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Author Topic: Asteroid misses Earth by 160K miles  (Read 2989 times)
beemaster
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« on: March 23, 2006, 07:51:06 AM »

Imagine, a 1/4 mile wide nearly solid mass of iron and some other material and a little bit space debree pulled behind (nothing though like a comet) passed within 160 thousand miles of Earth last week - in case you forgot, that is about HALF the distance from here to the moon.

This asteroid could have cause many different forms of Earth changing damage - hit the ocean, a tsunami might occur, hit the desert, sand and debree could clog the atmophere for years, hit a major city and say goodbye to that city.

a 1/4 mile asteroid isn't a Earth Killer (supposedly) but it surely would catch our attention. But the scary thing from NASA is that we have nearly 22 thousand similar misses (this one was the closest to miss the planet) every year.

We really don't have an early warning system or contingency plan to handle these deadly objects from space - maybe it is a blessing especially if it is a planet killer.  But you can't really sit and worry about such things, but many NASA scientists claim that Jupiter and Neptune and Saturn are GREAT planets to have as near space neighbors - their magnetic drawn (actually gravational pull from their mass) help to pull these objects away from Earth. Of course, there is always the chance that the EXACT OPPOSITE can happen and they can pull an object into our path which would have missed us otherwise.

Yes... we are going back to the moon while the Soviets continue to move material up into space for the continued construction of the International Space Station ISS. We will rocket lots of stuff up there, but the Shuttle program is quickly going away and we are returning to the moon, with some word that it may be a refueling launch pad for deeper space flights in the future.

I'm excited that we are finding liquid water out there around these moons - I hope (since of radiation issues) we improve the probes that travel to their orbits and eventually land, capture and return debree from these moons.

Keeping human safe is NUMBER ONE always, but technology must march on - and better billions into space than into weapons. We hear of the 2300 Americans dead and thousands of Americans wounded, what about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqies dead and wounded who have gotten caught up in this war - don't think for a second poor people can't accidentally find their homes in the middle of a battle field, it happens in every war, it happened here many years ago in Revolutionary and Civil war.

Call me a hippy (or whatever you are today) but I'd rather see space exploration then war any day.
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2006, 09:33:58 AM »

Quote from: beemaster

Call me a hippy (or whatever you are today) but I'd rather see space exploration then war any day.


Amen to that brother, Amen. Let's all just get along! There's still plenty of room on this planet for everyone if we could all just learn how to get along!! Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2007, 12:03:34 PM »

I stumbled across this site one day, and was fascinated to encounter at least a few individuals who think outside the box.

There are actually concerted professional and amateur efforts to track stray asteroids and whatnot.  Curiously, amateurs have been creating a great deal of notoriety over the past decade.  There are now websites that list and track errant asteroids and whatnot.  The big excitement lately has been a football stadium sized asteroid that will make a near pass in the 2020's and then possibly impact in the early 2030's.  Some studies have been so detailed as to identify where the impact will occur (ref., in the Pacfic Ocean between Hawaii and southern California); however this was upsetting to many and more recent reports give the asteroid a low chance of impact.  U.S.Congress has looked into this, and not figured-out what to do, and has postponed further considerations.  The near pass-by in the mid-2020's should stimulate interest.

The irony is that there are over 1,000 asteroid in near collision solar orbitals, and this disqualifies Earth as being a planet, according to the criteria applied to disqualifying Pluto.  I did some research, and according to the criteria that disqualified Pluto, our solar system now actually only has two legitimate planets.  The rest, including Earth, are disqualified.

I find the asteroid belt to be very fascinating.  It is still not entirely certain whether this is a debris field or a planetary beltway where planets either did not entirely form or were torn apart by Jupiter?  It is a wide-enough zone for at least two planets.  At this point it is a cosmic pool table.  Collisions cause somethings to be shattered and others to be knocked out of stable orbits and then to be absorbed or sling-shotted asunder by Jupiter.  Current astronomical thinking is that the asteroid belt will be entirely cleaned-out and emptied, except for possibly dust rings, within a million years.  This suggests that the current asteriod belt as we know it today is probably not that old, which makes one wonder what it was like 500 millions years ago, or a billion years ago or 3 billions years ago.

Regardless of whether one believes in an extraterrestrial space alien deity, or whatever religion, or other spiritual divinity, there are some interesting aspects about the spiritual nature of biological life (including evolution) and humanity, including such phenomena as afterlife, ghosts and manifest destiny.  Because of underground facilities, humans could, no doubt, survive a sizeable asteroid impact and even a moderately prolonged global winter.  Humanity will definitely become quite durable with the development of a permanent lunar colony, which will no doubt occur within two decades or less.  Extensive colonization of Luna and Mars are inevitable.  Martian colonization probably will not begin occurring until after mid-century.  Luna and Martian colonies will be domed colonies initially with considerable underground development.  The problem with Lunar colonies will be the intense sunlight and harmful solar radiation frequencies.  With designer greenhouse atmospheres, surface domed areas on Mars can be subtropical or even tropical, although Mars will feel like a late afternoon paradise with only half to less of the midday overhead sunlight intensity as Earth.  Lunar colonies will be essentially solar-powered with a major emphasis on biofuels, which means Luna agriculture, which means multilayered dome systems that can chemically and electrically filter or reflect the biologically harmful solar radiation frequencies.  Martian colonies will be similar; however my colony designs require a surround of nuclear power plants.  Plant life will grow more slowly on Mars.  In both realms of colonial adventure, beekeepers and worm ranchers will be essential.

The wildcard in extraterrestrial colonization is water.  Luna either has a lot of water or the ingredients to make water, and also has potentials for nuclear reactor technology.  Only recently is science becoming certain about the origins of Luna and making this knowledge publicly known.  About 4.2/4.3 billions years ago, primordial Earth and a smaller planet, posthumously named Thaea, collided.  The collision was somewhat oblique and knocked off a lot of the now Pacific basin area, which produced a vast dust cloud around Earth that ultimately consolidated into Luna, our moon.  Once Luna formed, it appeared some 14 times larger than today, because it was much closer.  It has been progressively drifting away and may at some point become independent.  Primordial Earth and Thaea had essentially consolidated into planets at the time of the collision, and as a result, Luna has little or no nickel-iron inner core.  Luna was essentially formed of rocky materials outside the inner cores of the two planets.  The collision apparently caused Earth and Thaea to become re-molten and fuse together into modern Earth.  Where Thaea came from is an enigma, or possibly primordial Earth and Thaea were the last two planetoidal accretions of the Earth orbital zone?

The other planetary moons were captured by the planets.  Most or all are from the Kupier Belt; however one or more might have come from the asteroid belt region?  Some astronomers wonder whether Mercury is truly a planet or perhaps a wandering moon that Venus had captured for a while and then lost?

The major nearby source for water is Ceres, which is one of the largest or the largest of the planetoids in the asteroid belt.  It is surrounded in thick ice and is believed to harbor more freshwater than currently exists on Earth.  I predict an ice mining operation off Ceres in the 22nd Century.

The adventures that lie ahead are awesome and totally exciting.  It makes one want to live forever just to find out what happens.
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