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Space rock gives Earth a close shave

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posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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I tend to agree with some of the previous posters. I don't think that governments will sink any money into the search until a disaster occurs. Hopefully it won't be an extinction level one!




posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:36 PM
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It seems that within the past ten years everything for m weather, space oddities, chemical warfare, terrorism, and almost anything else is getting worse, which is what continues to make me believe that were are close to the end of something.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by Alienmojo
I have to disagree with this. We spend so little on asteroid spotting that I can't tell you how many times we have only spotted a Near Earth Object AFTER it had gone by Earth.

This is nothing new.

I would not be at all surprised if Earth was hit by an asteroid under a mile long and we didn't know about it until it happened.

One would think with all these near misses and whatnot that the government would be willing to spend more for our protection. Unless we find these objects 6 months or more BEFORE they hit us we won't be able to do much to stop them.

At one time we were spending only one million dollars a year on asteroid spotting. I'm not sure what it is now, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is under 5 million... which imo is insane.



This sounds like a great way to create some new jobs at a time when we NEED to be creating new jobs.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by griffinrl
I tend to agree with some of the previous posters. I don't think that governments will sink any money into the search until a disaster occurs. Hopefully it won't be an extinction level one!



I'd agree up to a point.

I don't think it would take a serious hit to get them off their a$$. A 'near miss' on a major city from a Tunguska like object, with perhaps a few casualties, and a few million acres of leveled forest would easily do it.

It's thought to have been a cometary fragment about 60m wide, which is pretty sizable, and a fairly rare event. Wickipedia says it's a once in 300 year event, but I suspect it's a bit less than that since it's based on old data. Perhaps once every in every 100 years would be my guess based on our current knowledge.

I think an event on this kind of scale, perhaps even less dramatic, would prompt immediate action/funding from/for NEO hunters.

Even larger objects, say 100-200m across would be a whole magnitude less common than 'Tunguska sized' objects, and those potentially could cause some very serious damage like taking out a few cities (not that a 'Tunguska sized' object could not cause a serious amount of devastation if it hit the right area), but just as the magnitude of the blast would be close to a whole order of magnitude greater, so is the chance of one hitting us.

Having said that, we are probably over due one that size right now, and we could in theory be hit by one like that tomorrow or the next day, although it could just as easily occur in 2 or 3 hundred years time.

We're more likely to destroy ourselves than get taken out by a rock from space, at least in the short term, so as long as "truck-sized" meteors are harmlessly disintegrating 40-90km above our heads (in the vast majority of cases), and people are starting to notice, and are perhaps a little shocked that this goes on (and always has done), then I'm happy as funding is sure to increase.

The recent media 'frenzy' over these type of evens (eg Texas and Edmonton/Alberta) has been seen by all, not only the general public, and I'm sure that is raising awareness at the higher levels, that this is an issue that need to be addressed, sooner rather than later for everyones piece of mind.

The only hitch is, do we really want to know at tis point in time?

Considering our best plans right now to deflect/destroy an incoming object are all based on theory, what if we found one was just about to hit, and we had no way of stopping it?

I think we need to catch up very quickly on this side of things more than anything else!



[edit on 4-3-2009 by C.H.U.D.]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by Siren
 


This is the kind of thing that sucks...being told after the fact....what's going to happen when there is no "after the fact" and it becomes THE fact....



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 06:23 PM
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They are going to continue to inform us of this until we start taking it seriously enough that people won't choke when the watch net gets approved.



posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by TheAmused
reply to post by Alienmojo
 





I have to disagree with this. We spend so little on asteroid spotting that I can't tell you how many times we have only spotted a Near Earth Object AFTER it had gone by Earth.


But why waste more money man?
Even if they did find a earth killer....Are you sure the world our yourself could handle the truth in all honesty..i would rather not no at all.


I don't want to die worrying myself to death till it hits us.
Either way we are dead i know....
But why Would we want to see it before hand..


I understand your trying to be more funny than serious here... but the reason we would want to know a year or more in advance is so we could alter the trajectory of the asteroid. The more time we have the more we could nudge the asteroid into a safer orbit.

This nudge takes time to do and set up, but it is possible and our greatest chance at surviving an asteroid strike.



posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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The better your surviellance, the less energy and effort you need to expend altering the rock's course.

Altering the path of something 2 years away by .1 of a degree could be more than enough for it to never get near the planet.

The same rock 1 day away would need FAR more work to move the trajectory if you could do so sufficiently at all once it is caught in the forces of our planet's gravitation.

Simple enough?

[edit on 2009/3/5 by Aeons]



posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by Aeons
The better your surviellance, the less energy and effort you need to expend altering the rock's course.


True.

In principal the 'nudge it' theory is sound, but we are still a ways of testing it or putting it into practice. Until that is done, we have little idea what obstacles/pit-falls there are. We need to be *sure* that it works, that it is effective and more importantly reliable. One mistake, and it could be our last.

That's why I said in my previous post that this aspect needs some catching up to do. We should in no way hold back looking for NEOs, even though there might be a shock waiting for us.

I should perhaps have thought more about my comment "do we really want to know". The answer I think is not so simple...

If the object is due to his soon (a couple of decades or less), then I think the answer would have to be 'yes', since we could double/triple/quadruple/etc our efforts to test the effectiveness of our defenses, and hopefully stand a chance.

If it's more than a couple of decades away, it's probably better to find it *a bit* later, when we are more capable of dealing with objects like this effectively. The uncertainty of finding a global killer now for instance, could destabilize an already very unstable world.




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