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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. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    That's because we know where to look, and mostly we find them by indirect ways.

    It is certainly possible to find pretty much all LARGE (let's say over 100 m) asteroids threatening Earth which orbit in the inner Solar System. Comets are fickle as usual, but we can find them too. Doing something about them is a different thing which needs to be taken seriously, I agree. Right now, if we found one was about to hit in 3 years, my bets would be on the asteroid.

    MEDIUM asteroids (like the one which is passing Earth right now, 40 metres in diameter) can be found soon enough to give us time to prepare provided we invest in the kind of global defence plan I mentioned. Let's pre-place nuclear-armed interceptors in high orbits and have them ready in case another Tunguska was about to happen over, say, the UK, which would have led to a large loss of life and extreme economic damage - things that justify the expense and risk of trying to eliminate the threat.

    SMALL asteroids measuring in metres cannot possibly cause much damage beyond a loud bang, shattered windows, and road accidents caused by the distraction. They can be found in time with our existing infrastructure, provided we use it to look for incoming satellite-sized rocks. The US, Russia, China, France and who knows who else are already tracking spy satellites in LEO, so it is just a matter of looking a bit beyond it.


    Well, again - it depends on how far you want to spot them. Inside the Moon's orbit, or a bit beyond? Doable. 2 AUs away? Veeeeeery difficult and not worth the cost.
     
  2. Peck of Arabia

    Peck of Arabia Sociable Recluse

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    Good question! where am I?
    Incredibly, this news story was an absolute last priority of what BBC producers think the viewing public want to know. This was the order of the main stories on BBC's lunchtime news

    1 Horsemeat scandal
    2 Horse meat in school meals
    3 Oscar Pistorius in Court
    4 Soap Actor arrested for child molestation
    5 ex-MP having expenses claims challenged
    6 Something else
    7 Asteroid crashes into earth, but it's ok coz it's in, like, Russia or something

    I gave up after the fifth story, if it wasn't for this forum, I'd have no idea this had happened!

    In short, we're doomed by our indifference and parochial obsessions, so I suggest instead living rakish, hedonistic lifestyles, full of debauchery and over-indulgence until the next one comes to finish us off. The counter-proposition, if you will
     
  3. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    Since radar isn't passive (it requires a broadcast to ping off an object) I'm skeptical it'd be of much use at detection. A circle with a 1 million KM radius creates a sphere with ~12.6m square kilometres. That's a lot to ask of a radar system.

    They're not rare, but they're next-to-invisible until they're about to hit. I'm concerned with events that could kill millions of people and conceding these smaller, more frequent events are unavoidable for the near future.

    My gut is telling me though that this was bigger than a kitchen table.

    edit: to build on what Winner is talking about, the reason this post was delayed was I was working out the calculations to find a 3m object at 1 million KM with different wave lengths. It's not easy with passive systems.
     
  4. Core Imposter

    Core Imposter Deity

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    I'm not exactly sure what if anything could have been done if we knew in advance about this thing.

    In my mind, we saw the lightning hit St. Peters, we've seen this, its all part of end times prophecy. There is no reason to panic. God is in control.

    (If Godless disregard the last two sentences.)
     
  5. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Do you think you are one of the 144,000?
    Sure seem to be millions of Christians who think they are.

    Also, it says Christ is coming back with a SWORD.
    Who did Christ hang out with?
    Prostitutes.

    You think he is coming to chop down the prostitutes, or the Church of Laodicea?
    Who do you think god finds more pious, the Muslims who dress much like they did in his time, or the botox enhanced plastic Christians of the United States?
    Bible says God will spew them from his mouth.
    If there is a Laodecia, it certainly is the Christians of the United States.

    Yeah. I pray for the tribulation too. I'd love to see all these people who thought they were Christians but are actually nothing more than flag worshipping nationalists curse God for not rapturing them.

    I've seen your hate. You have no love or understanding or mercy in your heart for your fellow man. Your idea of ministry to muslims is dropping bombs on them.

    And then it's guillotine time for those without the mark. 7 years. I'll definitely be signing up for the honors of pulling the cord a thousand times.

    God will need helpers meting out his judgement. Sign me up, big guy in the sky.
     
  6. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    Amateurs spotted the larger one, last year. Not such a good record itself.
     
  7. TomYo689

    TomYo689 Emperor

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    7/10
     
  8. tokala

    tokala Emperor

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    In some of the office camera videos it looks like people got knocked of their feet.
    Seems a pretty large effect for a supposed ~10 ton object exploding some 100 km away.
    10 tons at 10...30km/s would be about 0.1...1 kt TNT equivalent, wouldn't it?

    The ~50m rock about to buzz earth is expected to peak around 7m visually. Your values amount to about 1/15 of the diameter, 30 times the distance and you get ~20m visually.
    Probably right at the threshold for those sky surveys with wide-angle telescopes looking for NEOs.
    A bit smaller, a bit further away and you won't find it unless you have a fairly good idea where to look for it.


    http://www.minorplanets.org/OLS/

    Not exactly amateuers, but the equipment they used might be not that much beyond what's available to the dedicated (and well-off) amateuer astronomer.
     
  9. Core Imposter

    Core Imposter Deity

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    God bless you, God save you, and God keep you.
     
  10. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Don't tell God what to do. He already has a plan and grand design. And I am part of that design. God's will will be done.

    Do you think his prophets will be loved or despised in the end times?

    How do you feel about me?
     
  11. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Can there be one thread free of religious trolls please? One? Just one, is that too much to ask?

    ---

    BTW, hobbsyoyo, speaking of what people pay attention to, here's what people are following on BBC website at the moment:

    A meteoroid or a disabled piglet on a wheelchair? Ah, the agony of choice :mischief:
     
  12. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Piglet, please.



    And was the child murderer murdered by another child? How old is this child murderer?

    Meteorites, schmeterorites!
     
  13. AdamCrock

    AdamCrock Polish Pudding

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    We could put our satellite network to use and instead of spying on Putin's bathroom we can spy on threats from space. Moonbase would also be a significant boost in our aspirations toward space-faring. If we would aim to colonize moon->mars one of the major problems would probably be supplying oxygen rich ice blocks of water to the said station on a regular basis ;) We also need to invent enclosed ecosystems to grow plants to eat something else besides astronauts paste all the time ;)

    All in all I agree with hobbs, rivalry among nations, wars, commercialism could be our undoing and we will probably not wake up untill it's to late ... well life's hard ;)
     
  14. ace99

    ace99 Deity

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    This is why you need to starting using Al Jazeera: http://www.aljazeera.com/

     
  15. duckstab

    duckstab Child of Noble Family

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    Yes, but this is using specific techniques like measuring the gravitational perturbation of the parent star or observing the planet's transit. It hardly follows from this that we can easily detect small dark objects close to home.

    I don't know if we can actually determine an object's trajectory with the degree of accuracy needed to say, issue a meteor impact warning for a specific city with enough warning to evacuate it. And objects entering the atmosphere often break apart in stages, scattering debris over a wide area. When the Mir space station was deliberately deorbited in 2001, they had to issue cautionary statements for a large chunk of the south Pacific, for example.

    However, I ultimately agree with your overall sentiment. It's worth investing some money and effort to better understand, predict, and mitigate the threats posed by near-Earth objects of all sizes.
     
  16. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

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    Hobbs, how small of space debris/asteroids can we detect currently? Any reason why this bit wasn't detected?
     
  17. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Teheran Times, most read:

     
  18. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

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    Fascinating seeing the differences. I personally use CNN, Al Jazeera, and Deutsche Welle. I may add Tehran to my bookmarks just to see their stances now and then.
     
  19. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    I said amateurs in my news source
     
  20. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Rhetoric aside, I bet on humanity.

    I am saying we need to go beyond what we have now and invest in better detection systems overall.

    Also your point on size and its relation with damage is flawed. The engery scales linearly with mass but with the square of velocity. I haven't had time to fact check but I got an email from the asteroid miners at Planetary Resources and they say it had a blast equal to 1000 Hiroshimas. The only estimate on size I have seen yet is table sized. While it sounds like that isn't possible, all it means is it was going very fast.

    It is worth the cost to find them all, period. You can't put a value on lives saved.

    Plus, you are assuming that we would be doing this with technology of fixed capability (bad assumption) and that there will be no economic returns from the endevour(bad assumption). Already, Planetary Resources is making a business case to launch lots of asteroid finding telescopes and making money of the data and mining the juicy ones.
    I am not talking about current ground based systems only. I am talking about making investments to build new, more capable, space based systems. My point is about our future and this problem going forward, not about current capabilites.


    This is why we need to start getting serious about this problem.
    Maybe, but remember the energy released is not only dependent on mass.

    Current systems, maybe.
     

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