I hope it doesn't miss
Just to drive home to people that it really can happen and we should be getting our backsides in gear right now to spread ourselves around a bit.
Object-watchers are keenly catching observations of the orbit of an object discovered by Rob McNaught of Australia's Siding Spring Observatory, which is set for a very close Mars fly-by in October 2014. In fact, although NASA currently assigns the object a one-in-600 chance of an impact, and believes further observations will …
Unfortunately, Shoemaker-Levy can easily be dismissed by naysayer : "Jupiter is so big, it's no surprise comets falls on it. Earth is too small for this to happens"
At least, if it happens on Mars, it will be far more significant , and probably very impressive. Especially if the rovers manage to send some pictures of the blast front before being blasted into oblivion...
Looking forward to Cult Craziness.
Still, that a lot of INTERESTING activity in the INNER SOLAR SYSTEM since the MAYAN BEST-BEFORE TIME HAS BEEN EXCEEDED. And now the POPE has VOLUNTARILY RESIGNED, too! And now this. NOT a SPACESHIP HEADED for CYDONIA? Uh-huh.
Supplementary commentariat grounding question:
Will the next visitor from the Oort split URANUS OPEN? Time will tell!
I saw your profile on LinkedInSpa-a-a-ace and wish to correspond with you. My family fled from our planet on a comet (I believe you call it C/2013 A1 Siding Spring) barely escaping with our lives and crates full of precious metals and gems.
We need help to get to Earth and will handsomely pay you to help us. Please, just send all your money to our representative who happens to reside in Nigeria/Estonia/Russia/China to facilitate the transfer of our goods past Earth's customs and we will then transfer numerous crates to the address of your choice, etc.
be a pisser for JPL if it hits
Our wonderful curousity rover smashed to bits and buried under mega tonnes of debries
Lets send another
Then again it could be a blessing for humanity as in it delivers 50km^3 of water and heats mars by an average of 100 degrees thus melting all the subsurface ice
Give it 50 yrs and humans could live there
Bloody hell - it's like a series of celestial lessons!
Lesson 1 - Comets sometimes hit large objects.
You see this huge, big gas giant? See this comet? Look - it hit it. Look at the damage!
Lesson 2 - Objects sometimes come very close.
You see this asteroid? You know your own orbit? Look how close it comes.
Lesson 3 (for the hard of thinking)
Right. Listen up monkey-man. See this small, rocky planet. Smaller than yours? You see this comet? Yeah? Now watch. And FFS pay attention this time!
I hope we don't have to have lesson 4.
It is widely accepted that the Chixculub crater was caused by an impact of a commet/asteroid just 10KM in diameter and that pretty much did it for the Dinosaurs and changed Earths climate dramtically. Given mars is approx 50% the size of the earth, and the 50km estimate of this comet, if it hits mars is gonna know about it big time!
The influence of Mars on the trajectory depends partly on the relative speed of the comet. The higher speed the less influence since the time spent in the stronger parts of Mars gravity field is very low. At well over 100,000 miles per hour the comet isn't staying long enough to produce a big, visible bend in the trajectory curve. The big curve in Nasas graphic comes from the sun, not from Mars.
Ahhh, my favourite word. :-) The volatiles that SS would add to Mars atmosphere are a drop in the ocean. It won't make any appreciable difference. You would need 10 of those a year for 50 years to make it marginally habitable, and even then the atmosphere would just bleed off again due to Mars low mass. Remember that Mars has a surface pressure of 0.087psi which from our point of view (14.69psi) might as well be a vacuum. Give up on terraforming Mars and other planets and learn to live in space itself. Cheaper, easier, and there is a LOT more of it.
On a slightly more trivial note, "Siding Spring" turns out to be an anagram of "Grinding Piss" (courtesy of the Internet Anagram Server).
I guess this *would* work rather nicely as the last words transmitted back to Earth by Curiosity as the comet barrels into it from the heavens in a freak bullseye event at 35 km/s.
"NASA detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them, and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet."
What's the ONE THING missing from this description?
Detects earth destroying objects... check
Tracks them... check
Characterizes them.... hmmm, well ok, check
Plots orbits to determine hazard... check
BLOWS THE THING UP.... BOX NOT CHECKED!
GET IT SORTED, NASA
BBC program on meteorites (three? days ago) had a woman scientist saying that nuking them was a no-no as we would get showered in radioactive debris.
I was stuck by how stupid that attitude was. Even some scientists seem to lose their sense of proportion when the subject of radioactivity comes up. The alternative (being freely talked about in the program) could be human extinction.
Alternative suggested methods were things like painting the things white and other ways of extremely gentle nudging that would have to be done decades or centuries in advance. Yet if you nuked the thing as little as weeks in advance, most of the debris, radioactive or not, would in fact miss Earth because it would be scattered in all directions. (In practice you would want to nuke it on a previous solar orbit, say months in advance, even better). In any case, most of the debris from nuking would not be very radioactive at all.
It is almost as if people feel it would be "unfair" to nuke a meteorite, as if it were a city or an SSSI. Let's hope there are level heads making the decisions if the need ever arises.
“It'll knock Mars out of its orbit” – See above. [No, it won't]"
Depends what they mean by "knocking out of orbit". Plunging into the Sun or Earth, no, but the orbit must change by an amount which could probably be measured in time. So it will be "out" of its previous orbit and into a new one.
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