New comet to zip by Mars. 1/600 chance of impact, current NASA calculations suggest

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New comet to zip by Mars. 1/600 chance of impact, current NASA calculations suggest

Object-watchers are keenly catching observations of the orbit of an object discovered by Rob McNaught of Australia's Siding Spring Observatory, which is set for a very close Mars fly-by in October 2014.

In fact, although NASA currently assigns the object a one-in-600 chance of an impact, and believes further observations will rule out the chance of a collision – it still remains a possibility.

The story started last January when McNaught first identified the body, now known as C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, which was then identified in earlier images taken by the Catalina Sky Survey stretching back to December. Initial number-crunching by Russia's Leonid Elenin identified it as likely to pass close to Mars. The current estimate from NASA is that the object will pass within 50,000 Km of the Red Planet.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/05/mars_comet_flyby_for_2014/


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If it hits, it'll be fucking

If it hits, it'll be fucking epic. The comet is about 50 km, moving at 35 km per second. It would easily compare to the impact that wiped out the dinosaurs, perhaps even being more catastrophic, and you could see it unaided with clear skies in the right hemisphere at night.
The rovers will not likely survive an impact even if safely removed from the impact site, as the dust kicked up would destroy Opportunities power source and grind Curiosity to a halt.

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Vastet wrote:If it hits,

Vastet wrote:
If it hits, it'll be fucking epic. The comet is about 50 km, moving at 35 km per second. It would easily compare to the impact that wiped out the dinosaurs, perhaps even being more catastrophic, and you could see it unaided with clear skies in the right hemisphere at night. The rovers will not likely survive an impact even if safely removed from the impact site, as the dust kicked up would destroy Opportunities power source and grind Curiosity to a halt.

 

I bet they would  provide some incredible data and photos before they get knocked out.


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Oh they will, provided they

Oh they will, provided they are still functional by then. Curiosity has a good shot at it, but Opportunity is a wild card. Every hour that Opportunity continues to function is amazing.
Regardless, NASA is already planning to capture images of the flyby from satellites in Mars orbit and both the rovers.
However, if there's an impact, it is unlikely that any transmissions from Mars would happen. The dust following the comet would probably tear the satellites to shreds before the impact even happened. Chances are that observations from Earth and Earth orbit would be the best quality visuals.

Of course it probably won't hit at all. But it'll be a couple more months of observations before it can be known with much more certainty.

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Tyson was on Stewart last

Tyson was on Stewart last night saying something scientists AND skeptics alike have been screaming for decades since they discovered the Yucatan impact crater. All this political and ideological bullshit isn't going to help humans build some sort of meteor defense system.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Most people didn't believe

Most people didn't believe it was even possible until they saw Shoemaker-Levy put bruises the size of Earth on Jupiter. It wasn't until then, or even later, that the US congress decided to mandate NASA with finding all NEO's. And today NASA is the only major organisation to have actual programmes in place to hunt them down. They and civilian observers have found a lot of rocks, but NASA only got 5 million for this project in their last budget.

What we need to do is land on a bunch more of these rocks. Any defence against a NEO will require more info than we have.

NASA estimates it would take 7 years to mount a mission to divert or destroy a NEO, and wouldn't carry any guarantee of success. We still cannot even hope to stop a comet like this one. By the time you see a comet it's only a year or two away.
If this comet were aimed at Earth, there's nothing we could do about it but watch and die. It'll be decades before that might change.

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Vastet wrote:What we need to

Vastet wrote:
What we need to do is land on a bunch more of these rocks. Any defence against a NEO will require more info than we have. NASA estimates it would take 7 years to mount a mission to divert or destroy a NEO, and wouldn't carry any guarantee of success. We still cannot even hope to stop a comet like this one. By the time you see a comet it's only a year or two away. If this comet were aimed at Earth, there's nothing we could do about it but watch and die. It'll be decades before that might change.

What we need to do is start painting the rocks with this dust... Sticking out tongue


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Any and all current

Any and all current strategies to avoid obliteration are geared specifically for asteroids, as we can potentially see them coming decades away. Nothing we have would do anything to a comet. Until we have probes cataloguing the oort cloud the best we can do is cross our fingers.

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Vastet wrote:Any and all

Vastet wrote:
Any and all current strategies to avoid obliteration are geared specifically for asteroids, as we can potentially see them coming decades away. Nothing we have would do anything to a comet. Until we have probes cataloguing the oort cloud the best we can do is cross our fingers.

We can send Bruce Willis... or Harrison Ford!

http://video.adultswim.com/robot-chicken/meteor.html

 

 


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Lol. I read somewhere

Lol.

I read somewhere recently that Armageddon had something like 168 physical impossibilities, according to NASA. I can only imagine how many Star Wars has.

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Vastet wrote:Lol. I read

Vastet wrote:
Lol. I read somewhere recently that Armageddon had something like 168 physical impossibilities, according to NASA. I can only imagine how many Star Wars has.

You are correct. One inaccuracy for every minute of the film.

NASA also uses the movie as a training video for helping trainees how to distinguish between probable, improbable and impossible.

 


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Vastet wrote:Any and all

Vastet wrote:
Any and all current strategies to avoid obliteration are geared specifically for asteroids, as we can potentially see them coming decades away. Nothing we have would do anything to a comet. Until we have probes cataloguing the oort cloud the best we can do is cross our fingers.

But this is the difference between theists and atheists. Ultimately atheists know no matter what it is a crap shoot. In between birth and death we simply try our best to survive.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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