deep Impact to carve out a crater that...
 

NASA Launches Comet-Busting Spaceship
  Posted by paudio
On News/Activism 01/12/2005 12:48:01 PM PST · 11 replies · 405+ views


Fox News ^ | 1/12/05
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. ó A NASA (search) spacecraft with a Hollywood name ó Deep Impact (search) ó blasted off Wednesday on a mission to smash a hole in a comet and give scientists a glimpse of the frozen primordial ingredients of the solar system. With a launch window only one second long, Deep Impact rocketed away at the designated moment on a six-month, 268-million-mile journey to Comet Tempel 1 (search). It will be a one-way trip that NASA hopes will reach a cataclysmic end on the Fourth of July.
 

Spacecraft launched on mission to smash comet
  Posted by bayourod
On News/Activism 01/12/2005 7:52:25 PM PST · 16 replies · 345+ views


The Houstoin Chronicle via AP via NASA Deep Impact Web site ^ | Jan. 12, 2005 | NASA staff
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. ó A NASA spacecraft with a Hollywood name ó Deep Impact ó blasted off today on a mission to smash a hole in a comet and give scientists a glimpse of the frozen primordial ingredients of the solar system. With a launch window only one second long, Deep Impact rocketed away at the designated moment on a six-month, 268-million-mile journey to Comet Tempel 1. It will be a one-way trip that NASA hopes will reach a cataclysmic end on the Fourth of July. "We are on our way," an excited Michael A'Hearn of the University of Maryland,...
 

Clearing skies make comet more visible
  Posted by BenLurkin
On News/Activism 01/13/2005 11:20:23 AM PST · 12 replies · 528+ views


Valley Press on Thursday, ^ | January 13, 2005. | DON HALEY
Clearing skies over the high desert will finally give stargazers a chance to peer at Comet Machholz, the noticeably green comet that has been transiting constellations above the southeastern horizon for several months. The comet, a faint glowing "fuzzball" detectable with the unaided eye, is now arcing upward through the lower portion of the constellation Perseus and can easily be seen with binoculars. To find Comet Machholz, look toward the southeast after complete darkness, preferably in an area that is distant from street lights. Find the lowest recognizable constellation, Orion. It appears as a long box of four bright stars,...
 

NASA comet-busting craft on course, instrument problem studied
  Posted by NormsRevenge
On News/Activism 03/25/2005 7:27:52 PM PST · 9 replies · 299+ views


Bakersfield Californian ^ | 3/25/05 | AP - Los Angeles
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is on course for a July 4 encounter with comet Tempel 1 but mission officials are trying to determine why a telescope that will function as its main science instrument has not reached proper focus, the space agency said Friday. Officials nonetheless expressed confidence that the mission will not be affected by the problem. Deep Impact carries an "impactor" that will be released to collide with the comet, possibly creating a stadium-size gouge while the spacecraft's instruments collect data on the material that is hurled off. The craft was launched on Jan....
 

Comet-hitting probe tweaks its course to target
  Posted by RightWhale
On News/Activism 05/16/2005 8:35:53 AM PDT · 9 replies · 410+ views


spaceflightnow.com ^ | 16 May 05 | NASA
Comet-hitting probe tweaks its course to target NASA NEWS RELEASE Posted: May 15, 2005 Fifty-nine days before going head-to-head with comet Tempel 1, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully executed the second trajectory correction maneuver of the mission. The burn further refined the spacecraft's trajectory, or flight path, and also moved forward the expected time of the Independence Day comet encounter so impact would be visible by ground- and space-based observatories. The 95-second burn - the longest remaining firing of the spacecraft's motors prior to comet encounter -- was executed on May 4. It changed Deep Impact's speed by 18.2 kilometers...
 

2 posted on 06/02/2005 9:05:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I'll be so old by then that I'll be hoping it hits me.


3 posted on 06/02/2005 9:07:56 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets; tortoise; RobRoy

Near the end of the article there's info about Comet Swift-Tuttle which may be of interest.

link to an older, similar topic:

Scientist: Asteroid May Hit Earth in 2029
Yahoo/AP | 12/23/04 | JOHN ANTCZAK
Posted on 12/23/2004 8:24:16 PM PST by hole_n_one
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1307719/posts


4 posted on 06/02/2005 9:08:48 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: Dog Gone

That is a ways out, eh? I'll be, hmm, about 127 years old. In about 80 years I plan to start a real-time thread here on FR, to discuss the news updates regarding the approach. See you then? ;')


5 posted on 06/02/2005 9:11:02 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
6 posted on 06/02/2005 9:21:02 AM PDT by b4its2late (It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.)
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To: SunkenCiv

127 years old and still on the voting roll (courtesy of the Democratic party!)


7 posted on 06/02/2005 9:21:40 AM PDT by Millee (So you're a feminist......isn't that cute??)
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To: SunkenCiv

Sweet. Death by celestial snowcone.


8 posted on 06/02/2005 10:23:41 AM PDT by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: SunkenCiv

But what impact will this have on me personnally? :-)


9 posted on 06/02/2005 10:24:17 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (No rolling stone ever says, "I want to be a Bryologist when I grow up!")
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To: tortoise

980 meters mean it will be a regional disaster, not a global one. Not big enough. It would kick up enough dust globally to rival some pretty massive volcanic explosions, but nothing serious in that effect.

There's still the matter of asteroid 2004 MN4 to deal with in 2036.


10 posted on 06/02/2005 10:40:23 AM PDT by Crazieman (If Con is the opposite of Pro, what is the opposite of Progress?)
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To: SunkenCiv
How would this compare to the eruption of Mt St Helens?

We ought to get some hardware into space soon so we can deal with this and whatever others come along without a great deal of [fiscal] excitement.

11 posted on 06/02/2005 10:42:42 AM PDT by RightWhale (It comes down to lack of private property rights)
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To: Hegemony Cricket

Not sure. I'm still imagining enough strawberry syrup for a snowcone that size.


12 posted on 06/02/2005 11:56:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: Crazieman

Beg to differ. Comets are moving faster (in general) than asteroids, and have much more energy. Also,

980 meter = 0.6089438 mile

This would indeed cause a major and worldwide disaster; the Chicxulub impactor was in the area of 10 km (10 kilometer = 6.2137119 mile), something more than 1000 times the size (assuming more or less spherical, 10 ^ 3) of this comet (as far as is known; exact dimensions of this "new" comet are not yet known, but it doesn't seem very likely to increase tenfold, either), moving 10 to 20 km a second. The eleven largest nuclei of SL-9 (the shattered comet which struck Jupiter in 1994) were each between 2 and 4 km in diameter.

http://www.onlineconversion.com/length_common.htm


13 posted on 06/03/2005 12:10:48 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: RightWhale

A permanent human presence on the Moon seems like an excellent idea in this connection. :')


14 posted on 06/03/2005 12:11:52 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SunkenCiv

What is needed for hardware would be several large ion motors with fuel placed in solar orbit ready to be moved to and attached to any incoming body of import so as to nudge its orbit out of the way at an early moment and without the necessity of calling a special session of Congress or the General Assembly or causing stress to the industrious farming people of earth and their animals.


15 posted on 06/03/2005 7:56:57 AM PDT by RightWhale (It comes down to lack of private property rights)
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To: RightWhale

Wholeheartedly agree with your choice of engine. But the way to bump the interloper is to attach the engine to smaller (but still substantial) body, and use that to whack it. Of course, that capability will be frowned upon, from the political standpoint, because it can easily be weaponized. Using smallish asteroids to destroy cities is easier and cheaper than building a nuclear program, and the result can look like an act of nature.


16 posted on 06/03/2005 9:22:51 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Nudging the body is only the first part of the plan. The electric motors will continue to fire until the body is captured into a convenient orbit such as the L-4 or the L-5 libration point. Depending on composition, it might have some mineral value or simply mass value.


17 posted on 06/03/2005 12:20:48 PM PDT by RightWhale (It comes down to lack of private property rights)
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To: SunkenCiv

Crap, June 11, 2085 I've got tickets to a Rangers game that day, just my luck.


18 posted on 06/03/2005 12:22:48 PM PDT by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
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To: SunkenCiv; KevinDavis
Keep an eye out for this:

Shuttle-derived Launch Vehicle (SDLV), 80-100 metric tons to LEO. NASA is expected to formally reveal its SDLV plans in the first week of July. AKA BDB.

19 posted on 06/03/2005 3:54:31 PM PDT by RightWhale (It comes down to lack of private property rights)
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To: RightWhale

"Shuttle-derived Launch Vehicle (SDLV), 80-100 metric tons to LEO."

About time! This was first suggested 20 years ago.


20 posted on 06/04/2005 5:53:46 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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