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Heavenly body gives Bush a close call
The Guardian ^ | Thursday February 26, 2004 | David Adam

Posted on 02/26/2004 2:42:23 PM PST by presidio9

January 14 could have been a bad day for George Bush. As the president was preparing to announce America's return to the moon in a speech at the headquarters of Nasa, he was almost asked to deliver a very different message: that the Earth could suffer a devastating asteroid strike within 24 hours. Astronomers have revealed that during a "nine-hour crisis" the night before Mr Bush's speech they believed there was a one in four chance an asteroid would hit the planet in 36 hours. Had it not been for a break in the clouds that allowed an amateur astronomer to give the all-clear, the scientists say they were on the verge of calling the White House.

"A preliminary analysis of the discovery data for this object yielded a possible impact with the Earth in less than two days' time," said David Morrison, an asteroid and comet impact hazard expert at Nasa's Ames Research Centre. "And if a possibility of an impact in two days existed, what should we do about notifying governments or the public?"

The scientists could only say they thought the 30-metre asteroid would strike somewhere in the northern hemisphere; at that size it would have exploded well before reaching the ground, though it could have killed thousands if it broke up over a big city.

The object - named 2004 AS1 - turned out to be around 500 metres across, and passed the Earth at a safe range of about 12m km: some 32 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

Details of the events of January 13 were revealed this week by a veteran sky-watcher, Clark Chapman, at a planetary protection conference in California. He said the object had first been spotted in four grainy images taken by two automated telescopes set up to watch for asteroids in New Mexico. It had been impossible to calculate its orbit accurately from the images, but when the information was posted on the internet an amateur astronomer noticed the mystery object was predicted to get 40 times brighter by the same time the following day, bringing it six times closer to the Earth.

Astronomers confirmed that the asteroid could be on a collision course, but the telescopes that could see the relevant part of the sky were obscured by cloud.

Several hours after the scare began, an amateur astronomer, Brian Warner in Colorado, saw through a gap in the clouds and confirmed the area of sky was empty.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: annakournikova; asteroid; asteroids; astronomy; bushhaters; chickenlittle; heavenlybodies; meteor; neardeath; neardeathexperience; nearzotexperience; quacks; scientists; theskyisfalling; thisisseries
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To: LibKill
Wesley Clark was interested in exploring time travel possibilities (you can search for the thread).
41 posted on 02/26/2004 4:55:18 PM PST by weegee (Election 2004: Re-elect President Bush... Don't feed the trolls.)
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To: weegee
Wesley Clark was ridiculed for his belief in time travel and for his cocksure assertion that he would prevent any terrorist attacks from hitting the US if he was President. In fact, the two are linked: he would use time travel to go into the future and learn about the attacks, then backtrack to just before the attacks and nab the would-be perpetrators. Couldn't fail.
42 posted on 02/26/2004 5:03:08 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: weegee
I said SPACE travel, not TIME travel.

Do 20 pushups and call me in the morning! :)

43 posted on 02/26/2004 5:06:11 PM PST by LibKill (My sigil: Two crossed, dead, Frenchmen emblazoned on a mound of dead Frenchmen.)
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To: presidio9
I wonder how many times the President is told he might have to announce something of this magnitude. All the intelligence on terrorists, enemies, information on impending plagues, ...

"Mr President. There's a 50% chance the end of the world in near. We'll know better this afternoon."

"Well, we'll write up a speech. Just let us know by 4:00."
44 posted on 02/26/2004 5:07:23 PM PST by gitmo (Who is John Galt?)
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To: LibKill
Sorry. That's what I get for multitasking threads, freepmail, email, and skimming as I read.
45 posted on 02/26/2004 5:16:12 PM PST by weegee (Election 2004: Re-elect President Bush... Don't feed the trolls.)
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To: gitmo
I hear that during the moon missions there was a contingency speech to address the "tragedy" of not being able to get the astronauts off the moon.

Don't know if it was true. Some catastrophies cannot be planned for. Other times, it is just too hard to fathom how great a tragedy is until it occurs (meaning that you cannot write a speech to address such an issue until it happens).

46 posted on 02/26/2004 5:19:03 PM PST by weegee (Election 2004: Re-elect President Bush... Don't feed the trolls.)
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To: presidio9
I paid 157 gazillion for a flying space telescope and no one could spin the damned thing around to take a look?

There are space stations and shuttles and with all the "scientific tools" on board no can find some sort of telescope to look out the frickin window?

Weve spent more on getting a rover to Mars than the GDP of some countries but a planet killer could be missed because clouds obscured some amatuers line of sight?

These people are useless...

47 posted on 02/26/2004 5:28:44 PM PST by gnarledmaw
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To: weegee
Sorry. That's what I get for multitasking threads, freepmail, email, and skimming as I read.

I'd give you a whalloping forum spanking! Except that I have done the same thing.

FReegards, Friend!

48 posted on 02/26/2004 5:31:38 PM PST by LibKill (Ketchup-Boy is more French than the French!)
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To: presidio9
Did Asteroid And Comets Change The Tides Of Civilization?
49 posted on 02/26/2004 5:42:34 PM PST by blam
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To: bonfire
It kinda makes you wonder just what would Pres. Bush HAVE told us??

Uh, heads up...

What's the plan for an asteroid hit?

I don't need to be told by the government what to do, or how to prepare. A heads up would do me just fine.

50 posted on 02/26/2004 6:18:44 PM PST by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: gnarledmaw
Weve spent more on getting a rover to Mars than the GDP of some countries but a planet killer could be missed because clouds obscured some amatuers line of sight?

Uh, it was an amateur astronomer that obtained the information. Your in good hands with us amateurs

Hadenuf observatory, Planet Saturn 2/15/04, 923 p.m. PST.


51 posted on 02/26/2004 6:28:06 PM PST by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Ole Okie
Sale on hard hats at Walmart?
52 posted on 02/26/2004 6:44:25 PM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: bonfire
Probably little or nothing depending on the size. If it was huge and close, and going to hit close or in the US there is nothing they would have done but to get the gov. ready for evacuation. Wouldn't want to clog the roads with us civilians trying to get away.

If it was smaller they would have told us to go to the old bomb shelters. Oh and bring your guns and cans of bear spray because there will be looting especially in the cities.
53 posted on 02/26/2004 7:02:34 PM PST by JSteff
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To: presidio9
They are both smiling, I don't think it is about the asteroid.
54 posted on 02/26/2004 7:08:35 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: gnarledmaw
"These people are useless..."

Yeah, but the kids love it.
55 posted on 02/26/2004 7:09:54 PM PST by JSteff
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To: weegee
Last summer I was exiting my front door when I saw a large green streak coming down from the sky and disappearing over the horizon. I had no idea how large it was, but it looked huge. I knew that if it was as huge as it looked I was over! Funny thing is I just stood there waiting--nothing happened--so I went on. Later I heard a lot of people saw it, a meteorite that evidentally burned up in the atmosphere. I will never forget that helpless and then "oh well" feeling I had while waiting to see if my time was up.

There I feel better for having told you all. Mrs PD
56 posted on 02/26/2004 7:11:02 PM PST by pepperdog (God Bless and Protect our Troops)
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To: presidio9
Was this more like what you were expecting?

No, actually, I was not expecting her hind end to hang down so much. I would be embarrassed if mine hung down like that. She's a famous beauty and I woulda thought she'd do some exercises to tone up back there; it's her job.

57 posted on 02/26/2004 9:54:28 PM PST by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: weegee
Hyperbole rules the day.

A more accurate view of reality has never been verbalized. I've been inwardly grumbling about that very thing for months. If Ted Kennedy manages to raise his soused head for long enough to lurch into another sozzled harangue - in which he lets zillions of delusional lies roll past his whiskey drenched tongue - I'm going to have a vomiting episode magnificent enough to change the sea level.
58 posted on 02/27/2004 12:40:10 AM PST by Jaysun (No matter how rich a man is, he can only drink 30-40 beers a day.)
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Note: this is a topic from 2004.


· Catastrophism ping list · join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark ·

59 posted on 11/06/2006 10:09:59 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Dhimmicrati delenda est! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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