Astronomer: What's the REAL chance an asteroid will wipe out life on Earth?

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posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 09:46 AM
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Astronomer: What's the REAL chance an asteroid will wipe out life on Earth?


blastr.com

In a few weeks' time, an asteroid hundreds of miles across will hit the Earth, wiping out all life.

This part always makes me laugh. Objects hundreds of miles across are bright. In Armageddon, the asteroid was "bigger than Texas", which is 900 miles across. That's roughly the size of Ceres, the biggest asteroid in the solar system, and that was bright enough to be discovered in 1801!

Not only that, but space is kinda big. That's why we named it that. So it takes a long time to move from one part of the solar system to another. At regular orbital speeds...
(visit the link for the full news article)

edit on 1-4-2011 by Jason88 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 09:46 AM
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From esteemed astronomer Phil Plait comes his views on the popular movie plots of Armageddon, Deep Impact, Asteroid, and Doomsday Rock, plots about the effects of an asteroid smashing into earth.

With all the recent talk on ATS about Comet Elenin, Planet X,Y,Z, Nibiru, and such I wanted to add a solidly scientific mind into the mix.

I found his down to earth and funny approach to debunking these movie plots an entertaining and informative read. I hope you do too.

My main takeaway was that we have plenty of time to spot something large enough to destroy us. And new theories exist to divert dangerous extinction level events from happening.

Enjoy!

Phil Plait bio: en.wikipedia.org...

blastr.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 1-4-2011 by Jason88 because: added bio link
edit on 1-4-2011 by Jason88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 09:53 AM
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I think it may happen some day, 100s or 1000s years in the future that day will come. It's inevitable, it's going to happen



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 09:55 AM
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I too have always chuckled at the idea that a “Texas sized” NEO could wipe us out with no warning. But Tunguska events seem to happen once in few hundred years or so and could kill a lot of people and there is a decent potential you wouldn’t see it until its right on top of you.



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 10:00 AM
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The odds are undeniable. Truely, statistically, it is just a matter of time.
Don't hold your breath, it may take a few more million years.



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by Alpal
 


inevitable, but it could be something like tens of millions of years if you ask me, and if humans are around, I don’t think that it will even be an issue



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by Jason88
 
There is an asteroid that has been described as having the mass of Texas, it is called Vesta.
The Dawn Mission: the fastest thing to ever leave the earth was the Dawn Probe in 2007, going 3 Billion miles in just 4 years. It's mission is to use the Sun's heat captured in solar panels and then beamed on to the Vesta asteriod to see if they can deflect it or break it up. It is then going to observe a large brown dwarf near by.

Link to discrip.

amazing-space.stsci.edu...=Capture+the+cosmos@,capture,%3EComets@,capture,comets,%3EDig+deeper+(cont*ap*d)@,ca pture,comets,dig.php



There is more truth in fiction.



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by SirMike
I too have always chuckled at the idea that a “Texas sized” NEO could wipe us out with no warning. But Tunguska events seem to happen once in few hundred years or so and could kill a lot of people and there is a decent potential you wouldn’t see it until its right on top of you.

No doubt the Tunguska impactor snuck up on us. Had that struck a populated area it would have killed millions, and the next one like it just might do that.

And even if we get some warning for a larger impactor, will it be enough? We still don't have any proven technology to make it miss Earth, even if we do get warning.
edit on 1-4-2011 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 10:56 AM
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Oh, and the Discovery Channel is always posting this statement: "You have a better chance of being killed by an asteroid than a plane crash."



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 11:32 AM
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I love it! The article clearly sates the facts as they are, and offers no suggestion that an impact is remotely likely in the foreseeable future, and yet still we have comments like "its gonna happen, might be a while but its gonna happen" .... No one fancies paying attention to the article the OP posted then? Ok , never mind!

Carry on chaps!



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


I'm on the fence with your comment. I agree that nowhere in the article does it state we are in trouble anytime soon, but I feel like folks are right about Earth getting hit. It seems like a number game, eventually our number will be up and we'll either have to travel into deep space to move the object or suffer the consequences of an impact.

Though after spending too many hours on ATS the gloom and doom can certainly get to you, I liked the article for its fun approach to a topic that's often full dread on this website.



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 12:42 PM
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reply to post by coolottie
 


I haven't got the time to watch this just yet, but I can tell from your description it's gonna be good. Thanks for sharing, I'll update my thoughts once I have some free time a little later today.



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by SirMike
I too have always chuckled at the idea that a “Texas sized” NEO could wipe us out with no warning. But Tunguska events seem to happen once in few hundred years or so and could kill a lot of people and there is a decent potential you wouldn’t see it until its right on top of you.


Don't just assume size is everything (ok, ok!) it is *entirely* possible and not at all far fetched that there is an asteroid/meteor just a few feet/meters in size, but could be *SO* massive that it alone could quite possibly kill everything on Earth.

If this chunk of matter is a portion of the super dense/massive core of an exploded planet, or even a supernova remnant, it could be a square meter in physical size, but possess super mass, weighing in in terms of millions of tonnes.

Imagine trying to spot something the size of a VW beetle, coming towards us from the darkness...and then imagine what this object weighing a couple of million tonnes will do to the Earth if it slammed into us at hundreds of thousands of MPH!!!

Not a pretty picture.



posted on Apr, 1 2011 @ 01:24 PM
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So if im understanding this correctly as long as we have bruce willis we are all safe? That is good to know i have always had this reoccuring nightmare in which we lived in a world without bruce willis. Some Russians were consucting terrorist plots and there was this huge asteroid that nobody could save us from. Thanks to science i can sleep now that i know Bruce is looking after all of us.





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