Huge asteroid due to pass into Earth's orbit

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by ZroC, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. ZroC

    ZroC Silver Belt

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    Maybe this has been posted already, but I have a question about it. If this asteroid is passing through Earth's orbit, within the same space currently occupied by our thousands of satalites, what exactly is stopping this from being grabbed into Earth's gravitational pull? Shouldn't the asteroid be pulled toward earth if it's coming so close? I'm seriously curious about this. Maybe it's a stupid question. I only have a sci-fi fan understanding of science.

    ALSO, they called it Apophis, named after the Egyptian god of death and destruction.

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/celestial-flybys-set-thrill-033724637.html
     
  2. mesomorph

    mesomorph Brown Belt

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    Earth's gravitational pull will definitely have an effect on it. But it's just going to adjust its course. I mean, the thing is coming with some speed and flying past us. It's not gonna make a huge turn and crash into earth all of a sudden.

    I wonder if this is the one I've heard about before. The one that's coming back later (9 years or something) and has a bigger chance (still pretty damn small) of hitting earth that time.
     
  3. Liver Smasher

    Liver Smasher THIS IS NOT AN EXIT

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    From what I've read about this, if Apophis hits the "gravitational keyhole" when it passes us in 2029, it may be trouble for us in 2036 as the orbit shrinks.

    I've also read that the possible impact could happen between California and Hawaii.
     
  4. ZroC

    ZroC Silver Belt

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    Maybe.
    It's coming back in in 2026 and will have a 1 in 45 chance of hitting the Earth. It will then come back in 2036 and scientists say the odds of it hitting the Earth will be even higher yet agan. Ironically, just the other day NASA announced they want to figure out a way to capture an asteroid and change its course.
     
  5. mesomorph

    mesomorph Brown Belt

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    Oh right, that was the timeframe.
     
  6. bmasters1993

    bmasters1993 Brown Belt

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    First response nailed it
     
  7. ZroC

    ZroC Silver Belt

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    It has the strength of 100,000 nuclear bombs. Say it hits California what kind of damage are we talking here?
     
  8. mesomorph

    mesomorph Brown Belt

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    Yeah, I remember Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking about this and he was joking about how popular those guys would be if they would just fuck up and push it into the keyhole.
     
  9. bjjHERRERA

    bjjHERRERA Red Belt

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  10. ZroC

    ZroC Silver Belt

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    You just ruined the killer asteroid. You ruined it for everyone.
     
  11. bmasters1993

    bmasters1993 Brown Belt

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    Surely that much kinetic energy would fuck up the orbit somehow
     
  12. Kiddo716

    Kiddo716 Cubic Zirconia Belt

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    extinction I'd say.
     
  13. Yardener

    Yardener Orange Belt

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    The physics behind this is called the "Three Body Problem" if you're curious

    here's a NASA article on the asteroid
    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/apophis/

    FUTURE section of NASA's summary:
    The future for Apophis on Friday, April 13 of 2029 includes an approach to Earth no closer than 29,470 km (18,300 miles, or 5.6 Earth radii from the center, or 4.6 Earth-radii from the surface) over the mid-Atlantic, appearing to the naked eye as a moderately bright point of light moving rapidly across the sky. Depending on its mechanical nature, it could experience shape or spin-state alteration due to tidal forces caused by Earth's gravity field.

    This is within the distance of Earth's geosynchronous satellites. However, because Apophis will pass interior to the positions of these satellites at closest approach, in a plane inclined at 40 degrees to the Earth's equator and passing outside the equatorial geosynchronous zone when crossing the equatorial plane, it does not threaten the satellites in that heavily populated region.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  14. Liver Smasher

    Liver Smasher THIS IS NOT AN EXIT

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    I had no idea it was that powerful.

    If it hits (and that's a big IF), and hits California with that force directly, I can only imagine the damage would be catastrophic to most of the US and this side of the world. I have no idea how far east the damage would spread.

    If it hits in the Pacific, well, I would think the tsunami in the wake of the impact would be ridiculous.

    I haven't heard any talk of this being an event that would wipe out the entire human race or anything that crazy.
     
  15. ZroC

    ZroC Silver Belt

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    this is 300 metres wide

    By comparison the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was 10km

    I looked it up and apparently an asteroid would have to be 1.6km wide to destroy all life. So 300metres into 1.6km should be the answer.
     
  16. MortalWombat

    MortalWombat Vombatus Sherdoggus

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    Thanks for the link.

    Interesting bit about mitigation. They're not planning to nuke anything, just maybe cover some of the asteroid in mirrors and let sun's radiation push it off collision course.
     
  17. mesomorph

    mesomorph Brown Belt

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    This is way off btw.

    Off Wikipedia:
    As of October 7, 2009, the probability of an April 13, 2036 impact is considered to be 1 in 250,000.
     
  18. white-pony

    white-pony Black Belt

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    America will have spaceships patrolling Earth, equipped with measures to destroy asteroids by that point in time, imo. Also, I will be commuting to work in my flying car then.
     
  19. mesomorph

    mesomorph Brown Belt

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    Yeah, I mean we're only 12 years away from flying cars.

    And more importantly, flying skateboards.:icon_lol:
     
  20. mesomorph

    mesomorph Brown Belt

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    Also, now that I found the Wiki article might as well post the part about possible impact effects.

     

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