posted on Apr, 17 2018 @ 08:34 PM
originally posted by: jadedANDcynical
a reply to: Wildmanimal
Oh they saw it, just before it went wizzing past...
Anyway, this is still in the territory of odds-you-shouldn’t-worry-about, though upgrading our country’s space observation capabilities would
be nice. Still, next time you see the ubiquitous story about a “potentially hazardous asteroids,” remember that anything NASA is currently
tracking is of no consequence to our safety. It’s the unknown stuff that might kill us.
Weekend Asteroid Flyby Confirms We're Worrying About the
Wrong Space Rocks - Gizmodo
It's not the ones they're watching we need to be worried about, those we know are there. It's the one like this that we had no idea of that are a
I don't think we are worrying about the "wrong space rocks". We are doing our best to identify potential global killers primarily, which is the way it
should be. Tunguska level impactors, while they are potential city killers, would be localized in the destruction they cause. Ideally we want to be
able to monitor all PHOs, but the trouble is we don't have the technology to do so, except for the larger objects (global killers) that come
relatively close to us, but the solar system is a big place and it has many more Tunguska size objects which are very hard to spot unless they come
It may take a decade or two before we can make a meaningful survey of these city killers that approach us closely, so we should do what we can to
monitor the PHOs which are the greatest threat (global killers) in the mean time, till the tech catches up.
The real problem is that the above only considers relatively close objects, but there are potentially 10's of millions of city killers lurking in the
asteroid belt, and even more worrisome is the Oort cloud which contains huge numbers again of city killers plus potential global killers. Objects from
these two sources are more or less constantly being ejected, and some will head for here or are already on their way. These will effectively come out
of the blue as a complete surprise (like the object that is the main topic of discussion here), so we need to be able to have something in place which
can intercept them at short notice - which is what we are currently trying to work out how to do effectively.
We might still be vulnerable for decade or two tops (my own "guestimate"), but I think there's a fair chance we'll have something that is reasonably
effective in place by then. In the mean time I wouldn't worry too much since the actual chances of something major impacting in that time are actually
quite low. If they were high we probably would not be here today!