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Community Manager
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Registered: ‎18-02-2016

World Asteroid Day!

[ Edited ]

Hey everyone, 

 

This coming Sunday is World Asteroid Day! Held on the anniversary of the Siberian Tunguska event, which was the most destructive impact event in recent history, world Asteroid day is intended to raise awareness of the potential dangers of a large asteroid impact and what can be done to protect the earth and its inhabits (us!) from these dangers. 

 

It's estimated there are over 1 million asteroids that have the potential to collide with the earth and we currently only track about 1% of these. The Asteroid Day declaration was made to appeal to scientists and governments to do more to track these asteroids that could pose a threat. The declaration can be signed by anyone and you can do so yourself here

 

I'm a massive space nerd and I have an interest in all things space and astronomy related. I've listed my favourite Asteroids and comets, both past and present below! 

 

Tunguska Event - As mentioned above the Tunguska Event was the most devastating impact event in recent history. On the morning of June 30 1908, a massive explosion occurred over the Forests of eastern Siberia with the force of 30 megatons of TNT, completely flattening 2,000 square kilometres of Forest! amazingly no human casualties were reported due to the sparse population of the region. It's thought that the meteoroid exploded in the atmosphere above, rather then hitting the ground. There is still a region where no trees grow to this day! 

 

Tunguska.png

 

99942 Apophis - Named after the ancient Egyptian god of evil, darkness and destruction. Apophis is a 370-meter diameter asteroid had the scientific community worried back in 2004 when observations determined there was a small chance it could collide with the earth in 2029. Further observations confirmed an impact would not happen but until recently there was a concern that if during it's 2029 approach to earth it passed through a small 'gravitational keyhole' it's path would be altered and bring it back to collide with Earth in 2036. Thankfully it's now been determined that this wont happen as the force of impact would be the equivalent of 750 megatons of TNT! 

 

apophis asteroid

 

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - This was the first ever comet to be visited and orbited by a spacecraft. The Rosetta Probe achieved this in August of 2014 and also deployed a lander to the comet! The comet is a bit over 4km across and has a fascinating surface with may different regions, some rocky and others with smooth dust covered areas. The lander, Philae was able to send some incredible images from the surface which were compiled into the below gif! 

 

Asteriod.gif

 

Chicxulub crater - This list wouldn't be complete without a mention of the big one responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs! This nameless meteoroid was estimated to be 80km across and landed in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico approximately 65 million years ago. The effects were devastating, releasing the energy equivalent to 5 billion megatons of TNT, the impact would have generated 100m high megatsunami's, rained fiery debris down on a massive area causing fires and shockwaves would have generated earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. If that wasen't enough the dust cloud would have prevented sunlight reaching the earth for up to 10 years. Taking out the food chain for most animals! 

 

504775main_Massive_Impact-1.jpg

 

I'd love you hear your thoughts on the aims of World Asteroid day. Do you think humans are doing enough to protect ourselves from potential impacts or is it a waste of money due to how infrequent major impacts are? Let us know your opinions below!

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Anonymous
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Re: World Asteroid Day!

@Martin-O2 

 

As Chelyabinsk demonstrated, we are we behind where we need to be in terms of detection and indeed deflection methods.

 

Maybe a challenge Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos could be persuaded to look at?

 

 

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Level 31: Resolver
Posts: 5,495
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: World Asteroid Day!

Hi @Martin-O2 

These are fascinating.

I have listened to Brian Cox ~ he put up a demonstration once ~

about the Asteroid Belt ~

very very scary lots of rocks wizzing around! nerd

Humans doing enough?

Seems like a waste of time to me.

Reminds me of "King Canute" cool

Get on with life better than worrying about that, should "it" happen we will probably 

know nothing about it.

 



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Re: World Asteroid Day!

Frightening what little knowledge we have of asteroids; how many could/can collide with earth and where they would impact earth, and what effect it would have on the flira and fauna, and on us humans.

 

We need some sort of detection system for a start. Someone out there must have the knowhow to create a detection system of some sort, surely?!

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Posts: 92,901
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Re: World Asteroid Day!

Quite worrying really, when you consider only 1% of them are being tracked. 

Sometimes there are things you are better off not knowing about in my honest opinion..Fear

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Community Manager
Posts: 7,298
Registered: ‎18-02-2016

Re: World Asteroid Day!

I definitely think there's a role for the private sector in this @Anonymous. You can't mine an asteroid if you can't track them so there's a good motivation for them to get busy. 

 

I think Brian Cox is great @TallTrees ! He certainly has a way of explaining these things that makes them easy to understand.

 

@Glory1 There's a lot of work to be done if we want to really get on top of this. The bigger they are the more damaging to the biosphere but thankfully the bigger ones are much rarer. Interestingly if the Tunguska event had been over a populated area we'd probably have a comprehensive system in place already to prevent it happening again. 

 

It is worrying @Cleoriff ! Hopefully World Asteroid Day will gain some traction and get the right people aware of the risks. 

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Level 31: Resolver
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Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: World Asteroid Day!

I'm with you @Cleoriff 

just get on with living heart eyes



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Re: World Asteroid Day!


@TallTrees wrote:

I'm with you @Cleoriff 

just get on with living heart eyes


Yep and in the meantime this may help....

Preparation H Clear Gel 25g_30

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Posts: 92,901
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Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: World Asteroid Day!


@jonsie wrote:

@TallTrees wrote:

I'm with you @Cleoriff 

just get on with living heart eyes


Yep and in the meantime this may help....

Preparation H Clear Gel 25g_30


LOL

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