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50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 7:16 AM

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news165.html

Would be interesting to discover at what elevation this thing blew up.

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#1

Re: 50 kiloton blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 7:28 AM

Wow! That is pretty close to home and I never heard anything about it....

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#9
In reply to #1

Re: 50 kiloton blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:22 AM

That's because we more concerned about the latest Michael Jackson movie, the balloon kid, the Dodger's divorce, and the octomom costumes for Halloween.

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#10
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Re: 50 kiloton blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:41 AM

and the octomom costumes for Halloween.

Bad mental image warning!

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#14
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Re: 50 kiloton blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:58 AM

Still can't get any elevation data due to creative military secrets

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#2

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 11:02 AM

WOW...... why wasn't that on the news...?

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 11:13 AM

Because we are so jaded.

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#4

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 11:21 AM

....or exploded over a major urban area, say at 10,000'.....it would have blown every glass window out for miles around.

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#5

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 12:17 PM

And if it went at 10,000', surely there would have been electro-magnetic pulse implications along with broken windows, wow.

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#7
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 11:40 PM

Nope, EMP is for nukes, not conventional explosions (which believe it or not, this qualifies). it is caused by the coupling of the neutron and x-ray flux with the earth's magnetic field. an asteroid detonating due to frictional heat and aerodynamic pressure does not release any neutrons or x-rays.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

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#6

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/29/2009 12:49 PM

50 kilotons is small compared to some of the more nasty devices we aim at each other.

EMP effects are caused by very specific conditions(device and altitude) present in nuclear events. Once discovered and understood, these conditions were greatly enhanced and are now "designed" into certain nuclear devices to generated maximum EMP damage.

The kinetic energy disturbance of a meteor or comet impact could be far worse than any nuclear event, but the EMP effects are different.

Although news worthy and surprising (to me) that it wasn't larger headline news, it should be no surprise that these impacts do (and will) occur.

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#8

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 6:25 AM

what has surprised me is clicking on the CLOSE APPROACHES tab and looking at the size of some of these things

Object
Name

Close
Approach
Date

Miss
Distance
(AU)

Miss
Distance
(LD)

Estimated
Diameter*

H
(mag)

Relative
Velocity
(km/s)

(2005 RQ6)

2009-Oct-310.133652.0460 m - 1.0 km18.88.62

this is tomorrow's visitor.

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#11
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:44 AM

That's a sobering thought.....

I'm not sure about the miss distance units though, what is AU and LD???

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#12
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:52 AM

trick or treat?

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:00 AM

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Streaking through the cosmos.

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#13
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:58 AM

I'm not sure about LD. But AU is known as an Astronomical unit, the mean distance between the Sun and the Earth. So this asteroid will come as close as about 20 million kilometers today.

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#22
In reply to #11

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:59 AM

astronomical unit and lunar distance

1 AU = ~150 million kilometers
1 LD = Lunar Distance = ~384,000 kilometers

(2009 UW87)

2009-Oct-310.00411.66.9 m - 15 m27.910.94

for tomorrow this one is the lowest value for LD, only 1.6 times the earth-to-moon distance

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#15
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:59 AM

Good timing!

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#17

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:11 AM

Hello All,

This is off-topic, but I'm curious just the same with all the comments of nukes and EMF.....

What's the largest Yield in MT of a currently fielded USA thermonuclear warhead, be it on a Trident or a Minuteman III ICBM, versus what the Russians currently field on one of their ICBMs????

Anyone here in the know??? Scary stuff we have aimed at one another....

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#18
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:22 AM

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/Allbombs.html

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#19
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:26 AM

Of course nobody here will say what the largest yield active nuclear device is in anybody's arsenal. That's a secret. But the largest device ever detonated was the Tsar bomb given the code name Ivan that was made by the Soviet Union. It had its yield cut in half to just over 50 Megaton so that the propeller plane could get far enough away, while the bomb floated down on a parachute. I has been stated by some that no theoretical limit was detected that a maximum possible yield existed for a Hydrogen bomb. In so many ways we were just complete fools then.

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#20
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:34 AM

Instead of using beryllium for the tamper in the Tsar Bomba, they used lead to retard the neutron flux. It was never intended to be a deployable bomb, it was basically bragging rights.

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#21
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:47 AM

Yep, that's right. It was one of the most disturbing publicity stunts ever done.

But with this thread being actually about meteor generated air bursts, I wanted Moosie to know what the largest Hydrogen bomb ever made was, for whatever reason he asked his question.

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#23
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 3:42 PM

Hello Guys,

Thanks for the information regarding present day (and yesteryear) nuke yields. Just wanted to known how they compared to the recent air-burst tonnage from that hunk of space rock, that's all. Nope, not at all planning on building a big boy toy of mass destruction outta my 1940's era Erector Set in my DIY workshop!!!!

Wholly Whoopers with Cheese (w/ hold the pickle) Batman!!!! 50 MT for the Soviet's Tsar bomb and they had reduced the yield by half?????? Can't imagine what that thing would have done to a major US city had hey gotten that far what with those crappy bombers the Soviets fielded....probably would have totally taken out all of NYC, the burbs and major parts of Long Island and NJ, eh???? say about a 20 to 25 mile radius of total destruction and 100% casualties......just guessing, but Jeeeppperrrsssss Creeepppersssss that's scary Sh*t nonetheless!!!!

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#28
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 3:22 PM

Hi,

if my memory is still correct about this pretty old information then the newspaper tales of the Tsar-bomb-explosion stated a crater of 400m depth and nearly 30 Km in diameter

Then there was a report in SciAm about the US bomb circus and the attempt to start a major cycle of renovation - intended to make sure full functionality and to have a well educated design group at times when many of the earlier designers are retiring.

NIF is part of this in the sector of dynamics of very early moments of fusion.

There was stated that the yield of the biggest US-bombs (W87 or similar was the designation) was 2 Mt - enough to crack any hardened soviet silo, and the maximum yield of USSR-bomb was estimated 8Mt because pointing accuracy by inertial navigation at that time was not as good as the US systems.

This may have changed considerably inbetween.

RHABE

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#29
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 4:32 PM

Oh dear.......you mean the Americans accidentally sold the bearing/race machines to the soviets in exchange for the MOM Gyro (which couldn't have been made without highly accurate bearings)..........?

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#31
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 6:56 PM

Accidentally? Oh I doubt that. I'm sure someone with money and someone else with a distinct lack of scruples was involved.

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#32
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 7:03 PM

I'm of the opinion there were sane men on both sides .....

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#33
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 8:40 PM

You mean this transaction? I do not doubt that there were honorable and sane men on both sides, but not all of them were, and many of the nuttiest and the most unscrupulous were the ones with their fingers on the Big Red Buttons. The more things change, the more they stay the same in this world.

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#34
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 10:09 PM

Yep......remarkable you found it. That is a very obscure and revealing book. GA!

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#35
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 10:23 PM

Then there was the whole Clinton/Red Chinese/Loral/Lincoln Bedroom fiasco that gave away the Trident D5/MX guidance system to the Chinese for their Long March Rockets, and then the Hitachi 9 axis CNC mills that were sold to the Soviets so that they could machine the ultra-quiet scimitar shaped blades for their sub screws.

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#39
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 7:08 AM

Was it the Hitachi CNC mill being sold to the Soviets that caused the States to put an embargo on Hitachi products?

I recall many Hitachi parts coming through Canada bound for the US.

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#42
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 10:22 AM

not sure but it certainly could have been. The Sov's were very good with the mathematical modelling of the screw blades, but they didn't have the machines to cut them. buying the 9 axis bridge mill machines solved that problem and within a year or so every Sov sub got a heck of a lot quieter (no more cavitation except at very high speeds.).

The Sov's always had a penchant for brute force engineering. when they designed and built the Titanium hulled Akula class H-K subs, instead of using individual GTAW torches with individual shield gas lines, they put the whole dang hull in a tent, put all the workers in scuba gear and flooded the whole tent with positive pressure argon and welded it up using stick welds because their shipwrights didn't know how to weld with GTAW. When they designed the Typhoon class SSBM's they designed them with two side by side pressure hulls. They were very good at designing around their manufacturing and production limitations.

Russian titanium is different from western titanium. because they don't have big vacuum furnaces, they instead of deoxidizing the titanium, they kill the oxygen with Aluminum. the resulting titanium has lower ductility, but it is really cheap.

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#44
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 4:36 PM

Depending on the specs I've machined various grades and alloys of Ti including one which was virtually impossible to cut....this from the metallurgy lab down the road. The Russian grades are certainly the easiest to work with.

I recall the spat between Hitachi and the US. Hitachi claimed they invented the mill but the US didn't purchase it...or something to that effect. Given the patent laws I suppose it was incumbent on the US to pay royalties irregardless whether they purchased the actual machines or not. As it was those industries in the US which had Hitachi machines began to purchase the parts that were now being imported into Canada.

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#45
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 4:48 PM

Russian titanium is different from western titanium. because they don't have big vacuum furnaces, they instead of deoxidizing the titanium, they kill the oxygen with Aluminum. the resulting titanium has lower ductility, but it is really cheap.

Hi,

it seems to be good for military aircraft as the European new Eurofighter is built from Russian Ti6Al4V.

RHABE

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#46
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 4:56 PM

yep, all the Russian aircraft, including all the Antonov's use it too.

Of course when the wings start coming off because of all the repetitive g-loading we'll see just how good it is now won't we? =b

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#48
In reply to #35

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 5:11 PM

Clinton/Red Chinese/Loral/Lincoln Bedroom fiasco that gave away the Trident D5/MX

Hi,

can you give some details?

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#50
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 5:36 PM

http://books.google.com/books?id=f6DcydLQqbAC&pg=PA170&lpg=PA170&dq=Loral+space+systems+clinton+china&source=bl&ots=FkGpzv3f4F&sig=YnO8NFVD6IxucpnR74C8gxEGXMg&hl=en&ei=11vvSrn1NszB-QbFn5DsCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Loral%20space%20systems%20clinton%20china&f=false

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/04/09/world/a-very-charming-guest-too-bad-about-the-lincoln-bedroom-thing.html

http://gopcapitalist.tripod.com/clinton-scandals.html

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#55
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/03/2009 3:28 AM

Thank you. Interesting.

Leakage seems to be inevitable in the long run.

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#40
In reply to #33

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 9:07 AM

Thanks for the link Rorschach. I just purchased the textbook "Soviet Military Policy..." from Amazon.com. It should make for some interesting reading on a cold winter's night....effects should be close to drinking a few glasses of a nice, full-body, red wine!!!

Me thinks me started something here quite unintentionally regarding US/USSR nuke yields!! Opppppsssss!

Well hello there NSA snoopers!!! We've probably triggered their electronic eavesdropping network software with our rambling comments! LOL Ohhhh joyssss, now each and everyone of us in this blog is under the so-called microscope of the US Military/Intelligence apparatus.

Wonder if I'll be visited by or under the thumbnail of some very spooky "Men in Black" anytime soon???? Ummmm nooooo, I didn't see or report an encounter with a UFO recently.....honest to God, really as God is my witness!!!!!!

Okay everyone in this blog, please say "CHEESE", smile and wave nicely to our "protectors" monitoring us, ummmmm I mean to say "our friends" at the NSA and DIA (or any other Black Ops alphabet soup agency we've never heard of.....)..

OKAY, Now..... on the count of 3... say "CHHHEEESSSSEEEE!!!!!!!!!" ummmm I meant to use "Budwiser!!!" guys and gals!!!!!!!

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#47
In reply to #33

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 5:09 PM

This book is still interesting to read but now outdated since 40 years.

No mention of dynamically tuned free rotor gyros that made obsolete any floating system and could easily compete in accuracy and much better in fast switch-on and warm-up.

The first successful units Kearfotts "Gyroflex" introduced near 1970. The same development team later with Litton to introduce the dual-gimbal version and later with Teledyne-Systems to introduce the three-gimbal-system. Both versions will compensate with gimbal adjustments some principal errors of the single gimbal gyro.

No mention of the introduction of the ring-laser-gyro, ready near 1975.

There has been a lot of innovations since then, will be in the textbooks in 30 years?

RHABE

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#52
In reply to #47

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 6:00 PM

Here's the interesting thing....some of the events mentioned in that book happened in 1984.

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#36
In reply to #23

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 10:47 PM

Tsar Bomba was just bragging rights. It was a completely impractical weapon because of its sheer size. Tsar was designed as a 100 MT device, but the actual yield was about 53 MT. At its maximum diameter, Tsar's fireball was larger than greater metropolitan London.

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#37
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 10:54 PM

It wasn't accidental though, they intended to derate the device, it was designed with a beryllium tamper, but they replaced it with lead to derate the bomb by about half. 50Mt was the target yield, they actually got a little extra out of it.

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#38
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 11:01 PM

Given the Soviet's penchant for the Very Large, I can't help but wonder that if the Soviets had constructed the device, say, 15 years later, would its electronics been built using the world's largest microchips?

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#41
In reply to #36

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 9:14 AM

You mean that "Tsar" bomb would have permanently "burned-off" that infernal fog layer that's always over London???

What a hell of a way to get a decent tanning while visiting the UK......

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#24
In reply to #21

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 5:50 PM

Of course that was good ol' Nikita Khrushchev that set that firecracker off. I seem to recall he had a bit of a snit with his shoe.

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#25
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 10:34 PM

Yes, he did have a snit but he was a first in all of Russian/Soviet history. He's the first to survive being the leader of that country. You have to give him credit for that.

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#26
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

10/30/2009 11:55 PM

My point being he was more than a little batsh!t crazy.

BTW Russia is now rearming Cuba again.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 10:20 AM

Oh joy of joys, what is Fidel's bro up to in Cuba now buying Russian weapons again?

Like there isn't enough global tensions already...so why add fuel to the fire???? IMHO, Russia's Putin is just as nutty as some of his predecessors, if not more so.... loose cannon comes to mind????

So, what types of weapon systems are the Ruskies supplying the Cubans with this time around?????

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#30
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/01/2009 6:51 PM

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=114080

http://www.urbanconservative.com/2009/10/29/russia-rearming/

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#43

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 11:56 AM
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#53
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 6:30 PM

Thanks Steve. I have to wonder whether the composition/size of the asteroid determines its predisposition to exploding at varying altitudes. If, for example a percentage of one was to be metallic would that not influence it's ability to penetrate further through the atmosphere?

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#54
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 11:33 PM

Of course. ICBMs are all metallic and very aerodynamic and can hit the ground if they are so inclined. Blobs of rock from outer space not so much. But get a big enough blob and ...... kabloooey!

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#57
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/03/2009 3:41 AM

Hi,

there are small stone and iron meteorites (1 Kg and less) that are easily able to reach the ground, some melting existing. These will explode if high velocity and enough mass to evaporate the meteorite and some surrounding material.

ICBMs are not a good comparison as these are much slower and very fragile.

Meteorites usually come to us with 20 to 40 Km/s! And energy density is quadratic with velocity! And solid iron is difficult to break up.

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#49

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 5:18 PM

Would be interesting to discover at what elevation this thing blew up.

Hi,

after a view to the video and the changing structure of the smoke and ash tail the shown part has been below 20 Km high.

Shock-wave heating will be severe at near 100 Km and below, it takes some time to heat up/ disintegrate/explode.

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#51
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/02/2009 5:57 PM

Other question.....if it was composed of materials that are fissionable could the possibility exist that it would reach critical mass and detonate?

The reason I ask is that not far from where I live is a geological area that came close to a nuclear detonation during the formation of the Grenville Province.

I have read that an area in NW Nigeria did actually detonate under intense pressure.

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#56
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/03/2009 3:36 AM

if it was composed of materials that are fissionable could the possibility exist that it would reach critical mass and detonate?

Hi,

there is a big difference between weapons grade and reactor grade fissionable material.

The natural reactors in Africa have burnt with water as moderator and very low power and large size and maybe water to steam transition for stabilising the power.

This went on over considerable time until half of the U235 was burnt.

The fission byproducts are found now in the surroundings - clay at that time converted to stone.

No detonation possible with fission material on simple heating!

I assume that water based comets and asteroids are best for explosion. Most are loosely bound and will disintegrate into a cloud of ice particles that will evaporate explosively.

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#58
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 7:02 AM

Too bad

I suppose that for the best fireworks show it still remains with falling satellites. The one last week left a lovely lingering tail of red, white and blue which lasted about thirty seconds.

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#59
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 9:03 AM

Don't forget the Kosmos-954

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#60
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 9:22 AM
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#61
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 9:24 AM

They're still finding pieces of it.

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#62
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 9:27 AM

before or after the discoverers die of acute radiation sickness?

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#63
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 9:33 AM

It wouldn't surprise me if that's been hushed up.........

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#64
In reply to #61

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 3:17 PM

Hi,

do you know the distribution of pieces - the report says 600 km lengthwise - but how far are the debris scattered crosswise?

And to find by chance or gamma-detectors? The fuel is burnt - very likely, so where is the uranium oxide dispersed?

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#65
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 3:54 PM

Recall reading between 10 and 60 km sweep width. Very difficult to find anything in boreal swamp/forests of Saskatchewan. Highly radioactive pieces were found but core and reactor containor were not.

Many pieces have been found by chance and by prospectors. Originally gamma detectors were used. In some areas temporary detectors were set up for durations lasting a number of months.

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#66
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 4:07 PM

I'm kind of surprised that a helicopter gamma survey wouldn't help pin down, at least the bigger/hotter chunks.

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#67
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 4:44 PM

One would think it'd be like you say. The problem is with the area being so vast and literally devoid of anything. Just getting there is a logistical nightmare.

Northern Sask. is pretty hot geologically but I don't know if that would factor in.

There was speculation panacea that the core burned up........but I have my doubts.

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#68
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 8:53 PM

Yeah, uranium is pyrolitic but you have to get it pretty hot to get it burning (but it probably started out pretty hot to begin with anyway), not sure how adding moly to the alloy would affect it's behavior. The metallurgy of uranium alloys is not really well documented in the open literature, at least not as well as more common metals. It was in a (titanium? probably.) pressure vessel surrounded by liquid sodium which would have been a pretty good heat transfer medium, at least until the sodium started burning. So it should have been able to withstand reentry. Titanium spherical helium tanks routinely survive reentry and they are built nowhere near as solidly as I would expect a reactor pressure vessel would be. Now granted it was a liquid sodium cooled fast reactor so maybe the pressure the vessel had to contain would not be that high so maybe the vessel is not as rugged as I would imagine. I really don't have a feel for how thick such a vessel would need to be. You probably have a better feel for that than I do.

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#69
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 10:28 PM

If the 'coolant' was liquid sodium.........go figure the heat capacity of the metals used and if they were capable of surviving re-entry. My bet is the core is half way to China by now. Either that or pleasantly boiling away in some northern bog.

Here's some more goodies that fall out of the sky.

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#70
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/04/2009 10:53 PM

Well at least that one didn't have the pit in it. This one did (depending on who you believe), and still may.

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#74
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 7:29 AM

That comes on the tv every once in a while. I have friends in Savannah who really don't want to discuss it. They claim it lowers property values.

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#76
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 7:33 AM

Heh, I imagine it would!

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#71
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 3:32 AM

Hi,

the coolant was an eutectic mixture of sodium and potassium.

It's vapor pressure at operating temperature is near 1 bar.

So if the titanium container survived the re-entry (very likely) then the container including coolant and fuel-rods will be somewhere buried in wet and soft material.

If the container failed then the Na-K-mixture would have burnt heavily (there may be traces of that?) and the U-Mo alloy also and the fission products would have poisoned a wide area - without any doubt detectable without big difficulties.

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#72
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 7:23 AM

At one point a large piece of the satellite known as the 'antlers' was discovered quite inadvertently by two young explorers who were part of a team of six adventurers making a voyage in the Thelon River Game Sanctuary, some 400 miles to the east of the eastern tip of Great Slave Lake. They were travelling by dog-sled with two teams of dogs, following the route that had been taken by the English Naturalist John Hornby in the 1920's. The Thelon River area is one of the coldest in the western hemisphere and surviving a winter there is a major challenge. Two of the party came upon the metal object, surrounded by evidence of melted ice, at a place called Warden's Grove and having heard of the Cosmos-954 episode on their radios, suspected that it might be a part of the debris. How right they were. They contacted Edmonton and passed on the information, following which the military flew in to investigate and brought the party out, leaving personnel to feed the dogs. There was some concern that the two who had found the 'antlers' might have suffered serious contamination, but after extensive tests, it was concluded that nothing serious had befallen them. Initially it was suspected that the antlers were just the visible portion of a much larger chunk of the satellite, possibly the reactor, submerged beneath the ice. Subsequent investigation however showed that nothing else was there and that the 'antlers' themselves were not a health hazard from a radiation point of view.

http://gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/gamma/ml_e.php#4 From a personal account (edited) Little mention made of the search in N. Saskatchewan.... but the rest is quite interesting from personal point of view.

$6,041,174.70 was the amount the Canadians wanted from the Soviets to pay for the search costs. Typical of bureaucratic bean counters (accountants) to add the .70Cents.

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#75
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 7:32 AM

The "antlers" were the beryllium control rods that reflected the neutrons back to the core and were external to the core. That would indicate that the antlers were ripped off due to aerodynamic loading and being very light would have lost their momentum quickly and fell short of the core. the core should be east of there.

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#73
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 7:25 AM

I would also add that since it would have been the densest part of the system, it probably would have been on the eastern most end of the debris field I would expect, which should reduce the area to be searched.

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#77
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 7:58 AM

They never did find it. Of course it would have to land in the Thelon preserve.....one of the few great wilderness areas left on this planet.

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#78
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 9:21 AM

Thorium? Oh I doubt THAT! Technetium I'd believe, or even thallium, but not thorium, the half life is way too long. I'm not aware of any stress test that uses thorium. But he might have had some old Coleman Lantern mantles in his kit that would have done it.... or maybe some Samarium-Cobalt headphones.... =D Now if he were a welder and was doing GTAW with thoriated tungsten electrodes that might be a whole different story.....

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#79
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 9:24 AM

I would add that I try to stay away from other people as much as possible if I have been given a radioisotope until I've waited at least 10 half-lives. no point irradiating my friends and family for no good reason.

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#80
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 10:10 AM

On the other hand.........................certain individuals do come to mind

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#82
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 3:06 PM

OOH! You're EVIL! I Like that.....

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#81
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 2:49 PM

I would search far more to the east.

From the now eastern end to may be 600 more Km.

If there is a surface-area to weight of the found parts is known, then maybe some "educated guess" about likely landing sites will be possible.

I would estimate the "antlers" to be near 100cm²/Kg if Be.

The reactor had near 300 Kg in a cube of (50 cm)³. That is 2500cm²/300Kg or 100cm²/12Kg. So how much more time was needed to bring this down to near zero velocity?

Do you know the function of drag as dependent on altitude and velocity?

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#83
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 3:23 PM

It came from the NE with a trajectory WSW. The dispersal field became wider the further west it got. If the core was to have separated and burned up (it never was found) as the Soviets claimed it was going to then the possibility remains that it actually had begun that process but not soon enough for re-entry. As it is the Russkis only paid half of what the Canadians asked. The reasoning behind the payment was that they claimed the actual core did burn up and we couldn't prove differrant.

I think they paid us in Lada autos.

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#84
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 3:29 PM

it was in a retrograde orbit? that's weird.....

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#85
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 4:48 PM

Something about coming over the horizon still intact.............

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#86
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 5:17 PM

??? I'm sorry, I'm not tracking....(it is getting late in the day and I think I'm catching something.)

A retrograde orbit means you have to have a bigger rocket to achieve orbital velocity since you have to overcome the (negative from your perspective) angular velocity of the earth before you can start accelerating to orbital velocity. Now granted it would appear that the orbital inclination is quite high but that only makes things worse because you need a lot of cross-range Delta-V. And they are lofting a big chunk of uranium in a pressure vessel. That means that the rocket has to be pretty big to begin with, plus they were designed to be maneuverable on orbit as well which means even more delta-v, plus the rocket is designed to be able to loft the reactor into a higher "storage" orbit, requiring even MORE delta-V. The energy required here is starting to get pretty dang huge. Add in the fact that it was in LEO which means there was a small amount of aerodynamic drag as well and things just keep going downhill.

my guess is that it is at the bottom of Great Slave Lake, or perhaps somewhere in the northern reaches of the Rockies where it is inaccessible.

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#88
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 6:23 PM

Ya.....ok...I get the drift. Pardon me, I'm the one not tracking.

I guess it only stands to reason the heaviest and metallurgically toughest part of this satellite would travel the longest distance.

I'm trying to locate a news story from a few years ago about a highly radioactive moose that was shot in N. Saskatchewan. It caused a lot of concern at the time. Another was in my neck of the woods though it was discovered to have been grazing in the vicinity of the Quadeville pegmatite (some remarkable mineral specimens but one doesn't want to spend more than 1/2hr there).

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#87
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 6:21 PM

I don't believe this.

Very likely this was an optical illusion by illuminating the preexisting tail of evaporated or burnt stuff by the rising sun.

As the lower regions of this tail may have been illuminated first and with the rising sun also the higher regions at higher altitudes (at more western locations) a reverse illusion may have been suggested.

This is possible if the trajectory of the incoming parts are slightly below a tangent on the earth's curvature and nearly straight over a considerable distance.

Is there any positive proof of a retrograde orbit? There have been a lot of satellite watchers at that time and there should be a report about this very unusual orbit.

The satellites with polar orbits were only for limited tasks of complete earth coverage.

So why a retrograde orbit that would require a lot more energy to launch than necessary?

http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/reports/ac105/AC105_236E.pdf

This a report about the location of the found parts.

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#89
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Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 7:04 PM

My mistake....the trajectory was from the wnw

written by Cdn. searcher Quentin Bristow

The Cosmos-954 satellite released an enormous amount of radioactivity across the frozen barren lands of Canada's Northwest Territories in 1978. It did not result in a major catastrophe for two reasons. The first is the obvious one that the region is sparsely populated, and the second one was that almost fifty percent of the area is covered by lakes and rivers, which eventually absorbed most of the radioactive debris with minimal harm to the environment. What was probably not appreciated was that had the re-entry happened a little less than three orbits earlier, the impact trajectory would have strewn radioactive debris over a footprint extending from the Gulf of Mexico and passing close to the major population centres of Detroit and Toronto. Two and-a-bit orbits later and it would have re-entered over Hudsons Bay, putting Quebec City directly on the impact trajectory. In either case there would have been absolute mayhem. It took the near melt-down of the reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania a year later in 1979, to convince people that the idea of a Nuclear Emergency Response Team was one whose time had come with a vengeance.

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#90
In reply to #87

Re: 50-Kiloton Blast over Indonesia

11/05/2009 8:51 PM

RHABE, it was a RORSAT intended to use side-looking bistatic radar (the second satellite following right behind it on the same orbital track was the receiver it would appear.) to track naval vessels at sea. so a semi-polar orbit makes sense for that. Also it needed to pass over downlinks in and around Moscow in order for line of sight communications and Moscow is at a fairly high latitude.

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