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back to article NASA snaps revealing pix of visiting near-Earth asteroid

In a marvelously precise bit of radar aiming, NASA astro-boffins captured a set of images of a near-Earth asteroid as it passed by our lonely planet late last month at distances of between 9 and 10 million kilometers (5.6 and 6.2 million miles). The images, released on Monday, show asteroid 2007 PA8 to be what NASA describes as …

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About the size of the Isle of Wight?

What's that in football fields?

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Silver badge

"...1.6 kilometer girth ..."

It's not the girth, it's the radar cross sectional size, which is roughly the diameter of a very roughly spherical object.

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Joke

Re: "...1.6 kilometer girth ..."

You can't ignore its girth

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FAIL

Tidings of despair and doom.....

"Astro-boffins are getting better at tracking and spotting near-Earth asteroids. Just this June, for example, blah, blah, blah, blah....."

"Some 50,000,000 asteroids of significant global depopulation size are being tracked, and not many of them are likely to hit the earth within the next week or so.... blah, blah, blah...."

There are SOOOOOOO many of them coming past on a daily basis, that I think we ought to mandate the organisation of a beer and bomb - bottle popping contest - farmstyle.

Instead of piling up a heap of bottles or cans along the fence, and shooting them off, for target practice, each nuke equipped nation, ought to be given 3 shots at each one that comes past , one for every orbit of the earth....

Sort of a USEFUL nuclear arms race...

With the points given to the best long range shot and the least amount significant atmosphere penetrating bits left over, that end up in the sun or something.

That is actually something fun and useful to do with nukes and the like...

And it has my approval..

Much better than doing the "Oh fuck no - we are going to get center punched in 3 weeks time and there is not a fucking thing we can do about it!!! Cause the only things we have to throw at it are theories... shriek - wet panties etc."

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Re: Tidings of despair and doom.....

But, randomly throwing nukes at something has never ever solved anything! Imagine nudging one of these buggers that wont be a threat for the next 200 years into a path that will have it collide in 20 years.

Also, I remember someone somewhere questioning the use of nukes, something with transferring the energy. I dont quite remember it but it was said to be a rather bad solution to the problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tidings of despair and doom.....

Although you may have your tongue in your cheek, it's worth pointing out the following:

"each nuke equipped nation, ought to be given 3 shots at each one that comes past"

The current "nuke equipped nations" can only deliver their warheads to somewhere on the surface of the Earth; hitting something a million, or more, miles away is a much more expensive trick.

"points given to the best long range shot and the least amount significant atmosphere penetrating bits left over"

So points deducted if you disturb the orbit and bring one down on our heads?

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Mushroom

Re: Tidings of despair and doom.....

I seem to remember a documentary on the TV a few years ago where thermonuclear warheads were very successfully used to protect the Earth from a nasty impact. It was on TV, perhaps even BBC2; therefore its entirely realistic and feasible. And that's final. I think it was called 'Meteor' with Sean Connery and Karl Malden.

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Mushroom

Re: Tidings of despair and doom.....

@Pepper. I'm fairly sure that throwing one of these fuckers at it will solve something. :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba

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Re: Tidings of despair and doom.....

Nuke-possessing nations: China, Russia, India, France, UK, USA

Space-capable nations: China, Russia, India, France and UK (via ESA), USA

In many ways there isn't a very big difference between a missile for carrying a nuclear warhead any sort of distance and a rocket to send something to space. In the grand scheme of things it would not take much engineering to take a nuclear bomb payload out of an ICBM and put it into an Ariane or an Atlas

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Anonymous Coward

I'm looking forward

to the adoption of the unit of measurement that would lead to Earth being on alert for dangerous Near Earth Isle of Wight objects.

Amazing technological achievement in obtaining those images

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps

The Isle of Wight is just a landed without breaking up asteroid?

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Go

For lots of "near" misses...

follow https://twitter.com/lowflyingrocks

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So, it is a rock then

"an elongated, irregularly shaped object ... with ridges and perhaps craters." Would we expect something different?

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Alert

better

Why try to hit the asstroid? Why not just aim for earth and deflect that? Hitting the asteroid is hard, and as has been pointed out, it might come back when we are not looking..

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