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Apophis Strikes Earth: Odds still 1 in 45,000

  1. Apr 17, 2008 #1
    This is sort of in response to an article Ivan posted in the locked Apophis thread:
    http://www.physorg.com/news127499715.html

    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


    This is an example of very, very, shoddy journalism.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2008 #2

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    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.
     
  4. Apr 17, 2008 #3
    Indeed! I'd say the odds are less than 1 in 45,000 that that would happen.
     
  5. Apr 18, 2008 #4
    This must be answered by using mathematics, not aguing.
     
  6. Apr 18, 2008 #5

    LURCH

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    Science Advisor

    I keep hearing stuff about how crowded that orbit is. Is it really that vacant? What is the avarage distance between those satelites?
     
  7. Apr 18, 2008 #6

    D H

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    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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