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New potentially hazardous asteroid discovered

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posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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This articles was in Universe Today.

Robert Holmes the world most famous person known for detecting asteroids, comets and supernova has found a previously undetected NEO(Near Earth Object) with the possibility of it striking the earth in the years 2042 and 2044. But the amazing fact is that this was trailing another NEO.


While observing a known asteroid on January 31, 2009, astronomer Robert Holmes from the Astronomical Research Institute near Charleston, Illinois found another high speed object moving nearby through the same field of view. The object has now been confirmed to be a previously undiscovered Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), with several possible Earth impact risks after 2042


More details of this.


This relatively small near-Earth asteroid, named 2009 BD81, will make its closest approach to Earth in 2009 on February 27, passing a comfortable 7 million kilometers away. In 2042, current projections have it passing within 5.5 Earth radii, (approximately 31,800 km or 19,800 miles) with an even closer approach in 2044. Data from the NASA/JPL Risk web page show 2009 BD81 to be fairly small, with a diameter of 0.314 km (about 1000 ft.) Holmes, one of the world's most prolific asteroid spotters, said currently, the chance of this asteroid hitting Earth in 33 years or so is quite small; the odds are about 1 in 2 million, but follow-up observations are needed to provide precise calculations of the asteroid's potential future orbital path.


How he discovered this?


"I was doing a follow up observation of asteroid 2008 EV5," Holmes told Universe Today, "and there was another object moving right next to it, so it was a pretty easy observation, actually. But you just have to be in the right place at the right time. If I had looked a few hours later, it would have moved away and I wouldn't have seen it."


Animated GIF of the asteroid-



Other groups of astronomers have also detected this.


A few hours later, a teacher from Texas who was taking part in a training class on how to use the data that Holmes collects for making observations used Holmes' data measuring 2008 EV1 and also found the new object. Shortly after that, a student in Bulgaria that is part of ARO education and public outreach also noticed the new asteroid. Holmes listed both observers as co-discovers as well as another astronomer who made confirmation follow-up observations of what is now 2009 BD81.


Risk level-


"It ranks high as a NEO in general," said Holmes, "although not in a super-high category as far as the Torino scale," which categorizes the impact hazard of NEOs. "At this point it's considered a virtual impactor and that is typically is as high of a rating that you get at this point."



Because of the small number of observations of of 2009 BD81, the current chance of it hitting Earth is small. "The odds are really small right now," said Holmes, "however, the smaller your orbital arc is the wider the path is at that point is of potential impact. The longer the arc gets, the narrower the cone of opportunity of impact becomes, and once that cone is no longer pointing at earth in the future, it is removed as a possible impactor."


Initial orbit determination-





Link-

Universe Today





posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:14 PM
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Good find, in more ways than one


This source says that they belong to the Apollo class of objects.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
This source says that they belong to the Apollo class of objects.


Yes C.H.U.D, the possibilities of it hitting earth in 2044 are greater, and scientists are analyzing it more as it passes by earth this month to give a more accurate prediction. But, considering the size of the asteroid, it wont be much of a threat to earth and we can easily delfect it back into space



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by peacejet
But, considering the size of the asteroid, it wont be much of a threat to earth and we can easily delfect it back into space



I agree, we should be able to deflect it by that time.

Regarding the size, I'm not so sure I agree. 0.3 km is well above the threshold that is considered dangerous were it to hit. That's usually around the 100m mark if memory serves, and this is 300m, which is an order of magnitude or two more in terms of weight of rock.

Something this size is capable of taking out a good sized country I think, but since we we should be able to defect these objects if the worst comes to the worst, it's a moot point...



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.


Regarding the size, I'm not so sure I agree. 0.3 km is well above the threshold that is considered dangerous were it to hit. That's usually around the 100m mark if memory serves, and this is 300m, which is an order of magnitude or two more in terms of weight of rock.


The impact will cause minimal damage, that is the plus point here. And we can easily deflect it or detroy it with our current technology. No problem.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:47 PM
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Yup. We have flown satellites around asteroids and landed on a comet I think. If it were to pose a danger of hitting Earth it's potential path and impact could be mapped and measures taken to protect human life. I believe the Apophis 2036 path is still potentially dangerous.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by stikkinikki
Yup. We have flown satellites around asteroids and landed on a comet I think. If it were to pose a danger of hitting Earth it's potential path and impact could be mapped and measures taken to protect human life. I believe the Apophis 2036 path is still potentially dangerous.


Yes, it was the deep impact mission. And this is the next headache after apophysis.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.


Something this size is capable of taking out a good sized country I think, but since we we should be able to defect these objects if the worst comes to the worst, it's a moot point...


Well that all depends on what it's made of. I’m always leery of deflecting something in space there is no way of knowing if in ten years it won’t just come back around at a much worse speed and angle.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69

Well that all depends on what it's made of. I’m always leery of deflecting something in space there is no way of knowing if in ten years it won’t just come back around at a much worse speed and angle.


Read the whole link, you will see the closest ever approach is in 2044. And it seems to be rock only.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:03 PM
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lets get past 2012 first. cant even contemplate thinking this far ahead in time.




posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:03 PM
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reply to post by peacejet
 


Yes I know I read it and know the date predicted.
until they crash a probe on it they wont be 100 % sure what its made of.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:05 PM
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Is is really possible to deflect an object from earth?



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by antar
Is is really possible to deflect an object from earth?


Yes antar, we can send a rocket and make it strike the asteroid and thus deflecting it from orbit, or we can destroy it completerly by launching the same rocket with a nuclear war head, but that will create millions of tiny rock pieces which if enters earth will cause less damage, but it will be on a large scale.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:28 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by peacejet
 


Yes I know I read it and know the date predicted.
until they crash a probe on it they wont be 100 % sure what its made of.


No, we need not crash a probe to know what it is made of. That is only used to get in-depth details. We can know what it is made off by just looking at how much sunlight it is relflecting off and analyzing the spectrum.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:32 PM
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If we dont have the technology to deflect this in 30 years I think we have bigger problems than asteroids. In 30 years I hope we have begun to explore getting off this rock!



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by peacejet
 



I was being sarcastic about crashing into to it sheesh. :bnghd:


As far as spectral analysis we will have to wait to get an accurately detailed measurements to really know what it’s made of.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by Ziltoid_the_Omniscient
If we dont have the technology to deflect this in 30 years I think we have bigger problems than asteroids. In 30 years I hope we have begun to explore getting off this rock!


Dont worry, we still have some million years for that.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by peacejet
The impact will cause minimal damage, that is the plus point here.


A 300m diameter object, even if it's cometary in origin (ie. the lowest density known for celestial objects), which is similar in density to something like cigarette ash, is still going to cause a great deal of damage!

You know about Tunguska right?

That was assumed to be a small cometary fragment estimated at 100m (or even less if I recall) in diameter, and that caused a blast in the 3-10 megaton range which devastated hundreds of square miles!

I tried plugging in some relatively conservative figures using the Impact Effects program here and the resulting blast energy created came out as: 7.18 x 10(squared)MegaTons.

That's two whole orders of magnitude more massive than the Tunguska event.


[edit on 8-2-2009 by C.H.U.D.]




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