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Digit

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The gloom and doom merchants, elsewhere known as Prophets, have been promoting the end of the World for about 6000 years, so they don't have a very good record on that subject.

Roy.
 

Digit

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It is the perogative of the intelligensia to rook the gullible as and when the opportunity arises.


Roy.
 

misterfish

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Can someone explain the following statement from the article:-

According to NASA, amongst the ways of deflecting it are putting a probe onto the rock and using the extra gravity the craft generates to steer the asteroid away over millions of light years.

A light year is a measure of distance - roughly 5,865,696,000,000 miles, so if this is going to be steered away 'over millions of light years' this must mean 2 or more million light years which means only 5,865,696,000,000 x 2 x 1,000,000 which is 11,731,392,000,000,000,000 miles as a minimum. Considering the solar system has a mere 7,500,000,000 mile diameter I guess we should be OK.

Of course it could be that the article is wrong (very unlikely in the Daily Mail!). Or even written by somebody that doesn't have a clue as to what they are talking about.

Misterfish
 

Digit

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Of course it could be that the article is wrong (very unlikely in the Daily Mail!). Or even written by somebody that doesn't have a clue as to what they are talking about.
Not a perogative of the DM I assure you, I read the science columns of most of the papers and sometimes wonder.
Adding or removing mass to an orbiting body will affect the manner in which it interacts with other gravitational bodies.

Roy.
 

doorframe

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Digit":h8er01gq said:
Adding or removing mass to an orbiting body will affect the manner in which it interacts with other gravitational bodies.

Roy.
So.... the heavier the better.

Hmmmm... let my Missus sit on it for a week..... it'll be gone in no time!!

Roy
 

Digit

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So.... the heavier the better.
Depends on how you wish to alter the orbit. If you wished to have it cross Earth's orbit earlier, add mass, if later, reduce the mass.

Roy.
 

wobblycogs

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Talk about making something out of nothing. In 30 years time this rock will probably pass somewhere close (in astronomical terms) to earth but I'd bet my life savings that the error margin on that path 30 years from now is so huge the rock could miss the Earth by a country mile. The problem is that while we know the paths of the planets with a good degree of accuracy there are millions of small objects that we don't know the position an path off. A tiny nudge as it passes some unknown rock today could, over 30 years, cause this rock to miss us by a huge amount.

As for ways to make it miss Earth I'm guessing what they were talking about is a gravity tug. Basically you just fly a craft near to the asteroid. The gravity of the craft very slightly attracts the rock altering it's course. Over time you drag the asteroid away from a path that will hit Earth. The problem with this technique is it requires you to either have a very large tug or know the asteroids exact path a long way in advance. Nuclear weapons are another option but they aren't as effective in space as they are on Earth because of the lack of atmosphere. A simpler alternative is just to use a large metallic impactor which would, hopefully, shatter the asteroid.
 

Digit

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Changing the mass will change the orbit, but it's either got to be done well before impact, as you point out, or the mass change would need to be significant, and again, as you point out WC the orbits are not well known so any orbital change could cause a miss to become a hit!
In addition, as you again mention, the effect of change of one orbit could have a significant effect on other possible impactors. Rather like the first break on a snooker table.

Roy.
 

PMK54

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It sounds like NASA has bought and switched on its new toy, found nothing and worried that when this toy wears out they won't be given the cash to buy another. So some bright spark ('Charlie') on his way home has dangled a stone on a fishing line in front of the new toy so that the Night Shift Boss ('Bill') has seen a possible asteroid heading this way. Bill has phoned Charlie to tell him what he believes he's seen and at the next shift change they have drafted a justification document for 'Mark II Gizmo', which promises to resolve whether that 'asteroid' will in fact hit (Mark III will say where and Mark IV when). Then, on his way home Bill phones his Brother in Law (who makes concrete shelters) and tells him it'd be a good idea to start training extra staff.

Wait a minute, it's 1am and there's a bright glow in the sky....
 

Benchwayze

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No skills":p58s9d0s said:
Why are these things always so bloody far off? it'll prolly land on the first day I get my pension, pineapples.
I shall be looking forward to my second Birthday card from the Monarch! That IS gonna happen, so don't worry about it NS! :D
 

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