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Thread: "Bad Universe", Phil's top secret project?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Didn't know.
    All I've heard was "this fall". And the last post was a month ago.

    I am kind of disappointed that the heads up wasn't a lot sooner, at least before the weekend.

    (Rant not aimed at you Ara. Just that your reminder sparked it)
    I'm sure it will be repeated during the week sometime.

    Pete

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter eldergill View Post
    I'm sure it will be repeated during the week sometime.
    I had hoped, but I already went through thier schedule through Aug 6... Saw nothing except for the 2am repeat this morning.

    Anybody know the next airing? Sometimes they'll put the most recent episode right before the airing of a new one.

  3. #33
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    Actually it was better than I thought it would be, but to be honest I wasn’t expecting much. I felt it was well organized and got the main points across. The program was better than Michio Kaku’s “Si Fi Science” and Brian Cox’s “Wonders of the Solar System”.

    Phil’s comes across as a super nerd and that part works pretty good. But my advice would be is drop the comic book theme, and as Earl and others have said too many “Holy Helekula’s”.

    There was a point in the beginning of the program I thought that they were actually going to show a formula, something forbidden on primetime TV, but Phil cleverly talked his way around it.

    Jim

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Didn't know.
    All I've heard was "this fall". And the last post was a month ago.

    I am kind of disappointed that the heads up wasn't a lot sooner, at least before the weekend.

    (Rant not aimed at you Ara. Just that your reminder sparked it)
    No problem. I understand. I posted here as soon as I found out myself, right after I saw a fb post from mythbusters about it.

    BTW, who is Holly Okula, and why is she holy?

    A quick question though: how is the kinetic impactor different from the nuclear option? Couldn't we scale them such that they have the same result on the inbound asteroid? Is the BA being anti-nuke for a reason?
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  5. #35
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    "Holy Haleakala!" referes to this: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanoes/haleakala/

    Some thoughts. It had the right bit of Mythbuster vibe. Bill Nye's old program (for kids admittedly)--was too flash-flash, although that was probably to get the attention of kids with low-attention spans. on the other hand, Baldwin almost put me to sleep with this:

    http://video.barnesandnoble.com/DVD/...e/727994753353

    Now I actually appreciate long stories--heck I even love ST:TMP. But give me Will Lyman or Liev Schreiber, that I know not as Sabretooth but as the voice of Frontline.

    I like Dan Durda, and all (he had a toy of the Kvant module of a Mir toy to use as a gravity tractor)--but the idea of the kinetic impactor over the nuke--that I have to question a bit. First of all, for a gravity tractor to work, you have to have a Rosetta type mission. That vehicle will have been en route to its target for a decade before its mission can begin. On the other hand, the flyby Deep Impact mission makes more sense in that, unlike a gravity tractor, you don't have to waste time matching orbits, Rosetta style.

    But even if that spacecraft bus had hit itself, the damage, and the deviation of its target would likely still be negligible at best. You can use a smaller rocket for a flyby mission, true, but you still need significant mass for a impactor. So, we can all get behind Ares V or something like it, or have a similar Deep Impact mission carry one Orion pusher plate "shaped charge" bomblet that was designed to give a uniform push to a large object to begin with.

    You don't need to break up the object, though that might spread enough mass out so only part of the asteroid hits Earth's disk. A stand off nuke will 'cup' the asteroid applying thrust all over one surface, and heat the comets without having a death star laser or massive solar sail (though that would be cooler) A nuke just has a lot of mass energy at its disposal. The experaments done on the show are kinetic impacts. Nukes in space can have different effects besides breaking something up. Their effects can actually be quite gentle in space.

    So, as much as I hate to say it, the BA was wrong when he called for a nuke as a last resort weapon.

    No--it is the first thing you use. You strike with the shortest mission with as much mass-energy as you can muster. The earlier you strike, the more time you have for the deviation to build up.

    If you waste a lot of time trying to match your target with a weak gravity tractor, a good deal of lead time is wasted. Frankly, I don't trust a small craft that Durda suggests to have enough pull. Jimo mass or bigger, with a lot of fuel--then we'll talk. And if the tractor doesn't have enough pull, you have to rig some MX with a standard warhead and hit it then as a last resort--then there is no time for the deviation to build.

    I would suggest an all solid rocket, like ATK's Athena III concept to have a rugged, rad-hardedned version of Deep Impact atop it--filled with hypergolic fuel and SDI thruster packages on an Orion-type bomblet. This package would stay at the ready on a pad or even a big silo, and be ready to launch at moments notice--an Interplanetary Ballistic Missile/SDI rocket if you will.

    That races out FIRST. The spaceberg is hit, and its orbit calculated again. If other bomblets are released in a row, Orion put-put style--even better.

    Later on, do you use a Rosetta-length gravity tractor mission for fine tuning, and permanent disposal. Or harvest.

    Hardware prefered to lengthy unproven gravity tractor:
    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-asteroid.html

    The expert
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall...s%20Resume.pdf

    More:
    http://planetarydefense.blogspot.com...d-mission.html
    Last edited by publiusr; 2010-Aug-30 at 11:08 PM.

  6. #36
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    Personally, I liked the comic book theme.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Personally, I liked the comic book theme.
    Me too, and I have a hunch it will be more effective later when he does his debunking.

    I too, like orionjim, felt an equation was coming along in the form of KE=mv2, but nope. He did, however, do the inverse square law in graphic form, which was nice.

    The cool graphics were a real plus for the show, and they were better than I had anticipated.

    I had heard the Sydney opera was in trouble, but geeeee whizzzz!
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  8. #38
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    Apophis just heard they were doing SG-1 performance art there and got mad.

  9. #39
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    Did I hear him say that the 6 mile wide asteroid that hit Chicxulub was large enough to have extended above our atmosphere at the moment of impact? That's only about 32,000 feet. Was our atmosphere thinner back thin? *wink*
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Apophis just heard they were doing SG-1 performance art there and got mad.
    Better there than hunting Anderson down [and taking out the whole U.S. and half of Texas!].
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  11. #41
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    His dummy scene was pretty cute, but I wonder what his show would be like if he had a side-kick dummy - a Tommy Smothers or a Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy).
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  12. #42
    I haven't seen it but maybe soon.
    The way my job hunt has been going I am almost willing in being sidekick, Dave.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  13. #43
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    I watched it last night before I went to bed. I thought it was good. The only complaint for me is the "Holy Heleuaklalskdala" or how ever you spell it I have never heard anyone say it, and have only seen it on his blog.

  14. #44
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    I tried so hard to stay up last night. I was literally doing my, watch with one eye to rest the other then switch, method that never works. At some point, I closed one eye and fell asleep before I could open the other one. Just watched it on DVR with the kids (2 of them, at least) and we enjoyed it. Can't wait for the next one.

  15. #45
    Good, very good.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  16. #46
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    Is there only going to be three episodes of BU?
    General request: If I ask a question, I'd like people who know about the subject to answer it with factual answers (preferably with references). Saying we don't know is fine if that's the case. However, I'm not really interested in guesses or personal opinions. Thanks!
    Website: http://www.evildrganymede.net

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    Is there only going to be three episodes of BU?
    That could be standard for any new show that they are "taking a chance on" or maybe the number of topics could be limited

    Pete

  18. #48
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    I thought it was just a pilot run for the time being.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickW View Post
    I thought it was just a pilot run for the time being.
    Uh oh, is William Shatner taking it from here?
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  20. #50
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    LOL, I really REALLY hope not.

  21. #51
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    Oh yeah, I did wonder about that whole sticking out of the atmosphere thing. Airliners routinely fly near 6 miles, so it can't be outside the atmosphere.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    Oh yeah, I did wonder about that whole sticking out of the atmosphere thing. Airliners routinely fly near 6 miles, so it can't be outside the atmosphere.
    I'm wondering if that shoulda been a reference to the ejecta cloud, mahself. Other than that minor scratch of the noggin, I rather liked it. Its got just enough of the Mythbuster format to keep it fun, while still very much playing in the BA's arena.

    Another minor thing, when we sent Deep Impact to Wild, I seem to recall it being less a matter of us hitting the asteroid as much as it was DI was "run over" by it, because of the relative velocities involved. Not something your average layman may be apt to pick up, so file that one under "Nitpicks" more than a gripe.

  23. #53
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    What, not one word about the Bad Astronomy crowded asteroid belt?

    I liked most of it overall.

    I think a nuke makes more sense as a deflector device than a blow-the-big-thing-to-small-things device. As for explosions, vs impacts, I'd have to re-watch it to see how that came off. I was trying to watch the show while I was doing something else and missed a bit of the details.

    And I agree, one too many Holy Haleakulas. But then I also think the Mythbusters ham up the "I'm having so much fun blowing stuff up" too much as well. It's not that credible.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    That's "sooper sekrit" project to you!

    Seriously, looks awesome.
    Did you really get ToSeeked on this one?

  25. #55
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    I just watched the asteroid episode. I thought It was OK, but flawed.

    The experimental parts at least were fun to watch. I think he's definitely trying to get the Mythbusters vibe there. And he is enthusastic at least.

    However, I thought the whole approach was far too sensationalist - way too big a deal is made out of the "threat" I think. It's all "what if it hits a city!" (not sure why Phil picked poor Sydney as a target - maybe it was to make a change from using a US city as the disaster victim all the time?) when the reality is that cities cover a very small amount of the surface area of the planet, so it's much more likely NOT to hit a city at all.

    I was a bit confused about why they had the dummy at the blast site - it was a life-size thing in a scaled-down environment. So really I guess it simulated the effect of the impact on Godzilla at two miles from ground zero?

    And sure, we're going to get hit by an asteroid at some point, but I thought that was presented in far too alarmist a manner here. It just seemed that the object of the show was to terrify people, not educate them (and what exactly are viewers supposed to do as a result of this? Whimper helplessly? Start digging bunkers? Run to the hills? Write to their congress representatives/MPs or something?)

    The comet part seemed very weird. Have we really seen cometary orbits changed significantly by jets suddenly firing off at random angles? I know we've seen them suddenly flare up at distance from the sun, but is that enough to change their orbits by much?

    Also, no mention of Tunguska at all? You've got an example of an airburst right there (again, airbursts aren't even mentioned), and actual photos showing what the aftermath of the impact was. No mention of any other impact craters? Not even Barringer (a nice, full-sized impact crater)?

    I had no idea what the "grade" being given for 'nuking the asteroids' meant. The Rubble Pile, Stony and Iron asteroids essentially remained intact, and the porous one broke into several larger bits - all of which remains bad for the planet. As far as I could see, nuking all of the targets was entirely ineffective. (I wonder what happens to the rubble pile if it was hit in space as opposed to in Earth's gravity. Would it still hold itself together, or would there be a momentum transfer inside the pile that would cause it to flay apart into a big cloud of debris?). Also, was the kinetic energy of the impactor supposed to represent the energy released by a nuclear detonation on the surface of the asteroid? Would that really have the same effect as a nuke? I guess they both involve fireballs and blastwaves, but I'm just wondering if a nuclear explosion would have anything unique about it (radiation I guess, but I doubt that'd have an effect).

    "Holy Haleakala!" (or whatever) got annoying really quickly too. As did the use of non-metric units (e.g. I have no idea what a PSI is, in terms of Pascals), particularly when at various points the scientists were using metric units when talking.

    So... yeah. It was fun I guess, but I thought the educational content was somewhat dampened by the alarmist presentation.

    What are the other episodes going to be about? I'll probably still watch them to see if they're any better, but I'm kinda disappointed in what I've seen so far.
    Last edited by EDG; 2010-Sep-01 at 05:45 AM.
    General request: If I ask a question, I'd like people who know about the subject to answer it with factual answers (preferably with references). Saying we don't know is fine if that's the case. However, I'm not really interested in guesses or personal opinions. Thanks!
    Website: http://www.evildrganymede.net

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by orionjim View Post
    The program was better than Brian Cox’s “Wonders of the Solar System”.
    I can't even begin to disagree with you enough about that.
    General request: If I ask a question, I'd like people who know about the subject to answer it with factual answers (preferably with references). Saying we don't know is fine if that's the case. However, I'm not really interested in guesses or personal opinions. Thanks!
    Website: http://www.evildrganymede.net

  27. #57
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    I think that using a city can give a sense of scale. If it hit in say, the midwest where everything was flat, it wouldn't have been as spectacular.

  28. #58
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    And it was such a nice change from New York, but it still has landmarks even Americans can identify.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    And it was such a nice change from New York, but it still has landmarks even Americans can identify.
    You mean that thing that looked like a hat from one of Douglas Adams's stories?
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickW View Post
    I think that using a city can give a sense of scale. If it hit in say, the midwest where everything was flat, it wouldn't have been as spectacular.
    Yeah, but they could at least have shown the actual, real world one-mile wide crater that's in Arizona!
    And sure, a city can give a sense of scale, but from the way it was presented it sounded like there was no chance that the asteroid would hit anywhere else on the planet!
    General request: If I ask a question, I'd like people who know about the subject to answer it with factual answers (preferably with references). Saying we don't know is fine if that's the case. However, I'm not really interested in guesses or personal opinions. Thanks!
    Website: http://www.evildrganymede.net

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