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back to article Truck-sized asteroid slips silently between Moon and Earth

In the early hours of Saturday morning an asteroid whizzed past Earth at what in astronomical terms a very close shave, skimming just 186,000 miles over our planet's surface. Asteroid 2014 HL129 squeaks past Asteroid 2014 HL129 squeaks past The asteroid, dubbed 2014 HL129, a 4-to-15 meter-wide chunk of space debris, flashed …

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OH Look! There's a great big..........

BLAAAMM!

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Coat

Re: OH Look! There's a great big..........

Where I live, trucks go by all the time.

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Re: OH Look! There's a great big..........

Well, if it was a space lorry, it probably passed by due to a dodgy GPS update. All we need to do is contact the manufacturers and get them to show the Solar System as a dead end.

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Re: OH Look! There's a great big..........

And just like that, Apple Maps secret mission is revealed. It was never intended to guide humans at all.

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Space junk

The thing is, if something from another intelligent life form, the size of Voyager did turn up in orbit around earth we'd never notice it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Space junk

I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout.

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Alien

@AC - Re: Space junk

Apathetic bloody planet. I've no sympathy at all.

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What's this thing suddenly coming toward me very fast?

Very, very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide-sounding name like . . . ow . . . ound . . . round . . . ground! That's it! That's a good name- ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?

Hello, Ground!

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Re: What's this thing suddenly coming toward me very fast?

Not again.

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Joke

A request to Science...

If you ever spot one heading toward Washington D.C. - don't tell them.

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Re: A request to Science...

Just as long as it misses Fort Meade. ;)

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Truck sized? Yet another metric? Is it 0.5 Brotosuarusus or perhaps 30 velociraptors?

Please clarify! How are we to know the threat? We should be told.

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Beep beep!

They would have missed it completely, but it honked its horn when it passed the Moon.

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Mushroom

Would we be told?

I guess whizzed by answers that question.

A week... Could have booked a nice place with the right view....

Bomb because there's no pouting icon.

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slips silently...

silently is fine. It's when you can hear them that you /really/ need to worry

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Re: slips silently...

If you hear them it's already to late to worry.

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I know it's all relatve

But 10ktons worth of damage might feel quite serious, depending on where it is.

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Hmmmm salt pinch

According to this impact effect calculator: http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/cgi-bin/crater.cgi?dist=0.1&diam=15&pdens=3000&pdens_select=8000&vel=51&theta=90&tdens=2750&tdens_select=0

It would break up into fragments and would not leave a significant crater. This is assuming that it is made of Iron, travelling as fast as a comet and impacting @ 90deg or straight through the shortest part of the atmosphere (the worst case).

Not even a megaton of energy energy in the airburst.

I don't know what the source is for this but perhaps it assumes we have no atmosphere to protect us. Not really that newsworthy if you ask me.

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Flame

Re: Hmmmm salt pinch

" Not really that newsworthy if you ask me."

Sez you!

Some of us are trying to run bespoke hat design companies, we can't always expect UUKIP supporters to fill our books for fetching aluminium-foil headgear.

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A week's notice

Plenty of time to run away from ground zero. One would hope that something big enough to make relocation futile would be detected a lot earlier.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A week's notice ... Plenty of time to run away

Sure. But if ground zero were, in some unlucky event, not to be some sparsely populated area, but in or dangerously near a city, you might be able to get the people away, ... but where would they all go? Solvable, no doubt, but I suspect the implementation of whatever evacuation plan there might be would turn into a giant disaster of its own, .. even if the asteroid itself turned out to be something of a non-event.

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Re: A week's notice

One would hope that something big enough to make relocation futile would be detected a lot earlier.

If it's "big enough to make relocation futile", what's the point of hoping you know about it "a lot earlier"?

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New job for LOHAN - get up there and look out for new shiney things, glinting in the sun

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Anonymous Coward

By the time LOHAN's ready for launch, humans will have populated most of the galaxy and Earth will be surrounded by a big box to preserve the Mother planet.

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Small! but beautifully formed

LOHAN could be coming from 70.000 ft through a window very close to you if you criticise it.

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Re: LOHAN could be coming from 70.000 ft through a window very close to you ...

and will she be bringing some Milk Tray?

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What about an inert intersection,

like how the US destroyed that satellite a few years ago? It wouldn't smash an asteroid into millions of tiny pieces, but each small piece would be much less likely to reach the ground, surely?

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Megaphone

I'm gonna tell you one thing, kid

Younger Dryas Event

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Hurtled between the Earth and the Moon?

If I remember my Thundarr the Barbarian, this should usher in an age of savagery, super-science, and sorcery. But as long as one man bursts his bonds to fight for freedom, that should be OK.

Ookla, Ariel: Ride!

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Anonymous Coward

Re asteroid

Also relevant, it seems that if an asteroid hits the Moon it could cause a lot of damage due to (a) shifting of its orbit and (b) fragmentation of the Moon which could occur really easily if the asteroid was say 10* as big as the K-T impactor and moving just a little bit faster.

Even knocking a chunk of the Moon off would be very very bad.

We demand Spaceguard, and we demand it NOW!!!!

On the flip side, the AGW crowd will be hiding in bunkers like the rest of us come 2047 if Apophis hits because the eejits in Govt funded Gulf War III: Revenge of the Sith instead of Spaceguard.

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Black Helicopters

Or, as it was reported by the Drudge Report...

ZOMG IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US!!!!11!!1!!!!

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