Astronauts to reveal sobering data on asteroid impacts

Apr 17, 2014 by Jason Major, Universe Today
The bolide that impacted the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk in Feb. 2013 detonated with the equivalent of 530 kilotons of TNT, injuring over 1,200 people.

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… three to ten times more, in fact. A new visualization of data from a nuclear weapons warning network, to be unveiled by B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu during the evening event at Seattle's Museum of Flight, shows that "the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck."

Since 2001, 26 atomic-bomb-scale explosions have occurred in remote locations around the world, far from populated areas, made evident by a test warning network. In a recent press release B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu states:

"This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts. It shows that asteroid impacts are NOT rare—but actually 3-10 times more common than we previously thought. The fact that none of these asteroid impacts shown in the video was detected in advance is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck. The goal of the B612 Sentinel mission is to find and track asteroids decades before they hit Earth, allowing us to easily deflect them."

The B612 Foundation is partnered with Ball Aerospace to build the Sentinel Infrared Space Telescope Mission. Once positioned in solar orbit closer to the Sun from Earth, Sentinel will look outwards in infrared to detect hundreds of thousands of as-yet unknown near-Earth objects over 140 meters in size. The privately-funded spacecraft is slated to launch in 2017-18 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

In addition to Lu, Space Shuttle astronaut Tom Jones and Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders will be speaking at the event, titled "Saving the Earth by Keeping Big Asteroids Away."

The Sentinel Space Telescope in orbit around the Sun. Credit: Ball Aerospace.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. PDT at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. It is free to the public and the visualization will be made available online on the B612 Foundation website.

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Z99
1.3 / 5 (14) Apr 17, 2014
Evidence? No peer review? I'll wait.
Krakar
1.4 / 5 (20) Apr 18, 2014
Astronauts are paid to fly the rocket, not give us the Vegas odds on a big rock hitting a city.
Shut up and fly meatheads.

Next we will be asking for judicial advise from roidrage cops.
TulsaMikel
3.5 / 5 (10) Apr 18, 2014
It's not blind luck. It's a needle in a haystack. the physical surface of the Earth that's actually populated is lower than people realize. You could theoretically fit the entire population of humans inside the State of Rhode Island.....twice.
ng213
4.6 / 5 (20) Apr 18, 2014
Ed Lu has a PhD in applied physics.
Tom Jones has a PhD in planetary science.
William Anders has a master's degree in nuclear engineering.

Yeah, some meatheads.
ckirmser
4.7 / 5 (9) Apr 18, 2014
According to CIESIN's Global Rural Urban Mapping Project, 3% of the Earth's land surface is urbanized.

So, just on pure random chance, 97% of any hits will be somewhere other than a city.
ryggesogn2
3.2 / 5 (13) Apr 18, 2014
Asteroids are a bigger and more immediate threat than AGW.
arkaengael
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 18, 2014
There is a strong possibility that our benefactors will not let a major city be struck by an asteroid, at least not until we are ready to prevent a strike ourselves.
rmm8050
3.5 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2014
I don't doubt higher probability, but let's clarify "impact." Russia was a 300-kiloton mid-air strike -- because the earth's atmosphere presents a formidable barrier. Perhaps our luck in Chelyabinsk was the angle of trajectory, and a more direct path would have been catastrophic. But there's some comfort in knowing we have a dense protective layer that stops all but the largest meteors from reaching land.
iggy_loyola
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2014
It is one of the few catastrophic things that could happen to our species that we can now actually do something about. But you have to detect these very early, otherwise you will only watch it happen. So yeah, let's spend $100M a year and actually do something useful with the money. Unfortunately, it is very human-like to wait until after a town is clobbered (either by a hit or by a wave) before something is done. Kudos to those who are at least doing something...
rattner219
1 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2014
I'm not worried too much about asteroids .. but I would certainly like to know why there aren't any stars. I know you guys are busy up there, when you get a chance .. okay?
gwhunter
2.1 / 5 (9) Apr 18, 2014
If we can nominate candidate cities, how about Washington DC when all the government flunkies are in town? Could be as monumental as another Sodom and Gomorrah event.
bradley_rogers_engineer
2 / 5 (16) Apr 18, 2014
I cannot believe anyone would say the following: The fact that none of these asteroid impacts shown in the video was detected in advance is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck.

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

To say "is proof that..." is totally idiotic. The only reason it was written that way was to deny the God of the bible. It was a way to say hey everyone, I want you to think there is no God and no hope. Headline news like this around Easter time, its not science, at all. Its a religious, or actually an anti-bible or anti-Jesus message and nothing more.

Having the other extreme try to control science and say you can think this but not that? is perhaps as bad; but then those pretending to be PRO or FOR science saying such anti-religion nonsense, doing so in the name OF science is disgusting and fights the very foundation of science and freedom.
bradley_rogers_engineer
3 / 5 (10) Apr 18, 2014
If we can nominate candidate cities, how about Washington DC when all the government flunkies are in town? Could be as monumental as another Sodom and Gomorrah event.


Oh sure, how "patriotic" is that? Make a wish for the United States to have its historic governmental foundation obliterated by some asteroid with the bent of saying its for the better? No, in reality losing that city would be disasterous, its offensive to hear such a thing. Oh but its a joke, right? Disagree with someone politically and you want them obliterated from the face of the earth... and this is American patriotism you think?
marraco
2 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2014
Lol. This is bullshit. ¿A private company watching asteroids just for security reasons? That's no cheap philanthropy.

Actually cataloging those objects enables planning to capture one, and mine it.
wynno
2 / 5 (12) Apr 19, 2014
Since global warming, a.k.a. climate change, failed to scare the population into handing over their money to "scientists", they will next try an SDI program against asteroids.

Cool
cajun_exile_1
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 19, 2014
I would have thought that in being "astronauts" these scientist would have greater facility with mathematics. But then again, "marketing" an idea often trumps mathematics for those with no real devotion to science. Perhaps these "astronauts" were tasked with NASA's infamous Muslim Outreach Program as this is more "Million Man Math" than actual science. Then again the problem is likely not with the "astronauts" or the science but the hapless bloke who wrote the "sensationalist" story.
jeffweber
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2014
Well, when luck runs out, I pray it's dc that gets hit.
Lex Talonis
Apr 19, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
notz
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2014
Blind luck for sure here, but even more so concerning the moon.
Nothing but craters already, but if a big enough asteroid hits it & it goes so does life here.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (10) Apr 19, 2014
I don't understand the animosity and derision here.
Asteroid impacts have been demonstrated to cause major problems on earth.
The technology exists to identify potential impacting asteroids and to implement methods to deflect the asteroid.
This is infinitely more feasible and cost effective compared with AGW and IPCC.
But, there is no need to create a more socialist world govt to implement so the true purpose of AGWism is now exposed. They don't really want to save the planet. They only want to control everyone who lives on it.
antialias_physorg
3.3 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2014
According to CIESIN's Global Rural Urban Mapping Project, 3% of the Earth's land surface is urbanized.

So, just on pure random chance, 97% of any hits will be somewhere other than a city.

...which means that starting at 23 hits there's already a better than 50/50 chance that one (or more) of those will have hit an urbanized area.
ryggesogn2
3.9 / 5 (11) Apr 19, 2014
If an asteroid is big enough, it won't matter where it hits. All urban and non-urban areas will be affected.
Vietvet
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 19, 2014
If an asteroid is big enough, it won't matter where it hits. All urban and non-urban areas will be affected.


The first sane thing you've ever posted.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 19, 2014
If an asteroid is big enough, it won't matter where it hits. All urban and non-urban areas will be affected.


The first sane thing you've ever posted.


But you won't stop being an AGWite?
Ekhym
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2014
@antialias_physorg

According to CIESIN's Global Rural Urban Mapping Project, 3% of the Earth's land surface is urbanized.

So, just on pure random chance, 97% of any hits will be somewhere other than a city.

...which means that starting at 23 hits there's already a better than 50/50 chance that one (or more) of those will have hit an urbanized area.


Wrong - the percentages aren't cumulative. Rather the chance of any hit striking an urbanized area is 3 in 100 (3%) and each strike has 97 in 100 chance (97%) of striking a non-urban area. In fact. Since 71% of the planet is covered by ocean, a strike is roughly 24 times as likely to occur over an ocean rather than over an urbanized area.

Innumeracy can be cured.
MandoZink
4.1 / 5 (9) Apr 19, 2014
The fact that none of these asteroid impacts shown in the video was detected in advance is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck.
(...)
To say "is proof that..." is totally idiotic. The only reason it was written that way was to deny the God of the bible
....Its a religious, or actually an anti-bible or anti-Jesus message and nothing more.

The usage of the term "blind luck" is a literary descriptive of the positive outcome of a statistical possibility. The term "dumb luck" would describe the opposite statistical outcome. Implying hidden intent is a bit of a stretch.

Science has no need to even weigh in on a subject that does not involve science or scientific fact. As part of its discipline, psychology, on the other hand, does extend into issues of personal belief and its frequent contribution to insecurity and/or paranoia.

Your contribution to psychology is noted.
greggA
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2014
Several factors help decide where space rocks headed for Earth land.
1. Earths magnetic field... meaning the South pole (Antarctica) is the stronger (it's really a magnetic North Pole). (This is why we often find bits of Mars just laying on an open field of ice in Antarctica.)
Metallic space rocks are drawn to the magnetic pole
2. The combination of Earth and Moon orbit creates a wobbling gravitational field. This can throw a piece of space rock off it's original path.
3. Anyone looked at the 'Dark Side of the Moon'.... I know... Don't e-mail me.
What I mean is the Back Side of the Moon... Look at the bunch of pockmarks whereas the side facing Earth is relatively smooth. I'ts just filled with abandoned vehicles and other trash from Earth. Not much damage. The Moon has been a buffer, attracting lots of dangerous impacts.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2014
I wonder what the frequency is over time. We've seen dozens of near-misses in the last few years. Mars is set to get buzzed by a comet. We saw one crash into Jupiter. Etc.

Are we experiencing some sort of storm here?
ryggesogn2
4.2 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2014
"The Earth Impact Database is the authoritative source for information on confirmed impact structures or craters on Earth."
"The database currently (as of 31 December 2012) lists 183 confirmed impact sites."
http://en.wikiped...Database
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2014
Wrong - the percentages aren't cumulative. Rather the chance of any hit striking an urbanized area is 3 in 100 (3%) and each strike has 97 in 100 chance (97%) of striking a non-urban area. In fact.

The calculation is pretty straight forward (simple school math):
Probability of 1 strike with no hit: 0.97
Probability of two strikes with no hit: 0.97*0.97
etc.

So the number of strikes until we drop to 50 percent with no hits is
log 0.5 / log 0.97 ...which is 22.7

The chance of 1 or more hits is simply 1 minus the probability for getting no hits. So we get a larger than 50 percent chance with 23 hits.

ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2014
The probabilities are independent.
The probability that a strike will be in an urban area if there were 200 in a non-urban area is still .03.
Assuming the probabilities are correct.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2014
http://spaceweather.com/

They have nice info on solar flares, CMEs etc, plus a list of forthcoming close approaches by *known* objects.

IIRC, only the East Africa object made it onto that list, and even then by only a few hours. All the others snuck in 'under the radar'.

FWIW, the many objects found in Antarctica are NOT due to the magnetic field, but the combination of 'icy desert' preserving them, and their dark colours against the wind-ablated white ice-cap / snow fields...
Returners
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2014
The probabilities are independent.
The probability that a strike will be in an urban area if there were 200 in a non-urban area is still .03.
Assuming the probabilities are correct.


No.

The probabilities are independent in the sense that each object would only have a 3% chance of striking a city, but the total probability is in fact much greater than 3%

If you have 200 strikes then there is a 99.77% chance that at least one of them will hit a city.

Given the frequency quoted in the article, there are apparently an average of 2 per year, which means 200 per century, give or take a few...
Waaalt
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2014
@antialias_physorg
Since 71% of the planet is covered by ocean, a strike is roughly 24 times as likely to occur over an ocean rather than over an urbanized area.

Innumeracy can be cured.


If the cure for "innumeracy" leads to an abuse of statistics, what good was it? Your error here is a bias towards the simple calculations you know how to do.

Asteroid strikes are not uniformly, randomly distributed on the Earth due to complex factors. The main one is the rotation of the Earth. Historical data can make things look more random if each strike is considered in context of the current N/S pole location rather than the pole location at the time of the impact.

Anything coming in at a sub 45 angle off the equator will tend to spiral towards the nearest pole like a quarter rolling down a funnel to the hole in the bottom like you might see for a charity donation of the quarter in a shopping mall. It's basic 'Coriolis Effect' stuff.
Shootist
1 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2014
Asteroids are a bigger and more immediate threat than AGW.


Orders of magnitude.

"The polar bears will be fine" - Freeman Dyson (unless a bolide strikes north of the Arctic circle).
dt60093
5 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2014
The Coriolis effect is not that great considering that the Earth rotates only once per day. An incoming asteroid would not be affected at all until it reached our atmosphere just seconds before striking the Earth. Until it strikes our atmosphere, it is only being affected by Earth's gravity.

Everyone keeps sting different problems meaning that the solutions are correct for the problem they stated. The problem of interest is the likelihood of an urban strike in some period of time. @Returners has the correct answer for that. The problem could be stated as the probability that during 100 years all 200 sizable asteroids would hit non-urbanized areas (and that includes oceans) is 0.97 ^ 200 which is 0.23%. The probability of at least 1 hitting an urban area is 1 - (probability of all hitting non-urban areas). That is 1- 0.23% which is 99.77%. The past is irrelevant. If you flip a coin 10 times and get 10 heads, the probability on the next flip is still 50% unless it is an abnormal coin.
barakn
3 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2014
I think I'll pass on whatever Waaalt has been smoking.
Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2014
Numberacy - and sticktistics.

If it's BIG, and FAST, and ANTI-CHRISTIAN - it won't matter a fuck where it hits....

"BOOM" (for hours) and "All Dead".

Unless of course, you have the man love of Jesus.
BillCa
3 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2014
If I had to rank them in order of probability, an impact from an asteroid, comet or meteorite would rank as the #1 hazard to the planet. Number 2 would be another solar "Carrington Event" where earth is bombarded by solar flux that disrupts electronics and power systems. Depending on where and when it could be a huge disaster. Imagine power grids and electronics failing in the middle of a record cold European winter. A nuclear conflict is #3 on my list, even a limited one. AGW ranks somewhere around 15 on my list.
Dave_Price
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2014
Meanwhile the NSF gave out a $700K grant for a play about climate change.

The actual scientific consensus on AGW is that it is real, mild and net beneficial over the next 100 years, effects on the quality of playwrights notwithstanding. Unfortunately the activists tend to drive the PR, and you can't tax asteroids.
Dave_Price
3.5 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2014
BillCa -- my favorite is a rapid reglaciation event. After all, this is just an interglacial. Maybe something like the 1815 event, but more severe and prolonged.
Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (3) Apr 20, 2014
Asteroid strikes fall precisely on a Pareto Distribution that also has the Big Bang as an extreme datum and "Carrington event" as another.
tilaran
1 / 5 (3) Apr 20, 2014
Quit with the rational thinking. "That thar handa Jesus dunn protrakted us frum asstrades".
Now THAT'S more American !
scientificintuitivist
5 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2014
Any asteroid that poses a threat will have to be both large enough (~1 km. diameter), of which there are 981 known (of the NEA type), and will have to be able to be within 6.68e-9 A.U. of Earth orbit, as well as enter in at an attack angle of more than 10 degrees and less than 90 degrees to land with an appreciable explosion in a populated area, which narrows down the life-threatening probability even further.

At <10 degrees the asteroid would just skip back out to space, and at 90 degrees, it could probably be blown up by a nuke missle.
wmdix
5 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2014
I don't doubt higher probability, but let's clarify "impact." Russia was a 300-kiloton mid-air strike -- because the earth's atmosphere presents a formidable barrier. Perhaps our luck in Chelyabinsk was the angle of trajectory, and a more direct path would have been catastrophic. But there's some comfort in knowing we have a dense protective layer that stops all but the largest meteors from reaching land.


Russia has had two strikes one at a steep angle (Tunguska) and one at a shallow angle (Chelyabinsk). I'd say Chelyabinsk was extremely lucky that impact angle was shallow. I do wonder if somebody has tried to work out the probability of a shallow angle versus steep angle atmospheric entry and impact.
wmdix
5 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2014
greggA:
1. Earths magnetic field... meaning the South pole (Antarctica) is the stronger (it's really a magnetic North Pole). (This is why we often find bits of Mars just laying on an open field of ice in Antarctica.)
Metallic space rocks are drawn to the magnetic pole
.

Wrong on this one. Effects of magnetic filed are negligible at the speeds these objects are moving at. Also the reason we find more in Antartica and in Greeenland for the matter is very very simple.

Contrast a dark object on white background is something our eyes will very easily spot. You can test that out very easily take a grain of charcoal and drop it on a white sheet of paper and you will spot it very easily. Then take the same grain and drop it on a sheet of paper in which you've printed a bunch of text and graphics on and drop it on it and you will have a difficult time spotting it. For best experimental results I suggest getting somebody else to drop it on the sheet of paper.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2014
If you have 200 strikes then there is a 99.77% chance that at least one of them will hit a city.

Not a 99.77% chance assuming the .03 probability is accurate.
But it doesn't mean one DID or the next one WILL.
Even after 200 impacts, even if one did not hit a city, the probability of the next one hitting a city is .03.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2014
Asteroid strikes are not uniformly, randomly distributed on the Earth due to complex factors

That is a valid point. I'd think that means most strikes would be closer to the solar system's plane than from directly above or below. However that would skew the balance even more in favor of an urban hit as more cities are in temperate zones than not.

I also checked up on the 3% figure quoted by ckitrmser...And an error I made was to take this as 3 percent of surface instead of 3 percent of land mass. At 29 percent of Earth surface being land mass this means 0.87 of surface area is urbanized.
That would mean the 50 percent cumulative chance of one or more hits on an urbanized area is reached with 80 impacts.

(A close to shore impact might be a danger, too, because of a resulting tidal wave. That would augment the percentages a bit)
ardsnarf
not rated yet Apr 20, 2014
Maybe you naysayers haven't seen the movies "Armageddon" or "Deep Impact."
It was clearly stated that "...it happened before, it will happen again." smh
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 20, 2014
I'd think that means most strikes would be closer to the solar system's plane

From the wiki link I provided, it looks like most impacts occurred in the northern hemisphere.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2014
Asteroid strikes are not uniformly, randomly distributed on the Earth due to complex factors. The main one is the rotation of the Earth. Historical data can make things look more random if each strike is considered in context of the current N/S pole location rather than the pole location at the time of the impact
This also assumes that the frequency is typical and constant. If we are indeed experiencing an increased rate due to perturbation by a large mass passing by the system, then your statistics would need a lot more info to be accurate wouldn't they?

Sure we only recently developed the ability to detect these objects. But that doesn't mean we aren't in the middle of an anomalous event. It's hard to believe that given the frequency the article suggests, we haven't seen evidence of a lot more damage.
http://www.nasa.g...hV--9K0c
Eikka
2 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2014
That would mean the 50 percent cumulative chance of one or more hits on an urbanized area is reached with 80 impacts.


There's a far simpler way to estimate impact frequency.

0.87% of surface area turns into an expected value of once every 115 strikes, because given enough meteor strikes, that's the average number of hits you get.

At an average of 2 per year, you should expect a meteor to hit an urban area once every 56 years. Most of these meteors are small.

What confounds the probability is that it's more likely for a meteor to arrive from the orbital plane of the solar system, which means it's more likely to strike somewhere near the equator where there's more ocean and less people.

From the wiki link I provided, it looks like most impacts occurred in the northern hemisphere.


That's because the detection network is most dense there, where the most landmass is.

http://upload.wik...ator.jpg
herrwictor
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 20, 2014
Do you think we have the technology to get one of those asteroids to just hit Al Gore and no one else?
barakn
1 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2014
What confounds the probability is that it's more likely for a meteor to arrive from the orbital plane of the solar system, which means it's more likely to strike somewhere near the equator where there's more ocean and less people.

No.
kevin_stowell_35
5 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2014
"the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck."

Not to mention that, like Muhammad Ali, many of us are uncannily capable of extreme bobbing and weaving.
julianpenrod
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 20, 2014
Among other things, an elephant in the room many refuse to acknowledge. Many take statements of things being several times worse than we thought only with fear. Few ask why "we thought" the incorrect way in the beginning! What "data" pointed the way to concluding minimal impacts with the earth? Was there uncertainty in the numbers? If so, why was the incorrect number published and relied upon? How much can we trust the new number if the old number was trusted and found wanting? Are conditions changing due to God's growing anger at humanity? Incidentally, despite the smug "better than thous", if a trillion meteors hit earth, it is a matter of luck that they don't hit a city! Also, with the size of their impact effects, none need hit directly to damage city centers. A big one in Europe could decimate the continent. It looks, though, depending on the majority not asking questions, that this is a fraud intended to sell a new multi trillion dollar boondoggle.
LysolMotorola
5 / 5 (3) Apr 20, 2014
A few thoughts:
1.) It is only the NEXT impact that we need concern ourselves with. Given distribution of urban areas and total land mass (including oceans) the odds/probability/likelihood of an urban hit are .03
2.) After that one hits (or more likely misses), we will then concern ourselves with...the NEXT one. Same odds.
3.) ALL of the hits registered by the nuke detection system were, obviously, smaller than what would be considered catastrophic. We know that because we are still here to discuss it.
BUT, even a much smaller hit directly over a city would be very catastrophic for them.
Lastly, since we presently do NOT have the ability to do anything about any of these objects, we would be well advised to get the ability to do something.
PS: The back and forth about the odds on the next hit was entertaining. But, as we all know from either playing dice or from the ads for brokerage houses, past performance does not predict future results
ONTIME
4 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2014
This project sounds noble and creative as well as practicing preventive catastrophe for mankind's sake, in fact it is logic but it is not going to be implemented in our lifetimes regardless of the threat or the accumulated input, we (this planet) are just to disorganized and unwilling to look at this as a means to save our hides....At present we are more than preoccupied with whose going to be the big gun, the next super power and how this is going to be accomplished with all the ducks falling into line. The threat of world disorder is more prevalent than any idea that we may all be jeopardized by a asteroid or even a alien invasion if that were a fact, we seem to be intent on reducing the human race by our own hand and keeping disorder alive.....No I do not want one world government, comes a time when we need to grow up, as a race we have a lot more to do...
BillCa
3 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2014
@dave_price: Volcanic eruptions are in my top-10 likely disasters that could massively depopulate major parts of the planet. The Yellowstone caldera could wipe out millions and bury the crop-producing American plains causing food shortages. The dust/gasses could cause further crop failures, colder winters, etc.

@tilaran - Not funny.

@herrwictor - That'd be a good project to fund via KickStarter. Bet it would set a record!
kenmay139
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 20, 2014
The promise of Moon bases and Mars colonies: broken and abandoned. The ability to launch humans into space: lost.
NASA: a "space agency" desperate for a raison d'etre. How about killer asteroids? Sure, why not. The sheep will fall for that. Make them afraid and they'll believe anything.
NASA: "The killer asteroids are coming! But we can save you if you give us your money."
NASA: Just another religion begging for money.
NASA = psyop.
The Air Force's 45th Space Wing = the real US space agency.
NASA doesn't launch rockets; the Air Force's 45th Space Wing does most military and "civilian" launches. Google them; they are rightfully very proud of their accomplishments. Most people are oblivious to these facts because all they know about is NASA propaganda.
BillCa
5 / 5 (6) Apr 20, 2014
Discussions of the odds of actually hitting a city are interesting "cocktail party" talk, but it's not necessary for a direct hit to cause massive casualties. Nor does some object need to be seriously large.

A 3-mile wide nickle-iron object hitting the ocean close to any shoreline would create some serious havoc. Most of our population centers are clustered within 100 miles of shorelines. Using the London Imperial College impact calculator, an object coming in at 18 km/s at 36 degrees striking the ocean with a 365m (1200 ft) depth will release 18 million megatons of energy, open a crater ~48 miles wide. At a distance of 250 miles, the flash would incinerate most everything, create a 9.4M earthquake and 800 mph wind blast.

Imagine the horror if this landed in the Mediterranean or 100 miles off the coast of any continent, esp. Sri Lanka/India. Flash & air blast radius exceeds 500 miles. Bake, Shake, stir with high winds and waters.
walkertlaw
1.9 / 5 (8) Apr 20, 2014
I am sure there are some, perhaps many, non-believers who have read or will read this article and who have or will post. Whether this scenario is the natural outcome of the natural outworking of the movement of physical bodies, physics, math and probability, or whether the hand of God is directly involved is unknowable. But don't count God out. It was He Who spoke this universe into existence and set up all natural laws for our universe. So He is at least indirectly involved. Where is my proof? I have only my Christian faith.
obama_socks
1.4 / 5 (8) Apr 20, 2014
Since global warming, a.k.a. climate change, failed to scare the population into handing over their money to "scientists", they will next try an SDI program against asteroids.

Cool


Global Warming is perhaps one of the greatest false flags perpetrated on civilized humanity. I admit that it almost worked until most people with any kind of understanding of human avarice made the effort to disseminate the truth that climate is always changing and has little to do with filling up a gas tank and driving off.
An SDI program will not stop the biggest asteroids to come down the pike in the future, and an attempt to somehow deflect these monsters without superior technology to do so, will be futile at best. So, that superior tech had better be designed and worked on ASAP. Failure is not an option.

obama_socks
1 / 5 (6) Apr 20, 2014
Blind luck for sure here, but even more so concerning the moon.
Nothing but craters already, but if a big enough asteroid hits it & it goes so does life here.


@notz
I don't believe in "blind luck". I believe that everything has a purpose whether good or bad
Re: The moon. It would take a moon or earth-sized body to knock the moon out of its own orbit around the Earth. Even half the size of the Moon might cause it to wobble or break apart, then coalesce. It could also be moved into another orbit closer to Earth or further away which could be catastrophic for all life. But I doubt it will be allowed to happen.
obama_socks
1.1 / 5 (7) Apr 20, 2014
According to CIESIN's Global Rural Urban Mapping Project, 3% of the Earth's land surface is urbanized.

So, just on pure random chance, 97% of any hits will be somewhere other than a city.

...which means that starting at 23 hits there's already a better than 50/50 chance that one (or more) of those will have hit an urbanized area.
- antialias

Please name at least one urbanized area that was hit by a giant asteroid, say, in the past thousand years. A direct hit, if you don't mind. :) OK, 2,000? 5,000?
00
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 20, 2014
But don't count God out. It was He Who spoke this universe into existence and set up all natural laws for our universe
Of course.

It was a holy meteor then that completely obliterated all evidence for the flood, the exodus, the bloodthirsty Joshuan genocide, the great Solomon/David kingdoms, the sun stopping so hezekiah could watch god slaughter the Assyrians, and etc.

And then he sent another holy meteor to plant tons of evidence which convinces us that those things could not ever have happened.

I suppose it was a holy meteor that flattened mt Sinai because darned if we can't find it.

Why didn't I think of this?
not this again
1 / 5 (5) Apr 20, 2014
Its budget time boys and girls, gotta have a crisis to keep the grant money flowing!
BillCa
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 20, 2014
@obama_socks said: Please name at least one urbanized area that was hit by a giant asteroid, say, in the past thousand years. A direct hit, if you don't mind.

But that's really missing the point isn't it? Like horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear weapons, you don't have to make a "direct" hit. Just getting "close enough" will cause enough disruption and havoc to do the job. We've been fortunate, lucky or something that one has not hit close enough to a city to do serious damage.

How much different would our attitudes be if Brunswick, Germany or Prague had been the site of the 1908 Tunguska event? An air-burst explosion that could destroy buildings in 1908 would, I posit, have changed our outlook considerably.
bradfordcutler
1 / 5 (3) Apr 21, 2014
Since when have astronauts become expert in this field to make any assertions about luck and probability odds which by the way are oddly missing in this broad statement? This statement unfortunately is more about guesswork than any meaningful scientific/statistical analysis.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Apr 21, 2014
Please name at least one urbanized area that was hit by a giant asteroid, say, in the past thousand years.

Chelyabinsk. Last year. 1500 injured. We got extremely lucky that the thing burst in the air. A few seconds more intact and that city would have been in deep shit. (Actually we are lucky. It turns out larger meteorites are more likely to burst in the air than smaller ones. I wouldn't count on this as a failsafe mechanism, though). A city killer does not have to be 'giant'.

Also note that urbanization on this big a scale is a fairly recent phenomenone. Go 200 years back or so and you will find MUCH less urbanized area (and consequently much less chance of a hit..even less of a recorded one).
ECOnservative
5 / 5 (5) Apr 21, 2014
As urbanization involves an ever-increasing segment of our population and urban areas are increasing in size, it's only a matter of time before we get a wakeup call. Imagine if the Chelyabinsk event had happened over Mexico City, Tokyo or Mumbai. Cost for the proposed Sentinel mission are peanuts compared to many existing and proposed projects with less well-defined goals.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Apr 21, 2014
Heres a site which tracks meteor reports.
http://www.amsmet...nt/2013/

-A compilation shows an increase in frequency:

463 Events found in 2005
517 Events found in 2006
588 Events found in 2007
726 Events found in 2008
694 Events found in 2009
951 Events found in 2010
1,628 Events found in 2011
2,220 Events found in 2012
3,561 Events found in 2013

-You all will have to work this apparent increase into your analyses.
barakn
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 21, 2014
-You all will have to work this apparent increase into your analyses.

You forgot that there were 0 events from 2004, 2003, 2002.... Oh, wait, they weren't collecting data that far back. Your statistics rely on self-reported data from users on a website that is becoming more and more popular. The increase in events can be attributed to increasing website popularity. Analysis complete.
noahfingwhey
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 21, 2014
Let me guess. We need a global tax, the bulk to be paid by the US, to start working on this problem immediately. Good grief!
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 21, 2014
Since when have astronauts become expert in this field to make any assertions about luck and probability odds which by the way are oddly missing in this broad statement? This statement unfortunately is more about guesswork than any meaningful scientific/statistical analysis.

This science requires much less guesswork than the AGW 'science'.
The risk is very clear, the risk has been demonstrated.
AGW risk is not clear and has not been demonstrated.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 21, 2014
-You all will have to work this apparent increase into your analyses.

You forgot that there were 0 events from 2004, 2003, 2002.... Oh, wait, they weren't collecting data that far back. Your statistics rely on self-reported data from users on a website that is becoming more and more popular. The increase in events can be attributed to increasing website popularity. Analysis complete.
And yet youre willing to assume a steady state frequency from one sentence in a press release which cites data starting in 2001? By your own reasoning we can assume there were exactly 0 such events in each year prior to y2k.

This sort of info is difficult to come by. Perhaps we can ask B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu to break his number down for us by year? But it would still be meaningless in determining frequency over time wouldnt it?
Protoplasmix
not rated yet Apr 21, 2014
There's an interesting perspective on the subject in the article "Red Tape Hinders Study of Asteroid Impacts on Earth" with regard to access to the data collected by the 'warning network'—actually the International Monitoring System which is overseen by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. It's a global network of seismic, infrasound and hydroacoustic sensors. The people provide the innovation and labor to produce all this advanced equipment, but when it comes time to make good use of the data, what happened?—official excuse: the military had budget issues and was unable to perform the mission (see linked article). I think I speak for everyone when I say, "huh?" Ironic that I was going to suggest to the people looking for Flight 370 that they check the infrasound data—there's a baseline array right there at Diego Garcia…
Protoplasmix
not rated yet Apr 21, 2014
late edit: the 'warning network' referred to wasn't well defined in the article. The data access troubles pertain to space-based equipment, not the infrasound data.
Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (7) Apr 22, 2014
Yessssss and while the moron gangsters of the USA and their arse kissers at NATO are trying to start WW3 with the people in Russia, as a diversion from their robbing everyone every where else in the world, none of these yanki bastards have nukes to blast asteroids etc., either in short term notice or on long range deep space missions.

Protoplasmix
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2014
…none of these yanki bastards have nukes to blast asteroids etc

Nukes are so 20th-century. Think molecular dissociation and nuclear transmutation, in the context of nuclear magnetic resonance and 11-d supergravity while considering analogies of microwaves and lasers. And see "Hubble witnesses an asteroid mysteriously disintegrating" and then let me know your thoughts.
Protoplasmix
not rated yet Apr 22, 2014
late edit: by way of analogies, a singer hits and sustains just the right note, the wine glass shatters.
barakn
5 / 5 (4) Apr 22, 2014
And yet youre willing to assume a steady state frequency from one sentence in a press release which cites data starting in 2001? By your own reasoning we can assume there were exactly 0 such events in each year prior to y2k.

I merely pointed out that making an assumption of an increase using the data source you were relying on was asinine. Meteor rates in general are spiky and only quasi-predictable on timescales less than a year, but a year-over-year exponential increase was obviously wrong.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2014
And yet youre willing to assume a steady state frequency from one sentence in a press release which cites data starting in 2001? By your own reasoning we can assume there were exactly 0 such events in each year prior to y2k.

I merely pointed out that making an assumption of an increase using the data source you were relying on was asinine. Meteor rates in general are spiky and only quasi-predictable on timescales less than a year, but a year-over-year exponential increase was obviously wrong.
No, it obviously COULD be wrong but you wouldnt know for sure until you actually did an analysis.

As to the breakdown by year, this vid has that
http://www.latime...55.story

-with no apparent increase. But then 26 explosions in a decade is not a very robust database for determining frequency. Is it?
msaul_ny
5 / 5 (1) May 14, 2014
Astronauts are paid to fly the rocket, not give us the Vegas odds on a big rock hitting a city.
Shut up and fly meatheads


I feel like astronauts are not just meatheads.

http://spaceweather.com/

They have nice info on solar flares, CMEs etc, plus a list of forthcoming close approaches by *known* objects


Very cool.