INCOMING! (An asteroid, that is... tonight!)

See the story here.

I hope someone in the Sudan has a video camera handy! :slight_smile:

Fine! No one but me cares… and it’s too late now anyways.

Woulda been cool though, if you were in the Sudan…

Great username/thread combo, if nothing else. :wink:

I do wonder how they arrive at their TNT equivilancy number, though. Any idea?

Are we going to Addis Ababa Mr. Luthor?!?!?

Serious answer: no idea.

I’m betting it’s just a guess, since obviously there’s no way of telling the composition of the asteroid. It could be rock, or it could be nickle-iron; I think the results would be different, so they just averaged them out and estimated. I could easily be wrong on that though… not current on my asteroids…:wink:

It’s pretty straightforward. They can estimate the size from the brightness, and take an educated guess as to the density (a few times that of water, for a chondrite, or up to almost 8 for an iron one), which gives them a rough value for the mass. The same orbital data that they used to tell them it was going to hit also tells them the speed. From there, it’s just a matter of KE = 1/2 m*v[sup]2[/sup], and convert the energy units to TNT equivalency.

EXACTLY what I was trying to say in my prior post.


I think it’s made of TNT…

What’s the albedo of cold neutronium? :dubious:


We’ll have to ask Quagdop the Mercotan, i think.

Earth Impactor 2008 TC3 en route to Northern Sudan

So, What kind of <insert your choice here> end of the world creature, invader from outer space, angelic visitor, etc. </insert> did it release ?

There seems to be no news coming out of northern Sudan tonight.


You can practice defending the Earth here.


I can’t frakking believe someone beat me to that.

Impact of Asteroid 2008 TC3 Confirmed

Presumably several real and “non-existent” satellites tracked it’s entry in order to collect data. We might finally have some asteroid impact data to compare to the mysterious Vela Incident.

The full story of Earth-impacting asteroid 2008 TC3 - The Planetary Society Blog