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Astromaster130

Asteroid 86666

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Here you go.

Pretty dim though, mag 15....

bb2c5be4c21243c9a014956a08a27743.jpg

40ee89424b27d9bec7342687db7d6a60.jpg

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I am somewhat alarmed by this 48-hour short notice from NASA.

Just two weeks ago, many around the world were expecting an asteroid to hit the Earth, bringing about the "end of times." NASA announced on August 20th that no asteroid would hit the Earth on September 24, 2015...and indeed...none did.

However, NASA new about this asteroid at that time, but did not mention it...even though it's fly-by was only 16 days later.

Why didn't they mention it? Why don't they know exactly how big it is? I have studied the material they made available at JPL's web site...and apparently...this rock flies by the Earth every few years quite close at times.

What if their orbit data on this asteroid is incorrect?

They have the closest pass happening at 06:32 UTC (01:32 CDT.) It should miss us on the night side of Earth...which means the entirety of North and South America should see this thing drop down with the right equipment

The moon at that hour will be on the Sun facing side of the Earth (new moon.)

I'm actually somewhat worried about this asteroid. NASA did not mention it earlier...and that's what's bothersome.

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I'm sure NASA didn't mention it because they know its orbit well and knew it wasn't going to hit.

From what I've read, there is very little chance of any of the known NEOs impacting within the next 100 years. Of course there may be unknown bits of rock out there heading our way, but on balance I think it's better just to crack on with life and enjoy it :)

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If you look at the data, the asteroid passed closer than this on 9th Oct 1969 and 9th October 1992. Closest approach will be 3rd October 2146 at 0.12 AUs, so, not even that close :)

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If you look at the data, the asteroid passed closer than this on 9th Oct 1969 and 9th October 1992. Closest approach will be 3rd October 2146 at 0.12 AUs, so, not even that close :)

I guess the public at large didn't have the internet for the two earlier passes so less chance of outbreaks of  "conspiracy theories" or "mass hysteria" ....

Peter...

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I wouldnt want to know if we were about to be wiped out. There is nothing we can do about it so why scare people by announcing it to the world.

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I wouldnt want to know if we were about to be wiped out. There is nothing we can do about it so why scare people by announcing it to the world.

I would like to know, so I can feast on the finest whisky and wine I can't afford (running up a huge overdraft on your credit card shouldn't be a problem if the world is about to end).

Of course, should the world not end (or simply be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable), you will be left with a huge hangover, compounded by the sound of the bailiffs banging on the door ;)

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I am somewhat alarmed by this 48-hour short notice from NASA.

I went to a very interesting talk by a chap whose subject was asteroid detection. This is what I took away:

He made the point that all the really big asteroids - the things that could wipe out civilisation - have almost certainly all been detected. There's seems to be broad consensus on that. However, there are a lot of smaller asteroids - the sort of stuff that could destroy a city - that haven't been detected yet. The mission now is to try to find increasingly small asteroids, and plot their orbits.

And the thing that gave him pause were comets. Unlike asteroids the can come barreling in from who knows where, and can be big and fast enough to do serious damage.

To be honest, I found it rather reassuring, rather than alarming. His view was that yes, you need to keep monitoring, but that there's no civilisation-ending threat for the foreseeable future.

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I think the whole point is that NASA didn't make an announcement because there was nothing to announce - lumps of space rock fly past us all the time.  I suspect the main reason they announced this one was because it was a bit closer than many and their publicity people want to put a constant stream of 'news' out there to satisfy the insatiable appetite of the 24 hours News circus.

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I would like to know, so I can feast on the finest whisky and wine I can't afford (running up a huge overdraft on your credit card shouldn't be a problem if the world is about to end).

Of course, should the world not end (or simply be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable), you will be left with a huge hangover, compounded by the sound of the bailiffs banging on the door ;)

I would also like to know. If it were to be announced that an asteroid was going to hit Watford, I could book my flight out of there!

If it were to be announced that an asteroid was going to wipe out all life on Earth, I would make sure I had a good seat!

Didn't a meteor hit somewhere in Africa a few years ago, with only 19 hours between detection and impact?

Edited by Roy Challen

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all the really big asteroids - the things that could wipe out civilisation - have almost certainly all been detected.

I'm a bit confused on this point - is it not the case that a fresh collision in the asteroid belt could fling a potentially devastating fragment in our direction, one that has not already been catalogued?

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I'm a bit confused on this point - is it not the case that a fresh collision in the asteroid belt could fling a potentially devastating fragment in our direction, one that has not already been catalogued?

I think the point was that the orbits of all the main objects down to a certain size are known. Does this not mean that collisions between them could be predicted?

Outside this, of course you are right that a smaller, unmapped object could collide with a known one and knock it onto a dangerous course.

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