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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:05 am 
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From the BBC today: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3517319.stm


"Astronomers have revealed how they came within minutes of alerting the world to a potential asteroid strike last month.
Some scientists believed on 13 January that a 30m object, later designated 2004 AS1, had a one-in-four chance of hitting the planet within 36 hours.

It could have caused local devastation and the researchers contemplated a call to President Bush before new data finally showed there was no danger.

The procedures for raising the alarm in such circumstances are now being revised.

At the time, the president's team would have been putting the final touches to a speech he was due to make the following day at the headquarters of Nasa, the US space agency. "


The story goes on. Quite interesting really. Makes yer wonder...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:18 am 
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If you check out the picture on the B.B.C. website,you can clearly see the two Crystal People ships at 7 O'Clock!! ( :wink: ).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:25 am 
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The Crystal People again!! :o


The thing I keep asking meself is, if there was a big rock coming and it had a one-in-four chance of hitting the planet within 36 hours, would I really want to know?

The alarm in the article was on a Tuesday. Imagine telling the boss to stuff it, running out of the office and doing... /insert something here/... for the next 36 hours, only to discover 36 hours later it missed...

And what would be the /something/ ? I really don't know...how very sad.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:35 am 
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My father had a book, Best Cartoons of 1946,
which had a lot of cartoons concerning people
returning from the war. In one a young man
is being ushered into his old office by the boss,
who is saying:

"Here's your old office back again, Saunders, just
as you left it before the war.'

The office is trashed, and on the desk is a
crayon caricature of the boss with the words: 'The Boss is
a Pig!' Best


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:36 am 
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GaryKelly wrote:
The Crystal People again!! :o



The alarm in the article was on a Tuesday. Imagine telling the boss to stuff it, running out of the office and doing... /insert something here/... for the next 36 hours, only to discover 36 hours later it missed...



I reckon it would be 'Armageddon' for your career!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:51 am 
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GaryKelly wrote:
The alarm in the article was on a Tuesday. Imagine telling the boss to stuff it, running out of the office and doing... /insert something here/... for the next 36 hours, only to discover 36 hours later it missed...

And what would be the /something/ ? I really don't know...how very sad.


Wouldn't that /something/ be running down to Marks & Spencer for a towl, drinking lots of muscle-relaxant, and rummaging for your electronic thumb?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:54 am 
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42!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:08 am 
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I have found a Mexican restaurant that makes a Margarita that's kind of like getting your brains smashed out by a piece of lime wrapped around a gold brick. Too bad our oxygen-rich atmosphere would ignite in contact with a real Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Ah Doug we miss ya man :sniffle:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:13 am 
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A 30 meter object is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but we're not talking even close to an extinction level event here. If we're lucky, it would hit someplace useless like the ocean (2/3rds of the earth is covered with it - a pretty good chance ya know!) or maybe a desert, or Newark.

But this type of thing actually happens all the time in space - particularly in the inner solar system. Here's an interesting fact:

The space shuttle orbiters measure as follow:
Orbiter Length: 37.19 m (122 feet)
Orbiter Wingspan: 23.77 m (78 feet)


And weigh approximately (depends on how they are set up and their current payload):

Total Weight at Lift-off: 2.04 million kg (4.5 million pounds)
Maximum Payload Weight: 26,786 kg (59,000 pounds)


We all saw what happened to the shuttle Columbia last February when it entered the Earth's atmosphere. Such a tragedy...but also bear in mind that happened to a spacecraft that was designed to repeatedly exit and enter the earth's atmosphere. If you subject a rock or ball of ice from space to those same conditions, the likelyhood of a major impact resulting from a 30 meter object is pretty small.

Still - there is a risk and it is important for people to watch and monitor (as bet they can) the passing of these objects. It's just important to remember that even if there WAS a way to reliably predict when an object of a size sufficient enough to cause large scale damage was to hit earth, there is little or nothing we can do about it now. Again, just hope it hits Newark instead of you. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:19 am 
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Brian Lee wrote:
A 30 meter object is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but we're not talking even close to an extinction level event here. :

You obviously don't know the first thing about Pangalactic Gargle-Blasters if you think we are not talking even close to extinction level.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:34 am 
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But as the story said: "And 2004 AS1? It turned out to be bigger than anyone had thought - about 500m wide. It eventually passed the Earth at a distance of about 12 million km - 32 times the Earth-Moon distance, posing no danger to us whatsoever."

That's a lot of mass, with a lot of velocity...

I wouldn't want to be underneath it!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:44 am 
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GaryKelly wrote:
From the BBC today: It could have caused local devastation and the researchers contemplated a call to President Bush before new data finally showed there was no danger.


Yeah, NOW you want the help of ol' Global Warmerinski.....don't you just feel ashamed after all that backstabbin!?!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:45 am 
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Bloomie - I worked at the local planetarium for the last 1o years - we routinely had speakers (from all over the world as well as NASA) offering lectures on extinction level events, we produced several star shows and bought others from worldwide science centers regarding the subject. It's just not possible to wipe out [life on] a planet with an object that small. It can of course cause a pretty noticeable local disturbance where it hits though depending on its velocity and angle of incidence to the atmosphere.

Take a look at Meteor Crater in Arizona:

Barringer Meteor Crater is the first confirmed
meteor impact crater on Earth and was formed
approximately 50,000 years ago
by the impact of a 150ft. diameter Meteor
with released 20 Megatons of explosive power
to create a crater 750 feet deep and 4000 feet across


This is still certainly no small boom. To put it into perspective, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 12.5 and 20 kilotons - equal to 12,500 and 20,000 pounds of TNT explosive respectively. The crater in AZ was caused by an explosion - about 1,000 times greater. Even at this, while the devtsation this impact caused was keenly felt at the site of impact and surrounding area (several states worth of distance), it still didn't come close to killing off half or more of the species of earth.

But again, even today there is probably nothing much we could do even if we wanted to to divert this type of a strike...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:58 am 
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Wrong, Bri, we can make more Bruce Willis movies!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:10 am 
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:lol: Hey Pat, I lived through one of those, once. We had a big blast out here in the desert, left a big impression. I prefer the kind that Ginger-ly strikes deep in the heartland, but it's the fallout I don't like. Like Brian says, today there is probably nothing much we could do even if we wanted to to divert this type of a strike


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