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Changing Earth's Orbit Proposed

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the well-it's-a-little-ways-off-but dept.

Space 371

SEWilco writes "This BBC story points out that a team of astronomers have found a way to adjust the orbit of the Earth. They suggest moving a large asteroid past Earth and using its gravity to pull us out to a slightly different orbit. Their concern was how to keep the Earth cool as the Sun ages and warms up in a billion years. It's nice to see someone thinking of the long term."

cancel ×

371 comments

whoooooaaaaaaaa.... (2)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 13 years ago | (#455412)

help help, i'm falling off! slow down the earth!

--

Cool (1)

kaoticus (138373) | more than 13 years ago | (#455414)

Can we move to another galaxy while we are at it? Get some new neighbors, bar-b-q...

Right... (2)

Bistromat (209985) | more than 13 years ago | (#455417)

and one asteroid's gravitational field is -really- going to significantly affect the Earth's orbit. try 'one asteroid 3/4 the size of earth'. and then you have to be able to control the asteroid's path precisely to shift the earth properly. and if you can do that, why not just move the bloody Earth?

riiiiiiiight.

--nick

Kill The Scientists (2)

Sharkey [BAMF] (139571) | more than 13 years ago | (#455421)

Lemme tell you about things that I don't trust our scientists with: the orbit of the planet. Still, do you think this is going to be the next movie craze, like the whole asteroid cataclysm thing? I can just see it now, Bruce Willis, suiting up to save the world yet again. Sharkey
http://www.badassmofo.com [badassmofo.com]

Billions of years? (1)

p0six (23324) | more than 13 years ago | (#455424)

It's idioitic to worry about something that's billions of years away. Who knows if mankind will survive this next Bush Administration? :)

And then... (5)

Have Blue (616) | more than 13 years ago | (#455426)

...we'll tether 5 worlds togther and ride them to escape the Core Explosion...



Larry Niven Did something like this (4)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 13 years ago | (#455427)

Larry Niven used this idea In the novel "World out of time". Good Novel, done in the 70's I think.

uh huh (2)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#455429)

aside from that fact that I'm assuming the human race will be long gone (as in extinct) we'll be able to generate our own magnetic fields/gravity wells long before the sun goes nova.

And yes my crack habit is going strong.
"Me Ted"

Couldn't we just... (2)

8Complex (10701) | more than 13 years ago | (#455508)

...get everyone in China to jump up and land at the same time? I've heard that will have the same effects, and it is probably much easier then maneuvering an asteroid.

Don't worry... (2)

jd (1658) | more than 13 years ago | (#455511)

The tidal forces involved would kill everything anyway, so you don't need to worry if the project actually worked.

Right! (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 13 years ago | (#455513)

Oh that sounds like a good idea.........not......

What happens if they mess up..........

Why not concentrate on things like improving our industries to make them less poluting......
--

Re:Other effects? (2)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 13 years ago | (#455514)

How would our gravity change? This would not change the mass of the Earth, only its location.

f(g)= G*M(1)*M(2)/r^2

Planet-wide evacuation (1)

TDScott (260197) | more than 13 years ago | (#455518)

Just a thought... the gravitational pull of the asteroid would surely move tides and tectonic plates. Would a planetwide evacuation be necessary?

Of course, this is assuming we're still here in a billion years. Unlikely, but hey, we could fall into a timewarp. I guess.

What if... (1)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#455522)

Yeah, well what if we head into a 10000 light-year wide cloud of space dust as we move around the galactic rim? Ice Age, the sequel! Bet you didn't think of that, huh? Then what'll you do, you overreacting, orbit changing, knee-jerking scientists!!

(This is all tongue-in-cheek, you know)

An easier way to change the earth's orbit.... (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#455526)


... is to have everyone in China and India jump at the same time.

Remember bas 70's tv?? (2)

photozz (168291) | more than 13 years ago | (#455531)

The year was 1999, the earths moon has been thrown from it's orbit and women were still feathering their hair..... how's that asteroid idea look now ? hu???

Won't we feel stupid. (2)

derf77 (265283) | more than 13 years ago | (#455534)

This is all well and good, but what happens when we find out that another asteroid is on a collision course with Earth's new orbit. Won't we feel dumb then? Can't they wait a few hundred years for advanced asteroid defense to be constructed.

Then again, an asteroid could hit us where we are now. And who's to say that the asteroid 'tow truck' won't hit us.

Hopefully they've considered the posibility that this could drastically alter the Earth's climate.. But I'd take an Ice Age over incineration.

Re:And then... (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#455545)

I really wish I had mod points because I'm afraid very few will get the joke and understand that it is both ontopic and *very* funny. LOL

Re:Right... (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#455548)

It's a bad idea anyway. Wouldn't the Earth's gravity also pull the asteroid towards us?

Re:Larry Niven Did something like this (2)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#455553)

The Niven Novel's version worked by jetting Uranus in and out of other planet's orbits to shift Earth's orbit until it was orbiting as one of Jupiter's moons.

Niven points out the dangers of this as well: 99% of the earth was scorched, uninhabitable deserts. The only places that could sustain life were the poles, and the south pole was a humid, tropical junge.

It's worthy of attention (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#455562)

Well, trying to move the earth a billion years from now due to the sun's expansion is retarded to say the least. But, it could have interesting uses for realiging other planets in the future for terraforming and other such expirements. Just don't waste time on trying to calculate how and when to realign Earth. God put Earth in this position for a reason. Worrying about how to change it is absurd.

Re:Larry Niven Did something like this (1)

jim (3666) | more than 13 years ago | (#455565)

That was only cos the Girls cocked it up, though. Never trust a Girl ...

Reminds me (1)

nicholasperez (249531) | more than 13 years ago | (#455576)

It kinda reminds me of the game Master of Orion 2. Teraforming planets. Now only if we can get stellar converters, silly aliens will never have a chance and we can branch out and take over the entire galaxy! MWUHAHAHAHAHA...*cough* err so yeah...this kinda reminds me of the game Master of Orion 2

___________
I don't care what it looks like, it WORKS doesn't it!?!

Who needs an asteriod when we have the Chinese? (3)

ers81239 (94163) | more than 13 years ago | (#455578)

Couldn't the whole thing be solved a lot more simply? All we have to do is dig on the sun-side of the earth and put it on the far side. The chinese have been getting ready for this for a long time. You see they have been building a huge population and a huge sidewalk (actually meant to span half the earth). Then they are planning on setting up a gigantic chinese fireline to pass buckets of earth from China to the western tip of Africa.

Moving the Earth? (1)

Ibby (130127) | more than 13 years ago | (#455579)

Well, the conspiracy/privacy nuts will be happy now that the Earth has the ability to be hidden from those pesky UFO's...

Unanimous.... (2)

talonyx (125221) | more than 13 years ago | (#455582)

Ok, so Britain decides to do this, all by themselves. Great. And they pull us too far.

Realize please that if the temperature of the earth goes down by more than like two ro three degrees, a lot of thigns will change. We could trigger an ice age! That's not exactly the best cure for an economic recession.

If this is ever going to be done, it would have to be a unanimous vote from every country, holding majority elections in the country to decide the nation vote. Because this could easily fuck up and you don't wanna fuck up the planet unless everyone agrees it will be fun.

Anyways, I'm going to restock my Y2k bunker and include a small micro-nuclear heating cell. Any beautiful women, ages 16-24, who are interested in repopulating the planet once it moves back into a stable orbit, drop me a reply. thanks

In a billion years... (1)

popular (301484) | more than 13 years ago | (#455583)

Just about the only living things that will still exist in a billion years are cockroaches and mosquitos. Dinosaurs are pretty bad ass, but they (in general) couldn't even manage to survive for 200 million years. I'd be more concerned with an asteroid CRASHING INTO US in the space of a billion years than I would with the necessity of using one to change the earth's orbit.

Of course, we never expected our software to ever exist in the year 2000...

--

Are you kiddin' me?!? (1)

NeoCode (207863) | more than 13 years ago | (#455585)

Just when you think that humans can't be more stupid, they pull out another retarted-bunny from the hat. The fact they are actually thinking about this is totally repulsive to me. I mean there are better things to do with our time like feeding the hungry and finding cure for the diseased.
Let the future gen worry about this sorta crap. We are thinking about future and we haven't even fixed our present yet. tsk tsk.

peace out.
NeoCode

NASA involvement... (1)

deefer (82630) | more than 13 years ago | (#455587)

Oh dear. I really hope they'll check the inches vs centimetres thing before working this for real....

Mind you, if the alternative is frying slowly under an angry sun, I suppose it would be worth tossing the whole Earth onto the scales of chance...

Strong data typing is for those with weak minds.

heh (3)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#455590)

This idea sounds like these guys have been watching too much Doctor Who.

Re:And then... (1)

Xibby (232218) | more than 13 years ago | (#455595)

...we'll tether 5 worlds togther and ride them to escape the Core Explosion...

No no no, you teather your worlds together and make the rest of known space think you're fleeing the core explosion, and after everyone else flees the radiation, you turn around and go back through it to a deserted galaxy. After all, if you're moving five planets at near lightspeed, you've obviously dealt with the radiation issues. Puppeteers don't go to war, they just meddle with your species until you aren't a threat to them.

R I N G W O R L D . O R G [ringworld.org]

I have some issues with this. (1)

Flabdabb Hubbard (264583) | more than 13 years ago | (#455599)

1) It comes from the UK - hardly a scientific superpower. What do these guys know about space ? Hell, they cannot even design a car that doesn't leak oil :-)

2) What if it went wrong ? A few million miles can make a hell of a difference to the temperature of the earth's surface. I object to scientists playing 'God' like this.

3) Who is going to pay for it ? Why should the US taxpayer subsidize this scheme, when countries such as Libya, Cuba, Iran and Syria (All sworn enemies of the US) would benefit too ?

All in all, it seems like a good idea at first sight, but as usual, they have not really thought it through.

What do others think ?

Sounds like a good solution for global warming too (2)

Rombuu (22914) | more than 13 years ago | (#455603)

Hey sounds great... now can I get some Freon for my air-conditioner again?

Seems a little arrogant (2)

andrewtea (208706) | more than 13 years ago | (#455607)

The naivety of some scientists really gets me sometimes. Saving the earth from getting fried is a little more complex than just a two body gravity problem. It would involve highly complex ecological calculation, something an astronomer isn't cabable of really performing. Yes, looking toward the future is a great idea, but shouldn't we be concentrating on getting to that future a billion years away? Maybe we should be looking towards the near future and how to prevent possibly getting blown out of the heavens by a big mean rock.

Re:And then... (3)

gold23 (44621) | more than 13 years ago | (#455609)

Makes sense. Has anyone else noticed our elected leaders are becoming more and more worthy of the title "Hindmost?"

-- gold23

Re:We should do it now. (1)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 13 years ago | (#455610)

I would say that this 'fact' is not at all unequivocal. Perhaps only to the ignorant or uninformed.

Wrong approach (2)

crow (16139) | more than 13 years ago | (#455612)

So we may want to move our planet into a higher orbit over the course of the next billion years. Given that goal, this is the wrong approach. Using a single (or small number of) large, short-duration adjustment to the orbit is dangererous. The risks of stress fractures (earthquakes), even if all the calculations are correct, is too great. And if there is a miscalculation, well, game over.

No, we want a slow long-duration force applied to the planet. Something moving us no more than perhaps a meter or so a day. That would give us a nice safe slow adjustment.

Now how do we acheive such a change? That's a good question. Perhaps we could do something magnetic, similar to how satellites can use tethers and electrical charge to push off the magnetic field? Perhaps we could tap into the solar wind in a novel way? Perhaps we could find a way to convert nuclear explosion energy into magnetic energy to push off of the earth's magnetic field?

Are you sure that's a good idea? (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#455614)

They suggest moving a large asteroid past Earth and using its gravity to pull us out to a slightly different orbit. Their concern was how to keep the Earth cool as the Sun ages and warms up in a billion years.

I thought the earth was flat ... after all, I have it on good authority from our current President, George W Bush, that global warming doesn't exist and we can build a really large umbrella to cover the US from those nasty missile thingies the Communists want to attack us with ...

I got a better idea. Get off this rock. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#455622)

Get off the earth and get out of the solar system too. We are all vulnerable so long as we're all in the same place.

Why not change the sun? (1)

Sommelier (243051) | more than 13 years ago | (#455623)

"Their concern was how to keep the Earth cool as the Sun ages and warms up in a billion years."

In a billion years, I have to believe that making the sun behave like we want is going to be easier than actually moving the Earth. By then, who's to say that extending the sun's lifetime isn't simpler?


Sommelier

How about just a piece of the earth? (5)

sid_vicious (157798) | more than 13 years ago | (#455626)

Maybe we could just split of a *piece* of the Earth and send it into another orbit.. y'know, as a test before we send the rest of Earth.

I vote for California.

Time to relocate (5)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 13 years ago | (#455628)

It's idioitic [sic] to worry about something that's billions of years away. Who knows if mankind will survive this next Bush Administration? :)

Perhaps you ought to move off the planet, just in case. Oh, and take Alec Baldwin with you.

Re:Right... (5)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 13 years ago | (#455630)

The gravitational pull between the two bodies would indeed produce a force pulling the two "towards eachother".

However, the idea is that it comes by with the right velocity and angle that it shoots right past, and just kind of pulls out our orbit a little bit.

Basically... the asteroid would slow down, and we would speed up....but not enough so that it would actually come into our orbit or even hit us...it would continue right along its path.

-Steve

Re:Won't we feel stupid. (1)

Faulty Dreamer (259659) | more than 13 years ago | (#455634)

I live in South Dakota (and used to live in Minnesota), we could use a little more "incineration" this time of year 'round these parts. Maybe that would make it almost bearable.

I'm all for forward thinking... (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#455636)

...but this seems rather silly. Isn't is just a little odd to try and propose a solution to a problem that won't manifest itself for billions of years? A billion years is enough time for human civilization to rise and fall many times: chances are that by the time this becomes a problem, our technology will make this solution obsolete, or we'll have regressed to a point where it's no longer feasable.

And even if humanity in a billion years is at a point where this knowledge would be useful, would we even recognize it for what it is? What will language, thought processes, ideas and such be like for humans in a billion years? Very different I would guess. Even if future man understood the problem/our proposed solution, would he trust the knowledge?

Consider: if someone today found millions-year-old writings on the cave walls of Africa or France warning about our immenent demise and suggesting a solution, would we trust this knowledge? Or would we dismiss it a legend or fairy tale of ancient man?

Much simpler solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#455638)

To increase the distance between the Sun and the Earth, just use kilometers instead of miles.

it would wipe out all life on our planet. (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 13 years ago | (#455639)

If the 100 km asteroid was to collide with the Earth then it would wipe out all life on our planet.

If the 100 km asteroid was to collide with the Earth then it would wipe out all life on our planet.

If the 100 km asteroid was to collide with the Earth then it would wipe out all life on our planet.

If the 100 km asteroid was to collide with the Earth then it would wipe out all life on our planet.

"This danger cannot be overemphasised," the researchers stress.

It's simply amazing (1)

anacron (85469) | more than 13 years ago | (#455647)

It's amazing that people are daft enough to believe that humans are still going to be around in 3 billion years. What, we can live as long as we'd like just because we're human. HA!

anacron

Re:How about just a piece of the earth? (1)

Mr.Phil (128836) | more than 13 years ago | (#455650)

Florida

Oh, wait.. I forgot.. they don't "count!"

hehhehe

Not a new idea (1)

Xcott R13, 3(0,R4) (243034) | more than 13 years ago | (#455651)

Aside from the notion appearing in science-fiction as mentioned above, it has also been proposed by a columnist in (GAAK, GAAAAAK) Discover Magazine. Or maybe (GAAAAAK, GAK) Popular Science. It's hard to remember which because it was maybe 4 years ago. In fact, it's difficult to distinguish between those magazines in general.

Anyways, the columnist proposed using the moon rather than an asteroid, under the assumption that humanity will figure out how to push the moon around long before we'll ever need to move the Earth. The moon was also central to the heating problem: if we also had unlimited energy pretty much figured out, we could blast light from the surface of the moon using huge lamps, as the moon just happens to seem as large as the sun from an observer on Earth. The column was half-joking, but he did work out the physics.

Re:Right... (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#455653)

Sounds dangerous to me. I hope NASA gets their conversions right this time.

Uh okay...... (1)

Highlordexecutioner (203297) | more than 13 years ago | (#455657)

Plan for moving earths orbit: 5 billion 500,000,000 miles of titanium cable: 2 billion Knowing that NT cant be used to make the calculations : Priceless

Shading the greenhouse... (1)

joeslugg (8092) | more than 13 years ago | (#455659)

Could a concept like this help reverse major
global warming?

What about the other planets?

Could we move Mars in a bit and warm it up?

Re:And then... (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#455660)

Now if we could just one who had the voice I would vote for them! :)

good idea, bad idea (1)

uslinux.net (152591) | more than 13 years ago | (#455662)

Somehow this worries me. Anyone remember the last couple NASA screwups (doing measurements in SAE instead of Metric or losing a satellite)?

Sure, we mess with the orbit of the Earth. It in turn throws off everything in the universe, causing much more damage than anyone would have ever thought. Do we trust a couple people to do the calculations that could cause that much unforseen destruction?

Re:We should do it now. (1)

Urbn Ex1st3nt1al1$t (313107) | more than 13 years ago | (#455669)

It 1$ @n un3qu1v0c@l f@ct th@t th3 3@rth 1$ he@t1n9 up du3 t0 gl0b@l w@rm1n9. Y d0n't w3 s0lv3 th3 pr0bl3m by m0v1n9 th3 3@rth 0ut by ju$t @W f3w m1ll10n m1l3$? Th3n w3 c@n p0llut3 w1th 1mpun1ty, @$ w3 n33d n0t w0rry @b0ut gl0b@l h3@t1ng @t @ll.

IMHO, and please keep in mind that IANAL, the most effervescent way to true celestial seasoning is the fostering of a new, more fluid school of thought. Our evolution of prolific meanderings can enlighten the universe to our great amorphous knowledge base, so that all can proactively celebrate within our circle of influence. Or, that's what Steven Covey told me.

this is fun

Another NASA mission? (1)

Snot Locker (252477) | more than 13 years ago | (#455671)

The people who can't quite get a few thousand pounds of satellite into orbit around Mars now want to sling a 62-mile diameter asteroid around Earth? No thanks....

Humans always do the easier task (1)

nachoworld (232276) | more than 13 years ago | (#455674)

In a billion years we will most certainly have perfected interstellar travel and extraterrestrial populating. Who says we'll use Earth in a billion years? There's bound to be better planets that don't have bad seasonal variation, better sunsets, and other such amenities. In a billion years, Sol will be forgotten in the annals of human history.

---

Re:Unanimous.... (2)

micromoog (206608) | more than 13 years ago | (#455678)

If this is ever going to be done, it would have to be a unanimous vote from every country, holding majority elections in the country to decide the nation vote.

Nah, whomever can afford it will just do it anyway and everyone else can go screw themselves. That's how the world has worked up until now . . .

Re:Right! (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 13 years ago | (#455681)

Because in the end....it wont matter.

The Sun will heat up, and heat the whole earth up. No amount of pollution reduction will stop this. No amount of pollution reduction will have any effect on this whatsoever.

-Steve

EM Lenses (2)

fudboy (199618) | more than 13 years ago | (#455682)

I would think that an asteroid would make a better shield than a tow-truck. with the proper topology and an orbit to match, an asteroid would deflect much of that direct radiation, leaving us quit comfortable with only the incidental radiation to worry over. of course this would have two side effects: one) a permanent eclipse-like effect would alter floral biology, and two, the eclipse would let a greater proportion of UV in as compared to the mix today. you know, when there is an eclipse you can look at it but still burn your eyes out. this would cause a shift in visual organs across the biosphere, either encouraging wide spread adaptation to UV or allowing creatures already comfy in the UV ranges to dominate.

Another idea might be to put up EM lenses at the Earth->Sun libration points, to refract the bulk of energy around the earth, and allow 'normal' sunlight levels to intersect.

Either way, this tow-truck plan would just about flip the crust right over with earthquakes. imagine the corialis forces at work in the mantle and core going out of wack!

:)Fudboy

Ooops. You didn't need that planet, did ja? (2)

crovira (10242) | more than 13 years ago | (#455684)

Terrrific! Except that they don't explain how they're going to move the planet mover. Eventually, we get down to something we CAN move and the unpredictability effects of chaos means that we're about as likely to succeed as drop to billion ton rock in what's left of the Pacific (which will have changed shape by then.)

What are these mooks smoking? Its faster and easier to just leave the dirt ball behind.

How are they getting the asteroid ? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 13 years ago | (#455685)

What I didn't get from the article is how they think they're going to fetch the asteroid, and move it into a proper orbit. Doesn't seem trivial to control a 100 km big rock.

And as they say, you don't want it actually hitting the earth.

What is the next step? (1)

clem.dickey (102292) | more than 13 years ago | (#455687)

How long before this appears as a line item in the US military budget?

Under Clinton, the step from "world's policeman" to "world's ambulance service" would have been automatic. Bush may figure out a way to save the United States alone (and possibly such American allies as will help out with the expenses).

Delay could be fatal. How long will it be before some third-world maniac threatens to deploy this "alarmingly simple" techinque to our detriment? The first priority must be to deploy an "anti-directed-asteroid" defense system. Second, if we have any money left, will be to design such a system.

Can we move CLOSER to the sun? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#455688)



It's fooking cold here in Chicago.

Not even Natalie Portman and a steamy bowl of grits can keep me warm for long.

A bit pointless? (5)

sparcv9 (253182) | more than 13 years ago | (#455689)

Three cheers for forward thinking, but if we're still tethered to a single planet a billion years from now, then something is drastically wrong. If we develop the space technology neccessary to actually harness an asteroid and make it go wherever we want it to, wouldn't that indicate a level of technology that would permit us to live on any damn planet we choose? We should be all over the freakin' galaxy by the time this becomes an issue. (Provided that we haven't become extinct via some other means - including by our own hands.)

Changing of earths orbit (1)

acydophyte (303244) | more than 13 years ago | (#455690)

Sure, to the layman, changing the orbit of the Earth sounds like a "Get rich quick" fix to the global warming problem, but we first must remember our basic physics. If I'm not correct, the asteroid must first have more mass than the Earth it self, and one must also ask, "how does one control such an object." As well as that, this object must also move from wherever its source may be, and in this situation we must ask, "where do we get the thrust to move such an enormous object..." Then someone would say, "Couldn't we nuke the asteroid in our direction?" and I'd have to answer that with 1. "How do you propose to keep the asteroid in one peice?" But then I suddenly remember that the asteroid has to be enormous, so nuking it wouldn't even cause the object to move. So lets assume we can get it moving? 2. "How do you plan to keep the object on its planned trajectory?" This would be impossible without using subsequent charges to keep it in the proper direction. Let's say we don't even use nukes? Let's postulate for a moment the amount of rocketry and fuel to get the object to move even slightly. Enormous, huh? I'd say that even a high school student taking a basic course in physics could tell you that this wouldn't even be remotely possible.

Re:Who needs an asteriod when we have the Chinese? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 13 years ago | (#455691)

I know this was probably ment to be funny, but it actualy wouldn't work. Our place in orbit depends on the speed that we orbit the sun. Displaceing a lot of dirt would just change the earth's center of gravity and be pulled back to the original position. Also, what do the Chinese do when they've dug past the outer crust? Unless you don't like the Chinese . . .


------

Testing the theory (1)

Dhoffdude (262545) | more than 13 years ago | (#455692)

ok now well simply try this on the First habitable planet we find, and then theyll give us scientist the Go for the Real thing on earth... *after the shift* "why didnt we calculate inertia into it?" "its getting colder" "are we traveling away from the sun?" "No, Hilary clinton is coming to congratulate us..."

Re:It's worthy of attention (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 13 years ago | (#455693)

Oh whatever. why not?

If you believe that, then you surely believe that all the other planets were put where they are for a reason too.

And for that matter, the lakes and oceans and rivers were put where they are for a reason... building manmade canals or damns is just absurd!

I dunno, as far as I can tell, Your god is a lousy architech - its wholly apropriate to fix his mistakes.

-Steve

Re:Wouldn't it jsut(sic) be easier (1)

CmdrButtPlug (308493) | more than 13 years ago | (#455694)

You mean that Anonymous Cowards would post at Score:1 instead of 0?

Re:Don't worry... (2)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 13 years ago | (#455700)

The tidal forces involved would kill everything anyway, so you don't need to worry if the project actually worked.

Possibly this was meant to be tongue in cheek, but ...

No, the tidal forces would not kill everything anyway. It would be done gradually, with the asteroid making many many multiple passes over a long period of time.

Re:good idea, bad idea (1)

mdtrent3 (236695) | more than 13 years ago | (#455702)

Agreed. There are just some things people just SHOULD NOT mess with. If the world is meant to be destroyed in a billion years or whatever, maybe we should just accept that, i mean, I'm all for making life better and sustaining the human race and all...but to go as far as trying to move the earth? A little over the top, perhaps...

why not (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 13 years ago | (#455703)

why not just make everyone and their pets meet in one place and then jump all together?

Years (1)

Geekwad (309774) | more than 13 years ago | (#455705)

What most people would find obnoxious to adjust to, even if it is a super-gradual thing, is the fact that the year will slowly increase. Daily life will never be the same.

Is it April Fool's Day again already? (1)

arnex (238036) | more than 13 years ago | (#455707)

If the 100 km asteroid was to collide with the Earth then it would wipe out all life on our planet. "This danger cannot be overemphasised," the researchers stress.

Ha, funny one. I guess you're just being too obvious if you wait until April 1 to propagate this sort of nonsense.

RAW (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 13 years ago | (#455709)

Raw = Redundant Array of Worlds

It's about time we built redundant planets in various orbits around the sun. Everyone else is doing this.

Despite NASA's blunders... (3)

mr.ska (208224) | more than 13 years ago | (#455710)

...I would be very surprised (and disappointed) if we're still clinging to this hunk of iron one billion years from now. I'd say it's more likely we should worry about the Venusian colonists (you know, the dumb few who didn't want to live on Mars on in the asteroid belt).

Of course, there is no conceivable way anyone alive could imagine our technology in the year 1000002001. Maybe we won't have to move the Earth... we'll just turn down the sun!

Mr. Ska

I slit a sheet
A sheet I slit

ask the mices (1)

yasa (228596) | more than 13 years ago | (#455711)

Why don't we just ask the mices to let us build a new solar system when the sun is about to collapse?

- yasa
---
How many roads must a man walk down?

Re:Other effects? (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 13 years ago | (#455712)

All it would take is one metric conversion error or something to slam the asteroid into Earth.

Don't be stupid. No one involved in the space program would be dumb enough to make a mistake converting English measurements to metric or vice versa.

Sheesh... [go.com]

Dancin Santa

Lets just hope... (1)

macks (17157) | more than 13 years ago | (#455713)

They don't slingshot Earth out of the Sun's orbit. That sure would suck...

Changing the orbit--no thanks. (1)

sowalsky (142308) | more than 13 years ago | (#455714)

I don't really feel comfortable with anyone changing the orbit of my planet. I mean, astronomers are on thing, but imagine the global cooperation involved in doing this. Of course, the good ol' US of A will have to take charge of this operation, and they'll mess things up. Without a doubt. If they can't get their units right on moving an expensive of equipment through space, how are they going to be able to coordinate moving a giant rock close enough to earth.

"Okay, Houston. I've moved the rock 2 thousand kilometers closer to the earth, like you've asked."

"You moron, that was 2 thousand miles. It's too close now. It's being pulled in by the earth's gravity."

Rolling a Tire (1)

TMA1 (179096) | more than 13 years ago | (#455715)

The first thing that popped into mind is a scene I think I recall from the old Leave it to Beaver show where two of the kids are trying to roll a car tire down hill. . .

Eggheads and miscalculations (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 13 years ago | (#455716)

From a press release in the far future:
"Ummm, we seem to have miscalculated a tad... we are still too close to the sun and the asteroid we wanted to move is actually on a collision course with our planet. We attribute this to Y10K errors in some computer software..."

-----
No the game never ends when your whole world depends

we aren't doing enough damage so.... (1)

nothng (147342) | more than 13 years ago | (#455717)

heh, kinda funny, in a billion years when we've finally fixed the ecosystem after damaging biological diversity by intoducing plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems, dumping our trash, ddt, cfc's, smog, intoducing more plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems to fix the damage to biodiversity from introducing plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems, oil spills, over hunting/fishing, too much farming, nuclear fallout, global warming, intoducing more plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems to fix the damage to biodiversity from introducing plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems that was supposed to fix the damage from introducing plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems, and my 7th grade art teacher's bad breath, strip mining, water pollution, depleted ozone layer, and finally intoducing more plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems to fix the damage to biodiversity from introducing plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems that was supposed to fix the damage to biodiversity from introducing plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems that was supposed to fix the damage from introducing plants and animals into foriegn ecosystems ...

we can fling the earth into a new orbit with an astroid and start all over screwing everything up

jeez, these humanoids, can't live with them, and they just won't die:)

Re:And then... (2)

jesser (77961) | more than 13 years ago | (#455718)

I don't get the joke...

When is the IPO? (1)

Prince of Jupiter (303015) | more than 13 years ago | (#455719)

I've been looking for a loooooong term investment.

Only 10 billion years off. It's never too early to plan for your retirement!

Playing god (1)

BSDevil (301159) | more than 13 years ago | (#455720)

To bring religion into a discussion where it has no place: what if we were meant to be in this orbit, and therefore meant to die in a few billion years. Would be we morally in the right to try and change this and play god?

Re:We should do it now. (1)

eric17 (53263) | more than 13 years ago | (#455721)

"It is an unequivocal fact that the Earth is heating up due to global warming"

Some other astounding unequivocal facts:

- People who are paid more make more money.
- There's pollutents in the air because of polluting.
and last but not least,
- Most people vote for who is going to win.
(OK not always)

Re:Almost useful (1)

Flavius Stilicho (220508) | more than 13 years ago | (#455722)

Mod this up! That was way funny.

I got a better idea. (1)

Typingsux (65623) | more than 13 years ago | (#455728)

Just blast Roseanne Barr into space, approximately the orbit of Saturn, there should be enough gravity to pull the Earth away.

How to Attract an Asteroid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#455730)

TOP TEN WAYS TO ATTRACT AN ASTEROID

10). The biggest frelling horseshoe magnet you've ever laid eyes on, hitched to a coil of wire that would make every Tesla coil put together look like a grade-school science experiment.

9). Find a slightly smaller asteroid than the one you want to attract. Equip said asteroid with bikini briefs and a slingshot that even Playtex would boggle at.

8). Lay down a trail of mineral-bearing ice crystals leading past the planet. Asteroids have to eat too...

7). Find an asteroid of the required size that has huge chips on its rocky shoulders. Call it things like "half-rate pebble" and "quartz queer," then duck behind the far side of Earth and wait for it to chase you.

6). Announce a casting call for the next Bruce Willis space movie.

5). Have three dozen Nobel prize-winning scientists announce, simultaneously, that there is no way any asteroid would ever come close enough to the planet to get the job done without causing irreparable damage. Murphy will do the rest.

4). First, we had dog whistles that no one but dogs could hear. Asteroid whistles can't be that hard to do.

3). Brew a nice pot of fresh Columbian lava. Gets 'em every time, but don't tell Juan Valdez (or his burro).

2). Install a giant 'Rock'ing chair in orbit. Rushing around the planets does get tiring.

And the Number One way to attract an asteroid...

1). Boost forty-two thousand metric tons of dinosaurs, fossilized or otherwise, into orbit. Attach a large sign saying "Ha! Missed the first time!!!"

Almost useful (2)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#455732)

If they just could figure out how to move France away from the Earth, then they might have something.

Re:uh huh (1)

BlueJay465 (216717) | more than 13 years ago | (#455734)

I'm assuming the human race will be long gone (as in extinct)

Really, if the human race was extinct by then, why sould we care what will happen to the planet a few billion years from now anyways?

If a tree were to fall in the middle of a forest the same time the Earth were to fall in the middle of the sun, would it make a sound?

Fit it with retro rockets (1)

rkt (9943) | more than 13 years ago | (#455736)

If we do survive even a million years... I think we will have enough nuclear waste to fuel a huge retro rocket to take earth wherever we want... now only if someone can make a warp drive by that time.....


Re:Couldn't we just... (5)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 13 years ago | (#455737)

Well.... I dunno whats sillier...your idea or the fact that I am actually going to explain why it wont work :)

When a person jumps, they exert a force against the earth. Now...the mass distribution of the earth changes a bit...and thus the center of gravity changes...so if aenough people did this in a way that produced a net force, the earth would indeed move away from them. (it would take quite a few for this change to even be measurable.

However... unless they reach escape velocity... the gravitational force between them and the earth will pull them back... exerting exactly the same magnitude of force against both, but in an opposite direction.

Basically... the center of mass for a closed system (and in this case, we are indeed talking about a closed system) will not change. You need an EXTERNAL force to change the velocity, internal forces always cancel out.

Now...if you could get the entire population of china to jump AND reach escape velocity.... that would be quite a different story...however... they may not fare too well.

-Steve

Too late (1)

garoush (111257) | more than 13 years ago | (#455739)

Did the customer "wanted this solution yesterday"? So aren't the scientists who figured this out today are billion years too late?

I guess we are now all domed. Good bye people, it was nice getting to know you all but ate least I know who to blame it on.

Two Points (1)

scotteparte (240046) | more than 13 years ago | (#455740)

One: over the next few years, all those CFC's that we used until the 90's are going to start chugging ozone like it was beer, and we're all going to get a nice tan. Is it possible that this idea, proposed first for T minus 1,000,000,000 years, might have practical use in the near future. After all, no one wants Atlantic City to become Atlantis City, right?

Two: What sort of implications does a "slight shift" in the earth's orbit have in light of Chaos and Complexity Theory. I mean, if a butterfly flapping it's wings can have such a drastic effect on the earth, what could we do to the galaxy? Probably not much, but who knows what sort of cosmic tangle we could stumble into...

Re:Couldn't we just... (1)

nculwell (311130) | more than 13 years ago | (#455741)

No, actually this would not work. Why? When they jump up, the earth is pushed in the opposite direction. Then they fall down, the earth is pulled back toward them by the force of their gravity. Everything ends up back where it started. (Although it might cause a big vibration, perhaps.) This idea is based on cartoon physics, not real phyisics.

runaway greenhouse effect??? (2)

canning (228134) | more than 13 years ago | (#455743)

Looking even further ahead, the Sun will increase its luminosity by about 40% in three billion years. This will force the Earth into a "runaway greenhouse" state, such as exists currently on the planet Venus.

"Runaway greenhouse" state?? It will take three billion years to reach this point and they're calling it "runaway"? I think a more accurate adjective could have been used as not to cause panic. Why not an "over 100 million generation" greenhouse state.

There, that's better. We can all sleep tonight knowing that people 100 million generations from now will not fry.

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