Articles in Asteroids
When Bruce Willis nuked an asteroid in Armageddon, scientists told us that we didn’t have nuclear weapons powerful enough to pull off such a feat. And if the asteroid still struck Earth, but in smaller pieces, the damage might have been worse.
The best recent solutions involve getting to the asteroid early enough to nudge it slightly – meaning it would miss Earth by a long way once it got here.
However, a new nuclear solution has made the news:
Bong Wie, director of the Asteroid Deflection Research Centre in Iowa, described the system at the International Space Development Conference in California last week, in which he explained that an anti-asteroid spacecraft would carry a nuclear warhead to destroy asteroids that were on a collision course with the planet Earth.
Wie added that the two-section spacecraft would consist of a kinetic energy impactor that would break off to blast a crater in the asteroid. …
Asteroids and comets represent, in the long-term, very serious threats to modern civilization. And little is being done about it. NASA spends a tiny amount of money looking for Near Earth Objects. A couple of non-government organizations are researching the best ways to prevent a collision. A third aspect is now starting to fall into place – how to tell people?
To deal with potentially hazardous Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that could strike the Earth, there is need to establish an effective international communications strategy – but doing so is a daunting task, one that demands effective use of mass communication tools.
That key view is addressed in The Near Earth Object Media/Risk Communications Working Group Report issued by Secure World Foundation.
The key takeaway from the report for me is that, globally, it will be hard for people to know who to trust, when being told an asteroid will or won’t hit us. …
More evidence that global governments are incredibly ignorant of the serious asteroid threat. Detection of asteroids is severely under-funded, even though it has the best long-term cost-benefit ratio of almost anything they could pay for. An Australian telescope at the Sliding Spring observatory, the only one searching for asteroids in a particular region of the sky, lost its U.S. funding last year, and unless somebody fronts up with $180K this month, it will be shut down. Leaving us blind to a potential killer asteroid.
Catalina uses a range of northern hemisphere telescopes – and the Sliding Spring Survey. But in October, Catalina cut off cash to the survey due to growing costs, caused partly by changes in the exchange rate between the Australian and US dollars. That decision was “very difficult”, says Steve Larson, who heads Catalina.
Since then, the southern survey has been limping along with temporary funding from the Australian National …
The main reason NASA has managed to locate the vast majority of large asteroids in our vicinity is because they tend to hang out in the same narrow slice of space. So rather than observing the entire sky, they can concentrate on a small region. This is also why they are less successful at discovering comets – they can come from any direction and amateurs are looking at places that NASA is not.
Initially, 2012 LZ1 was thought to be about the size of a city block, but based on its brightness as it cruised by the planet, scientists now say the asteroid’s true size is twice that, measuring about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) across at its widest part.
The newfound asteroid was first seen on June 10 at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Since the near-Earth object was detected less than a week before it flew past the planet, astronomers …
The rules of thumb for asteroid impacts are that an ocean strike will cause tsunamis (no long-term problems beyond the initial wide-spread destruction), and that an asteroid striking the Earth will cause diminished sunlight for a few years, and local damage only.
New research suggests that an ocean strike could also create a hole in the ozone layer, or even reduce the entire ozone layer for two years. While the article does not mention precisely how this will affect crops, for humans the result is clear – we would be forced to stay indoors.
Model results showed a 0.3-mile asteroid that hit at a latitude 30 degrees north in the Pacific Ocean in January would lead to a local impact on the ozone layer – though “local” still meant an ozone hole that spread across the entire Northern Hemisphere. By contrast, the 0.6-mile asteroid strike led to a worldwide drop in UV …
Until recently the NASA mantra regarding an asteroid impact in 2012 went like this:
We already know there is no asteroid large enough to produce a mass extinction that is in an Earth-crossing orbit today. We have found at least 90% of those large enough to threaten civilization.
NASA is referring to asteroids wider than 1 kilometer. So far they have discovered 843 of those large asteroids (as of May 2012), and figure that accounts for 93% of them. Or, for a more worrisome description, they believe there are still 64 asteroids out there that can threaten civilization, and we don’t know where.
Lesser asteroids can still cause significant harm. NASA is also looking for medium-sized asteroids that are between 100 meters and 1 kilometer in diameter. They are “big enough to survive passing through Earth’s atmosphere and cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale“. This is especially true if they cause …
An article has been appearing in blogs and at forums. It says, in part:
To avert a possible catastrophe – this time set for February 2013 – scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint or big guns. The stickler is that time has long run out to build a spaceship to carry out the operation.
NASA’s data shows the 60-meter asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers in February, will whistle by Earth in 11 months. Its trajectory will bring it within a hair’s breadth of our planet, raising fears of a possible collision.
The asteroid, known as DA14, will pass by our planet in February 2013 at a distance of under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is closer than the geosynchronous orbit of some satellites.
There is a possibility the asteroid will collide with Earth, but further calculation is required to estimate the …
This isn’t just a 2012 problem – in newspapers and tabloid television, “experts” can find it easy to dismiss a topic by misrepresenting it and then debunking it. This is unfortunate because most of the public learns about conspiracy-type topics from these experts. Let’s take a little look at how 2012 is misrepresented in popular media:
In interviews I almost always get introduced in the same manner – Robert Bast, who believes the world will end in 2012. And every time I correct their sensationalism – I think the end of the world, as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) could occur in 2012.
It really is a double-edged sword. Most 2012ers are preparing to survive or become light-beings or ascend. None of these are the end of the world (EOTW), in which everything ends. Yet the media uses EOTW. And the experts drolly state “the Maya only believe in cycles, not an end“. …
The comet was discovered by Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope which scans areas of the sky for dangerous asteroids. It is early days, but they estimate that:
The comet will likely come within about 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) of the sun in February or March 2013 — about the same distance as the planet Mercury, researchers said.
During its closest approach to Earth in two years, comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) likely to be visible low in the western sky shortly after sunset, weather permitting.
…”The comet has an orbit that is close to parabolic, meaning that this may be the first time it will ever come close to the sun, and that it may never return,” said the University of Hawaii’s Richard Wainscoat in a statement.
The close to parabolic orbit means that this could actually be a long period comet, one that an ancient culture might have tracked previously. February/March 2013 is …
“a new study of ancient copper mines in southern Israel found that the strength of the magnetic field could double and then fall back down in less than 20 years.” This could be local, or global, they don’t seem sure. But it is certainly something scientists previously did not believe possible.
Why build bunkers when you can protect an entire city with a massive dome?
The concept would supposedly keep the city safe from a category-5 hurricane.
Tunguska was not the only explosion of its type last century – there’s actually a list of them at Wikipedia. A good candidate to add to that list is a powerful blast that struck British Guyana in 1935. An expedition “reported seeing an area some miles across where the trees had been broken off about 25 feet above their bases“, while numerous people witnessed a “large meteoroid/small asteroid entry“. One day a town or …
This time the sinkhole is in Germany, measuring 30 meters across, and 20 meters deep. Six houses were evacuated. Photo over at a News Corp site.
Author John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man) has posted his thoughts on 2012 at the Huffington Post. He explains how the 2012 meme has become, proven by his numerous forthcoming speaking engagements, a “tidal wave of change that is flooding human consciousness“. And he quantifies his positive thoughts by referring to how the Popul Vuh describes how “people overthrow an egotistical regime characterized by exploitation and deception and replace it with an enlightened and compassionate one“.
The Association of Space Explorers, has prepared a report on the threat asteroids pose for Planet Earth. The UN is studying the report, which includes plans to detect and deflect any objects in space that might threaten us. The Canadian Space Agency plans to launch a $15-million …
NASA is installing a network of smart cameras across the USA to track fireballs and meteoroids. Soon there will be 15, and then they plan to expand nationwide. These cameras are automated and linked together so that they can triangulate paths and orbits. If NASA was expecting an influx of fireballs (and alternative media outlets are suggesting this is already happening), such data could prove to be important. But it could just be that NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office is wanting to he more helpful when they get phone calls from the public. More info at PhysOrg, and the official NASA site has live and historical images from the cameras.
According to the website of Australia’s antidote to “energy drinks”, esc, if you are concerned about 2012, their drink will let you Escape into a zen state of mind!
The latest in a long line of solar cycle theories has just been published …
A few days ago, the highly-regarded Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell gave a Royal Society lecture about the sham that is 2012. You can watch it online:
Now for some criticisms!
You have to wonder about a scientist who doesn’t understand how search engines work, yet we should trust her skills in analyzing the 2012 meme. Seven minutes into the lecture Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell tells us that there are 56 million Google results when she searches for end of the world in 2012, and the audience laughs. There aren’t, merely 56 million web pages that contain all of those words, somewhere on the page. Any professor should be smart enough to estimate that 56 million people have not made websites about 2012.
“end of the world” 2012
yields just 1.7 million results. Of these 95% or more will be computer-generated spam. Real websites with original content about 2012 probably number around one thousand. Not …
With state-funding, a Christian ministry will build a $150 million theme park, featuring a full-size Noah’s Ark, complete with live animals. There will also be a Tower of Babel. Can’t wait to take my family, and it is aiming to open in 2014.
Those 500 million Facebook users now have access to a game all about 2012 – War of 2012. After a magnetic pole shift and solar flares, you are a member of “a tribe that happened to survive the pandemonium aboard the Genesis Ark“. Apart from the back story and the name, it is yet another Civilization clone… Far more interesting would be a prepping game where you have 2012-like deadline to prepare.
Tunguska-like atmospheric explosions occur several times a year, and we know this because NASA satellites spot them. Data on these “bolide” will soon be released so that scientists worldwide can better study them.
Imagine if you had spotted an asteroid or comet hurtling toward Earth. Or that you became aware of such via the Interweb. It would be very useful to calculate how the collision will affect you, where you are.
In case that unlikely scenario arises, here’s some software that promises to calculate the harm you face.
Lest you be unsatisfied with a simulation of a massive rock barreling down on us, the Web site also provides data on the aftermath, including the size of the crater, the extent of the fireball, and even the height of the tsunami wave, should the object crash into the ocean.