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Fraser
2005-May-17, 05:54 PM
SUMMARY: Near the end of 2004, astronomers found a 320 metre (1000 feet) wide space rock that seemed to have the highest chance ever reported of actually striking the Earth - on April 13, 2029. Further observations have demonstrated that the asteroid will miss... phew. But when it streaks by in about 24 years, it will come so close - 30,000 km (18,600 miles) - that observers on the ground will easily see it with the unaided eye. It will get as bright as a 3rd magnitude star, and be visible from Africa, Europe and Asia.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/asteroid_2004mn4_miss.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Don Alexander
2005-May-17, 06:26 PM
Long-Range prediction:

Weather: Overcast with light rain.

;-{

antoniseb
2005-May-17, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by Don Alexander@May 17 2005, 06:26 PM
Weather: Overcast with light rain.

With brief periods of ennui.

Guest
2005-May-17, 08:55 PM
I wonder if this will attract a following as do total solar eclipses, with cruises and flights and such. Probably so, as it is TRULY a once in a lifetime event.

Also: can you imagine if this think actually happens to take out some geostationary satellite while it whizzes past Earth, a la Independance Day? Oh, I can already see the editorial cartoons...

aeolus
2005-May-17, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by Guest@May 17 2005, 08:55 PM
I wonder if this will attract a following as do total solar eclipses, with cruises and flights and such. Probably so, as it is TRULY a once in a lifetime event.

Also: can you imagine if this think actually happens to take out some geostationary satellite while it whizzes past Earth, a la Independance Day? Oh, I can already see the editorial cartoons...
bah. forgot to login.

I also wanted to add: do you think NASA could take advantage of this and use a probe to somehow "grab on" (to it's gravity or surface or anyhow) to it while it's so close? Does anyone see possibly the first amateur inter-body mission being done? Or would it's high speed outwiegh the advantages of high proximity?

GSii
2005-May-17, 10:28 PM
My first thought: Larry Niven (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Niven) and Jerry Pournell (my abolutely favorite author-team!) released in 1977 (Yes, One Nine Seven Seven!) "Lucifer's Hammer" - same story, but a shorter time frame.

As an old SF-fan I just want to mention that - and if someone of you out there would like to read it and give a little feedback (perhaps even direktly to the authors ), that would be a great story too!

zrice03
2005-May-17, 11:15 PM
do you think NASA could take advantage of this and use a probe to somehow "grab on" (to it's gravity or surface or anyhow) to it while it's so close? Does anyone see possibly the first amateur inter-body mission being done? Or would it's high speed outwiegh the advantages of high proximity?

I think actually would be traveling too fast for any practical rendezvous (other than smashing into it, which would be much like the Deep Impact probe). Its much more economical to use Hohmann transfer orbits and gravity assists to go anywhere.

Even so, I plan to be in Europe (or Africa) at the time so I can see it (and I'll only be 43).

wstevenbrown
2005-May-18, 04:06 PM
So much for the Keplerian trajectory. The authors exult over the opportunity to determine surface topography, composition and albedo during the 2029 flyby. These are precisely the parameters, along with multiaxis spin, needed to calculate the Yarkovsky effect, which renders the trajectory non-Keplerian. I should hasten to add, on a timescale of millions of years, not decades.

Yours in haste-- Chicken Little

antoniseb
2005-May-18, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by wstevenbrown@May 18 2005, 04:06 PM
These are precisely the parameters, along with multiaxis spin, needed to calculate the Yarkovsky effect, which renders the trajectory non-Keplerian.
We'll know these details pretty accurately in much less than 25 years, because we care about this hunk of rock.

Uranut
2005-May-18, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by GSii@May 17 2005, 02:28 PM
My first thought: Larry Niven (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Niven) and Jerry Pournell (my abolutely favorite author-team!) released in 1977 (Yes, One Nine Seven Seven!) "Lucifer's Hammer" - same story, but a shorter time frame.

As an old SF-fan I just want to mention that - and if someone of you out there would like to read it and give a little feedback (perhaps even direktly to the authors ), that would be a great story too!

I've been a fan of post-apocalyptic sci-fi since I was a kid. 'Lucifer's Hammer" is beyond question the best I've ever read.

As for April 13, 2029, I'll be 79 years old and I doubt if I'll care whether it hits or not (if I'm already dead I'll probably care even less).

Might be an interesting way to go! :)

Guest
2005-May-18, 09:58 PM
:rolleyes: And two days later I will celebrate my hundredth birthday. I seem to remember that Thomas Edison claimed that he came in on the tail of Halley's comet and that he would fly out on it when it came 'round again - and he did. I came in just before the Wall Street crash, so, could I be so lucky? B)

Svemir
2005-May-19, 06:13 AM
It was Mark Twain (1835-1910) not Thomas Edison (1847-1931).

Guest_David
2005-May-19, 10:33 AM
Very sorry. Guess I'm showing my age.

David

Greg
2005-May-20, 03:37 AM
Just looking at that graphic should be a sobering shock to anybody's complacency that we are totally safe in our solar system. Even moreso if you were to live in Europe or Asia since this article clearly implies that this object would make a land strike in the northern hemisphere if its course were only a fraction of a percent closer to Earth. I duly hope that the governments of the world, especially those that are going to be spared potential anihilation by the narrowest of margins will take notice of this and act cooperatively to infuse the necessary capital to reduce such threats for everyone in the future.
I think it should be seen as a responsibility and a small investment in order to secure the future. But I fear that most likely the governments of such nations will pay as much attention to this threat and invest next to nothing in trying to prevent it. The reason is the example of unsecured nuclear weapons in eastern europe which have been potentially a death sentence for millions of people somewhere if they get into the wrong hands. That problem has been festering for more than 15 years and is even more of a glaring immediate threat than this example of a brush with a Texas-sized catastrophe from an asteroid.