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Blast it or paint it: Deadly asteroid bounds towards Earth out of the blue
rt.com ^ | 3/4/12

Posted on 03/03/2012 9:46:28 PM PST by LibWhacker

To avert a new apocalypse – this time set for February 2013 – scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint, or big guns. The tough part of either scheme is that time has long run out to build a spaceship for any operation.

­NASA confirms the 60-meter (197-feet) asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers in February, has a good chance of colliding with Earth in eleven months.

The rock's closest approach to the planet is scheduled for February 15, 2013, when the distance between the planet and space wanderer will be under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is lower than the geosynchronous orbit kept by the Google Maps satellite.

­ Fireworks and watercolors

With the asteroid zooming that low, it will be too late to do anything with it besides trying to predict its final destination and the consequences of impact.

A spaceship is needed, experts agree. It could shoot the rock down or just crash into it, either breaking the asteroid into debris or throwing it off course.

“We could paint it,” says NASA expert David Dunham.

Paint would affect the asteroid’s ability to reflect sunlight, changing its temperature and altering its spin. The asteroid would stalk off its current course, but this could also make the boulder even more dangerous when it comes back in 2056, Aleksandr Devaytkin, the head of the observatory in Russia’s Pulkovo, told Izvestia.

­ Spaceship impossible?

Whatever the mission, building a spaceship to deal with 2012 DA14 will take two years – at least.

The asteroid has proven a bitter discovery. It has been circling in orbit for three years already, crossing Earth’s path several times, says space analyst Sergey Naroenkov from the Russian Academy of Sciences. It seems that spotting danger from outer space is still the area where mere chance reigns, while asteroid defense systems exist only in drafts.

Still, prospects of meeting 2012 DA14 are not all doom and gloom.

“The asteroid may split into pieces entering the atmosphere. In this case, most part of it will never reach the planet’s surface,” remarks Dunham.

But if the entire asteroid is to crash into the planet, the impact will be as hard as in the Tunguska blast, which in 1908 knocked down trees over a total area of 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles) in Siberia. This is almost the size of Luxembourg. In today’s case, the destination of the asteroid is yet to be determined.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2012da14; asteroid; catastrophism; collide; earth; february2012; february2013; impact; space
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1 posted on 03/03/2012 9:46:33 PM PST by LibWhacker
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: LibWhacker

Paint it, paint it, paint it, paint it black...


3 posted on 03/03/2012 9:50:58 PM PST by fhayek
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To: LibWhacker

This time it’s the end, I perdict!


4 posted on 03/03/2012 9:52:46 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: LibWhacker

Neat. Fun stuff to keep an eye on.


5 posted on 03/03/2012 9:53:10 PM PST by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: LibWhacker

It’s not hurtling toward Earth, it is simply orbiting Michele Obama


6 posted on 03/03/2012 9:53:11 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: fhayek

I hope it hits Mecca...


7 posted on 03/03/2012 9:54:19 PM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: LibWhacker

Comprehensive forecasts are still not possible.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Can_We_Predict_When_An_Asteroid_Will_Impact_Earth_999.html


8 posted on 03/03/2012 9:54:52 PM PST by U-238
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To: dragonblustar

Mecca would be an awesome target, another space rock for Muzzies to worship


9 posted on 03/03/2012 9:58:32 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Revolting cat!

Yea but the Mayans are gonna be pissed...

“Missed it by this much!”


10 posted on 03/03/2012 10:00:28 PM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To sum up:We’re making good progress on finding the big ones that could wipe out civilizations, but the smaller asteroids remain largely a mystery


11 posted on 03/03/2012 10:00:37 PM PST by U-238
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To: LibWhacker

rt.com?

Isn’t that more or less, Pravda?


12 posted on 03/03/2012 10:03:21 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
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To: LibWhacker

It’s Obama’s real father on his way from Hell.


13 posted on 03/03/2012 10:03:53 PM PST by Gator113 (** President Newt Gingrich-"Our beloved republic deserves nothing less." ~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: GeronL
" Mecca would be an awesome target,
another space rock for Muzzies to worship "
Hmmm... Thor's hammer.

14 posted on 03/03/2012 10:05:59 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (Simple: Kill the terrorists, Protect (all) the borders, ridicule all the (surviving) Liberals :^)
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To: LibWhacker

Oh good, something to look forward to.


15 posted on 03/03/2012 10:07:13 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: LibWhacker

I’m not exactly sure that a 1 out of 4,550 chance of a hit is a “good chance”.

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/ip?2.2e-04

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/2012da14.html


16 posted on 03/03/2012 10:09:09 PM PST by JerseyanExile
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To: LibWhacker

Time to build a giant laser.


17 posted on 03/03/2012 10:10:02 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: LibWhacker
has a good chance of colliding with Earth in eleven months.

I'm not totally versed in reading these charts, BUT... that said as a disclaimer, I believe NASA is saying the "good" chance is defined as about 2 hundredths of 1% chance of hitting the Earth.

18 posted on 03/03/2012 10:10:35 PM PST by C210N
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To: LibWhacker

There’s something basically unreasonable about Bork Obunga telling NASA that their main focus in life needs to be helping muslims with their self esteem problems.....


19 posted on 03/03/2012 10:10:55 PM PST by varmintman
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To: LibWhacker

20 posted on 03/03/2012 10:11:24 PM PST by Washi (Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, one head-shot at a time.)
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To: smokingfrog

Get Doctor Evil on the telephone!


21 posted on 03/03/2012 10:14:30 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: LibWhacker

Wormwood, I hope.


22 posted on 03/03/2012 10:15:43 PM PST by Licensed-To-Carry (Hey Obama! All you have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled us with a terrible resolve!!)
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To: LibWhacker

Put a Hall Effect ion engine on the thing and it’ll gradually change its orbit enough to miss us.


23 posted on 03/03/2012 10:16:18 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: JerseyanExile; KevinDavis; SunkenCiv

lol.

In other words the proposed solutions could easily make it more likely to hit Earth.


24 posted on 03/03/2012 10:16:49 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: LibWhacker
The US Islamic Outreach Agency estimates the explosive yield at impact to be 2.2 megatons and the probability of said impact to be 1 in 22,000.
25 posted on 03/03/2012 10:18:39 PM PST by cynwoody
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To: skinkinthegrass

Of course, it’d be WW3 and we’d have to nuke every major Muzzie city on Earth too, maybe even Paris and London?? heh


26 posted on 03/03/2012 10:19:05 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: LibWhacker

Who cares? The world ends in December by the Myan calendar.


27 posted on 03/03/2012 10:19:05 PM PST by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (The only priority: Repeal Obamacare)
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To: LibWhacker
"paint it black"... What genius thought that up??
28 posted on 03/03/2012 10:20:31 PM PST by wyokostur
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To: LibWhacker

A rock this small would be easy to nuke. Wonder if the Russians have any 50 megatonners left?

Or if we ever built one of the gigatonners I read some speculations about a while ago...


29 posted on 03/03/2012 10:22:42 PM PST by piytar (Rebellion is here! Free Republic is on the front line! NEVER SURRENDER!)
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To: wyokostur

Oops...my bad...they just want to paint it...they didn’t say what color.


30 posted on 03/03/2012 10:23:27 PM PST by wyokostur
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To: LibWhacker
Meh. 60 meters. Get up and walk it off, ya sissies......

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

--H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920


31 posted on 03/03/2012 10:26:06 PM PST by Viking2002
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To: LibWhacker; SunkenCiv; Tolerance Sucks Rocks; steelyourfaith

AGW blamed in 10, 9, 8, ....


32 posted on 03/03/2012 10:34:49 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (If any of their "Alternatives" actually works, the Greenies will proceed to kill it.)
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To: LibWhacker

Considering it’s not that big a rock, why not just retarget an ICBM “up”? This isn’t rocket sci...er...ehm..on second thought ;)

Seriously though, a couple megaton nuke could pretty much powderize that size a rock unless it was a chunk of iron. And I cannot believe that with modern targeting computers we would miss. It’s not like that thing will take evasive action.


33 posted on 03/03/2012 10:35:29 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Jack Hydrazine

http://esa.academia.edu/LeopoldSummerer/Papers/409879/Concepts_for_Near-Earth_Asteroid_Deflection_Using_Spacecraft_With_Advanced_Nuclear_and_Solar_Electric_Propulsion_Systems


34 posted on 03/03/2012 10:36:48 PM PST by U-238
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To: LibWhacker

for later


35 posted on 03/03/2012 10:40:33 PM PST by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: LibWhacker
It will probably just dissolve into a rock the size of a small Chihuahua.
36 posted on 03/03/2012 10:43:51 PM PST by right way right (What's it gonna take?)
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To: Norm Lenhart

And I cannot believe that with modern targeting computers we would miss. It’s not like that thing will take evasive action.

* * *

That was my first thought too: use an ICBM. But how far up can one of those babies go? If it can’t reach very far, then you’re pulverizing the rock pretty close to Earth. Would that put a giant dust cloud into our atmosphere? Would that become another “Year Without Summer?” Or (I’m not a scientist, I just like science fiction! LOL!) could an exploding ICBM high in the atmosphere knock out electronics, etc.? Perhaps the ICBM scenario is not workable after all.


37 posted on 03/03/2012 10:45:25 PM PST by Hetty_Fauxvert (If you back Newt . . . then SEND HIM MONEY!! "Be Breitbart, Baby!")
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I wonder if we could guide into Iran?


38 posted on 03/03/2012 10:46:16 PM PST by RC one (the majority of republicans agree, anyone but Romney.)
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To: dragonblustar
I hope it hits Mecca...

That would be a Good Thing.. except all the Muslims not in Mecca would blame it on the Great Satan, and all hell would break loose.

But it could hi Oom in Iran and dig that hidden Imam out of that well, thus setting off Armegedden. 200 feet is a pretty big rock, but not in the Dinosaur Killer or "Nuclear Winter" category. That one was at least 2.5 miles wide, maybe bigger. So unless it comes down within a few miles of you, you'll likey not notice anything more than a big flash.. try not to be looking at it. It could still be equivalent to about a 100 Megaton blast. Could destroy a city the size of DC or Paris, with a 1.5 km crater. If it hits water, which it has about a 75% change of doing, a tsunami would result, which could be destructive over a much larger distance.

39 posted on 03/03/2012 10:51:31 PM PST by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: Norm Lenhart
Considering it’s not that big a rock, why not just retarget an ICBM “up”?

You are aware of course that an ICBM being a ballistic missile doesn't have the thrust to reach escape velocity. Meaning it goes up and then comes down. By the time the asteroid would be in range of an ICBM it is way too late for an ICBM to do much about it. What you need is something like a Saturn V, that could put a large mass onto escape velocity. But we haven't had one of those since 1973.
40 posted on 03/03/2012 10:56:51 PM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: LibWhacker

Has comrade obama blamed GWB for this yet?


41 posted on 03/03/2012 11:07:31 PM PST by clearcarbon
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To: GonzoGOP

We have plenty of rockets that can get large payloads into escape velocity. The Atlas V was used to get the 8900 lb Curiosity rover mission on its way to Mars. If it can get a 4 1/2 ton payload on its way to Mars, it can get a smaller payload to an asteroid.

That said, this looks like unscientific scaremongering from a questionable Russian website.


42 posted on 03/03/2012 11:07:33 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: Washi

That was a stupid movie. I don’t even remember the name.


43 posted on 03/03/2012 11:12:08 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: LibWhacker

Oh crap, here comes a new Tax.


44 posted on 03/03/2012 11:21:04 PM PST by MaxMax
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To: LibWhacker

Eleven months.

Just enough time to design a tsunami surfboard and hire a film crew.


45 posted on 03/03/2012 11:51:52 PM PST by zeestephen
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To: GonzoGOP

I am.
Remember the space nuke tests of the 50s. And yes, A Sat5 type delivery system would be better to hit it further out. But as you say, none available.

An ICBM will achieve sufficient altitude to destroy the thing before impact and negate the vast majority of damage that an actual impact would cause. Plus they are available, deployable and pretty much ‘ready to go’.

No, not a perfect solution, but lacking that, what else ‘could’ we do in the available timeframe?


46 posted on 03/03/2012 11:55:10 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: MaxMax

Asteroid tax?


47 posted on 03/04/2012 12:43:40 AM PST by Crucial
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To: wyokostur
You may want to switch brands...


48 posted on 03/04/2012 12:56:10 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: fhayek

Is it red, now?

;]


49 posted on 03/04/2012 1:29:18 AM PST by Salamander (You don't know what's going on inside of me. You don't wanna know what's running through my mind)
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To: LibWhacker

oh man, and I just took a shower too


50 posted on 03/04/2012 1:30:51 AM PST by SF_Redux (Sarah stands for accountablility and personal responsiblity, democrats can't live with that)
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