City busting Earth Grazer Asteroid imminent near miss – just discovered 2 weeks ago

From the “bigger worries than global warming” department:


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Yet another indication that Asteroids are a far more serious threat than climate change. NASA scientists have just in the last few weeks detected a previously unknown Asteroid, a quarter of a mile across, approaching at an unusually high speed of 35km / second, which is due to narrowly miss the Earth on 31st October this year. The asteroid will only approach within 1.3 lunar distances of Earth, so this particular body poses no threat – but in terms of the scale of the solar system, this upcomming event counts as a very near miss. This asteroid is a wakeup call, a reminder of just how vulnerable we are to catastrophic impacts, and how little warning we might receive if such a threat were detected.

According to NASA;

2015 TB145

2015 TB145 was discovered on 2015 Oct 10 by the Pan-STARRS I survey. The object will approach the Earth within 0.00326 au (1.3 Lunar distances or about 490 000 km) on 2015 Oct 31 at about 17:00 UT (10 AM PDT). The asteroid is in an extremely eccentric (~0.86) and high inclination (~40 deg) orbit. It has a Tisserand parameter of 2.937 hinting that it may be cometary in nature. Its absolute magnitude of 19.8 indicates that its diameter is probably within a factor of two of 320 meters. At closest approach the SNRs/run at DSS-14 are expected to be over 20000, so this should be one of the best radar targets of the year. We hope to obtain images with a range resolution as high as 2 m/pixel using DSS-13 to transmit and Green Bank (and possibly Arecibo) to receive. The flyby presents a truly outstanding scientific opportunity to study the physical properties of this object.

The encounter velocity is 35 km/s, which is unusually high.

This is the closest approach by a known object this large until 1999 AN10 approaches within 1 lunar distance in August 2027. The last approach closer than this by an object with H < 20 was by 2004 XP14 in July 2006 at 1.1 lunar distances.

2015 TB145 could reach 10th magnitude before sunrise on October 31 for observers in North America, but it will be close to the waning gibbous Moon and probably challenging to see with small telescopes. The asteroid will be in Ursa Major at the time of closest approach. After closest approch 2015 TB145 will be a daytime object and too close to the Sun to observe with optical telescopes.

Radar observations are planned at DSS-14, DSS-13, Arecibo, Green Bank, and elements of the VLBA. Observations may also occur with the UHF radar at Haystack.

Read more:

If an unusually fast asteroid a quarter of a mile across struck an inhabited part of the world, the explosion would be many times larger than the half megaton Chelyabinsk meteor explosion, which was caused by a meteor with an estimated diameter of 55 ft. The explosion would be in the 10s of megatons, rivalling the largest atom bombs ever detonated – more than large enough to devastate an entire city.

How likely is such an impact? Thankfully really large impact events are very infrequent, though multi kiloton impact events are common – at least 26 such events have been detected since 2001, mostly in uninhabited regions. But there is no upper limit to the size of an impact event, and as this recent imminent near miss demonstrates, a serious threat could arise with very little warming.

What could be done to mitigate asteroid impact risk? At the very least better monitoring systems could be deployed, to try to provide at least some warning. Chelyabinsk received no warning when it was struck by a meteor. This asteroid was only detected a few weeks ago.

With enough warning people could be evacuated from likely impact zones. Even very large threats could potentially be addressed, if there was enough time to prepare.

In my opinion it is obscene that the world is spending countless billions chasing the imaginary perils of the climate dragon, while neglecting a far more serious threat to people’s lives.

228 thoughts on “City busting Earth Grazer Asteroid imminent near miss – just discovered 2 weeks ago

  1. We should be grateful that their models for simulating celestial mechanics are more accurate that their climate models.
    The difference between “settled” and “non-settled” science!

    • Also the difference between models based on known cycles and iterative models with dodgy foundations.

    • You may find out that they are not that accurate at the scale climastrology pretends to foresee. You may predict the trajectory of an asteroid for months quite well, for decades and centuries, not so.

      • Somebody
        Ad so?
        Your declarative statement is probably accurate. What is you recommendation? Don’t track anything ever? Do a better job of tracking?

      • Chip,
        I think “Somebody”s point was that orbital mechanics is a REAL science, with true predictive capability. Even so, even those guys are shy about making asteroid collision predictions 100 years ahead.
        Not so the climastrologists. Their models are dubious almost to the point of a joke, yet they’re making solemn world-ending predictions 100 years out.
        The contrast between true science and fake science was his point.

      • We can easily plot the trajectories of near earth objects for tens of decades to centuries to millennia. The ones that are the most likely to hit are the ones who’s trajectory is more difficult to pin down. We think we know what Apophis is going to do in 2029 but a deviation of just a few km and it goes through what is called a gravitational keyhole and set it up for an impact in 2036. The folks at JPL don’t think it will happen but the possibility is high enough that they would like to put a beacon on the rock to get a better ephemeris.

    • Well it is also true, that we can’t do anything about either one of those possibilities.
      But this object has at least been ” seen ” , so we do know it is there.
      The climate catastrophe, is just some ones and zeroes that someone is reading from an X-box screen.
      and it has nothing to do with cloud computing either.

    • Don’t use “They” to refer to rocket scientists and climate scientists in the same breath.
      The first term refers to those who rigorously abide by the scientific method, and are the top tier in measured IQ.
      Whereas people go into climate science if they aren’t competent for physics, medicine, Law, Engineering, dentistry or veterinary science.
      This streaming effect is the cause of the second group’s statistical incompetence, their superstitious faith in failed models, their confusion of their politics with science, and their lack of scientific integrity. This last is demonstrated by their failure to denounce the anti-scientific abuses disclosed by climategate.

    • 1. How many “city killer” sized asteroids are there? How many of them do
      we currently track? How often do they hit Earth?
      A “city killer” is an asteroid capable of destroying a very large city or
      metropolitan area. An example is the Tunguska asteroid that destroyed
      nearly 1000 square miles in Siberia in 1908. This asteroid (based on new
      understanding) was likely a 30-40 meter object that released about 3-5 MT
      of energy on impact (about 230-270 Hiroshima bombs).
      There are
      approximately 1 million objects of this size that cross the Earth’s orbit, yet
      we have observed and tracked less than 0.5% (i.e. < 5,000) of these “city
      Objects of this size impact Earth about every 300 years on average.
      (Ref: National Research Council Report on Defending Planet Earth: NearEarth
      Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies; Fig. 1, Pg. 4). This
      means there is roughly a 30 percent chance of an asteroid impact with
      energy greater than several hundred Hiroshima bombs somewhere on Earth
      in this century.

      B612 Foundation/SentinalMission, Supplementary FAQ

  2. “In my opinion it is obscene that the world is spending countless billions chasing the imaginary perils of the climate dragon, while neglecting a far more serious threat to people’s lives.”
    Couldn’t aggre more! Nuff said!

  3. According to CNN, Global Warming is the cause of increased asteroid/meteoroid collisions with earth. A fact not dispelled by the numskull Bill Nye, the lying by omission guy.

    • OMG, Paul. How stupid do you have to be to even ask the question about an asteroid flyby being caused by global warming? But now that I think about it, CO2 is so powerful it is probably affecting weather on the Sun! (do I need to add the /sarc/?)

      • It isn’t that she is so stupid, it’s that the people who wrote “the question” for her to ask, prepped those words for the people in her audience who are indeed so stupid as to take their daily dose of climate fear without investigating veracity, or intent.
        You may have noticed that she wasn’t interested in anything Bill Nye had to say and thus, kept interrupting him. Nye’s statement wasn’t important to the meme, the only important thing was to connect “climate change” with fearful event.

      • That is possibly the most idiotic clip I have ever heard. If our founding fathers knew to what depths journalism was going to fall, they would not have included freedom of the press in the Bill of Rights. Our “free press” is a joke.

      • Look at her mouth and facial expression in the still frame, above. That’s a “tell” that she’s lying. Her stretched out mouth indicates that she is stretching the truth and knows it. There are other facial give- aways with her, as well…

      • Not quite a parody, expat, I’m quite sure it’s pysop business as usual, as Alan is discussing. Like subliminal advertising, the object (in this case) is to create a subconscious association between catastrophic global warming and other sorts of more palpable catastrophic events, to generate/maintain a sense of urgency. Also to reinforce the CAWG is hard science aspect of the con, hence the siants guy, with his “this is also science” mantra.
        They are acting, I say, she playing the part (modeling) of the ordinary person living breathlessly anxious in a precarious world ever on the brink of destruction, with him playing the part of a wise man of Siants, dedicated to keeping us little people safe.
        “We” who grasp the basics of atmosphere/space are intended to see her as somewhat dopey, I’m rather sure, and to “gravitate” toward him, psychologically. My guess is this little “skit” was devised a few minutes earlier by Mr. Nerd, and she’s none too happy with her role in it, and was not being careful to “keep it real”, and so drifted into parody territory.

    • Well if we have global warming, the earth expands, and that increases the likelihood of a hit.
      See how easy that is ?

      • And if the atmosphere warms, it is less dense, and the asteroid will not be slowed down as much before hitting.
        Yeah, that’s the ticket…

    • UK news presenters are just as dumb as this. And in this instance you can not blame “the people who write the questions”.
      But, whilst neither the presenters nor their economics specialist could read or comprehend a large written number, they do all tend to confidently express a range of opinions on many technical matters, including economics, climate change and renewables.
      I guess that – you don’t know what you don’t know. Incompetence includes to tendency to overlook your own incompetence.

      • That video is very disturbing. The way I see it, those fines the banks regularly pay are a shakedown tax. They pay it with a wink and a nudge, and they are allowed to stay in business, overcharging the hoi polloi.
        It’s just a share the loot scheme. If the gov’t was serious, some bank officers would be in the penitentiary, and some banks would be put out of business. But that never happens, does it?

      • indefatigablefrog
        That was an LOL moment. Generally, you can’t really fault a non-scientific “civilian” for not spontaneously recognizing a number like that.
        However, she’s a news reporter presenting a prepared story that plainly contained a critical number she hadn’t thought about. Reporters (perhaps not this lady) do this all the time with “global warming” or what ever we’re calling it this week.
        Beauty is skin deep, but stupid goes clean thru…

      • “If the gov’t was serious, some bank officers would be in the penitentiary, and some banks would be put out of business. But that never happens, does it?”
        It does in Iceland.

      • I can fault them.
        I could have read that number when I was seven years old.
        These are ninnies, and we are living in the dumbification of civilization…truly an idiocracy.

    • This is two years old and has nothing to do with the current discovery in this post. Having said that, it is still the most stupid question of all time.

      • Those youngsters are understandably confused. To us, a billion was always a million million, but then the Americans started using the term for a thousandth that value, being lovers of hyperbole…. (grin)

    • Well CO2 gets charged with electro-solar energy and then acts like a magnet, since meteorites have metal in them, the electrically charged CO2 attracts the meteorites to earth. Just look at the facts; 26 multi kiloton impacts since 2001 alone. Yes there is no misery or evil CO2 is not capable of. Would not be surprised if CO2 attracted flesh eating alien zombies as well. (That there is so many zombie movies is no accident)

      • “hat there is so many zombie movies is no accident” indeed.
        Note that flesh is largely composed of carbon too, and zombies can’t get enough of it!

    • I’m prepared to believe that global warming is responsible for Bill Nye’s increasingly unscientific bent. Hyperthermia is known to cause all kinds of mental aberrations… There is however, no rational explanation for CNN.

  4. “more than large enough to devastate an entire city”
    At that speed and size it would devastate more the a large city in my option. If it hit say a deep area in one of earths oceans,the waves that would be created would be up to about a mile high and thousands of feet high when hit shore lines.
    Would not be a good day.

    • Quite agree !
      A near miss would mean to nearly miss (something) whereas, a “near hit” …….
      Polite Note to Eric re “impact events”.
      … so; should we say, “in the event of an impact event” ?
      An impact is an impact. An event is an event.
      To say “impact event” suggests some sort of tournament like jousting.
      Here in Britain, we watched a Met. Office TV weatherman (a few years ago) as he warned us of an impending “snow event” ! His snow event warning was laughed all the way to the “front pages” and never heard again.

    • That would be a matter of semantics–see how easy it is to create fear with a little word spinning?

    • I have seen a similar discussion on this usage elsewhere. It hinges, I believe, on the expanded meaning of the word “near”. If you truly mean “nearly”, then you are correct for “nearly miss(ed)” would be an actual hit. If you actually mean “nearby” as in “Dang! That was close!” then the usual understanding would be correct.

    • You have it wrong.
      This is a (adjective) miss. That is not the same as saying that it (adverbially) missed.
      So ” a near miss ” is correct; but ” it nearly missed is incorrect.

  5. With enough warning people could be evacuated from likely impact zones.
    Or at very least they could stick their fingers in their ears, stick their head between their knees and kiss their ar*e goodbye.

    • Just play dubstep at top volume on a 2400watt sound system, and the apocalypse, when it came, would pass you by, unnoticed.
      Your lucky neighbours would also be unaware that they had escaped annihilation.
      Although they may at that point be wishing for a merciful release from the torment.

  6. 2015 TB145’s orbital inclination and speed suggests it is of cometary origin. Comets travel faster than meteors and asteroids since their orbit extends far beyond the planets in the solar system.
    Because comets are faster (and sometimes much, much bigger) than asteroids, they have more destructive impact potential. The Earth has probably not been hit by a large comet in the last 3.8 billion years.
    Running the numbers on this body indicate if it hit land at a 90 degree angle, it would create a crater with a diameter of 5 kms, about 4 times larger than Meteor Crater in Arizona.

      • The path is calculated taking Earth/Moon gravity into account. Planets don’t just reach out and grab things as they go by.

      • I was going to say the same thing…the whole universe is within the gravitational influence of my cat.
        And I am talking about the smaller one!

      • “just the right size to obliterate Washington, DC.”
        Let’s hope that’s not the case, it’s not just politicians live near DC.

      • Unfortunately only the politicians would have the means to get out of town in time.
        Um, that means the politicians wouldn’t have anybody left working for them. And, that means they just might have to work themselves at an honest endeavor.
        Maybe not so unfortunate after all. Think of a politician forced to live in the world we do. Cool.

    • Correct me if I’m mistaken, but don’t they always (eventually) come in at a 90 degree angle ?
      You don’t see many craters that look like a ricochet.
      Or is it just me ?

      • I know that it’s counterintuitive, but no matter the angle of impact you get a circular crater.
        See Niven and Pournell’s “Lucifer’s Hammer”

      • Actually, very few hit at 90 degrees. Planetary geometry & motion makes objects much more likely to come in at an angle.

      • I think it’s the explosive impact that creates the crater. The crater’s much bigger than the asteroid; a little like a bomb going off – a really big bomb. The temperature at impact sites is high enough to form glass-like rocks.
        Those are just my assumptions though.

      • “Correct me if I’m mistaken, but don’t they always (eventually) come in at a 90 degree angle ?”
        Try throwing a stone into water at a shallow angle.
        The splash always goes vertically upwards.

      • catweazle666
        October 24, 2015 at 7:36 am
        October 23, 2015 at 7:46 am
        “Correct me if I’m mistaken, but don’t they always (eventually) come in at a 90 degree angle ?”
        October 24, 2015 at 7:36 am
        Try throwing a stone into water at a shallow angle.
        The splash always goes vertically upwards.

        Better yet, try shooting soft pellets into your favorite small tub of water with a camera mounted nearby to record the entry and splashes. A small container is better because you can note also the wet spots on the floor as temporary record of where the splashes go, in addition to the video record.
        Most of us will not have access to high-speed recording equipment, but your standard 24 or 30 fps digital camera will record enough information to verify what catweazle666 says, but there is more.
        No matter the angle of approach, projectiles hitting water always produce a vertical water column, or spike. In addition, my seat of the pants experiments described in the preceding paragraph also revealed that for low angle shots at least, there are also splashes fore and aft of the point of impact, but the ripples are always concentric circles radiating outward from the impact point no matter the approach angle of the impacting body.
        With asteroid or other rocky body impacting a planetary body, there is a great deal of heat generated at the instant of impact, which force melts the surrounding regolith so that it temporarily acts as a fluid long enough for a concentric ripple to form, and also sometimes a central spike, before the formation cools rapidly, and leaves its record not only for posterity, but also for curious astronomers.

    • The effects of comet impact would also depend on its composition. I gather that some are made up of mostly ice and some are also composed of many smaller fragments. Luck o’ the draw… Does anyone know if they (“the Authorities”) have the ability to measure density of these things?

      • The concept of infinity is invented by man , not nature . There is utterly no proof that the universe is infinite and that is where our understanding of “space” breaks down , what is the alternative to an infinite universe or more accurately infinite room for the universe to expand into ? Such thoughts quickly end up in the realm of Philosophy and specifically Metaphysics.

      • ddggrraahhaamm,
        But, but… there’s no proof that the universe is finite, either.
        I agree with you about metaphysics, etc. But sometimes it’s fun to speculate.
        What I wonder is, why is the speed of light so very slow?

    • The Earth has probably not been hit by a large comet in the last 3.8 billion years.
      The comet does not have to hit earth to cause immense damage. That type of an event has probably happened many times considering earth’s age. The passing of 1680 comet was fortunately far enough away not to cause major damage .

      • In your opinion, what can an object that passes close to the earth do to it?
        If you are talking about comet gasses, they are way to thin to hurt anyone. Heck, I doubt they could even be measured.

      • MARK W
        In your opinion, what can an object that passes close to the earth do to it?
        Remember I was talking about a large comet , the size of the one in 1680. If this came close enough to earth’s orbit, it could cause devastating damage like huge storms, sudden weather changes , volcanic eruptions , earth quakes , immense floods, tsunamis and even pole shifts . The impact of the charged tail alone would be devastating. I believe this could have happened before .

  7. If the asteroid is at the upper range of the estimate – 640 meters in diameter – and assuming a spherical geometry, and an average density of .002 kg/cc, then the kinetic energy = 1/2 mv^2:
    m = 4/3*pi*(320 m)^3 * 10^6 cc/m^3 * 0.002 kg/cc = 2.745*10^11 kg
    v = 35000 m/s
    ke = 1/2 * 2.745*10^11 kg * (35000 m/s)^2 = 1.68 * 10^20 kg m^2/s^2 = 1.68 * 10^20 joules
    A gigaton nuclear weapon would be 4.184×10^18 joules, so the kinetic energy, most of which would be expressed on impact, would be around 40 gigatons, or around 40,000 megatons, if my calculations are right.

    • I think you are right – it is based on the energy released for high explosive being set at 1000 calories per gram.

    • Would you happen to know what the energy released by a large volcanic explosion is – Vesuvius, St Helens, Krakatoa, Mt Toba?

    • I’ve updated the calculations, below …, taking the estimated (not worst case) size of the thing, and so forth. Somewhat lower ‘yield’ of course, but still … something really big. We simply do NOT want these kind of things impacting the planet, if we can help it. Oh … its not an “extinction event” sized object, or even a “civilization squashing” object. But it’d very likely “change the climate” for a few years. If (as is statistically most likely), it were to ‘impact’ one of the oceans, it might make quite the basin tsunami. Or not: I don’t have access to the nonlinear finite element plasma analysis that Lawrence Berkeley Labs has. GoatGuy

      • Goatee,
        My query is how many have there been in – say – the last 1,000 or 10,000 years.
        Certainly – absolutely certainly – our planet will get one – or more; perhaps two like it in twenty or fifty years.
        But – how long is it – sort-of-half-likely – to be . . . . . .
        By all means study.
        Let us also study defences.
        But the last – historic, archaeologic, recent palaentologic – years show little to match the Barringer Crater.
        Right – that sort of missile in the middle of any City will make dramatic changes in the cityscape – for sure, and likely cool the planet [dust] for some years.
        Even one a hundredth the size – sort of tennis court across at zzzip-speed.
        But we don’t get one every year.
        And there is a lot of wilderness into which they can fall.
        Even in the UK – land area – and enclosed lakes, like Loch Ness or Rutland Water – much area is pretty empty.
        Cities won’t get hit too often.
        Maybe a megacity is already line up – but that is not the way to bet in a century!

  8. Not to worry! By Ethan Siegel’s expert assessment in Forbes Magazine, says “Defending us from asteroids, from a reasonable cost-benefit analysis, simply isn’t worth the investment, statistically.” His essay was well presented — and aside from a bit of confusion about so-called ‘city killers’ and how often they are projected to arrive — it is a point of view that could be understood by any insurance underwriter.
    Why is then that my first though after reading the article was… Mr. Siegel… may you and the cost-benefit analysis you rode in on, go straight to HELL.
    When you learn you are facing an existential risk, isn’t it the moral responsibility of every parent to acknowledge that risk and take forward steps, whether large or small, towards the mitigation of that risk?
    Isn’t applying risk assessment to existential risks a bit like dividing by zero?

  9. I have always been curious about these types of events.
    If such an object crashed into the moon, could it push the moon out of orbit and a decaying orbit with earth?
    Now that would make for an interesting sci-fi movie. the world watching the moon begin to accelerate into the Earth’s atmosphere. Presumably it is possible the decay could be relatively slow, occurring over a number of years until it collides with us, with catastrophic consequences

    • Knocking the Moon “out of orbit” with a comet or asteroid would be like knocking down the Statue of Liberty with a BB gun.. Way too much mass and too stable an orbit to even cause a blip.
      Planetary orbits are not fragile.

      • Orbits are neither stable nor unstable, they just are. It’s not like the moon has worn a track in it’s current orbit that it has to be knocked out of.
        The only thing that matters is how much the moon’s speed and direction are changed by an impact. Or the gravitational tug of a passing mass.
        As you point out, the energy of any potential impactor is to small to change the moon’s orbit by more than a few feet, and the mass is so small that even a miss by only a few feet wouldn’t change the orbit by enough to be measured by even the most sensitive of instruments.

    • The only way to get a decaying orbit, would be to have the moon orbiting close enough to the earth that it was being impacted by the earth’s atmosphere. IE, the inner edge would have to be about 100 miles from the earth’s surface.

      • Which is a physical impossibility.
        Roche limit for Earth/Moon is about 18,000 kilometers. The Moon (and some of the Earth) would be pulled apart due to gravitational tidal forces at that distance.

    • Actually the Moon is thought to have been put into the sky by a collision of a small planetary body against the Earth. Obviously the consequences of such an impact are incompatible with life on Earth. Some scientists believe that the origin of the Moon had a lot to do with the development of the oceans and the atmosphere of the Earth, as many of the elements were trapped in the mantle and were released by the explosion.

    • Neal Stephenson’s new book (fiction) deals with the destruction of the moon. It wouldn’t be pretty.

    • Why would it be a decaying orbit; presuming of course that it never gets close enough to encounter any of earth’s atmosphere. Shall we say closest approach is 10,000 km.
      With the moon coming that close to earth at perigee, the tidal forces would be much greater than they are now, so the rate of transfer of angular momentum, from the earth to the moon would increase, and the moon would be drifting away from earth, like it is now, rather than slowly falling in.
      So if an object dislodged the moon into a 10,000 km perigee orbit, so it was a clean miss on the first pass, then it would never ever hit, unless dislodged again.

  10. The asteroid will only approach within 1.3 lunar distances of Earth, so this particular body poses no threat.

    Or, rather, that the the probability of impact is very low, even though possible consequences are catastrophic.
    Which is when the catastrophists and green-shirts wheel out the precautionary principle, and say “we must do something, just in case”. The religious might pray, which in a minimal form does at least have the merit of letting others get on with their own lives. The prayers can pray, and the rest get an unchanged tax rate.
    Having said that, I don’t think asteroid-impacters should be given a ride any easier than the global-warmers in their quest for publicity and funding.

    • Asteroids can wipe out all life on the planet, or at a minimum really ruin your day. The proof is in the planet’s surface. To compare this to CO2 is ridiculous. You may not care if humanity goes the way of the dinosaurs, but I do.

      • Let’s be clear about something. Humanity will go the way of the dinosaurs eventually. There are myriad possibilities, but the net sum outcome remains zero chance of infinite survival.

  11. The data says that really large asteroid impacts only happen once every 67 million years. (and counting)
    that doesn’t rate as a very big worry to me. These “near misses” have always been happening, they just seem scary because for the first time we actually know about them, thanks to technology.

    • You don’t need a really big one to cause problems. Meteor crater in AZ is only about 50K years old, if it had hit a modern city instead of the an uninhabited city, the death toll would have been in the millions.
      The meteor from last year was only about 50 feet across, but it managed to injure hundreds, even though it didn’t even make it to the surface.

      • How about Tunguska, only 107 years ago. It had enough energy to pretty much level a city. Lucky it exploded in remote Siberia.

      • Read somewhere that the flash from the Arizona impact would have blinded people all the way to Denver. That may or may not be true but you’d not want to be anywhere near when one hit. Various coastal areas around the world including the southern US and Western Australia have large boulders hundreds of miles inland – the result of tsunamis from impacts.

      • The Meteor Crater impactor was moving at the same sort of speed as this one: 35,000 MPH.

    • Hmm, is that counting the possibility of the Younger Dryas being caused by an impact event, or excluding it? The YD was only 12,900 years ago – a blink of a geological eye.

    • “The data says that really large asteroid impacts only happen once every 67 million years.” But it’s like “your chances of falling under a bus are once in every 20o years.” That doesn’t help those who fall under a bus tomorrow. So that really large asteroid impact could be next year – plausible that telescopes have not yet spotted it.

      • Dudley
        massive glaciation happens a lot more often than 65 million years too. Shouldn’t we be getting ready for that also, since another ice-age would destroy our civilisation?

      • “massive glaciation happens a lot more often than 65 million years too.”
        But it doesn’t approach at 35,000 MPH.

      • Paul
        October 24, 2015 at 5:05 am
        “massive glaciation happens a lot more often than 65 million years too.”
        But it doesn’t approach at 35,000 MPH.

        Unlike catastrophic global warming, apparently…

  12. “Chelyabinsk received no warning when it was struck by a meteor. ” It might be better to state that, “Chelyabinsk received no warning when it was struck by an “exploding meteor’s blast wave”.” Yeah, quibbling but a little more accurate.
    What’s interesting is the continuing discovery of objects that have orbits of high inclinations to the plane of the eliptic, i.e. the nominal plane where the planets orbit the Sun. You’d think that most of the comets and asteroids would have orbits closer to the eliptic plane as left over pieces from the formation of the solar system but, of course, that would be too easy. The Oort cloud extents out about half way to the nearest star so any object out there who’s orbit’s preturbed and ends up heading toward the Sun can come from any direction imajinable. Eye’s wide open and looking everywhere is the only answer.
    Not that we could do much of anything about it when something big (100m+) comes at us at 20km/sec+ but try to get the heck out of the impact zone. Yeah, even if the impact was in or over (object explodes prior to ground impact) an ocean the effects may be catastrophic because of the tsunamis created. “Ok, what do we do with the population of LA and it’s surrounding cities?”
    Am I going to worry about it? Nope. I can’t do anything about it so no sleep lost. Interesting to think about? You bet.

  13. Apparently there is one about the same size heading towards Earth which has a 1 in 63,000 chance of hitting us in 2032. They calculate an impact force of perhaps 2,500 megatons. I guess my question is; how is it that one potential asteroid strike can be discovered 17 years in advance, while another of similar size can be missed until weeks beforehand?

    If it struck the earth, the impact from 2013 TV135 would cause damage to an area of approximately 100,000 square miles – the equivalent of x – with an equivalent force to about 2,500 megatons of TNT, or 2,500 standard nuclear warhead-bearing US Minute Man II missiles.

    • The one in 2032 was spotted during a previous orbit when it came close to the earth. I’m guessing that on previous orbits, when the current one passed the earth’s orbit, it was on the other side of the sun, or far enough away that it was missed.

  14. That’s why we need to keep several Orion class spaceships in reserve.
    However, the concept has to be implemented &. tested first ASAP. If it looked feasible 47 years ago, in 1958, it’s certainly only a matter of funding &. will to do it today.
    It is getting urgent. The fact there was no planet buster collision in our past tells us nothing about its probability. Unconditional probability of our survival to this very date may be arbitrarily small, because we only know a conditional probability, that is, the probability of survival provided we do contemplate the issue. That’s exactly one, but this number is utterly uninformative about the future.

    • Ah… not so sure. Orion class space venturing is only thought to work. A lot remains to be done to make it actually so. This is not to say that I don’t also think we should be researching it!, just that it may turn out to have some really stupid ‘insolvable’ problems.
      At this point, PANSTARRS has figured out that of the 50% or so objects that it can detect mostly near the plane of the ecliptic, there are NEOs (near earth objects) or ECOs (Earth crossing objects) that are in the Earth/Moon distance at a rate of 1 every few years. Maybe more often, as we likely miss most of them (like this article’s object) that are coming in at a higher angle from the ecliptic. 1 a year.
      Thing is, to impact Earth, its a statistical problem. The circular bull’s eye target represented by the Earth-Moon system is 400,000 km in radius, or 500 billion km² in area. That’s the whole target, not the bull’s eye. The Earth (bull’s eye) is only 6,700 km in radius, or 141 million km² (0.414 billion km²) in area. So, statistically there is a 1 in 3,500 chance that one of those ‘once a year’ close flybys will actually impact good ol’ Urth.
      Wikipedia’s Earth Impact page ( ) seems to think that objects the size of this article’s focus impact the earth about every 79,000 years. I think rather not: Objects this size undoubtedly cross the Earth-Moon dartboard every few years, and with 1:3,500 chance of hitting Earth, that’s maybe 10,000 years between events.
      Do take a trip to the Wikipedia page: there’s an excellent map of the worldwide distribution of impacts and airbursts from 1994 to 2013. A map! Worthy.

  15. Working in IT infrastructure, sometimes managers who were never engineers ask silly questions before a core network change. Once, we were asked the question, which was essentially, “please list all the unknown issues you could have.” So… I went to, scrolled to the bottom of the page, used ScreenPresso to capture the Recent/Upcoming Potential Hazard list. I put that in the email and noted that NASA could be wrong and we could lose access to both data centers (one of those flying rocks was doing a flyby that day.) 😀

  16. Rather than Ursa Major, they should be training their telescopes just to the right of Orion’s Belt for companions trailing behind in the same orbit. Along with Frank Davis, I’ve tentatively linked three large meteors to known passing asteroids (same cosmic radiant; same cosmic speed before gravity well acceleration within 5-10% error). If linked, then the 5-10% error is due to to trajectory characterisation errors by Earth based meteor observers, not by the orbital simulation programme that is exquisitely accurate.
    Cosmic radiant for this one, 2015TB145, is around 4H 12min RA; -2° 07 min Declination. That’s not dead on (taken from JPL horizons @ 2 weeks out) but close enough for checking for rocks 2-5 days out and bearing down on us.
    Space agencies should be scanning all the way along the orbit line for companions as well, not just the ‘tunnel’ that the Earth makes through the rock train. This is the best opportunity in a decade to check for trailing rocks (large asteroid, close Earth MOID, close pass, high speed means associated meteors are difficult to mistake for anything else).
    The tunnel entrance is at the radiant given above. If we can firm it up a bit more accurate, I’ll post it up but we have other projects going.
    Meanwhile, here’s a link with more info (see comments including diagrams from Frank):

  17. “Even very large threats could potentially be addressed, if there was enough time to prepare.”
    That depends on the location of the impact.
    If it is on land, apart from the local impact damage and seismic effects, a very large quantity of dust will be injected into the atmosphere which will cause a severe cooling effect. It is probable that will not exterminate all of humanity and the higher animals.
    If it lands in the ocean, the majority of its kinetic energy will be transformed into superheated steam. The effect of that will be apocalyptic.

  18. As Phil sez…
    (1) Its likely cometary in nature: not exactly a fluffy snowball, but certainly low density … and would be destined to deflagrate on atmospheric entry unlike a metal-type or even a chondritic meteoroid. So, it would be more like an atomic bomb that a crater-digging meteor impact.
    (2) The likely diameter is based on its albedo, which is a chicken-and-egg problem: Until one can measure the actual diameter, the albedo can’t accurately be known. However, other similar bodies have been measured, so “guessing albedo around 0.33” isn’t bad. This leads to a diameter of 320 km, within a factor of 2.
    (3) The density of the thing, if cometary, would be low. Less than 2 Mg/m³ (metric tons per cubic meter). Could be as low as 0.3, but for a small object, that’d be rare. Call it 1 Mg/m³ ≡ 1000 kg/m³.
    PHIL made a little mistake in his calculations, but essentially
    r = ½d (radius is ½ diameter)
    V = ⁴/₃ π r³ (volume is related to radius cubed in his formula, not diameter!)
    M = ρV (mass is volume times density)
    E = ½Mv² (energy is related to square of velocity)
    1 kt = 4.12×10¹² joules
    Push ’em all together, and you get
    r = ½ 320
    r = 160 m
    V = ⁴/₃ π r³
    V = ⁴/₃ π 160³
    V = 17,100,000 m³
    M = ρV
    M = 1000 V
    M = 17,100,000,000 kg
    E = ½ Mv²
    E = ½ 17.1×10⁹ · 35,000²
    E = 1.05×10¹⁶ J (joules)
    E(kt) = 1.05×10¹⁶ ÷ 4.12×10¹²
    E(kt) = 2,550,000 kt
    E(Mt) = 2,550 megatons
    So … lets just say, that this sonuvabitch would be more than a little “city buster”. This would be something unleashing the entire power of the nuclear arsenal of China, France, Britain, India, Pakistan combined. Or about 25% of the estimate of all nuclear weapons that might be deployed in an ‘all out’ nuclear war.
    Nuclear Winter?
    Nah… not really. Most of the heat and explosive yield would dissipate relatively quickly, the meteor being a point-impact situation. But … to put it in perspective, at an atmospheric ‘detonation’ (complete deflagration to plasma, heat, explosive yield) of 50 km (Chelyabinsk) to ground level (Lawrence Berkeley sims), the “5 psi” ring would have a diameter of 200 km, or an area (πr²) of 30,000 km². this is about 300 times the area of the greater Parisian metropolitan area.
    City buster? Mmmm… region buster. This thing would make good ol’ Tunguska (Siberia 1908, 15 MT) look like a firecracker by comparison.
    (Thanks Phil, for the calculations)

    • “This leads to a diameter of 320 km, within a factor of 2. ”
      Shouldn’t that be meters? “…indicates that its diameter is probably within a factor of two of 320 meters

      • yes. Writing takes second place to calculating, I’m afraid. And this site doesn’t seem to let one EDIT the comment once posted. Glad you found that. The calculations tho’ remain correct.

    • Of course you do realise that ‘ 25% of the estimate of all nuclear weapons that might be deployed in an ‘all out’ nuclear war. ‘ have long been held to be more than enough to wipe the planet clean several times over?
      Well that was what the Soviet sponsored CND said, anyway.

      • Not really, Leo. (wipe planet clean, several times). We tend to forget or underestimate (we the common bloke, or ordinary hyped up reporter looking to make an attractive splash), just how BIG the earth is, and the scale(s) of energy required to significantly damage the ecosphere.
        For instance … 2,500 megaton to 10,000 megaton impactors hit the planet randomly and fairly frequently … anywhere from 5,000 years to 50,000 years [i]on the average[/i]. These are definitely [i]“nuclear arsenal sized impactors”[/i], yet … somewhat contrary to your [i]“wipe the planet out”[/i] scenario, they haven’t. Haven’t and can’t. Oh, they can make for a bad situation, for starvations and famines; they can trigger [i]“impact Winter”[/i] seasons, for at least a year, if not a decade.
        But this doesn’t [i]“wipe the planet clean”[/i] at all. True impact … not much different than if the [i]Gulf Stream[/i] were to cease for a decade or three. Which seems to happen with depressingly frequent periodicity.
        2,500 to 10,000 megaton of [i]“where the Hêll did that come from?”[/i] impactors [u]over land[/u] and especially [u]over highly populated areas[/u] (such as greater Europe), would be terrible, terrible events. Millions would die immediately, if anywhere near one of the Great Cities. But again, if we just [i]“do the statistics”[/i], the Great Cities make up less than 0.2% of the planet’s [i]entire[/i] surface. The [i]“asteroid winter”[/i] effect would be larger, but not likely to be global. Hemispheric? Sure. Truth is, even a big (not ‘giant’ as in Chixulub) relatively common-place event would have a 78% chance of hitting an ocean, a 21.8% chance of hitting a low-or-uninhabited corner of land, and a 1 in 500 chance of hitting a city.
        So, 1-in–500 times 1-in–10,000 years = 1 in 5 million chance [i]on any year[/i] of getting a big city hit with a big impactor. Worldwide. Chance of [b]your[/b] big city getting hit? Oh… one in a billion or so (there being 200 large cities, worldwide, say).
        I’ll be sleeping soundly tonight.
        And tomorrow.
        And the rest of my life.

    • “and would be destined to deflagrate on atmospheric entry unlike a metal-type or even a chondritic meteoroid. So, it would be more like an atomic bomb that a crater-digging meteor impact.”
      With regrets, no. Depends on what you think the depth of the atmosphere is, assume 70 km. So if it falls vertically it is 2 seconds from entry to impact. Not enough time to deflagrate or disintegrate. Coming in at a shallow angle, say it has 20 s between impact and entry, not enough time to do more than burn off the outermost 2 or 3 metres. Probably worst case would be a near horizontal entry – the famous skip and bounce entry originally favoured for returning astronauts before the heat-shield was developed – a white hot object like the Chelyabinsk object but rather larger and with a much longer trail of devastation.
      Someone considered a large asteroid knocking the moon out of orbit, which possibility was rightly debunked. But what about the possibility of the 1.3 earth-moon distance being a slight exaggeration, so it is not 1.3 but 1.03, and the asteroid skims the moon’s surface. How close would it have to be for the moon to alter the direction of travel by 90 degrees, and straight into earth? At a mean distance of 384 400 km and 35 km/s, this gives a tad over three hours to impact!

  19. When you have a problem, like an asteroid impact, that:
    a) is bound to happen eventually
    b) could result in the end of civilisation
    c) could be prevented at relatively trivial cost given enough warning
    it would seem utterly ludicrous, insane and stupid not to put in place reasonable preventative measures.
    Clearly such measures are not in place. Had this asteroid been discovered to be on a collision course there would currently be nothing we could do about it, given a warning period of just a few weeks.

    • Yes, you are correct: quite simply the aspects of this potential bolide that are “worrisome” are three:
      • (1) High inclination (from ecliptic)
      • (2) High velocity (35,000 m/s … 125,000 km/hr … 3,000,000 km/day)
      • (3) Large size (320 m diameter)
      The consequence of (1) is that it wasn’t discovered in the part of space where we’re intensively ‘watching’. We aren’t watching high above the ecliptic plane of the solar system because statistically most NEAs (near Earth asteroids) come in from angles close to the ecliptic. The PANSTARRS automated night-scan system though has ‘discovered’ (it is thought) most of the larger ecliptic oriented near-Earth or Earth-crossing objects. Most … meaning over 50%.
      Yet, the
      high inclination of this object indicates that there’s plenty of stuff coming in from the Oort Belt, which is thought to be nearly spherical around the Sun, and not particularly concentrated on the plane of the ecliptic. And, statistically, there is a nearly uniform distribution of one-pass comets (as measured by the SOHO Solar Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft) raining in from all angles relative to the ecliptic.
      The nearness and brightness (size, albedo) of the thing is what made it detectable to the PANSTARRS observatories. Nearness brought it closer to the
      “observation ecliptic”, and brightness allowed the cursory or high-scan rate observations to catch it.
      If we had only a few-week window of deflecting this sucker (should it have been determined to be an Earth impactor, and not a near-miss), I don’t think there’d be anything at all that we could cobble together. Maybe using a bunch of Russian and American ICBMs with upper stage modifications to exit Earth’s gravitational well, and loaded with old Cold War era 25 megaton thermonuclear weapons … to be detonated 1 km away from the thing … using
      Project Orion type ablative nuclear vectoring … could get it done.
      But the number of alarmists that’d decry the possibility of breaking it up and raining down billions of smaller meteors … would be deafening.
      And there’d only be weeks.
      The UN can’t even figure out how to revector its blue-ribbon team of croissant bakers … to make cakes … in 2 weeks.
      Just saying.

      • “But the number of alarmists that’d decry the possibility of breaking it up and raining down billions of smaller meteors … would be deafening.”
        I don’t understand at all about that consensus, since increasing the number of incoming meteors with a (massive) breakup also increases the meteor surface area exposed to atmosphere resulting in a reduced amount of mass reaching the surface. Also the impact craters would be more numerous but smaller.

      • GoatGuy
        Maybe using a bunch of Russian and American ICBMs with upper stage modifications to exit Earth’s gravitational well, and loaded with old Cold War era 25 megaton thermonuclear weapons … to be detonated 1 km away from the thing … using Project Orion type ablative nuclear vectoring … could get it done.
        If the planning has already been done and launch schedules set, for various attack profiles yeah maybe. But this would have to be the greatest “time on target” ever attempted. Fratricide is going to be an issue.
        And yes we would be truly f**ked

      • If it’s broken up early enough, some percentage of the fragments will miss the earth entirely.
        Not only would less mass reach the surface, but that mass would have been slowed down more than a single object would have been.

      • breaking it up and raining down billions of smaller meteors … would be deafening.
        Breaking it up means every piece of it has a different vector than the whole of it had. Assuming you do it far enough away, then nothing hits the planet. Kind of like detonating a grenade at 10,000 ft. in the air. The chance of any single piece of it hitting you is close to zero. I say hit it with something really big and keep doing it till there’s nothing in the tunnel to Earth.

    • It sure does “seem utterly ludicrous, insane and stupid”. Celebrity obsession is evidently much more important. I tend to feel this is evidence the IQ “Bell Curve” is really bulging up on the low side of the chart. Is this due to the complete failure of the government education system to produce critical thinkers?

    • I am not too worried. Human civilization has 5000 years since the Bronze Age. That is 2000 generations. In that time we know that no civilization busting asteroid has hit the Earth or we would know it. The chances of it happening during my turn on Earth are exceedingly small.
      I’ll take my chances. I am not buying your asteroid insurance.

      • Yes, but for 4500+ years of that time the total number of people was small, and civilisation was more robust in the sense that it was less connected and inter-dependent. So, everyone in North America could have died in 1450 and it would have had little direct effect on those people in Europe. That is not the case now.
        In addition, I am not sure that the argument that we should do nothing because no really major asteroid has yet hit is really a good argument. Even less so that we should do nothing because the odds of an impact are low in any particular generation.
        A large asteroid impact is one of the few really major natural disasters that we have the power to prevent now. And the cost would be relatively tiny. Perhaps a few percent of global defence spending.
        Can you imagine how dumb we will feel if tomorrow Europe, or North America or China got blown up by an asteroid and we knew we could have stopped it?

      • Because it hasn’t happened in 5K years, therefore it can’t happen? Or do you just care about whether it happens in your lifespan?

    • “ would seem utterly ludicrous, insane and stupid not to put in place reasonable preventative measures…”
      You’ve just succinctly described our present day leftist society.

      • One thing at a time. First, we have to put preventative measures in place to protect humanity from dangerous man-made global warming. Any money left over will be dedicated to asteroid detection and protection.
        Don’t worry.
         ☭ = ☹
        We have it under control.

  20. The takeaway is we will have a maximum of a two week warning. I rather doubt NASA or DARPA could pivot from climate scare routine to planet defense in that time frame. They could get dear leaders underground in time tough, while the climate scare band played on.

  21. We shouldn’t be worried. It’s not like it’s something ‘we’ caused. It’s Nature. It’s all natural. We shouldn’t interfere with nature. It’s part of the delicate, unchanging, balance of nature and shouldn’t be messed with. I’d say we should only be concerned with ‘our’ impacts (uh, maybe I should use a different word there) on nature: You know; the parts per quadrillion increase in atmospheric ozone that’s due to us. This is nothing other than a big thingy from nature; I’d say let’s worship it.

    • “It’s all natural. We shouldn’t interfere with nature”
      We all (should anyway) wear clothes to keep warm, is that interference?

    • Yes. All worship in the history of man stems from nature and just natural. Sad…. no doubt the religious nut balls would have a hay day with this one!

      • “Yes. All worship in the history of man stems from nature and just natural.”
        Says who? Your imagination? Someone else’s imagination?

    • We could call it CNB–Catastrophic Natural Bolides. However, since the “A” for Anthropogenic is missing and government can’t tax us due to the omission, it will never gain traction. /sarc

      • Sad but true. To do something about this would actually require that the powers that be actually put in an honest day’s labor for an honest day’s pay instead of seeking advantage, and utilizing opportunism, deception, and connections to unjustly enrich their otherwise talentless selves. Deceptive CAGW opportunism is more up their alley.

      • RockyRoad
        October 23, 2015 at 8:15 am
        We could call it CNB–Catastrophic Natural Bolides. However, since the “A” for Anthropogenic is missing and government can’t tax us due to the omission, it will never gain traction. /sarc

        We can generalize that expression into something more universal and useful: CNB = “Catastrophic Natural Bollocks”… /sarc, but not really.

  22. See NASA’s Near Earth Object Program

    In 1998, NASA established a goal to discover 90% of the NEOs larger than one kilometer in diameter and in 2005, Congress extended that goal to include 90% of the NEOs larger than 140 meters. There are thought to be about 1000 NEAs larger than one kilometer and roughly 15,000 larger than 140 meters. The progress toward meeting these goals can be monitored on the NEO Discovery page.

    Torino Impact Hazard Scale
    Near Earth Asteroid Discovery Statistics
    Sentry Risk Table
    Hazardous NEO Technical Reviews

  23. This may give an idea on how complex orbital mechanics can be. Going from three body to four five or more … Also if the object was originally a comet there may still be some gas pockets that can vent, thus slightly altering its expected orbit.
    As for threat levels, anyone recall Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9?

  24. Would it be correct to say that an impact by this body would do damage comparable to what would be expected from the Yellowstone super-volcano, or is its potential for damage less?

    • Off hand I would say the asteroid more than Yellowstone when you think about the energy hitting offshore and propagating to many shorelines as well as effects on atmosphere. And no one has any clue what effects come from an impact shock on continental plate boundaries with built up energy. Nor is there any information on oceanic volcano or sea mount slump-collapse from large shocks to the crust. Yellowstone by contrast is more of a regional smothering with ample warning and large atmospheric effects. Both are large effects though. It would be hot then very cold. I doubt the electric grid would be in very good shape and renewable power sources would falter. Leadership might also be in short supply.

      • “It would be hot then very cold…Leadership might also be in short supply.”
        I’ve been saying for year; buy insulation and buy ammo.

  25. After considering what a U.S. multi-agency response might look like, I would rather take my chances out in the open with no supplies.

  26. I follow most days all sky fireball network and the near asteroid item on space It might just be me, but there seems to a spike in the observation in fire balls and new near earth astroids in the last three weeks. 1612-1630. Something is different lately.

  27. We have to build a supply of large trampolines and position them in strategic locations all around the Earth.
    Then, when one of these gets close, we calculate the trajectory and put one of the trampolines at the impact spot.
    Okay, OKay…so they would have to be really big ones…I think I said that t start with.
    We just need to hope they are more like bowling balls than like watermelons.
    Ever see a watermelon dropped on a trampoline?
    Well, so maybe it would now matter after all!

  28. We have to build a supply of large trampolines and position them in strategic locations all around the Earth.
    Then, when one of these gets close, we calculate the trajectory and put one of the trampolines at the impact spot.
    Okay, OKay…so they would have to be really big ones…I think I said that to start with.
    We just need to hope they are more like bowling balls than like watermelons.
    Ever see a watermelon dropped on a trampoline?
    Well, so maybe it would not matter after all!

  29. Here’s quite a good analysis of the effects, from Imperial College.
    You can play with the numbers yourself, but to summarise.
    A hit on land would cause a crater about 4 to 5 km in diameter, and 500m deep.
    If you were 100 km away, nothing all that dramatic would happen to you. At 10km, you’d suffer 3rd degree burns, and most structures would be destroyed by the blast, with winds of 873 metres/sec
    The initial energy is equivalent to 3.5 a gigatonne explosion, but about a third of this is dissipated in the atmosphere.
    The object starts to break up at a height of 92km – a few seconds before impact.
    For an impact in the deep ocean, the tsunami generated will be up to 300 metres high at a distance of 10 km, dropping to 30 metres after 100 km

  30. I meant to add that they estimate the average interval between impacts of this size is 63000 years

    • Question:
      Why does it break up before impact ?
      I mean it could have succumbed to the tidal forces much sooner.
      Have we ever sent a projectile thru the atmosphere at 30,000 mph, after the void of space it must be like hitting a brick wall (all those pesky atoms in a tight bunch).

    • Given a life span of 70 years, the chance of seeing an event of this magnitude in your lifetime is;
      1 – (63000 – 1) / 63000) 70 years = 0.001
      People take other risks of this magnitude seriously, for example, the probability of you dying in a house fire is 11 people per million per annum, or 0.000011 per year;
      The chance of dying in a house fire over 70 years is;
      1 – (1 – 0.000011) 70 years = 0.0007
      Granted there is a significantly lower risk that even a large asteroid impact, would kill any given individual. But the probability of people’s lives being disrupted by say a large impact Tsunami, or an impact which destroyed a large industrial area, seems worth taking seriously.
      And of course there is the risk that an unexpected asteroid strike might be mistaken for a nuclear first strike. The East Mediterranean event occurred at a time of heightened tension between India and Pakistan.–02_India–Pakistan_standoff
      If the East Mediterranean event had occurred a few hours later, near India or Pakistan, it could have been mistaken for a nuclear attack.

      • Thanks for that, I’ll sleep better tonight knowing I live within 2 miles of O’Hare airport.
        Bet they’ll never think of turning it into a smoking hole in the ground.

      • That only estimates the chance of it hitting the earth in your lifetime.
        To estimate your chance of being killed you must multiply by the chance of living within (say) 10 km of the impact. This would be approx 75/(500 million}, or about 0.00000015 times the 0.001
        So about 10 to the -10th power.
        With an earth population of about 6 billion, that’s close to one person per year.
        Or more likely, nobody at all for 62999 years, and then 63000 people all at once.
        Much worse than the lottery chances.

  31. How about a campaign to get Asteroid Impact onto the Paris agenda?
    Even if it never made it, it might force alarmists to prioritise their cases.

    • I know you’re not, but suggesting technology to put the asteroid impact directly on the Paris agenda can’t be all bad. /sarc, but not really.

  32. Look up Burckle Crater (Indian Ocean) and The Holocene Impact Working Group for some interesting theories on mega tsunamis and the possible source of the various flood myths from the bible and Indian ocean areas from about 5000 years ago. Consider an ocean impact, superheated steam and a saturated atmosphere, and rain for forty days and forty nights?

  33. Ha! 1 1/3 lunar distances may be close from a relative standpoint, but from an actual standpoint it is missing the earth by a very, very large margin. This is much ado about nothing.

    • I agree Jbird. “earth grazer” is a bit hyperbolic. I believe I actually saw an “earth grazer” in the mid-eighties. Just happened to be outside latish one night and looked up, and there was this rather large appearing dark object cruising very high across the sky, with several “tongues” of fire emanating from it . . heading east to west, slightly to my south (here in N, Cal).
      It’s was kinda shocking for a few seconds , , as I thought about what that thing might do . . but it didn’t appear to be descending, or getting any brighter . . just quietly drifted on over the coastal Mt. range till I couldn’t see it anymore. Never heard anything about it, and I doubt many people saw it . . maybe just me.

  34. The really large events are addressed by building colonies on the Moon and maybe Mars once we learn how to live outside the Earth’s magnetic field.
    These Final Hours
    Don’t watch the trailer past 40 seconds if you want to see the movie. It’s really good.

  35. “…another indication that Asteroids are a far more serious threat than climate change”
    It’s probably because America didn’t ratify the Kyoto agreement.

  36. “The explosion would be in the 10s of megatons, rivalling the largest atom bombs ever detonated – more than large enough to devastate an entire city.”
    A bigger problem is the tonnes of junk that would be thrown into the upper atmosphere, causing serious cooling. Bigger than Krakatoa.

  37. Yesterday evening, maybe 1905 hours +1 cet in sweden, i saw a bright, maybe two, flash/es in the sky. Veey shirt and very bright. Could this be scattered debris trailing the tb145. This was oct 23, 2015.

  38. Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
    If climate cultists want to worry about a real threat, instead of their imaginary demon CO2 and anthropogenic climate change, then here is a candidate. If we had any sense, we’d be pouring a lot more money into asteroid tracking and technology for possibly diverting them. This is a real threat to man’s future on Earth.

  39. You denounce the importance of climate change twice in this article.
    “Imaginary perils of the climate dragon.”
    “Asteroids are a far more serious threat than climate change.”
    Just because you can SEE an asteroid physically coming NEAR our vicinity doesn’t make it a higher priority than greenhouse gases. These are issues we need to resolve in parallel.
    There are several resources available that highlight the danger of increasing the amount of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere.
    My favorite example of the effects of runaway greenhouse gas is the planet Venus.

    • James Coultas,
      So the climate alarmist crowd has you scared. That’s what they are trying to do, but they’re only successful with:
      1. Science illiterates, and
      2. Irrational/illogical folks
      Which are you? Or are you both? Your argument is certainly irrational and illogical, because Mars’ atmosphere is more than 95% CO2, and Mars is COLD.
      If CO2 caused runaway global warming, then Mars would be hot, hot, hot!
      Also, the Earth has had up to twenty times more atmospheric CO2 in the past, without ever causing runaway global warming. Or any global warming for that matter.
      This is a science site. But if you like the misinformation that you posted, no doubt you get it from ‘skepticalscience’, or ‘realclimate’, or a similar pseudo-science blog.
      Stick around here, if you keep an open mind you will learn a lot.

      • Tom Steyer? Science?? As one commenter said, Steyer’s greatest achievement was getting a job as a snowboard instructor, and as a substitute high school drama teacher.
        He’s probably done real science as much as you. IOW, none. He has an opinion, and money to promote it to scientific illiterates. But that’s all.

      • Mods, please check on the “Alan Penn” screen name. I think it’s bogus. His endlessly argumentative style and lack of credible scientific facts make me think he’s the same sockpuppet / identity thief / anonymous coward who pesters serious commenters here.
        I’m at the point now where I can spot this scientifically illiterate site pest after only a few comments.
        (“Alan Penn” comments deleted. ~mod.)

      • The real point is that you sir, are a sockpuppet, using screen names such as Alan Penn, Steve Jones, variants on Socrates, etc.
        All further responses from you go to the bitbucket, per our site policy on sockpuppetry.

    • James
      There are big differences between so-called climate change and an asteroid impact:
      1. We know for 100% sure that we will be hit again by an asteroid at some point
      2. We know for sure that we have been hit in the past by asteroids big enough to end human civilisation
      3. We definitely have the technology to detect most, or all, of these asteroids a long time before impact
      4. We could develop and launch technology to deflect them at reasonable cost
      5. We do not have to shut down the economy to do any of the above
      6. We do not have to make drastic changes to our lifestyle to combat asteroids
      7. The science around climate is much, much more shaky than we are led to believe
      8. The true real-world evidence for significant man-made climate change is getting weaker by the day. No sea-level rise, no melting ice caps, no temperature increases, no extreme weather spikes, nothing.
      9. Asteroid prevention has not been hijacked by a bunch of loons openly talking about redistributing the wealth of the West to the developing world and ending capitalism

  40. The reason there is so much attention on global warming rather than asteroids, is obvious. There’s no one to blame for asteroids, thus no money to be stolen from said perpetrators. If asteroids were caused by capitalism and hard working people there would be wall to wall coverage of how it should be taxed and thwarted. These people will not be happy until everyone it’s unhappy.

  41. more money on protecting our civilization eg meteors, climate change , diseases, protecting animals and less on destroying it eg WAR , unhealthy food being mass produced , mind melting tv shows etc.

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