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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. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    I didn't realize the meteor managed to make it in. I heard about the story of the approaching meteor a couple days, but the report stated that astronomers were very sure it was going to miss Earth; come scarily close to earth, sure, but miss it all the same.
     
  2. tokala

    tokala Emperor

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    No, the "big" one is still out there, and will pass in a safe distance.
    The rock exploding over Russia was completely unrelated.
     
  3. Core Imposter

    Core Imposter Deity

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    The dinos probaby died out mostly because of volcanic activity.

    And Wormwood:

    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;

    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.


    This is the will of God. You can't stop it.
     
  4. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    Yeah.

    I think maybe I'll stick to the part where we actually learn to intercept these, but good luck with your faith healing approach to the problem.

    Yep, and religious people will always be ambulance chasing cannibals who will exploit any incident or tragedy for their own ends.

    Though I find it amusing that many people are reacting exactly the same way they would have 4000 years ago. It just goes to show that technology and science move a lot faster than human evolution.
     
  5. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    fixed.
     
  6. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Completely different scales, both statistically speaking and damage-wise between your events and what I'm talking about.

    What an obnoxiously short sighted point of view.

    You know, the kind of harm done by a multi-kiloton equivalent blast in a crowded urban area. The kind of thing this 2 METER wide asteroid could have done had the timing been slightly different.

    Again, homo-trilobite.



    Hyped-up? Hardly. We spend trillions chasing dudes wearin turbans around the mountains despite the worst they can do is crash an airliner into a building. These small asteroids pose a much greater threat and given that we can't yet detect the ones of this size, I'd say that they are a much more worrying issue than some terrorists.


    Well definitely, it's my soapbox after all.

    You don't read or think about what others post except to find things you think you can pick at, do you?


    My point:
    What we don't know >> What we do know.

    You are proposing to ignore it. This asteroid was 2 meters wide and could have killed many thousands. I suggest we find all the asteroids like it that are in Earth's path in the next 100 years. Yet you say that's too hard to do while simultaneously saying no one is proposing ignoring the threat.

    Stop and think harder before you post chap.

    hehe I'm all kinds of faux worked up. I thought this would be a fun little place to rant my views on this issue.

    We can't prevent every potentially-harmful asteroid from hitting the Earth, but I see no reason why we can't try harder than we currently do. It certainly makes more sense to me than waging war and it's a project all nations can contribute to. It will also pay huge dividends.
    Pretty much.

    Then you send the telescopes closer to the areas your searching. I thought I mentioned that?

    It's not my field of expertise, but I imagine powerful radar arrays placed at points in space would be helpful, along with lots of space based telescopes. As for the ground breaking stuff? I wouldn't know and it's hard to predict the next 'game changer'.

    So you are saying sending out telescopes into space to continually search for all the asteroids is pointless? Please elaborate.
    There's all kinds of variables that go into it, my equation is basically useless when you get down to it. I just used it to check on the figures I thought Planetary Resources had listed (though it turns out I completely misread them).


    This is why lots of cheap telescopes would be really handy.

    And I'm saying they need to work harder and devote more resources to it.
    This should scare the crap out of everyone.
     
  7. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Out of my sheer respect for you I am going to disregard what you wrote to me here except this, which I believe is an excellent advice for you to take :) See you later, when you cool down ;)

    And that is based on what? Your overreaction based on no facts? (To pre-empt another stupid comment about me not reading; the energy of the airburst, even if in tons or low-kilotons of TNT, is released high up in the atmosphere. So although the energy may appear significant, very little of it actually reaches the ground unless the entering meteoroid is heavy enough to punch deeper.)
     
  8. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    Hobbs, you would be interested in reading some actual literature on existential risks. In short, though, asteroid strikes are not really a big worry, especially given current mitigation efforts are decent.
     
  9. tokala

    tokala Emperor

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    Well, the point is to look for Near Earth Objects, isn't it. There isn't a place better suited for that than Earth's orbit, by definition. And Earth itself is the most convenient platform to operate scopes on in the general vicinity of Earth's orbit.
    Only if you have enough telescopes in operation to catch any object that approaches Earth to within detection range, then it might make any sense to send more scopes to other places. Worse for the space cadet, those ground based scopes will catch >>90% of all larger NEOs within a few years.
    It might even be more effective to simply extend that earth-based program instead of sending probes randomly around the solar system for finding those last 1%, 0.1%, 0.01%, ... you have missed so far. As someone already mentioned, space is awfully spacious ;)

    Space telecopes tend to be kinda expensive, especially if you want to have them above LEO. The additional observation time compared to earth-bound scopes can't compensate for that.
    Space telecopes make sense for things you can't do (well) with an atmosphere above you, chasing NEOs isn't one of them.

    Somehow I have the impression you think a telecope can instantaneously detect any asteroid closer than x million km.
    No, it has to integrate each image for many minutes or even hours, with each image the ballpark size of a degree angular diameter. Do it twice at the very least for each spot of sky remotely close to the ecliptic.
    If something is found, then there has to be several follow-up observations to get a good fix on the orbital elements.
    All the time moving with several km/s relative to the asteroids it's looking for, which can be detected only within a finite distance.

    For optical/infrared telecopes telescopes the apparent brightness of an asteroid drops roughly with the square of the distance. For your deep space radio dish, it drops with the distance to the power of 4. And it takes something like the Arecibo dish and a close approach to earth to observe an asteroid with radar.

    Of course you can try to solve the detection problem with brute force, and send a bazillion of probes. But it gets ridicoulously expensive for anything significantly better than what can be achieved from earth.
    And no, you cant self-assembly high precision telescopes by from asteroids.
     
  10. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    really? That's counter-intuitive, since it's still just EM... does it have to do with the specific radio wavelengths being absorbed or interacting with solar radiation or intervening dust?

    Oh, wait - you're talking about pinging with radio waves and then waiting for the return signal, right?
     
  11. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity

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    1/r^2 for the way there, 1/r^2 for the way back, sounds like 1/r^4 :)


    Anyway, this type of threat is pretty silly, even if it would have hit and obliterated a large part of a city, that's like what, several hundred thousands of people. Which seems to happen less than every millenium.
    The Boxing Day Tsunami in '04 killed 280.000.
     
  12. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    It would take a hell of a lot more resources to stop a tsunami than stop an asteroid. An asteroid is the size of a football field at best. A tsunami is millions of times larger both in energy and mass.
     
  13. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    Since I'm not sure this was very clear to non-sciencey types, optical and infrared are passive: they're just detecting photons emitted off a body. Radar is pinging it, which is why we're saying send and receive.
     
  14. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity

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    A semi-decent early warning system would have saved more than half those lives, and would be pretty cheap.
    Stopping an asteroid is something I expect only to see in cinemas during my lifetime.
     
  15. AdamCrock

    AdamCrock Polish Pudding

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    Well f*ck me sideways ! I've just watched the news about planetoid aproaching Earth ... oh !

    edit (no, not the russian one , the new one oh damn!)
     
  16. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    That we know of. There's lots of places it wouldn't be noticed. That's what Niel DeGrasse Tyson just said on TV.
     
  17. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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  18. Core Imposter

    Core Imposter Deity

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    We have a first time visitor, Comet Ison, coming from the Oort Cloud and its likely to fragment. Although Ison is not on a path to Earth, Earth is on a path to cross Ison's orbital approach to the sun. This in Jan 14 would be an excellant opportunity to study the effects of moderately sized meteoroids pulverizing the surface of the Earth and should shed some light on the number of casualties we can expect from these sorts of incidents.
     
  19. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    hobbs, if the federal government hires you to construct a seawall all along the United States west coast to guard against a possible tsunami generated by an asteroid impact in the Pacific Ocean, would you do it, or would you say it's rather sillly.
     
  20. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    Interesting thread. I agree that it's a bit disturbing that we missed the Russian meteorite.

    By the way, did you see Honey Boo Boo?
    Spoiler :
    What the heck is a Honey Boo Boo? :confused:
     

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