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Archive for the ‘asteroid/comet impacts’ category

Jun 30, 2017

We Will Rock You

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Today is World Asteroid Day… https://bcgallie.wixsite.com/asteroidday


Asteroid Day is a global awareness movement to protect Earth against asteroid impacts. The original inspiration for this campaign came from Grigorij Richters’ asteroid impact disaster film 51 Degrees North — all profits from which he has now dedicated to the cause of Asteroid Day world-wide. Dr. Brian May is a key supporter and delivered a slight update of the original mix, specifically for the Asteroid Day launch. Learn more about Asteroid Day, here: http://www.asteroidday.org

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May 31, 2017

Cassini images suggest asteroid strike forced Enceladus poles to shift

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

NASA has announced that asteroid strikes may have tipped over Saturn’s icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus. Researchers came to the conclusion after analysing the latest images and data from Cassini.

Researchers say they have enough evidence to suggest the moon’s spin axis – the line through the north and south poles – reoriented from its original position due to a collision with a smaller body, most likely an asteroid. The shift from its original axis is by 55 degrees, more than halfway rolling completely onto its side.

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May 19, 2017

World Asteroid Day Hackathon

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, cybercrime/malcode, education, existential risks, media & arts

“A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week. Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackathon

In February 2014, Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and famed guitarist for the rock band QUEEN, began working with Grigorij Richters, the director of a new film titled 51 Degrees North, a fictional story of an asteroid impact on London and the resulting human condition. May composed the music for the film and suggested that Richters preview it at Starmus, an event organized by Dr. Garik Israelian and attended by esteemed astrophysicists, scientists and artists, including Dr. Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Rick Wakeman. The result was the beginning of discussions that would lead to the launch of Asteroid Day in 2015. See : https://asteroidday.org/

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May 3, 2017

Rejuvenation would be too expensive to create

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, economics, existential risks, finance, life extension

Creating rejuvenation will probably be quite expensive, but that’s no reason to give up on it. We can pull it off.


The first thing to realise is that, when you wonder how much something will cost, you’re actually wondering how many resources and how many people doing how much work it will take to do that something. That’s all that really matters. The problem is that we have a sucky economic system such that even if we do have more than enough people and resources to do the job, the monetary cost of it could be so high that you can’t get the job done without creating financial problems left and right. This should be a hint that the problem, if it exists, lies in our crappy economic system, not in rejuvenation itself or whatever other thing we may create.

Apart from the obvious fact that other hysterically expensive endeavours (such as space missions) are pulled off despite their costs, we must take into account that desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. We don’t need to tear apart our economic system and replace it with another before we create rejuvenation, and neither would we if faced with another health crisis (such as a pandemic) or a planetary crisis, but we need to get the job done despite its costs and the consequences they may have. We can’t give up on rejuvenation on the grounds that it may be too expensive to create, just like we wouldn’t in the case of an existential risk. Can you imagine that? There’s a huge asteroid on a collision course with Earth, and our only hope is a spectacularly expensive space mission to destroy it before it’s too late. Just who in their right mind would step up and say: ‘Nah, too expensive. Let’s not do it.

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Apr 18, 2017

Huge asteroid to give Earth a very close shave on April 19

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

NASA says a 2,000-foot-wide space rock will pass within 1.1 million miles of our planet this week.

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Mar 5, 2017

DESTAR phased array laser systems for defending against asteroids and for space exploration

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, space travel

A laser phased array directed energy system has been designed and simulated. Lubin and Hughes calculated the requirements and possibilities for DE-STAR systems of several sizes, ranging from a desktop device to one measuring 10 kilometers, or six miles, in diameter. Larger systems were also considered. The larger the system, the greater its capabilities.

For instance, DE-STAR 2 – at 100 meters in diameter, about the size of the International Space Station – “could start nudging comets or asteroids out of their orbits,” Hughes said. But DE-STAR 4 – at 10 kilometers in diameter, about 100 times the size of the ISS – could deliver 1.4 megatons of energy per day to its target, said Lubin, obliterating an asteroid 500 meters across in one year.

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Jan 9, 2017

Sneaky asteroid spotted whizzing between Earth and moon

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

A space rock large enough to do damage gives us a near miss just two days after being discovered.

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Dec 21, 2016

Solar System’s Next Close Encounter Will Be With Gliese 710, Say Astronomers

Posted by in category: asteroid/comet impacts

Gaia continues to reap dividends; per this new paper detailing a much closer solar system trajectory for Gliese 710, a sunlike star some 64 light years away in the constellation of Serpens.


Gliese 710, a star about half the size of our Sun, will rip through a portion of our solar system’s Oort Cloud of comets some 1.35 million years from now. In the process, it’s likely to dislodge a huge swath of long-period Earth-crossing comets.

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Dec 14, 2016

NASA scientist warns Earth is due for an ‘extinction-level event’

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

In news certain to take the bounce out of your step, a NASA scientist says Earth is due for an “extinction-level” event that we basically would have no way of stopping.

Dr. Joseph Nuth of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center rang the alarm Monday in San Francisco, New York Magazine reports. The comet that spelled disaster for the dinosaurs hit 65 million years ago, and Nuth said the massive asteroids and comets that could wipe out civilization usually strike “50 to 60 million years apart,” making such an event overdue.

In 2014, scientists first spotted a large comet barreling toward Mars just 22 months before it came perilously close to hitting the planet. That wasn’t enough time to do anything, Nuth said, proof that “the biggest problem, basically, is there’s not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment.” To prevent a catastrophic event, Nuth suggests NASA create a rocket that can go in storage, ready to be used if a huge comet comes our way. “It could mitigate the possibility of a sneaky asteroid coming in from a place that’s hard to observe, like from the sun,” Nuth said. The way 2016 has gone so far, you might want to start scanning the sky. Catherine Garcia.

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Nov 5, 2016

There’s big money to be made in asteroid mining

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, economics, existential risks

If humans were ever able to get their hands on just one asteroid, it would be a game-changer.

That’s because the value of many asteroids are measured in the quintillions of dollars, which makes the market for Earth’s annual production of raw metals – about $660 billion per year – look paltry in comparison.

The reality is that the Earth’s crust is saddled with uneconomic materials, while certain types of asteroids are almost pure metal. X-type asteroids, for example, are thought to be the remnants of large asteroids that were pulverized in collisions in which their dense, metallic cores got separated from the mantle.

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