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Asteroid 2018 GE3 - near miss 4/15/18

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#26 555aaa

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:42 PM

On the evening of the 14th (UT) it was 16th magnitude and moving across the sky around 7 arc sec per min which is easy in amateur equipment. It got down to around 13th mag on the 15th but was whizzing by at about a half degree per minute, and then it quickly faded into oblivion the same night, but it did get over 100 observations on between the 14th and 15th.

 

It's orbit takes it inside Mercury's orbit. Have a look at it on the JPL orbit viewer.

 

The objects like this that are really hazardous are comets and comet-like objects which approach from deep space from the sunward side and they never get detected until they hit us or pass us.

 

https://ssd.jpl.nasa...log=0;cad=0#orb



#27 bunyon

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:49 PM

We probably couldn't predict an impact accurately enough for evacuation now. But that is, or should be, the next goal. As you have so clearly pointed out, we aren't anywhere close to being able to intercept or alter a rock on a collision course. It is feasible to improve detection, tracking and modeling so that the warning we get, whenever the day comes, is sufficient to clear an area.

 

I think of it like tornadoes. When my father was 13, his hometown was leveled and they got about 30 seconds warning. Many lives were lost. Today, storms like that still happen but fewer people - by orders of magnitude - die because they get a few minutes warning.  If we can increase warning time and accuracy by an order of magnitude - an extreme technological challenge - we could be in the same  boat.  And it's a worthy goal and we'll learn a lot of others things while we do it.

 

We're in no position to even contemplate any kind of preventative action. 



#28 Exnihilo

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 04:50 PM

Even if we couldn't do some kind of "intercept,"  we could evacuate a possible impact zone, and even though we might not be able to predict a precise impact, we could give probabilities, just as we can compute an overall probability of hitting the earth.



#29 George N

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:21 PM

Even if we couldn't do some kind of "intercept,"  we could evacuate a possible impact zone, and even though we might not be able to predict a precise impact, we could give probabilities, just as we can compute an overall probability of hitting the earth.

 

If the people in Chelyabinsk had known what was coming they would not have been standing near windows: https://www.youtube....h?v=tq02C_3FvFo



#30 BrooksObs

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:22 PM

Meh...

 

You don't even need to evacuate to save lives...lets say you can't narrow it down to more than about a 1000 mile by 1000 mile area...and 30 minutes give or take...many lives will be saved by hunkering down and being ready to take care of things given a day or two notice than everybody going about their business as normal when a big random blast hits the fan.

 

If you are old enough and live anywhere near a large city you might recall the multitude of Civil Defense shelters scattered across the city, the Civil Defense TV spots, and the public air raid drills that were frequently held, the public being chased off the streets while sirens blared and folks requested to know and assemble at the shelter entrances, or other supposed "safe" sites. Those located outside cities were urged to build their own "fallout shelters". We who do recall this hardly noticed as the government slowly but surely discontinuing these approaches and advice. And why did they do so? Because they came to realize that in the event of an attack (or meteorite strike) the chances of survival would be better if public panic were avoided and folks just went about their daily lives!

 

Incidentally, a ground striking of a 100 foot body would not be nearly as awful as the sci-fi movies suggest. So I see no point for concern over the matter.

 

BrooksObs



#31 BrooksObs

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:37 PM

Even if we couldn't do some kind of "intercept,"  we could evacuate a possible impact zone, and even though we might not be able to predict a precise impact, we could give probabilities, just as we can compute an overall probability of hitting the earth.

 

Brother Paul, I'm afraid the very idea of calling for the evacuation of a broad area of a region would be the ultimate disaster associated with such an event...it would result in utter chaos! Recall what happened a few years ago when that hurricane was predicted to make landfall in the city of New Orleans? A hundred mile traffic jam left countless thousand stuck in their vehicles on the highway leading to IIRC Houston, TX exposed to the storm. Simultaneously, unknown further thousands more had no means of escape available to them. Evacuation is never a viable answer in pending widespread natural events.  

 

BrooksObs 


Edited by BrooksObs, 16 April 2018 - 07:40 PM.


#32 RussL

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:20 PM

Gee, glad to know I can just forget about it. NOT!!!

Being prudent isn't freaking out. Nothing wrong with at least taking a look into the matter.

#33 Special Ed

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:53 PM

With one day's warning, the evacuation discussions are moot.  Better to discuss proactive measures.  There are professionals in the astronomy community who take this possibility seriously--it isn't a question of if but when.  They see it as inevitable at some point and since we don't have any other place to live we need to protect Earth if we can.

 

Hopefully we have time to develop a defense--we are a moving target so there's that in our favor.  There are several ideas out there--some are majorly wrong-headed.  For instance, firing a nuke at an incoming asteroid or comet, which would result in a hundred fragments headed our way instead of one body--kind of like grapeshot.

 

The best idea I've heard proposed is to use a space-based mirror to reflect focused solar energy onto an object to create a reaction which would change the trajectory of the object.  No complicated missions to rendezvous a space tug with the object to push or pull it off course, etc.

 

The mirror idea still requires financial commitment and preparation time and good sky surveys--especially in the southern hemisphere where surveys are sorely lacking.  And there is always the chance that we'll only have one day's warning (or none at all).  But we ought to at least try while we (maybe) have time.  Someone (I forget who) said that the difference between us and the dinosaurs is--we have a space program.


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#34 starcanoe

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:12 AM

 

 

Incidentally, a ground striking of a 100 foot body would not be nearly as awful as the sci-fi movies suggest. So I see no point for concern over the matter.

 

BrooksObs

 

What sci-fi movies are you talking about? Pretty much every sci fi movie I've seen has the incoming object being big enough to be somewhere between a state killer and a planet killer.



#35 BrooksObs

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:31 AM

Not the latest drivel involving a comet and an asteroid (which was some of the worst Sci-Fi I've ever seen concerning technical accuracy). I was thinking about a couple of films back in the 1990's or perhaps early 2000 the names of which thankfully escape me at the moment...with big name actors however. The premise has been overused in the past decade, or two. Time to move on with the scenario.

 

BrooksObs


Edited by BrooksObs, 17 April 2018 - 07:40 AM.


#36 Seanem44

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:15 AM

Working in the military and knowing enough about DSCA operations for nuke strikes, etc...  I don't know that evacuations would have helped.  If you live in the DC area like I do, it probably would have caused more harm than good.  People caught out in cars in a jam during an event like this, with a massive airburst would have played out almost exactly like a similar situation with a nuclear airburst, sans fallout.  Fortunately the lack of fallout would at least greatly aid in recovery and rescue ops.  A hunker down approach would really be the only viable option, and at that point it comes down to blind luck in the density and other physical components of the body.

 

I think most have said the dangers are always from objects like this.  Not the very large ones that we have mostly tracked, but the smaller objects with potential for more small scale city-size/regional impact.   

 

Regardless, this will be a highlight at the conference this June.



#37 Seanem44

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:18 AM

Although I don't worry about it, there seem to be a decent number of rocks that pass by closer than the moon. After a while, I get the impression of the Earth being in a shooting gallery.

We are, and always have been.  But our (human) sense of time seems to distort things a bit.  Not only that, the fact we see these things now when in the past we never did only brings our awareness up. 


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#38 Classic8

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:19 PM

Brother Paul, I'm afraid the very idea of calling for the evacuation of a broad area of a region would be the ultimate disaster associated with such an event...it would result in utter chaos! Recall what happened a few years ago when that hurricane was predicted to make landfall in the city of New Orleans? A hundred mile traffic jam left countless thousand stuck in their vehicles on the highway leading to IIRC Houston, TX exposed to the storm. Simultaneously, unknown further thousands more had no means of escape available to them. Evacuation is never a viable answer in pending widespread natural events.  

 

BrooksObs 

If people didn't evacuate during hurricanes we would have a lot more deaths. Same with wildfires, obviously. And if you had warning of a tsunami it would be worth trying to evacuate also.



#39 starcanoe

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:03 PM

Not the latest drivel involving a comet and an asteroid (which was some of the worst Sci-Fi I've ever seen concerning technical accuracy). I was thinking about a couple of films back in the 1990's or perhaps early 2000 the names of which thankfully escape me at the moment...with big name actors however. The premise has been overused in the past decade, or two. Time to move on with the scenario.

 

BrooksObs

 

Those movies...Deep Impact and Armagedon (sp?) had impactors the size of small cities...not the size of large houses.

 

Movies like that MAY be overdone in the sense that they take an unlikley scenario and present it as something that could easily happen (though one must observe that at any moment in time the actually could occur)...kinda like the eruption of the Yellowstone caldera....

 

But on the other hand....a large impactor....well....impacting...that would actually be some serious level brown stuff in the fan....so THAT part of those kinda movies is IMO spot on...if not actually underplayed in my opinion...

 

I kinda like the part of Deep Impact where the amateur astronomer who discovered it names it after his wife...and it is NOT because his wife is a nice person.



#40 BrooksObs

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:35 PM

Brother George, the events you are citing above are essentially localized with a distinct direction of approach and direction allowing for limited escape. Even so, in the case of Katrina it was just sheer luck that additional thousands didn't die while stranded on the highways. Incidentally, the deaths within New Orleans proper were the result of infrastructure insufficiency long known to exist if there were to be a direct strike from a major hurricane, yet never addressed. Had these dangerous deficiencies been addressed in the first place long ago, few would have died within the city's limits.

 

An asteroid strike where the impact zone will only be vaguely determined beforehand would be something entirely different and much worse. Aside from the utter chaos of a last minute evacuation, putting countless hundreds of thousands (millions?) out onto hopelessly clogged evacuation routes to be trapped, or even heading them toward, rather than away, from the eventual ground zero borders on the insane! The very same would be true in an impending thermonuclear missile strike by the way. 

 

BrooksObs 


Edited by BrooksObs, 17 April 2018 - 05:40 PM.


#41 BrooksObs

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:38 PM

Those movies...Deep Impact and Armagedon (sp?) had impactors the size of small cities...not the size of large houses.

 

Movies like that MAY be overdone in the sense that they take an unlikley scenario and present it as something that could easily happen (though one must observe that at any moment in time the actually could occur)...kinda like the eruption of the Yellowstone caldera....

 

But on the other hand....a large impactor....well....impacting...that would actually be some serious level brown stuff in the fan....so THAT part of those kinda movies is IMO spot on...if not actually underplayed in my opinion...

 

I kinda like the part of Deep Impact where the amateur astronomer who discovered it names it after his wife...and it is NOT because his wife is a nice person.

 

Those were not the movies I was referring to...except as too their inaccuracies. The ones I noted came earlier.

 

BrooksObs



#42 Classic8

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:53 PM

Brother George, the events you are citing above are essentially localized with a distinct direction of approach and direction allowing for limited escape. Even so, in the case of Katrina it was just sheer luck that additional thousands didn't die while stranded on the highways. Incidentally, the deaths within New Orleans proper were the result of infrastructure insufficiency long known to exist if there were to be a direct strike from a major hurricane, yet never addressed. Had these dangerous deficiencies been addressed in the first place long ago, few would have died within the city's limits.

 

An asteroid strike where the impact zone will only be vaguely determined beforehand would be something entirely different and much worse. Aside from the utter chaos of a last minute evacuation, putting countless hundreds of thousands (millions?) out onto hopelessly clogged evacuation routes to be trapped, or even heading them toward, rather than away, from the eventual ground zero borders on the insane! The very same would be true in an impending thermonuclear missile strike by the way. 

 

BrooksObs 

You said evacuation was never an answer for widespread events. The tsunami was pretty widespread. Some of the wildfires become widespread AND you don't necessarily know where they are going to head. And the hurricanes affected a pretty large area - and there was a good chance of them hitting an even larger area.

 

Having said that, I guess I can keep my "The End of the World is Near" signs in my closet for now. smile.gif


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