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Space Earth Science

Asteroid Explodes Over Sudan 114

Posted by timothy
from the did-it-make-a-noise dept.
radioweather writes "A recently discovered Apollo Asteroid, 2008 TC3, exploded over Sudan at about 1046 EDT on October 7, 2008, according to astronomer Tim Spahr of Harvard University 2008 TC3 was discovered on Monday by an observer at the Mt Lemmon Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. 2008 TC3 is notable in that it is the first Asteroid of its size that was identified before impact and tracking it put the entire Spaceguard tracking system to an extreme test. TC3 is estimated to be only two to five meters in diameter but exploded with the force of a one kiloton of explosive power." We mentioned the asteroid last on Monday, when it was only at a 99.8 percent chance of colliding with Earth.
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Asteroid Explodes Over Sudan

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @02:36PM (#25303443)

    Pics or it didn't happen.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Let's hope this doesn't wound their bustling economy and leave them as poor as the Americans.
    • by mweather (1089505)
      You say that jokingly, but their per-capita debt is a fraction of ours. Sadly, they're already richer than we are. But we live a pretty good lifestyle on that debt.
  • Who tought that a team of oil drillers would fail that mission?
  • TFA (Score:3, Funny)

    by loafula (1080631) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @02:37PM (#25303463)
    TFA is clearly wrong. The image looks more like it is exploding Sudan, rather than exploding over Sudan.
  • by Drakin020 (980931)
    [blockquote]pi]No deaths have been reported yet.[/blockquote][/i] So did it explode over Sundan or on Sundan?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ivan256 (17499)

      Over.

      It completely burned up miles above the surface. That quote is like saying "Drakin020 had a birthday party with cake! No deaths have been reported yet." In other words, it's purely sensationalism. Though it is a true statement, no deaths will *ever* be reported due to this event, because none occurred.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That quote is like saying "Drakin020 had a birthday party with cake! No deaths have been reported yet." In other words, it's purely sensationalism.

        I don't know; have you ever been to one of Drakin020's birthday parties?

  • Only 99.8%? (Score:3, Funny)

    by .sig (180877) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @02:38PM (#25303489)

    Liike like this one sure beat the odds and proved everyone wrong...

  • We mentioned the asteroid last on Monday, when it was only at a 99.8 percent chance of colliding with Earth.

    [pedantic] you mean a 99.8 chance of colliding with Earth's atmosphere. [/pedantic]
    From Slashdot's previous summary:

    The asteroid is assumed to be 3-4 meters in size; it is expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm

    ...so don't go running underground just yet, kids.

    • by Reziac (43301) *

      I once saw a meteor that was large enough to show a disk -- albeit burning very brightly (it lit up the night like an old-fashioned flashbulb). It only lasted a few seconds after that. Sadly for disaster theorists, the atmosphere was just too much for it.

      Until they start throwing rocks the size of large buildings, or strip off the atmosphere before doing so, I just can't get too worried about such trivial space junk.

      (Anyone know how big a rock needs to start off to survive the passage thru the atmosphere an

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shotgun (30919)

        Anyone know how big a rock needs to start off to survive the passage thru the atmosphere and have any part of itself hit the ground??

        Size doesn't matter (thank you. thank you. Tip your waitress). No, really. It matters, it just isn't "all" that matters. Relative velocity is just as important. If the body sneaks up on us from behind, it could actually have a relatively low differential velocity. The nickel-iron sample you found would probably fit in that category, and it slowed to terminal velocity befo

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Reziac (43301) *

          All true... tho I suppose someone somewhere has run the numbers for the basic classes of "speed + direction + mass + velocity + composition + fudge factor" vs. "size of hole in ground, or velocity and vectors of remaining chunks of planet". ;)

          I always wondered how that little chunk of iron wound up sitting on *top* of the grass, like it had been gently placed there... tho I've read that isn't too unusual with small meteorites.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Sometimes I think I will never get to use my Y2K bunker. Damn.
      • by Gat0r30y (957941)
        Hang in there buddy, there's time yet for the end of the world.
        • by David Gould (4938)

          That's okay. It's not the end of the world if it's not the end of the world.

          (from V3 [stationv3.com], can't find the exact strip)

    • by jbeaupre (752124)
      So let me get this straight: The Earth's atmosphere isn't part of the Earth. Wow!
    • by corsec67 (627446)

      [doublypedantic]Some of it did hit the earth. It just didn't hit the earth intact, or in any large pieces[/doublypedantic]

      Are you saying it all evaporated, and left the atmosphere? Because if any of it landed on the earth, then it did hit the Earth.

    • The atmosphere is a subset of Planet Earth.
    • by mweather (1089505)
      [pedantic]What planet is Earth's atmosphere on?[/pedantic]
    • Thanks to discovery.com's commercials [youtube.com], I learned that most meteors burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

      Ah the atmosphere. Ahhhh!

      • by tsa (15680)

        Hm, no wonder we have global warming. The meteors use up all the oxygen.

  • Spacewatch.com covered this about as well as one could expect. Apparently a couple airline pilots saw the possible fireball, but that's about it. I've seen no photos yet (probably none were captured). So although we infer the thing burned up (or "exploded!one!!111!!eleven" as per the /. headline), it's not as sensationalistic as Our Editors make it out to be.

  • Third result on google for "Asteroid Sudan" is on the foodnetwork. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=asteroid+sudan&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq= [google.com]
  • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @02:56PM (#25303781)
    Their most powerful weapon can be dismissed as nothing but a fireworks show.

    I, for one, welcome our claim as overlords over these asteroid-flinging insects.
  • Would someone please search the Sudan desert for alien spores that will begin taking over human bodies if we don't kill them now while they are helpless?

    • by Sneftel (15416) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:02PM (#25303891)

      i have searched there is no danger please come see for yourself bring glucose

    • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:09PM (#25304003)
      This spore-laden asteroid was only a followup, a redundant backup mission. The original alien spore mission to Sudan succeeded several years ago ... spore-infected individuals are known to take up weapons and form militia groups who then engage in rape, murder, and genocide. So far nobody outside Sudan seems to have taken much notice or to care.
    • by EvanED (569694) <evaned.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:49PM (#25304605)

      Dear kind sir, I am located in the Sudan, and a small piece of this asteroid landed in a nearby field. I have investigated, and there is unfortunately evidence of alien spores. However, I am presently unable to eradicate them. If you could wire a sum of $10,000 (ten thousand dollars) to my account then I will be able to take action. I am an official in the Sudanese government, and can guarantee that your expendature will be reimburesed plus an additional $10,000 reward, but it operates slowly and the government funds will not be available in time.

      I look forward to hearing back from you if you can help. I will send detailed information in response. I fear that if you do not help, the Earth may be susceptable to the alient invaders.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        You spelled "sir" without a "u," and your grammar and punctuation is mostly correct. FAIL!

        Then again, I bet lots of disingenuous spam writers would love to have you help them...
    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Given the way people are acting in the Sudan currently, things would probably be much better if they were all taken over by alien spores.

  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shaitand (626655) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:00PM (#25303873) Journal

    I was under the impression that these sort of tiny asteroids burned up in our atmosphere all the time and were observed as shooting stars.

    • Re:Why is this news? (Score:5, Informative)

      by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:06PM (#25303973)

      It's news because this is the first time we detected one before it hit and were able to track its descent.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      A bit bigger than a shooting star, but frequent enough.

      It's news because it was the first one that has been tracked, predicted to hit, and then hit.

      • > It's news because it was the first one that has been tracked, predicted to hit, and then hit.

        It's news because it was the first one that has been tracked.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          No we've tracked lots of rocks in space before, after they whiz by of course for ones that size. Which is the predicted to hit part (rather than "oh look it almost hit") and why it was originally news. It's news again because yes it did hit.

          Just tracking does not get it on cnn.com.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      Because the asteroid was itentified and tracked days before it entered the atmosphere. For the first time, astronomers were able to predict the exact time and location the asteroid would strike (well, would have stuck if it hadn't exploded in the atmosphere). Also, what we see as shooting stars are little more than grains of sand, this was more like a good sized boulder and would have made a noticable fireball as it tracked across the sky.

      • "Because the asteroid was itentified and tracked days before it entered the atmosphere."

        Days? We wish. It was discovered on October 6, 06:38 UTC, and impacted on October 7, 02:46 UTC. That's not days... that's about 20 hours.

        It's awesomely cool that we saw this one coming. It's just a baby, though, and as the articles noted they hit us several times a year. What would be awesomely UNcool is if we didn't see its Big Sister until 20 hours before it hits somewhere over the northeast US.

        Personal bolide sto

  • I suppose it's kinda neat that the Spaceguard system actually spotted something, but at this small size the only interesting thing would be that we knew it was coming and could get a nice video. Surely somebody in Sudan is still alive and holding a video camera.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You seriously over-estimate the level of technology available in Sudan.

      (And the number of people per square mile, if it's in northern Sudan... It's quite possible there were only a few people within a hundred miles.)

  • *poof* bye bye (Score:3, Interesting)

    by morrison (40043) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:06PM (#25303969) Homepage

    We mentioned the asteroid last on Monday, when it was only at a 99.8 percent chance of colliding with Earth.

    Mm.. so I suppose that means it now has a 0.0 percent chance of colliding with the Earth. Or is that number now 'NaN' since it doesn't exist anymore?

    • by Chemisor (97276)

      The probability of an event that has already happened is always equal to 1. Predictions are uncertain only about the future, and, of course, for past events about which there is not enough information.

    • by Trogre (513942)

      100%, since it did collide with the earth :)

  • by pseudorand (603231) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @03:29PM (#25304359)

    Don't be fooled people. I've seen the movies. I know these things come in groups. If there's one, there's more, and a bigger one is surely on it's way. First the Tsunami, then Katrina and Ike, then the Economy, now this. Those of you who haven't been saved are doomed.

    BTW, anyone want to buy a copy of my newsletter?

    • by splutty (43475)

      Those of you who haven't been saved are doomed.

      Pfew! Thankfully I've got autosave mode on.

      !! General Einstein Failure Detected, Please Reboot Universe !!

  • I need the number for Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Rip Torn...
  • The International Astronomical Union should in the next General Assembly, decides, after a long week of intense discussions, that
    1) meter sized asteroids should be called from now on "dwarf asteroids"
    2) vaporized dwarf and normal asteroids should be declassified and put in the list of exctinct celestial bodies.

  • Alarmism Amok! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chysn (898420) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @04:00PM (#25304773)

    From TFA:

    "UPDATE: Please note that the use of an alarmist headline and imagery to increase the casual reader's desire to look at the entire article was an intentional parody."

    CNN should hard-code that into their website's header.

  • "extreme test" my ass. I get all the "extreme" I could ever need on Discovery Channel, please keep the language inflation off Slashdot.

  • "What happened to the 'kaboom'? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering 'kaboom'!"
  • From TFA: "A 20 to 50 meter asteroid exploding over a major city could result in a significant loss of property and life." Good to see they have their priorities straight...
  • Calls himself General Zod, although I don't think his beard is regulation. Says he's looking for the office of solitude, or something like that. Says he's fresh from the Sudan, but I'm not sure about that as he's dressed ready for a disco...

  • Yes, we know - an asteroid was tracked, blew up just as expected, and that's it. Have a look at the very nice "Bad Astronomy" site:
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/10/06/incoming-2/ [discovermagazine.com]

    While this article shows an artists impression of a huge asteroid striking our planet, text like "No deaths have been reported yet." and talking about equivalency to nuclear devices.

    This kind of article belongs in a bottom-of-the-line newspaper like the german "Bild" or some crappy little website, but not on Sl

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