Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Asteroid With Chance of Hitting Earth in 2029 Now Being Watched 'Very Carefully' (1 in 43 odds)
http://www.space.com ^ | Update, Dec. 25, 9:47 p.m. ET | Robert Roy Britt

Posted on 12/26/2004 8:33:58 PM PST by shadowman99


Original story below

Update, Dec. 25, 9:47 p.m. ET: The risk of an impact by asteroid 2004 MN4 went up slightly on Saturday, Dec. 25. It is now pegged at having a 1-in -45 chance of striking the planet on April 13, 2029. That's up from 1-in-63 late on Dec. 24, and 1-in-300 early on Dec. 24.

Astronomers still stress that it is very likely the risk will be reduced to zero with further observations. And even as it stands with present knowledge, the chances are 97.8 percent the rock will miss Earth.


Update, Dec. 24, 10:19 p.m. ET: An asteroid that has a small chance of hitting Earth in the year 2029 was upgraded to an unprecedented level of risk Friday, Dec. 24. Scientists still stress, however, that further observations will likely show the space rock won't be on a collision course with the planet.

The risk rating for asteroid 2004 MN4 was raised Friday by NASA and a separate group of researchers in Italy.

The asteroid's risk rating a possible impact scenario on April 13, 2029 has now been categorized as a 4 on the Torino Scale. The level 4 rating -- never before issued -- is reserved for "events meriting concern."

The Dec. 24 update from NASA stated:

"2004 MN4 is now being tracked very carefully by many astronomers around the world, and we continue to update our risk analysis for this object. Today's impact monitoring results indicate that the impact probability for April 13, 2029 has risen to about 1.6 percent, which for an object of this size corresponds to a rating of 4 on the ten-point Torino Scale. Nevertheless, the odds against impact are still high, about 60-to-1, meaning that there is a better than 98 percent chance that new data in the coming days, weeks, and months will rule out any possibility of impact in 2029."

With a half-dozen or so other asteroid discoveries dating back to 1997, scientists had announced long odds of an impact -- generating frightening headlines in some cases -- only to announce within hours or days that the impact chances had been reduced to zero by further observations. Experts have said repeatedly that they are concerned about alarming the public before enough data is gathered to project an asteroid's path accurately.

Asteroid 2004 MN4 is an unusual case in that follow-up observations have caused the risk assessment to climb -- from Torino level 2 to 4 -- rather than fall.


An edited version of the 2004 MN4 story originally posted on SPACE.com at 9:58 a.m. ET on Dec. 24:

Scientists said Thursday that a recently discovered asteroid has a chance of hitting Earth in the year 2029, but that further observations would likely rule out the impact scenario.

The asteroid is named 2004 MN4. It was discovered in June and spotted again this month. It is about a quarter mile (400 meters) wide.

That's bigger than the space rock that carved meteor crater in Arizona, and bigger than one that exploded in the air above Siberia in 1908, flattening thousands of square miles of forest. If an asteroid the size of 2004 MN4 hit the Earth, it would do considerable localized or regional damage. It would not cause damage on a global scale.

Scientists stressed, however, that the rock would likely miss the planet.

A statement was released by NASA asteroid experts Don Yeomans, Steve Chesley and Paul Chodas.

"The odds of impact, presently around 1-in-300, are unusual enough to merit special monitoring by astronomers, but should not be of public concern," the scientists said. "These odds are likely to change on a day-to-day basis as new data are received. In all likelihood, the possibility of impact will eventually be eliminated as the asteroid continues to be tracked by astronomers around the world."

The scientists project an asteroid's future travels based on observations of its current orbit around the Sun. On computer models, the future orbits are not lines but rather windows of possibility. The orbit projections for 2004 MN4 on April 13, 2029 cover a wide swath of space that includes the location where Earth will be. Additional observations will allow refined orbit forecasts -- more like a line instead of a window.

The asteroid will be easily observable in coming months, so scientists expect to figure out its path.

Most asteroids circle the Sun in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. But some get gravitationally booted toward the inner solar system.

The 323-day orbit of 2004 MN4 lies mostly within the orbit of Earth. The asteroid approaches the Sun almost as close as the orbit of Venus. It crosses near the Earth's orbit twice on each of its passages about the Sun.

2004 MN4 was discovered on June 19 by Roy Tucker, David Tholen and Fabrizio Bernardi of the NASA-funded University of Hawaii Asteroid Survey. It was rediscovered on Dec. 18 from Australia by Gordon Garradd of the Siding Spring Survey. More than three dozen observations have been made, with more expected to roll in from other observatories this week.

It has been a busy stretch for asteroid scientists. Earlier this week, researchers announced that a small space rock had zoomed past Earth closer than the orbits of some satellites.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: 2029; artbell; asteroid; theskyisfalling
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-117 next last
To: shadowman99
Projectile:
Diameter:
Velocity:
Target:
Rocky Asteroid
380 meters
13 km/s
Earth

This is the 10 km impact crater Bosumtwi in Ghana, Africa.

Energy Released: 1381 Megatons
(All of the world's Nuclear Weapons: 10,000 Megatons)

Earthquake Magnitude 7.7 (largest recorded Earthquake: 9.5)
Crater Diameter: 3.6 km
Crater Depth: 0.4 km
A collision this large occurs roughly once every 12,000 years.

Data source: http://janus.astro.umd.edu/astro/impact/ (new window)

51 posted on 12/26/2004 9:53:54 PM PST by FierceDraka ("I am not going to sit here, and listen to you BAD MOUTH the United States of America! Gentlemen!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99
April 13, 2029? The San Francisco Giants are running out of time to win their first World Series.
52 posted on 12/26/2004 9:54:03 PM PST by smonk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: COEXERJ145

I will be 75, but I already don't care at 55 , so no worries from me lol. By the way the ending was cool as hell, I mean what can you do? You might as well enjoy the grandeur of it all.


53 posted on 12/26/2004 9:55:13 PM PST by lwoodham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Robert_Paulson2
one "wormwood" asteroid....

Possible reference to AC Clarke's "Light of Other Days", perhaps?

;-D

54 posted on 12/26/2004 9:56:07 PM PST by FierceDraka ("I am not going to sit here, and listen to you BAD MOUTH the United States of America! Gentlemen!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99
I am glad it will not cause destruction of global scale. However, if it did hit Earth, it would most likely fall into the ocean and create tsunami of biblical proportion.
55 posted on 12/26/2004 9:59:08 PM PST by Fishing-guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexasGreg
The "good" news is that this puppy passes close to the earth multiple times ... close enough for us to reach it with current tech. I

This also means that its relative speed is not that great. This will limit the damage on impact as we use a series of large nukes to adjust its landing point to precisely...Mecca.

56 posted on 12/26/2004 9:59:43 PM PST by BlazingArizona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

Wonder what the uncertainty is on size....1/4 mile diameter, +/- 1/4 mile? Be nice to know possible projected impact regions soon.....Terhan??

So....what is Bush doin' 'bout this and when did he find out about it, hmmmm!?


57 posted on 12/26/2004 10:01:42 PM PST by griffin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lwoodham

Bt the way I had an unnerving dream 2 nights ago about an asteroid striking nearby with an unimaginable explosion. My whole house with me in it was literaly and with great forrce blown high into the air. Shivers. I don't know if this was cause an effect, or effect and cause lmao.

I actually witnessed an inbound meteorite many years ago in Huntsville , Alabama. There was a flash of light bright as day(it was around 8 p.m. ), and the light flashed overhead at a great rate. Later we all found that an asteroid had come down somewhere in Kentecky that night.


58 posted on 12/26/2004 10:03:13 PM PST by lwoodham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: tscislaw; snopercod
1974 Grand Torino Sport.

351 cu in Cleveland engine; 4-bbl carb; limited slip differential (3:25:1); C-6 transmission; extra transmission oil cooler.

The air cleaner housing had a second opening in the side, vacuum-operated, that would open to allow more air, when you leaned into the throttle.

Car was light brown-gold metalic with buckskin interior. Console w' shifter.

14 mpg in town, maybe 19 on the highway.

A friend of mine, at the same time that I ordered mine, ordered for his wife, a four door Torino with the complete Police Package; a genuine "sleeper."

That Torino could really move.

59 posted on 12/26/2004 10:05:15 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99
Wake me up in 2028. I'll be 51. YIKES!
60 posted on 12/26/2004 10:06:21 PM PST by Conservomax (There are no solutions, only trade-offs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BlazingArizona

I think its doing around 15 km/sec. Thats moving pretty quick.


61 posted on 12/26/2004 10:10:53 PM PST by Andrew LB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 56 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

I was really hoping it would hit here in about 2006 --- 41:09:34N 73:45:55W


62 posted on 12/26/2004 10:14:16 PM PST by doug from upland (THE RED STATES - celebrate a great American tradition)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fishing-guy
"I am glad it will not cause destruction of global scale. However, if it did hit Earth, it would most likely fall into the ocean and create tsunami of biblical proportion."

I was just thinking about that. Is there any way to know for certain that's not exactly what happened earlier today?

Any geologists here to take a stab at that?

63 posted on 12/26/2004 10:20:17 PM PST by shadowman99
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: ExSoldier

Definitely an incredible work of science fiction. A favorite of mine from an early age :)


64 posted on 12/26/2004 10:29:49 PM PST by rommy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: smonk

Not to mention the Browns and the Superbowl . . .


65 posted on 12/26/2004 10:36:03 PM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: Phsstpok

Ping.


66 posted on 12/26/2004 10:36:56 PM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

I guess since the global warming thing has been pretty thoroughly debunked, the catastrophists need a new living.


67 posted on 12/26/2004 10:46:27 PM PST by thoughtomator (Nobody expects the secular inquisition!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

We all gonna die!


68 posted on 12/26/2004 11:05:54 PM PST by eclectic (Liberalism is a mental disorder)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Darkwolf377
I'm holding off on joining Netflix. If the world ends and there are days left in the month, I ain't losin out!

My wife just old me the same thing for cookies and ice cream. Or could it be that she wants me to lose weight? Nah, I know it's the asteroid...

69 posted on 12/26/2004 11:13:57 PM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Caipirabob
"My wife just old me the same thing for cookies and ice cream. Or could it be that she wants me to lose weight? Nah, I know it's the asteroid..."

She's hoping if you slim down you won't be such a good target for the asteroid. That woman's a saint! :)

70 posted on 12/26/2004 11:40:24 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Meeting lunacy with lunacy since 1965.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

And it's a Friday the 13th too!


71 posted on 12/26/2004 11:49:53 PM PST by Redcloak ("FOUR MORE BEERS! FOUR MORE BEERS! FOUR MORE BEERS!" -Teresa Heinz Kerry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void

1 in 43 is still a big yawner.

Give me 1 in 10 and it will be time to sit up.


72 posted on 12/26/2004 11:53:43 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the decayed feeling...which thinks nothing worth war, is worse." -Mill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: konaice
Why do they treat us like babies? We can take 9/11 We can handle Falluja We can deal with this too.

You're kidding right? A 400 meter diameter asteroid impact would make those events seem trivial by any destructive standards.

73 posted on 12/26/2004 11:57:48 PM PST by Joe Hadenuf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeTeen

ick.....47 here.

Man, time flies.


74 posted on 12/27/2004 12:01:19 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the decayed feeling...which thinks nothing worth war, is worse." -Mill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak

you are kidding me....lol.


75 posted on 12/27/2004 12:05:00 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the decayed feeling...which thinks nothing worth war, is worse." -Mill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 71 | View Replies]

To: FierceDraka

book of revelation.

a star called "wormwood" crashes into the earth in the end times and kills one third of life on the planet.

if clarke used it in one of his stories, he probably got it from there...

nothing new under the sun.


76 posted on 12/27/2004 12:11:57 AM PST by Robert_Paulson2 ("allahu akhbar..." the call to murder?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 54 | View Replies]

To: HighWheeler

I will periodically bump this thread for the next twenty-four years.


77 posted on 12/27/2004 12:11:59 AM PST by Freedom4US
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: HighWheeler
These odds estimates are based on a Monte Carlo probabilities, where several variables are each part of the matrix.

Its a little more complicated than that, but roughly true. They have not been able to nail down some of the parameters that would allow them to get at some extremely precise orbital elements. They'll be hovering around 1:43 until they get some better sensors looking at it; right now, that represents the margin of error for the models based on a lack of important parameters e.g. the rotational period and axis relative to the sun. It isn't as though they can't produce exceedingly precise orbital predictions but that they do not trust some of the data they have so far. Some of the unofficial analyses on the same data that tries to adjust for dubious data or bad calibration and giving missing parametric data "statistically representative" values is putting impact probability at closer to 1:20. But we still need better data, which will require the asteroid to be visible in the northern hemisphere to a significant extent, something which will happen in a bit. Right now, the rock is hovering around the South Pole.

78 posted on 12/27/2004 12:24:15 AM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: griffin
Wonder what the uncertainty is on size....1/4 mile diameter, +/- 1/4 mile?

Most folks are currently giving the diameter to be a quarter-mile +/- a factor of 3 i.e. it could be 3/4 of a mile in diameter (a country killer there). The photometric calibrations have been completely hosed, leading to data that is pretty uncertain for the size calculation. Once they sort this out with a ton of high-quality measurements, I get the impression that the feeling is that this rock could actually be a bit larger than currently estimated. We'll know soon enough, but the current margin of error on the size is huge and the people examining the calibration of the current data seem to think that they may have underestimated the size. A lot of the data currently being collected is pretty amateur because the asteroid is so deep in the southern hemisphere.

A >1km diameter asteroid would be substantially more catastrophic than the current size estimate suggests.

79 posted on 12/27/2004 12:37:01 AM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: tortoise
I have been thinking about this. I agree that Monte Carlo analysis is surely being done on this. That means they know minimum(0 in case of a strike) and maximum distances of passage based on 1 in 43 odds. I have been trying to figure out if the maximum passage distance includes the moon within the possible strike cone. I realize that much more data will be required to know where the moon will be in orbit at that point in time. The rock hitting the moon would not probably cause any appreciable orbit change since the moon's mass is much greater, but would provide some incredible chances for science and the greatest light show of all time.
80 posted on 12/27/2004 12:40:50 AM PST by lwoodham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: Joe Hadenuf

So what? Does that mean everybody is going to commit suicide and rob banks, rape and pillage?

13000 died this weekend in tsunamis. With warning of even a few hours few would have died. With warning of a few weeks no one would have died.

With warning of a few weeks we could mount massive computer simulations to determine a fairly prcise point of impact and do mass evacuations.

People can handle this stuff if they are simply told about it. The idea that we need government to hide the truth from us is frankly rather insulting to me, but if that's what gets you thru the night, you're welcome to it.


81 posted on 12/27/2004 12:55:18 AM PST by konaice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 73 | View Replies]

To: All

Impact probability has been revised upward per JPL/NASA, now 2.7% (1:37 roughly). As I mentioned in other threads, much of the margin of error is mecessary due to suspect calibrations and missing parameters for the orbital models. Once we get the data problem sorted out, the orbital elements should solidify very nicely.


82 posted on 12/27/2004 1:25:00 AM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 80 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

Nuclear won't do it either. When Nukes go off on earth, its the shock wave and heat that do the most damage. Out in space even hitting one side of a rather large asteroid may do a little melting but since a nuke in space would be mostly heat and light, there is no kinetic shock energy to break up the asteroid or to make it change course. Even if you could land on the asteroid to bury it or drill deep to place it, there is no air in the rock of said asteroid, just solid matter, so there is no guarantee that a nuke would do more than melt the rock on the inside....though melting the rock to vaporisation from the inside out may cause it to explode from the various gasses and pressures produced. This would create showers of meteors that would be very hard to predict in terms of impact. Smaller asteroids a mile or less may very well be destroyed easily this way but very large ones such as greater than one mile to hundreds of miles would need more more long range work.

Simply throwing missiles at them won't destroy them.


83 posted on 12/27/2004 2:05:51 AM PST by mdmathis6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: bayourod
Time to develop the giant space based laser "defensive" weapon.

If laser pointers get any more powerful, we can just point them skyward in 2029.
84 posted on 12/27/2004 3:04:35 AM PST by Maurice Tift
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

Wait....wait... We're picking up something.... the transmission reads: "beep beep boop beep boop..."


85 posted on 12/27/2004 3:13:05 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (This tagline under construction....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ExSoldier

I read that book. It was a good one.


86 posted on 12/27/2004 3:16:17 AM PST by Jet Jaguar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Freedom4US
I will periodically bump this thread for the next twenty-four years.

Ping me in 2028.

87 posted on 12/27/2004 3:25:11 AM PST by spodefly (Praise God from whom all taglines flow.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

Personally, if it has to hit I hope it hits either Tehran or Beijing.


88 posted on 12/27/2004 3:27:03 AM PST by R. Scott (A Very Merry Christmas to all.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: R. Scott
...if it has to hit I hope it hits either Tehran or Beijing....

IMO: Results will be the same for all of us, Asia or North America.

89 posted on 12/27/2004 3:40:34 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 88 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

Let's all build those 1962 bomb shelters now......


90 posted on 12/27/2004 3:42:35 AM PST by Route101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shadowman99

Hope the Chiefs win the Super Bowl by then. If 2030 is going to be their year I will be TICKED OFF!


91 posted on 12/27/2004 4:09:58 AM PST by Skooz (The "holiday" has a name.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: First_Salute

When I lived in Alabama (late 1970s), the average State Trooper drove a Grand Torino with a full race cam. No sense in a citizen even trying to outrun those bad boys.


92 posted on 12/27/2004 4:15:02 AM PST by Skooz (The "holiday" has a name.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: ExSoldier

"Luicifer's Hammer"

One of my favorite books.


93 posted on 12/27/2004 4:15:26 AM PST by roaddog727 (The marginal propensity to save is 1 minus the marginal propensity to consume.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ExSoldier
"If you hop on over to the thread known as Threat Matrix, you should see a list of survival items drawn up by a freeper named appalachian dweller."

Sounds very interesting, do you have a link for the thread you can post?

94 posted on 12/27/2004 4:28:27 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (French: old Europe word meaning surrender)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: mdmathis6
Nuclear won't do it either. When Nukes go off on earth, its the shock wave and heat that do the most damage. Out in space even hitting one side of a rather large asteroid may do a little melting but since a nuke in space would be mostly heat and light, there is no kinetic shock energy to break up the asteroid or to make it change course.

A few 1-ton objects guided to kinetic impact at orbital velocity on its way in, would likely break it up into a manageable cluster of rocks.

You don't need to obliterate it, just break it up enough that the pieces mostly burn up in the atmosphere

95 posted on 12/27/2004 4:47:26 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (We are going to fight until hell freezes over and then we are going to fight on the ice)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 83 | View Replies]

To: Andrew LB
I think its doing around 15 km/sec. Thats moving pretty quick.

But it's not uncommon for meteorites to hit us with a relative speed of 150 km/sec or more. The Arizona crater was formed by a sliver approximately the size of a cruise ship. This new object is traveling in an orbit that is similar to the Earth's own orbit. This means a low relative speed, and also that it will be relatively easy for Bruce Willis to soft-land on it and drill holes.

96 posted on 12/27/2004 5:41:44 AM PST by BlazingArizona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 61 | View Replies]

To: mdmathis6

> Out in space even hitting one side of a rather large asteroid may do a little melting but since a nuke in space would be mostly heat and light, there is no kinetic shock energy to break up the asteroid or to make it change course.

You are incorrect. One thing you may want to look up: "Project Orion." It is something I have spent years researching, even to the point of getting quoted and some of my writing referenced in George Dyson's book of the same name. In short, Orion was the Coolest Propulsion System Ever: toss a nuke out the back of your spaceship, set it off, ride the blast, repeat. One 0.5 kiloton yield nuke every second or so would provide up to 8,000 to 16,000 *tons* of thrust.

In short, there are two ways to use a nuke to provide thrust:

1) Shock. Yes, there is no air in space. But the bomb itself is not converted to pure energy; it it for the most part converted to megadegree plasma. Orion pulse unit desings would be marvelous items for asteroid nudging. You build a bomb that has propellant on one side of it... propellant being something like water or polyethylene. (Orion used tungsten. even though the very high molecular weight of tungsten reduced the specific impulse available, the extreme density of the stuff made packaging *far* easier.)

When the bomb goes off, the radiation in the form of X-rays and neutrons can be modestly focussed into the propellant. As a result, the propellant is raised to several million degrees in microseconds, and explodes. Proper shaping of the propellant will give you a shaped charge effect... the propellant will turn into a jet of plasma moving at a good fraction of the speed of light. This jet, several *hundred* or *thousand* pounds, moving at maybe 5% lightspeed, will pack a massive wallop. Stand you bomb off from the asteroid however many miles required so that the jet spreads out as much as it can; this will spread the impulse over the largest possible surface and help reduce the chances of breaking the asteroid apart.

2) Ablation: build your nuke to emit as much energy as possible int the form of a narrow beam, again likely using shaped-charge principles. Put you bomb reasonable close to the surface and set it off. The result will be that one specific spot on the asteroid willbe converted to plasma, much as int the first case. This plasma explodes out of the asteroid, and serves as a brief but powerful rocket engine.

Total impulse per bomb can be far higher with 2) than with 1). However, by localizing the blombs effects on the asteroid, you stand a greater chances of simply shattering the asteroid. This is probably not what you want to do.


And then there's always the "Medusa* approach to moving an asteroid with nukes. But that's more complex.


97 posted on 12/27/2004 5:51:21 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 83 | View Replies]

To: F16Fighter

"and Planet Earth is a sitting duck!"

Exactly. Time to make this baby more maneuverable!


98 posted on 12/27/2004 6:14:43 AM PST by Larry Lucido
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

Well you just proved my point...nukes alone wouldn't do it. Nukes designed as you suggest would be rechanneled into various forms of kinetic or coherent beamed energy that would do the job!


99 posted on 12/27/2004 7:29:47 AM PST by mdmathis6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 97 | View Replies]

To: konaice
So what? Does that mean everybody is going to commit suicide and rob banks, rape and pillage?

Huh? I never suggested that. Those are your words.

13000 died this weekend in tsunamis.

Yeah, this too would be small potatoes compared to a 400 meter asteroid impacting earth. Even with warning. The events you mentioned are not even in the same ball park. An asteroid of that size would be off the scale. Trust me.

100 posted on 12/27/2004 7:56:19 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 81 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-117 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson