A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 1

clare

smiley - space
The scientists all say it is impossible that asteroid 2012 DA14 will hit the earth but, I mean, really, I am so curious, the scenarios - what are the possibilities if they are wrong and it does??

To start off, suppose it is just a bit off course and plows into the earth in a very shallow trajectory. How far will it skid before it either stops or falls off the edge of the earth?

I am interested in the science here smiley - geeksmiley - biggrinsmiley - scientist


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 2

ITIWBS

http://www.all-hd-wallpapers.com/wallpapers/space/496045.jpg


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 3

ITIWBS

...see the streak about 2/5 from the left and 2/5 from the bottom terminating in a crater surrounded by splash debris?


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 4

clare

smiley - space
Wow, great photo ITIWBS !

Now if someone could translate that into what would happen to soil, rocks, trees lakes and streams and even, buildings, if that happened on our planet, and for how far?


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 5

Rod

Hmm... wonder if I got the wrong heavenly body AND the wrong date?
A87778453


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 6

clare


smiley - rofl basket cases!


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 7

Alfster

I've already kissed my (_!_) goodbye.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 8

tucuxii

If it reached the surface it would break up before or during impacts releasing vaste amounts of energy with dire consequences for us all so it would not skip back into space however it could skip off the atmosphere....

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090302.html


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 9

ITIWBS

Admittedly, the photo of a feature on the far side of the moon is of an impact feature of the character made on an airless and waterless body.

The crater with the splash debris is the site of the initial impact, by an object hitting almost exactly tangent to the surface, the momentum carrying a major part of the splash debris into the plume extending on a diagonal to the left and toward the bottom of the page.

In alignment with that, a distance about like its own length, there's a clearly defined and smaller impact crater, possibly produced a piece of the object that 'bounced' on a high trajectory, making that crater when it fell back.




Arthur C. Clarke suggested that with a sizable object merely passing through the atmosphere on a grazing trajectory without quite impacting the surface, the effect would be like passing a scaled up blow torch over the surface of the planet beneath its path.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 10

Xanatic

You could look at the Tunguska incident, for a suggestion as to what could happen. If the asteroid hits the water, you might also end up with some quite devastating tsunamis.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 11

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

I've seen descriptions of the probable aftereffects of the object that ended the Age of the Dinosaurs 65 million years ago: tsunamis thousands of feet high that washed over and over the Indian subcontinent, molten material blasted into the stratosphere and then falling back to earth as fiery pellets. There is speculation that the most intelligent species of dinosaur ever was probably alive then, and might have seen the disaster coming. Maybe they were wading in cold water and wondering how much worse the climate could get. The answer was roaring down at them from space. smiley - yikes


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 12

Xanatic

The "Year without a summer" should also give you an idea what debris blasted into the atmosphere could do.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 13

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

That was 1816, wasn't it?


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 14

Xanatic

I believe so, at least that's what Rasputina would have you believe.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 15

ITIWBS

"The Year Without a Summer", also 1779.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 16

Yelbakk

Around where I live, it was also 2012.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 17

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

Was 1779 the year when New York Harbor froze solid? That was a mini-Ice Age, from what I've read. The cold period extended well into the 19th Century, though most years had adequate summers.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 18

deb - 36.5 down, 38 to go...chipping away at it

So we're all talking about the weather now, are we?

How very British* of us. smiley - biggrin

Deb smiley - cheerup

* yes, I know.


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 19

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

But a lot of us are not British. Americans talk about the weather quite often. Mark Twain said that he counted more than 100 types of weather in one 24-hour period. Vermonters are said to call Spring the Mud Season. Jeff Foxworthy [a Southern comedian who became famous for telling redneck jokes] said that New Englanders had four seasons: almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Road Construction. smiley - laugh he got it exactly right, too! smiley - ok


Just in case asteroid 2012 DA14 doesn't miss the earth

Post 20

tucuxii

There is the difference you have a climate we just get random weather (and if we talk about anything else our stiff upper lips might drop off)


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