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back to article NASA plots Chelyabinsk plume

Not only did the Chelyabinsk bolide explosion send shock waves around the world. It also sent a plume of dust, and for the first time, such a plume has been observed by space-borne instruments. The data, captured by the Suomi NPP satellite's Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) of instruments, gave the agency a rare chance to …

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Andromeda Strain?

Does the dust contain some kind of cosmic killer bacteria?

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Pint

Ahhh Motherland!

Be grateful that it isn't radioactive, seeing how it comes out of Russia and all that.

These graphics are really great, how long does studio guy work on these?

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nanobot delivery and dispersion device activated by "explosion". once the nanobots saturate the atmosphere, the will start their primary code which is to alter the atmosphere and "terraform" (for the lack of better word) the planet for colonization :)

face down fertilizer monkeys

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"the plume reached so high – well into the stratosphere"

Not so much of a surprise. This wasn't an explosion (like a volcano) on the ground, the dust was dumped into the atmosphere at a height of 30-50 km (I guess, that's what the video seems to show) - certainly over 20 km.

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Thumb Up

The surprise is being able to *detect* this

As I'm sure people have modelling capability for decades. However testing that model against real data is kind of tough.

Well done for calibrating the model and generally narrowing the error bars.

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So - cold winter?

I'm thinking 11 000 tonnes of dust very high in the atmosphere should translate to slightly cooler summer temperatures and a cold winter this year?

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Re: So - cold winter?

Predictions so far point to negligable effects. 11000 tonnes isn't really THAT massive an ammount when talking about global effects

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Ominous sounding ending!

"... by potential future and even bigger events."

Sounds like he knows something!

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Unhappy

Re: Ominous sounding ending!

Global Warming? Or should that be Globar Warning?

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Rare but deadly

Since Chelyabinsk, there have been almost a dozen near earth asteroids detected, some known and expected and one large one that gave us only a week's warning recently. Can you spell w-a-k-e u-p c-a-l-l? The nations of this planet should be creating treaties of technological cooperation. This trumps "global warming/climate change" (take your pick) in spades. Not a big deal? Google "Tunguska" and "Younger Dryas Firestone". The only defense we currently have is our nuclear ICBM arsenals. You can bet the PR storm accompanying that fact has pacifist hysteria written all over it.

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FAIL

Re: Rare but deadly

The only defense we currently have is our nuclear ICBM arsenals.

Some asteroids are solid lumps of rock/metal, and others are essentially huge rubble piles. Hit one with a nuke and you're likely to get hundreds of (now radioactive) meteors raining down on your head.

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Re: Rare but deadly

The rubble pile hypothesis is just that, a hypothesis. I've yet to see a photograph of an asteroid that is a rubble pile. But that could be sorted out quickly via high resolution radar so that we don't nuke a "rubble pile", but let it pepper the atmosphere in a dispersed manner; there's an energy bleed off vs. surface area formula at play there. The key being "dispersed manner". We'd need to render any rock bigger than a school bus into dispersed rubble, and this is doable. The danger from radiation measured against the loss of a city or region, needs to be computed minus the knee jerk radiation aversion reflex. If it's a metal asteroid, good luck children. Pray that there is enough charge differential with the Earth that it's discharge would ablate a good percentage of its mass. Take another look at the Arizona meteor crater. Put the city of your choice at its center.

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