View Full Version : Astronomers Keeping Watch on Nearby Asteroids

07-25-2002, 10:10 PM
What about the asteroid they've spotted that's gonna hit us supposedly in 17years? I don't wanna die at the age of 37 :( I'm too young, I wanna have a family, watch them grow up, I wanna have grand children and die a little old senile lady warm in my bed surrounded by lots of dogs who I'll take in as strays when I get old and have no children to care for of my own :p

So when we all gonna meet up in the Bahama's or whatever it was we were trying to plan a year ago? Does anyone remember that? We can be united and all die together :D

07-26-2002, 11:46 AM
In the past few months, we've been startled by the news of asteroids flying uncomfortably close to Earth days before we even knew they existed. But those who worry when the next big asteroid will strike our planet will be happy to know that a couple asteroids have been found this month well in advance of their next near-Earth approaches.

On July 14, the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) telescope in New Mexico spotted an unidentified object moving relative to the stars. The asteroid, now named 2002 NY40, is heading toward Earth and on August 18 will pass within 330,000 miles (531,000 kilometers), or less than 1.4 times the distance to the moon. It's the closest call the asteroid is expected to make for at least the next 85 years. Estimated to be under a kilometer wide, the asteroid will brighten to better than 10th magnitude as it zips past Earth.

The 1-meter LINEAR telescope discovered both asteroids.

By the time 2002 NY40 safely moves past our planet, we should know whether or not another asteroid discovered by LINEAR this month is on a collision course to strike Earth in less than 17 years. After 2002 NT7 was first detected on July 9, preliminary estimates of its orbit suggested that, on February 1, 2019, the asteroid might try to share the same patch of cosmic real estate as Earth.

The initial perceived threat of a collision between the asteroid and our planet was so great that 2002 NT7 became the first asteroid to be rated higher than a 0 on the Palermo Impact Hazard Scale. Since then, as more observations of the asteroid have been made, its rank has dropped below 0 on the Palermo Scale. However, it remains at "1" on the Torino Impact Scale, meaning it still warrants "careful monitoring" before the chance of an impact can be ruled out. As astronomers continue to watch the asteroid and get a better understanding of its orbit, the danger of a collision in 2019 is likely to diminish even further.

07-26-2002, 12:21 PM
how depressing