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Old 02-17-2013, 01:07 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The House to discuss the threat of asteroids.

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http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefi...hreat-to-earth

House committee to hold hearing on asteroid threat
By Jonathan Easley
02/15/13 12:07 PM ET

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on how to “better identify and address asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth,” Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a statement on Friday.

The announcement comes after a meteorite exploded in a massive blast above Siberia that damaged buildings, houses and cars and injured about 1,000 people on Friday.

"The light was so intense that it completely illuminated the courtyard of our apartment block," said Sergei Zakharov, head of the Russian Geographical Society in Chelyabinsk, according to The Wall Street Journal. "The sound, the shock wave came around six minutes later. No one could understand what had happened. I'd compare it to the explosion of a large flare bomb."

The blast was unrelated to another rare meteorological event on Friday — a 150-foot-long asteroid passed within 17,000 miles of Earth. It’s the closest encounter of its kind on record, passing within the orbit of many man-made satellites.

“Today’s events are a stark reminder of the need to invest in space science,” Smith said. “Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed just 17,000 miles from Earth, less than the distance of a round trip from New York to Sydney. And this morning, a much smaller meteorite hit near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, damaging buildings and injuring hundreds."

"Developing technology and research that enable us to track objects like Asteroid 2012 DA14 is critical to our future," Smith said. "We should continue to invest in systems that identify threatening asteroids and develop contingencies, if needed, to change the course of an asteroid headed toward Earth.”
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:13 AM   #2
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...o-worry-about/

Is it time to start worrying about killer meteors?
Posted by Brad Plumer
on February 15, 2013 at 10:43 am

A 10-ton meteor tore through the sky over the Ural Mountain city of Chelyabinsk this morning, exploding with the force of a nuclear blast. Thanks to Russia’s penchant for dashboard cameras, it was recorded for posterity:



The meteor wreaked plenty of havoc. After breaking apart some 18 to 32 miles in the air, the fragments hit the surface at an estimated 10 to 12 miles per second. The resulting sonic boom and falling debris smashed windows and roofs and injured more than 900 people. Scientists never saw it coming.

But do we really need to add tiny killer meteors to the list of things to fret about? Probably not.

A meteor, recall, is typically defined as any space rock less than 10 meters in diameter that orbits the sun. About 40,000 tons of these rocks fall to the Earth every year, much of it minuscule space dust. The vast, vast majority of smaller meteors burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere.

It’s only about once or twice a decade that a meteor the size of the one in Chelyabinsk actually makes impact. These are difficult for space agencies to track, because they’re relatively small. And yet, as Stuart Clark of Across the Universe explains, they also almost always hit uninhabited areas or plop into the ocean:

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No one is previously recorded to have been killed by a meteorite falling from the sky. There are stories of a dog being killed in Egypt in 1911 and a boy being hit but not seriously injured in Uganda in 1992. Most of the Earth’s surface is uninhabited by humans, so meteorites usually fall over desolate areas or the oceans.
For example: Back in 2008, a meteor similar in size to the Chelyabinsk one was spotted heading toward Africa. It ended up crashing in the Nubian Desert in Sudan, far away from any humans.

So that’s the good news. The bad news is that there are also much, much bigger space rocks floating out there — asteroids. These can range anywhere from 10 meters across to 1,000 kilometers across. If a very large one fell to the Earth, it wouldn’t burn up in the atmosphere. And depending on where it hit, an asteroid could wreak an enormous amount of havoc. In 1908, an asteroid about 50 meters across hit the Tunguska region of Siberia and leveled hundreds of miles of forest.

These larger asteroids often do wander close. On Friday, asteroid DA14 will come within 17,000 miles of us (this is a separate and unrelated event). That may sound like plenty of breathing room, but the asteroid will actually sweep closer than some weather satellites do.

Fortunately, scientists and space agencies tend to keep a closer eye on these bigger asteroids, though it’s still not entirely clear what’s out there: As my colleague Brian Vastag reports, NASA has identified about 95 percent of the large asteroids lying in our path but only about 1 percent of the smaller asteroids, like DA14, that could conceivably hit Earth.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:56 AM   #3
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Meteor tax.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:00 AM   #4
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Well it is true you have a greater chance of being hit by a meteorite than being killed by an assualt weapon(sorry I couldn't resist! ) but seriously don't they something anything more important to do??? Seriously let's suppose meteors are a threat what are you going to do? Go out and hire Bruce Willis to blow them up???
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:49 AM   #5
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They can actually detect asteroids that may hit Earth years from now, and potentially deflect them solar wind, rockets, or other more science-geeky ways. It's a(nother) good reason not to defund NASA.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:02 AM   #6
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More right wing propaganda from FOX

NASA-backed meteor tracking system on horizon
Published February 16, 2013| FoxNews.com

In the wake of the meteorite explosion over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday, a meteor tracking system could be on its way.

KHON in Honolulu reports that a professor at the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy is developing what he calls an Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System.

“It struck me that there was this kind of hole, that this imminent impacter risk is real and it comes from very small things," said Dr. John Tonry said to the Fox affiliate. “It's gonna involve small telescopes about the size of a good garbage can, but very wide fields of view and the intent is to basically scan the whole sky a couple times a night and that makes it possible for things to sneak through.”

Tonry’s ATLAS project has also recently received funding to the tune of $5 million from NASA and will be developed to precisely detect when and where a meteorite would hit.

"We can say it will be exactly such and so a position to within a mile and it'll happen at exactly such and such a time within a second," Dr. Tonry said.

The meteorite that streaked across the Russian sky had exploded with the power of an atomic bomb with the sonic blast shattering countless windows and injuring over a 1,000 people.

The massive space rock was estimated to be about 10 tons and 49 feet wide and entered the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph before shattering into pieces about 18-32 miles above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Friday.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/...#ixzz2LAHkQlXm
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:43 AM   #8
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Cap and trade meteors that have any carbon in their composition.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:13 AM   #9
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At least I'm doing my part as an American. I go out almost every night and look at the lights in the sky to see if any are moving towards us. Haven't seen one yet but when I do I'll sure as hell call the police. I'm even thinking about buying binoculars just for this.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hog Farmer View Post
At least I'm doing my part as an American. I go out almost every night and look at the lights in the sky to see if any are moving towards us. Haven't seen one yet but when I do I'll sure as hell call the police. I'm even thinking about buying binoculars just for this.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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Why doesn't the UN put that Alien Ambassador in charge of this. He's gotta be pretty bored by now.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:00 AM   #12
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Oh NOW you're interested in funding science and NASA? Yeah when it's just some abstract thing that's a "theory" then pffffttt. Take a meteor or two up the keister and bam you're ready to to be like hogfarmer and jerk off anyone in a lab coat.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #13
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Hey now.....Hog Farmer doesn't have a lab coat.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:58 AM   #14
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Hey now.....Hog Farmer doesn't have a lab coat.
Actually, I do.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hog Farmer View Post
At least I'm doing my part as an American. I go out almost every night and look at the lights in the sky to see if any are moving towards us. Haven't seen one yet but when I do I'll sure as hell call the police. I'm even thinking about buying binoculars just for this.
You, sir, are an American hero.
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