Skip to comments.Asteroid Near-Misses Actually Common, Scientists Say
Posted on 09/08/2010 6:39:36 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Two asteroids swooping past Earth Wednesday may have caught the attention of the public, but events like these are not actually rare, NASA scientists say.
"This is the first time we've seen [two] combined within a 24-hour period, but that's probably because we don't know everything that is out there," said Lindley Johnson, program executive of the Near-Earth Object program at NASA headquarters in Washington.
Single asteroids have been known to make such close passes, but they usually slip by unnoticed, ..
In fact, with a rough estimate of 50 million unknown asteroids, a 33-foot-wide (10-meter) near-Earth object could pass harmlessly between Earth and the orbit of the moon every day, .. Such an asteroid might hit Earth's atmosphere once every 10 years, but because of its small size, it would pose no substantial threat to the people or property below.
"They would certainly break up in Earth's atmosphere, or we might get some meteorites on the ground," Johnson said.
In Wednesday's double flyby, the larger of the two space rocks, asteroid 2010 RX30, approached Earth at 5:51 a.m. EDT (0951 GMT), passing within 154,000 miles (248,000 km). It was estimated to be between 33 and 65 feet (10 and 20 meters) wide.
The second asteroid was due to come closer. The 20- to 46-foot-wide (6 to 14 meters) asteroid 2010 RF12 was due to pass within 49,000 miles (79,000 km) of Earth at 5:12 pm EDT (2112 GMT), NASA asteroid trackers said.
Astronomers are still unsure where the asteroids originated, but they are hoping that observations taken during the flybys will shed some light.
"We can project their orbits back to see what part of the solar system they came from, and hopefully we'll get some information and be able to relate them to asteroid families," Johnson said.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
Two small asteroids in unrelated orbits are passing within the moon's distance of Earth on Wednesday,
Sept. 8, 2010. Both should be observable with moderate-sized amateur telescopes. Credit: NASA/JPL
What is their speed?
somewhere between boogeying pretty good and blinding
we have our best minds working on it right now..
NASA Panel Calls for Asteroid Defense Office
That's pretty close.
How long before one of these asteroids hits us is anybodies guess.
We need to get a reliable system in place to deflect, or break them up, before earth gets hit by one.
PS: I Got distracted.
Should read: how long before an asteroid large enough to penetrate our atmosphere hits us?
The best way to beat a dangerous asteroid might be another asteroid.
Not by using it to collide with the dangerous asteroid, but to wobble it.
Possible by setting out a net to “catch” the dangerous asteroid, with the net being cabled to the smaller asteroid. If the smaller asteroid is moving in a perpendicular direction, maybe propelled by an engine, when the cable tightens, something interesting happens.
The smaller asteroid is stopped by the cable, but the inertia of the dangerous asteroid pulls it in a third, arcing direction. This puts an arcing tug on the dangerous asteroid.
Within reason, even an asteroid that ways only a few tons could alter the direction of a much larger object.
Twenty one months ago the US was struck by an enormous ass***e and look at the damage that did.
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My co-worker told me about this today and I was very concerned, but then I read the facts. These ‘steroids are babies. Little guys. Even if they flew right into the earth the would probably leave a healthy sized crater, but nothing earth-changing unless they cratered into DC or London. (DAMN!)