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A satellite is going to hit the earth and i need to know my chances of getting hit

  1. Sep 9, 2011 #1
    so NASA's saying a satellite's gonna come crashing down in a few weeks

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8751605/Nasa-warns-of-fresh-risk-from-468m-satellite-falling-from-space.html [Broken]


    "Scientists estimate the debris footprint will be about 500 miles long with a 1-in-3,200 chance a part a satellite part could hit someone. "

    okay, so there's a 1/3200 chance someone's getting hit. there's a lot of people on earth. does that make my odds of getting hit a lot smaller?! like 1/3200 x 1/7 billion or however many people we have?

    or are the two things unrelated? as a faceless, random somebody, are my odds of getting nailed by some piece of satellite 1/3200 like they are for everyone else?

    i feel like this has to do with conditional probability but am not sure.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2011 #2
    Re: a satellite is going to hit the earth and i need to know my chances of getting hi

    It's not so simple. Obviously, only people on the trail have a chance to be hit. Somebody in (say) Tokyo won't have a chance to be hit. So the people at risk are not 7 billion.
    Furthermore, some people on the trail have less chance on being hit than others. People who live mostly inside, for example...
     
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