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View Full Version : Hypothetical: Life in an asteroid belt.


Rain Man
03-11-2006, 02:44 PM
If the earth was situated inside a belt of asteroids that hit earth frequently, do you think our civilization would have evolved differently? Feel free to discussion any aspect: daily lives, education, religion, agriculture, politics...anything you want.

For the sake of starting with the same assumptions, let's go with the following:

As a typical human being, you have a 50% chance each day* of getting pinged by a micrometeor that is large enough to feel temporarily like you got stung by a bee.

You would have a 1 in 1,000 chance* in a given week to be hit by a meteor that is large enough to knock you cold or break a bone.

You would have a 1 in 50,000 chance* each week of being hit by a metor large enough to kill you.

Once a year, a big meteor hits and takes out an area of 1 to 10 square miles.

Once every 10 years, a bigger meteor hits and takes out an area of 500 square miles.







* Higher odds for Turkish quadrupedal walkers since they would have more exposed surface area.

Psyko Tek
03-11-2006, 02:56 PM
nasa would be better funded,

and we'ld have cool lasers by now

SNR
03-11-2006, 02:57 PM
I think we would definitely downsize architecture, and any unnecessary parts of a buildling that could be downsized would be downsized.

I doubt we'd see the great cathedrals of Europe.

Katipan
03-11-2006, 03:03 PM
People everywhere would spend all day and night on the Internet.

Skip Towne
03-11-2006, 03:07 PM
What? Me worry? My tinfoil hat will protect me.

FAX
03-11-2006, 03:10 PM
1) Baseball players would wear pie pans on their heads. Held in place by little leather straps under their chins.

2) Car wax would have never been invented.

3) Generally, everybody would be in a pissy mood.

4) "Struck by lightning" would be a phrase used to describe a lucky person.

5) People could buy crater insurance.

FAX

Rain Man
03-11-2006, 03:11 PM
I think we'd have a lot more superstition, and a lot more active perception of religion. Imagine someone lying to you and then being killed by a meteor as the words come out of his/her mouth. There would be a lot of lore about that kind of thing.

FAX
03-11-2006, 03:15 PM
I think we'd have a lot more superstition, and a lot more active perception of religion. Imagine someone lying to you and then being killed by a meteor as the words come out of his/her mouth. There would be a lot of lore about that kind of thing.

I agree, Mr. Rain Man.

Louisa May Alcott would have a book entitled, "The Little Lying Puddle Of Goo".

FAX

Rain Man
03-11-2006, 03:18 PM
It would seem to me that people with pointier heads would take more glancing blows than head-on blows, and would therefore have an evolutionary advantage.

Same for women with smaller bosoms as compared to larger bosoms.

go bowe
03-11-2006, 03:25 PM
It would seem to me that people with pointier heads would take more glancing blows than head-on blows, and would therefore have an evolutionary advantage.

Same for women with smaller bosoms as compared to larger bosoms.no more silicon??? PBJ PBJ PBJ

Mr. Laz
03-11-2006, 03:31 PM
heck ya ...

science would completely different ... everything would be slanted towards protection and survival after impact.

construction would be completely different ... everything would be built with protection in mind instead of aesthetics.

medical would be drastically different.... be more injury repair and less cosmetic surgery etc.

the civilization would basically have grown and developed under "at war" conditions.

CoMoChief
03-11-2006, 03:38 PM
Chuck Norris would deflect them all by pointing to all of them and yelling "BAM!"

4th and Long
03-11-2006, 03:40 PM
Given the number of asteroids in the asteroid belt in our own solar system, not to mention the sheer size of some of them, I would say that none of us would have to worry about how the planet would have evolved. It's more likely all life would have been destroyed eons ago.

Hell, living outside the belt is scary enough as it is. Take for example this this video (http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2006/07mar06/forrest1.mpg) of a mile wide asteroid that passed by our little planet on the 6th of this month. If that thing hits our planet, it's all over kids, ... for all of us.

BTW, if anyone is interested, when the full moon rises on Monday evening, March 14th, you might notice something odd; a pale shadow darkening the moon's southern hemisphere. That is the shadow of Earth, and if you can see it, you've spotted a penumbral lunar eclipse.

Penumbral lunar eclipses are not as dramatic as total lunar eclipses. During a total eclipse, the moon penetrates the dark-red core of Earth's shadow; during a penumbral eclipse, the moon is merely in the outskirts. Even so, penumbral eclipses are fun to observe.

FAX
03-11-2006, 03:50 PM
That's a cool video, Mr. 4th and Long, but I don't see how that little white dot could do much damage.

I think that our social conventions would change dramatically. For example;

1. Opening a door for a woman so she could exit the house first would be considered assault.

2. Offering someone a "hit" would be akin to threatening their life.

3. "Getting stoned" would be a term used to describe a suicide attempt.

FAX

Rain Man
03-11-2006, 03:57 PM
No one would own an expensive car, and especially not a convertible.

I would think that we might have a lot more trees, too, just for a little bit of extra shielding.

Mr. Laz
03-11-2006, 04:02 PM
No one would own an expensive car, and especially not a convertible.

I would think that we might have a lot more trees, too, just for a little bit of extra shielding.

no cell phones or directv ... no nfl sunday ticket :D




... satellites in orbit would be crushed

FAX
03-11-2006, 04:03 PM
We'd be overrun by paranoid cows. too.

FAX

Skip Towne
03-11-2006, 04:09 PM
no cell phones or directv ... no nfl sunday ticket :D




... satellites in orbit would be crushed
How big is this asteroid belt? Our satellites are 23,000 miles away.

Mr. Laz
03-11-2006, 04:15 PM
How big is this astroid belt? Our satellites are 23,000 miles away.

doesn't really matter does it?

if the asteroids are hitting earth like Rainman said ... then they have to intersect the satellite parameter at some point don't they?

unlurking
03-11-2006, 04:15 PM
We'd all live in the Shire!

I'd imagine most homes would be built into hills, mountains, or underground. Our greatest city would be Dwarrowdelf.

Skip Towne
03-11-2006, 04:16 PM
doesn't really matter does it?

if the asteroids are hitting earth like Rainman said ... then they have to intersect the satellite parameter at some point don't they?
They would have to be as big as horses to interrupt our signal.

FAX
03-11-2006, 04:23 PM
They would have to be as big as horses to interrupt our signal.

I think the assumption here, Mr. Skip Towne, is that the asteroids would collide with our satellites smashing them into billions of pieces of metal, silicon, glass, and the broken dreams of NFL fans and DirectTV subscribers throughout our unfortunate, pelletized civilization.

By the way, have you ever been on a cruise? If so, do you know if cruise ships have brigs?

FAX

Mr. Laz
03-11-2006, 04:24 PM
They would have to be as big as horses to interrupt our signal.

not if the actually HIT the satellite itself

even a hit a month would be enough to make the cost prohibitive.

launch a rocket into space with a possible asteroid coming down?


it cost millions to have them carry a communication satellite into orbit anyway.... losing a rocket/shuttle/satellite randomly would make the sky rocket.

Skip Towne
03-11-2006, 04:45 PM
not if the actually HIT the satellite itself

even a hit a month would be enough to make the cost prohibitive.

launch a rocket into space with a possible asteroid coming down?


it cost millions to have them carry a communication satellite into orbit anyway.... losing a rocket/shuttle/satellite randomly would make the sky rocket.
Like I said, the satellite is 23,000 miles from earth. It would take a direct hit on the satellite. I'm sure glad I have you around to teach me about satellite technology.

Mr. Laz
03-11-2006, 04:55 PM
Like I said, the satellite is 23,000 miles from earth. It would take a direct hit on the satellite. I'm sure glad I have you around to teach me about satellite technology.
so who said i was trying to teach you satellite technology??

man are you touchy about that ... it's like you have a copyright on anything having to do with satellites. :rolleyes:


we are talking about a hypothetical situation where the earth lives in asteroid belt.


if they are hitting the earth then they stand a really good change of hitting anything around the earth ... 23k miles is nothing in space distance.

BigOlChiefsfan
03-11-2006, 04:59 PM
The dinosaurs would have died out earlier, because they never evolve the ability to yell 'Incoming' and jump around wildly playing galactic dodgeball. And the mighty T. Rex would have been one of the first to go, he couldn't cover his head with a paleo-trashcan lid or anything because he such had comicly short arms. Heh.

The lithe and agile mammalian genus would have triumphed even earlier, but rather than our primate ancestor I think intelligent life would have evolved from the speedy mongoose and it's ilk. Hence, giant weasels would rule the planet. Hmmm, much as they do now.

I think we'd evolve a lot more varieties of roofers and glaziers, too. You know, "People who live in glass houses something something space stones."

chagrin
03-11-2006, 05:04 PM
Sure are getting your money's worth from that outsourced group in Bangalora aren't ya?

Frankie
03-11-2006, 05:07 PM
Bush would blame Saddam and attack Iraq. Oh, wait a minute...! :p

chagrin
03-11-2006, 05:17 PM
Like I said, the satellite is 23,000 miles from earth. It would take a direct hit on the satellite. I'm sure glad I have you around to teach me about satellite technology.


wow, someone needs a nap

"yankee beans, yankee beans, I like my yan-kee beans..."

Rain Man
03-11-2006, 05:35 PM
Like I said, the satellite is 23,000 miles from earth. It would take a direct hit on the satellite. I'm sure glad I have you around to teach me about satellite technology.


As an aside, I set my sights on being an orbital mechanics expert when I was in college. I was a teaching assistant in an orbital mechanics class and thought it was way cool. Then Christa McAuliffe had to go and push the wrong button, and NASA stopped hiring orbital mechanics guys for a while.

Mr. Laz
03-11-2006, 05:50 PM
As an aside, I set my sights on being an orbital mechanics expert when I was in college. I was a teaching assistant in an orbital mechanics class and thought it was way cool. Then Christa McAuliffe had to go and push the wrong button, and NASA stopped hiring orbital mechanics guys for a while.

somebody, besides skip, tell me if i'm wrong...


if the satellites are in orbit around the earth and the asteroids are crossing the path of the earth(or earth crossing the path of the asteroids) and hitting it randomly ........... doesn't that mean they will randomly hit the satellites too?


http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/8191/k4sa.jpg

Frankie
03-11-2006, 06:02 PM
somebody, besides skip, tell me if i'm wrong...
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/8191/k4sa.jpg
You are wrong. Earth is NOT flat blue.

4th and Long
03-11-2006, 06:04 PM
somebody, besides skip, tell me if i'm wrong...


if the satellites are in orbit around the earth and the asteroids are crossing the path of the earth(or earth crossing the path of the asteroids) and hitting it randomly ........... doesn't that mean they will randomly hit the satellites too?


http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/8191/k4sa.jpg
The satellites in orbit around the earth, frequently take impacts from minute space particles the size of grains of sand. These can be devastating if the satellites are older and not equipped to handle such impacts. NASA is even looking at ways to remove "space junk" that is currently in orbit around the planet which can impact our satellites as well. That aside, the earth is a much larger target for an asteroid impact than a satellite, obviously. Satellite impacts, by the numbers, would be far less at risk that the earth, due to their smaller size.