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Phew! Asteroid to miss Earth in 2040

nasa announcement collision course near-earth object program jet propulsion laboratory

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#1 Hum

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 00:33

(CNN) -- On a day when global doomsday predictions failed to pan out, NASA had more good news for the Earth: An asteroid feared to be on a collision course with our planet no longer poses a threat.

Uncertainties about the orbit of the asteroid, known as 2011 AG5, previously allowed for a less than a 1% chance it would hit the Earth in February 2040, NASA said.

To narrow down the asteroid's future course, NASA put out a call for more observation. Astronomers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa took up the task and managed to observe the asteroid over several days in October.

"An analysis of the new data conducted by NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows that the risk of collision in 2040 has been eliminated," NASA declared Friday.

The new observations, made with the Gemini 8-meter telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, reduce the orbit uncertainties by more than a factor of 60. That means the Earth's position in February 2040 is not in range of the asteroid's possible future paths.

The asteroid, which is 140 meters (460 feet) in diameter, will get no closer to Earth than 890,000 kilometers (553,000 miles), or more than twice the distance to the moon, NASA said.

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#2 DrakeN2k

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 00:41

I wonder if we have the technology to destroy an asteroid if it was going to hit earth.

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 00:44

^ Yes.

But if the power of the human mind were realized, the asteroid could be deflected in that way. ;)

#4 +Phouchg

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:21

NASA folks being a total buzzkill again :crazy:

#5 McKay

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:34

I wonder if we have the technology to destroy an asteroid if it was going to hit earth.


Not at the moment, America retired the last rockets capable of reaching those distances, and our Nukes don't have the 'oomph' to go into Space.

#6 Growled

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:47

I will sleep good tonight knowing the good folks at NASA has saved us once again.

#7 mduren2445

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:47

Well I will be 78 in 2040 so ...........................let it come !!!

#8 Klownicle

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:20

I just can't seem them saying;

Asteriod will impact earth in 2040, new calucations made make the percentage of impact a solid 100%.

Anytime soon... they wouldn't tell else, they would keep it quite for as long as possible.

#9 DocM

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:09

Not at the moment, America retired the last rockets capable of reaching those distances, and our Nukes don't have the 'oomph' to go into Space.


SpaceX's current Falcon 9 can do >2.6 metric tonnes to an interplanetary trajectory. it gets a big upgrade next summer, and the Falcon Heavy (maiden flight in early 2014) will be able to push up to 20 metric tonnes to an interplanetary trajectory using a kerosene M1DVac upper stage, and likely 25+ metric tonnes with the (in development) Raptor upper stage (a new staged combustion methane engine.)

ULA's Delta IV Heavy can do about 7.8 metric tonnes, and NASA has the maiden flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) penciled in for 2017, and its largest version is likely to do >50 metric tonnes to an interplanetary trajectory. The launcher associated with SpaceX's MCT (said to stand for 'Mars Colony Transport') project, to be announced in the coming year, is expected to greatly exceed that.

#10 OP Hum

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 16:54

I will sleep good tonight knowing the good folks at NASA has saved us once again.

And how did NASA save us ? :laugh:

If they've got a rocket ready to deflect the asteroid, then I would agree.

Anyone worried about our poor Moon ... ?

#11 *RedBull*

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 17:14

I will sleep good tonight knowing the good folks at NASA has saved us once again.

It was the scientists in Hawaii that saved us. By staring down the asteroid for a month. That scared the asteroid away. "Whoa, I don't want no part of that planet"

#12 Growled

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:29

It was the scientists in Hawaii that saved us. By staring down the asteroid for a month. That scared the asteroid away. "Whoa, I don't want no part of that planet"


Lol. :D