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Asteroid to Swing Past Earth

By nascent in News
Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 08:29:49 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

An asteroid (200 EW70) discovered on March 9th of this year will pass within 1.2 million miles of earth - about 5x the distance to the moon - over the next few days.

Is anyone aware of any credible organization that is dealing with this possibility? Seem to have heard there was a US Govt. group organized last year. I also seem to recall that a group that simply seeks to find NEO's (Near Earth Objects) only has the funding to cover 4% of the sky, but I'm sorta pulling this out of you-know-where. Anyone aware of pages on this?

The BBC Science page has the scoop.


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Asteroid to Swing Past Earth | 10 comments (10 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Why is this really a big deal? Ther... (none / 0) (#5)
by Velian on Fri Mar 24, 2000 at 09:36:28 PM EST

Velian voted -1 on this story.

Why is this really a big deal? There's no threat obviously. Though you're not saying this is a threat, I wouldn't believe it if you were. I only even consider believing "end of the world" theories by big, whoop-dee-doos seen on CNN CBS NBC ABC etc arond the clock, and even then I don't usually (Y2K bug, anyone?) Bottom line is, how is this significant? I think I read about this on Slashdot a while back, anyway. I know I read about *some* asteroid coming around that distance to us, but I don't think the comments hit over 100 on the story.

This article at least mentions the ... (none / 0) (#6)
by your_desired_username on Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 03:00:35 AM EST

your_desired_username voted 1 on this story.

This article at least mentions the PR difficulties associated with NEOs; scientists would like the public to have an accurate picture of the danger (very small, but non-zero), and would like to avoid false alarms.
However, this article fails to mention that almost all news media thrive on attention. 'The end of the World' gets more attention than a 'Threatening asteroid' which gets more than 'Near miss' and nobody cares about an asteroid that has less than 1 in 10e10 chance of colliding with the earth.
Too bad there will not be any probes going out to look at it.
Hey! Where's the preview button?

Who really cares that a large rock ... (none / 0) (#3)
by spinergy on Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 04:16:14 AM EST

spinergy voted -1 on this story.

Who really cares that a large rock is going to be a few million miles from earth? Can I get a so what? Let me know of news about any asteroids that are going to hit the earth in my life time but beyond that, is it worth wasting my time to read?
<Insert Cheesy Comment Here>

Lucifer's Hammer :-(... (none / 0) (#2)
by caliban on Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 09:01:20 AM EST

caliban voted 1 on this story.

Lucifer's Hammer :-(

Re: Lucifer's Hammer :-(... (none / 0) (#9)
by your_desired_username on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 01:48:57 AM EST

Nah .... Lucifier's Hammer had a trajectory that was aimed at Earth right from the first time they calculated its trajectory. But since the novel was set in 1970, and the comet (Lucifier's Hammer was a commet) was far away, the error in their trajectory calculations was about a million miles. Since Earth is only about 8000 miles wide, they did not think it would hit .....

NASA in 2000 has much, much better telescopes. More accuracy in the plotting of the positions, and more accuracy in the trajectory calculations.

If Lucifier's Hammer came today, we would know it would hit Earth much, much earlier.

What would we do about it, I do not know.

Niven and Pournelle's _Lucifier's Hammer_ is the best apoclypitic novel I have ever read - and I have read dozens of apocalyptic novels.

[ Parent ]
Interesting... (none / 0) (#7)
by scorpion on Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 09:40:51 AM EST

scorpion voted 1 on this story.

Interesting

This happens a lot. No big deal.... (none / 0) (#8)
by marlowe on Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 10:29:44 AM EST

marlowe voted -1 on this story.

This happens a lot. No big deal.
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

I think this sort of thing happens ... (none / 0) (#1)
by rongen on Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 10:38:16 AM EST

rongen voted -1 on this story.

I think this sort of thing happens every once in a while. If a big one ever hits us we are toast. Hopefully we won't be hit by one for a while..
read/write http://www.prosebush.com

This is why we need space explorati... (none / 0) (#4)
by Matthew Guenther on Sat Mar 25, 2000 at 03:10:44 PM EST

Matthew Guenther voted 1 on this story.

This is why we need space exploration... having the only members of our species on one planet is not a winning proposition in the long term. Eventually something will hit the Earth and if we haven't established a habitat elsewhere it's game over.

MBG



Yes -- this is getting done at MIT! (none / 0) (#10)
by gunnk on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 11:05:02 AM EST

My college roommate now works for Lincoln Labs with MIT. The LINEAR project which he is on is dedicated to locating and determining the orbits of NEO's. Check out their webpage:

LINEAR Project

Asteroid to Swing Past Earth | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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