Nasa trains astronauts for asteroid mission; may they need to destroy it

Discussion in 'Politics and News' started by From Abroad, May 14, 2012.

  1. Brovane

    Brovane Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I am more concerned about is the Asteroids that could level a city and cause tens-of-thousands of deaths. These can happen with more regularity that we would think. However it is fully within or power to be able to deflect or destory a asteroid of this size. The Karakul impact in Tajikstan was around 5 million years ago and left a 52km diameter crater. Could you imagine something like this impacting in populated area?
     
  2. davmat787

    davmat787 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,449
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't think that is something that could be covered up very well. There are way too many astronomers, physicists, universities, .etc, around the globe that all have access and can do their own calculations. At least I think that is right.

    Anyway, these gravitational keyholes have always intrigued me, been meaning to find a good read on the how's and why's of 'em.
     
  3. Darwin333

    Darwin333 Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,254
    Likes Received:
    2
    Damn, the meteors sure don't like Canada for some reason (actually someone will probably come along and give us that reason lol)

    Something else to consider is that 70% of the Earths surface is water so who knows how many other large impacts we have had that we don't know about.
     
  4. woolfe9999

    woolfe9999 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Messages:
    7,164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, but never in all of recorded human history has even this happened. Besides the relative infrequency of even one of that size hitting, the odds of it hitting a city are not very high as 70% of the earth's surface is water and cities only comprise a small percentage of the land surface area.

    Bottom line is there's not much point in worrying about this. It could happen, but then again, a plane could crash into your house and kill you tomorrow.

    - wolf
     
    #54 woolfe9999, May 15, 2012
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  5. davmat787

    davmat787 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,449
    Likes Received:
    1
    Even if it did not hit a city, it does not take that big of a meteor to start a nuclear winter. Basically enough debris is kicked into the atmosphere that the sun is blocked out for the most part. That would obviously disrupt some major food chains. Supposedly this has happened many times before, and IIRC once during very early human history where scientists think the total human population shrunk to as little as 3000, causing a *genetic bottleneck. Interestingly, if this is true, some think it was actually beneficial to us today as many of the weak and stupid were killed off, only the fittest and smartest were able to survive such a disaster.

    But, I agree with you for the most part, in that there is no sense in worrying about it right now due to the odds. Besides, there is a program that tries to identify anything heading our way.

    * another possible genetic bottleneck occurred after the Toba eruption, perhaps leaving as little as 15000 humans worldwide. Wiki page on that theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory
     
    #55 davmat787, May 15, 2012
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  6. Brovane

    Brovane Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is interesting is that American Military nuclear launch early warning satellites have picked up over a hundred explosions in the upper atmosphere. These explosions are almost certainly caused by Meteor detonations. It is hard especially to detect the old ones because of erosion but it is surprising how many are there.
     
  7. Brovane

    Brovane Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event

    This event was equivalent to a 10-15 Megaton nuclear blast. I would rate this as happening when recorded human history.

    There is also this event around 1400 AD - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahuika_crater

    Also what was interesting is the event in 2007 in the TC3 impact. It was a small one. However this asteroid was only detected less than 24-hours before impact. I remember watching a show about it and the lead astronomer that detected this object and realizing it was going to hit Earth in less than 24-hours. As he was calculating the impact point he kept saying please don't let the calculated impact point be a city. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_TC3

    This is the thing we have the tools necessary to stop this. Also by developing these tools we further space exploration which I consider is a win-win for humans.
     
  8. EagleKeeper

    EagleKeeper Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    42,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    Water and gasses trapped inside the asteroids would be heating up and expanding to the point that the pressure breaks open the rock.

    Like an old fashion pothole.
     
  9. DAPUNISHER

    DAPUNISHER Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Messages:
    20,199
    Likes Received:
    1
    Agreed. Which is why I stated something I thought much more likely.

    I found this news blurb interesting though, when I read it a few months back http://en.rian.ru/science/20110126/162318648.html The Russian Space Agency is considering plans for preventing it, should it defy the odds. I can only guess they are not the only ones working on solutions for it, or any other threat that appears.