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  • Earth almost put on impact alert

    Astronomers have revealed how they came within minutes of alerting the world to a potential asteroid strike last month.

    Some scientists believed on 13 January that a 30m object, later designated 2004 AS1, had a one-in-four chance of hitting the planet within 36 hours.

    It could have caused local devastation and the researchers contemplated a call to President Bush before new data finally showed there was no danger.

    The procedures for raising the alarm in such circumstances are now being revised.

    At the time, the president's team would have been putting the final touches to a speech he was due to make the following day at the headquarters of Nasa, the US space agency.

    In it he planned to reset the course of manned spaceflight, sending it back to the Moon and on to Mars, but he could have had something very different to say.

    He could have begun by warning the world it was about to be hit by a space rock.

    Bush would not have known where it would impact - only somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Experts would have been bouncing radar signals off the huge rock as he spoke in order to get more information about its trajectory.

    At about 30m wide, the asteroid was cosmic small fry, not the type of thing to wipe out the dinosaurs or threaten our species, but still big enough to cause considerable damage after exploding in the atmosphere.

    Potentially, the loss of life could have been much worse than 11 September.

    In the end, Bush made no such announcement, but astronomers have admitted they were on the verge of making the call.



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    Mr. G

  • #2
    This seems so familiar for some reason. And why is that damn Aerosmith song stuck in my head now?

    Comment


    • #3
      Anyone notice how we haven't heard a peep from Bruce Willis for the past month?
      If you believe in something sacrifice a hobo to it or don't bother.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dr.Gonzo@Feb 25 2004, 09:54 PM
        This seems so familiar for some reason. And why is that damn Aerosmith song stuck in my head now?



        Mr. G

        Comment


        • #5
          I just wanna Howowld you cahlooooooooosseeee.....
          Are you on the list?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SLUBLUE@Feb 25 2004, 09:55 PM
            I just wanna Howowld you cahlooooooooosseeee.....
            Back off, gay boy!

            Comment


            • #7
              I heard about this.

              Crazy.
              When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."

              Comment


              • #8
                Just more tabloid reporting by the British press. 2004 AS1 didn't even reach a Torino of 1. You know how much it missed Earth by? 33.2 times the distance to the moon. This isn't even the closest approach to the Earth for that asteroid, much less a close call for Earth. It didn't reach it's closest point until February 16, BTW. 2004 DF2 missed the Earth by only 2.8 lunar orbits on February 17. Check out this URL for some VERY interesting info, including about 1950DA, an asteroid that has a really good chance of hitting the Earth in March of.. 2880. It's not considered a risk, because the date is so far away, but we'd better be able to do something about it by then!

                http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Airshark@Feb 25 2004, 10:58 PM
                  Just more tabloid reporting by the British press. 2004 AS1 didn't even reach a Torino of 1. You know how much it missed Earth by? 33.2 times the distance to the moon. This isn't even the closest approach to the Earth for that asteroid, much less a close call for Earth. It didn't reach it's closest point until February 16, BTW. 2004 DF2 missed the Earth by only 2.8 lunar orbits on February 17. Check out this URL for some VERY interesting info, including about 1950DA, an asteroid that has a really good chance of hitting the Earth in March of.. 2880. It's not considered a risk, because the date is so far away, but we'd better be able to do something about it by then!

                  http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov
                  NERD!!!
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BringBackZezel+Feb 25 2004, 11:03 PM-->
                    QUOTE(BringBackZezel @ Feb 25 2004, 11:03 PM)

                  • #11
                    If its big enough that we are all gonna die anyway I hope it lands on my head so we can get it over with.
                    Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by TTB@Feb 25 2004, 11:07 PM
                      If its big enough that we are all gonna die anyway I hope it lands on my head so we can get it over with.
                      Funny. I'd prefer to spend my last six months underground with Veronica Zemanova, but maybe that's just me... B)

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Airshark+Feb 25 2004, 11:12 PM-->
                        QUOTE(Airshark @ Feb 25 2004, 11:12 PM)

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by TTB+Feb 25 2004, 11:14 PM-->
                        QUOTE(TTB @ Feb 25 2004, 11:14 PM)
                        Originally posted by [email protected] 25 2004, 11:12 PM

                      • #15
                        Originally posted by TTB+Feb 25 2004, 11:16 PM-->
                        QUOTE(TTB @ Feb 25 2004, 11:16 PM)
                        Originally posted by [email protected] 25 2004, 11:14 PM
                        Originally posted by [email protected] 25 2004, 11:12 PM
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