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Old February 15 2013, 07:25 PM   #31
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

I say it was a doomsday cult, disappointed that there was no Mayan apocalypse, has developed a device that can pull meteors, asteroids, satellites, etc. out of the sky. And this was their test run.
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Old February 15 2013, 07:37 PM   #32
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

I'd recently learned about this dash-cam phenomenon in Russia, due to so many accidents taking place where each person claims the other was at fault. The dash-cams help make it clearer as to who was really at fault. I wonder if in the long run it'll bring a little more order to their roads.

Anyway, it meant for a terrific spread of videos capturing this meteorite impact event. Really fantastic and unprecedented. RussiaToday has a decent montage in one 2.5 minute video.

What's really alarming is that the asteroid expected to pass by Earth this afternoon at some mere 17,000 miles away would have hit the Earth if our orbit around the sun was just 15 minutes behind! That's so damned marginal it's scary as all hell. Who's to say that those 15 minutes will be made up on the next fly-by, making it an impact instead some 30 years from now?
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Old February 15 2013, 07:48 PM   #33
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

^Well, this pass is going to be so close that the asteroid is going to end up in a radically new orbit.
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Old February 15 2013, 07:50 PM   #34
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Seeing this thing hurtling through the sky, flaring up like it did, with visible flames in the middle of the sky(!), then that humungous boom?! I would not blame anyone for wondering if it was an attack or the end of the world.

That sonic boom was HUGE! I've heard some, mostly when I was younger but also some with the shuttle landing in the desert, and they were never that loud. What causes the volume? Size? Speed?
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Old February 15 2013, 08:36 PM   #35
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
I told my mom last night if the comet hit it would hit water or Russia.

They always hit Russia, next week Russia will come out and say it's the USA's fault.
Didn't take a week.
Gary7 wrote: View Post
I'd recently learned about this dash-cam phenomenon in Russia, due to so many accidents taking place where each person claims the other was at fault. The dash-cams help make it clearer as to who was really at fault. I wonder if in the long run it'll bring a little more order to their roads.
Not to mention great video fodder for Tosh.0. I swear to God, the most insane people in the world are Australians and Russians. They make our rednecks look tame by comparison.
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Old February 15 2013, 08:48 PM   #36
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Gary7 wrote: View Post
What's really alarming is that the asteroid expected to pass by Earth this afternoon at some mere 17,000 miles away would have hit the Earth if our orbit around the sun was just 15 minutes behind! That's so damned marginal it's scary as all hell. Who's to say that those 15 minutes will be made up on the next fly-by, making it an impact instead some 30 years from now?
Science is to say. Orbits can be calculated very precisely, and there's only one chance in 4.7 million that 2012 DA14 will hit the Earth within the next century.

A friend of mine whose husband is an asteroid expert pointed out on Facebook that close flybys and atmospheric explosions like this happen every single day -- it's just that most of the explosions are smaller or happen over unpopulated areas, and most of the flybys are by smaller objects that don't get as much advance notice. The coincidence is not that these things happened within a day of each other, since that's actually pretty commonplace; the coincidence is that they both got so much notice.


propita wrote: View Post
Seeing this thing hurtling through the sky, flaring up like it did, with visible flames in the middle of the sky(!), then that humungous boom?! I would not blame anyone for wondering if it was an attack or the end of the world.
What startled me was the videos from those dash cams. This huge blinding light is flying overhead, sometimes seeming to head right for the car, and you don't hear the drivers panicking or see them veering off the road or anything -- they just keep driving along normally while the world might be ending in front of them, for all they know. Are Russians really that fatalistic?


That sonic boom was HUGE! I've heard some, mostly when I was younger but also some with the shuttle landing in the desert, and they were never that loud. What causes the volume? Size? Speed?
Reports say it wasn't just a sonic boom; the meteoroid (which has been named KEF-2013, by the way) exploded in the atmosphere.
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Old February 15 2013, 09:46 PM   #37
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

That was no meteorite...

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Old February 15 2013, 10:06 PM   #38
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Skywalker wrote: View Post
That was no meteorite...

Red Sun was great!
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Old February 15 2013, 10:19 PM   #39
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Christopher wrote: View Post
Science is to say. Orbits can be calculated very precisely, and there's only one chance in 4.7 million that 2012 DA14 will hit the Earth within the next century.

A friend of mine whose husband is an asteroid expert pointed out on Facebook that close flybys and atmospheric explosions like this happen every single day -- it's just that most of the explosions are smaller or happen over unpopulated areas, and most of the flybys are by smaller objects that don't get as much advance notice. The coincidence is not that these things happened within a day of each other, since that's actually pretty commonplace; the coincidence is that they both got so much notice.
Oh yes, I am aware of that... we have all kinds of debris entering the atmosphere every day. It's a wonder that our satellites and international space station haven't suffered more damage than they have at this point. Even a pea sized piece of rock flying at 50k mph can easily rip a hole right through the metal walls of our crafts, and there's nothing you can do about it (no laser tracking computer that can pulverize the debris before it hits).

I also understand that orbits can be calculated precisely, however there is always a margin for error when it comes to passing objects. We can't accurately predict how other gravitational forces will affect the object, including this present passing. As Sojourner pointed out, the asteroid will experience a change to its path due to the gravitation forces from Earth on this fly-by. They may be able to predict if it will bend it in such a way as to bring it closer or further away on the next pass, but I don't believe they can make an accurate estimate on the exact distance it will pass next time. Even this time, there was open speculation on whether or not a satellite might be damaged since it passed inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. If measurements were truly precise, they would have been confident to say there was no possibility of a satellite being damaged.

Relatively speaking, for a passing object to fly within the ring of geosynchronous satellites is EXTREMELY CLOSE compared to the orbit of the moon. I wonder how much advance warning we'll have with a larger object, say of 3x the size. Something like that could cause a massive disruption to our environment and extensive damage to life and property if it landed in a densely populated area.
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Old February 15 2013, 10:21 PM   #40
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

5 Meteor Videos That Prove Russians Don't Give a Fuck.
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Old February 15 2013, 10:29 PM   #41
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Not to mention great video fodder for Tosh.0. I swear to God, the most insane people in the world are Australians and Russians. They make our rednecks look tame by comparison.
Hadn't heard about Daniel Tosh's little program. I'll have to check it out. On my own I've watched a number of videos from Australia and Russia of road encounters with maniacs. A common theme is the baseball bat in the trunk. That's really scary. One good whack on the head and you're dead. I wonder how many people die from this kind of altercation. It does make our driving environment in large US cities look a bit tame in comparison. But in the case of speeding, it seems about equal. We have some seriously reckless and fearless people in this country, eager to enjoy flinging their vehicles at high speed, death to others be damned.
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Old February 15 2013, 11:24 PM   #42
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Gary7 wrote: View Post
I also understand that orbits can be calculated precisely, however there is always a margin for error when it comes to passing objects. We can't accurately predict how other gravitational forces will affect the object, including this present passing.
Of course we can. We can calculate the gravitational influence of any known body; it's just math. If it weren't possible to do that, we'd never have been able to send space probes on courses so precisely calculated that they could reach an exact rendezvous point years after launch and astronomical units away from Earth. That's precision tantamount to threading the eye of a needle from a continent away.

The only uncertainties come from unknown objects whose gravity could influence its course, but we've identified most of the large near-Earth asteroids by now, so there's not that much we don't know about objects that might affect 2012 DA14's orbit -- which is why the margin of error is on the order of one in five million. And of course it's not like we're going to forget it's there. Assuming civilization doesn't fall from some other cause in the interim, we're naturally going to keep tracking it, so if something does change its course, we'll know about it.



They may be able to predict if it will bend it in such a way as to bring it closer or further away on the next pass, but I don't believe they can make an accurate estimate on the exact distance it will pass next time.
Yes, they can, within an accuracy of plus or minus about 20,000 kilometers. Heck, NASA's already done calculations for not just the next pass, but the next 25 passes going up to 2137, and you can see for yourself how detailed the calculations are. This is the only pass prior to 2087 when it has any prospect of coming closer to Earth than a hundredth of an AU (1.5 million kilometers).


Even this time, there was open speculation on whether or not a satellite might be damaged since it passed inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. If measurements were truly precise, they would have been confident to say there was no possibility of a satellite being damaged.
That's not a meaningful comparison. Precision is a matter of scale. Sure, we can't estimate its trajectory down to the meter and know if it'll hit a satellite or not, but the Earth is over 12,000 kilometers in diameter, so thousand-kilometer precision is more than enough to be sure it won't hit the planet.

Besides, if you look at the table above, there is no point in the next century where Earth's position will even be within the margin of error in the calculations, even the ones with the largest uncertainty. Yes, there is always a margin of error in orbital calculations, a cone of possible paths an object might take from its current observed position. But it doesn't matter how wide that cone is if it never intersects Earth's path. This is why you so often hear reports that some asteroid might potentially hit Earth get quickly followed up with, "no, it won't hit after all." It's because initially the margin of error in the object's course is wide enough that the Earth's position at the point of intersection is within the cone of probabilities; but as further observation refines our estimate of the object's course, the cone narrows and no longer overlaps Earth's position. As long as the cone doesn't intersect Earth, it doesn't matter how precise it is beyond that; whether it's got a 1-kilometer or a 100,000-kilometer margin of error is irrelevant if the minimum possible distance it would pass by Earth is 500,000 kilometers. Either way, the probability of an impact is zero.


Relatively speaking, for a passing object to fly within the ring of geosynchronous satellites is EXTREMELY CLOSE compared to the orbit of the moon. I wonder how much advance warning we'll have with a larger object, say of 3x the size. Something like that could cause a massive disruption to our environment and extensive damage to life and property if it landed in a densely populated area.
As you can see from the link, as long as we're aware of an object, we can have over a century of advance warning. We do track these things. They don't disappear and get forgotten. Once we find them, we know where they are, we can compute where they're going, and we keep them under observation. The only objects you need to worry about getting caught off guard by are the ones we haven't discovered yet, like the one that blew up over Russia. And hopefully that event will prompt governments to improve funding for skywatch programs so we can find the rest of the significant objects out there and track them too.

EDIT: Here's an article with more information about the Russian event and the effort to identify and track near-Earth objects, as well as an explanation of what caused the explosion.

Last edited by Christopher; February 15 2013 at 11:44 PM.
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Old February 16 2013, 12:03 AM   #43
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Skywalker wrote: View Post
That was no meteorite...

Pffff. No need for that poser. Putin was on the case.

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Old February 16 2013, 03:17 AM   #44
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
and may lead us to discover additional knowledge about our solar system.
New headline: Scientists discover that our solar system is TRYING TO KILL US!
To be fair, it's doing a rather poor job of it so far.
I wouldn't say that. The vast majority of our solar system is vaccuum...

WHICH WE CAN'T EVEN BREATHE!!!1!!1!one!!1!1
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Old February 16 2013, 03:18 AM   #45
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Re: Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Not to mention great video fodder for Tosh.0. I swear to God, the most insane people in the world are Australians and Russians. They make our rednecks look tame by comparison.
'Scuse me?
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