That’s No Asteroid…Oh, Actually It Is

How important is it to identify killer asteroids before they strike your planet? Ask any dinosaurs. Oh, wait… Granted you also need a way to redirect them, but interest in finding them has picked up lately including a new privately funded program called the Asteroid Institute.

Using an open-source cloud platform known as ADAM — Asteroid  Discovery Analysis and Mapping — the program,  affiliated with B612 program along with others including the University of Washington, has already discovered 104 new asteroids and plotted their orbits.

What’s interesting is that the Institute doesn’t acquire any images itself. Instead, it uses new techniques to search through existing optical records to identify previously unnoticed asteroids and compute their trajectories.

You have to wonder how many other data sets are floating around that hold unknown discoveries waiting for the right algorithm and computing power. Of course, once you find the next extinction asteroid, you have to decide what to do about it. Laser? Bomb? A gentle push at a distance? Or hope for an alien obelisk to produce a deflector ray? How would you do it?

NASA is experimenting with moving asteroids. If you want to find some on your own, you might want to check out the atlas of existing ones.

27 thoughts on “That’s No Asteroid…Oh, Actually It Is

        1. “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”― Redd Foxx

          And I’ll get into George Carlin sometime soon. I missed him when I was younger.

          I’m collecting quotes and sharing them as:

          Olde Wisdom from Thee Frugal Curmudgeon

    1. That Alien Obelisk… Not the subject here, but that episode changed my life.
      I love how TOS is full of deep “reviews” about mankind and our foolish dealing with many subjects.

      1. Agree, the Q & A in TOS scripts were often way ahead of the times. Since then for the most part sci-fi is now mostly “action” based good guys/bad guy scenarios and dystopian futures due to over population, the hottest fuel driving climate change.

  1. yep,hubristic,self important busy work,hype,headlines,grant money,something something rocket start up,stock offering
    and it only works because you cant see the CO2 making us
    all a little light headed,wheeeeee,420ppm and riseing.

    1. Reducing CO2 is good, volcanic activities have occurred which reduced global warming immediately and only for the short term. So use the contrails from airliners to reflect solar heating, slowing global warming while waiting for CO2 reduction to occur. Simple and controllable because it is short term.

  2. Good point at the end! That’s why over the years, old records going back to the 19402 and 1950s have revealed the presence of unknown dwarf planets/Kuiper Belt objects. As it turns out, there’s a lot of stuff in the Solar system.

    1. What are we going to do with giant killer rocks from space. We blow them up, we just have more killer space crap flying around. Improving the chance of getting slammed next time around. We move them to a different path, will we know if it’ll slam into another killer rock, and send it in our direction? I know panic, and do something, anything, then worry about the consequences. Well, let the next generation or two deal.

      1. Would you want to know that you have cancer, even though some forms of them are incurable?

        The good news is that most of the planet killer asteroids are known (and not due to hit us anytime soon). We are now looking for the country killers and below.

        For example, following a strike by a country killer there’s a good probability for several years of poor crops planet wide. Thus having that knowledge gives time to stock up and reduce the lives lost to starvation. And if we can identify likely impact sites for city killers, those can be evacuated ahead of time.

        Putting on blinders just because you think there’s nothing we can do, is just like forgoing routine checks for cancer.

      2. turning a planet killer into a couple of hundred small rocks would easily make the difference between humanity going extinct vs loosing a couple of % of population…definitely know which I would choose…

      3. An array of asteroid/meteor deflecting robots which act semi-automatically when global monitoring systems detect a collision course object too large to burn up in earth’s atmosphere. The robots deflect the rock and it either never returns, collides with another object or the robots have to push it away again decades later. The hardware and software should not be complex or hard or even expensive to implement. The trouble is that egos and prejudices of some leading countries and/or federal administrations of same may get in the way of designing, launching and maintaining this global monitoring system. That’s why it’s probably best that an international body with the least political baggage, like the UN, be the one to sell the need for this asteroid deflection system to get the requisite nations and agencies on board. Meanwhile, tick…….tick…….tick…….

        1. “That’s why it’s probably best that an international body with the least political baggage, like the UN,”

          political baggage and the UN are synonyms.

          1. How did I know that reply was coming?? Say what you want about the UN but they have long proven useful because they ultimately have to satisfy the agenda of most, if not many member nations, not just those rightly or wrongly criticize it. The bottom line is nothing is being proposed-much less in production-that’s been roundly agreed upon to be safe, accurate and effective. And that certainly includes proposals, or the lack of them, from the UN’s loudest critics. Furthermore, those same critics seems to be the biggest procrastinators probably due to the fact that there’s no tangible profit incentive involved. Surely, a very foolish, selfish and self-destructive attitude.

    1. I thought the great genius Musk, Time mag’s Man of the Year, would have perfected 3D functioning robots by now. Didn’t he claim several years ago that for something like $60 million he could encircle the Earth with asteroid deflecting robots? Obviously, another one of that turkey’s pipe dreams. Well, someone better get deadly serious about this. How many asteroid fly-bys have there been in just the last 15 years which came so close that governments suppressed the news until after the encounter? And Apophis is due to blow Earth a kiss from just 13K miles away in 2029. Tick….Tick….. Tick…..Tick

    2. Was I out of the room when that turkey announced warp speed travel to Mars (103 million miles) has been achieved-and man made creation of a Martian ionosphere to shield living organisms from lethal cosmic radiation?

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