Billion-Ton Comet May Have Missed Earth by a Few Hundred Kilometers in 1883

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    Nov 23, 2012 3:24 PM GMT
    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425780/billion-ton-comet-may-have-missed-earth-by-a-few-hundred-kilometers-in-1883/
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    Nov 23, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    what a GREAT thing to be concerned about NOW!
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    Nov 23, 2012 11:09 PM GMT
    Velociraptor saidwhat a GREAT thing to be concerned about NOW!


    Actually it is, seeing as most comets travel on elliptical orbits around our sun. In other words, it'll be back.
  • realjock666

    Posts: 79

    Nov 24, 2012 12:10 AM GMT
    Velociraptor saidwhat a GREAT thing to be concerned about NOW!


    +1 icon_razz.gif
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Nov 24, 2012 2:11 AM GMT
    From reading the underlying article, this seems to be highly speculative. There is only that one observation, and no one alse at the time has seen it. It should have been visible to the naked eye over a reasonably large swath of land, although not in Europe and the US where records would most likely be best. Still, someone should have seen it.

    Also, its mass is reported as "billions of tons", that's still only a hundredths of Shoemaker-Levi 9 that crashed into Jupiter not too long ago, and only a millionth of Halley's comet. But the impact would still have been significant and bad for humankind, but probably not lethal for the species.

    And there is little worry that we may have another close encounter with it. Although its orbital parameters, if it exixts, are unknown, the chances that when it returns on its assumed elliptical orbit to intersect the path of the earth around the sun gets as close again are infinitesimally small. And even taking that shot will have to wait some time, as comets have long orbital periods - think hundreds or thousands of years. And since it was reported as already broken up, chances are that the fragments will dissipate more during the coming millennia.
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    Nov 24, 2012 2:13 AM GMT
    I'm content if I miss the impact and am suddenly killed. The less you know upon death, the better. icon_wink.gif
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Nov 24, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    Velociraptor saidwhat a GREAT thing to be concerned about NOW!


    Actually it is, seeing as most comets travel on elliptical orbits around our sun. In other words, it'll be back.


    In thousands of years...