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Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 728572
Australia
07/18/2009 11:27 AM
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Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Earth travels through space at an incredible speed how doesn't earth get hit by meteorites?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 622589
United States
07/18/2009 11:42 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Earth travels through space at an incredible speed how doesn't earth get hit by meteorites?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 728572


We are hit constantly, however the atmosphere protects the surface so meteorites break apart and burn up. If you live in an area away from the city with minimal light pollution you can see tons of "shooting stars" in the night sky, which are these meteorites burning up in the atmosphere.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 728572
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07/18/2009 11:43 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Earth travels through space at an incredible speed how doesn't earth get hit by meteorites?


We are hit constantly, however the atmosphere protects the surface so meteorites break apart and burn up. If you live in an area away from the city with minimal light pollution you can see tons of "shooting stars" in the night sky, which are these meteorites burning up in the atmosphere.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 622589

yes but how bout bigger ones??
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 728138
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07/18/2009 11:44 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
There are tons of meteorites hitting the Earth constantly.

Maybe you meant to ask about "meteors"?
Candace

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07/18/2009 11:47 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Earth travels through space at an incredible speed how doesn't earth get hit by meteorites?


We are hit constantly, however the atmosphere protects the surface so meteorites break apart and burn up. If you live in an area away from the city with minimal light pollution you can see tons of "shooting stars" in the night sky, which are these meteorites burning up in the atmosphere.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 622589


Large dangerous meteoristes are also redirected or broken up by star fleet who has always been around earth and all other inhabited planets. Also, note the direction of those shooting stars, if they shoot ACROSS space they usually are craft that leave orange or yellow tails behind them. Meteors impacting our atmostphere are FALLING stars and do not travel horizonatally.

Last Edited by Candace on 07/18/2009 11:48 AM
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2009 11:48 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Earth travels through space at an incredible speed how doesn't earth get hit by meteorites?


We are hit constantly, however the atmosphere protects the surface so meteorites break apart and burn up. If you live in an area away from the city with minimal light pollution you can see tons of "shooting stars" in the night sky, which are these meteorites burning up in the atmosphere.

yes but how bout bigger ones??
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 728572


The Solar System is old. Most of the biggies in our vicinity have already been swallowed up.
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2009 11:48 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Uh-oh. Candy is online. Bye' y'all.
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2009 11:48 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Large dangerous meteoristes are also broken up by star fleet who has always been around earth and all other inhabited planets. Also, note the direction of those shooting stars, if they shoot ACROSS space they usually are craft that leave orange or yellow tails behind them. Meteors impacting our atmostphere are FALLING stars and do not travel horizonatally.
 Quoting: Candace


That, it must be said, is total bsflag
Anonymous Coward
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07/18/2009 11:54 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
There are tons of meteorites hitting the Earth constantly.

Maybe you meant to ask about "meteors"?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 728138



Meteoroids are small bodies that travel through space. Meteoroids are smaller than asteroids; most are smaller than the size of a pebble. Meteoroids have many sources. Most meteoroids come from asteroids that are broken apart by impacts with other asteroids. Other meteoroids come from the Moon, from comets, and from the planet Mars.

A meteor is a meteoroid that has entered the Earth's atmosphere, usually making a fiery trail as it falls. It is sometimes called a shooting star or a falling star. The friction between the fast-moving meteor and the gas in the Earth's atmosphere causes intense heat; the meteor glows with heat and then burns. Most meteors burn up before hitting the Earth. Only large meteors can survive the trip through our atmosphere. A fireball is any meteor that is brighter than Venus (magnitude -4). A meteor shower is a phenomenon in which many meteors fall through the atmosphere in a relatively short time and in approximately parallel trajectories. A very intense meteor shower is called a meteor storm.

A meteorite is a meteor that has fallen to Earth. These rare objects have survived a fiery fall through the Earth's atmosphere and have lost a lot of mass during that process. Meteorites are made up of rock and/or metals.
Neesie

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07/18/2009 11:54 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
our solar system travels at high velocity through our galaxy. sometimes as we go on this crazy carousel ride we enter into dangerous territories. The gravitational pulls of Other galactic bodies can sometimes launch huge meteors or comets that can come flying directly in our direction. we are mostly lucky as the planet jupiter and our sun with their huge mass has a strong gravitational pull and they take the brunt of the hits. but then sometimes if it goes just the right way we ourselves can be the target. The earth has sustained many catastropic hits in the past and will continue to do so, but it only happens every 33000 years or so (i'm guessing) give or take.
.A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.

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mt
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07/18/2009 11:57 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Earth travels through space at an incredible speed how doesn't earth get hit by meteorites?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 728572

if we did get hit often by large meteorites - we wouldn't be around
.
raxx

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07/18/2009 11:58 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
anything smaller than one meter gets burned
afa
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07/18/2009 11:58 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
Earth travels through space at an incredible speed how doesn't earth get hit by meteorites?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 728572

atmosphere... and we are really fucking tiny
Ponzi

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07/18/2009 11:59 AM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?




Large dangerous meteoristes are also broken up by star fleet who has always been around earth and all other inhabited planets. Also, note the direction of those shooting stars, if they shoot ACROSS space they usually are craft that leave orange or yellow tails behind them. Meteors impacting our atmostphere are FALLING stars and do not travel horizonatally.


yeah I remember that Star Trek episode, where captain Kirk got knocked out & lost his memory, lived with the indians on thier planet, got to bang a hot indian chic, they all thought he was a God. Spock somehow broke the Enterprise trying to stop a meteor, Kirk fired up the planets defence platform & stopped the meteor, but couldnt save the hot indian chic.
Land of the Fee, Home of the Slave
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Normal Is Subjective

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07/18/2009 02:21 PM
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Re: Why don't we get hit by meteorites more often?
More often than not it seems:


THE LIST: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls [link to www.sott.net]

NEOS, Planetary Defense and Government - A View From the Pentagon

Brigadier General S. Pete Worden
Cambridge Conference Network
07 Feb 2000

Within the United States space community there is a growing concern over "space situational awareness." We are beginning to understand that it is essential to identify and track virtually everything in earth orbit. Some of these objects, down to a few centimeters in size, present a potential threat to commercial and civil space operations such as the International Space Station.

What then should we do? What role should the US Government, and specifically the US DoD play in what everyone agrees is an international concern?

I'll begin my short CCNet-essay with a disclaimer. The US Department of Defense (DoD) has no official view on the Near-Earth Object (NEO) hazard. We have agreed to assist the overall United States effort led by NASA with technology and observational support. Official disclaimers out of the way, I'll provide my personal views in the remainder of the essay.

For those readers who don't know me, I'm a US Air Force officer with a background as a research astronomer. Although I began as a solar physicist my current research interests--in the few moments I have time to do research--are focused on NEOs and meteors. Most of my recent work for the Air Force has been in developing options to perform selected national security missions from and through space. In the past decade I was responsible for much of the US DoD work to develop small satellites, microsatellites and reusable satellite launchers. The 1994 Clementine mission to the moon (originally intended to include an asteroid flyby) was one of the my programs.

I will assume that most readers share in the view that NEOs have and will continue to play a central role in the evolution of life on this planet. I'll also assume that we more or less agree that we face a continuing threat from these objects. Most analyses focus on the big threats--objects which can threaten life globally and have the potential to destroy or seriously damage our species. I for one believe we should pay more attention to the "Tunguska-class" objects--100 meter or so objects which can strike up to several times per century with the destructiveness of a nuclear weapon.

NEO discussions in the United States have, as I believe they have everywhere, suffered from the fact that catastrophic NEO impacts are so rare and hence so unlikely to occur in our lifetimes. Whereas people may pay good money to see a movie thriller about asteroid strikes or read with great interest of the demise of the dinosaurs, a once- every-few- tens-of-millions-of- years possibility is not real to most people. Decision makers simply are unwilling to spend scarce resources on such an unlikely catastrophe -- however terrible it may be or even if it is inevitable.

Conversely, I can show people evidence of real strikes inflicting local and regional damage less than a century ago. Even more compelling are the frequent kiloton-level detonations our early warning satellites see in the earth's atmosphere. These are threats the public and its leaders will take seriously. These are threats we can understand. And these are even threats we could mitigate, if required, without recourse to nuclear technology.

Many of my colleagues in the US national security community have advocated a proactive role for our community. They would have us build and demonstrate a NEO defense system--perhaps based on nuclear weapons. This is premature. What we need now is a full characterization of first the phenomenon and then the threat which it might entail. We need to know how many objects there are, where they are and when any closely approach the Earth. And we need to know the composition and structure of all classes of NEOs. This is where the US national security establishment can play an important role."

S. Pete Worden, Brigadier General (sel),
USAF Deputy Director for Command and Control Headquarters,
United States Air Force
The Pentagon, Washington, DC USA
[link to www.sott.net]


NOT-SO-HARMLESS SHOOTING STARS

"In 1990, Victor Clube, an astrophysicist, and Bill Napier, an astronomer, published The Cosmic Winter, a book in which they describe performing orbital analyses of several of the meteor showers that hit Earth every year. Using sophisticated computer software, they carefully looked backward for thousands of years, tracing the orbits of comets, asteroids, and meteor showers until they uncovered something astounding. Many meteor showers are related to one another, such as the Taurids, Perseids, Piscids, and Orionids. In addition, some very large cosmic objects are related: the comets Encke and Rudnicki, the asteroids Oljato, Hephaistos, and about 100 others. Every one of those 100-plus cosmic bodies is at least a half-mile in diameter and some are miles wide. And what do they have in common? According to those scientists, every one is the offspring of the same massive comet that first entered our system less than 20,000 years ago! Clube and Napier calculated that, to account for all the debris they found strewn throughout our solar system, the original comet had to have been enormous.

So was this our megafauna killer? All the known facts fit. The comet may have ridden in on the supernova wave, [or was knocked into the solar system by the Companion Star - LKJ] then gone into orbit around the sun less than 20,000 years ago; or, if it was already here, the supernova debris wave may have knocked it into an Earth-crossing orbit. Either way, any time we look up into the night sky at a beautiful, dazzling display of shooting stars, there is an ominous side to that beauty. We are very likely seeing the leftover debris from a monster comet that finished off 40 million animals 12 to 13,000 years ago.

Clube and Napier also calculated that, because of subtle changes in the orbits of Earth and the remaining cosmic debris, Earth crosses through the densest part of the giant comet clouds about every 2 ,000 to 4,000 years [or 3,600 years?]. When we look at climate and ice-core records, we can see that pattern. For example the iridium, helium-3, nitrate, ammonium, and other key measurements seem to rise and fall in tandem, producing noticeable peaks around 18,000, 16,000, 13,000, 9,000, 5,000, and 2,000 years ago. In that pattern of peaks every 2,000 to 4,000 years, we may be seeing the "calling cards" of the returning mega-comet.

Fortunately, the oldest peaks were the heaviest bombardments, and things have been getting quieter since then, as the remains of the comet break up into even smaller pieces The danger is not past, however. Some of the remaining miles-wide pieces are big enough to do serious damage to our cities, climate, and global economy. Clube and Napier (1984) predicted that in the year 2000 and continuing for 400 years, Earth would enter another dangerous time in which the planet's changing orbit would bring us into a potential collision course with the densest parts of the clouds containing some very large debris. Twenty years after their prediction, we have just now moved into the danger zone. It is a widely accepted fact that some of those large objects are in Earth-crossing orbits at this very moment, and the only uncertainty is whether they will miss us, as is most likely, or whether they will crash into some part of our planet." [link to www.sott.net]



In light of the above the following may have ominous portent:


Military Hush-Up: Incoming Space Rocks Now Classified
By Leonard David 10 June 2009


For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth's atmosphere – but no longer.

A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.

The satellites' main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists.

The upshot: Space rocks that explode in the atmosphere are now classified. [link to www.space.com]
I thought I'd beat the inevitibility of death to death just a little bit.

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