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mystic

Armageddon?? would they tell us?

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At the start of this week I heard a story on the news station I listen to on the radio about a large asteroid that might hit Earth on 21st march 2014. They said they wouldnt be sure if it will hit us until they study it for a few more weeks and plot its course. Two days later NASA announced that its going to miss us.

Here is a link to the newest version of the story on the BBC website.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3200019.stm

Im maybe a bit paranoid but I dont think they would tell us if this asteroid is on a collision course with our planet for fear of the way everyone would react if we all think we might only have 11 years to live.

There would be chaos everywhere, a breakdown in law and order, a massive increase in the number of junkies, underage sex, religion would die in most places except for those fanatics in america and some islamic states. The capitalist system would collapse.

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mystic said:

There would be chaos everywhere, a breakdown in law and order, a massive increase in the number of junkies, underage sex, religion would die in most places except for those fanatics in america and some islamic states. The capitalist system would collapse.

AWESOME!

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mystic said:

At the start of this week I heard a story on the news station I listen to on the radio about a large asteroid that might hit Earth on 21st march 2014.

Sensationalist media. NASA most likely had a good conception of the chances even before they made the announcement two later.

Im maybe a bit paranoid but I dont think they would tell us if this asteroid is on a collision course with our planet for fear of the way everyone would react if we all think we might only have 11 years to live.

Why wouldn't they? If they didn't, then someone else would, and they'd get hell anyway. Besides, we'd probably figure out a way to change the course of the asteroid in those 11 years.

sargebaldy said:

what makes you think NASA would know for a fact something would hit the Earth 11 years from now?

They would if it was true :P

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zarcyb said:

AWESOME!

Bwahaha!! Awesome indeed. And no, they'll probably not tell us, I've read that somewhere for reasons already given.

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mystic said:

Im maybe a bit paranoid but I dont think they would tell us if this asteroid is on a collision course with our planet for fear of the way everyone would react if we all think we might only have 11 years to live.


They did that once with a meteor named X-30something, the one supposed to come at 2029. News reporters jumped on it even if the scientist weren't sure if it would hit, and they found out it won't hit us 2 days after it was discovered. I don't think they can keep a secret if a meteorite come crashing on us considering all the people in the world working in this.

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The solar system is really large and the Earth is really small. The chance of a large asteroid hitting us is extremely tiny. It happens once every hundred million years or so. I don't expect it anytime soon.

The danger of an incoming asteroid is enough reason to invest in space flight, though. After all, it's the faith of the planet we're talking about. Even if the chances are extremely tiny, it's always nice to be prepared for the worst.

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Be prepared why? The only purpose of the human race existing is the existance of the human race.

Humans going extinct would be a problem that cancels itself out. If humans are extinct, we no longer have to worry about sustaining ourselves, which is our only purpose.

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AndrewB said:

Be prepared why? The only purpose of the human race existing is the existance of the human race.

Humans going extinct would be a problem that cancels itself out. If humans are extinct, we no longer have to worry about sustaining ourselves, which is our only purpose.

/kills self

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AndrewB said:

Be prepared why? The only purpose of the human race existing is the existance of the human race.

Humans going extinct would be a problem that cancels itself out. If humans are extinct, we no longer have to worry about sustaining ourselves, which is our only purpose.

Dumb argument. Since we're solely concerned with ourselves existing, it is every bit in our interest in preserving ourselves and what better way than to ensure that the human race will survive the eventual oncoming global catastrophe?

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AndrewB said:

Be prepared why? The only purpose of the human race existing is the existance of the human race.

Humans going extinct would be a problem that cancels itself out. If humans are extinct, we no longer have to worry about sustaining ourselves, which is our only purpose.

If the human race no longer exists then we failed it.

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I was horrifyed when I heard this, but my mom said things like this happen often, but never follow through. It will probably miss us, and anyway, we have eleven years to get rid of our nuclear weapons on it.

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Janderson said:

We probably deserve it. We screwed up Earth, and if we make it to Mars that place is screwed too.

Or maybe, having narrowly escaped one planet only to end up in a barren, inhospitable, wasteland hell-hole, people would learn the value of conservation and so on and avoid making the same mistakes again. I mean, think about it, if we had to live on Mars we'd need to develop some major conservation and recycling skills in order to just SURVIVE. The need for it would be immediate, not like here where you can actually believe at least for a little while that out of sight is out of mind and haphazardly waste whatever you feel like... and then whine like hell when gas prices go up, heh. There, though, if you go joyriding in your little... dune buggy, heh, whatever you use, and waste all your gas, you'll have a hell of a distance to walk to the nearest refueling station and limited water with which to survive the trip. If after that we somehow inherited a new Earth-like planet, those conservation techniques wouldn't just go out the window. People would know that no resource is undepletable and would live more frugally.

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I really hate the way these things are reported. People get genuinely worried about them, and when you go and check the details on a NEO site, you normally find that there was a tiny chance of a collision based on initial readings (i.e. the small amount of initial data wasn't enough to rule out a collision), with further observations very likely to indicate it being far less likely.

It's either ignorant people in the media, or dishonest people who do know what they're talking about, but know that an honest account of the danger wouldn't make any news headlines at all.

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We're all going to die!!! Panic!!!!!!

Anyway, wasn't there something very similar to this a few years ago? Around the time when Hollywood made all those meteor disaster movies. But in the end it turned out to be a miscalculation. Some scientist forgot to carry the 1 or something...

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Ultraviolet said:

Or maybe, having narrowly escaped one planet only to end up in a barren, inhospitable, wasteland hell-hole, people would learn the value of conservation and so on and avoid making the same mistakes again. I mean, think about it, if we had to live on Mars we'd need to develop some major conservation and recycling skills in order to just SURVIVE. The need for it would be immediate, not like here where you can actually believe at least for a little while that out of sight is out of mind and haphazardly waste whatever you feel like... and then whine like hell when gas prices go up, heh. There, though, if you go joyriding in your little... dune buggy, heh, whatever you use, and waste all your gas, you'll have a hell of a distance to walk to the nearest refueling station and limited water with which to survive the trip. If after that we somehow inherited a new Earth-like planet, those conservation techniques wouldn't just go out the window. People would know that no resource is undepletable and would live more frugally.

Yea, but hell, you'd have to force our animals and plants to adapt to a completely new terrain. You'd also have to find quick cures for the extraterrestrial bacteria. Also we don't know if there was ever life on Mars, well, life big enough to produce shite loads of oil/coal so we might not even have fuel.

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Janderson said:

Yea, but hell, you'd have to force our animals and plants to adapt to a completely new terrain. You'd also have to find quick cures for the extraterrestrial bacteria. Also we don't know if there was ever life on Mars, well, life big enough to produce shite loads of oil/coal so we might not even have fuel.

...not the usual kind of fuel, at least.

The adaptation you mentioned is exactly what we need, though, to learn to live in balance with our environment. We can change... we might just need a swift kick in the ass first.

EDIT: The natural human reaction to the chaos of life is to attempt to correct it. That pursuit, although frivolous, strengthens us. We've become far to settled in our lives to make any progress and become stronger... with the exception of business, of course, every day some new technology and techniques come about so people can make more money.

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mystic said:

At the start of this week I heard a story on the news station I listen to on the radio about a large asteroid that might hit Earth on 21st march 2014. They said they wouldnt be sure if it will hit us until they study it for a few more weeks and plot its course. Two days later NASA announced that its going to miss us.


Why then? That's 2 days before my 34th birthday...

Well, they'll have probably made a mistake like they did with the 2027 one...

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The chances of it hitting us are one in 22 million. Blah blah blah. Who the Hell cares.

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The Ultimate DooMer said:

Well, they'll have probably made a mistake like they did with the 2027 one...

Like I said, it's not generally that they make a mistake as such. When a new NEO (Near Earth Object) is detected, the body of data about its course is very sketchy. This enables its future course to be predicted only within a very wide range of possible orbits. This range of orbits may translate into an uncertainty of several million miles (or more) in the asteroid's position at any one time. As more information is gathered, the range of possible orbits is narrowed, and this generally leads to the projected paths including no possible collisions (i.e. negligible probability of a collision) with the Earth within the foreseeable future. Obviously, this procedure of refinement will take longer in the case of asteroids that are very close to being on a direct collision course.

From http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov:
Newly discovered asteroid 2003 QQ47 has received considerable media attention over the last few days because it had a small chance of colliding with the Earth in the year 2014 and was rated a "1" on the Torino impact hazard scale, which goes from 0 to 10. The odds of collision in 2014, as estimated by JPL's Sentry impact monitoring system, peaked at 1 chance in 250,000, a result which was posted on our Impact Risk Page on Saturday, August 30. Impact events at the Torino Scale 1 level certainly merit careful monitoring by astronomers, but these events do not warrant public concern. In fact, each year several newly discovered asteroids reach Torino Scale 1 for a brief period after discovery; 2003 QQ47 is the fourth such case this year.

OMG pictar! It uses java, but it's cool, so it's worth it - but note the comment "should not be used for determining accurate long-term trajectories (over several years or decades) or planetary encounter circumstances".

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IMO its they wouldn't tell us it was happening because of the chaos that would ensue afterwards. Think about what that would do to humans in their last moments on earth. I mean, people freak out and "act like the world is coming to an end" over natural disasters. Heh, if the entire planet was going to go up in smoke, imagine that. Hollywood movies show that pretty well. Its funny how Hollywood and real life aren't too far apart from eachother any more.

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actually they are. sociologists have found most people are more likely to help one another than panic in a dangerous situation. just look at what happened on 9/11.

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Janderson said:

We probably deserve it. We screwed up Earth, and if we make it to Mars that place is screwed too.

No shit...listen to the George Carlin track "NASA-holes"...it elaborates what you're saying.

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I imagine the fact that the world might be destroyed without a whole lot of people knowing bothers people. Hence the idea of a "judgement day."

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Regarding the "would they tell us?" question, I'm not sure who the "they" is here, but it's hard to see how they could avoid it. A mass of information is made public on these objects starting from the moment they are first detected, and there are people all round the world involved in making the observations.

Suppose "they" did realize a big object was likely to collide with the Earth, and decided to try to keep it quiet, say by fudging the figures, and suddenly claiming there was no danger. By that point there would have been a lot of information made public about the object, and many observations made around the world suggesting that a collision was a real danger. Thus there would be plenty of people scattered around the globe who would be suspicious and able to point out the discrepancies, and there is no way it would stay out of the public domain.

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