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Simulation of Close Asteroid Fly-By

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the close-enough-to-feel-the-vacuum-breeze dept.

NASA 148

c0mpliant writes "NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come very close to Earth in 2029 — the closest predicted approach since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid caused a bit of a scare when astronomers first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some time in the future. However, since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the odds of collision at 1 in 250,000."

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Close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512650)

But no cigar

So if it hits... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512666)

That means we won the global armageddon lottery?

In case of slashdotting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512704)

* O - Earth
|
| ---- Asteroid
|

Re:In case of slashdotting (5, Funny)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513446)

Scientists report that the Apophis asteroid is approximately the size of two-and-a-half football fields. Further research and government grants are necessary to determine whether the Apophisites are playing American Football or that odd metric football where you use your feet.

Re:In case of slashdotting (4, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513482)

I'm curious to know how many Volkswagen Beetles we'd need to collide with a two-and-a-half football fields asteroid to change its trajectory.

Re:In case of slashdotting (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513550)

That depends on how many times the speed of sound the Volkswagen beetles are going...

Is 'speed of sound' an obscure enough unit (when referring to something in a vacuum) or is furlongs/fortnight required? Maybe conversion to 'force(s) of a mack truck' to imply speed and mass? I am certain we can clear this up somehow...

Re:In case of slashdotting (3, Funny)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513938)

It's all documented in the Library of Congress. In fact, a lot of information is contained in the Library of Congress. Ten Terabytes: [techtarget.com] and if each bit was a "0" or "1" in 12-point font, laid end-to-end, it would stretch to the Apophis asteroid and back nine times (at its closest point to Earth).

Seriously, what's this "1 in 250,000" chance of hitting the Earth? It's only going to pass once, and it'll either hit or miss. So it's one in 2.

That's why it's important for lottery money to go toward education. These scientists can't calculate probabilities!

Re:In case of slashdotting (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514122)

It's all documented in the Library of Congress. In fact, a lot of information is contained in the Library of Congress. Ten Terabytes: [techtarget.com] and if each bit was a "0" or "1" in 12-point font, laid end-to-end, it would stretch to the Apophis asteroid and back nine times (at its closest point to Earth).

Seriously, what's this "1 in 250,000" chance of hitting the Earth? It's only going to pass once, and it'll either hit or miss. So it's one in 2.

That's why it's important for lottery money to go toward education. These scientists can't calculate probabilities!

Ironic then, that as I win the lottery every other time I play (the odds being 1:2) the education fund will no doubt go into the red delivering my payouts... Take that, book learnin'!

Re:In case of slashdotting (2, Funny)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514294)

Ironic then, that as I win the lottery every other time I play (the odds being 1:2) the education fund will no doubt go into the red delivering my payouts... Take that, book learnin'!

Duh! That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard! I mean, why aren't you skipping every other lottery drawing?

Re:In case of slashdotting (3, Funny)

severoon (536737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515160)

I've been trying that for years now, but I must be skipping the wrong ones...I'm only picking every other loser. :-(

Re:In case of slashdotting (2, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514324)

There is still some uncertainty in the calculations due to imperfect observations, the effects of gravity, and the solar wind, for example. The trajectory shown in the video is very close to the most likely one, but there are still some factors that could change from the expected parameters and so change the actual path.

Re:In case of slashdotting (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514646)

if this is happening in another 249,999 parallel universes it means one of those earths is toast.

Re:In case of slashdotting (1)

msgtomatt (1147195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515316)

size of two-and-a-half football fields.

The article states the size of the asteroid as 900 feet ... which is three American football fields ... $1.2 Billion in tax payer money is needed to study the discrepancy.

Re:In case of slashdotting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514964)

That can't be right. This is 2029 we're talking about here. The LHC will have done us in long before then.

Your model will be outdated by the time it happens.

Re:In case of slashdotting (1)

msgtomatt (1147195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515222)

more recent calculations have put the odds of collision at 1 in 250,000

A lot of people buy lottery tickets hoping win big money with odds a lot worse than that!

Danger... or opportunity? (1)

downix (84795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512714)

These rocks are high in minerals which are very useful. Who'se with me, capturing this thing, and turning it into a gigantic orbiting factory?

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (3, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512734)

looking at the simulation, the amount of energy required to bring this into any orbit at all seems really really really high

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (4, Funny)

hodet (620484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513056)

Then just change the gravitational constant of the universe....duh

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513276)

Q, stop posting on Slashdot. Or is the Continuum that boring these days?

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513508)

Shutup Geordi, every since creating that warp bubble you have been so smug. Q

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513302)

Hopefully by then, we would have discovered Higgs and unlocked the secrets of mass.

Solar space plant powers some device to make an artificial heavy mass behind it and hopefully stop it at some point.

But i'm probably being overly excited, we'll probably not find Higgs, or we will find it and still not be able to do anything anyway because it requires too much energy.
DAMN IT SCIENCE, GIVE US A BREAK.

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512866)

Hmmm . . . a giant harpoon, tethered by a long nanotube to the Earth. We could nail that asteroid, like Captain Ahab did to Moby Dick. We could travel back and forth on a space elevator. The more alcohol I drink, the better this idea sounds!

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513296)

Not only is it a good idea, but we could even hire the whalers on the moon. They carry harpoons.

BUT! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514986)

...There ain't no whales, so they tell tall tales, and sing their whaling tune :-\

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512876)

Do you have any idea how much energy would be required to capture it?

You'd be better off putting some sort of automatic mining robot on it and having it launch just the extracted material on the next pass by earth (though I have no idea how close it comes on future orbits). Well aside from us not having the tech for that yet.

Actually I'm pretty sure that's a standard sci-fi technique. Send the big mining robot to the asteroid. It then starts processing the asteroid and ejects the waste material in order to produce thrust to head towards Earth (aiming for an orbit rather than a collision :).

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513120)

Actually I'm pretty sure that's a standard sci-fi technique. Send the big mining robot to the asteroid. It then starts processing the asteroid and ejects the waste material in order to produce thrust to head towards Earth (aiming for an orbit rather than a collision :).

Actually, the standard Sci-Fi technique is:
- Send big mining robot.
- Big mining robot passes through exotic magnetic field and develops conscience.
- Big mining robot invades Earth; possibly to mine it.

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513380)

I read a slightly different sub-genre of sci-fi than you :)

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513816)

Actually, the standard Sci-Fi technique is: - Send big mining robot. - Big mining robot passes through exotic magnetic field and develops conscience. - Big mining robot invades Earth; possibly to mine it.

Don't you think that a big mining robot with a conscience would have more respect for personal property?

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514120)

Actually, the standard Sci-Fi technique is:
- Send big mining robot.
- Big mining robot passes through exotic magnetic field and develops conscience.
- Big mining robot invades Earth; possibly to mine it.

Or the big mining robot asks to learn of that emotion we humans call love. Possibly becomes turned on watching monster truck rallies, tries to woo Grave Digger.

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513132)

Given that they thought it might hit on the next pass (if it came close enough for the earths gravity to affect it this time) thrn i think that it should be easy for a robot to thrw up some rocks at the right time on the next pass and have them land on earth. (Bonus points if you can land them on somebody you don't like (Korea, Iran...)

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513148)

Or you could just crash it into hte moon... then we wouldn't have to go as far to get it.

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (2, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513574)

Thank god, more rocks on the moon. What a prize.

You Pose An Excellent Question, "How Much?" (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513432)

I don't know anything about Orbital Mechanics, but just for the sake of Robert Kennedy's ghost, I ask, "Why Not?" "IF" the entire planet said, "Yes, capture this object, regardless of cost, do it". Granted, by comparison of future technologies, it would look like a 1950's art deco solution, but what would it take to put this thing in orbit for the sole purpose of mining it to build orbiting manufacturing, and agricultural facilities? And just so perspective is brought into the mix. It really doesn't make sense that it takes 100's of millions of dollars to train geniuses to put a Nut on a Bolt in space. And why can't a Laser be used to slice the thing up like a Deli-Salami? or use a Laser to "Push" the thing around?

"What makes the Impossible, Possible, are Numbers." - Unknown

Re:You Pose An Excellent Question, "How Much?" (4, Insightful)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513976)

The laws of thermodynamics are against you.

And art deco was in the 20's and 30's.

Re:Danger... or opportunity? (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515340)

I think we should just lasso the thing so it whips down into the middle east, solving war for 300 years. That should finally shut up all those "Peace is the only answer" hippies.

I could've sworn... (3, Insightful)

cwiegmann24 (1476667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512728)

...that the odds were 4 in a million...

Re:I could've sworn... (1)

Xenaero (1223656) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513684)

Never tell me the odds!

it's on now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512736)

it's time for a war on space!

relative risk (2, Informative)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512766)

apparently there is a better chance of this happening than getting struck by lightning. http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_pls/probability.html [lightningsafety.com] what happens when a slider tries to visit that world?

Re:relative risk (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512874)

But it is much more probable for the meteorite to kill us all than a succession of lightnings killing each and every human being.

And not just because after the first few thousand lightning hits we'd start thinking about hiding in caves.

Re:relative risk (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514024)

But it is much more probable for the meteorite to kill us all than a succession of lightnings killing each and every human being.

And not just because after the first few thousand lightning hits we'd start thinking about hiding in caves.

Not really, an assumed impact would 'only' kill millions. There would be no long-term climatic disaster to kill everyone.

Unless, of course, we try making a massive pile of the entire planet's nuclear weapons to cushion the impact...

Boorrinng (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512812)

I'd rather see the simulation of it hitting earth.

Re:Boorrinng (2, Informative)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513238)

Your vish is my command:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zvCUmeoHpw [youtube.com]

Re:Boorrinng (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514302)

That's not even close to the same idea. That impact (while kind of neat to watch) is of a much larger object, looking to be several hundred miles wide (Ceres?). An asteroid the size of Apophis would create an incredible explosion and crater, but it would not be a life-ending event like in that video.

Re:Boorrinng (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514454)

I know, but he said booorring. Just thought I'd spice things up a little.

Re:Boorrinng (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514790)

How can you read the subject title of this post without hearing with the sound of Mr. Kruger's voice (at 2:40)? [youtube.com]

Question (1)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512834)

With this asteroid coming so close to earth, obviously the flight path of it is going to change afterward. Any chance of this being captured in orbit? Or will this be flung somewhere else in the solar system? Or worse, coming back if it doesn't have enough energy to carry on?

Re:Question (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512918)

They do think of that sort of thing! IIRC, this pass is the last time we need worry about it for the forseeable future, but I forget what specifically the simulations actually suggest.

Re:Question (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512946)

Actually, I believe they're expecting to enormously improve their predictions on its future paths after its 2013 flyby. More info on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99942_Apophis [wikipedia.org]

Re:Question (1)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513248)

NASA initially estimated the energy that Apophis would have released if it struck Earth as the equivalent of 1,480 megatons of TNT. A later, more refined NASA estimate was 880 megatons.[2] The impacts which created the Barringer Crater or the Tunguska event are estimated to be in the 3–10 megaton range[16] The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa was the equivalent of roughly 200 megatons.

That is a lot of energy and potential destruction. Is there a plan to try and alter its trajectory to push it outside the 1 in ?????

Re:Question (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513538)

There's always a 1 in ?????. There's a 1 in ????? of me turning into a chicken at any given moment, but the ????? is small enough that I can say with certainty that it won't happen.
The plan, as it stands, is to look at it very closely on the 2013 pass, which is expected to give enough accuracy to say with absolute certainty that it won't impact before 2070. If it emerges that the 2036 impact becomes more likely, rather than less, then the plan will be to give it a nudge somehow during a pass in the 2020s. A similar process will presumably be operated upon for any later potential collision events.
No doubt the specifics of such a plan (long-term ravitational attractor, impactor, or nuclear detonation) will only be able to be worked out once they have the 2013 data, even if such a plan were to prove necessary.

Re:Question (0)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513900)

You can't say that with certainty, rather only (?????-1)/????? confidence.

Re:Question (2, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514782)

Actually this pass (the 2029 close approach) is not a concern at all. The error brackets are brought in well enough that we know it will not impact the Earth, but will pass well within the GEO belt. What we don't know, and when the actual 1/250000 impact risk is, is the next pass, in 2036. If the asteroid passes through what is known as a 'gravitational keyhole' in 2029, the effect of Earth's gravity will actually swing the asteroid back around on an impact path in 2036.

Right now we can predict where Apophis will be in 2029 fairly well, within a few 10s of kilometers I believe. When you're talking about hitting the Earth, a thousand kilometers or more is good enough precision. The problem is that that during that flyby in 2029, any small uncertainties magnify by a few orders of magnitude, so when you carry it through another 7 years of orbits the uncertainty is 10s of Earth radii instead. Add in uncertainties about the effects of solar wind and the Yarkovsky effect and it just gets more complicated.

Thank goodness (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512840)

Good thing it ony 250,000 to 1. If it were 1,000,000 to 1, then we'd be doomed

Re:Thank goodness (2, Funny)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512902)

I'll give you either odds that the meteorite hits, I'll put your winnings in the mail the day after it hits.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514330)

This is an Asteroid. It maybe could be called a Meteor, but it won't be a Meteorite until it actually impacts the ground.

Where's The OTHER Simulation? (1)

BiggoronSword (1135013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512846)

Where's the OTHER simulation? You know... the one where this asteroid comes back and actually strikes Earth.

Re:Where's The OTHER Simulation? (2, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512888)

The people responsible for that simulation have been sacked.

Re:Where's The OTHER Simulation? (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513192)

Hey! Roland Emmerich has feelings too.

It's a conspiricy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512850)

...a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come very close to Earth in 2029

You can't fool me: the System Lords are planing an invasion, aren't they? Where the hell are SG:1?

Re:It's a conspiricy! (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512944)

they've already got the plan in place to open a hyperspace window on one side of the earth and have it come out the other side

Re:It's a conspiricy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513256)

Wow, you guys are slipping. I had to go 12 threads down to find the SG1 reference?
It was the first thing I thought of while reading the summary.

Of course Apophis is going to miss Earth in 2029 (2, Funny)

scourfish (573542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513070)

Earth will have been destroyed 17 years before this happens when Planet Nibiru crosses our orbit in 2012.

we've had worse (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513114)

I think the asteroid that just missed us (was that last month?) came closer than this will.
the only difference is we didn't see it coming.

A dose of realism, before the plague of ignorance (2, Informative)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513270)

One can download Celestia and make your own simlation! It's not rocket science. It's not, it's astrophysics, and some astronomy math to get the orbit to work. But there is enough data on the net to recreate this... and then tweak it for the earth shattering kaboom!

I wish that someone would make a game of this... where you need to send up a vehicle, bump and asteroid and watch the change. Give us all a chance to crowd source the various "solutions". Learn just how friggin tricky this would be, how long it would take, how little effect we can have. All of this talk about "capturing this asteroid" on this thread alone is sad. The amount of energy in an asteroid's kinetics is astounding. This topic needs a dose of realism.

A POX on Bruce Wyllis!

Re:A dose of realism, before the plague of ignoran (1)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514218)

Sort of a Sim Space or Sim Asteroids hmmm mail it to EA I am sure they can screw it up some how lol

I do like the idea of making it a game maybe NASA could work with some third party and design something like that, another thing they could do is use the game to take some of the extra computing power and have a distributed network like Folding@home only more fun :)

Re:A dose of realism, before the plague of ignoran (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515000)

Additional computing power isn't really needed for this problem. JPL already has the Standard Dynamic Model they use to model all bodies in the solar system accurately, and the current hardware is perfectly capable of handling the problem.

What is needed to refine and understand the trajectory is more observations. Radar range and range-rate measurements, along with optical angle measurements are fed together to estimate the current position and velocity, and using estimation techniques you can estimate your uncertainty as well. In order to bring down the uncertainty, we need more measurements that give a better statistical sample and allow you to have more confidence in your averages. Sadly most people don't have radio telescopes are large enough optical telescopes (20"+ preferably) to really make a good observation. For that reason, it will probably take till 2013, the next close approach, to get a new set of data that will make it easy to determine whether there is a 2036 impact risk.

Will this affect tides? (1)

prograde (1425683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513280)

I'm curious, will there be any effect felt on Earth, such as a change in tides? How massive/close would an object need to be for us to notice it? This is passing well within the orbit of the moon, but obviously it's much smaller.

Moon = 7.3 e22 kg and 384,748 km
Apophis = 2.7e10 kg and 29,450 km

I don't remember the entire equation, but the distance term gets squared, and everything else cancels out, so the relative effect should be:

(7.3e22 / (384748)^2 ) / (2.7e10/(29450)^2)

...so the moon's pull on the tides is 1.5e10 times greater, and I'm guessing Apophis will go unnoticed.

Am I close to doing that right?

Re:Will this affect tides? (1)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514496)

Am I close to doing that right?

Pretty much. Apophis, at that distance, basically has the same gravitational pull as a can of soda at 10m away. Apophis would have to be about 230 meters away to have the same gravitational acceleration as the moon does.

No worries ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513286)

Why's everyone so worried about this? We all know the world is going to end in 2012.

Re:No worries ... (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515190)

The project has been delayed, next due date is 2029 and it's not yet a sure hit, so probably an early beta.

Looks like our force field will save us (2, Funny)

nysus (162232) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513300)

In that animation, the asteroid was apparently deflected by the earth's force field. Either that or I just don't understand what's going on. Can someone kindly explain what the video is showing?

Re:Looks like our force field will save us (3, Informative)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513406)

Ride a motorcycle at 60 MPH and careen in front of a car doing 50 MPH from right to left, with a free beer sitting just above the right headlight. Keep your eye on the front of the car as you approach and after you pass. Grab the free beer as you slide by, just miss getting hit by the car.

That is the same as the relative positions of this simulation.

Re:Looks like our force field will save us (1)

nysus (162232) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513758)

Ah, I see what the video is showing now. "Keep your eye on the front of the car as you approach *and after you pass*" is what gave me a clue.

I think this can be classified as a video optical illusion. I watched it like 3 times and the asteroid looked like it bounced backwards and away to the left.

Re:Looks like our force field will save us (2, Interesting)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513984)

I did a simulation of the Cassini flyby. It came so close to the earth that you saw NOTHING for a while. That 'nothing' was the dark side of the earth. That was like grabbing the beer off the back bumper.

Re:Looks like our force field will save us (0)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513826)

The asteroid is traveling on a straight line. As it approaches, it changes to closing on a moving target. (the earth, who travels its diameter every 5 minutes) However the original trajectory its too fast and not aimed well for impact. So it gets close, but comes off at a new able because we to put a considerable tug on it. But its already aimed behind us, and we're moving further away.

Remember momentum is linear and the force of gravity is over r^2, so it is only briefly largely influenced. Plus, with an atmosphere we do have some kind of cushion, but it doesn't get that close. (according to the simulation)

Re:Looks like our force field will save us (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514250)

no, the asteroid is moving in a near ellipsoid perturbed by earths gravity.

Re:Looks like our force field will save us (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515112)

In 2029 the asteroid 99942 Apophis will pass well within the GEO satellite belt (36,000 km), but will not impact the Earth. The video simulates this trajectory and as the Earth approaches for a few moments it appears that an impact is likely. However, this is an illusion where the Earth merely dominates the field of view and the in-plane relative velocity is much larger than the horizontal relative velocity.

To be clear, the orbit of the asteroid as it enters the Earth's sphere of influence is a very high-energy hyperbolic orbit, where the closest point of approach is much further than 6,400 km (the Earth's radius).

I don't know why... (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513338)

I saw the RSS headline as "Stimulation of Close Asteroid Fly-By" and I just had to see what that was all about...

Re:I don't know why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514058)

I saw it as "Simulation of Close Android Fly-By". I for one came to welcome our new close-flying android overlords.

Impact the moon? (1)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513348)

This is expected to come within our moon's orbit, right? So what are the odds of it impacting the moon? And if it were to do so, what would the impact do to the moon's orbit?

Re:Impact the moon? (2, Informative)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513606)

Moonfall by Jack McDevitt. Also some SyFy presentation of EarthStorm.

Re:Impact the moon? (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515336)

It is certain not to hit the moon on this pass, just as its guaranteed not to hit the Earth. Uncertainty of the asteroid's position is within 10s of kilometers, more than enough to make sure theres no risk of that.

If it were to impact the moon, we can determine the relative Delta-V it would apply. The velocity of the asteroid relative to the Earth moon system upon entry is approximately 5.9 km/s, according the JPL NEO page, and has a mass of ~2.7e10 kg. The Moon is moving at ~1 km/s and has a mass of 7.3e22 kg. Assuming an inelastic collision, and that the impact is along the velocity vector (where it will have the largest impact), and applying conservation of momentum, you get a whopping 1.8 nm/s velocity change. So basically, the asteroid is far too small to have any kind of noticeable effect on the moon. Looking at the surface these kind of events happen all the time (cosmologically).

Impact Simulations (4, Interesting)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513378)

I'm surprised the original post didn't link to this article from Sandia National Labs [sandia.gov] . There is a pretty interesting analysis of what would actually happen if an asteroid did hit (complete with nifty graphics).
 
From the Sandia article:So what would happen during such an impact, really? According to the simulation, the impact would vaporize the asteroid, deform the ocean floor, and eject hundreds of cubic miles of superheated water vapor, melted rock, and other debris into the upper atmosphere and back into space. Much of the debris would then rain down over the world for the next several hours and also form a high global cloud, says David Crawford of Sandia's Computational Physics and Mechanics Department. The shock wave from the impact would level much of the New England region. The heat would incinerate cities and forests there instantaneously. The global cloud would then lower temperatures worldwide, and a global snowstorm likely would ensue and last several days to several weeks, initiating a "nuclear winter" that would create more hardships for earth's inhabitants.

Re:Impact Simulations (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513480)

That doesn't sound as bad as I thought it could be. Up here in Canada our Winters last at least 6 months anyways. And I'm far enough in land that any ocean impacts likely won't flood me, or incinerate me.

I was afraid of some Earth Shattering Kaboom, that could Shatter the Earth. With a loud bang.

Re:Impact Simulations (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513610)

Time to move up to Canada. Seriously, I would think it would depend on the size of the meteor. In the video I posted on a thread above, the inhabitants of the Earth don't fare so well.

Re:Impact Simulations (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513498)

"hardships for earth's inhabitants"

Now that is an understatement.

Re:Impact Simulations (2, Informative)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514174)

Actually your link appears to be about the simulation of a 1.4 km diameter asteroid. Apophis is 0.27 km in diameter. Assuming roughly equivalent densities that would mean a ratio of 2.744 to 0.019683, or 139 to 1, for their respective masses. It seems that more than two degrees of magnitude would demand a new simulation.

Apophis? But I thought... (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513782)

Why named "Apophis?" I thought SG-1 killed him off real good back in season four. What we've got to consider is whether the asteroid is in fact heavy with naquadah (which prohibits nuclear solutions). At least Sam Carter figured out that whole enlargement of the subspace bubble round the transport vessel -- barely got that asteroid to the other side of earth... We've got all the solutions we need, I figure.

Re:Apophis? But I thought... (1)

d0rp (888607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514214)

Carter, I can see my house from here!

Re:Apophis? But I thought... (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515372)

Actually, the discoverers claim that during the initial days when it was a 1/300 impact risk, a god of destruction seemed like a good name. However, it also turns out that they were SG-1 fans...

Cue 13-yr-old Corrects NASA, again. (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513860)

Take into account that the astrophysicists are probably out of tune with current events, does this latest estimate account for Nico Marquardt's correction [slashdot.org] last year? I'd say that brings it down to odds of 1 in 2,500. The link above says the odds were reduced from 1:45,000 to 1:250,000 while Nico's correction originally brought it down from 1:45,000 to 1:450.

Re:Cue 13-yr-old Corrects NASA, again. (2, Informative)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514074)

No, it doesn't [nasa.gov]

However, the asteroid will not pass near the main belt of geosynchronous satellites in 2029, and the chance of a collision with a satellite is exceedingly remote.

What about landing a probe? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514046)

This strikes me as a great opportunity - the asteroid will be passing closer than any other large body has ever come to Earth. I wonder if it would be practical to land a probe on the surface as it passes by. This could provide us with a lot of great science.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over this... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514148)

...but the odds of a strike are still a lot better than the odds of winning a major lottery.

Yet another simulation (2, Funny)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514224)

We already have Armageddon and Deep Impact.

This is a genuine question. (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514236)

Given that we can measure the location of nearby space objects with fairly good accuracy and the laws of physics at that magnitude are not fuzzy as in smaller scales, what are the unknowns that make such an impact a 1 in X possibility and not a certain Hit/Miss?

Odds (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514522)

You know, 1 in 250,000 is of course a very, very, very (very, very) low chance, but... it's still a not insignificant possibility. That's slightly (very, very, very, very, very slightly) scary.

Simulartions are boring (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515260)

Show me the arcade mode
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