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First Photos of Asteroid 2011 MD

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the bruce-willis-alert-level-reduced-to-green dept.

Space 26

astroengine writes "At around 1 p.m. EDT on Monday, asteroid 2011 MD narrowly missed Earth's atmosphere, passing well within the orbits of our GPS satellites. Scientists worked hard to track the space rock, and astronomers using the 2-meter Faulkes Telescope in Siding Spring, Australia, managed to image the asteroid. Also, Planetary Science Institute research scientist Pasquale Tricarico put together some pretty cool asteroid-eye-view animations of the event."

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26 comments

Photos... (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36590190)

Proper photos or some movie clips... or it didn't happen.
(TL;DR abstract - all I could see were some traces of light. Bruce Willis didn't bother)

Re:Photos... (2)

majikthyze (63738) | more than 2 years ago | (#36593180)

Many amateurs imaged the asteroid flyby as well. I have a video at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCN77UZ2RUo [youtube.com]
The asteroid dips in brightness every 11.66 minutes -- you can see it regularly changing brightness in the video.

Its only ~10m in diameter. I keep picturing Bruce Willis strapped to the rock in a black space suit going round and round every 11.66 minutes....

Would be fun to slap an instrument pack on this (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36590296)

If we could ever get ready ahead of time it would be cool to throw up a net to entangle this thing with a bunch of instruments.
It looks to be just rocky enough to hold together and carry a signification package of radios and particle collection panels etc.

Maybe we could brake it enough to put it in orbit.

Lawyers ears perk up all over the world...

Re:Would be fun to slap an instrument pack on this (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#36590388)

If we could ever get ready ahead of time it would be cool to throw up a net to entangle this thing with a bunch of instruments.
It looks to be just rocky enough to hold together and carry a signification package of radios and particle collection panels etc.

Maybe we could brake it enough to put it in orbit.

Lawyers ears perk up all over the world...

Ever see an instrument after it comes into contact with a rock traveling at many times the speed of sound? If there was an atmosphere to carry the sound, "thwack!" would be an understatement.

Re:Would be fun to slap an instrument pack on this (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36590500)

Not if you accelerate the instrument to match speeds.
Its not rocket science... Oh wait, it is... Never mind.

In any event, we've done it before. Continue your education here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7812623/First-spacecraft-to-land-on-an-asteroid-due-back-on-Earth.html [telegraph.co.uk]
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010214075526.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Would be fun to slap an instrument pack on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36593804)

If you accelerate the instrument to match the rocks' speed, there is no need for the rock, the instrument will follow the same orbit. The rock is only useful as a way of saving fuel when leaving earth orbit.

Re:Would be fun to slap an instrument pack on this (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#36593266)

If it's this close you don't need much. A military satellite killer missile could make it up there, and those are ready to launch 10 minutes ago.

I wonder if they could be programmed to match orbits...

Re:Would be fun to slap an instrument pack on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36595748)

Isn't their whole purpose to "match orbits" ... violently.

Hit Spacebar to Fire Cannon (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#36590354)

Seriously, I've seen better photographic evidence on a 1980s Asteroids game. Spin the knob to fire triangle, S for Start, Game Over.

Re:Hit Spacebar to Fire Cannon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36592612)

Duh, that's what telescope images look like.

If you just want gaudy graphics, go look at the artists rendition instead, don't worry about how it actually appears.

Space Lasers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36590542)

Did anyone else see the animated clip at the bottom, and immediately find themselves making the pew-pew-pew sound?

And we hear a "Doh!" from Mars (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36590608)

Associated Press - 2011-06-27

A statement amounting to "Doh!" was issued today by the Martian High Command as a missile sent to Earth in retaliation for the multiple objects crashed into Mars by Earth went wide of its mark by 7,500 miles. Apparently the calibration of certain instruments was in fa'loops while others were in grelungs causing an embarrassing miss. Detractors of the High Command called for both a change to the S.I. (for System Interplaneterie) system of measurement and also for budget cuts.

Re:And we hear a "Doh!" from Mars (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36591338)

Unfortunately, the governments of Earth are running out of quarters, so the new high score on this game will have to remain unclaimed for another year.

Who would it have hit? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36590634)

I watched the vid a few times. If it had been on a course for the center of the Earth, it looks like it would have killer-asteroided all over Burma.

Re:Who would it have hit? (2)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36591070)

Actually, it wouldn't have hit anyone, but it'd have made for an impressive light show as it burned up in the atmosphere.

Phuck!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36592014)

There went my excuse to get out of work early today. Oh well, 2012 is right around the corner.

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