View Full Version : Cool near earth Astronomy story.

Paul Pless
04-03-2012, 04:43 AM
This dude made these discoveries as an undergrad and his discovery was discredited as being space junk. So he became an astronomer continued to study these objects and now his discovery has been 'validated' so to speak.

The earth has minimoons: link (http://www.npr.org/2012/04/03/149712082/earth-has-just-one-moon-right-think-again)

04-03-2012, 05:19 AM
Very cool!

I think this is area of study we need to apply more resources to. NEOs demonstrate a very real threat to us. Imagine seeing an object half the size of the moon up there . . . I'd crap my pants.:d

04-03-2012, 06:01 AM
Heh!, we like to think we are in control of our environment, but in reality when it comes to it it's just luck. If an object half the size of the moon arrived up there there'd be panic an chaos, half the religious 'leaders' on the planet would lay claim to it as a sign, the churches would be full, the tabloids would be demanding 'action', and there would be absolutely nothing 'we' could do about it except hope it went away rather than decided to stay, or worse.

04-03-2012, 04:57 PM
In high school astronomy I got my hands on a hush hush report of an object that is headed for earth, either in 2023 in the american heartland or if it misses the window of opportunity it will splash down in the pacific in 2029.

energy released will be a bit over 18 times that released in Castle Romeo (high megaton strategic lithium bomb test), or about 8 times that of tunguska, or 13000 times hiroshima.

Anyone within 200 km will be burned skinless by the flash of light alone, and within 50 km there won't even be bodies left to bury.
Asteroid winter will be on the "year without a summer" range of the scale, putting it on par with the likes of Tambora, Rakata-Krakatau (counting the largest 4 final blasts in the 1883 eruption as one single event) or Santorini

In the long term we will be fine, it is even smaller than the one that made meteor crater in arizona, and about comparable to the supposed cause of the greek dark ages.
When I told my family one of the first things we joked about was how ironic it would be if it landed smack-dab on the WBC whackjobs in Kansas.