Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Asteroids Near Earth
Posted on 10/01/2011 5:27:51 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Though the sizes are not to scale, the Sun and planets of the inner solar system are shown in this illustration, where each red dot represents an asteroid. New results from NEOWISE, the infrared asteroid hunting portion of the WISE mission, are shown on the left compared to old population projections of mid-size or larger near-Earth asteroids from surveys at visible wavelengths. And the good news is, NEOWISE observations estimate there are 40 percent fewer near-Earth asteroids that are larger than 100 meters (330 feet), than indicated by visible light searches. Based on infrared imaging, the NEOWISE results are more accurate as well. Heated by the Sun, asteroids of the same size radiate the same amount of infrared light, but can reflect very different amounts of visible sunlight depending on how shiny their surface is, or their surface albedo. That effect can bias surveys based on optical observations. NEOWISE results reduce the estimated number of mid-size near-Earth asteroids from about 35,000 to 19,500, but the majority still remain undiscovered.
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Let me get this right... each red dot is an asteroid? Okay... is this the point where I go running and screaming?!! LOL!
Don’t call them “asteroids”.
They are potential retirement homes for The Lyin’ King and his cohorts come January 2013!
You may, however, call them “ASSteroids”.
So the conclusion is (a) we get clobbered by an asteroid, (b) fried when our sun goes nova, or (c) swallowed by a black hole.
At least it puts a bad day in perspective.
Old Model: We THINK many object could do major damage.
New Model: We are SURE there are objects that can do damage, just half of what we were guessing before.
Okay people. We reduced the number of what we think we were seeing to what we now think we are seeing, but the true number of what we think we should be seeing is actually much MUCH more.
Now you can go running and screaming.
Now that astronomers have created a category called "dwarf planets," does that mean that there are also "dwarf planetoids"? Or are those just meteoroids?
...and one of those puppies has our number on it.
Otherwise know as Hemorrhoids.
“Now you can go running and screaming”.
Just waiting for the nod of the head! Aaaaaghhhaaaghhhh! LOL!
It’s amazing what gets found when these studies are done for reasons other than politics. :’) Previously a tiny study done in the 1990s showed that the estimates for big rocks in the vicinity was ten times too high, so there’s nothing to worry about, time to shift funding back to our programs. :’)
Many more than one, probably.
Otherwise known as a Royal Pain in the You-know-what! :-)
I saw on Fox a man (I am sorry but can’t remember his name for the life of me) who had been an astronaut. He was discussing that China’s space program is setting up to send a man to the moon. (there are security issues at hand as well). In a way, it is a demoralizing issue to the U.S. We shove our spacecraft into warehouses/museums and sort of just abandon it. Meanwhile, other countries are just gearing up. I understand fully that the U.S. economy is bad. However, if we cut other payments to stupid stuff/funding other countries then we would have plenty of money to keep our space program (and many other things) healthy IMHO.
“You stand there and take it like a man...”
Actually, I think FReeper gals are way more masculine and testosterone charged than metrosexual liberal men. We just look real GOOD while standing there. LOL>
You’ll get absolutely no argument from me about that!
There are some objects known to be in orbit around the Sun that are not in the ecliptic; and of course the ecliptic itself is pretty wide, and gets wider the further out one goes.
Here’s a blogger page that has a couple of nice pics relevant to this.
The Kuiper Belt, which is not yet known per se, merely hypothesized, yet there are asteroids that are associated with the KB:
And the Oort Cloud, which has never been seen, and for that matter may not exist (it was hypothesized to solve some problems in the math of the nebular model of the formation of the Solar System). This pic shows the known planets on one scale, shows our inner Solar System on another scale, shows the planets and Kuiper belt on yet another scale, then points to the location of that inside the Oort Cloud on still another scale.
It’s even worse than that. :’)
Something like it:
This will not be the first search of the sky for small comets with a ground-based telescope. About 10 years ago Clayne Yeates, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California designed a very clever way of detecting the small comets with the Spacewatch Telescope of the University of Arizona. His method relied upon passage of small comets by the Earth in an organized stream as inferred from the motions of atmospheric holes observed with Dynamics Explorer 1. Clayne, like so many other scientists in the 1980s, did not believe that the small comets existed. His technique to detect these small, dark, fast objects is shown in Figure 28 [left]. Telescopes are traditionally pointed so that they are staring at the stars. In order to see the small comets Clayne used the telescope in a "skeet shooting" manner. In other words, the telescope's pointing was moved in such a way as to keep the small comets in the sights of the telescope for a sufficiently long time that they would be recorded in the images.Here is a link (from 1988) to his feat of using a moving field of view: Science Frontiers Online, No. 58, July-August, 1988.
To Clayne's surprise he in fact did find the small comets in his images and in numbers that were predicted from the observations of atmospheric holes. The small comets were clearly detected in the images. Astronomers insisted that the comets should be detected in two consecutive photographs. Clayne returned to the telescope and gained these pairs of images of each small comet. Astronomers returned with the ridiculous demand that they now needed three images. The small comets were there and the astronomers of the Spacewatch Telescope could only offer the now familiar "camera noise" as a defense. Because of his untimely death Clayne was not able to continue his brilliant applications of ground-based telescopes in the pursuit of small comets.
"Using a telescope with a moving field of view -- a difficult technique that required a year of preliminary calculations to plan -- physicist Clayne Yeates has found and photographed what seems to be a population of fastmoving objects near earth that range between 8 and 16 feet in size. These previously undetected bodies match Frank's predictions concerning the speed, direction and number of pro posed comets flying by earth, says Yeates, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Another link here on the subject of optical telescope evidence of small comets.
Yeah, funny how that works, eh?
I’m surprised the AAAS didn’t have one of their Stalin-style show trials for Louis Frank et al — but then again, Carl Sagan’s dead, so those may have gone out of style.
...and I feel fine!