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back to article Sky watchers prep for early 2013 asteroid fly-bys

NASA asteroid-watchers are eagerly awaiting a January 9 fly-by of the maybe-dangerous-one-day 99942 Apophis to improve their understanding of its orbit. Named after an ancient Egyptian god of evil and darkness, the asteroid was first detected in 2004. While the earliest observations suggested a possible collision with Earth in …

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Pint

Re: We're gonna die!

But half-full glass: the NASA U2 plane will be able to get some great views of its topside

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Coat

The biggest problem with Lucifer's Hammer are the damn cannibals. Although there wasn't much of London left after the tidal waves either so it's not all bad news :)

Mine's the coat with the first edition in the pocket.

Oh and for the pedants out there: Lucifer's Hammer was a comet not a 'roid ;)

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Thumb Up

There were some cool engineers in that story, brewing up mustard gas to keep away crazed army bastards in the basement and restarting a boiling water reactor probably in a worse way than FukuMammaMia.

Additionally, sending useless beancounters into the wilderness instead of taking them into the survivor stronghold? Badass!

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Pint

Contrails! You might control the sky - but we control the lightening!

Not a bad book overall. I think it's a little too long for me to want to re-read now but I have pleasant memories of it nonetheless.

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Coat

Footfall

Always preferred Footfall to Lucifer's Hammer, but then I've always been a fan of big space tech.

(Mine's the one with the boot in the pocket and the Fithp buying us drinks in the pub BTW.)

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Meh

Rather humbling

Our biannual companion 2012 DA14 passes us by at the same sort of range that your Sky transmissions come from, yet we didn't see it until last year. Makes you wonder what else is up there, unseen, ready to create another Tunguska event. Or worse, extinction level event.

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Happy

Re: Rather humbling

We know where all the big ones are, so no worries about an extinction-level impact for a good century or so. (Then our predictions break down, but I'm not all that worried about big impacts over a hundred years away.)

That said, you're right - we don't know where all the ones big enough to level a city or small town are.

However, everyone knows that the only cities such things ever hit are central London, Paris, New York City, Washington DC or the Golden Gate Bridge - Hollywood said so.

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Mushroom

Re: Rather humbling

Until I hear of the sad passing of one Bruce Willis then surely I don't need to concern myself with such things?

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Headmaster

Re: Rather humbling

"We know where all the big ones are"

We know where the ones we know about are!

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Re: Rather humbling

I've always been curious about this... How do we know that we know where all the big ones are?

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Re: Rather humbling

"I've always been curious about this... How do we know that we know where all the big ones are?"

Short answer - we don't.

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Mushroom

How do we know that we know where all the big ones are?

" Short answer - we don't. "

Correct. And it's the one's you *don't* see coming that you gotta worry about...

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Devil

wait isn't Apophis...

The bad guy in Stargate SG1!!

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Re: wait isn't Apophis...

Er yeah:

Astronomers generally name solar system bodies after mythical deities, creatures, etc. dreamed up by ancient civilisations.

Science fiction writers generally name characters after mythical deities, creatures, etc. dreamed up by ancient civilisations.

HTH

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Happy

Re: wait isn't Apophis...

Not really.

From the "guy" category (Anubis does not really qualify here) Sokar is probably the ultimate badass. Baal second and Apophis a distant third. More of a pompous looser than a real bad guy

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Coat

Re: wait isn't Apophis...

You are saying that Apophis was essentially like the 'hard man' down the pub. All talk and no action, who everyone laughed at? Guess that explains his total failure in Stargate then.

(It's the one with the Goa'uld symbiont stitched in to the back of the jacket , please.)

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Anonymous Coward

April 2036

Relax!

I'll probably be long gone by then.

Not looking so great for you youngsters eh?

PS: Get off my lawn!

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So the Mayans were just a tad with their Calendar.

That or those pesky 'roids are late again....

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Asteroid or Comet?

"the agency will be measuring “the asteroid’s distance and line-of-sight velocity” to improve its ability to predict the comet’s motion."

I am confused........ I always thought they were different?

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