Author Topic: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"  (Read 683 times)

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Offline shnozzola

"Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« on: February 07, 2013, 05:40:40 PM »
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Small near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth on February 15, so close that it will pass inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office can accurately predict the asteroid's path with the observations obtained, and it is therefore known that there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth. Nevertheless, the flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.

Q: What will asteroid DA14’s close pass do to Earth’s rotation/tides/fault lines/etc.
A: The gravitational influence upon Earth and its inhabitants by the flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 will be infinitesimally small.

Q: What would happen if DA14 were to impact Earth?
A: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will not impact Earth, but if another asteroid of a size similar to that of 2012 DA14 (about 150 feet across) were to impact Earth, it would release approximately 2.5 megatons of energy in the atmosphere and would be expected to cause regional devastation.

A comparison to the impact potential of an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 could be made to the impact of a near-Earth object that occurred in 1908 in Tuguska, Siberia. Known in the asteroid community as the "Tunguska Event," this impact of an asteroid just slightly smaller than 2012 DA14 (approximately 100 – 130 feet/30-40 meters across) is believed to have flattened about 750 square miles (1,200 square kilometers) of forest in and around the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.
 


http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/asteroidflyby.html
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 05:42:34 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline Nick

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Re: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 05:57:00 PM »
Why have not the Christians been going nuts about this?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 09:10:13 AM »
^ because it is science. Therefore, it doesn't exist.  Lalalalala...can't hear you...
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 11:45:31 AM »
I'm glad they're confident that it won't hit Earth.  That amount of devastation would make a nuclear bomb look like a firecracker.

I just hope that it's large enough that hitting a satellite or three won't alter its trajectory.

Offline screwtape

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Re: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 12:03:52 PM »
That amount of devastation would make a nuclear bomb look like a firecracker.

?

It compared it to Tunguska.  Which was about as powerful as a US nuclear bomb.

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Estimates of the energy of the blast range from 5 to as high as 30 megatons of TNT (21–130 PJ), with 10–15 megatons of TNT (42–63 PJ) the most likely—roughly equal to the United States' Castle Bravo thermonuclear bomb tested on March 1, 1954;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event

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Offline Nick

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Re: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 02:38:42 PM »
I would not worry about it.  If it was going to hit Earth we could just pray it away.  Works for everything else.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 03:13:42 PM »
I was looking at the square mileage of the Tunguska event (830 square miles of forest flattened), rather than the stuff right beforehand about how powerful the explosion was.

And in fairness, the Tunguska event was hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima/Nagasaki nuclear detonations.  So it would have made either of them look like a firecracker by comparison.  I don't really have a good conceptualization of how powerful nuclear bombs have gotten today, so I had no real basis for comparison.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: "Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check"
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 11:43:41 AM »
I was looking at the square mileage of the Tunguska event (830 square miles of forest flattened), rather than the stuff right beforehand about how powerful the explosion was.

And in fairness, the Tunguska event was hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima/Nagasaki nuclear detonations.  So it would have made either of them look like a firecracker by comparison.  I don't really have a good conceptualization of how powerful nuclear bombs have gotten today, so I had no real basis for comparison.

This site will help with the idea of devastation from an asteroid: http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth
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