Asteroid misses, meteor hits Earth. The sky is falling?

Asteroid misses, meteor hits Earth. The sky is falling?

Summary: While a fifty-yard-wide asteroid was speeding toward Earth at 17,000 mph, a meteor crashed in Chebarkul, Russia injuring 1,200 people. And also here's what we are doing about killer asteroids.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • It's size

    This should give you a better idea of the size of the asteroid. It just a rock but its speed of 17,200 mph gives it the devistating power of a nuclear weapon. Scientists estimate there are over 500,000 asteroids about this size nearby but only 1 percent have been discovered.

    Could this asteroid be a weapon hurtled toward Earth by the Klendathu race from "Starship Troopers"?

  • Asteriod DA14

    So, what is NASA doing about it?

    Just last week they've launched the Near-Earth Object observation program to study the orbits of these potential threats. Right now, scientists can only track asteroids, which usually travel between 27,000 and 33,000 miles per hour, and warn the public of close calls. NASA has also started serveral basic research and technology demonstration projects to study asteroids and find ways to prevent them from striking Earth.

    One of the possibilites reminds us of the movie, "Armegeden" with the use of nukes that could deflect a killer asteroid. Other methods to change an asteroid's course include hitting it with a heavy projectile traveling at high speed (tested by the Deep Impact mission which hit Comet Tempai 1 with an 850 pound copper slug), or using a gravity deflector from a spaceship near enough to slightly change its course. Other research being conducted now include improved Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) systems that could push or pull an asteroid for an extended time, or the use of grappling mechanisms.

    NASA has also built a 230-foot Goldstone antenna, near Barstow which is part of NASA's Deep Space network.

  • 2012 DA14's route

    The image above shows how close 2012 DA14 got as it passed by Earth. It orbits the Sun and takes 368 days to complete one full cycle. The encounter with Earth will speed its orbit up to 317 days. It will be at least three decades before 2012 DA14 could possibly come this close to Earth again.

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • Dont want to close my eyes.

    Send Bruce Willis up to that rock and have Areosmith sing a song about it.
    Jason Cervantes
    • Re: Send Bruce Willis up to that rock

      Hollywood movies aren't going to save you from the real world. That's a real rock up there, moving real fast, and it's going to hit like a real bomb if it does hit. It's going to take real science and technology to deal with it, not movie-studio special effects.
      • I think

        Jason was kidding but I do believe Hollywood along with Bruce Willis & maybe Paris Hilton could do about as good a job dealing with it as "real science & technology". The very best that can do is predict when & where one might hit
        • Hey

          I am all for sending Paris Hilton and a few of her friends up to intercept that Rock!
          • *

            That's hot.
          • Great idea

            It will pass close enough that we could also put all the "Housewives of New Jersey, Atlanta, etc." onto a rocket and drop them off on that rock as it passes.
          • BillDem .. you forgot

            all the people that ever appeared in Jersey Shore and Teen Mom .. the idiot creators of those series ... oh, and also the creators of the Survivor reality shows - and all the lame-ass, narcissistic b@$tards that ever appeared and competed on that show too.

            Then Hollywood can make a reality movie to end all reality shows - that the rest of us can actually, really enjoy: watching all that flotsam and jetsom get annihilated in the deep, dark vacuum of outer space ... thanks, of course, to the movie's hero: a giant asteroid.

            How "romantic" is that?? The detritus carried away by an asteroid (i.e. physical attachment) and the rest of the real, relatively normal folk left to carry on - with a debt of eternal gratitude to a giant space rock (i.e. emotional attachment).

            ... talk about blockbusters. ;P
      • lol

        you're so tough, why don't you just show it your big guns and scare it off at 17,000mph in the other direction? lol
      • breathe

        I'm sure Jason is worried now! His big plan was just a MOVIE? Crap!
        Glad you brought him back down to earth with your realism.
        Go outside and get some sunshine, and interact with someone, Sheldon.
      • scary

        I know huh how scary oh by the way just to b clear im not being sarcastic.
        Frankie grace
      • Click on the 4th pic in this article & read.

        the one with the asteroid and earth then read that. They are considering something similar to that.
        Free Webapps
    • Dont want to close my eyes... but the train kept a rollin all night long..

      Steven Tyler probably saw the last one that came around.. heehee
      (..sorry S.T all in fun!)
  • And no one cared

    I wonder who would pay more attention to such an asteroid, the dinosaurs or humans?
    • And yet...

      ...somebody bothered to report on something nobody cares about... not even the reporter.
      John L. Ries
      • Slow news day.

        I wonder if it is large enough to affect our tides... I may have to dust off a book and look up the calculation.
  • Russia

    Well, something hit Russia. It was either a Meteorite or it was North Korea testing their missiles backwards in the wrong direction.
    • It may have been a coincidence...

      ...but maybe not. In any case, I think this might just inspire the Russian space program to embark on a new initiative.
      John L. Ries
    • North Korea

      It would be mindbogglingly stupid for the North Koreans to fire a missile over Russia, as they really don't need any more enemies, especially nuclear armed ones that happen to be neighbors.
      John L. Ries
      • Nuclear Armed

        Russia will not pollute it's lands with radioactive dust from North Korea. They have enough conventional arms to wipe that tiny country from the face of Earth. Or just ask their Chinese comrades for a favour.
        • The Russians and Chinese...

          ...haven't been very good comrades since Nikita Khrushchev was in charge of the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s (Mao was loyal to Stalin's memory). At the moment, they appear to be occasional allies of convenience.

          But you're right that the Russians probably wouldn't bother with nuclear weapons. A small missile with a conventional warhead aimed at Kim Il-Sung's tomb would probably be a sufficient object lesson.
          John L. Ries