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Close Call

  1. Mar 3, 2009 #1
    Wow!!! millions of people could have died yesterday, if perhaps some random intergalactic tug pushed the sucker on a trajectory towards earth.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7921279.stm

     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2009 #2
    Whewwwwwwwie that was close.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2009 #3

    Monique

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    That IS close :bugeye:
     
  5. Mar 3, 2009 #4

    Evo

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    We are only aware of a fraction of the NEOs out there.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2009 #5

    turbo

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    And if they sneak up up on us from a trajectory that takes them near the Sun and sail in, there is very little that we can do. No visual warning from the types of surveys that try to identify these rascals.

    On a side note, what would happen if a paranoid culture with nuclear weapons and some favorite enemies was the impact-point? Such an impact could easily trigger WWIII if it were misinterpreted. The lack of EMP, residual radiation etc, would be good signs that the cause of the destruction was natural, but with some militaries geared toward hair-trigger responses, we could have been in a LOT more trouble than that posed by an asteroid impact.
     
  7. Mar 3, 2009 #6

    turbo

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    Another side-note. Anybody here a fan of B-5? What was the weapon of choice in the siege of the Narn home-world? Mass-drivers, propelling large masses (asteroids/whatever) toward the planet, and letting the planet's gravity do the rest. Destroy the infrastructure of the society, and move in and take it over with no residual radiation, etc. Harlan Ellison (science consultant for B-5) is no dummy.
     
  8. Mar 3, 2009 #7

    Astronuc

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  9. Mar 3, 2009 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    This is a known issue for the US. Hopefully the other nuclear powers have considered this scenario.
     
  10. Mar 5, 2009 #9

    LowlyPion

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    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iMRlXoAOKgOWrgy2Iux54E-dmD8QD96NJ2H81 [Broken]

    With only a couple of weeks notice ... zowie.

    Don't let Brownie lead the evacuation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Mar 5, 2009 #10

    Art

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    Are these small asteroids escapees from the asteroid belt or do they come from the Oort Cloud?
     
  12. Mar 5, 2009 #11

    mgb_phys

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    They should be paranoid - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-161_Standard_Missile_3
    No explosive residue, no radiation, just a big smoking hole in the ground where your presidents palace used to be.
     
  13. Mar 5, 2009 #12
    They are mostly members of Apollo or Athen groups (aka earth-crossers asteroids). But the possibility that we will got hit by an object which was grav. expelled from other groups such as the asteroid belt is not zero either.
     
  14. Mar 5, 2009 #13
    yea, I think every nuclear weapon can be traced back to the country of origin based on isotopic ratios, if I'm not mistaken. And the angle at which the asteroid descends will also leave a specific signature in the aftermath.
     
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