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  1. #1
    Epic! Sayl's Avatar
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    Revised observations of 99942 Apophis: no 2036 impact.

    The bad news? The asteroid Apophis is a bit larger than previously estimated. But the good news from NASA should still provide a bit of relief:

    NASA scientists at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., effectively have ruled out the possibility the asteroid Apophis will impact Earth during a close flyby in 2036. The scientists used updated information obtained by NASA-supported telescopes in 2011 and 2012, as well as new data from the time leading up to Apophis' distant Earth flyby yesterday (Jan. 9).

    Discovered in 2004, the asteroid, which is the size of three-and-a-half football fields, gathered the immediate attention of space scientists and the media when initial calculations of its orbit indicated a 2.7 percent possibility of an Earth impact during a close flyby in 2029. Data discovered during a search of old astronomical images provided the additional information required to rule out the 2029 impact scenario, but a remote possibility of one in 2036 remained - until yesterday.

    "With the new data provided by the Magdalena Ridge [New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology] and the Pan-STARRS [Univ. of Hawaii] optical observatories, along with very recent data provided by the Goldstone Solar System Radar, we have effectively ruled out the possibility of an Earth impact by Apophis in 2036," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL. "The impact odds as they stand now are less than one in a million, which makes us comfortable saying we can effectively rule out an Earth impact in 2036. Our interest in asteroid Apophis will essentially be for its scientific interest for the foreseeable future."

    That's one less scenario for the doomsayers to jaw about, for now anyway. Another Apophis rendezvous with Earth is certainly possible in the more distant future -- but on the bright side that gives us more time to work on impact avoidance techniques.

    More at Bad Astronomy and Sky & Telescope.

  2. #2
    As far as i'd heard it was always going to be a near miss at least relatively.
    But you can't rule out a hit...if something messes with it's orbit before the next pass it could possibly hit...not that i think anything will though

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sayl View Post
    That's one less scenario for the doomsayers to jaw about, for now anyway.
    If only they cared about evidence that contradicted their pre-conceived beliefs. It would be more accurate to say this is one less scenario for the rational people to ponder.

  4. #4
    I'm mostly just glad they caught it early. Even if they'll predict an impact, at least it didn't just suddenly sneak up on us, and can presumably be dealt with in the next two decades.

  5. #5
    It's the size of 3.5 football fields right now, but if it gets in the earth's atmosphere, a lot of it will be reduced to small pieces and it will thus be smaller at impact with the Earth. I don't think this is a big deal really, even if it does hit the earth.

  6. #6
    This is a good thing about telescopes we spot the asteroid giving government time to come up with a plan to either destroy it or knock it off course.

  7. #7
    Legendary! Xanjori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azlarn View Post
    It's the size of 3.5 football fields right now, but if it gets in the earth's atmosphere, a lot of it will be reduced to small pieces and it will thus be smaller at impact with the Earth. I don't think this is a big deal really, even if it does hit the earth.
    Dude it could elimate 3 peoples football fields, thats a huge deal! :<
    [08:44:11] Kurioxan: as long they get big im alright with that

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Azlarn View Post
    It's the size of 3.5 football fields right now, but if it gets in the earth's atmosphere, a lot of it will be reduced to small pieces and it will thus be smaller at impact with the Earth. I don't think this is a big deal really, even if it does hit the earth.
    It will be a catastrophe on some local level but not a world ender, not even a country ender (unless it hits the Vatican or something). The thing that took out the dinosaurs was atleast 10km in diameter.

  9. #9
    is it here yet? disaster sells and keeps people interested and engaged... no one cares about fluffy news, it is all about bad stuff happening.

    anyone saying otherwise needs to please direct me to a news special of ...um....lets see.. something fluffy... that lasted in the air for more than 5min compared to entire hours/days of follow up after something bad.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wowaccounttom View Post
    is it here yet? disaster sells and keeps people interested and engaged... no one cares about fluffy news, it is all about bad stuff happening.

    anyone saying otherwise needs to please direct me to a news special of ...um....lets see.. something fluffy... that lasted in the air for more than 5min compared to entire hours/days of follow up after something bad.
    Fluffy isn't news. Might aswell get footage of my cat doing silly stuff on the tv if it was.

  11. #11
    Averted? *goes return the fireworks*

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-12 at 09:55 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by zorkuus View Post
    It will be a catastrophe on some local level but not a world ender, not even a country ender (unless it hits the Vatican or something). The thing that took out the dinosaurs was atleast 10km in diameter.
    True, on a large scale is rather small but its still a bad day for a lot of people, wouldnt it likely hit the ocean considering its size?

  12. #12
    Epic! Sayl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lagwin View Post
    As far as i'd heard it was always going to be a near miss at least relatively.
    But you can't rule out a hit...if something messes with it's orbit before the next pass it could possibly hit...not that i think anything will though
    Its impact risk was always slim, yes, but it's still attracted a lot of dramatized attention in recent years. Hopefully this will help quell some of the stupidity that's still floating around.

    As for something else (other than Earth) influencing its orbit, that possibility is limited to Venus and the Moon, and any conceivable gravitational effects are already taken into account when calculating its path. Apophis will also be passing through our neighborhood (at safe distances) repeatedly in coming years, which will allow for many additional observing opportunities.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-12 at 04:26 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by zorkuus View Post
    If only they cared about evidence that contradicted their pre-conceived beliefs. It would be more accurate to say this is one less scenario for the rational people to ponder.
    Good point.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-12 at 04:33 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by semaphore View Post
    I'm mostly just glad they caught it early. Even if they'll predict an impact, at least it didn't just suddenly sneak up on us, and can presumably be dealt with in the next two decades.
    Indeed. There's a lot more work to do though.


  13. #13
    Elemental Lord Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorkuus View Post
    It will be a catastrophe on some local level but not a world ender, not even a country ender (unless it hits the Vatican or something). The thing that took out the dinosaurs was atleast 10km in diameter.
    If it struck on water, the resulting tsunami would be Bad News for various island nations. Depending on where exactly it hit, the tsunami could be on a scale similar to the one that hit Japan in 2011.

  14. #14
    Better call in SG-1 if it becomes an issue

  15. #15
    Knowing NASA, they might have again mixed up their feet vs meters (http://www.wired.com/science/discove.../1999/09/31631), and so who knows how good their calculation is.

  16. #16
    I say we deal with it just to say that we can deflect asteroids. If we don't do it know then we would surely have to sometime in the future.

  17. #17
    The Unstoppable Force Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masark View Post
    If it struck on water, the resulting tsunami would be Bad News for various island nations. Depending on where exactly it hit, the tsunami could be on a scale similar to the one that hit Japan in 2011.
    Not to mention it would flash boil the seawater it immediately impacts anyway and slam into the ocean bedrock.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

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  18. #18
    Titan Adam Jensen's Avatar
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    Damn, I just started work on my bunker.

    I wonder if I can return three tons of cement to Home Depot . . .

    If a video game developer removed tumors from players, they'd whine about nerfing their loss in weight and access to radiation powers. -Cracked.com

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Sayl View Post
    Its impact risk was always slim, yes, but it's still attracted a lot of dramatized attention in recent years. Hopefully this will help quell some of the stupidity that's still floating around.
    This is the internet. :P Or have you forgotten the LHC's first turning on (When an Indian girl killed herself because she was scared), or the whole 2012 stuff?

  20. #20
    Epic! Sayl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waniou View Post
    This is the internet. :P Or have you forgotten the LHC's first turning on (When an Indian girl killed herself because she was scared), or the whole 2012 stuff?
    The key term was some.

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