I was watching the Colbert Show on Comedy Central a few nights back and they had a noted physicist as a guest (Unfortunately, I don’t recall his name?). They were “debating” “Intelligent Design” and the physicist mentioned that there is an Asteroid the size of the Rose Bowl scheduled to collide with the Earth in 2008? Any creedance to this?
You mean Neil deGrasse Tyson?
The rose bowl stadium is what, 200 meters in diameter?
They’re not even looking for asteroids that small yet.
Spaceguard: Current Progress and Future Capabilities
Besides, even if it hits, it’ll probably only explode with the force of 476 megatons of TNT; small potatoes.
I’m sorry, but I just refuse to get excited about this. Every time NASA or somebody else comes out with a prediction that this or that object is going to smack into the Earth, wiping all of us out, they come back a few days later and say, “Ooopsie! We dropped a decimal, and now it turns out the thing’s going to miss us by a squintillion miles.” What’s the point in getting out all of your Mad Max gear, building a shelter, etc., etc., if some egghead’s going to come out a few days later and say they screwed up (come on, guys, this ain’t rocket science you know)? You just look silly.
I get all *my * science news from Comedy Central…
Honestly, even if you did know life would be over in 2-3 years, what would you do differently? Building a shelter wouldn’t help, and would you really want to be the only (or one of a few) left alive anyway? Why not just go about your daily routine as usual?
DFo you have a cite for NADSA ever once claiming that something was going to hit us and wipe us all out? I’ve never seen it.
Incidentally, the guy on TDS didn’t say that asteroid was going collide with the earth, he said it was going to get close (closer than man made satellites) and that it might collide with the earth. There is nothing implausible about a large object hitting the earth. It’s happened before, it’ll happen again.
That should have been, “Do you have a cite for NASA…” Please excuse my suckass typing skills.
NASA has never warned that a particular object is going to strike the Earth, nor has any other reputable astronomical or space-exploration organization. What they have warned, on several occasions, is that a particular object might strike the Earth. Typically, this “might” is somewhere in the vicinity of a 1 in 800 chance, or so. Of course, whenever this happens, they try to find more information, so they can determine whether it actually will hit. This consists of both taking more pictures of the object with better instruments, and of looking for old pictures which contain the object. This process usually takes a few days or weeks, and fortunately, so far the result has always been to confirm that the object will not hit us.
The problem isn’t NASA, here, it’s the mainstream press. A newspaper article is going to put minimal emphasis on the 1 in 800 odds, and maximum emphasis on the alarmism. Then, of course, when the better data are in, the newspapers will either say nothing at all, or they’ll paint the astronomers as being incompetent.
Who said anything about life being over? If an asteroid the size of the one that killed the dinosaurs were to hit in two years, I’d be more or less going about my routine not only for the next two years, but for the next fifty. About the only preparation you’d need to make for such an event would be to stock up a few years worth of food, something many people already do anyway. The only reason the dinosaurs died was because they didn’t know to stockpile.
A perusal of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program’s potential future Earth impact events reveals only one asteroid that might hit the earth in 2008, 2004 FU162. The rock has a diameter of 6 meters, and a probability of hitting of 4.8 X 10[sup]-7[/sup].
I’d drink a lot more, I can tell you that much. I used to have idle fantasies of meeting Armageddon in a lawn chair in the backyard, next to a case of brew. The Greatest Show on Earth… :eek:
I think you misheard Tyson. He said that we’d have a near-miss that he implied was soon, but didn’t give a date. Then he said that we stood a greater chance of being hit the next time around in 2029.
I just heard an astonomer on TV (sorry I didn’t get his name and organization) state that every day there is a 1 in 20000 chance that this will be the day that a large object strikes the earth.
If accurate that means that there is:
1 chance in 1000 that one will strike in the next 20 years.
1 chance in 100 that one will strike in the next 201 years.
1 chance in 10 that one will strike in the next 2107 years.
1 chance in 2 that one will strike in the next 13862 years.
I think I’ve got a pretty good chance to miss it.
Yes, That is he.
Would devastation from an asteroid the size of large stadium do damage that we would measure in the range of say, several states? Would it be a huge area affected?
Don’t worry, the bird flu will kill you before the asteroid does.
Oh my goodness. Ignore this guy’s number because it can’t be right. My results above are in days not years and that’s just plain nuts.
In fact, just forget the whole thing. There ain’t much chance of one striking in any case.
Someday one will but there seem to have been few earth shattering ones in the whole 4.5 billion year existence of the earth.
I bet you anything you will at least check to see the impact point and (possibly) decide moving might be in your best interest.
The total number of persons known to have been killed by meteor strikes in recorded history is one, and that one might be false. Ordinary weather kills more folks than that on a daily basis. Random gunfire is more likely to take you out in most US Cities. You need another thing to be all paranoid about.
Plagues have killed millions, and done so throughout history.
Wars have killed millions, as well.
Drunk drivers kill tens of thousands every year, year after year.
Hell, Doctors and Nurses kill tens of thousands too, every year.
So you’re probably more likely to be, I dunno, trampled to death by giraffes. Still, the prospect of a huge rock falling from the sky frightens me more.
deGrasse Tyson was talking about asteroid 2004 MN4. In 2029 it is currently projected to pass within 22,600 miles from Earth, which puts it inside the geosynchronous orbit, but still a “safe miss” and is not currently predicted to make any more close approaches for the rest of the 21st century.