Apophis Strikes Earth: Odds still 1 in 45,000

  • Thread starter Brad_Ad23
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499
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Main Question or Discussion Point

This is sort of in response to an article Ivan posted in the locked Apophis thread:
http://www.physorg.com/news127499715.html [Broken]

The above is the url from Ivan.

Below are urls to the contrary

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/16/esa_german_schoolboy_apophis_denial/?rss
http://cosmos4u.blogspot.com/2008/04/apophis-risk-not-increased-science-fair.html

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news158.html [Broken]


This is an example of very, very, shoddy journalism.
 
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Answers and Replies

russ_watters
Mentor
19,021
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Even if the asteroid did pass through the zone occupied by geostationary satellites, the density isn't really all that high. I can't imagine that it would have that much of a chance of hitting one.
 
499
1
Even if the asteroid did pass through the zone occupied by geostationary satellites, the density isn't really all that high. I can't imagine that it would have that much of a chance of hitting one.
Indeed! I'd say the odds are less than 1 in 45,000 that that would happen.
 
2
0
This must be answered by using mathematics, not aguing.
 
LURCH
Science Advisor
2,546
118
I keep hearing stuff about how crowded that orbit is. Is it really that vacant? What is the avarage distance between those satelites?
 
D H
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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First, Apophis won't even come close to the projection of Earth's equator out to geostationary altitude. Second, even if it did, there is a big difference between Apophis and satellites at geostationary altitude that are not quite geosynchronous anymore. Apophis will come barreling through at hyperbolic speed, and do so once. Those not-quite-geosynchronous satellites have a chance to hit each and every geosynchronous satellite, and have that chance many times over.
 

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