Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

2004 MN4 Probably Won't Kill Us

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the this-wrecks-a-bunch-of-pick-up-lines dept.

Space 389

Xshare writes "It's now official. NASA's Near Earth Objects page lists 2004 MN4, the asteroid that's been covered on slashdot recently, as having a 1 in 56,000 chance of hitting earth, and even then only in 2037. It seems that earth was near the edge of the cone of probability of when it could go. As the cone kept closing, the probability of hitting earth grew, but it kept getting closer to the edge. It's now outside the cone, and we can be safe."

cancel ×

389 comments

Too Bad (5, Funny)

Rura Penthe (154319) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195921)

Now how will I justify my unwillingness to accomplish anything in life.

Re:Too Bad (2, Insightful)

IanRulez (838170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195953)

I was looking more for life to go out with a bang. Maybe bush will still help with that...

Re:Too Bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195977)

Then join the Bush neo-con wing of the Republicans.

Re:Too Bad (4, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195983)

You might want to try the Wally approach [dilbert.com] .

Darn! (3, Funny)

OneDeeTenTee (780300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195922)

I already ordered the T-Shirt!

Re:Darn! (2, Funny)

Paiway (842782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196013)

"2004 MN4 cruised through the whole solar system and all i got was this lousy T-shirt"

Second first post! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195926)

Still woo!

The sky is falling ... (5, Funny)

bighoov (605325) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195927)

... the sky is not falling. Your choice.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195933)

will we be killed by more hype tidal waves or even microwaves from outer space? (Simcity)

NASA apparantly... (1)

XaviorPenguin (789745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195934)

...wants us to think we are going to die by an asteroid don't they? They can't make up their minds to decide if and when we die. Should we call them our gods? :D

Not even in 2037 (5, Informative)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195936)

That is the cumulative impact probability. The probability of impact in 2037 is actually 1 in 526,316,000 chance. The more likely one is in 2044 and that is 1 in 83,000 chance.

Re:Not even in 2037 (1)

narad (800373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196051)

Too bad.. I thought the APE's would make a movie like "Jurassic park" with the theme of resurrecting Humans from their DNA and putting them in electrified cages on an isolated island and convert that island into a theme park. Maybe we need to wait a little more for that too happen.

Wow, I got a story accepted. (-1, Offtopic)

Xshare (762241) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195937)

Slashdot editors didn't even bother to fix my typo. s/when/where . Anyways, whee, my first accepted story! Take that Roland Piquepaille!

Re:Wow, I got a story accepted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195955)

i hate you

Re:Wow, I got a story accepted. (3, Funny)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195964)

Slashdot has editors? Who knew...

Re:Wow, I got a story accepted. (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195968)

Slashdot editors didn't even bother to fix my typo. s/when/where .

Heh, they didn't even bother to capitalize Slashdot in your submission. Shows just how much they care.

Stop it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195938)

Stop it I am about to become diabetic.

Re:Stop it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196177)

In China, being diabetic is positive.

Good (5, Funny)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195939)

That means it will make us stronger.

But then again.... (5, Funny)

yorugua (697900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195942)

... maybe it'll hit us anyway. NASA is looking at whether the metric or imperial systems was used all along the calculations. Stay tuned...

wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195943)

Posted by timothy on Monday December 27, @07:44PM

Future dated stories now?
Or am I just an insensitive clod in the eastern time zone...

Huh? (-1, Troll)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195945)

So how exactly did we go from a 1 in 37 chance to a 1 in 56000 chance in a few hours? My guess is that slashdot submitters was posting meaningless statistics and editors were letting them through in order to sensationalize the issue.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Xshare (762241) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195958)

Not true at all. If you even bothered to RTFA, you'd understand. Not to mention that the slashdot submitters actually used TFA from NASA. :-0

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195974)

or maybe you could read the damn article.. hell the little description on /.

"It seems that earth was near the edge of the cone of probability of when it could go. As the cone kept closing, the probability of hitting earth grew, but it kept getting closer to the edge. It's now outside the cone, and we can be safe."

Re:Huh? (0, Redundant)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195981)

----
Quote:
So how exactly did we go from a 1 in 37 chance to a 1 in 56000 chance in a few hours? My guess is that slashdot submitters was posting meaningless statistics and editors were letting them through in order to sensationalize the issue.
----

Not true - I looked at the NASA website a few hours ago and the probability was indeed listed at 2.7%

However, I am also interested in how we went from 1/37 to 1/56000 in a few hours.

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196059)

See my post [slashdot.org] for an idea of how the math works.

The best way to visualize it: Imagine a dot on the ground. Cast a shadow on it from your hand. That shadow is the probable area where the future asteroid would be. As measurements become more accurate you would move your hand closer and closer to the ground. The probability goes up because the area of the shadow becomes smaller while the size of the dot on the ground (the Earth) remains the same. As the shadow continues shrinking then the probability of impact continues to go up until your hand gets so close to the ground that your hand touches (or misses) the dot..

At that point the shadow is either on the dot (impact) or it is off the dot (miss) and right now the shadow is off the dot (miss).

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

wasted (94866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196143)

Make sure you use a lamp for this experiment instead of sunlight. The shadow won't change size if sunlight is used.

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

WhiteBandit (185659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196008)

So how exactly did we go from a 1 in 37 chance to a 1 in 56000 chance in a few hours? My guess is that slashdot submitters was posting meaningless statistics and editors were letting them through in order to sensationalize the issue.

Too bad you'd be guessing wrong. NASA's information page on 2004 MN4 [nasa.gov] has been continuously updated throughout the weekend. Just a few hours ago, based on certain observations, it was concluded that the probability was 1/37. After further calculations and observations, the trajectory of the asteroid was plotted with enough confidence to warrant a reevaluation of the impact probabilities. Hence, we now see a 1/56,000 chance. It's all right there on NASA's page. Nothing sensationalistic about it.

How'd we get arrive at those probabilities within a matter of hours? Read the article summary. It does a good job of explaining it.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

Rob Carr (780861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196115)

So how exactly did we go from a 1 in 37 chance to a 1 in 56000 chance in a few hours?

Spaceguard, using the information that was already available, did a "prediscovery" of the asteroid dating back to March of this year. Because it was from so long ago, it gave them a better "baseline" on which to judge the orbit. With the upgraded data, they were able to eliminate any possibility of danger to the Earth from 2004 MN4.

Thanks for the reasurrance... (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195946)

2004 MN4 Probably Won't Kill Us

I wasn't exactly looking forward to the 30+ years of tossing and turning in bed at night.

instead i'll toss and turn over what the prez is doing to the economy

Re:Thanks for the reasurrance... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196151)

instead i'll toss and turn over what the prez is doing to the economy

I'll be tossing and turning over the fact that retarded butt clenchers like you are allowed to roam freely in this country. Idiot.

phew (2, Funny)

Malacon (761384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195949)

I can cancel my bomb shelter purchase now...


It was gonna be a first if I didn't hit reply so quick :\

Re:phew (2, Funny)

eeg3 (785382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196105)

You should. The apocalypse is on it's way one way or another.

MARK MY WORD!

...

Whether I have to cause it or not.

Don't be fooled! (2, Funny)

1tsm3 (754925) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196154)

They have confirmed the probability of hit to be 100% and don't want us to know! (* puts on a tin foil covered kevlar helmet *) You better not cancel your bomb shelter!

Hey! (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195952)


Is this whole thing a fake, like the Christmas lights?

Argh! (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195954)

I guess I can cancel the plans for my Mars colony now.

Too bad... (1)

Hiigara (649950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195960)

We really need something like this to justify our space program to the masses and to wake people up. There is more to life then just cheeseburgers and scoring that awsome IT job.

Human destiny lies with the stars, simply because eventually the Planet Earth will no longer be able to support human life, soon then later at our current population and resource expenditure.

On a long enough timeline, survival probability always drops to zero...

Re:Too bad... (5, Insightful)

agent dero (680753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196140)

Human destiny lies with the stars, simply because eventually the Planet Earth will no longer be able to support human life, soon then later at our current population and resource expenditure.

While this may be true, you have to wonder if it's a good thing to venture into other worlds now, I mean, look at our world.
Our main fuel source is a non-renewable, polluting one that won't last us into the next century. We still have billions of people living in utter poverty, and children aspire to be rock stars, and the likes.

I don't think our (american/european) culture is ready to venture into space and colonize, we need to start putting value on the right ideals. To where children aspire to be scientists, to where the best idea wins out, not the shiniest one, to where corporations and people in general terms aren't "out to make a buck."

I'd hate to see these ideals brought into space. Militarization of space? No thanks.

We could support many more billions of people on the planet if the right alternatives were taken to sustain life, and not just make money

How reliable are these calculations? (1, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195961)

In three days this has gone from 1/233 chance, to 1/45, to 1/56,000. How can there be so wide of a spread over such a small time interval if the method being used to estimate this is at all reliable? I could see how small trajectory changes in the asteroid would vary the predictions a lot if it were closer, but this is still 30+ years away.

What's to say tomorrow won't be 1/1? How is this latest measurement the final word that there is no threat?

Two choices: (5, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196016)

You can do one of two things:

Trust the math

Do the math

I only briefly considered it but enough that I trust the math. It's not that the estimates are unreliable, it's that the estimates are only as reliable as the measurements made, and as the measurements become increasingly accurate in number and value, so too the estimate.

So the first estimate was made with a small number of measurements: The theoretical 'circle' of probability was large and intersected quite well with the Earth. As more measurements are made, the probability circle gets smaller, but because the size of the Earth doesn't shrink the chance of impact go up; more of the volume of the probability circle coincides with the Earth.

Then as even more measurements are made the circle grows ever smaller until it is small enough that only the edge of the circle is now overlapping the Earth, and thus the chance of impact goes down.

Re:How reliable are these calculations? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196028)

read the damn article

its quite simple

you have a cone of probable impact

. METEOR
. / \
. / \
. / \
. / \
. / \
./ o \

(o=earth)

its in the cone, high probability

calculations are more refined:

. METEOR
. / \
. / \
. / \
. /o \

base of cone is smaller, earth now has an even larger chance of getting hit.. now some more narrowing of the cone:

. METEOR
. / \
. / \
. o/ \

oops.. earth is no longer in the cone.. probability just jumped to 1/56,000

--
Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason Please use fewer junk characters.

lalala In three days this has gone from 1/233 chance, to 1/45, to 1/56,000. How can there be so wide of a spread over such a small time interval if the method being used to estimate this is at all reliable? I could see how small trajectory changes in the asteroid would vary the predictions a lot if it were closer, but this is still 30+ years away.

What's to say tomorrow won't be 1/1? How is this latest measurement the final word that there is no threat

The now-defunct Lycos anti-spamsite screen saver, MakeLoveNotSpam, was extremely well received despite the whines and hand wringing from the no-one-should-ever-actively-defend-themselves crowd. There was speculation after its demise that Open Source spam-punishing tools would emerge. Other tools such as SpamVampireThe now-defunct Lycos anti-spamsite screen saver, MakeLoveNotSpam, was extremely well received despite the whines and hand wringing from the no-one-should-ever-actively-defend-themselves crowd. There was speculation after its demise that Open Source spam-punishing tools would emerge. Other tools such as SpamVampire, LadVampire (punishes fake bank sites), Spam Research Tool and others were mentioned with increasing frequency, but there has been no coherent followup to gauge what people are doing since the death of the Lycos screen saver. What are you doing that you think is effective in punishing spammers or their spam-site sponsors?" , LadVampire (punishes fake bank sites), Spam Research Tool and others were mentioned with increasing frequency, but there has been no coherent followup to gauge what people are doing since the death of the Lycos screen saver. What are you doing that you think is effective in punishing spammers or their spam-site sponsors?"

Re:How reliable are these calculations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196037)

You're about the 10th person to ask this, so I'll be brief.
READ TFA

Re:How reliable are these calculations? (2, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196049)

If I understand it correctly the reason is simple, and someone commented on this in one of the other postings:

They knew the rough area in which the asteroid could end up, and with more data this area kept shrinking. However, the Earth was still in this area and since the total places the thing could go was shrinking the chance of going to one part of the area increased. Then suddenly the Earth went out of this area so it's probability went down.

Here is an analogy: think of having ten cups face down with a ball under one and one is labeled "Earth". Now Earth has a 1 in 10 chance of having the ball. However, if someone removed 5 of the false cups then Earth now has a 1 in 5 chance. However, if someone now removed the Earth cup since it did not have a ball then it's chance would go down to 0.

Re:How reliable are these calculations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196087)

The reason the probability of impact jumps around so much is as follows. The probability figure you have been seeing on the headlines is a CUMULATIVE probability of several potential impacts. In other words, they add the probability of the asteroid hitting Earth on this day, on that day, etc. for each close encounter. There were about 8 close encounters for which their probabilities were being summed to calculate this figure. There was a 1 in 38 chance for the asteroid hitting Earth on April 13, 2029, and this figure dominated the cumulative impact probability (1 in 37). Once more observations ruled out any impact on that day, the cumulative impact probability went to nearly zero. The remaining figure as of this posting, around 1.8e-05 (1 in 56,000), represents the probability of impact on the other close encounter dates (2037, 2044, etc.) as listed in the table [nasa.gov] . You will also note that the April 13, 2029 encounter has been REMOVED from this table. This is because there will be no impact; the table only lists remaining potential impacts.

Odds? You don't need "odds". (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196124)

Just remember this: "Shit Happens" I guarantee it*.

I am sure the Earth will eventually suffer a devastating blow, again, via cosmic forces at work, sooner or later. I just hope it is later, much later. Like after my kid's college bills are paid and stuff.

* or double your money back.

They removed the 2029.04.13 data (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195962)

The page had a lot more entries the other day.
And now, all the "Interesting" ones are missing.
The saga of 2004MN4 is FAR from over....

Some interesting speculation as to why the results were pulled... [mit.edu]

wonderful! (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195963)

Now my bet is useless! I was sure we'd all die and I'd become rich beyond my wildest dreams!

how many other disasters in the 2030's? (5, Funny)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195967)

Between the Mayan calendar, the Unix epoch, and now this, I don't see how any of us will make it to 2040 alive.

Re:how many other disasters in the 2030's? (1)

DrLZRDMN (728996) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196006)

easy -they could all be wrong

Re:...Disasters in the 2030's? (2, Funny)

wasted (94866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196121)

At least we can hope these [imdb.com] two [imdb.com] don't do a remake [imdb.com] that year. That would save the planet from one disaster. Of course, that potential disaster probably wouldn't actually kill anyone. It would be more likely to make hundreds of thousands of people sick.

Numbers changed drastically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11195979)

I noticed that the number of observations dropped from 176 to 118 and the number of days increased from 196 to 287 in just a couple hours. Something smell fishy or they found more data and removed a bunch more!

Re:Numbers changed drastically (1)

VitaminB52 (550802) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196123)

I noticed that the number of observations dropped from 176 to 118 and the number of days increased from 196 to 287 in just a couple hours.

I noticed this too ... looks like NASA discarded some inaccurate observations (--> smaller number of observations), and found some old photographs of 2004 MN4 in their archive (--> longer baseline) - they must have been searching their archives for existing older sightings as soon as the impact risk started to look real bad.

Now I'm Confused (1)

cacepi (100373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195982)

Do I get Billy Bob Thornton to bite his nails while Liv Tyler "comforts" me in my last moments or not?

Come on, Bruce Willis' life and hot elfin love are on the line here!

Re:Now I'm Confused (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196179)

Liv Tyler was born in 1977, so she'll be 60 or 67 when the asteroid hits... uh, go ahead, take her, she's all yours!

Odd.. (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195984)

Anyone else wondering if this is more damage control then the truth? It's not good to have the world thinking it will die in 24 years.

It's very difficult to go "We'll fine you £100" when they arn't going to live much longer..

...won't kill us. (4, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195989)

Then why is there a round shadow surrounding my house getting bigger and bigger and... [CONNECTION LOST]

Re:...won't kill us. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196074)

M0D PARENT DOwN. NOT FuNNY. KARmA WHOrING.

Re:...won't kill us. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196186)

Except, of course, that wouldn't happen unless it was approaching from the position in the sky occupied by the sun. On the other hand, anything getting bigger without appearing to move in the sky definitely has your name on it... And soon, will have you on it (splat)

Lies, lies lies! We are going to die! (5, Funny)

kaedemichi255 (834073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11195997)

The odds are still not good! The chances of someone winning the lottery is like 1 in a few million/billion! Yet there's almost always a winner! OMG WE'RE GONNA DIE!!!

Re:Lies, lies lies! We are going to die! (1)

Xshare (762241) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196018)

Not true. The odds of any single person to win is 1 in a few billion. The odds of having SOMEONE of the millions of people who buy is a lot less.

Re:Lies, lies lies! We are going to die! (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196062)

Thousnads of people play the lottery. This is completely different. Lay out 37 cups, get someone to put a ball under one and then you have 1 shot at finding the ball. The chance of it happening are very very slim.

The condensed netspeak version... (3, Funny)

Akardam (186995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196035)

OMGWTFBBQ!!1 *splat*

Re:Lies, lies lies! We are going to die! (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196069)

Not sure about the lottery where you live, but in Ohio, a lottery ticket has 6 numbers [1-44]. The numbers are unique so we can determine that the total number of possible values is 44! / 38! = 5082517440. Since the numbers can be in any order to win, we divide by the number of possible permutations of 6 numbers (6! = 720). 5082517440 / 720 = 7059052. So, the odds of hitting the super-lotto jackpot in Ohio are 1 in 7059052. Therefore, the asteroid will miss the Earth.

QED.

Re:Lies, lies lies! We are going to die! (1)

brasten (699342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196095)

That must have been you I played against on Halo 2 XBLive last night...

Yeah Sure (1)

kilgortrout (674919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196000)

that's what they's like you to believe. Don't be fooled; 2004 MN4 is coming and it's going to kill you and your little dog too.

Not convinced, personally! (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196003)

Anyone want to come up with a semi convincing conspiracy theory? No? Even a mildly possible one?

Re:Not convinced, personally! (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196083)

> Anyone want to come up with a semi convincing conspiracy theory? No? Even a mildly possible one?

NASA's computers survived a Slashdotting this morning, and they decided to get cocky?

*looks around* (2, Insightful)

Akardam (186995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196004)

Chicken Little? Is that you?

bummer (1, Insightful)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196007)

That would have solved the Social Security solvency problem.

Re:bummer (1, Offtopic)

AEton (654737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196055)

When George Bush ran for a House seat in 1978, he said during the campaign that Social Security would die in ten years unless privatization happened.

Or so we think... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196010)

That's just what they want you to think. Get your astroid insurance here!

Tom

Can someone explain this? (1)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196025)

I was just looking at the google cache of that page [google.co.uk] and there are loads more instances (including the 2029). Do they remove the ones too unlikely to happen once they get better measurements? (Or insert conspiracy theory here)

Re:Can someone explain this? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196119)

It's not an conspiracy...

All the information is here, decide for yourself..

http://www.hohmanntransfer.com/crt.htm#2004mn4

Why isn't the media covering this? (4, Interesting)

AEton (654737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196027)

Gosh - I looked everywhere on Google News and practically every mainstream source said just about nothing about this story! Why could that be?

(and, even weirder, the ones that -do- mention it are dated days ago and talk abut an "actually miniscule probability". can't they read?!)

I guess I'll just have to turn to Slashdot for all my eschatological news.

Terrorists (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196032)

...but if we all submit to biometric ID cards, sub-dermal RFID chips and CCTV in every home, then Earth can't be hit by asteroids right?

I mean - we all know that it's terrorists launching asteroids at the Earth.

Re:Terrorists (1)

Malacon (761384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196181)

we all know that it's terrorists launching asteroids at the Eart

I thought those were bugs?


Would you like to know more? [amazon.com]

as improbable as it is (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196056)

To hit us, I believe that if it is on course to hit us, it will be eaten by a small dog from different Universe that is larger than our entire Universe because as improbable things go this is quite possible.

Bah,,, (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196058)

Everyone had to know this wasn't going to happen. I don't know which asteroid it *will* be, when it does hit, but the day will be Dec. 21, 2012. Duh.

2004MN4 may hit the moon (1, Redundant)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196060)

See the pictures on the official Nasa sites.

Probability: 1.8% [nasa.gov] ...

No, seriously: I just like the impact probability page at http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/ip?; put an arbitrary number and link it as an official and validated probability to your /. posts.

I still want an explanation... (1, Troll)

mtaff (772210) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196064)

for the missing data. This morning there were like 189 observations, and now there are only 118. Are they throwing out data they don't agree with? Was the data misinterpreted? Did they have problems with metric conversion?

NEODyS says over 200 observations came in in the last five days alone. What's going on here? Anyone from NEO/JPL want to enlighten us?

Re:I still want an explanation... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196103)

I will get to your question after this long paragraph.

The reason the probability of impact jumps around so much is as follows. The probability figure you have been seeing on the headlines is a CUMULATIVE probability of several potential impacts. In other words, they add the probability of the asteroid hitting Earth on this day, on that day, etc. for each close encounter. There were about 8 close encounters for which their probabilities were being summed to calculate this figure. There was a 1 in 38 chance for the asteroid hitting Earth on April 13, 2029, and this figure dominated the cumulative impact probability (1 in 37). Once more observations ruled out any impact on that day, the cumulative impact probability went to nearly zero. The remaining figure as of this posting, around 1.8e-05 (1 in 56,000), represents the probability of impact on the other close encounter dates (2037, 2044, etc.) as listed in the table [nasa.gov]. You will also note that the April 13, 2029 encounter has been REMOVED from this table. This is because there will be no impact; the table only lists remaining potential impacts.

Now, because they have ruled out an impact in 2029, some of the observations actually don't contribute to determining whether an impact will occur on the other, later dates (2037, 2044, etc). There have been hundreds of observations but the only ones relevant to the current potential impacts are counted on that NASA page.

Wait... (1)

fizban (58094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196086)

So, you mean I *shouldn't* start to live a life of debauchery and fornication, knowing that life now has no meaning and no future?

Sex and drugs and party, party, party are right out, you say?

Ah, well, hmmm... Yes, well then, I'll be going now. Never mind all that. I'll clean it up later, thanks.

Would someone call my doctor for me please? I seem to have developed a little rash from last night...

Noooo! (1)

ratta (760424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196089)

I was about to kill my wife!

Don't beLIEve it!!! (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196104)

its all a mass conspiracy to herd us like sheep - you can't have the sheep scared now can you? :)

We are safe.... (1)

DraKKon (7117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196107)

... until tomorrow, when the ywill change the status yet again.

Nothing to see here... move along.

Well we won't have to worry about 2038 then, (2, Funny)

Graemee (524726) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196110)

January 19, 2038 the date when 32 bit time runs out or is that overflows?

I smell a coverup....... (1)

cbdavis (114685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196111)

I think we're doomed and the feds are censoring so we wont go ape-sh*t. Definite conspiracy going here!

Is Disney really all powerful? (1)

EvilUmpir (829802) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196112)

Disney has a movie coming out "Chicken Little" and all this press about an asteroid? Diseny has grown so powerful it controls the universe! Kinda comforting, since killing all of us off would be bad for business.

Dear IT workers: outsourcing is YOUR fault. (1)

master_meio (834537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196122)

To all of you bitch-ass unemployed IT workers: OUTSOURCING is YOUR fault! Your lack of job security is a personal failing, and by no means should you see it as anything else. waaaaaaaaah. waaaaaaaaah. waaaaaaaaaah seriously, shut the fuck up and get a job at Home Depot. you stupid motherfuckers. Market forces are working to seperate the "wheat" from the "chaff" guess what group you belong in? here is a list of the most overused words in a slashdot poster's resume: privilij, entituld, entitulmint, entituls, white, american, americans, jobs, ovirsees, me, mine, my, I, lifestile, way ov life, want, should, oblegate, oblegatid, me

zerg (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196125)

DAMMIT! >_<

So let me get this straight... (1)

atezun (755568) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196137)

NASA predicts an increasing chance of utter doom or at least an increasing chance of some rock chunk hitting some guy in Idaho's corn field(Yes I know they never said anything about it hitting Idaho) and then five hours later takes it back? Jeez! You know these modern day doom predictors are no fun anymore! At least when Nostradamus was wrong he still stood by the predictions until nothing happened! I mean what happened to swelling of hope?

aw fuck... (1)

AmericaHater (732718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196145)

I'll be nearly 80 then. I wanted to take everyone with me.

Shit, now I gotta continue hacking that hyper-virus DNA and thats gonna take forever. Dammit, Dammit, Dammit.

probably (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11196150)

"...and we can be safe."

That end should have been:

"...and we can be safe, probably. Maybe. Perhaps. Or not. But possibly. Who knows. Until the next article."

obligatory dumb and dumber quote (1)

Stalyn (662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196183)

ripped from imdb

Lloyd Christmas: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?
Mary Swanson: Not good.
Lloyd Christmas: Not good like one in a hundred?
Mary Swanson: I'd say more like one in a million.
Lloyd Christmas: So you're telling me there's a chance?

Whew! (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196185)

It worked. Damn am I tired...

why god? (3, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11196189)

My only chance of getting laid, gone! What? 1 in 56000 odds? I'm back in the game!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...