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A small asteroid will pass extremely close to Earth (January 27, 2012) 2012 BX34

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posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 07:17 PM
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No threat of hitting Earth, but I thought I'd post this in case anyone wanted to try to observe it passing.

www.universetoday.com...-93000


A small asteroid will pass extremely close to Earth tomorrow (January 27, 2012). Named 2012 BX34, this 8 meter- (26-foot-) wide space rock will skim Earth less than 71,000 km away(44,000 miles 0.00048 Astronomical Units, from the latest update) 60,000 km (37,000 miles, .0004 AU), at around 16:00 UTC, according to the Minor Planet Center. The latest estimates have this small bus-sized asteroid it traveling at about about 8,900 meters/second (about 20,000 miles per hour). 2012 BX34 has been observed by the Catalina Sky Survey and the Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona, and the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico, so its orbit is well defined and there is no risk of impact to Earth.



Amateur astronomers in the right place and time could view this object, as it should be about magnitude 14 at the time of closest approach.




www.msnbc.msn.com...


The newfound asteroid 2012 BX34, which is about the size of a city bus, will pass within 36,750 miles (59,044 kilometers) of Earth at about 10:30 a.m. EST on Friday, astronomers with NASA's Asteroid Watch program announced via Twitter.



www.space.com...


edit on 26-1-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 07:24 PM
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S&F

Now we wait for the Canadians to send up a Lego-naut to analyse the asteroid.


edit on 26/1/2012 by OccamAssassin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by OccamAssassin
 


It was said they had 4 cameras, where were the other three? Seems wasteful, damn Canadians. (kidding about our friends of the north).



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 08:50 AM
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I saw this in the news this morning (Friday):

BBC News-Asteroid to make near-miss fly by

Just curious - is it "normal" to not know about an asteroid that will pass this close to Earth only 2 days before??



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by ns9504
I saw this in the news this morning (Friday):

BBC News-Asteroid to make near-miss fly by

Just curious - is it "normal" to not know about an asteroid that will pass this close to Earth only 2 days before??

Yes. Asteroids this small can only be detected a few days before closest approach.



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 05:23 PM
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Daytime here when it went past.

Next time...



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by ngchunter

Originally posted by ns9504
Just curious - is it "normal" to not know about an asteroid that will pass this close to Earth only 2 days before??

Yes. Asteroids this small can only be detected a few days before closest approach.
I'm impressed. To detect a bus sized asteroid this early is a good sign and quite comforting.

If a larger one is on a collision course, what's the plan? I know we can hit satellites with missiles but surely we'd need to take it out further away to try to deflect it?



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by Pimander

Originally posted by ngchunter

Originally posted by ns9504
Just curious - is it "normal" to not know about an asteroid that will pass this close to Earth only 2 days before??

Yes. Asteroids this small can only be detected a few days before closest approach.
I'm impressed. To detect a bus sized asteroid this early is a good sign and quite comforting.

If a larger one is on a collision course, what's the plan? I know we can hit satellites with missiles but surely we'd need to take it out further away to try to deflect it?

There are several hypothetical plans, one of the best being to use as heavy a spacecraft as we can manage to send to the asteroid on ion engine power, and gravitationally tow the asteroid off the collision course by keeping the spacecraft very close to the asteroid without touching it. The spacecraft's own mass will gravitationally attract the asteroid, and over time this will produce a delta-V that can be used to pull it off the collision course. Of course, this method requires knowing an impact will happen long ahead of time, but it's the most precise and technologically easy to do. We have ion engines, we have heavy launchers, we have the skill to assemble complex spacecraft on-orbit with multiple launches (ISS), we don't need to develop any additional skills in order to do it, we would just have to apply what we already know how to do in a rapid and massive way.
edit on 27-1-2012 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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Originally posted by ngchunter
Of course, this method requires knowing an impact will happen long ahead of time, but it's the most precise and technologically easy to do. We have ion engines, we have heavy launchers, we have the skill to assemble complex spacecraft on-orbit with multiple launches (ISS), we don't need to develop any additional skills in order to do it, we would just have to apply what we already know how to do in a rapid and massive way.
This is less comforting. "Would" is not what I like the sound of. Surely a missile, preferable launched from space could be detonated near a large meteor would be enough to change its trajectory. Cheaper, very quick to respond. The further away the better if we just want to cause a change in the trajectory as then a tiny change would be required.

Don't we have SDI satellites capable of having missiles mounted on them? In fact, that's probably classified but you catch my drift. With respect, the plan you posted sounds too slow and expensive to me. Have I not thought of something obvious?



posted on Jan, 28 2012 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


The problem is WE DON'T have ion engines capable for use on large spacecrafts. To date the greatest demonstrated application of an ion engine is aboard DAWN spacecraft probe. DAWN and the engine are relatively small, and it took its ion thruster continuous operation of 670 days to increase the speed of DAWN +9,600 mph, thats two years to Vesta, (over two years in actuality–late May 2009 to Sept. 2011, it likely had to slow down to achieve orbit). Which brings up the question of how does one propose to be in close proximity of an asteroid without orbiting it with the relatively miniscule thrust from an ion engine? You know the efficiency (delta-v) is predicated by its relative small mass, in propellant, and engine size so if you want a huge craft you defeat its efficiency and nullify its specific impulse. An increase in xenon propellent would require a larger storage, a reaction chamber and oh yes, a greater power source for electricity than solar panels can provide for the ionization so apparently some kind of nuclear reactor would be needed and there we go adding more and more tonnage of weight, and functionally not proven.

Why not just couple some liquid fuel tanks in orbit, feed some of the 15 leftover Space Shuttle engines, and you have mass and thrust to get you to the asteroid before your children graduate high school. You have the thrust to defeat orbital force, and mass, and if all else fails detonate the whole deal and hope a miniscule blast effects the sun's pull on the huge mass and inertia of the rock in question. I doubt it will have any effect, I doubt a hydrogen bomb would have any orbital altering effect on an asteroid with enough mass to threaten us from an impact.

The most plausible means of changing the orbit of an asteroid with the mass to be a threat is by using the energy of the sun to defeat the gravity of the sun. Solar directed focused heating of the asteroid with several arrays aimed at the same spot on the rock. This could cause several imbalances, outgassing, changing its density and center of gravity, and who knows what other reactive forces may occur to slowly over a time of several months to nudge the course trajectory of the asteroid's orbit. Some refer to this method as laser sublimation.

If we are talking about current technology this is our best chance, along with early warning, which I believe we have for rocks the size to be a threat.



posted on Jan, 28 2012 @ 08:42 AM
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Honestly, if a rock of appreciable size were heading for Earth, we have ideas and hypothetical situations, but we do not have a plan.

We should have one, but we don't. And all the ideas we do have involve many years warning and decades of concerted action.

If we found out tomorrow that an extinction-event asteroid was hitting us in five years time, we wouldn't be able to do anything except start writing obituaries.

Merry Christmas 2012, in case it never happens.



posted on Jan, 28 2012 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by MichaelYoung
Honestly, if a rock of appreciable size were heading for Earth, we have ideas and hypothetical situations, but we do not have a plan.

We should have one, but we don't. And all the ideas we do have involve many years warning and decades of concerted action.
This worries me too mate. I think the military have capacity to deal with it really but the technology or capability is under wraps/classified.


Originally posted by Illustronic
The most plausible means of changing the orbit of an asteroid with the mass to be a threat is by using the energy of the sun to defeat the gravity of the sun. Solar directed focused heating of the asteroid with several arrays aimed at the same spot on the rock. This could cause several imbalances, outgassing, changing its density and center of gravity, and who knows what other reactive forces may occur to slowly over a time of several months to nudge the course trajectory of the asteroid's orbit. Some refer to this method as laser sublimation.
This is a brilliant idea. However, while we test the technology, I say mount a nuke tipped missile onto a satellite (I know the military can do it!) cos if all else fails that won't! Insurance.



posted on Jan, 28 2012 @ 07:12 PM
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There's a problem with attaching anything on to an asteroid, they also spin, and not usually an earth or moonlike spin, generally chaotic.



Now some of our favorite asteroids for comparison.



We think of a nuclear weapon as having a great amount of force, but in reality, the impact of a nuclear weapon is the heat blast to life, yes some shock too, in a relatively local area, except for fallout. A relatively small asteroid strike of a rock say the size of a sport's stadium, would have the released energy of thousands of the biggest nuclear weapon detonations all at once in the same location.

You aren't going to move an asteroid that threatens life on earth with a few bombs. You need a more comprehensive plan. BTW an asteroid the size of a stadium is not going to threaten life on earth, but it would release thousands of joules greater than a bunch of nucs on impact.



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