Skip to comments.The Sky Is Falling
Posted on 05/25/2008 3:26:28 AM PDT by samtheman
In 1980, only 86 near-Earth asteroids and comets were known to exist. By 1990, the figure had risen to 170; by 2000, it was 921; as of this writing, it is 5,388. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, part of NASA, keeps a running tally at www.neo.jpl.nasa.gov/stats. Ten years ago, 244 near-Earth space rocks one kilometer across or morethe size that would cause global calamitywere known to exist; now 741 are. Of the recently discovered nearby space objects, NASA has classified 186 as impact risks (details about these rocks are at www.neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk). And because most space-rock searches to date have been low-budget affairs, conducted with equipment designed to look deep into the heavens, not at nearby space, the actual number of impact risks is undoubtedly much higher. Extrapolating from recent discoveries, NASA estimates that there are perhaps 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets in the general vicinity of Earth.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
That tears it! I’m moving!
According to liberal logic (global warming) we were safer in 1980, before the data was collected.
Boy! You got that right. They must be ganging up on us!!
We must get back to 1980 levels!!
Well we know this sort of thing happens at regular intervals. The question is when.
This is proof that mankind’s burning of fossil fuel has led to increasing numbers of asteroids, we must do something before it’s too late.
It’s Bush’s fault!
What else do you need to know?
just move the eath out of the way
Good thinking. Right now tidal drag is pulling the moon away from the earth at 1 cm (about 3/8's of an inch) per century. To accomplish this, energy is transferred from the earth's spin to the moon's orbit at about one gigawatt, continously.
One of the problems with nudging an asteroid away from a keyhole, is that that only postpones the problem. The rock will come back every year or so and eventually will need to nudged again. Perferrable might be nudging them into a collision with the far side of the moon (where debris is less likely to later impact earth).
"WHAT ABOUT US??? First you kill us with "Gorebot Warming" and now meteors? Humans suck! Oh and your Coca Cola sucks too! There I said it!"
The last notable earth impact was the 1908 Siberian 'Tunguska' impact.The world was very lucky that this occurred over an almost unpopulated land mass as that was an estimated 500 kiloton (TNT equivalent) event. If this meteor has struck minutes earlier or later we might be living in a radically different world. A few moments later and St.Petersburg, home of the Romanov Tsars would have been very close to the air burst. A later moment and it would be over the shallow Baltic, tsunamis on Baltic shores? Earlier impacts over Canada or Alaska would have been notable.
Regardless, the estimate for this kind of minimal to no crater event (stony meteor) ranges on one to several centuries. Such an equivalent event on Washington DC or Moscow or Beijing or others, could potentially trigger a nuclear exchange unless sufficient foreknowledge is available. Impacts of larger or denser metors are being discovered on a frequent basis as this Atlantic article discusses, especially now that 'water surface' sites are being looked for.
When you look at these impacts and how they could effect our current world, think of what we need to do with only a small fraction of the monies that are now being discussed for mitigating 'manmade' global warming that is, IMHO, unproven theory. The bonus to working to mitigate astronomic impactors is that it will increase our space capabilities and that would lead to things I think of as advances in human history.
When you look at these impacts and how they could effect our current world, think of what we need to do with only a small fraction of the monies that are now being discussed for mitigating 'manmade' global warming that is, IMHO, unproven theory. The bonus to working to mitigate astronomic impactors is that it will increase our space capabilities and that would lead to things I think of as advances in human history.You are absolutely right. "Manmade global warming" is not only unproven by the so-called "mitigations" are even more unproven.
Meanwhile, it's an absolute certainty that asteroids have impacted earth in the past and at a bare minimum we should be doing a better job of cataloging what's in the neighborhood, which, in my opinion, includes the Kuiper.
I also agree with the article (and the video) that spending 300 billion dollars for a "Motel 6 on the moon" is beyond stupid and that the development of automated systems in space (to deal with this problem, but also to do much more fundamental solar-system research) should be getting much more money than it's currently getting.
If this meteor has struck minutes earlier or later we might be living in a radically different world. A few moments later and St.Petersburg, home of the Romanov Tsars would have been very close to the air burst.
I looked this up further and the rotation speed at 60 degrees north is 512+ mph and St.Petersburg is a bit less than 2,500 miles away at just about the same latitude. so it would have been 4.75+ hours, NOT MOMENTS. The author blushes, shuffles feet and resolves to do better in the future. We now return you to your regular program...
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