2007 TU24 miss distance update

By Phil Plait | January 23, 2008 5:30 pm

According to Don Yeomans at NASA’s JPL, the asteroid 2007 TU24 will miss us by about 530,000 km (334,000 miles) on January 29. It was earlier reported to be a distance of about 700,000 km, so it’ll be a tad closer than earlier thought.

However, before some evil scaremonger runs with this, that doesn’t mean OH NOEZ WE DON’T KNOW WHERE IT WILL BE! It means instead that we do know where it will be, better than we did before. It won’t come anywhere near enough to hit us, and it will have no effect on us at all. It’ll be hard to see; it’s a faint 10th magnitude, meaning you’ll need a big ‘scope to see it.

Put it this way: asteroids pass us at this distance all the time, and here we are. No fires, no lightning, no earthquakes… at least, no more than you’d expect to occur randomly. Asteroids this size are only a problem if they hit us, or they might hit us in the future.

So, despite some very misleading tactics by people on the web, we’re not in any danger. I’ll have more on this later (by "this" I mean the scare mongering), too, since this has turned into a whole big thing. But I’m still right, and others still wrong.

Comments (157)

  1. Tina

    I’ve been checking your website daily for updates and I can’t thank you enough for keeping me (and no doubt thousands of others) informed. Your work here doesn’t go unnoticed.

    Thank you. :)

  2. Michael Lonergan

    The YouTube video is making the rounds on FaceBook, now…

  3. It’s going to miss us?!?! You mean I bought that hardhat for nothing?

  4. Rachel

    I agree, Tina. This site is just what I needed earlier when I was in a panic on the inside. I’m sure there are plenty of others who have not commented here but are feeling much better after seeing the site.

    I agree with other people who commented on prior posts that the webmaster (or somebody!) should make a YouTube video. I think it would really calm hysteria and lead more people to this site for the truth.

  5. Gary F

    You missed a zero in “530,00 km”. It doesn’t detract from my opinion of your blog, it’s just a pet peeve of mine when people do that.

  6. Illucian

    Looking forward to your words on the scare mongering, though I have a feeling I’ll agree completely with your assessment.

  7. Eumary

    Thank you very much for all the information you’ve given. I was very, very worried.

  8. Felix

    Woah you should definitely add an 0 to the Km I was really shocked -
    five hundred Kilometers is very close I think.
    (here 530,00 km is what 530.00 km is in english) ;)

  9. Anubis

    Don’t look at me *whistle*

  10. wÓÒ†

    WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

  11. And

    It’s the 23rd (and almost over), did that report include the goldstone data? They had it scheduled to be observed but I haven’t seen the data yet.

  12. @AND

    http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/goldstone_asteroid_schedule.html

    Its the 23rd, they said it was scheduled, how bout you give them time to do it? Wait till tomorrow afternoon maybe there will be more information then.

  13. bsizzle

    as soon as i heard about this i immediately thought of this site. it took me all of 10 seconds after hearing about it to laugh about it

    danka

  14. Ookla the Astronomer

    Ah, you see? Now it gets closer and closer.

    Clearly, we’re doomed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhAobPugvsk

  15. Jeff Scarr, Winnipeg

    Phil, you rock!

    And not just when you’re talking about asteroids!

  16. Jarrod Henry

    One of the things that being a skeptic/scientist has taught me is.. ALWAYS do the math. It’ll let you know whether or not you worry needlessly or not. It’ll also explain certain things, and let you test various claims that people make.

    I did the math on this awhile ago (though, orbital calcs are hard) , as well as the whole “gravity” equation, and I’m contented.

    Thanks, Phil, for providing this blog to make the point far better than I ever could.

  17. Sam

    THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper is now reporting this story (largest nationwide paper in Australia based in Melbourne).

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23100798-601,00.html

    …so that puts paid to the conspiracy angle….

  18. eddie

    But, but, but…. what if it’s really Planet X?

    Huh? HUH?

  19. Fixed the typo in the distance. Cripes, of all the things in that entry to screw up… ;-)

  20. Jarrod Matthews

    First of all—People–this site is inaccurate.

    You are not either right or wrong about this. You’re basing your article off of a post that is updated on January 22, 2008…HM?????…As far as I know NASA scheduled more astrometry and physical observation for the 23rd AND 24th. Just because the 23rd over does not mean it’s suddenly official. You should reconsider your resources; for it shows more stupidity than relief to those who will eventually realize your false blog.

    GIVE THEM SOME TIME. For goodness sake don’t make assumptions just because ONE day passes. THERE ARE NO links that I know of that have released INFO on re-evaluation from Goldstone.

    You should reconsider and apologize to the public for your deception.

    Jarrod Matthews

  21. L Fuller

    And who, prey tell, wrote anything based on the re-evaluation of Goldstone? So, the post by Jarrod Matthews is inaccurate.

  22. Jarrod Matthews
  23. Jarrod Matthews

    Define my ignorance. I’ll accept the fact that I’m ignorant when you give evidence that I am…because I’ve only made a statement based on a fact and link that NASA is running.

    No reason to get mad. I’m not lying about anything I say.

    Nor do I imply the asteroid will hit. I’m only telling people that it is only INTELLIGENT to wait until an OFFICIAL updated source from NASA..AFTER the 23rd…is AVAILABLE.

  24. anon234

    So umm, how about that 2012 date.

  25. eddie

    “You should reconsider your resources; for it shows more stupidity than relief to those who will eventually realize your false blog.”

    Thank you, Jarrod.

    Now, THAT’s science.

    Sheesh.

  26. eddie

    I will now define your ignorance:

    ig·no·rance

    the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.

    I know you’re probably using a language translator, so just get better at doing so, and bring a real point to the table.

  27. Jarrod Matthews

    I brought the point to the table….

    The blog holds unofficial information. The source article is dated January 22.

    What the hell else is there to bring?
    :P

  28. Jarrod Matthews

    And I apologize to the creator of this site. I read his biography and he even stated that–

    “Since a lot of people assume I work or worked for NASA, I will add I am not, nor ever have been, a NASA employee, and anything I say, pretty much ever, is not the official word from NASA! I always speak for no one but myself.”

    So….My bad for being an bad word deleted about the blog. He obviously posted it according to HIS perspective.

  29. eddie

    “The blog holds unofficial information. The source article is dated January 22.”

    That makes it unofficial? Do YOU have more recent information to “bring” a scientific opinion?

    Do YOU have a scientific opinion?

    What’s your point, exactly?

  30. eddie

    Good night, Jarrod. Give RCH a kiss on the cheek for me.

  31. Jarrod Matthews

    My point? Well. I’m saying that there is no official NASA info posted yet regarding the asteroid….thus it makes the blog’s article unofficial..because it isn’t backed up by updated stats. The source is from the 22nd..well..it seems as if….it’s the 24th…I may be wrong..hm…maybe I’ll use my language translator to figure it out.

  32. Alan

    Wow….some caller on Coast-to-coast just said “a NASA employee” (unnamed of course) told him it’s probably a 50/50 chance of an impact now (assuming I heard him correctly). Sounds like this “zomg they’re not releasing the updated data because they were wrong and it might hit us” thing is really making the rounds.

    Of course the guy is hocking his mass consciousness book/video and suggesting everybody think really hard about pushing the asteroid away, so I’m sure he’s setting himself up to make some sales when it doesn’t hit. Amazing.

  33. Stephen Kennedy

    Alan heard the same thing on the way home and this blog was my first stop. My thoughts were if this is really going to hit what is the point of selling his 3 hour movie?

    Links posted earlier for jpl don’t seem to work from here!

  34. Matty
  35. Alan

    I’m curious, is there any way that new observations would make the error bars significantly larger (i.e., make it “more likely” that there would be a collision, as the last-minute doomsayers suggest)? It seems to me that could only happen if there was a systematic error in the previous observations, but not in the recent observations, which seems unlikely to me. But I know squat about orbital mechanics and observational methods. :)

    As for the gub’mint coverup angle, is this asteroid’s trajectory something that non-gub’mint amateur astronomers could in principle verify independently? I haven’t seen any mention of that, but I really haven’t taken time to read all the comments in other blog articles.

  36. Rachel

    Alan -

    In response to your first comment, UGH I was finally calmed down about this whole thing and that really freaked me out what the caller said. I read on some forums that somebody’s brother’s uncle’s friend works for NASA and said that they are very concerned, apparently the post was originally made at Yahoo discussion boards and then removed. I’m just wondering if that and the call in to the radio station is all about scaremongering, since it’s all based on rumor. I hope so.

    I had read on another post on this blog (go back a page, the post titled “Repeat after me…”) in the comments L Fuller said that people other than NASA can track trajectory. I would really be interested in hearing more about this, I just Googled “how to track trajectory” and didn’t get much after a glance of results.

    I’m really wondering the same thing, just how much the distance can change after several observations, could it really be that significant?

  37. I saw some youtube videos and I have something different. How does an asteroid become electromagnetically charged and if it can be negatively charged, what would happen if it came as close as it is supposed to come to us?

  38. dannyb

    just seems to be another excuse for all these doomsday nutters to whinge about the end of the world …..

    cheers for the update tho much appreciated

  39. izzmo

    I had asteroids once….it was verrrry itchy. Preperation H worked good at releiving the scorching.

  40. tom

    any news on the small asteroid on a near miss course with Mars?

  41. IRREGAURDLESS, this asteroid doesn’t even come between the earth and the moon. this is nothing to worry about. in fact, i’d love it if this hit the moon. wouldn’t that be awesome to watch?

  42. The threat of an asteroid collision is no more real now than it was 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 or even 100000 years ago. Why start worrying now? Seriously! Mankind has still moved on all these years and there are far greater things to worry about. One of them being, will Dunkin Donuts get my coffee right this morning? Much bigger and reasonable concern…

  43. Michelle

    Rachel, amateurs can track an asteroid by looking at its position and doing the math after a couple stares. Now I wouldn’t know how to do that, I have a life. :)

    This update does not mean that we are in more danger. On the contrary, it’s now so refined that they’re now EVEN MORE sure it will miss us. With more observations you always lower the probabilities and fix up the error margin.

  44. I saw some youtube videos and I have something different. How does an asteroid become electromagnetically charged and if it can be negatively charged, what would happen if it came as close as it is supposed to come to us?

    Asteroids do not become electromagnetically charged. They only way they could do so would literally be for someone to go up and rub cats all over them, or stroke the metal ones gently with a magnet.

    Even if they carried a lot of charge, very little would happen. How do I know this? Well solar coronal mass ejections happen all the time, they’re in the 10^11 to 10^14 kg range ( http://lasco-www.nrl.navy.mil/index.php?p=content/cmelist ) and are essentially composed completely of charged and high-energy particles. They are, at best, mildly annoying when they arrive at earth, and only the very biggest ones really affect much beyond giving a nice auroral display… and that’s when they HIT the earth.

    TU24 is a chunk of stone and iron, about the size of the Sears Tower. If we say it’s approximately cylindrical, 450m long and 100m in diameter, made of stone and iron (average density 3000 kg/m^3) it has a mass of 10^10 kg. That makes it about 1/10 the smallest coronal mass ejection, and 1/10000 the biggest ones. Even if, by some bizarre circumstance TU24 somehow picked up some extra electrons to become negatively charged, it would still be hundreds of thousands of km away and not affect us in any substantial way. CMEs “hit” the earth and are more massive and are made of charged particles and they don’t wipe us out. A static-charged floating rock zipping by well outside the moon wouldn’t even be noticeable.

    But in any case, it’s not charged, so it’s no big deal. I do, however, like the idea of rubbing cats on asteroids to charge them up. Anything that gets them away from my bird feeders.

  45. Mitch

    IF IT WAS GOING TO HIT~ none of us could do much about it and
    none of the worlds governments would alert us anyway to avert
    civil disorder

  46. Jarrod Matthews writes:

    [[He obviously posted it according to HIS perspective.]]

    Mr. Matthews, HIS perspective is the perspective you get from actually working out the orbital calculations, or getting the information from those who have. It’s not a question of each of us having a unique viewpoint and each being right in our own way. Some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Specifically, those who say the asteroid is going to miss us are right, and those who say it’s going to hit us are wrong. Period.

  47. Michelle

    Mitch, real life’s not hollywood where you can hide an asteroid forever. There are other folks but governments tracking such things.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    A couple of the forums I frequent, are exploding with retarded threads about TU24. I’ve saved all relevant information from your great site to paste in each one to get people to shut it. I’m about sick of hearing, OMG the PLASMA CHARGE IS GONNA DESTROY US!! OHH NOEZ!!!

  49. Kaps

    …I wonder if the fate of the Earth lies in space. Does one really know about the past or do we just believe everything we are told and read? I always questioned history, I can write a book too.

  50. DenverAstro

    E-Squid…cat rubbing…hehehe you crack me up man :o )

  51. greystoke

    it was a guest that said 50-50 on coast to coast—-it came from a friend of his at lockheed martin—he said the trajaectory has changed 27%—it is wobbling and not going directly straight—hes not sure if it could get caught by the gravity of the moon or earth (the guest said this)—just repeating what was on the show—dont shoot the messenger

  52. Sergeant Zim

    Greystoke, I wonder if that guest on C-C has ever heard of a little thing we like to call the First Law of Motion, also generally known by its nickname, Inertia.

    The asteroid can wobble all it wants, but no amount of wobble will change the orbit at all.

  53. Jarrod Henry

    I’ve often wondered how these rumors get started or morph into things that are far worse. I mean, obviously, the guest on the show is just making something up, but.. from whom did he get that information? Where did they get it?

    Just so annoying to watch this happen.

  54. Stuart

    Greystoke: That’s funny! “Wobbling” rather than “going straight”.

    That guest needs to first understand the very basics of orbital mechanics (and, in fact, Newton’s laws.) Oversimplified, that means that an object keeps going straight, at a constant speed, unless acted on by a force.

    So how could the asteroid be wobbling? It doesn’t have jets. It’s not sitting on top of an uneven surface (like a toy car on a shag carpet). It may be spinning oddly around its own axis, making it look like it’s wobbling, but that doesn’t change the speed or direction of its motion.

    Secondly, no-one said that it is going straight. Basically, the only force that could significantly affect its motion, is gravity. And there’s a lot of gravity out there. Mainly there’s the sun, and then all the planets, moons and other asteroids in the solar system. Even with just the Sun, it would most likely be travelling in a gently curved path. The other bodies would disturb this simple path, adding all sorts of variations.

    But most of these variations would be vary, very, very small. The Sun is vastly more massive than everything else in the solar system, and it is mass, and the distance to that mass, that determines how strong the gravitational attraction is.

    Anyway, all these perturbations, as well as the basic curve around/into the sun, are highly predictable, because we’ve known exactly how gravity affects things for centuries! And now, we can plug the relevant data into computers, and predict the path of the asteroid, with great accuracy.

    In short, the asteroid isn’t going to suddenly change its mind, put on the brakes, and change direction like a drunk driver. That’s physically impossible! But that is exactly what the doom-mongers are claiming. (May they all rot in the Hell I don’t believe in.)

  55. xKingx

    On Dutch television news this morning they were saying that planet TU24 was going to nearly miss us. A ‘Planet’ you ask? Yep I’m not kidding you, that’s what they said. As if we can now expect Mars to be knocked out of it’s orbit and hit us next. I’m glad that there are some people that actually try to stick to the facts and not take the 1st thing they read as the ‘truth’.

  56. Stuart

    Now to answer some reasonable questions about what I wrote above:

    If this is all so predictable, why did they change the figures?:

    The accuracy of orbital predictions depends on the accuracy of the initial data, i.e. location and speed of the asteroid.

    So, when they re-estimated the passing distance, it’s only because they got a better fix on the speed and position of the asteroid, as they spent more time studying it.

    But then how do we know that the next, even more accurate reading won’t end up showing that TU24 is heading straight for us?

    Scientists always have to deal with uncertain, not-perfectly-accurate data. It is physically impossible to know most things perfectly. So they’ve learned to deal with this uncertainty.

    So when a scientist describes a finding, he would say something like “The value is 10.5, plus-or-minus 1.5″. Which means that the actual value could be anything between 9 and 12, with an average of 10.5.

    The figure of 1.5 would not have been a guess, either. There is an entire science behind how they work out the uncertainty, based on the uncertainty of the initial measurements.

    So when they initially figured that TU24 was going to miss by 700,000km, they would also have included an estimate of the error. “700,000, plus-or-minus 200,000″. So the worst it could really be, was that TU24 will “only” miss us by 500,000km, which is still an enormous distance.

    And lo! Once they got a better fix on TU24, they saw it was going to miss us by 560,000km, which is within their initial range.

    But now that TU24 is closer, the measurements are more accurate, and the uncertainty is less. So this time, they will say something like “560,000, +/- 20,000″ So now, they know that the closest approach will be no closer than 540,000, which is even further out than the worst-case was after the first measurement.

    So once again, there is no way that TU24 is going to magically appear above our heads, about to smash us to atoms. It’s just not possible.

    Anyone who says so, is ignorant, lying, or both. :-( A curse upon them and their families, for scaring people unnecessarily!

  57. Stuart

    BTW, those error estimates I included above were for illustration purposes only. I don’t know what the actual values were that the astronomers gave, but I know that their error estimates were small enough that the Earth would never have been in the range of values.

  58. Nigel Depledge

    Anon said:
    “I saw some youtube videos and I have something different. How does an asteroid become electromagnetically charged and if it can be negatively charged, what would happen if it came as close as it is supposed to come to us?”

    Quite simply, asteroids don’t become “electromagnetically charged”, because there is no such thing as “electromagnetic charge”.

    In principle, an object can become electrically charged if it gains or loses electrons, or if it is electrically insulating and something acts upon it to cause a rearrangement of electrons (e.g. like rubbing a ballon against a cat – the balloon will become sufficiently charged that it can cling to a wall or ceiling). However, the thing about electric charges is that opposite charges attract and like charges repel. Thus, for an object to acquire a significant overall charge requires a lot of energy, and the larger the object, the more energy required to set up a charge. Also, imbalances of charge tend to equal out over time (so the balloon will only cling to the wall for a limited time). This is why lightning conductors are pointy and conductive – they bleed charge off a building before it acquires enough to attract a lightning strike.

    A large object such as an asteroid will never gain enough charge overall for it to behave like the balloon, because this would take too much energy, and you’d have to separate out the electrons you had removed and keep them separated, and there is no known way to do this reliably.

    If the object were to acquire an imbalance of charge (like the balloon) – i.e. if it were sufficiently insulating and something acted to create local regions of positive and negative charge – then this would only have any effect on a very, very local level. More than a few metres from the surface, the fact that it has no net charge would tend to negate any effect from areas of local charge. Thus, it would need to actually land to have any electrical effect, and there would be far larger concerns than any electrical charge the asteroid possessed (i.e. its kinetic energy).

    However, assuming for the sake of argument that the asteroid did have a significant electrical charge (let’s say a Coulomb, which is a lot of charge). The asteroid will pass us by about 500,000 km, which is a large distance. Especially when you are talking about electrical effects. The electrostatic force decreases with the square of distance. Now, a Coulomb might exert a noticeable influence at about 1 metre. At 2 metres it is 1/4 the effect. At 10 metres, it is 1/100. At 1 km, it is only one-millionth the effect at 1 metre. At 1000 km, it is one-trillionth the effect at 1 metre. And so on.

    The same arguments apply if the object carries the magnetic equivalent of charge. A person can stand about 2 metres from the strongest permanent magnet ever made and hardly notice the effects of it.

    At 500,000 km, the asteroid will exert a barely-measureable gravitational influence on the Earth. Even if it had an implausibly strong electrical or magnetic charge, it could not exert any measureable (let alone noticeable) effect on the earth from 500,000 km.

  59. Friend of mine discovered a building shaped like a jet space ship (aka trinidad-and-tobagos-secret-y-wing-facility)

  60. Checkit

    Um, it’s gotten closer still… by more than half that distance. Remember, JPL has had a major event resulting in a lot of downtime with their primary mainframe as well as their two computing clusters… calcs are off and time to recalc is scarce.

  61. lindstrome

    It’s time to rent “Deep Impact.”

  62. Jarrod Henry

    It’s not gotten closer, Checkit.

    The asteroid is in the same position it would have been all along. All that’s changed is that the error has gone down with repeated calculations.

    The trajectory is still very well defined, and it’s out of the “list of things that can hit us” for the forseeable future.

  63. Draco

    Please explain why this makes any difference to anything.

    Without fear mongers we would have no press, no politicians, no grant proposals for junk scientists who can’t get a real job. Heck, no one would watch TV. :)

    What is most amusing is the thought that we have complete and exact data and definitive answers and the righteous indignation of those who believe they do. Historically an important function of academia has been to suppress real evidence that does not support the current paradigm as long as possible. So much for the flat earth, dirty snowballs and space telescope mirror design. Why should ‘science’ be exempt from a true skeptic’s purview?

    Yes, I HAVE done orbital calculations. As a physics and astronomy student at Sonoma State University (hmmmm) by hand, with a HP67 and using FORTRAN and holorith cards. Imagine the horror of tenured professors seeing an undergraduate student’s work published.

    I doubt anyone here has actually done any tu24 orbital calculations themselves taking into account all uncertainties. I definitely would not waste my time doing so and am as guilty as anyone wasting my time here. What is wrong with simply saying “best evidence shows you are far more likely to get hit by a bus, even more likely to die as the result of modern medicine than from an asteroid striking the earth”? Why is claiming 100% certainty so important when it opens one’s comments to scrutiny that causes the true point to be lost? Better yet, speak out on issues, especially junk science, that you truly CAN influence and that DO matter to us and the planet we live on.

    Without a sense of humour tu24 might as well smack us anyway.

  64. NotSoSure

    I wish I had as much blind faith in our technology as you do my friend. Then I could believe everything I hear and read. “They said it, so it has to be true”. Even standard models and physical laws are subject to change. Any good scientist will admit that. Not to mention: “To error is human”. I always get a kick out of people who think we have it all figured out and you never fail to do that. ;-)

  65. Jarrod Henry

    Okay. Yes, there is a chance TU24 can hit us on the 29th.

    Sure. Why not. There’s a CHANCE we’ve been so incredibly wrong on the 104 observations used in calculating the data.

    There’s a CHANCE that we could be off.

    But, want to know something interesting? I looked up how we name our asteroids. Basically, the convention goes like this:

    YEAR (HALF MONTH)(NUMBER)sub(Cycle)

    So.. 2007 TU24 , what does that mean?

    It means that it was discovered in the half month T, which is the last fifteen days in October. It was the 21st object discovered on the 24th cycle through. That means, in that half month, we had alreday picked out 618 other objects that were observed.

    So if our calculation is SO wrong on one, single asteroid that we paid more attention to because of its risk.. then what does it say about the other 617 that we picked up in that half month?

    Now, everyone seems to be down on the scientists for saying that there is almost no chance of this one hitting us.. but you’re not down on the scientists for saying things like “THere’s almost no chance of you being struck in the head by a cantelope sized hailstone in the middle of a clear day” , are you? Where’s the cries of “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE?!!!?!” for the equally other unlikely events that MIGHT occur during your typical day?

    Then, there’s the cries of “Oh, arrogant scinentists. You just think you know everything.” No, of course we don’t know everything.. but one thing we do know decently well to very well is orbital mechanics. And when we run calculations based on the data we have and the observations we have, and that says that we’re safe.. we’re going to believe that data. It’s not arrogance to say that 1+1 = 2. It’s not arrogance to say that the square root of 9 is 3. It’s not arrogance to say that the area of a circle is the radius squared times the constant Pi.

    So why is it suddenly arrogance to say what the answers to obviously more complex mathematical equations are?

    A flip side to this is, why are you so eager for a damn asteroid to slam into earth? Is your life that dull and boring that you want a cataclysmic event to have some .. fun?

  66. Halcyon Dayz

    Historically an important function of academia has been to suppress real evidence that does not support the current paradigm as long as possible.
    That is a load of crock, and you know it.
    Nobel Prizes are won by people who change the paradigms.

    Once again, we’ve been calculating ballistics and orbital mechanics for centuries.
    The science is sound.
    And NASA is not the only organisation in the world that has telescopes and computers.
    Amateur astronomy clubs do that kind of thing for a hobby.
    Your conspiracy would have to involve tens of thousands of very normal people.

    Sooner or later we are going to be hit by a sizable space rock (unless we take counter measures), but not by this one.

  67. Halcyon Dayz

    ^^
    The first two lines should be in quotes.

  68. And

    It’s the 24th, where’s the goldstone data? And why is the jpl site down all night and today?

    Internet, speed of light communication, e-mails that arrive two seconds after your friend across the country sends them, and we have no goldstone data? WTF? Come on people, even if this doesn’t hit this is a good example of how your government operates in a emergency situation.

    The web page there is text, probably 20K at most. JPL servers send out huge TIF files all the time for the rover projects and they can’t keep this one simple text page up?

    http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2007TU24/2007TU24planning.html

  69. Paper

    Most of the scaremongers also probably believe in God.

    I think is unbelievably funny how on coast to coast and I quote:
    “Researcher David Sereda reported that a NASA employee was leaking information suggesting that Asteroid 2007 TU24 had a 50/50 chance of hitting Earth on January 28th or 29th. He sent us two related links: abovetopsecret.com and invanddis.proboards29.com. ”

    Notice the two related links he give us. abovetopsecret.com and invanddis.proboards29.com are basically the same posting. I really love the following quote from the boards: “My friend, who I cannot identify, because of security issues told me that NASA is about 50/50 as to whether this asteroid will impact Earth. ”

    Most of the time when someone says “My friend, who I cannot identify..” is probably lying. Also notice how it is this same friend, who has no creditals in my book because we are not allowed to know who they are says it is 50/50.

    Also NASA is not the only one that has ‘dibs’ on NEA’s or space.

  70. Chip

    How close would it need to get so you could see it without a scope?

  71. Jarrod Henry

    Well, it’s a 300 meter wide object, Chip.

    So.. let me run the numbers ;)

  72. Paper writes:

    [[Most of the scaremongers also probably believe in God.]]

    That would be true of most people in general. I think the fraction of theists in the US is something like 90%. Lower in Europe, no doubt.

  73. Sounds like you guys are getting paranoid.

    Yea, your posts are even beginning to sound “doomsayish”

    I suppose everything was fine before the ‘revision’

    It’s also interesting to note that the latest update by Yeomans claimed

    Although I state that there is a 0.0% chance of impact on my website (and did in both of my videos that you guys are still dreaming about, despite picking at my hasty editing skills), I KNOW that there is a 1-in-25,000,000 chance of impact. JPL tells me so.

    If I were truly a ‘fearmonger’ as many of you are so quick to claim, why would I state there is no chance of impact (when I know this isn’t true)?

  74. By the way… compare the following statements from the same person, days apart:

    “This will be the closest approach by a known asteroid of this size or larger until 2027,”
    Don Yeomans

    “…an object of this size would be expected to pass this close to Earth, on average, about every 5 years or so.”
    Don Yeomans

    Yes, I know he said ‘on average’. But why give misleading information? I don’t even think ‘on average’ is correct, from my research.

    In my video, I state that TU24 is the closest and largest PHA.

    A lot of you guys picked at this. Well, it’s true.

    However, if I said “the closest, largest PHA” that would have been incorrect.

    See the difference?

  75. Jarrod Henry

    Okay.

    Did some math on this. The moon is what I’m using for an example / reference point. I’m also going with the distance of 500,000 KM for 2007 TU24.

    The moon occupies currently a .5 degree arc in the sky, if we take into account a diameter of 3474800 meters and a distance of 384,385,000 meters.

    2007 TU24 is 300 meters in diamter at 500,000,000 meters.

    Calculating the degree of angle on that means Arctan(3/5000000) with, I believe, one significant digit. That makes it under 0 degrees, but, if you want to allow some inaccuracy in the math, 0.000034377 is what my calculator gives me.

    So.. to calculate how close it’d need to be to be as big as the moon, we need to figure out what the y value is in a triangle from half a degree.

    (Mind you, I’m using right triangles to make the calculations simpler. The larger an object, the less likely it’d play fair using right angles)

    So that means using tangent. 300/tan(.5 deg) = adjacent.

    That gives me 37,500 meters, or.. 37.5 kilometers. If this object was 37.5 kilometers from earth, it would appear as big as the moon.

  76. NA

    TU24 Guy…

    “If I were truly a ‘fearmonger’ as many of you are so quick to claim, why would I state there is no chance of impact (when I know this isn’t true)?”

    No, they’re mainly claiming that because of your “plasma discharge” video… and by the way you wish people are dreaming about your stuff.

  77. Tom

    >I don’t even think ‘on average’ is correct, from my research.

    Please cite where you did the research (stuff you wrote or videoed doesn’t count), then give us some idea of your experience that gives you the skills to interpret what you’ve seen properly. Email me directly if you prefer.

    I work in the space industry, and therefore generally avoid commenting on things like law, medicine, or cell phone sales because I don’t know them thoroughly enough to have a useful opinion on them.

    Have you tackled my homework assignment (from the previous post on this topic) yet? Once you do, your posts will be a bit more relevant and have some more meat to them compared to your clumsy parsing of words like ‘average’ and ‘known’ in web pages/press releases. I suspect your interest in actually becoming knowledgeable is low, though.

  78. Chip

    Chip,

    Nice name! If you’d been around a couple of day ago…you wouldn’t be using it!

    The object would have to be at least a 6th magnitude to be visible with the naked eye. Meaning it would have to be almost twice as close.

  79. Rachel

    For fun and giggles, I emailed a NASA employee email address found at the bottom of this link:

    http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2007TU24/2007TU24planning.html

    Since this is the link the doomsdayers keep giving out repeatedly citing “WHY IS THERE A PAGE FOR PLANNING IF NOTHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN!!>!>!>!>!>???”

    And also “how come there’s no NASA employees speaking about this?” Well, here you go, an email from an employee I received this morning. I asked him about the asteroid, if it is anything to be worried about, and also what exactly the “TU24 Planning Page” is for, if it’s a routine document to created to compile and share info about the asteroid or if it really signifies a problem. Though this question didn’t get answered, he did state it will not hit earth.

    Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for your interest in our work. We observe near-Earth
    asteroids with radar at the Goldstone and Arecibo telescopes and use
    “planning” websites to coordinate our observing plans with the
    telescope operators, engineers, and our scientific colleagues. That’s
    it.

    The website has various information describing what we know about the
    asteroid (very little in this case), how close it will get, its orbit
    around the Sun, and then more technical information about pointing the
    telescope, observing configurations, tuning the receivers, and so
    forth.

    2007 TU24 poses will not hit Earth next week so there’s no reason to
    be alarmed. To help clarify the situation, NASA’s Near-Earth Object
    Program Office here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued a news
    release this morning describing this asteroid. For more information,
    please see:

    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/

    Best wishes,

    Lance Benner

    So there we go.

  80. Rachel

    For fun and giggles, I emailed a NASA employee email address found at the bottom of this link:

    http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2007TU24/2007TU24planning.html

    Since this is the link the doomsdayers keep giving out repeatedly citing “WHY IS THERE A PAGE FOR PLANNING IF NOTHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN!!???”

    And also “how come there’s no NASA employees speaking about this?” Well, here you go, an email from an employee I received this morning. I asked him about the asteroid, if it is anything to be worried about, and also what exactly the “TU24 Planning Page” is for, if it’s a routine document to created to compile and share info about the asteroid or if it really signifies a problem. Though this question didn’t get answered, he did state it will not hit earth.

    Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for your interest in our work. We observe near-Earth
    asteroids with radar at the Goldstone and Arecibo telescopes and use
    “planning” websites to coordinate our observing plans with the
    telescope operators, engineers, and our scientific colleagues. That’s
    it.

    The website has various information describing what we know about the
    asteroid (very little in this case), how close it will get, its orbit
    around the Sun, and then more technical information about pointing the
    telescope, observing configurations, tuning the receivers, and so
    forth.

    2007 TU24 poses will not hit Earth next week so there’s no reason to
    be alarmed. To help clarify the situation, NASA’s Near-Earth Object
    Program Office here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued a news
    release this morning describing this asteroid. For more information,
    please see:

    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/

    Best wishes,

    Lance Benner

    So there we go.

  81. Rachel

    Hopefully my comment doesn’t get flagged as spam again.

    For fun and giggles, I emailed a NASA employee email address found at the bottom of this link:

    http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2007TU24/2007TU24planning.html

    Since this is the link the doomsdayers keep giving out repeatedly citing “WHY IS THERE A PAGE FOR PLANNING IF NOTHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN!!???”

    And also “how come there’s no NASA employees speaking about this?” Well, here you go, an email from an employee I received this morning. I asked him about the asteroid, if it is anything to be worried about, and also what exactly the “TU24 Planning Page” is for, if it’s a routine document to created to compile and share info about the asteroid or if it really signifies a problem.

    Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for your interest in our work. We observe near-Earth
    asteroids with radar at the Goldstone and Arecibo telescopes and use
    “planning” websites to coordinate our observing plans with the
    telescope operators, engineers, and our scientific colleagues. That’s
    it.

    The website has various information describing what we know about the
    asteroid (very little in this case), how close it will get, its orbit
    around the Sun, and then more technical information about pointing the
    telescope, observing configurations, tuning the receivers, and so
    forth.

    2007 TU24 poses will not hit Earth next week so there’s no reason to
    be alarmed. To help clarify the situation, NASA’s Near-Earth Object
    Program Office here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued a news
    release this morning describing this asteroid. For more information,
    please see:

    http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/

    Best wishes,

    Lance Benner

    The reply clearly states they use planning pages to observe asteroids. I’d bet money that there are several of these types of documents, one for at least new asteroids being observed. He also clearly says it won’t hit Earth. So there we go.

  82. sebastian

    I’m still worried. the goverment is probably just covering it up, we’re still gonna die. they’re just lying….i just want to live on for at least 30 years more…but hell!

    i hope that it doesn’t hit sweden! oh god oh god.

  83. Rachel

    Interesting to note though, that when I go to the link that Lance provided I cannot find any news releases from today. The last was on the 22nd. Am I missing something?

  84. who cares

    Who cares? What could we do about it if it were going to slam into earth? Live, people, and stop worrying about things over which we have no control.

  85. feralshad0w

    Anyone have any information or thoughts on the Asteroid 2004 MN4? I haent found anything recent on that, and I also remember hearing about something in 2012-2015 in somewhere in the 2-5% range. Sorry, but I cant remember the meteor name. (I know its still a pretty small chance stil but its interesting lol)

  86. johninlongmont

    700km to 530km…that’s about a 25% correction…one more of those before it arrives, and it’s pretty much within the moon’s orbit

  87. Rachel

    A question for the experts – if there were another correction, and it was found to be closer, even within the moon’s orbit…just HOW close could it get without being TOO close? How close before we begin to wonder if Earth “could” possibly suck it in with its pull?

    Just curious.

  88. safetyfactorman

    I must say that I am deeply skeptical of anything coming from “official” government sources, or for that matter, from academia. WE ARE CONSTANTLY BEING LIED TO. The problem with TU24 isn’t so much the potential impact of a single asteriod, but rather, the trend. What is the trend? I am not an astronomer, however, this is my understanding of what is going on, and why everybody should be thinking more about what is going to happen in the future. I sure hope that somebody can shoot holes through what I am about to say…

    1. Our solar system orbits the galactic center every 25 K years or so. Think of it this way. The milky way galaxy is like a cdrom. Our sun, and all the other gunk orbit around the galactic center, which is a black hole. The black hole is massive, and, is spinning at high rotational speed. The high rotational speed of the black hole causes it to flatten. The shape of the black hole is thus the shape of a cd-rom. The contents of the galaxy are stuck to this black hole, or gravity wave which in fact, may be very thin. The field strength of the black hole, even at large distances from the center of the galaxy, are significant.

    2. The solar systems orbital path around the galaxy isn’t just elliptical, the orbital path also contains a sinusoidal component – it oscillates above and below the galactic elliptic (plane). Basically, it means that as the sun rotates around the gallactic center, it moves above and below the galactic plane every 2100 years or so. Other objects in the galaxy also follow a similar behavior, but not identical behavior. These other objects will sometimes intersect the path that our solar system takes. Some people are suggesting that when our solar system crosses over the galactic elliptic, it may cause a pole shift. Or, a near miss by a massive object whose trajectory intersects our solar system, may also cause pole shifts for earth or the other planets.

    3. Here is the kicker. Field strength is the inverse square of distance. What this means is that the concentration of objects increases as objects approach the galactic plane. One can observe this by looking at photographs of galaxies on edge (similar to looking at a cdrom perpendicular to the hole in the center – it appears as a line). In the case of the galaxy, it appears as scatter diagram about the line, with highest concentration on the line. Field strength increases non-linearly. What this means is that the concentration of asteroids and other garbage that is going to intersect the path of our solar system will increase, and increase exponentially, until we cross over the galactic equinox in 2012. Sound bad, it should. It is.

    4. The climate changes occurring on earth are also occurring on the other planets of our solar system. The ice caps on mars are melting too. The atmospheric pressure on Neptune and the outer planets has increased over 40% in the past 18 years. If similar changes occurred on earth, all life would cease to exist. It has been suggested that global warming is a hoax, in order to prevent people from realizing the effect of the approach of our solar system to the gravity wave, which is the galactic equinox. 480 million years ago, earth went through one of its deepest ice ages. The concentration of carbon dioxide then was 10 times higher than it is today. Carbon dioxide lags temperature increases. Carbon dioxide is driven by temperature, carbon dioxide does not drive temperature.

    5. There is a close correlation between sunspot activity and temperature. This relationship has diverged in recent years, and is touted as evidence of mans impact on temperature. The approach of our solar system to the gravity wave and its effect is not considered at all.

    If what I have stated is essentially correct, then it should be getting discussed, at the very least, these ideas should be discussed, and discounted, if the elites wanted us to know the truth. The truth is hidden, and for good reason.

    It is my belief that, if there is going to be a real impact, we will not be given any warning whatsoever.

  89. Tom

    feral-

    2004 MN4 has been renamed Apophis. It will come very close in 2029. The next encounter is unpredictable, depending on exactly how close it gets in 2029

  90. Axel

    I would have to agree with safetyfactorman on this one. I do not trust anything from the government or media. I am only a little lenient on the NASA site, Figuring they know more than most would, no matter how much of “The truth” is coming through to the general public. At First I heard from my friends about TU24 and was a little worried until I read this site about it, and my worry dissapated. Most of what i’ve seen on this page is correct, and I thank you for informing me. I trust these more than the government, for said reasons. I am only 14 years young, so if I sound a little weak when I was worried, you can figure why. TU24, as I have read as much as I can about it, has a microscopic of at all chance of hitting the earth, Or effecting Earth in any way.

    “This object, between 150 and 600 meters in diameter, will reach an approximate apparent magnitude 10.3 on Jan. 29-30 before quickly becoming fainter as it moves further from Earth.”

    [ http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news157.html ]

    From my estimate, that is roughly the size of the Sears Tower, Give or take 100 meters or so, the Sears tower being roughly 450 Meters. That is a nice sized meteor, which could inflict major damage, as inflated by the, as they say, “Fear Mongers”. It has been totally blown out of proportion. It is not really to be worried about, but to be kept an eye on. You never know what could happen.

    Just my two cents ;)

  91. Alex

    I’m not sure about those facts you state, according to Nasa/JPL’s own animated site currently dedicated to 2007TU2 http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2007%20TU24;orb=1 shows that this asteroid will come as close as: .0045 AU or 148301.49 Miles from earth. Even Catalina Sky Survey(CSS)/Mt. Lemmon Survey&Siding Spring Survey(SSS) website:http://www.lpl.arizona.edu /css/css_sss_newdisc.html shows that 2007TU2 will come as close as .00096 AU or 89,238 Miles to earth. I’m not stating that it will hit earth, just that it will come much closer to earth than what NASA is admitting to in their PR forum/statements. I’m surprised that someone like you(Phil) has chosen to follow the NASA PR, and not done enough homework to realize it just isn’t so.

  92. Alex

    correction:
    when is stated: .0045 AU or 148301.49 Miles from earth I meant Kilometers.

  93. Alan

    Hmm….check your math, Alex: 0.0045 AU = 0.0045 x 93 million miles = 418,500 miles (roughly, of course). I also looked at the second site you referenced, and I’m not sure that the “EMoid” column is the distance of closest approach to Earth; it looks to me like all those numbers are orbital parameters that describe the orbit of the object around the Sun. Anybody know for sure?

    Given that there are several objects on that list with very small numbers in the “EMoid” column (for 2007 RS1 it’s .00005, for example), I’d bet that it’s not the distance from the Earth, because there would have been a nonstop flood of news stories about these objects long before now. If nothing else, I’d have heard about it on Coast-to-Coast AM (because that’s a nonstop outlet for people claiming their point of view is being suppressed by The Man), and I haven’t.

  94. 1. Our solar system orbits the galactic center every 25 K years or so.

    Actually, it’s every 225 million years, give or take a few millennia.

    The high rotational speed of the black hole causes it to flatten. The shape of the black hole is thus the shape of a cd-rom.

    There is a HUGE and fallacious jump between the first sentence and the second.

    Some people are suggesting that when our solar system crosses over the galactic elliptic, it may cause a pole shift. Or, a near miss by a massive object whose trajectory intersects our solar system, may also cause pole shifts for earth or the other planets.

    If you mean magnetic pole shifts, there is no evidence that the crossing of the galactic plane affects the Earth’s magnetic poles in any measurable way. Not all planets have magnetic fields in our solar system, so obviously their magnetic poles cannot be affected.

    If you mean PHYSICAL pole shifts – the planet rolling over – there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that this has ever happened. Not even the slightest shred of evidence that this happens.

    Pole shifts believers are usually planed X-ers… a special kind of douchebag who really should seek professional help. They’re a leap beyond the charged asteroid people.

    However, if it helps you to understand… the plane spins like a gyroscope. You can’t just flip it over by zipping it through a few particles of galactic plane dust.

    The ice caps on mars are melting too.

    The ice caps on Mars have been observed to melt and grow with the Martian seasons for something like 400 years.

    The atmospheric pressure on Neptune and the outer planets has increased over 40% in the past 18 years.

    And you have proof of this because you went there and dropped a barometer? There is no evidence of this.

    What is the atmospheric pressure on Neptune? On Earth it varies widely from place to place, day to day, minute to minute, by as much as 25% that I can think of off the top of my head (eye of a nasty hurricane, to the heaviest high pressure system). Please be more specific with your claim and provide evidence such as observations published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal.

    There is a close correlation between sunspot activity and temperature. This relationship has diverged in recent years,

    Those two statements contradict each other.

    If what I have stated is essentially correct, then it should be getting discussed, at the very least, these ideas should be discussed, and discounted,

    What you have stated is manifestly incorrect. I have discussed them here, and discounted them for you. Please toss your tinfoil hat in the recycling bin.

  95. bob332

    just a question, what WOULD happen if that asteroid smashed against us? Is it like an, end-of-the-world scenario, or just, you know, something in the scale of that other one that fell in Russia a century ago?

  96. Alan

    Since safetyfactorman wanted some holes shot in these, I figured I’d have a go. Any real astrophysics are quite welcome to correct me where necessary; I Am Not A Physicist. :)

    “1. Our solar system orbits the galactic center every 25 K years or so.”

    As far as I knew it was on the order of millions of tens of millions of years. Considering that the galaxy is 100k light-years across, I’m pretty sure it should take at least 100,000*pi years for anything to make one orbit.

    “Our sun, and all the other gunk orbit around the galactic center, which is a black hole. The black hole is massive, and, is spinning at high rotational speed.”

    I don’t think we’ve got any way to measure the rotation rate of the black hole, but Ok. Given that it’s holding the angular momentum of a few million suns’ worth of matter, I’ll just assume for the sake of argument that it’s spinning rapidly.

    “The high rotational speed of the black hole causes it to flatten. The shape of the black hole is thus the shape of a cd-rom. The contents of the galaxy are stuck to this black hole, or gravity wave which in fact, may be very thin. The field strength of the black hole, even at large distances from the center of the galaxy, are significant.”

    Even if it’s very flattened out, I don’t think it could possibly extend very far from the center (i.e., it’s more likely to look like a squashed sphere than a CD-ROM). I don’t have the background to do the math on how far from the center the edges could extend, but I’m sure we’d know if a super-thin event horizon was really reaching out into the galaxy. So far as I know no such observations have ever been made.

    To be blunt, the “stuck to the black hole” and “gravity wave” statements don’t appear to bear any resemblance to anything I can understand. It sounds like hand-waving woo, but maybe I’m just not familiar with the right background physics material.

    The field strength of the black hole, at distances greater than its largest measurement, should fall off as 1/R^2. By the time you are looking at things, say, 1/10th of the way to the edge of the galaxy, the field is weak even though the black hole is really massive.

    “2. The solar systems orbital path around the galaxy isn’t just elliptical, the orbital path also contains a sinusoidal component – it oscillates above and below the galactic elliptic (plane). Basically, it means that as the sun rotates around the gallactic center, it moves above and below the galactic plane every 2100 years or so.”

    Apart from the period I suppose this sounds about right. I’d expect us to pass through the plane once per orbit, give or take a bit depending on interaction with stuff in our neighborhood.

    “Some people are suggesting that when our solar system crosses over the galactic elliptic, it may cause a pole shift. Or, a near miss by a massive object whose trajectory intersects our solar system, may also cause pole shifts for earth or the other planets.”

    So far as I know, there’s no way to flip a planet over without a physical impact with a body of similar mass. I know the pole shift thing is really popular talk amongst some, but I haven’t seen anybody suggest a mechanism by which it could be accomplished that wouldn’t completely destroy the planet. It seems unlikely to me that this happens on a regular basis.

    “3. Here is the kicker. Field strength is the inverse square of distance. What this means is that the concentration of objects increases as objects approach the galactic plane. One can observe this by looking at photographs of galaxies on edge (similar to looking at a cdrom perpendicular to the hole in the center – it appears as a line).”

    As far as I knew, the inverse square falloff of gravity has nothing to do with the material in a galaxy arranging itself into a plane; I thought it was generally conservation of angular momentum which made that happen. But that’s neither here nor there I suppose.

    “In the case of the galaxy, it appears as scatter diagram about the line, with highest concentration on the line. Field strength increases non-linearly. What this means is that the concentration of asteroids and other garbage that is going to intersect the path of our solar system will increase, and increase exponentially, until we cross over the galactic equinox in 2012. Sound bad, it should. It is.”

    I would like some evidence about this exponential density increase; I don’t see how an inverse-square field necessarily means an exponential increase in the density of the material near the galactic plane. I have to be honest and say that I don’t think “exponentially increasing” actually means anything…I don’t suppose there’s a formula floating around out there you could point to?

    I didn’t know we cross over the galactic plane during the year 2012. It seems to me that it takes so long to swing up and down through the galaxy that any given year isn’t likely to be much more special than the other. I’d be glad to see any reasons why I’d be wrong though.

    “4. The climate changes occurring on earth are also occurring on the other planets of our solar system. The ice caps on mars are melting too. The atmospheric pressure on Neptune and the outer planets has increased over 40% in the past 18 years.”

    And (if I recall correctly) there are other bodies in the solar system that are experiencing opposite effects. GW gets discussed enough here that I’m just going to skip the remainder of the paragraph.

    “5. There is a close correlation between sunspot activity and temperature. This relationship has diverged in recent years, and is touted as evidence of mans impact on temperature. The approach of our solar system to the gravity wave and its effect is not considered at all.”

    I must say I’m ignorant of the long-term relationship between sunspot activity and Earth’s temperature, much less whether or not “the relationship has diverged in recent years.”

    Since “the gravity wave” is mentioned again in paragraphs 4 & 5, I have to say again that (in the context of this discussion) it doesn’t seem to refer to anything I know of in nature; you might as well say Earth will be affected by “quantum gabbleglotchets of the lurgid bee.”

  97. Alan

    Bah, minor corrections:
    1. I want “astrophysics folks” to correct me if I’m wrong ;)
    2. I would think we’d pass through the galactic plane twice per orbit.

  98. i say this guy works for the government, and is a coverup operation..

    just kidding, good information on what the real effects can come up as..

    but who knows for sure about this guy?

  99. alex

    Alan,

    My bad, really bad math; you’re right! if we go by NASA’s .0045 AU its:673191 Km and 418301 Miles. Phil I owe you an apology!

  100. Stuart

    I really should learn to write more succinctly. I’m sure my page-long posts put a lot of people off by their length. Because I explain things there that later posters still don’t understand.

    If I could learn to convey complex ideas in less than 300 words, all of which being mono-syllabic, maybe more people would read my work. (And then I could quit this stupid IT job and join Dr Plait as a science writer, too.)

    Oh, who am I kidding? Most of the doomsayers here wouldn’t read any contradictory information anyway, no matter how well written.

    BTW, it’s now the 25th, and we’re all still alive. Can we NOW call you a bunch of idiots, laugh in your faces, and smack you behind your heads?

  101. Stuart

    Oops, my bad. Where did I get “25″ from, when it’s actually the 29th that it won’t hit us.

    Oh wait, it actually won’t hit us every day of the year. :-)

    But I guess the rest of you will have another 4 days to pee in your pants. Or rather, 4 more days to cruelly make other people pee in their pants. Sadistic bastards, may a falling piece of satellite crash into your gardens and destroy your favourite patch of flowers.

  102. Tom

    Alex-

    Also, check your sources. The Java applet you used for your numbers has this disclaimer in bold letters above the image:

    The applet was implemented using 2-body methods, and hence should not be used for determining accurate long-term trajectories (over several years or decades) or PLANETARY ENCOUNTER CIRCUMSTANCES.

    Emphasis mine.

  103. bob332:

    http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/impacteffects/

    To answer your question, here’s the results I got:

    Your Inputs:
    Distance from Impact: 1000.00 km = 621.00 miles [edit: if it lands on Wyoming, and I'm in Canada...]
    Projectile Diameter: 300.00 m = 984.00 ft = 0.19 miles [edit: I know TU24 is 450m long, but it's essentially cylindrical so I guessed an equivalence to a 300m sphere]
    Projectile Density: 3000 kg/m^3
    Impact Velocity: 17.00 km/s = 10.56 miles/s
    Impact Angle: 45 degrees
    Target Density: 2500 kg/m^3
    Target Type: Sedimentary Rock [edit: like the central USA... imagine that I dropped it on Wyoming]

    Energy:
    Energy before atmospheric entry: 6.13 x 10^18 Joules = 1.46 x 10^3 MegaTons TNT [edit: about the energy of a decent bucket of sunshine]
    The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 3.0 x 10^4years [edit: rocks like that hit us about every 30000 years. Creepy.]

    Atmospheric Entry:
    The projectile begins to breakup at an altitude of 54000 meters = 177000 ft
    The projectile reaches the ground in a broken condition. The mass of projectile strikes the surface at velocity 16.1 km/s = 10 miles/s
    The impact energy is 5.53 x 10^18 Joules = 1.32 x 10^3MegaTons.
    The broken projectile fragments strike the ground in an ellipse of dimension 0.904 km by 0.639 km

    Major Global Changes:
    The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.
    The impact does not make a noticeable change in the Earth’s rotation period or the tilt of its axis.
    The impact does not shift the Earth’s orbit noticeably.

    Crater Dimensions:
    Crater shape is normal in spite of atmospheric crushing; fragments are not significantly dispersed.

    Transient Crater Diameter: 4.04 km = 2.51 miles
    Transient Crater Depth: 1.43 km = 0.888 miles

    Final Crater Diameter: 4.88 km = 3.03 miles [edit: about 3x the size of Meteor Crater in Arizona, IIRC]
    Final Crater Depth: 0.477 km = 0.296 miles

    The crater formed is a complex crater.
    The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 0.0348 km^3 = 0.00835 miles^3 [edit: this is much less than Mt. St. Helens]
    Roughly half the melt remains in the crater , where its average thickness is 2.71 meters = 8.89 feet

    Thermal Radiation:
    The fireball is below the horizon. There is no direct thermal radiation.

    Seismic Effects:
    The major seismic shaking will arrive at approximately 200 seconds.
    Richter Scale Magnitude: 6.7
    Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 1000 km:
    Nothing would be felt. However, seismic equipment may still detect the shaking.

    Ejecta:
    The ejecta will arrive approximately 494 seconds after the impact.
    At your position there is a fine dusting of ejecta with occasional larger fragments
    Average Ejecta Thickness: 2.39 micrometers = 0.094 1/1000 of an inch
    Mean Fragment Diameter: 67.5 micrometers = 2.66 1/1000 of an inch
    [edit: man, 2.39 microns of dust. I can already hear my wife complain]

    Air Blast:
    The air blast will arrive at approximately 3030 seconds.
    Peak Overpressure: 617 Pa = 0.00617 bars = 0.0876 psi
    Max wind velocity: 1.45 m/s = 3.24 mph
    Sound Intensity: 56 dB (Loud as heavy traffic)

  104. Nigel Depledge

    Evolving Squid, I take you don’t much like Wyoming…?

  105. crabclawz

    Flesh Squid,
    All very interesting. I must point out one slight error in your hilarious cornucopia of “information”. TU 24 will not impact this ridiculous planetary flesh clown show. In fact, it will make a CONTROLLED landing. Yes, flesh Squid, the invasion has started!!!
    Regards,
    Supreme Commander CCz

  106. Here’s some facts that should be taken into account:

    There is space junk out there, even a that distance. Collisions with that kind of stuff (including armaments, old or new,) could change the situation in a matter of seconds. Big bangs or whatever aside, there are occasons where one object in motion taps another object in motion, leaving the one slowed or stopped and sending the other off on a wave of energy, like in fake surfing pools. There’s some stuff seemingly small stuff out there that would not be handy to have slingshotted in our direction.

    The funds for new Space Shuttles and support services have been slashed or on-existent now for so long there is relatively nothing in place to go out and do anything about an asteroid, more on the lines of repairing any technology out there that gets damaged by a near flyby or the never ending pelting of space dust.
    Finally, nothing is static in the universe,certainly not in our solar system. Should be interesting to see what happens.

    Fund the shuttles and near space work…demand it!

    PS I wonder what they are thinking about on the Space Station?

  107. safetyfactorman writes:

    [[The ice caps on mars are melting too.]]

    One of them has decreased in size a bit for a couple of years.

    [[ The atmospheric pressure on Neptune and the outer planets has increased over 40% in the past 18 years.]]

    No it hasn’t. That would mean the mass of Neptune’s atmosphere would have had to increase 40%, and Neptune’s atmosphere is most of its mass. Where would the extra mass come from?

    [[ If similar changes occurred on earth, all life would cease to exist.]]

    No it wouldn’t. You can adapt to a 40% increase in pressure by drinking a cup of water so your ears pop.

    [[ It has been suggested that global warming is a hoax, in order to prevent people from realizing the effect of the approach of our solar system to the gravity wave, which is the galactic equinox.]]

    It has been suggested, yes, but not by people with any sense.

    [[ 480 million years ago, earth went through one of its deepest ice ages.]]

    580 million, if you mean the more recent of the two Neoproterozoic glaciations.

    [[ The concentration of carbon dioxide then was 10 times higher than it is today. Carbon dioxide lags temperature increases. Carbon dioxide is driven by temperature, carbon dioxide does not drive temperature.]]

    In a natural deglaciation, temperature does indeed lead carbon dioxide. That isn’t what is happening now. For 200 years CO2 has led temperature. And it is a greenhouse gas. Put more of a greenhouse gas in a planet’s atmosphere, and all else being equal, the temperature of the surface must increase. The Milankovic Cycles drive ice ages, but it’s the carbon dioxide (following the temperature) which amplifies the effect by a huge factor.

    [[5. There is a close correlation between sunspot activity and temperature. This relationship has diverged in recent years, and is touted as evidence of mans impact on temperature. The approach of our solar system to the gravity wave and its effect is not considered at all.]]

    Probably because there’s no physical object known as a “gravity wave.” By the way, the stuff about the galactic midplane is silly. If there’s an effect on Earth’s climate, it’s more likely because stars and interstellar gas and dust are thicker there, not because of a mysterious gravitational effect.

  108. BetterRed

    The ‘fear-mongers’ have been repeatedly slagged off, and in this particular case, maybe not without reason.

    But dismissing them over this (or other similar NEO scares) is missing the point. The point being ‘why are so many people pooping their pants’? Because we have NO defenses against them, nor are we trying to build any. The sort of destruction one of these things could do, as shown in previous posts, is mind-numbing. Yet billions is being spent to protect us against terrorist attacks even though the total victims killed in all such attacks to date is a fraction of the potential fatalities if a similiar object were to hit earth at some future date.

    Guess what I’m saying is: if the fear-mongers can spread fear enough, that people put real pressure on the goverments (if that’s even possible anymore), then just maybe some of all those billions could be used to really protect us.

  109. L Fuller

    Yet, causing fear for fictional consequences, I feel, will only create a “the boy that cried wolf” situation. What Phil Plait and other credible educators try to do is present the real problems with the tracking and study of NEOs. I would rather be educated in the realities of the situation when I approach my representatives in government than with misinformation.

  110. Whee 8D

    It does not change anything in the fact that if the asteroid is charged, it will react with our magnetosphere and this will cause plasma discharges that can cause megaton explosions like the one that happened in Tunguska, Siberia, that was of about 40 megatons. If this happens, in can for sure D00M A COMPLETE CITY.

  111. L Fuller

    If the asteroid is composed of catfish, the cats of the world will be well fed :) Fantasy is great for what-if scenarios.

  112. Stuart

    Dear Mr Whee 8D – You’re just not funny.

    Maybe such a delusion is currently banging about in the vacuum between your ears, but trust me, it is shared by no other creature in this or any other universe.

    Go back to your frat-house and drink yourself into a stupor (again) and leave the practical jokes to someone with an ounce of grey matter to call their own.

    And if you’re not a juvenile male with delusions of adequacy (as my post assumes), then you have even fewer excuses for your deplorable lack of any sense of civilized behaviour.

    Still worse, if you’re not just yanking our collective chains, and actually believe the tripe you just wrote, I can only hope the nice men from the Institute find you soon, before you hurt yourself again. If you would just take the pills they give you every morning, incidents like this wouldn’t keep happening.

  113. Yes, flesh Squid, the invasion has started!!!

    Shush. The impending arrival of my cephalopod minions is supposed to be a secret.

  114. Evolving Squid, I take you don’t much like Wyoming…?

    heh. I’ve never been there, so I wouldn’t know. I picked WY because it’s in the approximate centre of the USA.

    Nebraska would have been a better choice, but I’ve been to Nebraska and I like it there :)

  115. Besides, think of the benefits to Wyoming: a new tourist industry, an influx of scientific research, and likely new mining potential. It’s a win-win if you don’t happen to live within a few hundred km of where it hits.

  116. safetyfactorman

    Thanks for the comments:

    1. Correct – The sun orbits the galaxy every 200 million years or so. The precession of the equinoxes occurs every 25k years or so, which I was confused about. The movement of the sun through the galaxy is correct. It oscillates above and below the galactic plane. The sun passes through the galactic plane roughly every 2100 years. As far as I know, this is correct. PLEASE FOCUS ON THE KEY POINT. The issue is – is there increasing density of matter with decreasing proximity to the galactic plane. If this is true, then the probability of collisions with asteriods increases as the plane is approached. If this is true, why isn’t it a topic of discussion? The key point is that it SHOULD BE DISCUSSED, BUT ISN’T BEING DISCUSSED.

    2. There are two types of pole shifts. A magnetic pole shift, and geographical pole shift. Magnetic pole shifts have occurred several times in the past, and scientists are saying that a magnetic pole shift is imminent. Einstein endorsed Hapgoods idea that Geographical pole shifts have also occurred in the past. The movement of a large object close to earths orbit would exert massive gravitational forces on earth. It could cause a geopole shift, and also massive tsunamis. There are ancient texts that speak of the sun setting in the west, RISING IN THE WEST, and then setting in the west again. THIS TYPE OF TOPIC SHOULD ALSO SHOULD BE DISCUSSED, BUT ISN’T BEING DISCUSSED BY MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND/OR THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY.

    3. “A Satellite measuring the atmospheric pressure of Saturn for 18 years has indicated an increase in atmospheric pressure of 30% during that period of time” – Brooks Agnew Physicist. Global warming is a bottomless pit for debate. The main thing here is to raise the question – Are solar system changes occurring due to the approach of the sun to the galactic plane. If this true, then it should be discussed. It isn’t being discussed. Why?

    4. I am really amazed that a forum debunking bad astronomy doesn’t have this figured out right up front???? HELLO? For the most part, I am quoting other scientists, maybe not that accurately, but the essence of what I am putting forth is quite simple, and should be easy to place proper context to the information raised.

    If we are about to have a near miss, shouldn’t we be trying to understand and quantify whether the frequency of potential collisions is going to increase, stay constant, or decrease??? Based upon the absence of any clarification, I am assuming that the power elites already know quite well what is coming. They just don’t want to scare the chickens. It’s all about control.

  117. L Fuller

    safetyfactorman:

    1. I’m guessing your hypothesis is not true since the asteroids are traveling along with the solar system… whether or not the solar system approaches or departs from the galactic plane wouldn’t change that… so it isn’t being discussed.

    2. There is no evidence that the earth has flipped over. Period. At this I feel at least I can speak with some confidence since I am a geologist and such evidence has never been seen in the geologic record, and myth is, well, myth. It isn’t being discussed because it doesn’t happen.

    3. As far as I know, the average atmospheric pressure of Saturn has not increased. That would mean that Saturn is picking up more gas from somewhere and there is no source. So it isn’t discussed.

    4. You are either not quoting other scientists, or not accurately. Sorry to say that.

  118. Michael

    Arg, and I wanted to see it with my telescope.

    Question. Where exactly will the asteroid pass over the Earth? I understand the directory, but what I don’t understand is where on the Earth we would be able to see it.

    Southern hemisphere? Northern? Canada? Spain?

  119. L Fuller

    Oh, and I just looked up Brooks Agnew (easy enough to find references to him with a Google type search). From what I can see, he is trying to invent a mythology to tie science in with religion. This is no different than Creationists or ID proponents trying to distort biology to fit the Bible. Nothing I see in the writings I found is supported by science.

  120. Alan

    Jane Doe wrote: “There is space junk out there, even a that distance. Collisions with that kind of stuff (including armaments, old or new,) could change the situation in a matter of seconds. Big bangs or whatever aside, there are occasons where one object in motion taps another object in motion, leaving the one slowed or stopped and sending the other off on a wave of energy, like in fake surfing pools. There’s some stuff seemingly small stuff out there that would not be handy to have slingshotted in our direction.”

    Wow…just…no, not if you’re talking about 2007 TU-24. There is no man-made object in orbit around the earth that could change the orbit of something that side in any appreciable way. Any object, man made or not, that *is* that big (like the moon and other asteroids) is almost certainly already known, and its effects are included in any orbital projections.

    Apparently I should now add this disclaimer: there is a vanishingly small probability that there might be decent sized objects lurking around that could interact with something like TU-24 and unexpectedly change its orbit. But I think fretting over that is like being obsessed with the possibility that a 747 is going to fall on my house in rural Virginia.

  121. Alan

    BetterRedon wrote “But dismissing them over this (or other similar NEO scares) is missing the point. The point being ‘why are so many people pooping their pants’? Because we have NO defenses against them, nor are we trying to build any.”

    I agree with you that we should be actively working on a defense system. I agree that we’re blowing a lot of money chasing the terrorist boogeyman. (And no, I don’t want to have a discussion about Iraq and terrorism with anybody, whether you agree with me or not).

    What I *don’t* agree with you on is that fearmongerers like this can bring the right kind of pressure to get the ball rolling on a defense system. It’s the “nutter” factor; yeah, maybe they’re concerned about asteroid impacts, but they’re also worried about alien abductions, vampires, and shadow people. Or they want federal funding to find Bigfoot. Or…you get the idea, I hope.

    I would rather have professional and amateur astronomers and scientists prodding our governments to do something (and there are people doing that, it seems we just need more of them). Adding nutters into the mix won’t help in my opinion.

  122. wotthe7734

    feh. im in ur urthz, moonin ur asteroydz.

  123. Peter B

    Safetyfactorman said: “I must say that I am deeply skeptical of anything coming from “official” government sources, or for that matter, from academia. WE ARE CONSTANTLY BEING LIED TO.”

    Axel said: “I would have to agree with safetyfactorman on this one. I do not trust anything from the government or media. I am only a little lenient on the NASA site, Figuring they know more than most would, no matter how much of “The truth” is coming through to the general public.”

    Fine. So don’t trust what you hear from official government sources. Talk instead to your local amateur astronomy society. I hope you don’t think they’re also part of the conspiracy…

  124. Milton v. robertson

    Would someone please tell George that there is no particular connection of water to the moons gravity. I want to cry every time he says we’re 70% water and therefore subjected to tidal forces. I shouldn’t need to make a case for what most people know – think tidal force on a glass of water compared to the great lakes, do either have tidal gauges? It can’t be much if it takes 70% of the planet that is ocean to produce a tide of a few feet.

  125. Safetyfactorman barfed:
    The movement of a large object close to earths orbit would exert massive gravitational forces on earth.

    I missed this in my original comments. Your statement is correct – the movement of a massive object close to the Earth’s orbit would exert massive gravitation forces on the Earth.

    However, TU24 is not a large object, at least not when compared to something of planet size like the Earth or the moon (or Ceres, or Vesta, etc.)

    The mass of the Earth is approximately 6.6 sextillion tonnes.

    If we assume TU24 is a cylinder of length 450m and diameter 100m and is comprised of solid iron (unlikely, more likely stone and iron) it would have a mass of 19 billion tonnes – and that’s about the most it could POSSIBLY be.

    Earth:
    6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 tonnes

    TU24
    0,000,000,000,019,000,000,000 tonnes

    TU24 is, therefore, no larger than 2.8 trillionths of the Earth. That is absolutely miniscule.

    To put it in perspective, I run about 118 kg and something 2.8 trillionths of me would have a mass of 0.3 picograms.

    I could ingest that much plutonium and not even worry about getting cancer. In fact, I’d need to ingest 1000 times that amount to increase my cancer risk and plutonium is the most toxic substance known.

    So, once and for all, TU24 will not, and indeed CANNOT affect the earth due to gravity.

  126. Tom

    TU 24 is about the 80th closest NEO to pass Earth in the last 17 years:

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/Closest.html

    Once again, no big deal.

  127. Nigel Depledge

    Mitch said:
    “IF IT WAS GOING TO HIT~ none of us could do much about it and
    none of the worlds governments would alert us anyway to avert
    civil disorder”

    Well, aren’t you lucky that so few governments are able to prevent scientists from talking to the press and accessing the internet, then?

  128. Eliyahu

    Mitch said:
    “IF IT WAS GOING TO HIT~ none of us could do much about it and
    none of the worlds governments would alert us anyway to avert
    civil disorder”

    If it were going to hit and pretty much bring an end to life on earth, or to life as we know it, what difference would a few days of panic and civil disorder make? It’s like the story of the two guys who are to be shot by a firing squad. One starts hollering that he wants a blindfold. The second guy tells him, “Hey, shut up. Do you want to get them mad at us?”

    Fact is, if there were to be such a catastrophe, there’s no way to keep it a secret anyhow. As Ben Franklin wrote, three can keep a secret — if two of them are dead. That’s the big problem with most conspiracy theories. They presume that dozens — or even thousands — of people can keep something concealed with no good reason to do so.

  129. Michelle

    phil says he doesn’t work for nasa but he did work with the hubble space telescope ..then he says in his video hubble is a nasa program.. now who’s lying to us phil !! ?????

    and quit pretending your one of the big guys .. you don’t even work right now .

  130. wotthe7734

    Gaak. Bite your tongue, Michelle. (Or your keyboard.)

    NASA has a gazillion private contractors, consultants, and academic and other research institutions working with them on any given project at any given time. That’s very different from actually working directly for NASA. The “outsiders” always far outnumber the actual NASA employees.

    As for the “you don’t even work right now,” verily I say unto thee, GAAK!

    Writing a book is one of the toughest jobs there is. It takes more self-discipline and determination than just about any other kind of work I can think of.

    The deadlines are arbitrary – you never really know how long it’s going to take, but you have to set what you think is going to be a reasonable time frame and then do your damnedest to stick with it.

    You spend an awful lot of your time without anything outward to show for it – it’s all in your head, your computer, and a bunch of photocopies and scribbled notes and outlines. It can be pretty discouraging.

    If you’re working at home, you’re likely to run into conflict with family members or friends who don’t “get it” that you’re at work (dammit!), and who think your being in the house during “working hours” means you’re on call and can just drop everything if some minor “emergency” pops up.

    There’s also the financial uncertainty of working your butt off on speculation – of course you want your work to sell, but you’re never sure how it will do, and at least 99.999% of authors don’t get the million-dollar advances you always hear about. Writing full time………. well……….. you’re really going out on what can be a pretty flimsy limb.

    Add to that the amount of energy it takes to keep (willingly!) shoveling through the load of woo-woo bull$#!+ du jour, and trust me – our friendly local Bad Astronomer is busting his tail.

  131. Peter B

    Michelle said: “phil says he doesn’t work for nasa but he did work with the hubble space telescope ..then he says in his video hubble is a nasa program.. now who’s lying to us phil !! ????? and quit pretending your one of the big guys .. you don’t even work right now .”

    So which is it Michelle? If Phil “don’t work right now”, then he can hardly be working for NASA now, can he.

  132. safetyfactorman

    Ok.

    Here’s a different way of looking at what is going on. In terms of geological time, the fact that near impacts of asteroids are occurring more or less simultaneously for two planets of the solar system should be considered.

    1. Is this a common event? I should think not.

    2. Is it an uncommon event, but nothing to worry about? Not sure. Perhaps. However, near misses are a big deal. There should be some astronomer dude who can quickly leap in and say – probability distribution is such and such, and this event falls inside the normal distribution curve. Nothing to worry about, please go away now.

    3. Is this an uncommon event, which is highly onimous? You can be dead certain that the NASA boys know the answer to this one. They could easily trot out the probability distribution curves, and flush it from public view. I would buy that, because once they start talking probability distributions, it can easily be debated and examined. There is no such talk. No mention of probability curves and such, as far as I know.

    One thing is for sure, if we are notified of 3 or more such near collisions occurring almost simultaneously in the near future, you can more or less kiss your keester good bye.

    With regards to the Geologist who stated that Main Stream academia does not provide any evidence of geographical pole shifts, it is only because main stream academia ignores anomalous facts.

    Here are some facts:

    1. Tiahuanacu is a seaport that is 2.5 miles above sea level. It is supposed to be 15K years old. How does a seaport get to an elevation of 2.5 miles in 15k years, based upon the current consensus delusion propaganda of the mainstream academia?

    2. Underwater cities are being discovered all the time, for which there is absolutely NO historical reference. For example, there is an undersea city off the coast of cuba that is in 2000 ft of water. It is estimated to be over 5K years old. How does a city go to 2000 ft under water in 5k years? How about – sudden tectonic plate shifting (up and down) due to periodic near misses of LARGE astrological bodies???

    3. There are claims that a 200 mile long city exists off the coast of japan underwater. There are recent discoveries of submerged cities off the coast of India. No historical record of either.

    If these claims of underwater cities is true, then our understanding of how geology works is in very big need of clarification. Somebody also has to explain why there is no historical record for these missing cities and civilizations.

  133. Stuart

    safetyfactorman

    Do you have even the faintest clue how much devastation a “polar shift” would cause?

    Well, neither do I. But my gut feel is that sunken or raised cities wouldn’t be evidence for it – Those cities would be utterly destroyed! As in, not one stone on top of another anymore.

    A lot of conspiracy theorists and other loud-mouths really don’t have a clue as to the mind-bending scale of the universe. The vast distances, the huge energies involved. Even our tiny little Earth weighs so much, that any force powerful enough to “flip” it, would also violently re-arrange its surface, with dire consequences for us!

    And by the way, if these forces/near-miss asteroids caused a 180° rotation of Earth, what stopped it spinning? Why only a 180° movement instead of permanently spinning along multiple axes?

    Just go home, Chicken Little.

  134. safetyfactorman:

    1. Is this a common event? I should think not.

    Asteroids like this pass by the earth, ON AVERAGE, every 5 years. Asteroids pass Mars at a simliar rate. That means, on average, every 25 years this sort of event happens. So you may think not, but it is a common event.

    2. Is it an uncommon event, but nothing to worry about? Not sure. Perhaps. However, near misses are a big deal. There should be some astronomer dude who can quickly leap in and say – probability distribution is such and such, and this event falls inside the normal distribution curve. Nothing to worry about, please go away now.

    No, it is not an uncommon event, it is a common event that is nothing to worry about. A agree, near misses ARE a big deal since a near miss would be a hit, wouldn’t it? However, a near hit like TU24 is no big deal at all. And since astronomers have jumped in and said that this event falls inside the normal distribution curver, and have said there’s nothing to worry about, why keep harping on this stupidity?

    3. Is this an uncommon event, which is highly onimous? You can be dead certain that the NASA boys know the answer to this one.

    No, it’s not an uncommon event, it is a common event that is not highly ominous. Not only do NASA boys know this, anyone with even a rudimentary grasp of high school science can figure it out.

    It doesn’t NEED to be debated, because a debate needs two sides. There is no second side. Nobody needs to trot anything out except the FUD-mongers who need to trot out their insanity, and the doctors of the FUD-mongers who need to trot out their bag of anti-psychotics.

    1. Tiahuanacu is a seaport that is 2.5 miles above sea level. It is supposed to be 15K years old. How does a seaport get to an elevation of 2.5 miles in 15k years, based upon the current consensus delusion propaganda of the mainstream academia?

    Because it was built on a lakeshore and the lake receded? Essentially the same reason the Niagara Escarpment is 5-10 miles from Lake Ontario, even though it was once the lake shore.

    2. Underwater cities are being discovered all the time, for which there is absolutely NO historical reference. For example, there is an undersea city off the coast of cuba that is in 2000 ft of water. It is estimated to be over 5K years old. How does a city go to 2000 ft under water in 5k years? How about – sudden tectonic plate shifting (up and down) due to periodic near misses of LARGE astrological bodies???

    No, underwater cities are not being discovered all the time for which there is absolutely no historical reference. If you disagree with that assertion, provide evidence to the contrary.

    I will assume by “near miss” you mean “near hit” not “impact.” I’ll also assume that by “astrological” you mean “celestial”. Although I am sure a high-speed impact by Sylvia Browne would go far to improving things on Earth…

    The moon is, by a long shot, the largest celestial body that regularly misses the Earth, and the best it can manage is a 30 cm land bulge and a 15m sea bulge (in some narrow inlets). Some piddly little space rock passing by is not going to do anything. Seriously, what will it take to demonstrate this to you in a way that won’t involve calling down more of your woo-woo handwaving?

    One thing is for sure, if we are notified of 3 or more such near collisions occurring almost simultaneously in the near future, you can more or less kiss your keester good bye.

    Why? Explain. Be very specific.

  135. Sergio Resendez

    Wow evolving squid rocked this guy….no pun intended

  136. Sergio Resendez

    So let me get this straght just for conversation sake …..If it did hit it wouldn’t do much right?

  137. szmiya haruhi

    doesn’t the astroid’s track affected by gravity or magnetic field of earth?

  138. Stuart

    szmiya haruhion:

    Yes, it does.

    Yes, the astrophysicists have included this in their calculations.

    No, TU24 still won’t hit the Earth.

    And to recap: The various gravitational influences within the solar system are well understood, and well known. That also means that they’re highly predictable. We’re not just crossing our fingers and hoping, here.

  139. csrster

    “Probably because there’s no physical object known as a “gravity wave.””

    I’ll just muddy the waters here by noting that “gravity wave” is a common informal name for a buoyancy driven oscillation. Since the Earth does not, to the best of my knowledge, float in a buoyant medium, it is highly unlikely ever to be hit by one.

    As for this thread … I’m lost for words. But thanks Phil for doing the thankless (if you see what I mean). Hale-Bopp and the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide should remind all of us in science that misinformation and scaremongering amongst the vulnerable can have very unpleasant consequences.

  140. So let me get this straght just for conversation sake …..If it did hit it wouldn’t do much right?

    Much is a relative term. According to the simulator at http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/impacteffects/ it would dig a hole about 3x the size of Meteor Crater in the southwestern USA if it hit land. That would make it a bit unpleasant if you happened to be near where it hit.

    If it hit water, it would dig a slightly smaller crater and make some nasty tsunami action that would mess up some coastline.

    Rearrange some landscape: Yes
    Kill some people: definitely
    Sounding of the Third Trumpet*: Umm, no.
    End the world: definitely not.

    * Revelation 8:10

  141. Dr. Ed

    Ahh, y’all are no fun – I was counting on using this whole mess, coupled with a timely showing of Deep Impact, to get laid tonight.

    Nothing like taking advantage of FUD… ;)

  142. Sergio Resendez

    Thank you so much EVOLVING SQUID!!!………

  143. Nigel Depledge

    Michelle said:
    “phil says he doesn’t work for nasa but he did work with the hubble space telescope ..then he says in his video hubble is a nasa program.. now who’s lying to us phil !! ?????”

    It’s very simple Michelle.

    NASA operates Hubble. It leases observing time to various astronomers according to an applications programme that estimates the potential scientific merit of each request. Thus, Phil has used NASA as a service-provider.

    Thus, he was not a NASA employee.

  144. safetyfactorman writes:

    [[1. Tiahuanacu [sic] is a seaport that is 2.5 miles above sea level. It is supposed to be 15K years old. How does a seaport get to an elevation of 2.5 miles in 15k years, based upon the current consensus delusion propaganda of the mainstream academia?]]

    Who says Tiahuanaco is a seaport? And if it is, isn’t it located on a river?

    [[2. Underwater cities are being discovered all the time, for which there is absolutely NO historical reference. For example, there is an undersea city off the coast of cuba that is in 2000 ft of water. It is estimated to be over 5K years old. How does a city go to 2000 ft under water in 5k years? How about - sudden tectonic plate shifting (up and down) due to periodic near misses of LARGE astrological bodies???]]

    Who says this city exists? What’s your source?

    [[3. There are claims that a 200 mile long city exists off the coast of japan underwater. There are recent discoveries of submerged cities off the coast of India. No historical record of either.]]

    There are claims of all kinds of things, but an awful lot of those claims are by crackpots, hoaxers, or people who don’t know how to interpret what they’re seeing and leap to conclusions.

  145. Drax

    Just out of curiosity. They say this asteroid is moving pretty quick, and when you look at the orbits distance, it seems to progressively climb before passing and fall after passing. But from the 29th it’s closest approach to the 30th , it doesn’t seem to really go anywhere? why does it seem to slow down so much?
    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2007%20TU24;orb=1

    26th= .0188
    27th= .0136
    28th= .0086
    ————
    29th= .0045
    30th= .0047
    ————-
    31st= .0090
    1st= .0140

    Its probably a stupid question and was probably asked before, but I figured I’d ask anyway.

  146. Observer2008

    Ah ok well I have been reading numerous different versions about this asteroid, all over the web LOL! This one seems the most realistic version.

    We will all just have to wait and see though wont we ;)

    For me being based in the UK it should be passing Earth in approx 6 hrs time and it is now 22.46pm, but unfortunately I shall miss all the excitement as I will be asleep.

    I always miss the good stuff :( (

    Take care all xx

  147. taddoo7

    About an hour and 25 min to go…. no “strange weather” .. just weather… no earth quakes…no weird electrical disturbances..etc.
    just seems like any other night.

    BUT if i’m wrong.. see ya all on the other side! PEACE

  148. Peter B

    Observer 2008 said: “This one seems the most realistic version. We will all just have to wait and see though wont we…”

    You sound like you’re trying hard to not be convinced of what the Bad Astronomer is saying.

    If I have a problem with my car or my teeth, I ask a mechanic and a dentist respectively. I don’t assume they might be covering something up and instead ask some random person I find on the Internet.

    So when Phil says there’s nothing to worry about with this asteroid, I’m more likely to listen to him than to TU24.org.

  149. safetyfactorman

    This will be my last post to this site:

    “I do not fear bad or mean, but I am very much afraid of stupid.”

    1. To Devolving squid, if what you said about the frequency of near misses is correct, then you are without any credibility whatsoever. There have been at least 5 near misses of asteroids with earth within the last 2 months or so. And I quote:

    *********************************************

    The asteroid MD5 (bound for Mars; ETA January 30th) had a close call with Earth a couple of months ago (check orbital path). WD5 came closest to Earth around November 4, 2007, but wasn’t discovered by scientists until two weeks later.

    Then there was 2007 YP56 (orbit) coming halfway between our Earth and Moon (.5 lunar distance) on December 27th, 2007.

    2008 AF3 was discovered a few weeks ago, on January 10 [orbit] and was as close as our moon.

    2008 BW2 was also as close as our moon on January 16 [orbit] although it was relatively small.

    So, within a 2-month timespan we’ve have 5 asteroids that will have been dangerously close to the Earth. No wonder NASA wanted to keep mum with TU24 and say there’s no danger.

    *******************************************

    It doesn’t look very good at all when NASA discovers near miss asteroids 2 weeks after they pass by.

    2. Tiahuanacu is a seaport. At least it is designated as such, by the archeologist who lived there and studied it for 50 years. Didn’t any of you losers google “Tiahuanacu sea port”. The port could support hundreds of ships. Lake Titicaca is a salt lake, and it contains sea creatures. The fossils around Tiahuanacu are from the sea.

    3. Underwater cities ARE being found all the time.

    a. just do a google on “ocean engineer Paulina Zelitsky sunken city”. The chief geologist of the Cuban government has stated that the site is of human origin. The megalith structures are deemed to have sunk between 15,000 and 50,000 years ago.

    b. And I quote “6000-Year-Old Underwater Ruins Discovered Off Indian Coast (“..In a major marine archaeological discovery, the Indian scientists have come up with excellent geometric objects below the sea bed in the western coast similar to the Harappan like ruins.,,” – News)”

    c. google “Yonaguni island undersea ruins”. Lots to read, if you care to. But of course, ignorance is based upon a refusal to look at anything other than the dogma that narrow minds cling to.

    4. Albert Einstein stated that geographical pole shifts had occurred many times in the past. Why hasn’t anyone here addressed Big Al’s comments? Because you are MORONS???? Einstein supported both Hapgood and Velikovsky. The electric universe boys also support Velikovsky. Where is mainstream cosmology in addressing electric universe????? Duhhhhhh!!!!! Duhhhhhh! DOGMA. DOGMA. Duhhhhhh! Duhhhhh!

    5. “Probably because there’s no physical object known as a “gravity wave.” You may be right. But I do know one thing – galaxies exist. Matter revolves around the galactic center, more or less on a flat plane. The point is, to anyone with a neuron to contemplate, whether the density of objects increases or decreases with proximity to the galactic plane. Our solar system is approaching the galactic plane. Can any of you MORONS quote any scientific information that would address this issue?????????????

    6. Devolving Squid said “Asteroids do not become electromagnetically charged. They only way they could do so would literally be for someone to go up and rub cats all over them, or stroke the metal ones gently with a magnet.” Did you watch “Thunderbolts of the Gods”? Nasa couldn’t explain why the test collision with the asteroid resulted in a big zap. Your ignorance is astounding, that you should proffer yourself as an expert. You are an incompetent boob.

  150. safetyfactorman, in his usual charming manner, writes:

    [[Albert Einstein stated that geographical pole shifts had occurred many times in the past. Why hasn’t anyone here addressed Big Al’s comments? Because you are MORONS???? Einstein supported both Hapgood and Velikovsky. The electric universe boys also support Velikovsky. Where is mainstream cosmology in addressing electric universe????? Duhhhhhh!!!!! Duhhhhhh! DOGMA. DOGMA. Duhhhhhh! Duhhhhh!]]

    You are misrepresenting Einstein. He and Velikovsky were friends, and were often photographed together. But Einstein, while polite about it, did NOT buy Velikovsky’s theory. Nor does anyone who knows a bit about astronomy. And I couldn’t care less what the “electric universe boys” support, since they are also crackpots. The electric universe theory (stars are cathodes?) is contradicted by so much direct observation that you would have to be completely ignorant of modern astronomy to buy it.

  151. Nigel Depledge

    Safetyfactorman said:
    “1. To Devolving squid, if what you said about the frequency of near misses is correct, then you are without any credibility whatsoever. There have been at least 5 near misses of asteroids with earth within the last 2 months or so.

    So, within a 2-month timespan we’ve have 5 asteroids that will have been dangerously close to the Earth. No wonder NASA wanted to keep mum with TU24 and say there’s no danger.”

    OK, first off, you make no mention of how large these are compared to 2007 TU24. As Evolving Squid and the BA both pointed out, on average an object the size of TU24 will pass close by the Earth once every 5 years.

    Second, you ignore the concept of averages.

    Finally, you call these recent near passes “dangerous”, but you present no evidence that they had any effect whatsoever. In fact, most people will have been completely ignorant of their presence. Since they passed relatively close, and had no effect whatsoever, what is the danger from them?

    It is true that they could have been dangerous, had they impacted, but they did not. Therefore, no danger.

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