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Detecting and Deflecting Meteors

 
 
Reply Sat 25 Jul, 2009 10:37 pm
Something big just struck Jupiter leaving a scar. Should we be serious about developing the means to detect and deflect meteors headed for the Earth, or are we fairly safe?
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 03:46 am
@Brandon9000,
Fairly safe?

Depend on your outlook as the odds of the earth sooner or later getting hit by a object large enough to do great harm world wide is 100 percent.

The sooner or later time frame is starting from one second from now to 20 millions years from now.

So the risk is very small in term of any one human life time and depending on how long you think the human race will last more then likely only s0/so for the whole human race still being around when the sky once more light up.

Still is it worth doing I would say yes as the resources to monitor the sky and even start to get the technology to take action is not all that great and could result in saving the whole human race and most other animal life on the planet in case we do end up winning the lottery.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 04:10 am
@BillRM,
Did you give it some thought before uttering such unfounded assertions?

Where your 100% figure comes from, I wonder..

Time frame starting next second and we not knowing that an object large enough to do great harm world wide is coming is pure nonsense..

Also, last object doing such harm was around 65 million years ago.

Why would another one hit the earth within 20 million years?
BillRM
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 04:57 am
@Francis,
My my less see you are complaining about my 20 millions years guess and it would be a guess and once we get a far better sky survey we could narrow that guess down somewhat but just because the last hit was 65 million years ago does not imply that the time frame between hits is that great my friend.

It could be greater or it could be less the point is that the chance does come to 100 percent given enough time and the time frame is large compare to a human life time or even fairly large compare to the likely lifetime of the human race.

Now you have a problem with the statement that sooner of later the earth will be hit. Why? You are under the impression that with all the thousands of known and many more likely unknown near earth objects in a large time frame we are not going to get hit in the future!!!

And that is not even counting new objects coming into the inner solar system!

All in all my conclusion is that you are an asshole.

BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 05:13 am
@Francis,
Sorry you seem to be claiming that we surely will see an object a few mile wide before it hit not that we will not get hit in the future

Why as if it is coming in from the southern hemisphere at 50 MPS and is only say 10/20 miles across why do you think it is likely to be pick up with our current sky survey technology before it hit? The sky is a big place my friend.

Many near earth objects had pass us in the past at the distance of the moon orbit before we knew about them being there, so your claim that we would surely know about it before it hit is complete nonsense on it face, at least with the current coverage of the sky.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 06:07 am
@BillRM,
Francis as I just know already how you wish to play the game so I check my off the cuff figure for the velocity of an object falling from the outer solar system and got a figure of 52 mps at the earth orbit give or take a few mps.

Now an object knock out of one of the the outer shells of orbiting objects and incoming would not even need to be in the solar plane so yes we could get hit without notice of any kind. The approach could come in an area of the sky where we had very few eyes or instruments monitoring.

Once more is it as likely as getting hit by an object in the solar plane and at far less of a closing velocity hell no but could it occur hell yes.

And once more we do not know enough to generation good odds but it is not a likely event in a human life time and perhaps in the likely lifetime of the human race.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 06:26 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

Did you give it some thought before uttering such unfounded assertions?

Where your 100% figure comes from, I wonder..

Time frame starting next second and we not knowing that an object large enough to do great harm world wide is coming is pure nonsense..

Also, last object doing such harm was around 65 million years ago.

Why would another one hit the earth within 20 million years?

How ofen do u play Russian Roulette ?
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 06:26 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
Something big just struck Jupiter leaving a scar. Should we be serious about developing the means to detect and deflect meteors headed for the Earth, or are we fairly safe?

This is a tough one. The chance that we'll be hit with a catastrophic impact in the near term (few hundred to few thousand years) is relatively small, and given the pace at which technology improves, it might be reasonable just to continue to let our technology improve along multiple lines until it becomes more feasible to actually deflect large objects.

The other thing to consider is that asteroids aren't the only natural disaster which could devastate us, Supervolcano's (like YellowStone Caldera) can be just as bad and possibly more likely in the near term.

It also depends on whether your primary goal is to protect a particular city (population center) from a particular disaster, or whether you are trying to ensure the survival of the entire human race.

If we're trying to ensure human survival then the ultimate strategy is to make sure all our eggs aren't in one basket (everyone living on Earth), which means that our primary thrust should be to colonize near earth orbit, the moon, mars and the moons of jupiter and saturn. Of course if we do that it'll be just our luck to have a nearby Gamma Ray Burst which will fry the entire solar system. It's a big bad universe out there, we'll never be completely safe.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 06:30 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
Something big just struck Jupiter leaving a scar. Should we be serious about developing the means to detect and deflect meteors headed for the Earth, or are we fairly safe?

This is a tough one. The chance that we'll be hit with a catastrophic impact in the near term (few hundred to few thousand years) is relatively small, and given the pace at which technology improves, it might be reasonable just to continue to let our technology improve along multiple lines until it becomes more feasible to actually deflect large objects.

The other thing to consider is that asteroids aren't the only natural disaster which could devastate us, Supervolcano's (like YellowStone Caldera) can be just as bad and possibly more likely in the near term.

It also depends on whether your primary goal is to protect a particular city (population center) from a particular disaster, or whether you are trying to ensure the survival of the entire human race.

If we're trying to ensure human survival then the ultimate strategy is to make sure all our eggs aren't in one basket (everyone living on Earth), which means that our primary thrust should be to colonize near earth orbit, the moon, mars and the moons of jupiter and saturn. Of course if we do that it'll be just our luck to have a nearby Gamma Ray Burst which will fry the entire solar system. It's a big bad universe out there, we'll never be completely safe.


The question is whether we should do something now, yes or no.
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 06:39 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
The question is whether we should do something now, yes or no.

Well, if that's all I'm allowed to say in this discussion, then I'll have to flip a coin and go with "No". Smile
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 06:49 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
The question is whether we should do something now, yes or no.

Well, if that's all I'm allowed to say in this discussion, then I'll have to flip a coin and go with "No". Smile


You're allowed to elaborate, but I'd like to keep sight of the topic.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 07:05 am
I'm much more worried about yellowstones caldera than any meteor.

that volcano blowing is, in geological terms, imminent.

I once asked a geologist (during a facinating conversation on a long plane flight) why we couldn't drill vents to dissapate the pressure, but that's not feasible.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 07:07 am
@Brandon9000,
The cost of doing a good sky watch is not all that great and have the benefit of increasing our knowledge of the our solar system so why not?

Now engineering on paper and even building small test devices toward developing the technology to change large objects orbits could also be useful in the future for other reasons beyond saving our rear ends.

Once more you are not talking large amount of funds and so why not move in the direction of being able to stop a planet wide threat even if that threat have a very low order of possibility of occurring any time in the near term?
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 07:08 am
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
I'm much more worried about yellowstones caldera than any meteor.

Yellowstone's on the top of my list of potential global disasters as well.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 07:11 am
@chai2,
I once asked a geologist (during a facinating conversation on a long plane flight) why we couldn't drill vents to dissapate the pressure, but that's not feasible.
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Drilling down fifty miles or so is not in the cards with the technology we now have and if we have it we could just end up causing the event in question to occur sooner.

The earth is just not a good long term basket to keep all our eggs in long term in my opinion.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 07:15 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
You're allowed to elaborate, but I'd like to keep sight of the topic.

Ok. My reasoning was contained in my first post. But I guess I left out the conclusion... at the moment, I think we should continue to do what we are doing which is to expand our scientific knowledge in many areas in hopes that the pace of technological aptitude will alter the techno-economic situation before the next big natural disaster happens.

For example, I don't want to see us squander all of our resources in an attempt to produce a meteor deflection capability, only to discover that Yellowstone is probable in 300 years and the next big asteroid is probable in the next 300,000 years.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 07:16 am
Got this just now from the Wikipedia:

Quote:
On May 19, 1996 a 300"500 m asteroid, 1996 JA1, passed within 450,000 km of Earth; it had been detected a few days before.

On March 18, 2004 a 30 m asteroid, 2004 FH, passed within 40,000 km of Earth only a few days after it had been detected. This asteroid probably would have detonated in the atmosphere and posed negligible hazard to the surface, had it been on impact course.

On March 31, 2004, a 6 m meteoroid, 2004 FU162 made the second closest approach on record (closest so far was The Great Daylight 1972 Fireball) with a separation of only 1.02 Earth radii from the surface (6,500 km). Because this object is certainly too small to pass through the atmosphere, it is classed as a meteoroid rather than an asteroid.


Path of risk where 99942 Apophis may impact Earth in 2036.In 2004, a newly discovered 320 m asteroid, 99942 Apophis (previously called 2004 MN4), achieved the highest impact probability of any potentially dangerous object. The probability of collision on April 13, 2029 is estimated to be as high as 1 in 17 by Steve Chesley of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, though the previously published figure was the slightly lower odds of 1 in 37, calculated in December 2004. Later observations showed that the asteroid will miss the earth by 25,600 km (within the orbits of communications satellites) in 2029, but its orbit will be altered unpredictably in a way which does not rule out a collision on April 13 or 14, 2036 or later in the century. These possible future dates have a cumulative probability of 1 in 45,000 for an impact in the 21st century.

Asteroid 2004 VD17, of 580 m, previously was estimated to have a probability of 1 in 63,000 of striking earth on May 4, 2102 (as of July 2006), with risk 1 on the Torino scale, but further observations lowered the estimate. As of the observation on December 17, 2006, JPL assigns 2004 VD17 a Torino value of 0 and an impact probability of 1 in 41.667 million in the next 100 years.

Asteroid (29075) 1950 DA has a potential to collide with Earth on March 16, 2880. The probability of impact is either 1 in 300 or zero, depending on which one of the two possible directions for the asteroid's spin pole is correct. This asteroid has a mean diameter of about 1.1 km. The energy released by the collision would cause major effects on the climate and biosphere and may be devastating to human civilization.

Asteroid 2007 TU24, with an estimated diameter between 300-500 meters, came very close to earth orbit by 1.4 ld (lunar distance) on January 29, 2008. The orbit of the asteroid is shown on NASA's website.

0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 07:52 am
@rosborne979,
For example, I don't want to see us squander all of our resources in an attempt to produce a meteor deflection capability, only to discover that Yellowstone is probable in 300 years and the next big asteroid is probable in the next 300,000 years.
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Squandering all our resources???????

Once more a good sky watch and playing with future plans to develop the technology to change the orbits of large objects is cheap.

No one I know here is talking about a Manhattan type of project to get the capability to move large objects in place in the next few years!
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 09:27 am
@BillRM,
I see it took you a certain time in order to get the idea behind the words. Actually, three posts.

In your first post, you overlooked my post and ressorted to insult.

Insults being the appanage of the weak, I'll will not comment.

As previously, you didn't give it any thought, and as so, you fell beside the point.

Can you substantiate (surveys, studies, links, etc) your claim that we could be hit any second soon by a celestial object large enough to cause wide world harm?

Can you also substantiate the other points too, other than by your own assertions?
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jul, 2009 09:28 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I don't play silly games...
 

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