Skip to comments.Asteroid threat in 2032? Don't panic, but don't brush it off
Posted on 02/09/2014 3:40:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv
A big asteroid sailed past Earth last month, and astronomers haven't yet totally excluded the possibility that it'll hit us when it comes around in 2032. If the past is any guide, we won't have to worry about asteroid 2013 TV135 but it's a reminder that we'll have to fend off a killer space rock one of these days.
Ukrainian astronomers discovered 2013 TV135 just 10 days ago, well after the asteroid had its close encounter with Earth on Sept. 16. Actually, it wasn't all that close: The distance was 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers), or about 17 times as far away as the moon. But based on the rough estimates of its orbital path, experts rated its chances of colliding with Earth during a follow-up encounter in 2032 at 1 in 63,000.
"To put it another way, that puts the current probability of no impact in 2032 at about 99.998 percent," Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said Thursday in a statement. "This is a relatively new discovery. With more observations, I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce, or rule out entirely, any impact probability for the foreseeable future."
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com ...
This graphic shows the orbit of 2013 TV135, which ranges out to three-quarters of the distance to Jupiter's orbit. The asteroid's orbital period spans almost four years.
Asteroid 2013 TV135 A Reality Check
Newly discovered asteroid 2013 TV135 made a close approach to Earth on Sept. 16, when it came within about 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers). The asteroid is initially estimated to be about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in size and its orbit carries it as far out as about three quarters of the distance to Jupiter’s orbit and as close to the sun as Earth’s orbit. It was discovered on Oct. 8, 2013, by astronomers working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine. As of Oct. 14, asteroid 2013 TV135 is one of 10,332 near-Earth objects that have been discovered.
That’s why I want to see the asteroid miners out there getting to work. When an asteroid does pose a threat, they’ll likely get the contract to move it to a safer orbit.
On a side note, think of the possibilities of asteroid mining combined with the printing of large scale structures in space.
Great ideas.....all we need to do is find a source of
energy that is compact enough, robust enough and reliable
enough to allow such activities. To date we don’t have
that. In addition “3D printing” can make a number of
useful items, not everthing needed, especially those made
from hi strength, tempered metals but many. The trick of
course is that those printers need a source of material
to work with. Might as well haul the finished product
into space since the you’d have to haul the same weight in
material along and THEN print out what you want.
If...and that’s a BIG if, we can successfully find a way
to land on and mine asteroids the issue of raw material
will become much less a problem.
I keep thinking an atomic bomb would do the job and the scientists keep saying it would do no good.
It has to work at least to a large extent because it would increase the surface area subject to burning up in the atmosphere by thousands of times.
I sure hope one of the countries with a functioning space program works on this.
We’re too busy diverting funds to politicians and welfare.
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Physics is not my forte so I’m going to ask a couple of questions in hopes that someone can answer my questions.
My starting premise is that there are four axis that need to be equal in order for two objects to impact (X, Y, Z, and time).
So to move an object out of this future intersection, all that is required is to alter the travel of the object. A number of things have been proposed that would alter the objects trajectory, but most require s substantial amount of energy. Perhaps there is an easier way.
What if the project landed a series of small mass engines (say ion drives) around the asteroid and then engaged to fire such that a vector created a small push to accomplish two things. First apply some force towards the center of the object to hold the engine in place. Secondly, angle the thrust on all the engines to create a rotational acceleration on the object. If the object can be rotated, and that rotation increased, then the object will create a pull in that direction. That is if I remember my HS bicycle demonstration correctly. Yes the force will be small but applied over time this should move the object. If the trajectory was set up correctly, it could change the angle of the orbit and eventually either fly into the gravity well even faster.
Am I wrong in my thought process?
My idea for asteroids and comets is to redirect their orbits to collide with Mars.
This is a terra forming idea. Mars bigget flaw as I see it is that it lacks a magnetosphere and gravity strong enough to hold an atmosphere dense enough for human habitation.
If we bombard Mars with enough asteroids and comets we will add enough mass, gases and water to make it habitable. The added benefit being that we are ridding the neighborhood of NEOs.
It may take a million years unless we come across a really large nickel-iron asteroid and a big comet to drop on Mars but do we have anything better to do with asteroids, comets and Mars?
Mars has 1/8th the mass of the Earth. The mass of all the main belt asteroids adds up to a fraction of the mass of the Earth’s Moon, which is itself 1/100th the mass of the Earth. IOW, this terraforming idea won’t work.
Martian habitats for humans would/will consist of orbital stations and closed, self-sufficient buildings on the surface.
One of the ideas for moving the asteroids is to put a low-thrust (but high specific impulse) engine on a vehicle that first swings into proximity with the asteroid to be nudged. The gravity of the asteroid would give the craft a come-hither, and the engine would push against this, thus towing the asteroid in the desired direction.
It’s an interesting idea, but I prefer crash-bang solutions, such as redirecting small debris (a few, to ten meters) using a similar engine, preferably already moving retrograde, and crashing it directly into the target asteroid. The energy delivery would be enormous.
Using robotic means for most of the processing would be necessary, but crews would have to be rotated in and out to keep things operating.
The useful materials processed out could be “piled” for eventual delivery.
The tailings could be processed with some available gas (or water vapor) into mineral foam — lightweight, strong, and plentiful — and extruded into very large structures.
Titanium, which is probably somewhat plentiful, could be extruded (perhaps as a foam)into reentry vehicles, which would be equipped with basic, necessary methods of control (sent up from Earth, no doubt), loaded with the useful metals and such from the “piles”, and dead-sticked down to Edwards etc.
The bonus to this approach is, reentry vehicles — basically, space shuttles — rain down with the useful materials aboard, and are available thereafter as launch vehicles.
I’ll most likely be outta here.
Let’s send some Muslims up there to take care of it.
If it hit Earth, some liberal will say it is the Tea Party fault!!
I look at it as a means of building the large ships we need for real space travel but yes, the materials could also be returned to earth. The profitability would have to start on earth but the future is beyond.
A while back I was watching a show about colonizing mars and they were demonstrating a full sized concrete printer for standing structures. Obviously its cost prohibitive to carry concrete to mars but a lot of mars has sulfur rich soil. That soil can be heated to 239 degrees to melt the sulfur and then printed into structural walls like concrete. I think people really underestimate the possibilities 3D printing opens up.
I guess at my current age I won’t be around...likely I will already have been euthanized years before by an Obamacare death panel who decided I was too old and of no use to the socialist order.
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