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Guru

Join Date: Sep 2007
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Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/25/2007 7:43 AM

Dear all,

Since December 21, or there abouts, I have been reading these articles about how Mars could get hit by this newly discovered asteroid, 2007 WD5.

I would like to know, if this happens, who on earth could see it as the articles only mention January 30 as the possible impact date, no times. Does anyone know on what stage of rotation we will be at the time of impact?

Also could I request every person with a telescope to watch for it and report back here with stories of their observations and possibly pictures?

I know I would love to witness something like that but the likelihood is very small. This way we could maybe prepare for it and increase the chance of seeing it as soon as it happens, if it happens.

Here are a list of websites with details.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/12/21/asteroid-mars-nasa.html?dcitc=w19-502-ak-0000

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article3082960.ece

Have fun.

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Pathfinder Tags: Asteroid crater impact Mars planet
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Guru

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1818
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#1

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/25/2007 1:44 PM

I just also found this tool.

Cool little java script thingy that lets you see the trajectory but just in case you go and see in the future, it is not accurate enough to predict long term paths so forget it.

What I did do however was look at the projected orbital period and found it is roughly 4 years give or take a few months. Why has it never been seen before I wonder as its path is virtually in the same plane as our own?

Very strange until someone explains it to me. I am sure somebody will.

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Guru

Join Date: Aug 2007
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/25/2007 5:07 PM

A lot of space, and a relatively small object. You won't find it unless you go looking for it... Kind of like dropping a small bead in a large car park. The chances of it being found are pretty slim, unless one goes looking for it, and even then it would be pretty easy to miss.

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Guru

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/25/2007 6:51 PM

Hi Steve, I trust you are having a good Christmas.

If we were not looking for it I would indeed understand but this asteroid was discovered by the department that was supposed to look for these things as they are also near earth objects.

If they only now found it, but it has been whizzing past us for a while, then they are not doing their job terribly well now do they.

If they only found it now because it only just appeared that is fair enough but where did it come from? The trajectory suggest quite a stable ecliptic plane orbit with a period of around 4 years.

Anyway, we are digressing a bit. Have you found any info on who might be able to see it if it impacts?

Do you have a telescope and will you be watching with us (well not strictly speaking with us but in your own relative time)?

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Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - Scapolie, new member.

Join Date: Jan 2007
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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 5:32 AM

Hi case491.

And what if it misses Mars, is the Earth in danger of being hit???

Spencer.

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Guru

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 6:14 AM

Hi Scapolie,

Maybe but not for another orbit as it has just crossed our orbit and is now in between Earth and Mars. I do not know how close it came to us but this was the reason they found it in the first place with their near earth object program.

I do think they were a bit late as they spotted it on 20 November first time and it would have hit (if it were ever going to) us not that long after that so not much we could have done anyway.

Don't use the trajectory tool for predictions in the future, NASA themselves say it is not accurate enough for that and the orbit may encounter gravity changes which are not in the tool.

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Guru

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 9:54 AM

Hi Case,

I am actually in the market. I remember there was a thread a few weeks ago in regards to buying a telescope, I will have to revisit that thread.

In Houston we generally cannot see the stars. Although we have had some clear weather lately and I have seen Mars once or twice in the last few weeks. There is not much chance of observing it from here.

I am contemplating an expat assignment, and depending on where we end up a telescope might be a good investment.

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Anonymous Poster
#4
In reply to #1

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/25/2007 11:37 PM

cool tool... thanks for sharing!!!

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Guru

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#8

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 2:28 PM

Ha ha ha, that is (a bit) funny.

Now you got me really worried so I checked out your websites and found nothing that I could use to build my own space ship. Nice tribute to your sister, sounds she was, and still is, missed by a lot of people.

Anyway, the chunk of space debris is only about 50meters across so it will only leave a dimple between 1.2 to 1.5 Km wide. Not enough umph to push it out of orbit I am afraid. Compare it with the Arizona crater which was a similar sized object. The only difference is that our crater is slowly eroding while on Mars it may last a bit longer due to different weather.

Secondly the impact is pointing away from earth, that means if it happens we can see it whoever is lucky enough to face that side, and should therefor push mars out wards. Once moving out, it should go into an elliptical orbit like Pluto and impact with any other planet is highly unlikely (famous last words and we speak again on Feb 01/08).

Sorry to be a bore

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Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 3:38 PM

Yeah.. but :.. *yahbuts rule ! What if the asteroid were really really really dense. This super dense (alleged) super bullet could actually Split the planet mars sending at least 2 piece (probably alot more) into all kinds of paths. WOW ! ! (sci fi wannabe writer). . some of these pieces could be big enough to impact other planets causing a domino effect destroying all life in this sector. ! ok.. that was not my website actually .

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Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 3:45 PM

Actually Seriously (>?) : This alleged asteroid could actually be the first shot by another life form trying to obliterate us before we get them. This could be the first 'ranging' shot .. the next could be dead on to us.. aaaagh the end is near!

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Guru

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 3:50 PM

Oke.....Hmmmm, .

You just keep on talking to your imaginary friend, and I will get back-up with those white coats.

That website did not work for your info. Who's website was the previous one if I may ask?

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Power-User

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 3:59 PM

Ok.. guess no one has a sense of humor. bye

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Guru

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 5:05 PM

There is a time for everything I guess. Just read my other posts and you know I do have a sense of humour.

This thread is not even bleeding yet, let alone dead! When it finally dies, humour may become it's purpose but until then....you know the rest

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Power-User

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/26/2007 9:22 PM

Actually the websites were complete shots in the dark (just made up) , I was truly shocked that anyone had a site with that name. I am joking about this asteroid thing although it might make a good movie script. Keep up the good cheer! Merry Christmas! IF you want some good reading google the "quiet zone west virginia radio telescopes" They have created a noise reduced area so that astronomers can look for radio signals at distant galaxies without the interference.

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Power-User

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#15

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/27/2007 5:38 PM

Here's another good site to watch for updates:

http://www.spaceweather.com/

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Guru

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

12/28/2007 3:54 AM

Thanks, that looks good as well. Will check it out upon my arival as I am off today for my end of year party up in the north of England, nice dark skies when the clouds are busy elsewhere.

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Guru

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#17

Re: Mars could get hit by asteroid end of January!

01/03/2008 2:41 AM

If you want the latest, it is here.

Looks like it is generating a lot of interest out there for more than one reason.

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Guru

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#18

NOOOOOO this cannot be happening!

01/11/2008 3:38 PM

Jan. 11, 2008 -- The possibility of a collision between Mars and an approaching asteroid has been effectively ruled out, according to scientists watching the space rock.

Tracking measurements of asteroid 2007 WD5 taken from four observatories have greatly reduced uncertainties about its Jan. 30 close approach to Mars so that the odds of impact have dropped to 1 in 10,000, the Near-Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a posting on its Web site.

Scientists said the best estimate was for the asteroid to pass at a distance of more than 16,000 miles from the surface of Mars, or at worst, no closer than 2,480 miles.

Bah Humbug, I was looking forward to this

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Power-User

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: NOOOOOO this cannot be happening!

01/11/2008 4:30 PM

Isn't that just like the Universe - getting us all keyed up, and then pulling the rug out from under.

Phooey.

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