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NASA Snaps New Photo of Incoming Asteroid

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the authorities-say-it-is-unarmed-and-not-dangerous dept.

Space 135

astroengine writes "Wider than an aircraft carrier and darker than coal, asteroid 2005 YU55 is soaring at over 11 miles a second straight towards Earth and moon on its latest path through the inner solar system. This new radar image was acquired Nov. 7 by the 70-meter radio telescope at NASA's Deep Space Network in Goldstone, Calif., and shows the approaching space rock in unprecedented detail." Phil Plait has posted some information from NASA about just how they're doing the tricky job of tracking the asteroid.

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Bullshit (0)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985242)

That's a screen grab from a 240p Youtube video of an Alien egg.

What don't they want us to see?!

Re:Bullshit (2)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985270)

It just proves that asteroids are made up of perfectly shaped blocks.

Re:Bullshit (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985296)

Are you telling me that this is all an elaborate Minecraft advertising stunt?

Re:Bullshit (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986332)

"...oh my God, its full of Lego's..."

Re:Bullshit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985412)

We apologize for not getting you a magazine quality glossy of an essentially black object moving at 11 miles per second through the vastness of space nearly a million miles away. We are in a bit of a budget crunch.

Sorry,
NASA

Re:Bullshit (5, Funny)

Again (1351325) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985632)

I don't understand why they don't just send it to a crime scene investigators lab to have the image made crystal clear and so that we can view the asteroid at more angles.

Re:Bullshit (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985870)

I know, right? All they need to do is say "enhance" and it will be clear as day...

Re:Bullshit (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987790)

Obviously they forgot to say enhance. [youtube.com]

Re:Bullshit (1)

Nanosphere (1867972) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985606)

Give it to the folks at CSI, they'll be able to extra alien DNA from that photo. Imagine what they could do with the Hubble deep field...

Re:Bullshit (1)

Tweezak (871255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986278)

An alien egg the size of an aircraft carrier? Now I'm scared.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987710)

Yeah, I looked at it and I got impatient waiting for the interlacing to catch up. Took me a while, that's probably a good reason why I won't be working for NASA.

Goddamn Discovery Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985300)

WTG Discovery with your asinine, needlessly fear-mongering video clip headline:

    Discovery News Videos: Space: Doomsday Asteroid

Somebody should be fired...

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985342)

... at the asteroid.

I vote for Bruce Willis. He did alright the last time around in that other documentary with Sharpe and that Arwen chick.

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985364)

Fuck, Sean Bean was in LOTR, not Armageddon. I should have said Mr Pink.

God damn it, learn to hit Preview and read your own posts.

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985506)

Hang on, did you just confuse Sean Bean and Steve Buscemi?

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (1)

morgaen (1896818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986768)

I always confuse Steve with his younger brother Sean [tinypic.com] .

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985436)

I am sad to say that that movie contained about as much science as any given 24 hours on the Discovery Channel nowadays...

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985456)

That movie gave me epilepsy! Damn you Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer, damn you to hell.

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985694)

Consider yourself lucky. There were times during that movie I would've given anything to be carried out of the room early with my eyes rolled up into my head.

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988132)

That's where my epilepsy went! I want it back!

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986132)

WTG Discovery with your asinine, needlessly fear-mongering video clip headline:

    Discovery News Videos: Space: Doomsday Asteroid

Somebody should be fired...

There was a time I when I really liked Discovery, but they have been becoming the Crap channel with a lot of their junk. Guess thinking isn't encouraged there. Thoughtful, interesting programming is pushed aside for more visceral stuff.

Getting the same feeling about Sirius/XM, which had such a bright beginning, now they're adopting all the idiotic practices I so despise of broadcast radio stations. Must be some disease in the media - brought about from sitting in studios too long and not getting out among the people.

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986570)

There was a time I when I really liked Discovery, but they have been becoming the Crap channel with a lot of their junk. Guess thinking isn't encouraged there. Thoughtful, interesting programming is pushed aside for more visceral stuff.

Getting the same feeling about Sirius/XM, which had such a bright beginning, now they're adopting all the idiotic practices I so despise of broadcast radio stations. Must be some disease in the media - brought about from sitting in studios too long and not getting out among the people.

Problem is ... money.

Networks need a lot of it to produce their shows, and the move to HD only worsened the problem as cameras and the like jumped in prices to accomodate. The RED cameras are popular because they're one of the cheapest, but the Epic kit's still $60k, and the broadcast HDTV cameras they're having to equip everyone with is easily in the $100k range. (Many shows known for destroying cameras still shot in SD purely because of economics - there's a flood of SD cameras on the market as everyone upgraded to HD).

Additionally, for cable channels, the cable/satellite networks have slowly been reducing the per-subscriber price per channel. And ad rates have been going down since there's really a ton of places to sell ads to nowadays (mostly online). It's why shows often have websites and direct people to view "bonus content" there. Plus the fact most people have competing choices for entertainment, lowering ad revenue further.

So you can air thoughtful shows on a very tight budget where you're basically sponsored by viewers (think PBS), but you're basically beholden to very little money as there aren't that many viewers wanting thoughtful TV. Or you can scramble for eyeballs and go for higher ad rates - hence viceral. Viceral sells, and you get more money out of it.

For satellite radio - that's a different story. Their CEO basically is scrapping everything that made satellite radio special in favor of trying to compete head on with terrestrial radio. I cancelled my sub after my favorite station went online only (close to $50/month with all the radios I had) and I had no more reason to listen. (Online only meant that I needed a smartphone, and why should I pay the online-only price of $8/month when there are free internet radio apps?).

It's the same reason why websites scramble to make the most inflammatory headlines possible - the more eyeballs, the more visitors, the more money. It's why we hear news on everything Apple (or everything is reframed to somehow involve Apple), and only the big things on Android or Linux or whatever - Apple attracts eyeballs, Android/Linux/etc doesn't. Especially since the Apple crowd is known to spend money.

Re:Goddamn Discovery Network (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987224)

Yeah. Windows is coming to the maniframe [slashdot.org] and all they can find to whine about is one measly killer asteroid.

Phantom Image. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985306)

The new radar image looks like the bald scalp and the eyes of Phantom, the Ghost who walks. (Walker when he comes out of the African Jungles on missions). Indrajal Comics used to reprint them in India. Wonder if he was as popular in USA/Europe. Wondering how I never even noticed the racial overtones when I was young.

Re:Phantom Image. (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985390)

The new radar image looks like the bald scalp and the eyes of Phantom, the Ghost who walks. (Walker when he comes out of the African Jungles on missions). Indrajal Comics used to reprint them in India. Wonder if he was as popular in USA/Europe. Wondering how I never even noticed the racial overtones when I was young.

Yes, it was in the newspapers comics (weekdays and weekends) and even enjoyed a spin off (Phantom 2040) cartoon.

Always like it,not sure why exactly, just struck a cord with me i guess.

Re:Phantom Image. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986500)

Always like it,not sure why exactly, just struck a cord with me i guess.

must have been the racial overtones

captcha: contempt

Re:Phantom Image. (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985426)

I have a 4'x4' print of the Phantom's face on my wall.

Yes, we know who the Phantom is in the West.

Re:Phantom Image. (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985650)

I think my asteroids game in my Atari 2600 console had prettier asteroid pictures. But perhaps I've become so used to high resolution pictures :)

Re:Phantom Image. (1)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986364)

They still draw and publish a magazine with him in Sweden. Probably only Superman/Batman are more well known/popular there.

Wider than an aircraft carrier & darker than c (2)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985320)

...Faster than a speeding bullet, able to level entire buildings in a single blow. ;-)

How many.... (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986062)

....elephants in size? How much olympic swimming pools does it displace if it was to hit the ocean?

Is it shaped like a potato? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985356)

Is it bigger inside than outside? (Bonus points if you get the reference)

Re:Is it shaped like a potato? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985596)

For me to get the reference it would have to be shaped like a blue box.

Re:Is it shaped like a potato? (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985742)

That just means you don't get the reference.

Re:Is it shaped like a potato? (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987106)

and for those who still don't, the reference is Eon [wikipedia.org] , a pretty good novel by Greg Bear

and interestingly, while looking up the wikipedia page for that, I notice that Google says it is Edmund Halleys birthday today.. can it really be a coincidence that an asteroid flies past on this day? I think not..

From the article, about the pixels: (5, Informative)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985380)

The article explains why the asteroid looks like a pixelated sprite taken from the era of Monkey Island.

For those that didn't want to bother reading both articles and just wanted to have a look at the image but then thought "WTF" after having a look at it:

"The individual pulses can be timed very accurately as well, so that the shape of the asteroid can be determined, too. If there is a bump on the asteroid, like a hill, then a pulse hitting that won’t travel quite as far as a pulse that hits a crater. It gets back sooner, and this can be measured. The spatial resolution of this method at the distance of YU 55 will be about 4 meters, so they’ll be able to make an image that’s about 100 pixels across of it."

image: http://news.discovery.com/space/2011/11/07/asteroid-2005-yu55-new-825.jpg [discovery.com]

Re:From the article, about the pixels: (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985486)

I read... apparently it's dark; very dark - reflecting less than 1% of the light that hits it. I was going to ask where to look, but I'm guessing even a decent regular telescope won't really be able to see much, if anything, and I don't have a decent telescope.

Re:From the article, about the pixels: (1)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985660)

The object is anticipated to reach 11th magnitude. You can calculate your telescope's limiting magnitude here: http://www.cruxis.com/scope/limitingmagnitude.htm [cruxis.com]

Re:From the article, about the pixels: (1)

UsualDosage (922364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987012)

I thought it was a Minecraft screen grab, but yeah, what you said makes sense, too.

This is why we need a better space program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987750)

This is why we need a better space program. At that distance from the earth, we should be able to get pictures of the asteroid by sending up a craft with a couple of astronauts and some cameras.

Bah... (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985458)

It looks computer generated to me.
I wanted to see a real life pic. Not an obvious photoshop on on an XT..

Re:Bah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986044)

moron, of course it is computer generated. it was taken by a radio telescope.

Re:Bah... (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986214)

What is that strange 'woosh' sound that it's making...

Re:Bah... (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986426)

In space, no one can hear your woosh

Wow (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985460)

soaring at over 11 miles a second straight towards Earth

A bit sensationalist no? More accurate would be "not quite straight toward Earth" or "not toward Earth at all but at some point that passes close to Earth".

Re:Wow (1)

LoudNoiseElitist (1016584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985706)

While there is a bit of sensationalism involved, just imagine if we scaled everything down. Imagine the earth is your face, and the asteroid is a bullet coming within arms length of you. You'd probably feel like it was being shot directly at you as well.

Re:Wow (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985880)

Imagine the earth is your face, and the asteroid is a bullet coming within arms length of you.

You can't hit me, I'm hiding behind the Library of Congress!

Re:Wow (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986466)

So you're suggesting God has bad aim?

Re:Wow (1)

Guidii (686867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986558)

So you're suggesting God has bad aim?

Nope. Must be a warning shot.

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987924)

Probably, but this wouldn't be within arm's length.

The Earth has a diameter of about 12,756 km. A human face (from tip of nose to back of head) is about 8 inches. (Yes, I actually measured mine.) The asteroid will pass no closer than 324,600km from the Earth. This gives us the equivalent "bullet distance to face" distance of 203.5 inches, or nearly 17 feet. If that's "arm's length", you have some very long arms! Remember, space is big. Mindbogglingly big. (Insert Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quote here.)

Re:Wow (1)

LoudNoiseElitist (1016584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988078)

You put entirely too much thought into that.

Re:Wow (1)

Convector (897502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985718)

Well, it might be straight towards the Earth, but by the time it gets here, the Earth will have moved. I'm sure that a vector along the asteroid's direction of motion points toward the Earth at some point in its orbit.

Re:Wow (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985904)

Since neither you nor I are familiar with the orbits in question, I'd say there's a roughly 25% chance of that. There's a 25% chance that it's headed to a point ahead of the Earth, and the Earth will be there AFTER it passes. And there's a 50% chance it's headed to a point above or below the Earth's orbit, and the Earth will never occupy that space at all.

Re:Wow (1)

alzoron (210577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985990)

actually...

soaring at over 11 miles a second straight
towards Earth and moon

When you don't take it out of context it's a 100% accurate statement. The asteroid is heading straight towards the Earth/Moon system, it's just that the portion of it that will be hit is empty space.

Re:Wow (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987036)

soaring at over 11 miles a second straight towards Earth

A bit sensationalist no? More accurate would be "not quite straight toward Earth" or "not toward Earth at all but at some point that passes close to Earth".

They could have gone for awe-inspiring, watch the serene little asteroid drift past mighty Earth, to the tune of Blue Danube. That would be pretty neat.

Alas, I've grown weary of US media - it feels some necessity to amp-up everything, particularly the mundane or ordinary (or even tragic) because people wouldn't tune in, unless they did -- really, I find myself tuning out.

Minecraft asteroid incomming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985488)

Looks like some sort of minecraft creation...

Bigger then Apophis? (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985492)

The rock is bigger then Apophis and no name given?

Also, in this YouTube animation it looks like it will be a very close miss.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unfti6ZByj0 [youtube.com]

That's no asteroid. (3, Interesting)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985520)

It's a space station.

Re:That's no asteroid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986334)

It's a trap!!!!

Damn, round (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985550)

Even if the quality of the photo left is not the greatest, we already know that is not a cube-shaped spaceship. At least there is still hope that change the course by itself.

Re:Damn, round (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985652)

The prow of the Starship Enterprise is definitely not cube shaped. Anyway we can't see past its anti-photon invisibility shield. What you detect is just the shape of the shield, not the spacecraft hidden from you. This is merely the recon mission. To asses our military technology and our ability to retaliate. The overlords will be appearing over the horizon in 2016 Jul 30. They are currently in the process of setting up a Forward Operating Base on the other side of the Moon. Don't say I did not warn you.

Re:Damn, round (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986994)

They're probably here to clear out the Ferengis. [wikipedia.org]

Oddly low res (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985580)

Wow. The thing is right next to the planet, probably would make a big "kaboom" if it actually hit, and all we have so far is a badly pixelated image.

I think the tech could use a bit more funding to have more advance warning.

Re:Oddly low res (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985672)

Of course, if we discovered the asteroid that was going to hit us was shaped like a giant phallus or something equally embarrasing we'd be more motivated to deflect it than if it was simply a dot on a RADAR screen.

Re:Oddly low res (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987108)

They should just hit the Enhance button.

Why side-lit? (2)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985708)

I read the articles. I watched the video. But, I'm confused: why does the asteroid appear side-lit in the images?

If we're imaging the asteroid based on radar that's transmitted from the Earth, and the asteroid is heading nearly directly toward us, then we should be able to see images of the asteroid nearly full face on, rather than it appearing like a crescent moon with illumination from the sun, right? The radar illumination is from a source that spatially coincides with the receiving apparatus, so the image should appear more like the full moon.

What am I missing here?

Re:Why side-lit? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985786)

Up in the image is earth-ward. The vertical axis is the pulse return delay, and the horizontal axis is doppler shift of the pulse return.

Re:Why side-lit? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985930)

So...it's not a photo after all.

Re:Why side-lit? (1)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986550)

What is your definition of 'photo'? Does it involve 'photons'? Can the photons have frequency in the microwave? If I had microwave sensitive eyes would my photos have microwave photons? What if I had a microwave sensitive camera?

Re:Why side-lit? (1)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986912)

On the otherhand, if other posters in this thread are correct and the image is only a spectrogram, then certainly the word "photo" does not apply. A photo should be a record of spatial data.

Re:Why side-lit? (2)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986388)

Please mod the parent up, that's a remarkably informative reply, especially from an AC.

The important part, if I understand the technique then, is not that we're painting the surface pixel by pixel, as one might expect for an image produced by scanning a focused beam across the asteroid surface to create a 2D image, and as I expected to see in the photo. Instead of a scanning beam, there's a single pulse that gets sent out with some impressively sophisticated processing on the echo allows that signal to be broken down by delay and doppler shift, and those two parameters map only approximately to a side-view relative to an Earth based observer.

It also explains the suspiciously spherical view of the asteroid, and implies that if the asteroid were not spinning relative to the Earth, the technique would degenerate to a 1D image of average reflectivity at a given distance.

Re:Why side-lit? (1)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986480)

But I think the articles are making quite a fuss about spatial resolution - are you sure the image doesn't contains some spatial elements as well as just time & frequency?

From your doppler shift explanation, can we conclude, since the profile of the image is has some width, that the object is rotating? If it were not rotating, then the image would simply be a vertical line?

Still a bit confusing...

Re:Why side-lit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985926)

and the asteroid is heading nearly directly toward us

Why would the direction it's moving matter?

Re:Why side-lit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986656)

Because if you take a pic of a dark object the flash will light it from the front. Duh!

Re:Why side-lit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37987082)

It's not being imaged by radar, it's being imaged by a radio-telescope. So, just as with an optical telescope, you'll see it "lit" on the side closest to the source of illuminating radio waves, which will presumably be the sun. There's no source of radio energy at the imaging end.....

Re:Why side-lit? (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987232)

Mod Parent Up.

Re:Why side-lit? (1)

arielCo (995647) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988146)

Just to clarify a bit: those radio telescopes can be used like radar guns, sending out short pulses of focused radio waves. These pulses are aimed at the asteroid and move at the speed of light, hitting the rock and bouncing back.

It's radar

illumination (1)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985792)

If this is a "radar" image, where the telescope sent a pulse and got an image from the reflection, why in the picture does it look like the illumination is comming from the above the object? Shouldn't the whole visible face be illuminated? I would like to see all the detail received by the radar. If this is artificial illumination of a solid model build from the facing radar data, I wish the illuminator position would be near my point of view. If this is the actual radar image, then I am confused about the presentation.

Re:illumination (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985840)

You seem to have a mental link to pz [slashdot.org] , although with a lag of 480000 ms.

Re:illumination (1)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986366)

Imagine how I felt when that signal finally made it through my slow outer layers! ;->

Article is Amazing! (1)

toygeek (473120) | more than 2 years ago | (#37985952)

Wow the article that OP linked to is amazing! The only problem with it is that there were not enough exclamation marks! Needs more exclamation marks!

Re:Article is Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986598)

I'm in lesbians with more exclamation marks.

Ummmm... I've got an idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985982)

ENHANCE!

It's not a photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37985994)

Because Slashot is edited and populated by a bunch of ignorant know-it-alls, there are already a bunch of stunningly ignorant posts claiming skepticism about that "image".

If you'd all shut up and learn a little before vomiting your ignorance all over the site, you might have found this site:

http://planetary.org/blog/article/00002462/ [planetary.org]

Hint: it's not a "photo".

Re:It's not a photo (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986666)

It's full of anonymous assholes, too. Apparently.

Gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986234)

Gravity ....

Wont this thing effect gravity the same way the moon pulls on the tides ?

When do you think we can capture one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986408)

One of the pre-requisites for a space elevator is a really heavy counter weight out in space. I for one am really disappointed that in 2011 - one year after we were supposed to be exploring monoliths in Jupiter orbit - we can't actually do anything than run around screaming and waving our hands - or taking grainy photographs. We should be watching glued to our TV sets as a group of brave astronauts guided from Earth by the best minds of our generation setup complex gravitational nets or other Star Trek type gizmo to capture this insanely fast hunk of rock so we can anchor it in geo-synchronous orbit as the first step to the "fountains of paradise' type space elevator Arthur C.Clake promised me we would have by now.
Watching the 24 news networks joke about Armageddon, followed immediately advertisements that talk about coal as "guaranteeing the future of mankind"; I can't help feeling we've peaked as a species. I for one am going to fund any genetic mutation experiments and AI work in the hope that we can create something better than us as a species.

what about the moon? (1)

greywire (78262) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986554)

Looks like we are pretty safe, but, it does pass through the moons orbit. Which makes me wonder, what if such an object hit the moon? While it probably wouldn't effect us much directly, what would the result be? We would certainly be able to witness the impact even without a telescope.

How would this effect our society? What would the moon look like afterwards? What kind of science could be done by observing this? Would we wake up as a society to the much more real threat of an impact on earth? Would this spur a renewed interest in space exploration?

Here's to hoping something hits the moon. I think it would be quite interesting.

Re:what about the moon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986696)

Looks like we are pretty safe, but, it does pass through the moons orbit. Which makes me wonder, what if such an object hit the moon? While it probably wouldn't effect us much directly, what would the result be?

Uh, yeah. No more tides, to start with. And fish and other animals and insects having problems with navigation and mating cycles. That would be pretty bad.

Re:what about the moon? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37986834)

I suspect that a lot of the debris blown out of the resulting crater would make its way to the earth. That would result in some spectacular meteor showers and possibly some larger chunks actually reaching the surface.

It will, of course, demolish the secret moon base, setting the Nazis plans for conquest back a few decades.

Re:what about the moon? (1)

greywire (78262) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987222)

There is no Nazi moon base, thats preposterous.

The aliens who are mining the moon would not have allowed it.

Unless, of course, they are working together...

Re:what about the moon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37988062)

There is no Nazi moon base

Been there since 1945, actually [youtube.com]

Opportunity missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37986968)

Depending on the time line, wouldn't this have been the best time to try some literal rocket science an attempt to land a probe on surface and maybe setting up a transponder? Imagine that, we could start Lo-jacking these nearby celestial bodies.

Darker than coal? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987062)

How does a radio telescope image tell us that an object is "darker than coal"? Unless they meant "Has radio reflectivity less than that of coal"?

I have a bad feeling about this... (1)

bodland (522967) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987176)

That is no moon.

Deep Space Network (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987256)

I always assumed that the DSN antennas were used for spacecraft communications only, had no idea they were used for radio and radar astronomy as well.

Catch it!!! (1)

whitroth (9367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987370)

Damn, if we had any real space capability in the US, 42 years after we walked on the Moon, we'd have been waiting to go out and catch the sucker, and bring it into a stable orbit at geosync. Then we'd have a *real* space station, to handle all kinds of communication, to beam solar power down, and as a station for interplanetary ships....

                  mark

Re:Catch it!!! (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987410)

Why would have a big asteroid in orbit make any of those things easier ?

And how much fuel would it cost to capture the sucker ?

Ying Lim...are those Slugs or Newtons (1)

rossy (536408) | more than 2 years ago | (#37987460)

Ying,
    I'm reviewing your trajectory data, Just wanted to double check... I'm sure the astroid is going to miss us, but wanted to double triple check, you remember that probe that sort-of hit mars?
    So your measurements of the acceleration were in inches per second, and slugs of force right? Thats what we have been using here at NASA, we never managed to convert to the metric system in the '70s.
As far as I can tell, this things going to miss us by a mile right? Or was that a kilometer?

Darn (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37988220)

Doesn't look anything like a spaceship.

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