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back to article Astronomy crowd spots PLANET KILLER!

Unravelling DNA, identifying exoplanets, and now, spotting near-Earth asteroids: is there anything that science can’t outsource to an Internet crowd? The European Space Agency has announced that its Space Situational Awareness program, in which amateur astronomers pitch into to help analyze sky survey photographs, has turned up …

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Silver badge

It's probably

only around the size of your average bus, hardly enough to do more than flatten a few suburbs at best, since all the bigger stuff has pretty much been found and tracked by now!

If anything's going to take out the Earth in the near future, it'll be a comet kicked in from the Kuitper disc by Jupiter, there's not much left that's closer that we don't already know about. - Aside from Geographos and Apophis, none of it poses a threat, and even they are long shots to actually hit us.

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Coat

How disappointing...

... I was expecting them to say that they'd sighted a huge ship that was hiding in a pocket of hyperspace or maybe a suspicious looking extra moon...

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Mushroom

heh

I can go one better than that, Thought they might have said we have discovered Nibiru and it's on course for collision in 2012.

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Gold badge
Coat

"....we have discovered Nibiru....."

Wait 'til Rag Week. That's the time you're most likely to find a clapped-out old Daewoo car stuck somewhere improbable.....

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What about Saturns rings?

Any twists in them yet?

From 'Footfall' another Niven/ Pournelle story.

ttfn

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Anonymous Coward

Wanting destruction and mayhem

I don't know why, but I sometimes wish that a reasonably sized asteroid does crash into earth and cause a bit of destruction and loss of life. Because the way politicians usually react to single big events is to make laws and make it out that they are doing something to stop this event (which is usually a single occurence anyway) from ever happening again. They will then ramp up the space programme into sending Bruce Willis out into space to stop the next asteroid, in the mean time we might get people travelling to Mars and the asteroids and doing some really exciting space research.

Am I a bad person for thinking this?

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Happy

Am I a bad person for thinking this?

No, but it should be Chuck Norris, not Bruce Willis. The asteroid would change course when it heard he was coming.

Second choice: Vladimir Putin.

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Meh

64 million dollar one...

If that loss of life happened to be yours would you be so enthusiastic?

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Mushroom

I'm not saying I'm keen on it happening, but we all have to make sacrifices occasionally, and at least I wouldn't have to go to work any more...

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Mushroom

Bruce Willis on Standby alert?

That is all

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Silver badge

What a let-down...

"the newly-discovered 2011 SF108 isn’t about to send us the way of the dinosaurs."

So no chance of us growing wings and becoming birds then...

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Anonymous Coward

"So no chance of us growing wings and becoming birds then..."

No, not enough high street shoe shops.

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Bronze badge

Situational

Jesus! Are they trying to outdo NASA in the stupid word stakes?

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Headmaster

«... for we non-astronomers» ?

O tempora o mores !...

Henri

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Coat

30 million kilometres????

Thirty gigametres, surely?

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Anonymous Coward

Re; 30 gigameters?

I am sure you meant to say approximately 214 teralinguine, no?

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This is astronomy!

Only values in terms of Earth Radii, Solar Radii, Astronomical Units or Parsecs will be accepted.

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Boffin

Some rounding errors in there.

The announcement claims 0.1879 AU, which as we all know is 200781713603.78571428571428571429 linguine.

About.

However, a perusal of the official ElReg style guide turns up:

>For greater than 1lg, the following should be used:

>Double-decker bus = 65.85lg

>Brontosaurus = 15 double-decker buses laid bumper-to-bumper

Which means the closest approach to the Earth should correctly be stated as 194414634.32949476086730988691773 brontosauruses laid nose-to-tail.

About.

Incidentally, it's curious the the London bus should measure precisely one fifteenth of a brontosaurus. I wonder whether this is by design. And if so, the design of the bus or the design of the brontosaurus?

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Alien

30 million kilometres

That's about 54 billionths of a Kessel Run.

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Anonymous Coward

What is wrong with using miles as a unit of measure in non-specialized media?

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Silver badge

Or for you Americans out there...

328,083,990 football fields

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Boffin

miles as a unit of measure

nothing is any more wrong with miles then furlongs.

(you might do well to note, this is UK site, so "miles" should probably be considered about as archaic.)

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Boffin

and for Canadians?

How many CFL Canadian football fields. Like everything else, Canadian ones are larger.

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...and since every 6 year old knows that the moon is "about 400Mm" away (in other words 0.4Gm of course), then hearing about this chunk of rock being 30Gm out at closest approach is perfectly understandable.

What the %$£$ all those numbers are in miles is anyone's guess. Or brontosauruses. Or linguini. As the parent poster pointed out, this is the UK, and no sensible person would have taught their children about *any* of those units.

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Pirate

Still undecided on the Lucifer's Hammer issue. Crazy cannibal hordes on motorbikes or sensible middle-class professionals in support of nuclear power? I think the former group has more fun on the whole, but is it a post-apocalypse career choice that makes sense?

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Megaphone

Bah!

Yet another Kracht-pot. When you spread rumours, you make an SSA out of you and me...

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Obviously it would would be rubbish...

...to be wiped out by the astronomical equivalent of a fender-bender, but don't you think it would add insult to injury for the impactor to be called "Kracht-Busch"?

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