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  1. #1
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    Exclamation News :: It's 390m wide, called Apophis, and this asteroid could hit Earth in "2036".

    Article extract >>

    In Egyptian myth, Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness.
    A fitting name, astronomers reasoned, for a menace now hurtling towards Earth from outerspace. Scientists are monitoring the progress of a 390-metre wide asteroid discovered last year that is potentially on a collision course with the planet, and are imploring governments to decide on a strategy for dealing with it.

    Nasa has estimated that an impact from Apophis, which has an outside chance of hitting the Earth in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy released in the nuclear blast over Hiroshima. Thousands of square kilometres would be directly affected by the blast but the whole of the Earth would see the effects of the dust released into the atmosphere.
    And, scientists insist, there is actually very little time left to decide. At a recent meeting of experts in near-Earth objects (NEOs) in London, scientists said it could take decades to design, test and build the required technology to deflect the asteroid. Monica Grady, an expert in meteorites at the Open University, said: "It's a question of when, not if, a near Earth object collides with Earth. Many of the smaller objects break up when they reach the Earth's atmosphere and have no impact. However, a NEO larger than 1km [wide] will collide with Earth every few hundred thousand years and a NEO larger than 6km, which could cause mass extinction, will collide with Earth every hundred million years. We are overdue for a big one."

    Apophis had been intermittently tracked since its discovery in June last year but, in December, it started causing serious concern. Projecting the orbit of the asteroid into the future, astronomers had calculated that the odds of it hitting the Earth in 2029 were alarming. As more observations came in, the odds got higher.

    Having more than 20 years warning of potential impact might seem plenty of time. But, at last week's meeting, Andrea Carusi, president of the Spaceguard Foundation, said that the time for governments to make decisions on what to do was now, to give scientists time to prepare mitigation missions. At the peak of concern, Apophis asteroid was placed at four out of 10 on the Torino scale - a measure of the threat posed by an NEO where 10 is a certain collision which could cause a global catastrophe. This was the highest of any asteroid in recorded history and it had a 1 in 37 chance of hitting the Earth. The threat of a collision in 2029 was eventually ruled out at the end of last year.

    Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer from Queen's University Belfast, said: "When it does pass close to us on April 13 2029, the Earth will deflect it and change its orbit. There's a small possibility that if it passes through a particular point in space, the so-called keyhole, ... the Earth's gravity will change things so that when it comes back around again in 2036, it will collide with us." The chance of Apophis passing through the keyhole, a 600-metre patch of space, is 1 in 5,500 based on current information.

    There are no shortage of ideas on how to deflect asteroids. The Advanced Concepts Team at the European Space Agency have led the effort in designing a range of satellites and rockets to nudge asteroids on a collision course for Earth into a different orbit.

    No technology has been left unconsidered, even potentially dangerous ideas such as nuclear powered spacecraft. "The advantage of nuclear propulsion is a lot of power," said Prof Fitzsimmons. "The negative thing is that ... we haven't done it yet. Whereas with solar electric propulsion, there are several spacecraft now that do use this technology so we're fairly confident it would work."

    The favoured method is also potentially the easiest - throwing a spacecraft at an asteroid to change its direction. Esa plans to test this idea with its Don Quixote mission, where two satellites will be sent to an asteroid. One of them, Hidalgo, will collide with the asteroid at high speed while the other, Sancho, will measure the change in the object's orbit. Decisions on the actual design of these probes will be made in the coming months, with launch expected some time in the next decade. One idea that seems to have no support from astronomers is the use of explosives.

    Prof Fitzsimmons. "If you explode too close to impact, perhaps you'll get hit by several fragments rather than one, so you spread out the area of damage."

    In September, scientists at Strathclyde and Glasgow universities began computer simulations to work out the feasibility of changing the directions of asteroids on a collision course for Earth. In spring next year, there will be another opportunity for radar observations of Apophis that will help astronomers work out possible future orbits of the asteroid more accurately.

    If, at that stage, they cannot rule out an impact with Earth in 2036, the next chance to make better observations will not be until 2013. Nasa has argued that a final decision on what to do about Apophis will have to be made at that stage.

    "It may be a decision in 2013 whether or not to go ahead with a full-blown mitigation mission, but we need to start planning it before 2013," said Prof Fitzsimmons. In 2029, astronomers will know for sure if Apophis will pose a threat in 2036. If the worst-case scenarios turn out to be true and the Earth is not prepared, it will be too late. "If we wait until 2029, it would seem unlikely that you'd be able to do anything about 2036," said Mr Yates

    End extract <<

    Full article, source :: http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/arti...660485,00.html


    I was listening to a scientist talk about this on the radio earlier, and as he explained it, the potenital threat is real enough, and more so than some of the stories we've heard over the years.

    He advised that if a mission was indeed necessary, an effort to divert its course is the one he would advise.

    The current odds are 5,500/1

    Opinions?? Comments??

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    Last edited by Critic; 12-08-2005 at 12:23 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Assemble a crackteam of experienced oil drillers, lead by Bruce Willis, and Ben Afleck and all will be alright.

    I take this all in stride. If it is indeed our time to go, so be it. I'll be 51 when it happens. Hopefully I would have led a fullfilling and meaningful life by then.
    Can you be scared half to death twice?

  3. #3
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    I would want to see conclusive proof before wanting governments to start throwing untold billions of dollars at a problem that might just be a scientific beat up.
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  4. #4
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    Meh, Canada has billions in surplus, and we're never going to decide what to spend it on. Might aswell throw it away in space.
    Can you be scared half to death twice?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Bob
    I would want to see conclusive proof before wanting governments to start throwing untold billions of dollars at a problem that might just be a scientific beat up.
    Yeah, I agree. I would also like to know is NASA's budget is coming up for review soon and if that might have helped precipitate this 'finding!'

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTheoden
    Yeah, I agree. I would also like to know is NASA's budget is coming up for review soon and if that might have helped precipitate this 'finding!'
    I certainly hope that this finding has an effect on NASA's funding .

  7. #7
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    Just imagine the chaos... and people thought the looting during Katrina was bad!
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  8. #8
    lol it probably was for NASA's funding

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Bob
    I would want to see conclusive proof before wanting governments to start throwing untold billions of dollars at a problem that might just be a scientific beat up.
    And I will have a high school or undegrad student check the units conversion. Perhaps there is a misconversion from british unit to metric.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromage
    Meh, Canada has billions in surplus, and we're never going to decide what to spend it on. Might aswell throw it away in space.
    Perhaps improve the northern part of the country so the people can actually live somehow in this region, a bit further up from the US-CA border
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  11. #11
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    I hate it when 'scientists' say we're 'overdue' for anything. It's purely random, it's not like there's an asteroid machine shooting at us every hundred million years. For all they know we could go a billion years without one. The fact that we havent had one doesnt in any way increase the likelyhood we will have one, that would assume asteroids hitting the Earth is a definitive constant.

  12. #12
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    Well not sure if i'm worried quite yet, I mean if it did hit i'd be 52 years old... I'd be all crinkley and old then anyway. lol

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromage
    Assemble a crackteam of experienced oil drillers, lead by Bruce Willis, and Ben Afleck and all will be alright.

    I take this all in stride. If it is indeed our time to go, so be it. I'll be 51 when it happens. Hopefully I would have led a fullfilling and meaningful life by then.
    Hahahah! You basically put down what I was gonna say...Damn you for beating me too it

    Nicely put though, I don't think it could of been worded any better

  14. #14
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    Well that solves the problem of unix tme ending on January 19, 2038.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasha
    Well that solves the problem of unix tme ending on January 19, 2038.

    - Very good,

    Well if it misses we've always got 64bit
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  16. #16
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    The current odds are 5,500/1
    i wonder if any bookies will take a tenner on that?
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    lol, there seems to be one of these scare stories every so often. for all you people who are scared, here is a long list of minor-planet (asteroid) predicted encounters within 0.05 AU (7billion meters) of the earth

    http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/PHACloseApp.html
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  18. #18
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    sigh......

    another one of these "omg the earth is going to be hit" claims.

    no one could possible have an exact date on somthing, for anyone really knows one could hit us tomorrow.

    but on a more serious note...

    Ive read more claims of stuff hitting us then ive had hot dinners. if one was going to hit us without the next 30 odd years it would have happened by now.

    I can remember people saying and it being on the news that the world was gunna end when it turned the year 2000 now that was funny, think I was the only one that wasnt panicing.

    by the time that this claim gets anywhere remotely near us they would have designed a device to destroy it anyway.

    even if 1 does have the remote chance of hitting us and It does happen in the near future ill be old anyway.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALGORYTHM
    i wonder if any bookies will take a tenner on that?

    I'll stake the odds on that....lol.....if you win good luck finding me to collect though...hehe. I think I can find a good hiding spot by then.

    -Billy

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flumps
    sigh......

    another one of these "omg the earth is going to be hit" claims.
    It is funny that you say that, and sad at the same time.

    When the time comes to prepare against something serious, as this could be, there will not be enough funding. I cannot believe so many people think NASA is making things up, it shows in what a sad state the world is in. NASA has some of the worlds most brilliant minds, very doubtful that anyone even close to the level of those scientists has even ever visited this forum and yet half the people here doubt them...

    Got to love all the Einstein's all around the world.

  21. #21
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    didn't we recently get told that we were all going to get killed by a supervolcano somewhere in California? The pesemistic side of me thinks that this is all just a funding scare, the optimistic side of me thinks it might be a good thing as governments might see the need to put their arguments aside and work together

    I guess it depends on the day of the week as to which way i swing on that one

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebyp2
    didn't we recently get told that we were all going to get killed by a supervolcano somewhere in California? The pesemistic side of me thinks that this is all just a funding scare, the optimistic side of me thinks it might be a good thing as governments might see the need to put their arguments aside and work together
    Might you mean Yellowstone National Park? That is most definitely not a myth and there is very little doubt about the existence of a supervolacano there.

    Edit: As an update, you make it sound like someone told you it was going to happen tomorrow. Scientists say they are unsure of when it will happen, and that is exactly what they said. For this asteroid, they gave a specific prediction (which was shot down by someone here who knows about a million times less).
    Last edited by Lev; 12-08-2005 at 07:38 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lev
    Might you mean Yellowstone National Park? That is most definitely not a myth and there is very little doubt about the existence of a supervolacano there.

    Edit: As an update, you make it sound like someone told you it was going to happen tomorrow. Scientists say they are unsure of when it will happen, and that is exactly what they said. For this asteroid, they gave a specific prediction (which was shot down by someone here who knows about a million times less).
    quite possibly, i think it was one of those pub conversation that i then read about somewhere but not in a really 'paying attention' type fashion. To be fair i was being a little flippant, although i do hope that in the event of something happening people would work together rather than against each other.

  24. #24
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    Can't they just like shoot it with missle and it'll explode before it even reaches earth? I mean come on, we have nukes that could destroy earth, i'm sure we could destroy a 390 Meters wide meteor.
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  25. #25
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    that depeneds upon the structure and the matrial of the asteroid, doing that the asteriod would most likely reforem due to its gravitational pull on all the pieces. and the power needed is more than we have, most nuclear devices have yields of less than 1 megaton;

    8 km asteroid needs 512 megatons to be fragmented into 10 meter or smaller chunks
    9 km asteroid needs 729 megatons
    10 km asteroid needs 1 gigaton (1000 megatons)
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevey
    8 km asteroid needs 512 megatons to be fragmented into 10 meter or smaller chunks
    9 km asteroid needs 729 megatons
    10 km asteroid needs 1 gigaton (1000 megatons)
    This is interesting. Do you mind me asking where did you find that information? Would like to read through that, or any "calculation method".
    Have a question?

  27. #27
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    I've gotta say, i dinf this general theme of cynicism and not being all that bothered because i'll be 50 odd a bit strage myself.

    Personally, i'd rather be safe than sorry if in 5-10 years time this was deemed a real threat [or on anything like this].

    Now i favour the theory of giving an asteroid, meteor e.t.c. a nudge, as opposed to brute force with nukes. They are a last resort and our last line of defence, not our first.

    "Be Prepared"

    Saying you're 50 and you've had a full life is all fine and dandy for you, but there are quite a few billion other people who might disagree with that approach. This particular asteroid if it were to head directly for us would NOT be one to end life as we know it, however the devastation would be severe.

    Some projections have suggested that the Pacific Ocean is a possible target, with tsunami waves striking California for instance, and to a far larger magnitude than those of the the 26th December last year.

    This is far far bigger than just NASA and their funding, this particular asteroid, Apophis, has been on the "watch list" for too long for it to be accused of being a politically expedient tool in a row over a budget.

    If i knew with some certainty that my government or more likely a group of nation's had a contingency plan already in place, i'd be a lot more confident. Although with the way money and funding is distributed, i'm not too sure likely that is really, at least not yet.


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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevey
    that depeneds upon the structure and the matrial of the asteroid, doing that the asteriod would most likely reforem due to its gravitational pull on all the pieces.
    Is this a one piece asteroid or the kind where there is a major piece and many smaller parts (I forget the names)? If it is one piece, they should be able to explode it and from what I've read is that those usually do not reform. The other kind, which are more common, will more than likely reform. So, does anybody know what kind it is?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critic
    Article extract >>

    In Egyptian myth, Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness.
    A fitting name, astronomers reasoned, for a menace now hurtling towards Earth from outerspace. Scientists are monitoring the progress of a 390-metre wide asteroid discovered last year that is potentially on a collision course with the planet, and are imploring governments to decide on a strategy for dealing with it.

    Nasa has estimated that an impact from Apophis, which has an outside chance of hitting the Earth in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy released in the nuclear blast over Hiroshima. Thousands of square kilometres would be directly affected by the blast but the whole of the Earth would see the effects of the dust released into the atmosphere.
    And, scientists insist, there is actually very little time left to decide. At a recent meeting of experts in near-Earth objects (NEOs) in London, scientists said it could take decades to design, test and build the required technology to deflect the asteroid. Monica Grady, an expert in meteorites at the Open University, said: "It's a question of when, not if, a near Earth object collides with Earth. Many of the smaller objects break up when they reach the Earth's atmosphere and have no impact. However, a NEO larger than 1km [wide] will collide with Earth every few hundred thousand years and a NEO larger than 6km, which could cause mass extinction, will collide with Earth every hundred million years. We are overdue for a big one."

    Apophis had been intermittently tracked since its discovery in June last year but, in December, it started causing serious concern. Projecting the orbit of the asteroid into the future, astronomers had calculated that the odds of it hitting the Earth in 2029 were alarming. As more observations came in, the odds got higher.

    Having more than 20 years warning of potential impact might seem plenty of time. But, at last week's meeting, Andrea Carusi, president of the Spaceguard Foundation, said that the time for governments to make decisions on what to do was now, to give scientists time to prepare mitigation missions. At the peak of concern, Apophis asteroid was placed at four out of 10 on the Torino scale - a measure of the threat posed by an NEO where 10 is a certain collision which could cause a global catastrophe. This was the highest of any asteroid in recorded history and it had a 1 in 37 chance of hitting the Earth. The threat of a collision in 2029 was eventually ruled out at the end of last year.

    Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer from Queen's University Belfast, said: "When it does pass close to us on April 13 2029, the Earth will deflect it and change its orbit. There's a small possibility that if it passes through a particular point in space, the so-called keyhole, ... the Earth's gravity will change things so that when it comes back around again in 2036, it will collide with us." The chance of Apophis passing through the keyhole, a 600-metre patch of space, is 1 in 5,500 based on current information.

    There are no shortage of ideas on how to deflect asteroids. The Advanced Concepts Team at the European Space Agency have led the effort in designing a range of satellites and rockets to nudge asteroids on a collision course for Earth into a different orbit.

    No technology has been left unconsidered, even potentially dangerous ideas such as nuclear powered spacecraft. "The advantage of nuclear propulsion is a lot of power," said Prof Fitzsimmons. "The negative thing is that ... we haven't done it yet. Whereas with solar electric propulsion, there are several spacecraft now that do use this technology so we're fairly confident it would work."

    The favoured method is also potentially the easiest - throwing a spacecraft at an asteroid to change its direction. Esa plans to test this idea with its Don Quixote mission, where two satellites will be sent to an asteroid. One of them, Hidalgo, will collide with the asteroid at high speed while the other, Sancho, will measure the change in the object's orbit. Decisions on the actual design of these probes will be made in the coming months, with launch expected some time in the next decade. One idea that seems to have no support from astronomers is the use of explosives.

    Prof Fitzsimmons. "If you explode too close to impact, perhaps you'll get hit by several fragments rather than one, so you spread out the area of damage."

    In September, scientists at Strathclyde and Glasgow universities began computer simulations to work out the feasibility of changing the directions of asteroids on a collision course for Earth. In spring next year, there will be another opportunity for radar observations of Apophis that will help astronomers work out possible future orbits of the asteroid more accurately.

    If, at that stage, they cannot rule out an impact with Earth in 2036, the next chance to make better observations will not be until 2013. Nasa has argued that a final decision on what to do about Apophis will have to be made at that stage.

    "It may be a decision in 2013 whether or not to go ahead with a full-blown mitigation mission, but we need to start planning it before 2013," said Prof Fitzsimmons. In 2029, astronomers will know for sure if Apophis will pose a threat in 2036. If the worst-case scenarios turn out to be true and the Earth is not prepared, it will be too late. "If we wait until 2029, it would seem unlikely that you'd be able to do anything about 2036," said Mr Yates

    End extract <<

    Full article, source :: http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/arti...660485,00.html


    I was listening to a scientist talk about this on the radio earlier, and as he explained it, the potenital threat is real enough, and more so than some of the stories we've heard over the years.

    He advised that if a mission was indeed necessary, an effort to divert its course is the one he would advise.

    The current odds are 5,500/1

    Opinions?? Comments??

    Critic,

    Apophis is dead <3 Jack O'Niell killed him

    Now they went and named an asteroid after him

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Fernandez
    Apophis is dead <3 Jack O'Niell killed him
    hahaha, oh yeah, you're right. I was just watching Stagate last night too, and Apophis was mentioned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Bob
    hahaha, oh yeah, you're right. I was just watching Stagate last night too, and Apophis was mentioned.
    I got Seasons 1-8 as a DVD Boxset

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lev
    It is funny that you say that, and sad at the same time.

    When the time comes to prepare against something serious, as this could be, there will not be enough funding. I cannot believe so many people think NASA is making things up, it shows in what a sad state the world is in. NASA has some of the worlds most brilliant minds, very doubtful that anyone even close to the level of those scientists has even ever visited this forum and yet half the people here doubt them...

    Got to love all the Einstein's all around the world.
    and its sad to read that people think there survive it when/if it does hit.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Fernandez
    I got Seasons 1-8 as a DVD Boxset
    Got to get me one of those DVD Boxsets. I've been good this year. We'll see what Santa brings.
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  34. #34
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    Let it hit, I'll either be dead already or I'll be 90 years old. But really, they can't even predict the weather with 100% accuracy, how can they predict this so far in advance? I wouldn't start looking to add asteroid collision insurance to my home owner's policy just yet.
    But then on the other hand, if in 30 years it is certain that it's going to hit earth, can you imagine how chaotic it will be? Do you think that the governments of the world would tell it's citizens in advance? If it is going to happen, I'm glade that the chances are that it's not going to happen in my life time.

  35. #35
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    31 years, I wouldn't be surprised if a superpower hasn't blown us all up in some massive pre-emtive stike before then anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flumps
    and its sad to read that people think there survive it when/if it does hit.
    Don't like to bring up "old" threads, but... what do you mean ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lev
    Don't like to bring up "old" threads, but... what do you mean ?
    well if the asteroid or comet is big enough and it does hit us put it this way we wouldnt survive....

    forgetting about the dust that would block out the sun for a minute.....

    the panic of everyone rushing around and louting would be enough to kill us alone as we would get trampled on, mugged and proberly in the US shot.

    going back to the side effects.....

    it would block out the sund for proberly a year or two this alone would be long enough to kill us off, as plants wouldnt survive and so on.

    sure you could build a massive shelter but would it be big enough to house 8800,000 people + ? talk about all under the same roof.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Bob
    Got to get me one of those DVD Boxsets. I've been good this year. We'll see what Santa brings.
    You should!

    (love going off topic)

    I've watched it all (8 seasons) in the space of 2 weeks, and gonna do that again with some mates after xmas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flumps
    well if the asteroid or comet is big enough and it does hit us put it this way we wouldnt survive....

    forgetting about the dust that would block out the sun for a minute.....

    the panic of everyone rushing around and louting would be enough to kill us alone as we would get trampled on, mugged and proberly in the US shot.

    going back to the side effects.....

    it would block out the sund for proberly a year or two this alone would be long enough to kill us off, as plants wouldnt survive and so on.

    sure you could build a massive shelter but would it be big enough to house 8800,000 people + ? talk about all under the same roof.

    So you'd go down with a wimper not a fight then?

    That scenario doesn't even apply here for starters. It's 380m wide, and we know of its existence decades ahead of time, and if the need arises the means to do something about it.

    Am i missing something

    Critic,
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  40. #40
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    who cares if everybody else tooo die !
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