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Asteroid Apophis Just Got Bigger

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the a-little-chin-music dept.

Space 182

astroengine writes "As the potentially hazardous asteroid makes closest approach to Earth today, astronomers using the European Herschel Space Observatory have announced something a little unsettling: asteroid 99942 Apophis is actually bigger than we thought. Herschel astronomers have deduced that Apophis is 1,066 feet (325 meters) wide. That's 20 percent larger than the previous estimate of 885 feet (270 meters). 'The 20 percent increase in diameter, from 270 to 325 m, translates into a 75 percent increase in our estimates of the asteroid's volume or mass,' said Thomas Müller of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and lead scientist of the study. In addition, the space telescope has re-analyzed the albedo of the space rock, providing a valuable heat map of the object's surface — data that will improve orbital trajectory models."

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So... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541153)

...does this mean we're more likely to die or less likely to die?

Re:So... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541213)

Boobs look bigger close up too.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541245)

No, the chances we are all going to die are still 100%. The only question is when.

Re:So... (4, Funny)

TempestRose (1187397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541771)

Speak for yourself. I plan to live forever.

Re:So... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542149)

Only about 95% of all humans who have ever existed have died. There's still a 5% fighting chance immortality exists. Not only that, but my odds are better than most humans, past and present.

Re:So... (1)

dlingman (1757250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542189)

Speak for yourself. I plan to live forever.

Riker? I thought I told you not to tamper with the timeline...

Re:So... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542223)

Riker? I thought I told you not to tamper with the timeline...

But I was having so much fun! [youtube.com]

Re:So... (1)

TempestRose (1187397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42543011)

That was absolutely HORRIBLE, and yet I found myself laughing my ass off. Thank you....

Re:So... (1)

TempestRose (1187397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542997)

Bah, Timeline, Shmimeline. Q promised he'd come back for me when I asked!

Re:So... (1)

Turminder Xuss (2726733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542759)

Or die trying ?

Re:So... (1)

klingers48 (968406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542773)

According to many popular sources, 2 weeks and 6 days ago.

Re:So... (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541545)

it's always about you, isn't it?

Re:So... (1)

kdemetter (965669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542943)

Well, if you were leading a government, and you know that an asteroid is going to hit the earth, are you going tell everyone that, knowing that it would cause mass hysteria, riots,etc..., long before the asteroid would hit.

Probably not.

And Leon's getting LARGERRRR! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541155)

Someone had to say it.

Size Queen Weekly claims Aphophis 20% bigger (4, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541179)

Astronomers. My asteroid is bigger than your asteriod. Is not! Is too! Is not! Is too!.....I guess we'll both need grants for a few years to study the question.

different mirror (4, Funny)

mschaffer (97223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541807)

No, it just means that the astronomers are using the telescope that doesn't have the mirror with the words "objects are closer than they appear" on it.

Re:different mirror (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542255)

No, it just means that the astronomers are using the telescope that doesn't have the mirror with the words "objects are closer than they appear" on it.

Isn't the whole point of a telescope to make exactly that happen? Maybe they're just holding it backwards.

Re:different mirror (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542403)

Maybe they're just holding it backwards.

That sounds very funny, coming from a girl

Apophis larger than we thought (4, Funny)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541181)

Does this mean we need to prepare for a Goa'uld invasion?

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541333)

There it is... the SG1 reference :)

Lovin' it. As loved as that series was, it really played itself out as completely as possible didn't it? Kinda went way beyond that. Still, I wish they kept Stargate Universe going. That was a series that had my interest.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541469)

Stargate Universe was a more sci-fi LOST, barely set in the Stargate universe.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541499)

Same universe, different galaxy

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542145)

*galaxies. They traveled between galaxies in season two, and were on their way to a third at the end of the series.

Definitely miss this series. Unfortunately not enough people watched it live. It's a problem a lot of SyFy shows have, even the mighty BSG was almost cancelled.

IT's all NBC's fault and now comcast that messed u (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542347)

IT's all NBC's fault and now comcast that messed up G4 owns them.

They got rid of there good thing they had on fridays and moved the show to mon going head to head with MNF and other big shows.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542095)

especially in the beginning.
1st season sucked until it became OK by the end
then by the middle of the 2nd season it got really good.

Then the ghost/wrestling channel didn't renew it.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541779)

you know the amateur astronomers that discovered 'Aphophis' were big stargate fans, hence the name. SG1 reference built-in from the start.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (3, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542235)

The big problem with Stargate: Universe was the plot induced stupidity in the characters. They were clearly trying to emulate the grim, gritty BSG which had plenty of its own plot-induced stupidity. Trouble is, it gets hard to ignore it when the plot-induced stupidity railroads the characters to irredeemable actions. There were plenty of these. Certainly enough that several main characters should have been relieved of all authority and locked up for the whole trip. The one that got to me the most was when there was a character trapped by the legs after a shuttle crash and, at his request, the commander suffocates him to death. I think euthanasia may be appropriate in certain situations, but not when you can put the minds of a couple of expert trauma surgeons into some of the crew and just cut the patients legs off, or waste some explosives to try and remove the debris, or send the ships robot down to the surface to move the debris, or any of a dozen ideas better than just having a few soldiers try to muscle the debris off. When a patient is in extreme chronic pain that can't be stopped and will last for the rest of their life and begs to die, it's time to consider euthensia. When a patient is in transitory pain, no matter how extreme, but has excellent prospects for survival without pain, you simply shouldn't consider their requests since they're not in their right minds. That kind of nonsense, leaving you with no choice but to either pretend big chunks of the show didn't happen or hate some of the main characters, tends to wreck a show.

Sort of reminds of the first and only episode of Star Trek: Enterprise I watched. It was titled "Dear Doctor". In it, the captain and the ships doctor have a cure for an illness that's killing off the population of a planet who they've agreed to help. They decide, based on some crazy nazi-style eugenics destiny argument (with allusions to the not yet established Prime Directive), that the population is destined to die off in favor of another intelligent species that lives on the planet with them. So they withhold the cure as the "ethical" thing to do, but still present them with a partial treatment, then go on their merry way.

Generally speaking, I don't have a problem with fiction with characters that morally flawed. Humans are often morally flawed. The problem is when the fictional treatment also puts these criminally incompetent characters on a pedestal.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542937)

The one that got to me the most was when there was a character trapped by the legs after a shuttle crash and, at his request, the commander suffocates him to death.

I believe they were under a time constraint to get back to the ship (which was soon to automatically depart on its own) which would make your whole premise of what they should have done not applicable.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541337)

Indeed.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (2)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541993)

Indeed.

Thanks, Teal'c.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542173)

Undomesticated equines couldn't keep a SG-1 joke from Slashdot.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541457)

Its a ball of replicators that resemble a rock. Call your congressional representitives tell them we're going to need more guns.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541479)

Does this mean we need to prepare for a Goa'uld invasion?

No. Antarctica is melting at an unprecidented rate. It's only a matter of time before they discover the research station the Ancients left behind.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (5, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541513)

Shouldn't be too hard. So long as we can fund about three people, only two of whom actually need to be soldiers. If they can convince one of Apophis' guys to join our side, that should be enough to defeat the lot.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541783)

Also, it will land on a pyramid.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (4, Funny)

a_hanso (1891616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541853)

No. It means it's made of Naquadah: http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Naquadah_asteroid [wikia.com]

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541991)

Aww crap. I don't suppose anyone has a Tel'tak lying around?

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542373)

it's at area 51-A

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541925)

Wormhole Extreme!!!!!!

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542185)

Peter Williams just gained weight.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542929)

I for one welcome our new ancient egyptian god overlords.

Re:Apophis larger than we thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42543193)

hahahaha! awesome comment!

SG-1 (4, Insightful)

madsci1016 (1111233) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541189)

SG-1 Will take care of it no doubt.

Re:SG-1 (2)

boundary (1226600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541509)

Meh, this is Jaffa work.

2029 approach (5, Informative)

olsmeister (1488789) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541193)

They're also saying that Apophis will pass within 36,000 km of Earth in 2029. [phys.org] Now that's not missing us by much.

Re:2029 approach (5, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541347)

They're also saying that Apophis will pass within 36,000 km of Earth in 2029. [phys.org] Now that's not missing us by much.

And that'll be about the right time for our space-tech to have caught up enough for us to be able to 'lasso' it. If we miss it then, by it's expected return in 2036 we'd better be able to control it. It seems to keep getting a little closer with each return orbit.

From the above link:

" The asteroid will return to Earth's neighbourhood again in 2036, but quite how close it will come then is uncertain, as the 2029 approach is predicted to alter its orbit substantially. Obtaining improved physical parameters for Apophis and its orbit is thus of great importance in being able to make better predictions of its future trajectory." Read more at:

Re:2029 approach (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542703)

They're also saying that Apophis will pass within 36,000 km of Earth in 2029. [phys.org] Now that's not missing us by much.

And that'll be about the right time for our space-tech to have caught up enough for us to be able to 'lasso' it. If we miss it then, by it's expected return in 2036 we'd better be able to control it. It seems to keep getting a little closer with each return orbit.

From the above link:

" The asteroid will return to Earth's neighbourhood again in 2036, but quite how close it will come then is uncertain, as the 2029 approach is predicted to alter its orbit substantially. Obtaining improved physical parameters for Apophis and its orbit is thus of great importance in being able to make better predictions of its future trajectory."

  Read more at:

Regarding the Red Meteor that endangers Earth on the 13th of April, 2029 and of which we have already spoken on the 16th of September, I have been asked about certain things and, therefore, would like to know how big that bloke is.
To my knowledge the terrestrial astronomers have already detected it for quite some time and are calling it Apophis or something.
It shall either hit Earth in the year 2029, or only whizzing by very closely.
Should it be the latter case, it (the meteor) would reappear in the year 2036 and its close approach to Earth could really lead to a catastrophe if the scientists undertake nothing against it.
Ptaah
Its size is about 350 meters.
What you are saying regarding the great danger that the Red Meteor represents to Earth: the scientists know about it.
And if there will be no special influence by the outer SOL “trabants” (note by the translator: objects circling around and at great distance from our sun), a catastrophe really threatens the Earth.
In order to avoid it the terrestrial scientists are also urged to undertake every conceivable possibility to ultimately push the meteor from its orbit.
Billy
To my knowledge various models exist for this purpose, but the scientists cannot come to a mutual agreement on this.
You are saying that the fellow shall be pushed from its orbit, and I gather from it that blowing it up is out of question.
Therefore, only a reaction principle could be applied, like e.g. an extremely strong nuclear reaction unit, sun sail principles, or atomic explosions near the meteor.
Ptaah
Whereby atomic explosions near the meteor should be considered, because they are very efficient and produce a strong drift(ing) effect.
However, the explosions may not occur too close to the meteor in order to avoid breaking it up, from which an even greater danger would result.
Such a project must be executed early and not at that time when the real danger is starting to threaten, because otherwise it would be too late for a success.
Therefore working towards it must be started today.
Those who will not listen will find death in exchange, when the meteor begins its work of death and creates a new continent, due to an enormous crack of the Earth, from the North Sea to the Black Sea, from which will spew forth red hot lava, if the prophecy should be fulfilled in its entire proportions which, however, has not been determined in its final consequence.In reference to the event to be expected, and already told you, that this one will part the land portion between the North Sea and the Black Sea.
510. Red hot lava masses and natural gas etc. will, in addition, create from it a deadly sulphurous wall which, drifting westward, will cover the land and with that creates an additional death-zone - http://www.theyfly.com/apophis-are-russians-reading-meiers-warnings

Re:2029 approach (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542809)

Quite correct. This is likely the most valuable asteroid in Near Earth Orbit. It's likely to be swarmed by asteroid miner '29'ers in 2029, and in 2036 for nothing of consequence to be left of it.

Re:2029 approach (2)

DavidD_CA (750156) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541359)

It's okay. We'll totally have flying cars by then.

Re:2029 approach (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542545)

Yeah yeah, sure.

Re:2029 approach (4, Informative)

Sowelu (713889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541361)

For those who are hoping to see it, that distance puts it at two arcseconds wide (if my calculations are decent). This is roughly the same width in the sky as Neptune, or 900 times smaller diameter than our moon on an average day.

Re:2029 approach (4, Funny)

InterestingX (930362) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541367)

"Carter, I can see my house from here."

Re:2029 approach (1)

hardie (716254) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541381)

How reassuring that they have such accurate estimates of things like orbit and mass.

Re:2029 approach (5, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541429)

It's a lot easier to calculate orbit than mass, and the latter is pretty much irrelevant to the former--Earth is so much more massive than Apophis can possibly be that the asteroid's mass can be ignored in any orbital calculation. So we'll know if it's going to hit us or not, even if we don't know how big a boom it will make if it does hit.

Re:2029 approach (1, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541443)

indeed, it's not until the 2029 pass whether we'll know if it will hit the earth or not in 2036. the current probabilities are nonsense and mean nothing. The real probability is either 0 or 100%.

Re:2029 approach (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542649)

"The real probability"? I suppose then the "real probability" of you buying a winning lottery ticket, or rolling 6 twenty consecutive times, etc, etc, are all 0 or 100% too.

Re:2029 approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542613)

Since we probably won't be on the Metric system in the U.S. by 2029, I' going to assume that's plenty of room.

Re:2029 approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542677)

If they're right about the density being 75% more than they previously expected, this is one heavy asteroid. And, passing that close to Earth in 2029 it shouldn't even need to hit us to cause some serious earthquakes. Things are going to get interesting people.

Re:2029 approach (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42543151)

haha. you guys... the mass of this is tiny compared to the earth. There won't be earthquakes, serious or not.

Intelligence-insulting headline posted by samzenpu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541263)

That was just in. Film at 11.

Re:Intelligence-insulting headline posted by samze (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541299)

Holy shit, it looks like my anonymous posting ban was lifted (or my IP changed). Swell, guyes!

Homeowners insurance (3, Interesting)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541295)

Will my homeowners insurance cover any damage should this hit, or would it be considered "an act of God"?

Re:Homeowners insurance (5, Funny)

Ackmo (700165) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541323)

Hmm. My insurance policy actually says, "act of Goa'uld". I always thought that was a typo.

Re:Homeowners insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541427)

Acts of God are generally covered by insurance, it's the acts of humans which are not (at least in mine).

occultation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541307)

Given it's named after an evil god, occultation [wikipedia.org] is the appropriate way to measure it. Seriously, though, this is a very valuable tool that amateur astronomers use to make high-resolution measurements of asteroids as they pass in front of, or occult, stars.

Obligatory... (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541309)

asteroid 99942 Apophis is actually bigger than we thought

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzZ4i8aWs_s [youtube.com]

--
BMO

Re:Obligatory... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542687)

I was half expecting a reference to "that's what she said".

Bruce Willis will succeed (1)

kmahan (80459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541317)

Does that mean the hole has to be deeper than 800' for the nuclear weapon?

Re:Bruce Willis will succeed (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542035)

Yes I know its a joke but... If we really wanted to use nukes on the asteroid wouldn't surface detonations to adjust it's trajectory would be better.

Re:Bruce Willis will succeed (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542265)

The idea of drilling a tunnel is to focus the explosion so more energy goes upwards, similar to how guns use a barrel rather than just hitting a bullet at the explosive end pointed in the right direction. At a quick guess, a nuke in a moderately deep hole could have about twice the effect of a surface detonation, but that's assuming 100% of the charge gets directed upwards (some will go into the ground or be wasted by other things).

Re:Bruce Willis will succeed (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542999)

The idea of drilling a tunnel is to focus the explosion so more energy goes upwards, similar to how guns use a barrel rather than just hitting a bullet at the explosive end pointed in the right direction. At a quick guess, a nuke in a moderately deep hole could have about twice the effect of a surface detonation, but that's assuming 100% of the charge gets directed upwards (some will go into the ground or be wasted by other things).

But here we're talking about drilling a hole that can be used as a nozzle (to direct the energy) or finding a natural formation that can be used to the same effect. Something like this would be relatively shallow on an object 350 meters wide. I mean compared to trying to use the nuke to break the asteroid into smaller pieces.

1 Earth Diameter Close Pass (4, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541481)

"In April 2029 the space rock will still make a very close pass with our planet, coming within 22,364 miles"

Being the skeptical engineer, I would say there is also a chance that on its multihundred million mile trip over the next decade and a half all it would take to nudge the orbit a slight amount to make the close pass a hit would be an encounter with another large object that affected its orbit ever so slightly...the wrong way.

That orbital perturbation is random & would simply not be predictable.

Re:1 Earth Diameter Close Pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541755)

Might also want to check the diameter of the Earth. 22,000 miles is fairly close to the circumference of the Earth (~ 24,900 miles), but multiples of the diameter (7918 miles).

Re:1 Earth Diameter Close Pass (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541967)

That orbital perturbation is random & would simply not be predictable.

Not exactly. It's passing by earth again in another 15 years or so -- and its orbit has to pass through a very small space in order for Earth's gravity to alter it just that tiny smidge so that over the following 15 years, that few thousands of a degree change due to gravitational pull will close that 22,364 mile gap. It has to be spot on -- if the vector is even slightly off, it'll either get slingshot out of the solar system (or into one of the outer planets), or into the Sun.

While you're right that the energy required to move the asteroid into a collision path is low, it has to be the precise amount, and at the precise vector. A random preturbation has a very low chance of being at both the correct energy level, and at the correct vector. And even many such random preturbations still wouldn't alter the orbit enough that if we looked for it on its next approach in a very narrow region of the sky, we couldn't find it. Which means we'll know its coming, and we'll have several years' warning to take action. I just hope they can clone Bruce Willis before then.

Re:1 Earth Diameter Close Pass (2)

able1234au (995975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42543163)

I don't think the earth can give it enough energy to slingshot it out of the solar system. You would need Jupiter to do that.

And despite appearances it is hard for it to go into the Sun. It is in orbit around the Sun so would need to slow down a LOT to fall into the Sun. Look up how complicated it was for the messenger spacecraft to get into Mercury 's orbit. It takes a lot of energy to slow down. It is not simply a matter of pointing yourself at the Sun. There is no atmosphere to slow you down. Not like objects in very low earth orbit.

IMPORTANT QUESTION... apk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541663)

Now, I know that you've all seen the film Armageddon, with Bruce Willis - the problem there was even *trying* to splatter that asteroid with our entire nuclear arsenal was a "bad move", because it was HEADING OUR WAY/RIGHT AT US...

Ok - fine: I can understand that, since busting off pieces flying towards you would still have 'shrapnel' (that had enough kinetic energy to keep coming and hit you still, albeit in many more smaller fragments).

Now, from what I understand (& I've noted this particular asteroid here many times before during other 'scares' dealing in them, regarding the 2029 pass & 2036 potential collision especially): THIS THING IS PASSING BY US THIS ROUND, and, so close, IT IS BENEATH GEO-CENTRIC SATELLITE ORBITS!

That "all said & aside":

* PER MY SUBJECT-LINE ABOVE: "THE QUESTION":

Why the HELL don't they blow it up as it goes away from us?

This would avoid the problem per the film noted above, AND, it's NOT ALL THAT DAMN BIG TO BEGIN WITH, and the fragments (if any would be left IF we "did it right" meaning really knock the tar outta it & incinerate it IF possible, totally, leaving only dust!)

I mean, after all - We've got enough nukes in arsenals to rip the atmosphere clean off the planet for Pete's sake - do something "destructively constructive" with 'em instead, & polish this bastard asteroid off, once & for all!

APK

P.S.=> The ONLY 'problem' just *might* be creating tinier asteroids, but they would NOT BE HEADING IN OUR DIRECTION (@ least not right off) but they wouldn't be as damn large either!

Thoughts?

Thanks for your answers...

... apk

Re:IMPORTANT QUESTION... apk (3, Informative)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542087)

Once it's going away, how would we catch it? It'll be going 25 km/sec relative to us.

Good point - take a read... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542319)

That's a GREAT question - I am a "mph" kind-of-guy, & haven't performed the conversion from kph->mph, but I take it we just don't have the speed...

* :(

( ***SHIT!!!*** )

APK

P.S.=> We don't have anything that fast I take it, so... What about projecting it's course & setting up a 'barrier' of sorts? It would run into that & we "detonate" to DUST it, literally (atomize the bastard - I am SURE we have enough nukes to do it)...

Yes - I think it'd be a way, Way, WAY SMARTER use of nuke weapons than blowing one another up (or even having the stupid things sitting around 'idle' doing nothing but sucking up taxpayer monies to maintain them)!

Yes, "$ talks" & all that, but WHAT GOOD IS MONEY IF YOU DON'T HAVE A PLANET or LIFE TO SPEND IT ON?

I just can't *believe* they're not pursuing these things to be honest... this thing is LITERALLY potentially "A Planet Killer" (catch my bolds? LOL!)...

... apk

Re:IMPORTANT QUESTION... apk (3, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542361)

Simulations of nuclear weapons vs. asteroids typically show that the nukes mostly just heat the asteroid up. In space, there's no atmosphere to superheat into an airburst, so a nuclear explosion consists of the vaporised remains of the bomb and the delivery vehicle and a lot of radiation. At the speeds involved, there's only about a 50 millisecond window to even detonate a nuke near enough to an asteroid that's approaching us for it to have any effect. Even if the timing is just right, a maximum of 50% of the energy of the nuke is going to hit the asteroid, and it's really going to be more like 10%. As has been mentioned, we pretty much have to hit the asteroid on approach, because it's going to be a lot harder to catch up to while it's moving away. If we do manage to blow it up, then we go from one large body travelling in a fairly predictable path to a number of objects of varying size travelling on less predictable paths, so if it's not going to hit us, we're better off not blowing it into pieces that might hit us. Also, we might have a lot of nuclear warheads, but we don't have anywhere near as many rockets capable of getting the payload to the asteroid. Nuking it might be cathartic, but there are a lot of problems with the idea.

Thanks for the informative answer... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542471)

I wasn't 'thinking that the true concussion POWER of a nuke is the compression of the atmosphere itself - you're right as rain on that now that you mentioned it...

DAMN!

Yes - these stones in space have us at a massive disadvantage then... we're essentially helpless it seems. I don't *LIKE* that, lol!

* Shit like this? Makes me feel helpless, & yes, scared... when you have NO CONTROL over things, it can be like that (for me @ least).

APK

P.S.=> There's gotta be a way - there are a lot of folks smarter than I am in this area (or just plain smarter overall period)...

I am just HONESTLY SURPRISED more monies don't go into things like preventing disasters like this one vs. having wars for example... this could be a REAL POTENTIAL MORE THAN JUST THREAT in the future is why I state all that! Has me worried is all - perhaps not so much for myself, but for the future of the human race.

Yes, we can be PRETTY FUCKED UP, perhaps more than we actually do "good things", but we're not worth throwing away...

See - I think/feel, honestly, that we're on the verge of GREAT THINGS and NOT TOO FAR OFF (like in the next 50-100 yrs.), & to have gone from caves to what we have now (and more in the future), only to be BLOWN AWAY by some DUMB ROCK in space, pisses me off... what a waste!

Sorry for the "RaGiNg-RaNt" here, but it's what it makes me feel like is all, & why

... apk

Re:Thanks for the informative answer... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542721)

maybe we should just block it in our HOSTS file.

Re:IMPORTANT QUESTION... apk (0)

able1234au (995975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42543185)

I'd be more worried about launching a nuclear weapon in orbit above us. More risk of that going wrong than the asteroid causing problems.

And who gets to fire at it? China perhaps? or do we get to flip a few coins? Just don't let it be North Korea.

Wait a minute (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541777)

So we used our super advanced technology to know precisely where this asteroid will be in like 2042 or whatever but we were off by almost half its mass (or volume)? Anyone see a little disconnect there? Especially since other solar system bodies' gravitational fields will affect it differently if it weighs double what we thought. I knew it was a load of alarmist, headline-grabbing BS.

Re:Wait a minute (3, Informative)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542013)

Well first of all, they successfully predicted it would be here now, so they must have done something right.

The issue is that mass is irrelevant when you're measuring how something is affected by gravity. This was the point of the (possibly apocryphal) experiments of Galileo. The force of the gravity on the object is proportional to the mass of the object, but the force needed to move the object is also proportional to its mass, so it all cancels out. Apophis will continue to follow the same path, no matter what its mass is.

Now technically speaking the weight of the object does affect the rate at which other things fall towards it. (If you drop a 2kg weight the earth "falls" upwards twice as fast as if you drop a 1kg weight, but the difference is obviously too small to be measured.) So if Apophis encounters an object close to or smaller than its own mass it will make a difference. However i'm pretty sure they aren't able to predict encounters with objects that small, so if it does happen it will be a totally unexpected event with an unknown affect on its orbit anyways.

Re:Wait a minute (4, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542879)

The issue is that mass is irrelevant when you're measuring how something is affected by gravity. This was the point of the (possibly apocryphal) experiments of Galileo. The force of the gravity on the object is proportional to the mass of the object, but the force needed to move the object is also proportional to its mass, so it all cancels out. Apophis will continue to follow the same path, no matter what its mass is.

True, but a higher mass relative to the diameter means that solar winds have a lesser effect. Granted, that effect is small compared to the pull of Earth, Sol, Jupiter and (when close) Luna, but it might still be significant in calculating whether we're going to get hit or not.

Re:Wait a minute (2, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542075)

So we used our super advanced technology to know precisely where this asteroid will be in like 2042 or whatever but we were off by almost half its mass (or volume)? Anyone see a little disconnect there? Especially since other solar system bodies' gravitational fields will affect it differently if it weighs double what we thought. I knew it was a load of alarmist, headline-grabbing BS.

So, re-read what you said and think about that. You'll come to the conclusion that you should be quite alarmed because we don't know what might hit us when. We also didn't know about Eris, a proto-planet more massive than Pluto until 2005. That means we're pretty damn blind, and that stuff we can see we can't see very well and thus can't make very precise predictions about them.

If anything, to me that means we should be pretty concerned about this situation and seek to rectify it ASAP. We need to swap the NASA and armed force's budgets. Get some space infrastructure in place to protect us from other asteroids: Get a few big rocks of our own orbiting to use as slingshots or gravity tugs, etc; Much better telescopes, esp. wide field systems; Self sustaining colonies off-world so all our eggs aren't in one basket. We can squabble about Oil after we're sure we're not going to be extinct.

The dinosaurs regarded chicken little as an Alarmist when she saw a meteor shower and said the sky was falling. Turns out she was right, only the dinosaurs in the flight program survived.

Well, obviously... (4, Funny)

mschaffer (97223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42541789)

Well, obviously the asteroid had passed through the trans-fat and high-fructose corn syrup nebulae between photos.

asteroid end of world movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42541857)

Sounds like they will be making a come back soon.

Is that an Asteroid Apophis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542071)

Is that an Asteroid Apophis in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?

So... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542115)

...those pills do work!

Re:So... (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542569)

That's what *she* said!

Meanwhile... (1)

DMJC (682799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542249)

What's actually being done to prepare against an asteroid strike? Or are our government stooges just planning to throw every nuke we have at this thing?

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542387)

Yeah but they already know that won't work, so they're fleecing the country and digging in somewhere to try and ride it out

Apophis foretold by Billy Meier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542489)

While it's trendy to post glib comments about Apophis impacting the Earth, this possibility (which actually is a certainty, unless our scientists come together and cooperate in deflecting it, was first warned about by none other than Billy Meier in 1981. And of course the "revised" size estimate is within a few km of what Meier was told by the Plejaren extraterrestrials, a fact that has the skeptics absolutely incensed.

You read the (illustrated) information here:

http://theadventuresofbillymeier.com/ABM_1.html ...in six languages, for those who may just be interested in what's coming our way.

Re:Apophis foretold by Billy Meier (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542807)

And you can see it debunked here: http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_049.php [sjrdesign.net]

He made a vague prediction about a "red meteor" in 1981...mentioned no dates or size. Then in 2008 he spoke of it again, this time specifying dates and size.

Re:Apophis foretold by Billy Meier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542875)

The revised size of 300m is within a few km of his prediction?

Anybody noticing a trend here? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42542665)

First people get fatter

Then the kilogram gains weight.

Now Apophis is bigger too.

Any speculations on what's next?

bigger hamburgers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542995)

BIG MACS GOT BIGGER!!!!!

Mayans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542819)

Damn Mayans apparently did the math wrong and were off by a few years....

Fucking Ghoulds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42542961)

Get off my godamn lawn. I'm fucking tired of this shit.

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