Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Near-Earth Asteroid February 2013. Danger or No Danger?

By above Youtube poster...

Uploaded by dutchsinse on Mar 4, 2012
thanks to pinksapphiret for getting this out on youtube:

Quote the article:TheExtinctionProtocol

Scientists are predicting that the asteroid 2012 DA14 has a good chance of colliding with earth in eleven months. 

Watch the skies in February 2013! 

According to RT, NASA has confirmed that the 60 meter (or 197 feet) asteroid, which was spotted by Spanish stargazers in February this year, has a good chance of colliding with earth. The scientists suggest confronting this asteroid with either big guns or, more strangely, with paint. 

The problem with either option is that there is no time to build a spaceship for the operation. A spaceship could either shoot the asteroid down or simply crash into it -- this would either break it into pieces or throw it off course. 

NASA expert David Dunham suggested: "We could paint it." The paint would change the asteroid's ability to reflect sunlight, alter its spin and change its temperature. However, even taking the asteroid off course could be dangerous when it returns in 2056, according to Aleksandr Devaytkin the head of the observatory in Russia's Pulkovo, as told to Izvestia in Russia recently.

The asteroid's closest approach to earth is scheduled for 15 February 2013, when they predict that the distance between it and earth will be under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). With the asteroid zooming that low, it will be too late to do anything with it besides trying to predict its final destination and the consequences of impact. 

However, NASA's David Dunham did say: "The asteroid may split into pieces entering the atmosphere. In this case, most parts of it will never reach the planet's surface." But theories are that if the entire asteroid did crash into the planet, the impact will be as hard as in the Tunguska blast, which in 1908 knocked down trees over a total area of 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles) in Siberia.

So keep your head down and watch the skies. "

2012 , 19:55   |   Science   |   4

The Americans offered to paint the asteroid, and Russian - to blow up

NASA experts with Russian colleagues decide what to do with potentially dangerous for the Earth's celestial body - the 60-meter asteroid 2012 DA14The Americans offered to paint the asteroid, and Russian - to blow upPlanet Earth. Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image

NASA experts have recognized that asteroid 2012 DA14, Spanish Open a week ago, astronomers can fall to Earth. The fall may occur after February 2013 will change the orbit of its flight. This statement was made by Dr. David Dunham, director of projects for the Study of NASA deep space, speaking March 1 at the Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM).

- Due to the interaction with the Earth by gravity trajectory of its flight will be greatly changed, it must be well calculated, in order to understand how big a threat of collision with the following approximation of the Earth - says Dunham. - Maybe an asteroid will fall apart in our orbit around a lot of tiny pieces of it break away or a few large pieces and burned. Necessary to carry out its spectral analysis, then we can determine the type of asteroid, its mineral structure, which will assume his behavior in the atmosphere and methods of influence on him to prevent a possible threat.

NASA experts agree that if we consider the convergence of the Earth 2012 DA14 c in February next year, when the asteroid is on us only 29 thousand miles, then take things too late. on the design, development and preparation for the launch of a special spacecraft that could somehow affect the celestial body, it would take at least two years.

Proven systems to counter asteroids do not - this kind of development there are still only in preliminary design. For example, in Russia, projects satellite-killers trained in the Makeev Rocket Center and NPO. Lavochkin. In addition, we have no weapons against satellites, we have no system for tracking threats from space and learn about them in advance. The case of asteroid 2012 DA14 indicative in this sense: according to Secretary of the Expert Council on Space Sciences for Threats Sergei Naroenkova, the object is flying in its present orbit is not the first year (estimated, about three years), and places its trajectory almost overlaps with the trajectory our planet. But to discover an asteroid was only last week.

- If the object will fly to us from the sun, then we are unlikely to be ready to reflect, - said Alexander Devyatkin, deputy director of the Pulkovo Observatory. - In the daytime we can not detect an asteroid because of the huge background of the sky. More reliable in preventing the threats will be possible only when the spacecraft will be launched for continuous monitoring of Earth-threatening objects.

In February of next year 2012 DA14 can fly past the planet and the encounter with her ​​in one of the following turns. By this turn of events, scientists are encouraged to prepare in advance.- The easiest way to do classically - to destroy an asteroid hitting his body, or other device with a nuclear charge - says Robert Farquhar, head of the NASA mission to Pluto, Mercury, developer of the program mission, NEAR and MESSENGER. - An asteroid flies with great speed and in a collision with a massive spaceship would fly just under the force of its own kinetic energy. But now we are dealing with a small asteroid - 60 m in diameter, so the calculation must be very precise.

Dunham offers an asteroid repaint.

- The paint will change the reflectivity of the asteroid. Because of this, solar power will begin to act differently on it and change the trajectory of the body - he said.

Russian scientists consider painting the asteroids effective, but not the most effective measure, favoring the elimination of more radical methods.

- The idea to paint an asteroid of this size is technically feasible, but not radical. This will change the trajectory of its rotation, but almost certainly within a few decades, the threat of a collision will be even greater - Eismont says Nathan, senior researcher at the Institute of Space Research. - It is necessary to know very well what reflective, he had become and what not to do worse. We should not forget that during the flight of asteroids tend to rotate and the colored side is not always facing the sun, which causes additional problems.

According Devyatkina to effectively meet threats from outer space should be as soon as possible to create a system for monitoring and multiple spacecraft. 

source: IZVESTA

Bad Astronomy
For the tl;dr crowd, let’s get this out of the way right away: asteroid 2012 DA14 is almost certainlynot going to hit the Earth next February. And by "almost certainly", I mean it: the odds of an impact are so low they are essentially zero. This does not rule out an impact at some future date, but for now we’re safe.

So what’s the story?
A small near-Earth asteroid was discovered in late February by astronomers at the Observatorio Astronómico de La Sagra in Spain, less than two weeks ago. Designated 2012 DA14, it’s estimated to be about 45 meters (150 feet) in diameter, and has an orbit that is similar to Earth’s.

Its orbit is an inclined ellipse, tilted a bit compared to Earth’s orbit around the Sun (the positions of Earth and DA14 are shown for August of 2012 — I picked that randomly to make the orbits clear), and it spends most of its time well away from our planet. However, the path of the rock does bring it somewhat close to the Earth twice per orbit, or about every six months. The last time it passed us was on February 16 – two weeks ago — when it was about 2.5 million km (1.5 million miles) away, equal to about 6 times the distance to the Moon. That’s usually about the scale of these encounters — it misses us by quite a margin.

February 2013: a close shave
Next year, on February 15, 2013, DA14 will actually get pretty close to Earth. It will pass us at a distance of about 27,000 km (17,000 miles) — well beneath many of our own orbiting satellites! To the best of my knowledge, this is the closest pass of a decent-sized asteroid ever seen before the actual pass itself.
However, let’s again be very clear: it will miss. In astronomical terms, 27,000 km is pretty close, but in real human terms it’s a clean miss.
[UPDATE: The article I linked below has changed substantively since I posted my own article here. They have attributed their quotations more clearly, and have taken out most of the more breathless rhetoric. I applaud them for doing so, though I wish they had been more clear in the first place.]
Unsurprisingly, though very irritatingly, I’ve seen a lot of websites writing about this as if the asteroid will hit. For example, has a very confused article about DA14 claiming it will somehow both miss us and hit us:
The rock’s closest approach to the planet is scheduled for February 15, 2013, when the distance between the planet and space wanderer will be under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). [...] With the asteroid zooming that low, it will be too late to do anything with it besides trying to predict its final destination and the consequences of impact.
Blechh. They write that in a way to make an impact seem likely, but that’s not the case at all! I’ve seen several other websites making similarly contradictory or confused claims (Note:I originally included this SFBay article as an example. It’s not confused, but by using the phrase "potentially fateful day" it struck me as exaggerating the fear). The article even comes right out and says "NASA confirms… [DA14] has a good chance of colliding with Earth". This is simply not true. I’ll note they don’t actually give a reference to that, so it’s not clear who, if anyone, actually said that, or where they got that information. Either way, it’s wrong.

The fuzzy future
So we’re safe for now. But what about future passes?
That’s harder to say. Predicting where an asteroid will be at some future time depends on a lot of things, including how good the observations are now and how long we’ve been watching it. When we observe an asteroid with a telescope, we can measure its position, but not with perfect accuracy. The Earth’s atmosphere blurs the image a bit, and other factors make it impossible to get an exact measurement. So we observe it many times, over as long a period as possible, to hammer down those uncertainties.
There will always be some small amount of fuzziness to the orbit of an asteroid, though, and the farther ahead in the future you look the bigger that fuzziness gets. For next year, we know the orbit of DA14 well enough to know it’ll miss, but for future orbits it’s harder to say.
As things stand, right now the JPL website lists the next close pass as February 2020, but we don’t know the orbit well enough at this moment to know how close that pass will be*. As things stand, the odds of an impact even then are very, very low (like, 1 in 100,000 — less than your odds of getting hit by lightning in your lifetime). We can’t technically rule it out just yet because, again, the orbit isn’t known well enough to look that far into the future. Of course, astronomers are observing the asteroid right now, and will continue to do so. No doubt we’ll have better orbital information pretty soon.

Keep watching the skies!
So again, because I can’t say this strongly enough: asteroid 2012 DA14 is not an impact threat for February 2013. However, we definitely need to keep our eyes on this guy to see if it poses a threat at some future date. If it does, then you can be sure you’ll be hearing about it from me, and from other websites too. But make sure you find reliable websites. Too many are too ready to breathlessly report this as doomsday when it’s anything but.
So, at least for February 2013, we can safely say:

* I’ll note the European NEO-DyS group uses different mathematical techniques, and they don’t even list that date as a near pass. Instead, they say it’ll be six months later, in September. Again, this shows that given our current observations of DA14, predicting its position that far in the future is very uncertain.
Source: Discover Magazine

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