back to article 'Doomsday' asteroid Apophis more massive than first thought

Astronomers following the so-called doomsday asteroid Apophis, which will be whizzing past Earth on Thursday morning, have found the rock is much larger than had previously been assumed. Since the asteroid could hit Earth in 2036, that's a problem. The asteroid, named after an Egyptian god of chaos, darkness and destruction, had …

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Friday 13th

We're doomed.

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Coat

Re: Friday 13th

At least we know which side of the date line it will land!

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FAIL

Re: Friday 13th

Again?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Friday 13th

Its orbit crosses ours at some particular point, which happens to be where it's April 13th in many places. It is no coincidence any more than it's a coincidence that it takes the Earth a year to complete one orbit.

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Unhappy

Re: Friday 13th

If something that size hits the pacific then we pretty much are. It'll do a damn site more than "sandblast" the west coast of the US , the debris will wipe out the entire continent and will fuck up the world climate for decades. Certainly long enough to make sure there are worldwide crop failures and billions starving to death.

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Re: Friday 13th

No it won't.

It's not big enough.

Contrary to what you may have heard, size does matter.....

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Re: Friday 13th

@boltar, The rock that is believed to have killed the Dinosaurs was more than 10x the size of this thing.

Will it do damage, yes!

Is it world killer, no!

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Re: Friday 13th

"It's not big enough."

You might want to check out what a purported 100 metre wide comet did to Tunguska. That was a 3rd the diamater and probably half the density so had about 1/50th the mass (using 4/3 * pi * r^3) of this asteroid yet it still produced a blast equivalent of 15 megatons. I don't know about you but potential 750 megaton blast sounds pretty bad news to me.

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Re: Friday 13th

All the Tunguska blast did was knock over some trees and make a couple of pretty sunsets.

Yes, this impact would cause tidal waves and (bearing in mind the sensitive geological situation of west coast USA) probably earthquakes but it would be on a par with a big natural disaster, like a volcano erupting (bigger than Krakatoa but a long way off the sort of 'supervolcano' scenarios that would result in having to sacrifice Bruce Willis), so:

It's not big enough.

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Re: Friday 13th

Bearing in mind that the Tunguska event is conjectured to have been an airburst. The likelihood of this rock having the same composition is slim; therefore a comparison would not appear to be appropriate here.

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Joke

Re: Friday 13th

"the debris will wipe out the entire continent and will fuck up the world climate for decades"

Alternatively, it will leave a huge amount of particulate matter in the atmosphere and turn down the dial on global warming, saving the world's climate from further destruction

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Joke

Re: Friday 13th

"...... It'll do a damn site more than "sandblast" the west coast of the US , the debris will wipe out the entire continent and will fuck up the world climate for decades......" Cool, could you just repeat that a bit louder as I have a few spots left to sell in my bunker complex.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Friday 13th

> I don't know about you but potential 750 megaton blast sounds pretty bad news to me.

Not a planet killer though. The 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami was equivalent to 9320 gigatons of TNT or about 600 million times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb. Makes Apophis look like a firecracker.

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Re: Friday 13th

Not only a lot bigger than 10x the size, but hit in just the wrong place (shallow sea underlain by a lot of limestone) at just the wrong time (after a long period of heavy vulcanism had put paid to a lot of the large wildlife anyway)

land hits = bad

ocean hits = very bad

shallow sea hits = very very bad.

Apophis hitting would make a big mess and disrupt things badly, but it's not a civilisation-ender (unless the civilisation in question is directly under the strike zone), let alone a planet killer.

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Re: Friday 13th

The Russians exploded a 57 megaton device in 1961. No one outside the USSR noticed.

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Re: Friday 13th

As the world+dog tries to decide if the asteroid is big enough, Bruce waits patiently at the space center.

Bruce: "Make up your minds, m*********"

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Re: Friday 13th

Bullcrap breaking windows in Norway and Finland means a few other neighbors noticed. And you can be sure there is a decent chance the US took almost as good a pictures as the Russians did of it. I know Russian observer ships had a habit of showing up at almost all US tests including right under the space shots.

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Re: Friday 13th

Just checked, April 13 2036 is a Sunday.

Its also my 76th birthday.

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Re: Re: Friday 13th

".....land hits = bad

ocean hits = very bad

shallow sea hits = very very bad...."

Has anyone looked at the chances of it hitting the Moon and playing a bit of inter-planetary billiards? A collison with the Moon could lead to much bigger problems for the Earth than a direct hit by Apophis alone.

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Re: Friday 13th @ Matt Bryant

Using that analogy, imagine what would happen to that same billiard ball if it were hit by a grain of sand. It amounts to the same thing.

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Re: Friday 13th

"All the Tunguska blast did was knock over some trees and make a couple of pretty sunsets."

It flattened 80 million trees down over an area covering 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi).

Something 10 times the size, impacting the Earth, rather than an airburst like the tunguska bolide, would certainly cause continental-level disaster, and would screw up the climate for a fair while.

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Devil

Bye Bruce...

I say we send Bruce Willis up there and THEN start firing paintballs at it.

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Go

Re: Bye Bruce...

We could send bruce up there with a paintball gun and a few pallets of ammo......

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Re: Bye Bruce...

He could host "Pimp My Asteroid"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bye Bruce...

Who do you mean (on top of bankers, politicians, and Romans)

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Re: Bye Bruce...

I'm a bit worried by this news. Bruce is going to be (say it quietly) really old by the time this monster comes to wreak Michael Bay style havoc on Hollywood.

So shouldn't we pop him in the freezer to keep him fresh for the inevitable (and entirely logical) drill-a-hole-an-bung-in-a-nuke shuttle mission that will save mankind to the sound of Aerosmith? A quick spell alongside the oven chips will also have the beneficial side effect of stopping him making movies.

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Re: shouldn't we pop him in the freezer

No, Stallone gets popped into the freezer.

Bruce either has the portrait of Dorian Grey or knows where the real fountain of youth is, because we know he's alive to save the Earth in the 23rd Century when The Great Evil comes.

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Megaphone

Re: Bye Bruce...

Do i really have to say it? Please give Chuck Norris a call. On angry glance and the asteroid will reverse its course and head for Andromeda.

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Alien

The (Gran) Torino Scale of Risk??

What, we're being bombarded from space with muscle cars? Is it a logarithmic scale, where 0 is the mass of one Gran Torino, but 4 would be the mass of 10,000 Gran Torinos?

There's something very el Reg about that scale!!

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Re: The (Gran) Torino Scale of Risk??

No, it has to do with Clint Eastwood and keeping immigrant asteroids off your grass.

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Re: The (Gran) Torino Scale of Risk??

That was a great film until the stupid Jamie Cullum song at the end with Clint 'singing' in a really horrible voice.

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2036

When we are all using either iOS164 with its 10 by 30 row of icons and ability to run 2 apps at the same time, or Windows52 with its revolutionary multiple windows tiles.

Either way a direct hit it cant come soon enough.

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Happy

Re: 2036

You forgot the 15-blades razor!

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Mushroom

Re: 2036

Apple will have patented three dimentional objects and we'll all get sued by then...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2036

You forgot the 15-blades razor!

I'm sure I saw one of those in the shops while I was doing my Christmas shopping... by 2036 it'll probably be up to somewhere around 500 blades...

Come and get me Apophis... pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssse.....

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Megaphone

Re: 2036

I want my lightsaber razor!

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Re: 2036

You forgot the 15-blades razor!

One blade shaves you close!

The second shaves you closer still!

The third blade shaves you even closer!

The fourth blade makes sure the previous three were on the job.

The fifth blade shaves you even closer!

The sixth blade slices skin.

The seventh blade strips your flesh into ribbons.

The eighth blade flenses the flesh from your bones.

The ninth blade cleans your bones.

The tenth blade smooths and polishes your bones leaving you just a grinning skull.

The next five blades are just there because we love blades.

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Re: 2036

No NO, not 15 blades, you'll only have to look at the razor and instantly have the "closest shave a man can get"

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Mushroom

Re: 2036

2036? Funny, that's the year my Excel calendar generator stops at...

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Anonymous Coward

Tie a yellow ribbon around ol' Sol-3

It's not an asteroid, you idiots. They're coming to take us home!

Why can't you just be happy for me.

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Linux

Apopis - Send SG1

No Need to panic!

This scenario has already been envisaged.

http://youtu.be/JvBsXxNc7k8

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Alert

Hammer time

Ok;

Hot fudge Sundae falls on Tusdae next week then.

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Stop

Re: Hammer time

<--- It's supposed to be this icon for "Hammer time".

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Headmaster

Re: Hammer time

Aren't you confusing Lucifer's Hammer with Inconstant Moon? It's the latter that features hot fudge sundaes.

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Headmaster

Re: Hammer time

> Aren't you confusing Lucifer's Hammer with Inconstant Moon? It's the latter that features hot fudge sundaes.

Nope, you're wrong. Inconstant Moon is a novella about the Sun barfing at us and frying half the planet.

Lucifer's Hammer is about a comet that hits us and in the early part there's a scene where people are discussing the consistency of comets.

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Re: Hammer time

Inconstant Moon (at 27pp a short story not a novella) features hot fudge sundae as one of the things to do before you die. Am I detecting a hot fudge sundae theme in Niven's work?

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Re: Hammer time

Does it? Ah. Well it's probably both then :)

For the record: Sundae on a Tuesdae.

'Scientists are drawn in for help on the network documentaries, and this leads to some black-comedic dialogue as some Jet Propulsion Laboratory people try to explain the possible effects of a collision:

"When the mass is above a certain size, it stops being important whether Earth has an atmosphere or not."

"Except to us," Forrester said, deadpan.

Sharps paused a second, then laughed ... "What we need is a good analogy. Um ..." Sharps' brow furrowed.

"Hot fudge sundae," said Forrester.

"Hah?"

Forrester's grin was wide through his beard. "A cubic mile of hot fudge sundae. Cometary speeds."''

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Re: Hammer time

Lucifer's Hammer was a fantastic book,

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Happy

Re: Hammer time

And it has a great recipe for pemmican too. One of THE Survivalist classics.

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