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Russian Meteor Likely an Apollo Asteroid Chunk

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the apollo-always-was-kind-of-a-jerk dept.

Space 67

astroengine writes "Helped by the extensive coverage of eyewitness cameras, CCTV footage and a fortuitous observation made by the Meteosat-9 weather satellite, Jorge Zuluaga and Ignacio Ferrin of the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, have been able to reconstruct the most likely orbit of the meteoroid that slammed into the atmosphere over the Russian Urals region on Feb. 15. What's more, they know what type of space rock it was — the Chelyabinsk-bound meteoroid originated from an Apollo-class asteroid (PDF). Apollo asteroids are well-known near-Earth asteroids that cross the orbit of Earth. Around 5,200 Apollo asteroids are currently known, the largest being 1866 Sisyphus — a 10 kilometer-wide monster that was discovered in 1972."

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67 comments

Dear Asteroid (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43019913)

Nice flying, Apollo.

- Starbuck

SG-1 (3, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year ago | (#43019923)

So it wasn't a Gu'ald attack?

Re:SG-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020135)

Of course it was, but they need a cover story. This seemed like the best one to use this time.

Re:SG-1 (2)

JackpotMonkey (703880) | about a year ago | (#43020289)

No no, this is much more likely a Zerg attack to publicize the upcoming Starcraft 2 Expansion, inspired by their Starship troopers brethren.

List (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43019929)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Apollo_asteroids

EEEP! (4, Funny)

MrDoh! (71235) | about a year ago | (#43019937)

10k wide? And we don't have Bruce Willis on stand by at ALL TIMES!?!?!?

Re:EEEP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43022159)

10k wide? And we don't have Bruce Willis on stand by at ALL TIMES!?!?!?

His younger self killed himself, eliminating him in the modern timeline so he didn't cause the rise the rainmaker, remember?

Re:EEEP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43022399)

I hadn't seen that movie yet so thanks, you fucking cumstain.

Not to worry. (1)

hawk (1151) | about a year ago | (#43026211)

The article is wrong, and overstates the risks.

It, in a fit of alarmism, claims that there are 5,200 of these.

In fact, there are only 5,199 now . . .

hawk

wow..! (5, Interesting)

zubieta (2653061) | about a year ago | (#43019939)

I know Jorge! That work is quite amazing. They are working based on shadows. They measure the shadows of lampposts changing in small fractions of time, their size and angle, and do the same from very different places in Russia. The result is amazing!

I read the title wrong... (5, Funny)

Stratus311 (894962) | about a year ago | (#43019943)

What I read: "Russian Meteor Likely an Apollo Astronaut Chunk"

Re:I read the title wrong... (1)

kms_one (1272174) | about a year ago | (#43020477)

I saw "Apollo" and thought US Space debris...and considered hiding under my desk as World War III ensues. (There was one Russian minister that declared that the meteorite was not from space but part of a U.S. weapons test).

Really?. (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#43024287)

the meteorite was not from space but part of a U.S. weapons test

They need better intel. Everyone in the US knows our military industrial complex isn't about working weapons...it's about milking tax dollars in going far beyond budgets to improve SEC filings. Can anyone in the US name 5 successful weapons programs to go into production over the last 10 years without major problems?

Re:I read the title wrong... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43022165)

I initially interpreted it as a spent Apollo mission rocket stage, and was thinking, "Oh the lawsuits!"

John Dvorak says it's fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43019971)

John C Dvorak on TWiT the other day, commented that it wasn't a meteorite at all, but a missile that had been shot down or the result of asteroid mining that had gone awry. He cited two crashes in the U.S. and Cuba that same day and claimed that the video and photos of the impact area showed just a perfect ice hole and no effects on the water or the immediate area. But Dvorak also said that the L.A. cop Chris Dorner's manhunt and death were fake too. And he does something called "No Agenda" which seems to be a conspiracy podcast.

Re:John Dvorak says it's fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020085)

Yes. And a few weeks ago I saw a guy claiming that the shopkeeper was out to get him. That, in and of itself was not illegal; but he assaulted him, wouldn't let up, and another guy detained him until the cops arrived. I think he just wanted to sleep in a warm jail, because rain was forecast for that night and he looked homeless.

Maybe Dvorak just wants 3 hots and a cot too.

Re:John Dvorak says it's fake (2)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#43020273)

There is apparently this one class of fairly harmless people who just can't accept that life isn't as exciting as an action movie.

Re:John Dvorak says it's fake (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about a year ago | (#43021195)

One of the fairly harmless people is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."
----Sherlock Holmes, "A Case of Identity"


And me! (Man I love spaghetti westerns!
----Bambino: One shop destroyed. Three heads split like overripe melons. One man wounded and one castrated. All in two hours. Just two hours I left you alone. Two hours. ----Trinity: Well, you asked me to give you a hand.

Re:John Dvorak says it's fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024915)

There is apparently this one class of fairly harmless people who just can't accept that life isn't as exciting as an action movie.

I've always assumed that's why people misguidedly join the military. It seems illogical otherwise.

If you just want a free education at the taxpayers' expense and don't mind the company of psychopaths and rapists, why not just rob a bank, get caught and go to jail for a few years? Unless you're a child murderer, you're unlikely to die a violent death inside.

Posted AC so as not to upset the precious Military-Industrial Complex fanboys here.

Re:John Dvorak says it's fake (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#43020769)

Simultaneously in Topeka Kansas a 41 year old woman bludgeons her husband to death with a frozen honey ham. Coincidence? You decide.

Re:John Dvorak says it's fake (3, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year ago | (#43021613)

claimed that the video and photos of the impact area showed just a perfect ice hole

I've heard rumours that John C Dvorak has been described as "just a perfect ice hole" himself on occasion.

Coincidence? You decide.

los Zetas shot down planet X! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43025441)

it gives me a sad that we've forgotten John McAfee so quickly after all the hours of amusement he provided.

Re:John Dvorak says it's fake (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year ago | (#43025629)

and photos of the impact area showed just a perfect ice hole

Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes

Discovered in... (5, Funny)

Miletos (1289588) | about a year ago | (#43019997)

"the largest being 1866 Sisyphus — a 10 kilometer-wide monster that was discovered in..."

WAIT! I KNOW THIS ONE! Is it 1866?

"...1972."

oh. okay :(

Re:Discovered in... (5, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#43020227)

You're thinking comets, like C/2013 A1. Asteroids are numbered in order of discovery. Ceres was 1st, Pallas was 2nd. This one was 1866th.

Re:Discovered in... (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#43024295)

Is there a prize for discovering the 2000th?

Re:Discovered in... (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#43024651)

2000 Herschel [wikipedia.org]

But they cheated and jumped ahead. Herschel was discovered in 1960 (and possibly 1934). 1999 Hirayama and 2001 Einstein were discovered February/March 1973. They do that a lot, for example, Quaoar (big TNO) was given 50000 even though 49,999 and 50001 were discovered two years earlier.

(I was wrong about naming as well, asteroid candidates are also given a year-code designation, switching to sequential (-ish) numbering when their orbits are locked down. 1866 Sisyphus' was initially 1972 XA. Not confusing at all.)

If you liked Drops of Jupiter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020005)

you will love the new Train song Chunks of Apollo

What's that fallin from the atmosphere
Ther's chunks of Apollo up in here, hey, hey
It acts like a meteor and fall like rain
See um runnin for cover on the Siberian plains, hey, hey
Since the return from the trip round moon
It streaks through the air with a sonic boom, hey, hey

Tell me did you burn hotter than sun
Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded
And that collision detectors are overrated

Tell me, did you shoot like a falling star
And leave a permanent scar
And did you give some Russian folks a scare

Ummm... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020013)

Something's wrong when a 10 KILOMETER wide astroid has 'sisy' in its name, just sayin'.

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43026011)

Something's wrong when a 10 KILOMETER wide astroid has 'sisy' in its name, just sayin'.

You prefer Buffy, Uncle Bill, or Mr. French?

Medellín, Columbia? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020019)

These guys are smoking dope, don't believe a word they say

Re:Medellín, Columbia? (0)

alantus (882150) | about a year ago | (#43020755)

These guys are smoking dope, don't believe a word they say

Is that supposed to be funny or just plain ignorant?

1. The name of the country is Colombia, not Columbia.
2. Colombia isn't a big marijuana producer or consumer. Paraguay and Mexico are the big producers, and the biggest consumers (by population percentage) in America are the US and Canada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annual_cannabis_use_by_country [wikipedia.org]
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/06/daily-chart-16 [economist.com]

Re:Medellín, Columbia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021223)

the biggest consumers (by population percentage) in America are the US and Canada

Don't listen to him, he's smokin dope.

Re:Medellín, Columbia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021011)

Well, starting by the fact that the country is Colombia, and not "Columbia", i will infer that your level of education is below the national average of your country.
Besides that, i found the paper quite interesting.

 

Appolo chunks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021683)

Even if it was the whole command module (minus the conical part they detach for re-entry) it still wouldnt be big enough tomake that explosion

1866 Sisyphus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43022395)

So...it keeps trying to hit us, but always misses and is flung back into space?

No surprise... (4, Informative)

Kentari (1265084) | about a year ago | (#43022635)

There are only 2 types of Earth crossing asteroids: Apollos with a semi major axis larger than 1AU and perihelion smaller than Earth's aphelion and Atens with a semi major axis smaller than 1AU and aphelion larger than Earth's perihelion. There are 4803 known Apollo asteroids (I don't know where the 5200 number in the summary comes from but IAU's Minor Planet Center [minorplanetcenter.net] knows of only 4803) and 747 known Atens, so there was a very good chance that the meteorite was an Apollo...

Re:No surprise... (1)

Dr La (1342733) | about a year ago | (#43023191)

(I don't know where the 5200 number in the summary comes from but IAU's Minor Planet Center [minorplanetcenter.net] knows of only 4803) .

There is a disparity between their summary table (which lists 4803) and the full table of orbital elements of all Apollo's they (the MPC) provide. The latter counts 5203 objects

Lousiest topic title ever (1)

Dr La (1342733) | about a year ago | (#43022691)

Yay, what a surprise: "likely an Apollo"...[sarcasm] gosh, that is unexpected! [/sarcasm]

Given that the vast majority of objects in earth-crossing orbits are Apollos, that is hardly a surprising conclusion. It would have been much more interesting if it was an Aten - much less of those around. Or a comet fragment

87% of asteroids in earth-crossing orbits are Apollos. 13% are Atens. Then there is a n unknown quantity of cometary objects

Around 5,200 Apollo asteroids are currently known (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023197)

Make that 4,199.

Re: Around 5,200 Apollo asteroids are currently kn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024669)

I'm guessing math is not your strong suit.

Apollo chunks? (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#43024307)

DId one of the Apollo astronauts have trouble with weightlessness? Perhaps a bad breakfast that morning?

Earth is a dwarf planet ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43025585)

So Earth hasn't cleared its orbit?

Are you doing YOUR part? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#43027063)

The asteroid was obviouisly from Klendathu, lets go kill some bugs!

Become a citizen and JOIN the Federal Service!

#Would you like to know more?#

Re: Are you doing YOUR part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43028609)

I get to be Rico!

Diz over Carmen, any day of the week.

C'mon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43027187)

It was obviously Xur firing his 'meteor gun' from the Kodan command ship on the other side of the frontier!

Can it be tracked back farther? (1)

craighansen (744648) | about a year ago | (#43028897)

So, if there 80 million of these Apollo Asteroids, and 500 known, there's 160,000 unknown asteroids for every known one. I'd presume that there's recording of prior observations of the Apollo Asteroids, and it would be interesting to discover whether this asteroid has been observed in the past. We hear all this publicity about near-hits (near-miss is a term that makes no sense) that have been tracked, but this was a hit that wasn't tracked. This high ratio of unknown Apollo asteroids suggests that reliably tracking asteroids to determine which will hit is a tough problem.

Unless hits can be tracked with high probability, coming up with ways to adjust the orbits of planet-killing hits is not worth worrying about. We won't need to send in the drilling team if we can't see them coming. Michio Kaku went to the trouble of telling us that if the orbit was a few seconds different, it could have been a big catastrophe, but how is that relevant if we can't track them?

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