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Asteroid early warning system being built

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02-20-2013, 11:41 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Asteroid early warning system being built

http://news.discovery.com/space/aste...mkcpgn=rssnws1

Est. completion in 2015. Would give one week warning for 50 yard and three weeks for 150 yard.

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02-20-2013, 09:42 PM
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So, just enough time for panic and pillaging to set in?

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02-21-2013, 02:11 AM
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Cloned
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Three weeks is better than nothing I suppose, but in reality, for an asteroid of that size, that amount of time would be fairly useless.

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02-21-2013, 10:41 AM
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For a large, "end of the world, kill everything on Earth" asteroid, absolutely it's too short a period. But for a celestial body that'll be major but not destructive to that extreme, like Apophis (which is over 300 yards), it'd be more than enough time to evacuate the potential ground zero areas, and probably still have enough time left to clear out most of the surrounding areas that would probably get hit by debris and shockwaves.

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02-21-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloned View Post
Three weeks is better than nothing I suppose, but in reality, for an asteroid of that size, that amount of time would be fairly useless.
An asteroid of what size, exactly? And useless in what way?

------------------

From the article:
"That's enough time to evacuate the area of people, take measures to protect buildings and other infrastructure, and be alert to a tsunami danger generated by ocean impacts," University of Hawaii astronomer John Tonry said in a statement.

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02-21-2013, 03:25 PM
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Yeah, it'd definitely be useful. If we knew a few weeks in advance that an asteroid was going to hit somewhere in say.... Missouri or the Ukraine or Pakistan or wherever, it'd give local authorities and international relief organizations loads of times to organize evacuation and disaster relief missions.

And the further in advance we detect it, the more precise our forecasts will undoubtedly be to discern ground zero. Especially useful if we discover it'll hit an ocean and we can adequately prepare tsunami forecasts.

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02-21-2013, 06:17 PM
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I'm in favor of it when it's something so simple (ground-based and taking only a few years to build) and, especially, so cheap. It's the calls for extravagant, billion-dollar, budget-busting projects that I think are a waste of money. If you can build something quickly and cheaply, and, because it's based on Earth, service it cheaply, though, I'm all for it. This is a much more sensible and practical solution, especially based on our current capabilities (i.e. no way yet to avoid impact).


Last edited by Osprey: 02-26-2013 at 05:30 AM.
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02-21-2013, 09:05 PM
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octopi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Yeah, it'd definitely be useful. If we knew a few weeks in advance that an asteroid was going to hit somewhere in say.... Missouri or the Ukraine or Pakistan or wherever, it'd give local authorities and international relief organizations loads of times to organize evacuation and disaster relief missions.

And the further in advance we detect it, the more precise our forecasts will undoubtedly be to discern ground zero. Especially useful if we discover it'll hit an ocean and we can adequately prepare tsunami forecasts.
How are they going to be able to calculate potential collision areas so easily weeks in advance?
Wouldn't they have to allow for areas hundreds of miles across?

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02-21-2013, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Unaffiliated View Post
An asteroid of what size, exactly? And useless in what way?

------------------

From the article:
"That's enough time to evacuate the area of people, take measures to protect buildings and other infrastructure, and be alert to a tsunami danger generated by ocean impacts," University of Hawaii astronomer John Tonry said in a statement.
It can detect asteroids that can destroy a country within 3 weeks of impact.

3 weeks isn't a lot of time to evacuate an entire country (of course, depending on what country, but the point remains).

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02-22-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloned View Post
It can detect asteroids that can destroy a country within 3 weeks of impact.

3 weeks isn't a lot of time to evacuate an entire country (of course, depending on what country, but the point remains).
When I read it, "capable of wiping out a whole country" meant (to me) probably only small countries, not just any country.


Any asteroid big enough to wipe out a country like the US would probably be dealt with actively (intercepted with thermonuclear weapons or something like that).

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02-22-2013, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi View Post
How are they going to be able to calculate potential collision areas so easily weeks in advance?
Wouldn't they have to allow for areas hundreds of miles across?
Yes, but given the immediate devastation that an asteroid impact of a few dozen to a few hundred meters in diameter could have, being able to narrow it down a few weeks in advance to several dozen miles from several hundred or not even knowing in advance could significantly reduce the difficulties and logistics of an evacuation and establishment of a safe zone/relief staging grounds.

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02-23-2013, 02:18 PM
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Cloned
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unaffiliated View Post
When I read it, "capable of wiping out a whole country" meant (to me) probably only small countries, not just any country.


Any asteroid big enough to wipe out a country like the US would probably be dealt with actively (intercepted with thermonuclear weapons or something like that).
That's a pretty big assumption.

Also, the majority of countries in the world fall into one of three categories:

1) Small but densely populated (Nigeria, Japan, Koreas, etc.)
2) Decent sized and well populated (USA, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China, etc.)
3) Decent sized and less well populated (Canada, Mongolia, Sweden, etc.)

All of which pose different logistical challenges for evacuation or contingency planning.

There are very few countries that are both small in area and sparsely populated (Monaco, Luxembourg, etc.).

Not to mention the fact that if a country is pretty small, a large asteroid impact will very likely affect its neighbours as well.

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02-25-2013, 10:34 AM
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LickTheEnvelope
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
I'm in favor of it when it's something so simple (ground-based and taking only a few years to build) and, especially, so cheap. It's the calls for extravagant, billion-dollar, budget-busting projects that I think are a waste of money. If you can build something quickly and cheaply, and, because it's based on Earth, service it cheaply, though, I'm on all for it. This is a much more sensible and practical solution, especially based on our current capabilities (i.e. no way yet to avoid impact).
There is ways they can deflect big astroids now if they have enough time.

So it's detection that is most important. EDIT: You also have to remember the further away you find it the less you have to nudge it to push it out of the trajectory.


Last edited by LickTheEnvelope: 02-25-2013 at 11:29 AM.
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