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Thread: Astronauts call for asteroid impact readiness

  1. #1 Astronauts call for asteroid impact readiness 
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    Astronauts have requested a plan for any kind of significant asteroidal impact--detection, prevention and dealing with the impact, as needed. Makes interesting reading.

    www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174785,00.html

    Given that there seem to be about 8-12, multi-megaton, earth impacts, mostly in the ocean, every century, this is not unreasonable. It means about once each decade there is a high risk of very large earth impact.

    In the 20th C. there were 3 known/probable earth impacts. First was Tunguska in 1912. The second was a multi-metaon impact of the Sikhote-Alin meteorite about 1949 NE of Vladivostok. The last was probably a 3 crater, remote Amazonian impact in the 1930's.

    Since land is about 30% of the earth's surface this suggests about 10 multimegaton impacts a decade, more or less.

    This is not a trivial danger. Had any of those impactors in the ocean or on land, arrived slightly later, or earlier, they could have hit major cities or populations.

    Thus the astronauts' request is a reasonable one.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    One can only hope it will hit some country nobody really cares about, or LA


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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Undoubtedly we shall devise a highly effective global response, with the structure, material, resources, personnel and funding necessary to deal with such an event.
    In the traditional manner of humanity we shall do this after the first such catatrophic strike has occured.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    In the traditional manner of humanity we shall do this after the first such catastrophic strike has occured.
    I disagree with your assessment, as it runs counter to our deep-seated belief that lightning never strikes twice.

    I think we would do this after the second catastrophic strike has occured.


    (As proof, and I know this is off-subject, I simply offer as example our ineffectual responses to 9/11 in improving border, harbor and chemical plant security)
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  6. #5  
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    There is also an interesting hypothesis that the great Peshtigo fire, and related fires which ignited simultaneously along a diagonal line in Door County WI, MI and IN may have been from hot pieces of exploding bolide landing in drought-striken forests. (or it could just be a coincidence)

    Also there was a smaller, but not insignificant bolide breakup over Greenland about 5 years ago.

    And dont forget the mysterious explosion in the S. Indian Ocean (which may or may not have been a Isreali/S African atom bomb test).
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  7. #6  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Well if this is left up to the Bush administration it will only happen after everyone is fired for screwing up the 1st, 2nd and 3rd impacts. More or less not until their is a new administration and the old one can blame all the problems on the new one.
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  8. #7  
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    Good points, Ophiolite and Silylene!
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