Feeds

back to article New pics of giant black sphere hurtling toward Earth

A vast, inky black sphere approximately the size of a nuclear aircraft carrier is plunging through the void of space towards planet Earth, though NASA rather panickily insists that it will definitely not smash into our planet with devastating force. Radar image of asteroid 2005 YU55 obtained on Nov 7, 2011, at 19:45 GMT, when …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Is that an American aircraft carrier, or a British one with no planes?

0
0
WTF?

Would be very interesting if it suddenly slllloooooowwwwwssssssss down!

0
0
Boffin

But why is it round?

Among the asteroids, Ceres is a sphere (and has now been redesignated as a dwarf planet), and the next largest are Pallas and Vesta, which are marginally too small to pull themselves into spheres through their own gravity. But their diameters (however defined) are about 1000 times that of 2005 YU55. So 2005 YU55 is much too small to pull itself into a sphere.

0
0

space rabbits

poop.

Perfectly round. And dark.

Go figure.

0
0
Bronze badge

It isn't all that round. Look at the pictures again.

0
0
Gold badge
Meh

"..described as being blacker than charcoal..."

Now I know how the Romans felt when *they* were invaded by Goths.....

0
0
Coat

Spaceballs?!

There goes the neighborhood.

Mine's the one with the logo on the back.

0
0
Silver badge

Merchandising Merchandising Merchandising

It's where all money made by the movie comes from. Anyone got a Yogurt doll?

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

Famous last words...

And then all of a 'sudden' the black ball of doom did impact Earth causing a massive devastation...

"But the computers said it would be ok?!?!! Dam you Windows!".

0
0
Mushroom

Should we be worried?

Phew, nothing to worry about then. It's far too small to be Mondas!

1
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Run aground

Size of an aircraft carrier? Let's just hope that Andy Coles isn't captain!

0
0
Silver badge

Fools!

Aiee!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Just in case

NASA decided to cancel their planned test of their new tractor beam .

For everyone really worried about this hitting earth I am selling Meteorite insurance. Just wire me $100 and you are covered for any and all damage from this meteorite. Including if the impact ends all life on the planet.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

shame we can't stick a probe on it and let the rock do the work of moving around for us.

1
0

Excuse me but...

...shouldn't the astronomers be thinking things through in the right order?

surely "The gravitational influence of the asteroid will have no detectable effect on Earth" should really be "The gravitational influence of EARTH will have significant and detectable effect THE ASTEROID"...

Ass about backwards thinking is why important factors get missed...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Optional

No, right the first time. "The gravitational influence of the asteroid will have no detectable effect on Earth" is 100% true as stated.

What's barse ackwards about that?

0
0
IT Angle

The slight problem is that it will have small astroids orbiting it.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

IT Angle

Woot!

I am on the east coast with best viewing.

I'll upload any pics I might take and share them with ya'll

0
0
Z80

Blacker than charcoal

How much more black could this be?

0
0

Blackness

It won't be as black as priests' socks. It's probably just very very very dark blue.

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Mushroom

Bad if it ever hit

If this hit land mortality would be greater than half at 30 mile radius, like a nuke of >400 megatons without the radiation. Yeah, that's a ~7.5-magnitude earthquake except it dissipates RIGHT AT THE SURFACE. This makes it more like a 9+ scale quake at average depth. Bad for tribe:

From Wikipedia:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/2005_YU55

"...According to Jay Melosh, if an asteroid the size of 2005 YU55 (~400 m across) were to hit land, it would create a crater 6.3 km (4 miles) across, 518 m (1,700 ft) deep and generate a seven-magnitude-equivalent-earthquake.[11] ..."

0
0
Bronze badge

Actually that doesn't seem to take into account the amount of mass that would be lost to gravitational friction. That would depend on the angle that the object entered the atmospher along with it's velocity, and more importantly its composition. As indeed would it's velocity at impact. Since they're not quite sure what it's made of nobody can say exactly what it's mass is to start with.

So there's no way anybody could predict what the damage would be were it to hit the earth.

Even if it were to hit the earth it's obviously more likely that it would land at sea than on land.

0
0

@GM: "Actually that doesn't seem to take into account the amount of mass that would be lost to gravitational friction."

Essentially zero, forget it.

"...That would depend on the angle that the object entered the atmospher along with it's velocity..."

At a relative velocity of over 20km/s, as long as the entire object strikes the earth, the angle makes almost no difference. The kinetic energy transfer is over 90% and the momentum transfer is well over 50%. The object becomes effectively plasma and generates a succession of pressure waves that propagate inward and along the surface of the the Earth, with a small proportion of ejecta.

"...and more importantly its composition."

That will be pretty well known at flyby.

"As indeed would it's velocity at impact."

Yes, I heard over 20km/s.

"Since they're not quite sure what it's made of nobody can say exactly what it's mass is to start with."

Yes, but most asteroids fall within a moderate density range. Since this has no jets and is small, it's not a pile of rocks but probably a big rock, i.e. reasonably dense. Certainly moreso than water, so its mass should exceed 25 megatons for r > 300m.

So there's no way anybody could predict what the damage would be were it to hit the earth.

"...Even if it were to hit the earth it's obviously more likely that it would land at sea than on land."

If by sea, worse (waves)!

0
0
Silver badge
Alert

On an astronomical scale....

...that was an extremely close shave.

Cheese, Gromit?

1
0
Trollface

Aircraft Carrier as a unit of measurement

I thought that aircraft carrier as a unit of measurement was de-commisioned along with anything else with 'aircraft carrier' in the title for us Brits?

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

Nice animation

I didn't realise that we had such a clever moon, notice how it scuttles out of the asteroids path?

0
0
Childcatcher

Looks like a cricket ball to me

Now where is my bat.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Have some fun with this... http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/ImpactEffects/

0
0

Thank you....

for the most useful link since the "how to make an origami tin foil hat".

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Have you still got the link?

0
0
Trollface

so who says it isn't

a black hole?

And on a secondary note wth can't your signin manager figure out that "coom" is "com"? dumb AI's. Omigod it just took my computer offline for tha

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.