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02/19/2007 12:22 PM ID: 60382 Permalink   

Asteroid may Destroy Earth in 2036 - Scientists Ask for U.N. Help


An asteroid named Apophis has a 1 in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036 and has shaken scientists to ask the UN for help in dealing with such an event.

Ex-astronaut, Rusty Schweickart, told an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Francisco "It's not just Apophis we're looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue."

The president of Oregon-based Decision Research, a risk analysis organization, told reporters that the said asteroid could take out an entire city or region.

    WebReporter: Hugo Chavez Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  Destroy Earth  
although still a bad thing "could take out an entire city or region" seems to be much different than "DESTROY EARTH"

est mission cost $300 million on a 1 in 45,000 change it would even hit sounds like a deal right up the governments
  by: dcmike34   02/19/2007 02:40 PM     
  isn't that the same day  
as titanic's memorial?
  by: DarkAngelJG     02/19/2007 02:47 PM     
if the nukes don't get us by then, global warming effects will!
the collisiion might start a whole new life!
  by: DarkAngelJG     02/19/2007 02:49 PM     
  It's probably just  
A malformed potato like in so many of those bad Asteroid Collision movies...

I recon we work out where it's gonna hit, send up some futuristic shredding devices and make sure it lands in the largest chip pan humanity can conjure up!

Then add a few beers, a bit of music and we have ourselves a 1 in 45000 chance of an Asteroid Chippy party... A better deal for $300,000,00. And if the thing misses earth, we'll still have the beer!
  by: spacechimp     02/19/2007 03:01 PM     
count me in!
  by: DarkAngelJG     02/19/2007 03:15 PM     
  Cash Grab  
This asteroid scam is a hoax just like global warming. It's all about getting Americans to give up their way of life to support the hippie agenda and generate revenue for fear-mongering scientists.

It's a slippery slope: if you are willing to protect the planet from an asteroid, we'll end up protecting it from fuel emissions and deforestation.

If these scientists really wanted to destroy this asteroid they would just tell the US administration Al-Queda was using it as a base of operation. That would get it destroyed.
  by: qwertywraith   02/19/2007 03:52 PM     
  Maybe lemon into lemonade?  
If it's another corporate-oil-man reb in office by then, perhaps DC would be a good place to redirect the asteroid?
  by: ukcn001XYZ   02/19/2007 04:11 PM     
  money will be spent  
they are planning to spent money on a asteroid removal mission.what bothers me is they need u.n to deal with this type of event.sounds to me like they dont even care about global warming has already taken effect and will continue to do so with blinders on or off....
  by: flukemol   02/19/2007 07:02 PM     
"This asteroid scam is a hoax just like global warming. It's all about getting Americans to give up their way of life to support the hippie agenda and generate revenue for fear-mongering scientists."

How exactly do global warming and an asteroid threat "generate revenue" for scientists?

Secondly, as I've pointed out here before, the measures needed to reverse the trend of global warming would have only trivial, cosmetic effects on the Western lifestyle. You'd still drive a car, you'd still have indoor plumbing and electricity, etc.

Finally, most conservatives now believe global warming is a threat, including President Bush, Rupert Murdoch and many others. So are you an independent thinker, or did you just not get the memo?
  by: l´anglais     02/19/2007 08:51 PM     
  how's THIS for a conspiracy theory.  
This is total conjecture, okay? BTW: What GEEK chose the name of the asteroid to be the same as bad-guy in Stargate? Weak!

* NASA's short on cash.
* NASA convinces UN to become "coalition of willing"
* NASA/Coalition sends up nukes/cutters/etc into orbit
* Apophis misses Earth.
* Hey, we got tests and precedent for "Total Spectrum Dominance"
* I wonder who gets to keep the keys for the hardware after it left "upstairs"?

[Paranoid but Fiendish]
  by: redstain   02/19/2007 08:57 PM     
  yeah erm  
destroying a city/region is hardly the end of the world.

Reds probably right there.
  by: GogeVandire   02/19/2007 09:52 PM     
thats 20+ years away how can they predict that an asteroid so far away may hit us?

and 1 in 45k chance isnt very good odds of hitting us anyway.
  by: groomsy     02/19/2007 10:43 PM     
  @groomsy: probability is a b****  
The probability seems low, but the quote "the asteroid will pass just below the altitude of geosynchronous satellites," gives me the creeps. (Wiki says it's 250m size).

20 years is not a long time, groomsy. Current technology is incapable of destroying a 100 meter icecube like that.

Vacuums dampen any explosion, even nukes. And even on Earth, attempts to clear icebergs from shipping lanes have proven disappointing failures.

Any attempts to land *anything* on a 20million ton rock almost 20 times faster than a bullet would only achieve in making me laugh out loud.

PS: one interesting note; the probability of the strike has been changing. It peaked at 1 in 37. If you got a worldkiller on your hands 20 years away - would you tell the population if you were the leader?
  by: redstain   02/19/2007 11:29 PM     
  impact calculator  
  by: HAVOC666     02/20/2007 12:23 AM     
  @ redstain  
Am thinking like you considering "below the altitude of geosynchronous satellites"

This statement simply does not seem to correlate, in some way (can't splain my thinking on that), to a 1 in 45K chance to me.

I have an 8" Dob (maybe by '36 I will have a 12"! whoohoo ! lol), I would very easily see this thing with just the viewscope; the main, when the object is still out a bit (closer distance = hard tracking), would give a Hell-O-View ! Well, for a while at least ...... boom.
  by: Discarded Vet   02/20/2007 01:02 AM     
Apophis... classic

Well at least it was Dr McDreamy ... I hate that show!

/Serenity now, serenity now..
  by: Mr-Anderson   02/20/2007 01:14 AM     
Ha! You took the bait.

Come on, do all joke posts have to end with /sarcasm?
  by: qwertywraith   02/20/2007 03:22 AM     
Bump this story in 19 years, I'll be sure to max my credit cards. :)
  by: fballer23   02/20/2007 03:25 AM     
  What in 2036!?  
But I want it now : (
  by: zmethod     02/20/2007 06:57 AM     
  Sorry Zmeth  
You gotta wait like the rest of us...
If you want we could freeze you until it's about to they did for cartman when he couldn't wait for the Wii.
  by: Mr_dudeman   02/20/2007 07:19 AM     
It may have been a joke, but don't act like Scoemtist arn't gaining from this. The guy wants a job right? so he does research and gets funding, his research finds him more opertunties to apply for money. Now there asking the U.N. for money so they can continue to have a job.
  by: shoezacks   02/20/2007 08:26 AM     
  @Discarded Vet: check the Wiki  
Apparently, due to gravitational windows, different measuring techniques, the trajectory/probability of strike is being constantly updated.

Maybe in 19-20 years, they will revise it to 99% strike.

Interesting links in there pointing to Torino and Palmero Impact scale.
  by: redstain   02/20/2007 08:39 AM     
  Also In There  
Is this:

"....A more refined later NASA estimate [of the energy that Apophis would release if it impacted Earth] was 880 megatons...."

Followed by:

"....Barringer Crater [is] estimated to be in the 10-20 megaton range...."

Frank Barone comes into mind ...... "HOly CRAP !!"

Barringer Crater = 4,000' diameter, 570' deep. A really REALLY big boom !!
  by: Discarded Vet   02/20/2007 09:20 AM     
Tunguska anyone?
  by: lauriesman     02/20/2007 09:29 AM     
  In other news  
Bruce Willis announced his plans to go into astronaut training. He added that he and several others could land on the asteroid and blow it up, but has demanded that he be paid several million dollars to do so. Also, that the entire operation is done with Aerosmith playing as the soundtrack. NASA has declined to comment.
  by: Volkova_Nova     02/20/2007 01:22 PM     
Actually scientists have already managed to land a delicate probe on a moving asteroid. It's not too hard to believe since speed is relative. How fast are you moving right now compared to absoloute zero?
  by: fiebre   02/20/2007 03:21 PM     
  Who, me worry?  
The Mayan’s have already told us that we will all be dead Dec 22, 2012 so there is no reason to worry about this asteroid. You have 5 ½ years to max out your credit cards. Have fun.
  by: Valkyrie123     02/20/2007 06:55 PM     
  @ Valk  
Now now, they never said we would be "dead".
  by: fiebre   02/20/2007 06:56 PM     
The Mayans also believed they could trust the Spanish. That worked out well!
  by: Volkova_Nova     02/20/2007 07:03 PM     
  @lauriesman: Tunguska is 10-20megaton  
Using HAVOC666's impact calculator, it's estimated such an impact would shatter windows in the neighbouring country (2000-4000km). It's not in the calculator, but climactically (impact winter) would be the continent especially.

I'm skeptical, but I am quite impressed by the numbers this 100-400m rock is throwing up in impact estimations.

Unless you pay me 1 *MILLION* dollars!
==== ==== ====
Very true, they can land stuff on fast objects these days. But please remember that all our targets in the same solar system. The relative velocity will be considerably less than the absolute velocity. Comets tend to be 'extra-solar system bodies'. They will be travelling at *much* more significant speeds.

Additionally, when the 'asteroid' which they have identified as 'icey' enters the solar system, it will begin to form a coma, hence 'comet' as it approaches us. As you are aware, the instrumentation didn't survive long in the Coma haze.

Fiebre, I agree, it's possible to land stuff on their without becoming a bug on a windshield, but nothing human could survive on there. And even the most ruggedized landers will become peppered like a sieve soon after landing.

All I'm saying is, 20 years is not a long time. (not that I'd put any money into it until the government has major shift in leadership and policies, permenantly)
  by: redstain   02/20/2007 07:27 PM     
LOL.. good point about the spanish. But remember that the Myans supposed to have some inside info given to them by "ancestors". It's kind of like voodoo. We are supposed to believe that a group of people can live on an old island for a couple of hundred of years and develope some mystical science that was able to do such powerful things but left them all living in mud huts. Asteroids are real and there is a real threat from them but it's best to try to find one first then deal with it. Hand wringing never accomplished much. We know it can happen and someday will. Focus on when first and deal with it. Right now we at least have a test bed coming by soon enough. I say we try to use it to try out the concept. Can't be a waste of money more than any deep space probe that has sent back pictures of frozen worlds we can't touch. spend to try to keep this one safe first. Ask for how. I have a good idea. Land on the thing. Pick up a rock and use a mass driver to launch the rocks away from it. That would nudge it harder than anything else and the smaller rocks would be too small to be a problem.
  by: Shikiko   02/20/2007 09:38 PM     
Real Mayans never even meet the spaniards, don't believe everithing you see in mel gibson's movies, Aztecs are the ones who spend time with the spaniards, net time try to go beyond wikipedia and maybe you learn something

On the other hand, that asteroid thing sure sounds like a hoax, and even if is not, why do we care? must of us will have alredy live a great life by then, or be dead, so, who cares?
  by: demonh8   02/21/2007 12:59 AM     
  @Shiki: Mass Driver? @Demonh8: Mayans  
"Pick up a rock and use a mass driver to launch the rocks away from it."
Which comic book will we comendeer this from?

@DemonH8: "Real Mayans never even meet the spaniards."
I felt so cheated now. I was told by the guide - when were in Mexico - that Mayans 'interbred/integrated' with the Europeans to what is South America these days. I'm curious; how would you explain for the fact that mayan langages are still alive and strong in south america?
  by: redstain   02/21/2007 01:26 AM     
It may have been a joke, but don't act like Scoemtist arn't gaining from this. The guy wants a job right? so he does research and gets funding, his research finds him more opertunties to apply for money. Now there asking the U.N. for money so they can continue to have a job.
  by: shoezacks   02/21/2007 01:49 AM     
wiki is not the best sou
  by: groomsy     02/21/2007 05:19 AM     
  se it  
i was trying to say wiki isnt the best source for everything, sure i use it but anyone and mod it if they want
  by: groomsy     02/21/2007 05:20 AM     
Actually the term is from babylon 5 where it was used as a weapon. It's a simple concept that the millitary is already using for the new ultra fast gun. It uses an electromagnetic field to launch a bullet. So it's not comic book. it's a simple fact. We are talking about building something new tho. it would simply find a rock. attatch some copper mesh to it or around it then thrust it away from the asteroid at a high enough speed that it will keep going away. The point is we can already do it. Now we need to build a platform that can be launched to an asteroid. Keep in mind that you would need the rocks or rubble to make it work. nothing is a gurantee just a suggestion. Try debate and discussion before rapier wit and we might make progress.
  by: Shikiko   02/21/2007 02:52 PM     
You said:

"Real Mayans never even meet the spaniards, don't believe everithing you see in mel gibson's movies, Aztecs are the ones who spend time with the spaniards, net time try to go beyond wikipedia and maybe you learn something"

I never saw Gibson's piece of crap film, nor do I look to Wikipedia as a source.

However, the Mayans did in fact meet the Spanish:

"The conquest of Mesoamerica by Spanish explorers and colonists began in the 1500s and was led primarily by Cortes in Mexico and Alvarado in Guatemala. The brutality of these Europeans in battling the Mayan and Aztec peoples is legendary. Weakened by deadly diseases, the indigenous people of Mesoamerica were conquered fairly quickly, and colonial rule was established."


Basic world history. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to learn.
  by: Volkova_Nova     02/21/2007 03:04 PM     
News flash for you, don't believe your history books, those where write by ppl who never even come near the mayan land, i am a mayan descendent, i live in merida, yucatan, i have mayan blood on my veins, real mayans where long gone before the spaniards even come near to america, those who survive where descendents mixed with aztecs and olmecs, and even those where able to survive way over the conquest, the aztec empire was alredy destroyed years ago when the spaniards finally where able to get in to the peninsula, and they only find ruins of the mayan civilization, no1 knows why the real mayans gone, or where, we only know they planned to comeback because the piramids where under protective shields made of wood and dirt, and to answer the other question, we speak mayan ancient lenguaje because we care about our traditions, my grandfather teach me the mayan lenguaje and i will teach it to my childs someday, and every mayan descendent in mexico and south america do the same, unlike all the other cultures destroyed by the spaniards, ours will prevail, well at lest until the next meteor, oh btw, the meteor that killed dinosaurs landed in yucatan XD
  by: demonh8   02/21/2007 04:51 PM     
That was a nice little story. Thanks for the chuckle.
  by: Volkova_Nova     02/21/2007 05:21 PM     
  old enough to think of something.....  
hehehe. Ill be my parents age whenever that happens. Lately I find the night sky interesting. Im always lookin out for interestin stars out there. Since the sky is always clear.
  by: @ngel   02/21/2007 05:35 PM     
I really hope you were joking with the Stargate comment~
  by: Fratley   02/21/2007 07:40 PM     
  @Shikiko: thanks for the science update  
We do know what a mass driver/gauss driver is. But thanks for the thought.

Now tell me how you're going to find a convenient rock in space. Closest ones are in the main asteroid belt(too far away.)

We could always use the satellites we've got alrady up there as 'ammo'? And of course the only thing big enough to generate that kenetic would be a small nuke as 'blasting cap'.
  by: redstain   02/21/2007 08:24 PM     
  @Shikiko: debate vs rapier wit  
"Try debate and discussion before rapier wit and we might make progress."

I thank you for the compliment. I'll begin debate when you stop using sources that take take the following for granted:
* "Warp" / "Fold Space"
* "Hyperdrive"
* "Phasers" and
* "War on Terror"

Oh and when you use the term "camel-jockey" i your other posts, it tends to tarnish your credibility as someone who debates.
  by: redstain   02/21/2007 08:33 PM     
  @demonh8 & volkova_nova: interesting  
Well, I'm not an expert on mayan palentology. So I'll take you word for it.
  by: redstain   02/21/2007 08:37 PM     
  @Fratley: joking about what? apophis or nasa?  
Apophis was discovered in mid 2004 from the 'ATEN' asteroid group. Stargate is about 10 years old.
Was it providence or sheer cornball? Bit of both I reckon.

Joking about NASA? You guys know me by now. Cynic to the end.
  by: redstain   02/21/2007 08:57 PM     
  @demonh8 & volkova_nova  
You are both right and wrong. The Mayan empire began some 30000 years ago and peaked between 200 and 900 AD. As the term "peak" implies, it declined rapidly after that. Famine (brought about by over farming of lands and drought) led to infighting within the empire and eventually war.

By 1450 what was left of the Mayan empire had retreated to northern lowlands in Yucatan (a small fraction of what the empire once held). Then in 1450 there was a final devastating revolt that reduced the final remnants of the empire to autonomous city-states.

The Spanish showed up 70 years later in 1530 and began their conquest. So the Spanish never really met the Mayans empire. They fought the surviving descendants of a once great empire. Kinda like kicking a cripple really. I’m sure the warriors of the era were individually skilled and each surviving city-state put up a hell of a fight, but it wasn’t really a civilization that Spain was conquering since the cities had long since abandoned their ties with one another.
  by: dedolito     02/21/2007 09:01 PM     
one too many zeros there. should be 3000 not 30000
  by: dedolito     02/21/2007 09:01 PM     
  is it just me orrrr  
any one ever feel like this might be just a scam for ppl to start spending more money and supplies now and until the time of date is coming. like if ur gonna live ur life in a corner just cause of "MAY" happen come on get a life

i wont go out cause i "may" get hit by the bus

i wont eat soup cause i "may" get burned badly

i wont go swimming cause i "may" drown
  by: maryjane <5   02/21/2007 09:05 PM     
  like it or not  
Earth will be pummeled by another global-environemnt-shifting rock some day. We may as well figure out now what to do about it rather than waiting until the rock starts passing through our atmosphere to wonder if we could have done anything any differently.

If you think it's a hoax, by all means go by a telescope and a couple of intermediate books on astronomy. You should be able to figure out if the rock exists at all and if it passes through the earth's orbit. Then get back to us. For now I'll trust the models that have been provided to us by those con artist scientests 9_9

You can start here
  by: dedolito     02/21/2007 09:15 PM     
  @D: It's not the scientists, it's the politicians!  
It's not the disease I don't believe in. It's the snake-oil I'm being sold as a cure.

I can believe that we should be 'looking to the skies' for hard rain. But I don't believe the politician who will be left holding the carkeys to an orbital or roving 'asteroid stopper' after all this is resolved.

I can hear the neo-cons rubbing their hand with anticipation right now.
  by: redstain   02/21/2007 09:24 PM     
How bout just evacuating people from that area and letting nature take its course?
  by: MissCinna   02/21/2007 09:29 PM     
"If these scientists really wanted to destroy this asteroid they would just tell the US administration Al-Queda was using it as a base of operation. That would get it destroyed."

Oh please, with the way the US is doing things, they woudld go to war with the asteroid for a minute, forget about it, and attack the moon because there might be aliens there with WMDs.
  by: Stiks   02/21/2007 10:37 PM     
True that. On the oher hand, sheer vaporization methods (i.e. nukes or whatever) won't do much to a large asteroid, other than break it up into lots of little bits that will in turn rain fire down on a much larger area.

I'd be worried if I thought an asteroid shield network was going to take the form of a bunch of nukes or whatever in orbiting platforms. But since I don't think that's the form of defense we're going to eventually end up using I'm not terribly worried at this point about inadvertantly handing over a potential doomsday device to a bunch of crooked politicians =P
  by: Dedolito     02/21/2007 11:07 PM     
Depends on the size of the bits. Some fairly large meteorites get completely burned up in our atmosphere. Shattering this sucker is probably our best bet.

However, there's an international ban on using nukes in space. They'll have to think of something else.

Hey, I know! How about those laser-shooting satellites Reagan used to threaten us with? Did America ever build those, or was that just an urban legend?
  by: Volkova_Nova     02/22/2007 12:28 AM     
Many people here seem to be looking at a 1 in 40,000 chance of a collision in 2036 as if it is going to happen, lol. I have a much better than 1 in 40,000 chance of dying in a car accident, if the chances of dying in a car accident were to increase to 1 in 40,000, I'd take them. Even if it is ruled as going to hit we've got 29 years to develop a deterrent, and even then they already have those on the drawing board.

  by: banshee9898     02/22/2007 05:50 AM     
  @ banshee9898  
What you are not looking at tho, is the deeper factor of ratio in this scenario, and your analogy:

-- It's not every day that a cosmic object that CAN devestated a planet will dip below Earths own orbits of satellites.

It IS, however, every damn day you are in traffic, risking an accident.

It's, kinda thinking it in reverse logic.
  by: Discarded Vet   02/22/2007 01:25 PM     
Breaking it up could cause problems. Other than the movie clichet of making many smaller objects there is an example. It's postulated that the Yucatan strike pilled the upper atmosphere with smaller debris that rained back down and collectively raised temps on a global scale to oven like temps. So i assume a broken up asteroid might have the same effect even if the small chunks didn't reach the ground.
  by: Shikiko   02/24/2007 02:40 AM     
  @Volkova_Nova: star wars lasers  
"laser-shooting satellites Reagan used to threaten us with? Did America ever build those"

I thnk I saw footages about R&D military lasers a decade back. It took out a SAM which disintegrated in flight. The problem is that, these lasers were seriously ineffective against 'polished surfaces'. So a lick of Silver Paint tended to render these lasers (roughly the size of 1/2 a warehouse then) useless.

I doubt these monstrosities made it into space.

I do believe, I read an article ages ago that they had to capability to knock out satellites from the ground though with ground based lasers to 'blind' them.

There was another article though that the Chinese used ballistic missiles to knock out satellites - cheaper and more practicle. But I can safely assume we'd have similar if not better capabilities on that front.

On a lighter note: while we're talking about lasers and china. (heh).
  by: redstain   02/24/2007 06:01 AM     
  Discarded Vet  
I see what you're saying. We just seem to be thinking in different time spans. What you say would be correct as well.

I guess it's really something that I'm not going to worry about, the chances are too low IMO. That's not to say that I'm not prepared for any eventuality. :D
  by: banshee9898     02/24/2007 06:59 AM     
This is where you're lucky that you bought the upgrade insurance. Without that , this whole asteroid thing is all downside...
  by: Rip Snorter   02/24/2007 10:59 PM     
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