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Small Asteroid On Collision Course With Earth

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the big-kaboom dept.

Space 397

musatov writes "There's talk on The Minor Planet Mailing List about a small asteroid approaching Earth with a 99.8% probability of colliding. The entrance to the Earth's atmosphere will take place October 7 at 0246 UTC (2:35 after this story goes live) over northern Sudan, releasing the energy of about a kiloton of TNT. The asteroid is assumed to be 3-4 meters in size; it is expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm. As a powerful bolide, it may put on quite a show in the sky. For those advanced enough in astronomy to observe, check the MPEC 2008-T50 and MPEC 2008-T64 circulars. NASA's JPL Small Body Database has a 3D orbit view. The story has been already picked up by CNN and NASA."

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Asteroid? Why not meteor? (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 6 years ago | (#25279281)

I thought bodies this small were usually referred to as meteors. What's the difference?

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (5, Informative)

tekrat (242117) | about 6 years ago | (#25279315)

They become meteors *once* they start to interact with the Earth's atmosphere. Until that time, they are classified as space objects, and the names seem to change dependent upon size and approximate mass.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (3, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 6 years ago | (#25279331)

OK, fair point. I should have referenced meteoroids. But still, aside from a sensational headline, wouldn't this usually be classified as a meteoroid rather than an asteroid?

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (5, Informative)

sreid (650203) | about 6 years ago | (#25279401)

You're right. The Royal Astronomical Society has proposed a new definition where a meteoroid is between 100 Âm and 10 m across.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (1)

chibiace (898665) | about 6 years ago | (#25279433)

pluto is a what now?

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279505)

a dog

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279713)

Great, but WTF is Goofy, then?

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 6 years ago | (#25279579)

Without the sensational headline, who would care?

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | about 6 years ago | (#25279793)

Then once they've fully entered the atmosphere astronomers refer to them as "Cosmic World Destroyers." It's all very scientific.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (3, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#25279321)

It's an asteroid until it enters the atmosphere.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (3, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | about 6 years ago | (#25279523)

It's an asteroid until it enters the atmosphere.

No, if it's less than 10 meters diameter it's only a meteoroid.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (0)

AikonMGB (1013995) | about 6 years ago | (#25279685)

Right, but it's not a meteoroid until it enters the atmosphere . Until then, as the GP stated, it is still an asteroid.

Aikon-

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 6 years ago | (#25279709)

So then, would a big asteroid just be an aster? Or .... never mind.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (4, Informative)

xstonedogx (814876) | about 6 years ago | (#25279731)

Wrong, it's a meteoroid in space, a meteor in the atmosphere, and if any of it makes it to the ground, it's a meteorite.

It's never an asteroid because it's not big enough.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (2, Informative)

Bragador (1036480) | about 6 years ago | (#25279367)

Meteoroid/meteor: Any of the small solid extraterrestrial bodies that hits the earth's atmosphere

Meteorite: A solid body that has arrived on the Earth or Moon from outer space. It can range in size from microscopic to many tons. Its composition ranges from that of silicate rocks to metallic iron-nickel.

Asteroids: Asteroids, also called minor planets or planetoids, are a class of astronomical objects. The term asteroid is generally used to indicate a diverse group of small celestial bodies.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 6 years ago | (#25279377)

It's an asteroid while it's out floating in space. When it comes knocking on our atmosphere then it becomes a meteor. If it doesn't totally burn up on it's way down and hits the earth, it's a meteorite.

Don't even get me started on Kupier Belt Objects, Meteoroids or Comets!

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25279457)

what's wrong with comets? aren't they just chunks of dirty ice? they aren't classified differently depending on whether they're in space, in the atmosphere, or on the ground. there's nothing confusing about comets, and it's a useful definition IMO.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279635)

they aren't classified differently depending on whether they're in space, in the atmosphere, or on the ground.

That's cuz comets generally don't reach the ground.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (5, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | about 6 years ago | (#25279683)

If a comet is on the ground, we call it a glacier.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279381)

At the moment, it could be considered (in everyday language) a very small asteroid in orbit around the Sun, although by the formal division that has been proposed (see the "bolide" link in the summary), it would be considered a meteoroid because it is so small (10m diameter). In a short while, it will briefly be a meteor in the Earth's atmosphere, although it will likely be bright enough to be considered a fireball. If we're lucky, there might be some meteorites that result, and which can be picked up on the ground.

Does that help? If not, refer to the link in the summary.

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279645)

The difference is that Barney Frank is a pillow-biter who is up to his flabby neck in the ruin of the home mortgage industry, and by extension, the entire American economy. "Those wascally Wepubwicans are onto me! I guess I better pway the wace card!"

Re:Asteroid? Why not meteor? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279837)

"These two entitiesâ"Fannie Mae and Freddie Macâ"are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

Barney Frank, 2003

Awesome! (1)

log0n (18224) | about 6 years ago | (#25279297)

(assuming the summary is correct and it will likely burn up)

Re:Awesome! (2, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25279493)

More specifically if it burns away completely BEFORE hitting the earth. If it burns up in the resulting explosion... :-(

One thing I've wondered, those small asteroids that hit the earth, say that land and are about the size of my fist, did those burn down to that size from a bigger size, or are there trajectories that it could land mostly without burning up. Like if it goes in at a really steep angle, could a rock the size of a basketball before it enters be about the size of a basketball when it lands, or is that pretty much impossible?

I realize this next question depends on a lot of factors, such as asteroid composition, angle of entry, and the answer to that last question, but if a rock landed in my backyard, again about the size of a basketball, what is the range of sizes before it entered that you would expect? Volkswagon? Semi truck? Seems like something that someone would have calculated.

Basically, I'm wondering if it's possible that a pea-sized meteorite could go flying through my head like a bullet.

Is this really news? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279303)

Small asteroids that burn up in the upper atmosphere are far from uncommon. Why is this suddenly notable?

Re:Is this really news? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#25279419)

I think this one is actually observable, or at least the summery makes it seem that way.

Re:Is this really news? (0, Redundant)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#25279447)

RTFA.

Re:Is this really news? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279641)

RTFA.

No!

Re:Is this really news? (2, Informative)

Peter Cooper (660482) | about 6 years ago | (#25279603)

Supposedly it's the first time that an asteroid / meteor has been accurately (well, we'll see on that front!) predicted to enter the atmosphere at a specific time and location.

Jesus my chest. (0)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 6 years ago | (#25279305)

I just got this deep sick feeling in my chest when I was readying that headline. It wasn't until " it is expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm." that I took a deep breath.

Sorry I know that's somewhat off topic, but....

Re:Jesus my chest. (1)

delysid-x (18948) | about 6 years ago | (#25279383)

The next big one could come any time and kill us all. If it was really the end of the world would they let us know?

Re:Jesus my chest. (2, Insightful)

BungaDunga (801391) | about 6 years ago | (#25279403)

Would it matter?

Re:Jesus my chest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279545)

Would it matter?

It's the difference between mass hysteria and blissful ignorance with something resembling a dignified end to the race. As far as I'm concerned, bliss be damned: people ought to be given the chance to make peace with god or whoever. Captcha: humility.

Re:Jesus my chest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279875)

Would it matter?

The difference between 99.999999% dying (60 survivors) and 99.9999999 dying (6 survivors) may not matter much to you or the powers that be. It may mean the difference between extinction and survival. Does it matter whether or not humanity goes extinct? If not, what is stuff that matters?

Re:Jesus my chest. (5, Funny)

khendron (225184) | about 6 years ago | (#25279465)

The next big one could come any time and kill us all. If it was really the end of the world would they let us know?

I sure that Slashdot would report it at least twice.

Re:Jesus my chest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279749)

And "I sure" that grammar would be a afterthink both reportings!

Re:Jesus my chest. (4, Funny)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 6 years ago | (#25279871)

And at least the first report would come in only a few days after it happened!

Oh wait..

Re:Jesus my chest. (3, Insightful)

sam_v1.35b (1296319) | about 6 years ago | (#25279733)

The next big one could come any time and kill us all. If it was really the end of the world would they let us know?

"They" is a nebulous concept that in this case includes tens or hundreds of thousands of professional and amateur astronomers across the globe. A big asteroid on a collision course with Earth would be noticed by many people as it got close, so I'd expect we'd all know about it.

Re:Jesus my chest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279409)

Just more media scaremongering to keep you scared.

Re:Jesus my chest. (1)

Carnildo (712617) | about 6 years ago | (#25279441)

That'a assuming it's a rocky asteroid. If it's nickel-iron, it'll leave a small crater.

Because the LHC failed... (4, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 6 years ago | (#25279513)

Because the LHC failed at destroying us all, they sent this asteroid/meteor to finish us off. Seems like this will fail too.

Re:Jesus my chest. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 6 years ago | (#25279527)

The odds of it landing on you even if were tough enough to survive atmospheric entry are pretty remote. You should probably get all worked up over watching the lotto numbers scroll by instead.

Re:Jesus my chest. (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25279599)

The odds of it landing on you even if were tough enough to survive atmospheric entry are pretty remote.

The odds are astronomical, even! Hell, the odds are on a galactic scale! Why, the odds are so big, they make space look small!

Thank, you, thank you, I'm here all....Hey! What's with the giant hooooooooook....

Oh jeez... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 6 years ago | (#25279309)

Let the jokes about the end of the world begin...

Re:Oh jeez... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279345)

Stop bashing President Palin! She's doing her very best, which is an example all Americans should follow!

Re:Oh jeez... (4, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | about 6 years ago | (#25279351)

No worries,

2 hours gives CERN plenty of time to aim the LHC at the asteroid and obliterate it with a black hole.

Re:Oh jeez... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#25279697)

If only they could get the darn thing to work.

Re:Oh jeez... (1)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | about 6 years ago | (#25279573)

Cool; I wrote a song about an asteroid wiping out the earth. Maybe I'm a prophet

Re:Oh jeez... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279813)

Or you are just a paranoid git either way you should be celebrated!

So I guess.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279337)

I still have to go to work tomorrow? :(

good (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 6 years ago | (#25279341)

maybe the superstitious nutjobs in northern sudan take it as a godly sign that they should stop genociding southern sudan

the acehnese independence drive in indonesia pretty much died off after the 2004 tsumani

we talk about comets and eclipses having an impact in geopolitics in ancient history

well, it still goes on today

Re:good (3, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | about 6 years ago | (#25279463)

More likely they'll think it's a divine sigh that they're doing everything fine.

yeah, fuck those bastards in Ache (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | about 6 years ago | (#25279839)

Yeah! fuck them and their selfish drive for independence from a government that's brutally repressed them for years so it can exploit the oil and gas reserves in the province.

it's the end of the world and... (5, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | about 6 years ago | (#25279347)

Bankers everywhere rejoice!

Re:it's the end of the world and... (1)

No2Gates (239823) | about 6 years ago | (#25279399)

First it was the LHC, now this? I'm going to call in sick and go on a drinking binge, max out the credit cards, and go to VEGAS!!!

Re:it's the end of the world and... (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | about 6 years ago | (#25279631)

Well, you gotta' give it to 'em. They played the numbers saying, "what's the worst thing that could possibly happen?"

Luckily we'll all be wiped out before that question is answered.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279357)

I take it I won't be able to see anything here in Michigan, USA?

Re:Hmmm (1)

delysid-x (18948) | about 6 years ago | (#25279417)

Wouldn't it suck if it really were the end of the world and you couldn't even watch it hit?

Don't watch it (2, Funny)

duckInferno (1275100) | about 6 years ago | (#25279389)

... or you'll go blind and the next thing you know, you'll being devoured by a giant plant.

Instead, watch it through a pinhole cut into some cardboard.

Who Cares About Sudan? (1, Insightful)

resistant (221968) | about 6 years ago | (#25279413)

My prediction is that because it's over an impoverished third-world country, no one will care much, aside from astronomers and a small number (relative to world population) of other smarter people who know perfectly well that it could have just as easily been over Los Angeles or New York City. Not that this particular incident is important as anything but yet another warning that space objects of unpredictable size can suddenly strike Earth, as has happened frequently in geological time for billions of years.

Re:Who Cares About Sudan? (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#25279455)

Um, so what? Do you think that one kiloton exploding high up in the atmosphere over New York or Los Angeles would do anything other than provide an unusual light show for the inhabitants? Think again.

Asteroid bad for economy. (0, Offtopic)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | about 6 years ago | (#25279425)

Hopefully it really does burn up totally in the atmosphere. An asteroid colliding with the world right now would make a bad economy worse. Speaking of the economy, do you know how this whole meltdown began? It started in 1977 during good ol' Jimmy Carter's presidency (geez, his presidency just keeps on giving so many years later; giving nothing but damage, that is). They wanted to make sure that poor people would be able to own their own homes. So they made up this law about making it possible for these people to get loans. Then this dude named Barack Obama came along some years later, along with some Acorn thing, and they went around and sued banks into complying. What banks did in order to keep making money while making bad loans was this: They'd bundle together lots of good loans with bad loans and sell these bundles to Freddie Mac and Fannie May. Those two government corporations would then bundle together a bunch of these bundles and sell the resulting bigger bundles to investment bankers. That is, 401k's and stuff like that. Then Bill Clinton came along and encouraged even more of this loan-giving, because you see, it's a pyramid scheme, kind of like Social Security. Well the result of all of this was that people who should never have received a loan (since they couldn't conceivably pay it back) did, homes were purchased, demand went up, supply couldn't keep up, prices skyrocketed, people who wanted loans beyond a home's value could get them since the price would "always" continue to rise, and so forth. It was a huge bubble. And that bubble just burst. And now, in order to "fix" the problem, the government is gonna make up even MORE legislation, even MORE regulations, etc., and the banks and CEOs are going to get punished, and everyone is conveniently forgetting that it's the government that started the whole thing and Barack Obama who, through the threat of litigation, forced banks to make these bad loans, which they knew were bad. In other words, what I'm saying is that the government forced the banks, through this ridiculous legislation, to make these loans. The banks did because they didn't have a choice (and Obama was there to make sure of that). And when it failed, everyone blames greed and banks and whatnot. The government walks away scott free, Obama gets elected because one Jimmy Carter isn't enough for a country this size, and the entire American people are left paying the bill -- which will come out to something like SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER TAXPAYER! What would YOU do with $7,000? For these reasons, an asteroid crashing on the Earth and driving stock prices even lower is something we really don't have time for right now. Government regulation out of control. Because when Rome is burning down, play a fiddle.

Re:Asteroid bad for economy. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279477)

Liar. You're intentionally misleading people. Troll is left even if you have tried to offset an off topic with a one sentence comment.

It's Pluto... (5, Funny)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | about 6 years ago | (#25279427)

and it wants revenge.

Don't be fooled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279431)

This is obviously the first wave of Xenu's attack on the Thetans.

Here's the NASA article (5, Informative)

Bragador (1036480) | about 6 years ago | (#25279443)

Small Asteroid Predicted to Cause Brilliant Fireball over Northern Sudan [nasa.gov]

A very small, few-meter sized asteroid, designated 2008 TC3, was found Monday morning by the Catalina Sky Survey from their observatory near Tucson Arizona. Preliminary orbital computations by the Minor Planet Center suggested an atmospheric entry of this object within a day of discovery. JPL confirmed that an atmospheric impact will very likely occur during early morning twilight over northern Sudan, north-eastern Africa, at 2:46 UT Tuesday morning. The fireball, which could be brilliant, will travel west to east (from azimuth = 281 degrees) at a relative atmospheric impact velocity of 12.8 km/s and arrive at a very low angle (19 degrees) to the local horizon. It is very unlikely that any sizable fragments will survive passage through the Earth's atmosphere.

Objects of this size would be expected to enter the Earth's atmosphere every few months on average but this is the first time such an event has been predicted ahead of time.

Re:Here's the NASA article (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 6 years ago | (#25279549)

Objects of this size would be expected to enter the Earth's atmosphere every few months on average but this is the first time such an event has been predicted ahead of time.

This detail got left out of the story summary, making this sound like a bigger deal than it actually is. This is a routine, mundane event — only the prediction is newsworthy.

Re:Here's the NASA article (5, Interesting)

Jonathan McDowell (515872) | about 6 years ago | (#25279869)

This detail got left out of the story summary, making this sound like a bigger deal than it actually is. This is a routine, mundane event — only the prediction is newsworthy.

What this really means is that the new surveys are looking at more of the sky more frequently and deeper (seeing fainter objects), so now we are starting to catch things hitting the Earth that would have been missed in the past.

I wouldn't say this is a mundane event though, this is going to be bigger than the majority of fireballs that get seen. Yes, every few months, but most are over uninhabited areas and don't get seen. And they are not tracked in advance - so we'll get to see how big a fireball you get for a body whose size we have a rough idea of (a few meters across).

For technical updates, see
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/mpec/RecentMPECs.html

Re:Here's the NASA article (0)

dogdick (1290032) | about 6 years ago | (#25279555)

The story has been already picked up by CNN and NASA

Picked up by NASA huh? Id certainly fucking hope so.

Good News Everyone... (4, Funny)

gooman (709147) | about 6 years ago | (#25279449)

Since it is such a small asteroid we can save some money. We don't need to send an all-star cast to blow it up, we only need to send one celebrity.
I suggest Bruce Willis, since we can save even more money not having to worry about the return trip.

Re:Good News Everyone... (5, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 6 years ago | (#25279509)

Please can we send Tom Cruise instead??

Re:Good News Everyone... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 6 years ago | (#25279563)

Amen to that space travelling alien who drops monsters into volcanoes!

Oh wait. I mean... Yeah, just drop him in!

Re:Good News Everyone... (1)

gooman (709147) | about 6 years ago | (#25279613)

Well, he wasn't part of the original cast (Armageddon) but sure, why not?
Plus, sending Tom Cruise will help reduce costs even further, since he's already "out there."

Re:Good News Everyone... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279737)

Please can we send Tom Cruise instead??

No, he won't come out of the closet.

Scary... (3, Interesting)

ZipprHead (106133) | about 6 years ago | (#25279469)

This is scary to me, not so much that a small asteroid is going to burn up and make a light show, but news of it comes out 24 hours before hand.

Would a body 10,20,100 or 1000 times the size be detected 24 hours before hitting us? Hell... 72 Hours?

Re:Scary... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 6 years ago | (#25279541)

24 hours before hand? Check again, this is came out with maybe 6 hours notice. Your popcorn should be in the microwave right now if you intend to watch.

Testing tractor beam theory. (2, Interesting)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 6 years ago | (#25279483)

Wouldn't this be an ideal opportunity to test out the theory of using a satellite's gravity to tow an asteroid away? Well, it's too late now, but I'm sure the research would be useful if we ever wanted to have a greater chance of avoiding potential disasters [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Testing tractor beam theory. (3, Informative)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 6 years ago | (#25279617)

Firstly the mass of a satellite would not generate enough of a gravity well to nudge any object off a crash course with the earth. Secondly, as the object in question will be travelling at around 12.8km/s (That's just under 8 miles per second if you are American). The sort of gravity needed to change that trajectory considerably would likely cause much much more problems than this little lump of rock could ever cause.

Wait, I've seen this movie (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 years ago | (#25279511)

The little one is followed by a great big one. Panic!

Sigh (1)

areusche (1297613) | about 6 years ago | (#25279529)

I love it when scientists try to correct people with the difference between meteorites and asteroids. Just let the unwashed masses say it wrong :)

The point of the article is the last line (2, Informative)

Gresyth (1103851) | about 6 years ago | (#25279537)

Objects of this size would be expected to enter the Earth's atmosphere every few months on average but this is the first time such an event has been predicted ahead of time.

Bomb Sudan!!! (0, Troll)

Maestro485 (1166937) | about 6 years ago | (#25279571)

I'm sure the US has been waiting for a chance to bomb Sudan. Now they don't have to do anything!!!

Since we're tagging stories with "story" why not tag this post with "post" or this article (which I did not read) with "article" or this opinion with "opinion" or this journal with "journal" or this line of bullshit with "bullshit".

Re:Bomb Sudan!!! (3, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | about 6 years ago | (#25279661)

I'm sure the US has been waiting for a chance to bomb Sudan. Now they don't have to do anything!!!

And in other news, the asteroid was found to have large amounts of Naquadah in it.

It's not going to collide. (1)

BungeBash (971979) | about 6 years ago | (#25279671)

It's not going to collide so fix the title. It's going to burn up in our atmosphere becoming a meteor. http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/10/06/asteroid.fireball/index.html [cnn.com] Let's try to publish stuff accurately...

Re:It's not going to collide. (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 6 years ago | (#25279715)

What about Shoemaker-Levy 9? Didn't that count as a meteor collision even though it burned up in Jupiter's atmosphere? I would think the atmosphere counts as part of the Earth as much as the oceans would.

It is blackhole (0, Redundant)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 6 years ago | (#25279673)

created by the cern collider. It is coming back for a rematch with the collider. But the collider has tunrned tail and run away from the field. This round goes to the blackhole.

Reports indicate Darth Vader has already moved out of his bunker 1 mile under the Vice Presidential mansion and taken up a position in the orbit, in case it is not an asteroid at all but a squadron of rebel X wings.

We're all going to die! (4, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | about 6 years ago | (#25279679)

a small asteroid approaching Earth with a 99.8% probability of colliding

O-M-G We're all going to die! It's the end of the world! Run! Agh, forget that, you'll just die tired! I'm freaking out! I'm freaking out!

The asteroid is assumed to be 3-4 meters in size...

This has been a test of the emergency end of the world system. Has this been the actual end of the world you would have been given explicit instructions to bend over and kiss your ass good bye.

This concludes this test of the emergency end of the world system.

Not exactly any warning (1)

Haoie (1277294) | about 6 years ago | (#25279689)

You'd think any asteroid heading for our planet would garner at least a passing mention in the media, but no.

And in the meantime, the LHC gets all the attention. What a world.

I hope it hits Barack Obama (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279707)

I hope the asteroid doesn't break up -- I hope it hits Barack Obama. That motherfucker is dangerous and deserves to die.

Re:I hope it hits Barack Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279825)

Enjoy your visit from the Secret Service. Let us know how it went. :)

Re:I hope it hits Barack Obama (4, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | about 6 years ago | (#25279859)

Well, call me a Washin'ton out-cider, don'cha know, betcha', shucks, all I gotta' do is wink and sure, by golly, that asteroid'll collide with Obama fer sure. 'Cause he's a terrist celebrity, by golly, gosh, so dangerous, and I'd like ta' ignore that question and talk 'bout energy.

Sincerely;
Sarah Palin

What a gyp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279741)

"The asteroid is assumed to be 3-4 meters in size; it is expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm."

"expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm."

"causing no harm."

Aw...

Regime in Sudan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279765)

Everyone is focusing on the asteroid. I wonder (and wander) on a slightly different tangent. The regime in Sudan has been continuing for a long time their human rights atrocities in Darfur, etc. Perhaps this is God's way of firing a warning shot. ;)

We can spot this tiny rock way off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279781)

...in the cavernous depths of space, yet we can't find Bin Laden on out own small planet?

Quick! (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | about 6 years ago | (#25279795)

Fire something of the same size off earth. All those bits'n'pieces will just make earth heavier and sink into the Sun!

Or think of it this way americans: Every time a meteor hits earth you become heavier.

Anubis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279843)

failed the first time so he's trying yet again. Don't worry, SG-1 will save the world[tm] again as they always do.

How Kind (0, Flamebait)

failedlogic (627314) | about 6 years ago | (#25279863)

For those advanced enough in astronomy to observe, check the MPEC 2008-T50 and MPEC 2008-T64 circulars.

Never read a more polite way of phrasing "otherwise, you're an astronomy idiot".

Take that Darfur! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279879)

Thank god, we're finally going to attack Sudan...oh I mean...a meteor!

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