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Asteroid Passes (Just) 65,000 Miles From Earth

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  • Flew? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossdee (243626) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:29AM (#43951077)

    "as it flew over the Southern Ocean of Tasmania, Australia"

    At 65,000 miles out, its not flying. (its in orbit around the sun)

    And the southern ocean does not belong to Tasmania, or even Australia

    • And at 65000 miles, Earth subtends a 14 angle (an apple at arms length). So it's hardly "over" a single point off Tasmania, as opposed to "over" the whole hemisphere.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        And at 65000 miles, Earth subtends a 14 angle (an apple at arms length). So it's hardly "over" a single point off Tasmania, as opposed to "over" the whole hemisphere.

        Slashdot doesn't do the markup for degrees? Jerks.

      • Tasmania was the center point or centrally located section of that hemisphere from the roids perspective.

        Actually I don't know anything about this. But that seems like an easy assumption to make =)

        • by Rockoon (1252108)
          Is the word that you are looking for periapsis, the point where two orbiting bodies are closest?

          When you don't know the standard terminology, ....
          • The asteroid isn't in orbit around the Earth, so periapsis doesn't work.

            But my point was just that at 65,000 miles, referring to the exact surface intersection point of closest approach in a popsci article is about as silly as referring to the RA/dec or constellation. "The car crash occurred 500km north of a point just west of Federal Street, Hobart."

            (More visually useful might have been a pic of the Earth/moon/sun alignment and the asteroid path.)

          • Doesn't have to be closest to be centrally located with the center point of another object... Yes for spheres this is generally true. But not all the time.

    • by WillKemp (1338605)

      It's like saying "the Atlantic Ocean of Madeira".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      From the sun's perspective, it is orbiting the sun. From the earth's perspective, it just flew by. It is all relative.

    • by danlip (737336)

      At 65,000 miles out, its not flying. (its in orbit around the sun)

      Even if it entered the atmosphere it wouldn't be flying, it would be falling (and burning up quickly).

  • Like the dinosaurs that came before us, we will claim the sky is not falling right up until it actually does.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I don't remember the dinosaurs claiming that.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by PsyMan (2702529)

        I don't remember the dinosaurs claiming that.

        Some of the more mature slashdotters do though *cough* COBOL

        • by cjjjer (530715)
          Depends on what you call "mature". I am 44 and work on COBOL a few times a year doing contract work for a couple of healthcare gigs. Mostly maintaining (or porting the programs to SAS http://www.sas.com/ [sas.com]) it is actually quite lucrative if you don't mind doing it.
        • I write in APL, you insensitive clod!

  • by PsyMan (2702529) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:43AM (#43951129)
    Can we not fit a large laser to the ISS and have someone fly it around up there blasting it in to smaller manageable chunks (they would only need 2 rotation buttons, a thruster and a fire button). I am sure Atari patented this technology back in the 70's.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah. NASA has already started extensive astronaut training with the help of Kerbal Space Program...

    • by jd2112 (1535857)
      I would rather send Bruce Willis in a titanium hulled space shuttle with a hydrogen bomb.
    • You forgot Hyperspace. I'm sure the ISS astronauts want that one too.
  • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @04:44AM (#43951133)

    We almost got rid of Tasmania?

  • it posed no risk? Are there *really* people who think that a boulder so far away is actually a danger?

    If so, sterilize them. Now!

    • by meglon (1001833)
      To be fair, the object that hit Chicxulub posed no risk for any of it's near Earth passes either.... until it did.

      While this object is fairly small, it passed about 1/4 of the distance to the moon from us. If we were intelligent, we'll keep track of it so we can plot to see if it will ever hit us; if we blindly think it poses no risk, it may slap us in the face in the future.

      As for NASA stating that it posed no risk in passing us that close, i can both understand the humor in their statement, as well a
    • by Tamerlin (940577)

      it posed no risk? Are there *really* people who think that a boulder so far away is actually a danger?

      If so, sterilize them. Now!

      Yes, indeed they do. Why? Because so few people have the brains and imagination to conceive of distance beyond the next block. In astronomical terms, 65,000 miles is almost grazing, hence a near miss. To a human on earth, it's a long way away.

      • by Nutria (679911)

        An astronomical-skin-of-the-teeth miss is still... a miss.

        • by Tamerlin (940577)
          Yes... but explain that to the average american't bozo who thinks that it's ok for schools to include theology in science classes.
  • Asteroid 2013 LR6 came within roughly 65,000 miles of the planet

    This is exactly where you need to put some context on the numbers. I don't know offhand if that's come between earth and the moon (just looked it up - much closer to earth than the moon). Maybe everyone but me carries numbers like that around in their head but I don't and something like "about 1/4 the distance to the moon from earth" or "roughly twice as far as geostationary orbit" would have been really useful.

  • Thanks to progress in technologies, in telescopes (quality and price, China stuff ...) we have more and more asteroid news. Of course NASA needs to justify a budget, and any scary news is welcome. People are always glad to broadcast any news in regard to their new glass equipment. Thus, even an asteroid half the size of the one that illuminated the Russia sky a few weeks ago makes the headlines.
  • Lucky! (Score:5, Funny)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:25AM (#43951243) Homepage

    Much further and we would have been dealing with an integer overflow.

  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:11AM (#43951529) Journal
    Is it my imagination or are there more of these near-Earth rocks coming our way?
    Or are they just being reported more? Or is the detection network more effective?
  • That even if it hit earth it'd only send down some fragments that would only do damage if it actually hit you. (I mean they mention it was smaller than that Russian a little bit ago and that didn't really do much to the earth.) Actually here's a calculator that will let you put in some numbers. (Which pretty much agrees it'd only be a big deal if one of the fragments actually hit you directly.) http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/ImpactEffects/ [ic.ac.uk]
  • Another wonderful job by Slashdot's illiterate editing crew.

  • by danlip (737336) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:07PM (#43956101)

    Despite being more than half the size of the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February, the 30-foot-wide asteroid posed no threat, according to NASA.

    So despite being smaller than something that actually hit earth and did no significant damage, it posed no threat? Wow, that is sure surprising! Who writes this shit?

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      After watching a grand piano fall on someone, would you be particularly concerned about having half a grand piano fall on you?

      • >> After watching a grand piano fall on someone, would you be particularly concerned about an upright piano falling on you?

        FTFY

  • Serriously WTF, as a Kiwi (New Zealander) I know that the Southern Ocean is a fairly large body of water....Tasmaina happens to be in said ocean....."of" is really a bit of a stretch.
  • You say you *want* to remain on a single lump of rock?

    HAHAHAHA!!!!

    (translated from the Glertish)

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

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