NASA Downgrades Asteroid-Strike Threat

mercurial

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LOS ANGELES — NASA says the chances of an 885-foot (270-meter) asteroid striking Earth in 2036 have been downgraded.

Scientists initially believed there was a 1-in-45,000 chance that Apophis could hit the planet on April 13, 2036. But NASA said Wednesday the threat has been dropped to 1-in-250,000 after it recalculated the asteriod's path.

Earth got a scare in 2004, when initial readings suggested the newly discovered Apophis seemed to have a chance of hitting in 2029. Further observations ruled out any possibility of an impact.

Apophis is scheduled to make a close but harmless approach in 2029.

Source
 

hoegh

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what intrigues me here is that if they can "fluff" the calculations and downgrade the threat surely they can "fluff" the calculations on another one and have to upgrade the threat??
 

HapticSimian

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I think it's simply down to every day giving more (and thus more accurate) data...
 

Balstrome

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True, but remember all it takes is one smaller rock to nudge it back on course and Madison Iowa, is history.
 

DigitalSoldier

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AFP Berlin from 15th April 2008

According to the Agence France-Press GMBH (AFP), a 13 year old schoolboy from the Humboldt GymnasiumNico Marquardt in Potsdam, Germany, corrected NASA’s 99942 Apophis asteroid figures on paper. The boy apparently made his discovery as part of a regional science competition for which he submitted a project entitled: “Apophis — The Killer Asteroid.”

Nico Marquardt re-calculated the asteroid’s estimates on the chances of it colliding with Earth after recognizing that NASA (the boffins) had miscalculated. The Potsdamer Neuester Nachrichten (PNN), a newspaper of Berlin, reported that the school boy used telescopic findings from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) to calculate that there was a 1 in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth. Here is the PNN article ‘Apophis im Anflug’.

Nico Marquardt caused a sensation - in Berlin and Germany - he received regional award of “Young Scientists” and also won the competition in the field of physics.

In his calculations, the schoolboy took into consideration the risk of Apophis running into one or more of the 40,000 satellites orbiting Earth during its path close to the planet on April 13 2029.

Earth satellites are known to travel at 3.07 kilometres a second (1.9 miles), at up to 35,880 kilometres above earth — and the Apophis asteroid is expected to pass very close to earth in 2029 at a distance of 32,500 kilometres.

http://www.ontome.com/2008/06/12/13...9942-apophis-impact-probability-calculations/
 

DigitalSoldier

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And then from the same website:

January 28th, 2008 at 11:40 am

Asteroid’s Chance of Possible Collison with Earth in 2036 Reduced to 0

The asteroid’s name is 99942 Apophis - Apophis being the name for an evil spirit of destruction in Egyptian myth and an appropriate name for this Near Earth Object (NEO) discovered in 2004 by Roy A. Tucker, David J. Tholen, and Fabrizio Bernardi of the NASA-funded University of Hawaii Asteroid Survey from Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. The asteroid was initially named ‘2004 MN4′. Scientists at the time insisted that there was very little time left to prepare a defense strategy for a possible collision. Technology to deflect the asteroid, they said, would take decades to design, test and build.
 

Gekco

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Scientists at the time insisted that there was very little time left to prepare a defense strategy for a possible collision. Technology to deflect the asteroid, they said, would take decades to design, test and build.

This sucks.
I have seen the death star and know that it is capable of disintegrating planets never mind puny little asteroids.
In fact the Millennium Falcon could probably take care of those if the 'force' was with them.
What are our hard intergalactic credits being spent on?
 
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