Russia reports amazing meteorite strike

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by jmc247, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    "Cali" is the name of a large city in Colombia, which is in South America; the state occupying a position on the US West Coast may properly be referred to by its full name, thankyewverramuch. :)

    While the famed California smog was a real and quite serious thing in Los Angeles and the surrounding area from the 1950s through the mid-1970s, it's been a mere shadow of its former toxic nastiness since about 1980, thanks to emission-control measures, and was never as big a deal in the Bay Area. (Moreover, I cannot at any time recall reports of L.A. smog stopping meteors, even at its highest, sick-green/yellow-est concentration.)
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But if it had, how would we know it? ;)

    That did happen in an episode of The Simpsons once.
     
  3. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    SOORY FOR THE CONFUSION! I was watching the nightly news and there was no link.

    The weather channel is the only one I could find...

    http://www.weather.com/news/science/california-spots-shooting-object-20130216

    The Russian one is serious, this California one is a joke to scare stupid people.

    And I've been tired, so otherwise I would have fixed this sooner.
     
  4. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    @bigdaddy: Hey, no prob. I should have listened to my Spidey sense anyway.
     
  5. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I live in Cali(fornia) and this was the first I've heard of it.
     
  6. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I've seen the light trail/flashes of entering meteorites a few times (usually in the distance, certainly not almost directly overhead like what happened in Russia.) It can be quite a sight for sure.

    I'm still in awe over this Russia footage and the shockwave it created.
     
  7. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was the number one story on NBC Nightly News!

    "The Russian meter, the close comet, the California light, are we safe? ARe you going to die? Is the end near?! We will ask some dumbass who can't read the script! Then have more on Dateline!"

    As a child I saw a massive comet in the sky, it didn't explode, then when I was hiking in 2002 there was a massive boom, then an Earthquake. They claimed it was a meteorite that crashed in upstate NY, but they never found the crash site. These things happen. The Russian one is scary, but rocks ht the Earth every day, most we don't need to worry about.
     
  8. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    I've never heard of this state. Is it north of California? Is it named from an American Native word?


    Also, should we be watching the news for reports of any Russians developing super powers?
     
  9. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  10. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thank the Gods, no one died.
     
  11. The Naughty List

    The Naughty List Working the Pole Moderator

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    In the grand list of things to complain about in the media, giving higher priority to the rarer (than in the countryside) sighting of a highly visible meteorite coming down over light polluted major cities mere hours after a meteorite causing over a thousand injuries in Russia and before a near Earth asteroid flyby doesn't seem like it should be one of them.

    This wasn't just some tiny streak of light across the sky nowhere near the city:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLpTOc1i8_8[/yt]

    Saying it's a sign of the end of days is irresponsible, I agree, but just covering it at the top of the news isn't.
     
  12. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't think there are statistically more meteors coming down, just more people aware of/concerned about them with cameras on their phone now, looking up, and media outlets more willing to rebroadcast them.
     
  13. jmc247

    jmc247 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This experience shows us why we need to spend mega bucks over the coming decades to track all these space rocks even the smaller ones. Right now when one thinks about it you could have an asteroid that could put us into an Ice Age NASA is watching on a course away from Earth. Then a 120 foot rock at high speed that we didn't notice hits it and all the sudden we have a half mile wide asteroid heading to Earth with little time to respond.

    I would also support the creation of a few devices to move such a space rock into a different course. But, if we don't have time we should build the mother of all nukes (something in the multi gigaton range)... perhaps even using anti matter when we are able to do so as a last line defense. We don't want to suddenly go the way of those big lizard like things that kept us mammals hiding in trees and underground.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Right. The California bolide wouldn't have made the news if it had happened on any other day. Similar events happen fairly often. This one just happened to occur on a day when everyone was watching the skies, not just amateur astronomers as usual.

    Also, as human population spreads more and as cameras become more ubiquitous, more meteoric fireballs will occur where people can see and record them. And by the same token, as our ability to detect and track near-Earth objects increases, we'll become aware of more near misses, and there will be more cases where we detect multiple objects nearing or hitting the atmosphere in quick succession. Keep in mind that we've only discovered a fraction of the NEOs in 2012 DA14's size range. If that particular one hadn't been spotted last year, the story wouldn't be "Meteor explodes over Russia just 15 hours before asteroid flyby," but would just be "Meteor explodes over Russia."


    This isn't a situation where brute force is the optimal solution. You can't really blow up an asteroid like in the movies -- and if you could, it could actually make things worse, because all that mass would still be on the same collision course for Earth, and it would come down spread out far more widely. The only real solution is to divert the asteroid so it misses the planet. Which isn't that hard to do. It only takes the Earth about 7 minutes to traverse its own diameter as it moves through its orbit, so you just need to change the asteroid's course or speed a tiny bit so it crosses our orbit a few minutes later or earlier. This is the benefit of detection systems, because the earlier we find these objects, the easier it is to deflect them; not only do you have more time to alter an asteroid's course, but the farther away it is, the less of a course change you need to impart to get it to miss.
     
  15. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    The thing is we CAN see half-mile wide asteroids. Granted we're not tracking everything out there. This rock was nothing to be concerned about and NASA would be wasting time looking for stuff like this. We get hit by this kind of thing all of the time this one just happened to happen over a populated area.
     
  16. FordSVT

    FordSVT Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is one of those cases where I approve of wild over-reaction on the part of the public. Our governments need to spend more time and more money on NEO detection and a bunch of people freaking out might nudge the right people to pay attention to this subject.

    If this thing had been 2-3 times as massive, we still wouldn't have detected it, and it could have killed a lot of people. If it had been 5-10 times more massive, we'd be talking about how Russia was going to recover after losing a city of a couple million people.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Absolutely. This was a much-needed wake-up call for the public and the world's governments about the threat from NEOs, and we're quite lucky that it was a much gentler wake-up call than the one posited in Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama, in which humanity didn't begin monitoring space for incoming asteroids until after an impact that killed 600,000 people and wiped out Padua, Verona, and Venice. (Unnervingly, the date of that event in the book was September 11, 2077.)
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I have to add to my comments above, since I wasn't completely right. When dealing with objects of a few dozen to a few hundred meters across -- potential city-killers like the Chelyabinsk object rather than planet-killers -- it could be viable to vaporize them completely given enough advance warning. There's a proposed laser system that would do just that, discussed in this Centauri Dreams post (which happens to make the same Rendezvous with Rama reference I made just above).

    Although I have to question whether it would be necessary to use the lasers to vaporize them completely, when it would be more efficient just to nudge them off course. Maybe the idea is to prevent them from ever being threats again?
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This will be forgotten about pretty soon. It's not a wake up call.
     
  20. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    It's more like that first alarm that you hit the snooze button on then roll back over.