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Possible Mars Impact Highlights Risk To Earth
New Scientist ^ | 1-4-2007 | David Shiga

Posted on 01/03/2008 4:38:58 PM PST by blam

Possible Mars impact highlights risk to Earth

00:01 04 January 2008
NewScientist.com news service
David Shiga

Asteroid 2007 WD5's orbit takes it from just outside Earth's orbit through Mars's orbit to the asteroid belt (Illustration: JPL/NASA)Tools

An asteroid hurtling towards Mars has a 1 in 28 chance of walloping the Red Planet, according to the latest calculations.

The rock's discovery just a couple of months before a possible impact begs the question of what would happen if it were instead headed for Earth – the only option, astronomers say, would be to evacuate any inhabited areas it might hit.

The asteroid, called 2007 WD5, was discovered on 20 November by a 1.5 metre telescope near Tucson, Arizona, US, that combs the skies as part of NASA's efforts to detect asteroids with a chance of hitting Earth.

It is an estimated 50 metres across, putting it in the same class as the Tunguska object that exploded over Siberia in 1908, flattening trees in an area extending many kilometres from the explosion.

Early calculations gave the asteroid a 1 in 75 chance of striking Mars on 30 January 2008.

Then, additional observations of the asteroid on 8 November were found in archival images from the 2.5-metre telescope at the Apache Point Observatory near Cloudcroft, New Mexico, US. As a result, NASA's Near Earth Object Program, based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, US, reported on 28 December that the impact probability had increased to 3.9%, or about 1 in 20.

Temporary increase

But new observations taken between 29 December and 2 January using a 2.4-metre telescope at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico have revised the probability again, slightly lowering it to 3.6%, or about 1 in 28.

(Excerpt) Read more at space.newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; earth; impact; mars; risk

1 posted on 01/03/2008 4:39:00 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

1 in 28? It was 1 in 25 last week...


2 posted on 01/03/2008 4:40:14 PM PST by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: blam

Still got my fingers crossed. (for a mars impact)


3 posted on 01/03/2008 4:40:27 PM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
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To: blam

4 posted on 01/03/2008 4:40:29 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

One of those “sooner or later” things. Just like global warming and global cooling.


5 posted on 01/03/2008 4:40:47 PM PST by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: SunkenCiv; Jet Jaguar
New Observations Slightly Decrease Mars Impact Probability
6 posted on 01/03/2008 4:41:58 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam
evacuate any inhabited areas it might hit

I suppose Chinese Fire Drills aren't like they used to be in the old silent movies, but this would be a lot like that.

7 posted on 01/03/2008 4:42:03 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: cripplecreek

Hope the Rovers don’t go the way of the dinosaurs . They should be able to get pictures if it hits in their vicinity .


8 posted on 01/03/2008 4:45:15 PM PST by Renegade (You go tell my buddies)
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To: Jet Jaguar

The error radius will decrease in the days ahead but the center of most likely path will be about where it is now and the radius will not include Mars so the probability will go to zero.


9 posted on 01/03/2008 4:45:31 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: RightWhale

BUSH’S FAULT!!!

You guys are getting slow.

MARTIAN WOMEN AND MINORITIES HARDEST HIT!!!

Real slow.


10 posted on 01/03/2008 4:46:13 PM PST by JusPasenThru (Just another angry military veteran.)
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To: Sacajaweau

Yep:

Could be, perhaps, maybe, could happen, sooner or later, possibility … science at its best. ;-)


11 posted on 01/03/2008 4:46:13 PM PST by doc1019 (Rabbit and the Hare … Fred ‘08)
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To: RightWhale

Maybe New Orleans will get a 2nd chance to do it right.


12 posted on 01/03/2008 4:46:30 PM PST by Rb ver. 2.0 (Global warming is the new Marxism.)
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To: RightWhale; blam

Thanks.


13 posted on 01/03/2008 4:46:41 PM PST by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: RightWhale

Killjoy.


14 posted on 01/03/2008 4:47:16 PM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: blam

Life on Mars will not be the same.


15 posted on 01/03/2008 4:47:26 PM PST by Always Right
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To: blam

Thing that freaks me out is this thing is only 150 feet wide, but could flatten a city. It’s almost “unfair” that due to the speeds one of these things doesnt have to be very big to wipe us out. A mile wide would be enough to mess up the planet. And if it’s several miles wide we are cooked.

I wonder why do they say the only option would be to evacuate? Why couldn’t we try to alter the course of a 50 meter wide rock?


16 posted on 01/03/2008 4:49:41 PM PST by Williams
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To: blam

Of course there is a greater risk for the Earth (than for Mars), we are a bigger target.


17 posted on 01/03/2008 4:50:09 PM PST by reg45
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To: Williams

This is one of my favorite themes which I will not go into at this time, but we could capture such an asteroid and park it for later possible use for something else.


18 posted on 01/03/2008 4:51:33 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: null and void

It would be utmost kool if it hit, but it looks like a miss.


19 posted on 01/03/2008 4:52:44 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: RightWhale
Airborne astronomers to track intense meteor shower

TONIGHT!!

20 posted on 01/03/2008 4:53:34 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: RightWhale

I don’t suppose there’s any chance that Mars will perturb it enough to hit earth?


21 posted on 01/03/2008 4:54:49 PM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: RightWhale

I’ve always liked the idea of using earth crossing asteroids as a means to transport supplies and equipment closer to places we needed them out in the solar system.


22 posted on 01/03/2008 4:54:52 PM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
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To: cripplecreek

We should have a continuously operating shuttle system between earth and moon, and earth and Mars if we want to get serious about this space thing. Regular operation like a city bus system. Would cost something to set up, but once operating it would save beaucoup bucks.


23 posted on 01/03/2008 4:58:21 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: Williams

If it were to hit Mars there would be a greater risk to productive life forms than if it hit the Ninth Ward dead-on.


24 posted on 01/03/2008 5:00:35 PM PST by AbeKrieger (There is a special place in Hell for Lyndon Johnson.)
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To: RightWhale

I know that one of our former astronauts has proposed the idea of a series 4 or 6 of unmanned ships that continually orbit between earth and mars. Sort of an interstellar bus line.


25 posted on 01/03/2008 5:01:45 PM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
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To: cripplecreek

Yeah, it’s an excellent plan if we are serious. This business of launching single flights like Apollo is way too expensive for a substantial continuing program.


26 posted on 01/03/2008 5:07:24 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: null and void

Hillary’s campaign bus would make a good target. ;-)


27 posted on 01/03/2008 5:11:52 PM PST by Normal4me
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To: Normal4me
Hmmmm. Joint session at her inauguration?
28 posted on 01/03/2008 5:17:49 PM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: cripplecreek

Although it would work for Gummint science stuff, I wouldn’t see a commercial reason at all involving Mars; the asteroid belt is a different story.


29 posted on 01/03/2008 5:21:38 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: RightWhale

Sticking with the space treaty is foolish. Anyone who believes that a nation like China would pass up the chance at the mineral wealth of the asteroid belt is fooling themselves.

The only thing stopping China from doing it now is the lack of ability. American corporations probably would have been well on their way without that damned treaty.


30 posted on 01/03/2008 5:27:16 PM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
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To: cripplecreek

Agree on that. When the super huge pipelines are built for natural gas from Siberia or Alaska to markets thousands of miles away, or when water pipelines are built from Alaska/Canada to California or Georgia the steel requirement will be monstrous and a huge drain on the steel industry worldwide. Asteroid mining could supply that need, and already would be doing so except for the Treaty. Indeed.


31 posted on 01/03/2008 5:32:45 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: JusPasenThru

How about a headline like “Mars turns Red over Asteroid; Moscow is happy.”

Do you know what Martian parents tell their children when they misbehave? “Don’t make an asteroid out of yourself.”

I know these are bad but what do you want so early in the year?

Comets rule!


32 posted on 01/03/2008 5:35:42 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper (Madmax, the Grinning Reaper)
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To: Max Friedman

Where I went to school we were known as “The Comets” so yes we do indeed rule.


33 posted on 01/03/2008 5:40:35 PM PST by cripplecreek (Only one consistent conservative in this race and his name is Hunter.)
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To: blam

Maybe we can get Al Gore to start a “Save Mars!” campaign.


34 posted on 01/03/2008 5:49:23 PM PST by Juan Medén
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To: Juan Medén

Let’s send Al Gore TO Mars to save it. I’ll pay for that trip. Probably would need a Saturn V rocket to launch that payload.

Or we could make him the third moon of Mars - Algore - along with Deimos and Phobos.


35 posted on 01/03/2008 5:59:47 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper (Madmax, the Grinning Reaper)
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To: RightWhale
"...This is one of my favorite themes which I will not go into at this time, but we could capture such an asteroid and park it for later possible use for something else....

Dude, read (FReeper) Jeff Head's book where we harvest rocks in space and convert them into "Rods From God" against the hegemonistic Chinese. It's SO you.

36 posted on 01/03/2008 6:07:23 PM PST by -=SoylentSquirrel=- (I'm really made of people!)
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To: Sacajaweau
Sooner or later? Ya think? Whatever gives you that idea?


37 posted on 01/03/2008 6:19:51 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: blam
Which do you suppose represents the greater risk to life on Earth?

....Global Warming.
or
....An asteroid strike.

If Algore really wanted to do something useful, he's promoting the wrong catastrophe.

38 posted on 01/03/2008 7:35:21 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: blam; 75thOVI; AFPhys; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; ...
Thanks blam.
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

39 posted on 01/04/2008 8:49:16 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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To: blam
the only option, astronomers say, would be to evacuate any inhabited areas it might hit.

After seeing FEMA in action before Katrina, we better get started now.

40 posted on 01/04/2008 8:54:54 AM PST by The Sons of Liberty (It's as simple as ABC - Anyone But Clinton!!!!)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

And that is a small one....

150 feet across will take out more than a city. Think about all of the volcanic ash for the last 25 years being tossed into the atmosphere within a millisecond. That would take the edge of global warming for a few months.

Get used to eating canned food. Nothing will grow for about year. A sunny day at the beach would be a memory for a few years.

Starving will take folks minds off Brittany though. So we got that going for us.


41 posted on 01/04/2008 8:58:36 AM PST by Vermont Lt (I am not from Vermont. I lived there for four years and that was enough.)
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To: cripplecreek; Max Friedman

Daddy would have gotten us Uzis...


42 posted on 01/04/2008 9:01:46 AM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: cripplecreek
Still got my fingers crossed. (for a mars impact)

Better them than us...

43 posted on 01/04/2008 9:15:47 AM PST by Dr.Deth
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To: blam
1 in 28

Those odds are better than my picking the winner in any given football game on any given day. I think I'm about 0 fer 1000 over the last few years.

44 posted on 01/04/2008 9:56:08 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Visions of sugarplums dancing in your head are probably caused by bad drugs.....)
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To: -=SoylentSquirrel=-

Not even close. Mining asteroids for steel to build pipelines for natural gas and water is my interest. Bombardment by arachnoids is somebody else’s pipedream.


45 posted on 01/04/2008 10:41:48 AM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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