1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Soapbox:Time we stop acting like an asshat of a species before we go out like dinos

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hobbsyoyo, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
    This morning, an asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere over Russia. It was about the size of a kitchen table and though it entered roughly 200km from civilization, it injured over 500 people.


    Link to video.

    Despite our piss-poor 'efforts' to spot all the big asteroids, we missed this one. We knew a larger one was passing by the Earth and we were tracking it, but this one went unnoticed. If it hadn't landed the middle of bum-frak Russia, a city could have been wiped out or fragile ecosystems could have been destroyed.

    This is the second time a large meteor has exploded with the force of an atom bomb on the Earth in about 100 years and coincidentally, the last one also exploded over Russia.

    I say Einstein was wrong; God does play dice and he just rolled snake eyes. Next time he won't be so unlucky and we will suffer for it.


    We know the threat is out there and we have for decades. We know how indescribably destructive these meteors are, yet we have done next to nothing to prepare.

    It is high time we get serious about this threat and fund NASA, the ESA, Roscosmos and every agency or private enterprise in this arena to enable them to find and deal with this threat.

    It is time we stop obsessive over trivial stupidity like the fact that some American cruise-goers got an unexpected taste of the third world and focus on the things that will destroy us.


    Seriously humanity, stop being asshats of a species or you will get exactly what the dinosaurs got and frakking deserve it. Today was God's dress rehearsal, tomorrow is the violent finale.

    I swear to god the next person who asks 'did you see Honey Boo Boo?' is going to get a punch in the face while I shout 'did you see that asteroid?'
     
  2. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    15,262
    Location:
    Here and there
    Ensuring your future job security, eh? :mischief:
     
  3. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
  4. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    15,262
    Location:
    Here and there
    Alright, on to more serious matters then. Do you have a cost estimate?
     
  5. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    20,814
    I approve of greater space exploration, both manned and unmanned.

    That said, thank God gave the Russians video cameras. The internet is far more interesting because of it.
     
  6. tokala

    tokala Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,739
    Location:
    Klein Texas, Germany
    I think if debris falls on factoires and such, it wasn't exactly "far from civilization".
    And at the very least a order of magnitude below the energy released over the Tunguska.
    Spoiler :



    How do you propose to stop such small fry? Revive SDI?
    Isn't apparently working for targets much slower, much easier to detect and intecept :mischief:

    And even Tunguska calibre stuff, which could destroy a city will be to numerous and to hard to detect to do anything about it.


    For the bigger stuff now, good idea to put a bit more effort into it than what is happening now.
     
  7. TomYo689

    TomYo689 Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,382
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If this is true it's hilarious. I was under the impression anything of measurable size approaching earth would be detected.
     
  8. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    20,940
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    A kitchen table ain't very big. We won't be able to track objects like that for a very long time, I expect. They're just not bright enough. On the bright side though, they're not very scary. Tunguska would have wiped out a city. This one, not so much.
     
  9. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    33,262
    Location:
    Perth,Western Australia
    It sounds like God is giving us a warning of the future to come.
    Revelation 8:10,11 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
    11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
     
  10. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
    Somewhere between the production costs of Hooney Boo Boo and the Manhattan Project.

    But that's the wrong way to look at this opportunity. Think of the life-changing technology that would come out of such an effort. Plus a major push into space to deal with asteroids will start us down the path as a space-faring species. That will unlock mountains of economic growth.
     
  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
    Yes ut would have. Just because fragments landed on a factory doesn't prove it couldn't have destroyed a downtown if it had exploded over it instead of over a lightly populated area.

    Also, a slight change in entry angle and you get a vastly different outcome.

    I am sorry but you all are severly underestimating how lucky we got this time.

    And that's the problem - nothing majorly bad happened so hey guys we don't have to worry.

    We could detect objects this size if we tried, it wouldn't take a long time, just funding.
     
  12. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    15,262
    Location:
    Here and there
    Oh, I'm not opposed to the idea. I'm just curious about how it would be implemented.
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
    So:
    It's hard so let's not bother!

    The ghosts of our extinct forebears laugh at you.

    (sorry for triple post, I am on my crappy phone)
     
  14. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    20,940
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    If the size you mentioned is right (kitchen table) then that's pushing the boundaries of the smallest known NEO. Metre-sized objects aren't visible until they're about to graze / hit.

    I'm not questioning that had this explosion occurred directly over a city, a lot of people would be dead, just that it wouldn't wipe out a city like Tunguska would have. That's still the scariest near miss we've had, in my mind.
     
  15. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
    You are familiar with radar, right?

    We have the technology to find these but our current searches are extremely limited in scope, restricted to the visible wave lengths and reliant on past observational data. We can do better but don't because it's not a priority.

    I quoted you before you added some stuff. Question: you acknowledge this could have killed a lot of people, so what difference does it make if it couldn't have thoroughly wiped a city from the map? It could wreak massive death and it was the size of a kitchen table. Objects this size are not rare and we need to wake up to the danger.
     
  16. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    26,698
    Hahahahaha. Yeah. Right.

    :run: Help! Mockaclipse Now! :run:

    The sky's falling in everywhere. The End is Nigh. Repent ye of your sins.

    And so forth.
     
  17. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    27,947
    Location:
    Brno -> Czech rep. >>European Union
    Well, today the Universe decided to remind us that we're not invulnerable to meteoroid strikes. We need to take 'space weather' seriously.


    However, I don't see what you want the world to do against these little rocklets. There's literally millions of them near the Earth orbit. We can attempt to track larger asteroids, those with diameters in tens of metres or higher, but we can hardly know about every metre-sized object in the Solar System, that is waaaaay below the resolution of our telescopes and radars at the distances we're talking about. You also have to consider whether this would be 'cost-effective'. You know, meteoroid strikes kill far less people than car accidents or smoking, so people will inevitably ask "why not spend money on the more serious threats to human lives?"


    Ideally, we should be tracking the near-Earth space to get some advanced warning of an impending impact (say, hours) by similarly sized objects, in order to at least warn people in the target region to hide, avoid standing close to glass windows, etc.

    Besides that, there's not much else you can do. Launching a spacecraft to deflect such small rocks is not possible (not enough time to intercept and push out of collision trajectory), blowing them up is almost equally problematic.

    As for the Tunguska-sized objects (tens of metres in diameter), if it turned out one was about to hit a densely populated area, I'd actually consider trying to hit it with nukes (before it entered the magnetosphere). But this would require a robust global defence system set up in advance which would have to be an international effort to prevent further militarisation/nuclearisation of space.
     
  18. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
    Winner, we can see planets at the distance of light years. Finding some rocks this size isn't impossible if we tried - especially if we start building up our space infrastructure which would effectivley increase the number of 'eye' out in space looking dor this stuff.

    And once you have found them, you can keep track of them to keep a warning. You won't have to send a last minute deflextion mission because you'd have plenty of advanced warning.
     
  19. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,261
    Ha. I actually tried to watch some news today on television, something I rarely do, and CNN had live coverage of this for over an hour. I actually switched to Fox news, which was also full of non-news about guys being suspended for chanting USA! at a basketball game and such.
     
  20. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    26,313
    Of the cruise ship? Yeah, it's like nothing else is going on on planet Earth while some poor Americans suffer on a cruise ship.
     

Share This Page