If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(NBC News)   Astronomers discover a comet is headed for Mars. Brennan-monster sought for questioning   (science.nbcnews.com) divider line 86
    More: Interesting, comets, Mars, amateur astronomy, orbits, Mars Orbiter, Ian O'Neill, Hubble Space Telescope, megatons  
•       •       •

3267 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Feb 2013 at 10:26 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



86 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-02-27 10:33:21 AM
Poor Spiders.
 
2013-02-27 10:38:03 AM
Soo... Hows that space program coming along?
 
2013-02-27 10:38:31 AM
What they failed to tell you in the article, is that if it misses Mars, it will head straight to da Moon!
 
2013-02-27 10:38:35 AM
Didn't one of Kubrick's novels theorize that crashing comets into mars would supply enough water to make it habitable?
 
2013-02-27 10:40:26 AM
Brennan-monster sought for questioning

Approves!

images.t-nation.com

"While the massive Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (9.3 miles or 15 kilometers in diameter) that crashed into Jupiter in 1994 was spectacular as seen from Earth orbit by the Hubble Space Telescope, the sight of [30-mile wide] C/2013 A1 slamming into Mars would be off the charts."

Word.
 
2013-02-27 10:41:56 AM
Sees what you did there...
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-02-27 10:42:35 AM
Awesome #1:
If it hits, we'll get our collective asses in gear to defend our planet on a planetary scale

Awesome #2:
If it is really close, and it produces a tail and coma ... imagine the shots Curiosity will get

Awesome #3:
We should go and try to divert it, and see what real world (sol system?) knowledge we could gain from such an exercise

Awesome #4:
We should make it HIT Mars, and see what that does to the Martian ecosystem
 
2013-02-27 10:44:42 AM
Sort of like maybe someone is trying to send us a message about something.
 
2013-02-27 10:45:02 AM
It's a good thing we have equipment in position to ge awesome pics and maybe data if it hits or even just comes close.
 
2013-02-27 10:46:00 AM

DicksWii: Awesome #1:
If it hits, we'll get our collective asses in gear to defend our planet on a planetary scale

Awesome #2:
If it is really close, and it produces a tail and coma ... imagine the shots Curiosity will get

Awesome #3:
We should go and try to divert it, and see what real world (sol system?) knowledge we could gain from such an exercise

Awesome #4:
We should make it HIT Mars, and see what that does to the Martian ecosystem


Imagine the shots Curiosity would get if it hits?
 
2013-02-27 11:01:09 AM
Mars terraforming by comet.  Cool.  No alien reactor required.
 
2013-02-27 11:07:29 AM
The impact simulator provides some interesting results for an iceball that size hitting rock.

122 miles diameter crater - so this would have a serious impact on Mars. Amateur telescopes on Eath would be able SEE the impact under good conditions
 
2013-02-27 11:07:57 AM
Ugh, significant figures fail.

FTFA67,853 miles (109,200 kilometers),

It looks like the astronomers have uncertainty in the 100 kilometer place. It might be something like 109200 ± 300 km. Meanwhile, the article converts that into an exact number of miles, which gives the impression that they know exactly where the comet will be, plus or minus a few miles. 109200 km is 67850 or 67900 miles.
 
2013-02-27 11:13:59 AM
30-mile wide comet.... Wow, that's a good sized chunk of stuff. Especially considering they say the relative velocity is going to be so high, if it does end up hitting I think that is going to produce some pretty widespread devastation on Mars.

While it would suck to lose our new rover, I think that if we do have to lose it... then Mars getting plowed by a 30-mile wide comet is much prefferable to a metric/standard conversion error. We should be able to make some incredible observations. Good for Mars it has no biosphere we know of to destroy.
 
2013-02-27 11:20:50 AM

mongbiohazard: 30-mile wide comet.... Wow, that's a good sized chunk of stuff. Especially considering they say the relative velocity is going to be so high, if it does end up hitting I think that is going to produce some pretty widespread devastation on Mars.

While it would suck to lose our new rover, I think that if we do have to lose it... then Mars getting plowed by a 30-mile wide comet is much prefferable to a metric/standard conversion error. We should be able to make some incredible observations. Good for Mars it has no biosphere we know of to destroy.


Well, I guess depending on the makeup of the comet, which I assume to be a lot of frozen water, this could help jump start a terraforming project for Mars as well.
 
2013-02-27 11:24:46 AM
That was an interesting sub-plot of the "Terra Prime" story arc of Enterprise.

/Mirror-Universe Porthos FTW.
 
2013-02-27 11:29:56 AM
Lemme call up Greatly Estelle and see if she can fund the mission.
 
2013-02-27 11:32:08 AM

jack21221: Ugh, significant figures fail.

FTFA:  67,853 miles (109,200 kilometers),

It looks like the astronomers have uncertainty in the 100 kilometer place. It might be something like 109200 ± 300 km. Meanwhile, the article converts that into an exact number of miles, which gives the impression that they know exactly where the comet will be, plus or minus a few miles. 109200 km is 67850 or 67900 miles.


Rounding fail, too: even if the 109,200 figure was exact, the conversion rounds to 67,854 miles. Is the author ignorant, or just lazy? Even if you're going to ignore sigfigs, at least get the rounding right.

/no wonder America is doomed...
 
2013-02-27 11:33:10 AM

madgonad: The impact simulator provides some interesting results for an iceball that size hitting rock.

122 miles diameter crater - so this would have a serious impact on Mars. Amateur telescopes on Eath would be able SEE the impact under good conditions


mine says final crater diameter of almost 400 miles(166 mile transient crater tho so not far off) . but it's also assuming an earth impact.

the supersonic winds and mag 11 earthquake would be pretty gnarly, too. wonder what the wind-blast would be like on mars?

thermal pulse could melt the rover if it's anywhere within a few hundred to a thousand miles of impact, or at least give it an escher look. would be interesting to see if curiosity survives being near it. hell, if curiosity survives ANYWHERE. something that big hits you're looking at global seismic activity of SOME kind.
 
2013-02-27 11:34:22 AM
Depending on the strike zone (proximity to Olympus Mons), the impact could have enough force to subtly alter Mars' path, disrupting its orbit.  By 2020, the minute change will have expanded to total orbital deterioration, and Mars will begin falling towards the sun.  We'll likely be on the far side of the sun from Mars at the time, but there is a chance (depending on the comet's 'English') it could pass near enough to land a ship on, if we're careful.  However, that means the Martians will have a chance to launch their own evacuation ships.  I think we can expect a massive influx of illegal aliens ('greeners' or 'redbacks') in 2021.  If Obama is successful at repealing the 2nd Amendment, it's going to look like the Horde invading Azeroth, not Alien Nation at all.  We need to start planning for this now.  The 2010 census indicated there are approximately 30 million of them.  Now, presumably they lack the resources for a full evacuation, so we can expect those arriving to be among their scientists, politicians, and their rich (think Paris Hilton from space), so let's plan for an optimistic 10% of their population arriving safely.  The good news is that they are, climatologically speaking, suited for our coldest climes.  I anticipate settlements in rural Canada (the natives aren't going to be happy about that, again, but then they're always biatching about the white man anyhow), Siberia, and perhaps Antarctica.  Don't bother buying the lands, the UN will just seize it under Eminent Domain unless you're a soveriegn citizen, in which case they'll just shoot you in the face.

I can't ignore the tragedy that will befall our world with that kind of burden placed on it, but I can say the scientist in me is interested in finding out what happens when our atmosphere's improved solar radiation shielding minimizes their accustomed exposure.  Will they gain superpowers like Superman?  Or will the clean air be their kryptonite?
 
2013-02-27 11:34:30 AM
Ha, cool! I didn't have very high hopes this would get greened; I mostly just figured a few TFers would get a chuckle.


NEPAman: That was an interesting sub-plot of the "Terra Prime" story arc of Enterprise.

/Mirror-Universe Porthos FTW.


I must have missed those episodes. I'm half-hoping Mirror Universe Porthos had an adorable miniature evil goatee.
 
2013-02-27 11:38:17 AM
www.oocities.org: so long and thanks for all the sand
 
2013-02-27 11:39:12 AM

buttery_shame_cave: madgonad: The impact simulator provides some interesting results for an iceball that size hitting rock.

122 miles diameter crater - so this would have a serious impact on Mars. Amateur telescopes on Eath would be able SEE the impact under good conditions

mine says final crater diameter of almost 400 miles(166 mile transient crater tho so not far off) . but it's also assuming an earth impact.

the supersonic winds and mag 11 earthquake would be pretty gnarly, too. wonder what the wind-blast would be like on mars?

thermal pulse could melt the rover if it's anywhere within a few hundred to a thousand miles of impact, or at least give it an escher look. would be interesting to see if curiosity survives being near it. hell, if curiosity survives ANYWHERE. something that big hits you're looking at global seismic activity of SOME kind.


Not to mention ejecta coming back down all over the planet. At least I would think it would be a possibility.
 
2013-02-27 11:43:31 AM
Gods, it took me like ten minutes before the poorly-indexed database that is my brain figured out the reference in this. I only read the book, like, 20 times or so. (I was poor. We didn't have a lot of books, so I got everything I could out of the ones I had.)
 
2013-02-27 11:47:13 AM

palelizard: Depending on the strike zone (proximity to Olympus Mons), the impact could have enough force to subtly alter Mars' path, disrupting its orbit.  By 2020, the minute change will have expanded to total orbital deterioration, and Mars will begin falling towards the sun.  We'll likely be on the far side of the sun from Mars at the time, but there is a chance (depending on the comet's 'English') it could pass near enough to land a ship on, if we're careful.  However, that means the Martians will have a chance to launch their own evacuation ships.  I think we can expect a massive influx of illegal aliens ('greeners' or 'redbacks') in 2021.  If Obama is successful at repealing the 2nd Amendment, it's going to look like the Horde invading Azeroth, not Alien Nation at all.  We need to start planning for this now.  The 2010 census indicated there are approximately 30 million of them.  Now, presumably they lack the resources for a full evacuation, so we can expect those arriving to be among their scientists, politicians, and their rich (think Paris Hilton from space), so let's plan for an optimistic 10% of their population arriving safely.  The good news is that they are, climatologically speaking, suited for our coldest climes.  I anticipate settlements in rural Canada (the natives aren't going to be happy about that, again, but then they're always biatching about the white man anyhow), Siberia, and perhaps Antarctica.  Don't bother buying the lands, the UN will just seize it under Eminent Domain unless you're a soveriegn citizen, in which case they'll just shoot you in the face.

I can't ignore the tragedy that will befall our world with that kind of burden placed on it, but I can say the scientist in me is interested in finding out what happens when our atmosphere's improved solar radiation shielding minimizes their accustomed exposure.  Will they gain superpowers like Superman?  Or will the clean air be their kryptonite?


Wow. That's chock-full of stupid, even for Fark.
 
2013-02-27 11:47:54 AM

Isildur: Ha, cool! I didn't have very high hopes this would get greened; I mostly just figured a few TFers would get a chuckle.


NEPAman: That was an interesting sub-plot of the "Terra Prime" story arc of Enterprise.

/Mirror-Universe Porthos FTW.

I must have missed those episodes. I'm half-hoping Mirror Universe Porthos had an adorable miniature evil goatee.


The two MU episodes of Enterprise were probably the best in the entire series, and not just because of Hoshi in that uniform. IIRC, the MU Porthos was a Rottweiler.
 
2013-02-27 11:52:58 AM

alberta_beef: palelizard: Depending on the strike zone (proximity to Olympus Mons), the impact could have enough force to subtly alter Mars' path, disrupting its orbit.  By 2020, the minute change will have expanded to total orbital deterioration, and Mars will begin falling towards the sun.  We'll likely be on the far side of the sun from Mars at the time, but there is a chance (depending on the comet's 'English') it could pass near enough to land a ship on, if we're careful.  However, that means the Martians will have a chance to launch their own evacuation ships.  I think we can expect a massive influx of illegal aliens ('greeners' or 'redbacks') in 2021.  If Obama is successful at repealing the 2nd Amendment, it's going to look like the Horde invading Azeroth, not Alien Nation at all.  We need to start planning for this now.  The 2010 census indicated there are approximately 30 million of them.  Now, presumably they lack the resources for a full evacuation, so we can expect those arriving to be among their scientists, politicians, and their rich (think Paris Hilton from space), so let's plan for an optimistic 10% of their population arriving safely.  The good news is that they are, climatologically speaking, suited for our coldest climes.  I anticipate settlements in rural Canada (the natives aren't going to be happy about that, again, but then they're always biatching about the white man anyhow), Siberia, and perhaps Antarctica.  Don't bother buying the lands, the UN will just seize it under Eminent Domain unless you're a soveriegn citizen, in which case they'll just shoot you in the face.

I can't ignore the tragedy that will befall our world with that kind of burden placed on it, but I can say the scientist in me is interested in finding out what happens when our atmosphere's improved solar radiation shielding minimizes their accustomed exposure.  Will they gain superpowers like Superman?  Or will the clean air be their kryptonite?

Wow. That's chock-full of stupid, even for Fark.


Pretty sure he's just trying to be funny. It wasn't very funny, but I don't think it was meant seriously.
 
2013-02-27 11:53:18 AM

Lizard_SF: The two MU episodes of Enterprise were probably the best in the entire series, and not just because of Hoshi in that uniform. IIRC, the MU Porthos was a Rottweiler.


Huh. I'll have to watch them sometime.
 
2013-02-27 11:58:37 AM

Saiga410: DicksWii: Awesome #1:
If it hits, we'll get our collective asses in gear to defend our planet on a planetary scale

Awesome #2:
If it is really close, and it produces a tail and coma ... imagine the shots Curiosity will get

Awesome #3:
We should go and try to divert it, and see what real world (sol system?) knowledge we could gain from such an exercise

Awesome #4:
We should make it HIT Mars, and see what that does to the Martian ecosystem

Imagine the shots Curiosity would get if it hits?




"Did I do a good job? Do I get to come home yet?"
*looks up*
"YOU BASTARDS!!"
 
2013-02-27 12:08:31 PM

buttery_shame_cave: madgonad: The impact simulator provides some interesting results for an iceball that size hitting rock.

122 miles diameter crater - so this would have a serious impact on Mars. Amateur telescopes on Eath would be able SEE the impact under good conditions

mine says final crater diameter of almost 400 miles(166 mile transient crater tho so not far off) . but it's also assuming an earth impact.

the supersonic winds and mag 11 earthquake would be pretty gnarly, too. wonder what the wind-blast would be like on mars?

thermal pulse could melt the rover if it's anywhere within a few hundred to a thousand miles of impact, or at least give it an escher look. would be interesting to see if curiosity survives being near it. hell, if curiosity survives ANYWHERE. something that big hits you're looking at global seismic activity of SOME kind.


I ignored any result on the simulator relating to pressure or wind. The atmospheric pressure on Mars is about 5% of earth. That means that the comet will be LESS slowed down during re-entry and the atmospheric effects would be very different. Mars is a lot smaller than the Earth. Taking a 30 mile diameter comet would be an amazing event. Our rovers may/may not be impacted by a strike, but the orbiters should be able to get AMAZING pictures of it.
 
2013-02-27 12:09:55 PM
maybe this is where the "rivers" of water seem to be on Mars from Comet impacts that flow for a bit but then evaporate leaving the signs of water flow but no water remaining..
 
2013-02-27 12:12:00 PM
+1 Subby. Hell, make that +2.

/Hopes no one finds a weird reflective statue on the sea floor anytime soon.
 
2013-02-27 12:24:22 PM
KellyX: Well, I guess depending on the makeup of the comet, which I assume to be a lot of frozen water, this could help jump start a terraforming project for Mars as well.

Mars' diameter is 6792km, the comet is about 50km. If the comet were entirely water ice, it's still not much water.

Aside from that, the lack of atmospheric pressure means any liquid water on the surface would sublimate into vapor.

I like the direction you're thinking, though. It's a good question.
 
2013-02-27 12:26:16 PM

RaiderFanMikeP: maybe this is where the "rivers" of water seem to be on Mars from Comet impacts that flow for a bit but then evaporate leaving the signs of water flow but no water remaining..


Just how long do you think these rivers would flow before evaporating to carve the channels and form the rocks seen?
 
2013-02-27 12:31:35 PM

Choestoe: +1 Subby. Hell, make that +2.

/Hopes no one finds a weird reflective statue on the sea floor anytime soon.


I'll take my chances with the weird reflective statue if they give me boosterspice.
 
2013-02-27 12:33:37 PM
pics1.ds-static.com+wklondon.typepad.com=media.comicvine.com
 
2013-02-27 12:40:29 PM
I bet this puts a nice dent in our plans to send human explorers to Mars by 2030.
 
2013-02-27 12:43:24 PM

jack21221: RaiderFanMikeP: maybe this is where the "rivers" of water seem to be on Mars from Comet impacts that flow for a bit but then evaporate leaving the signs of water flow but no water remaining..

Just how long do you think these rivers would flow before evaporating to carve the channels and form the rocks seen?


I agree with your skepticism. XKCD "Steak Drop" -- this description of something dropped into an atmosphere shows that while the exterior is hot, the interior is still cold. I don't know if that extrapolates to a comet at "35 miles per second", but it's possible that any water ice in the comet that hadn't exploded or vaporized would remain frozen, then sublimate.

As for signs of liquid flow from comet impacts, I think the lack of comet impact signs means that comets are probably not where the liquid came from. (Sure, comets may have brought water eons ago during the great bombardment era, but liquid flow channels are really recent, geologically speaking)
 
2013-02-27 12:45:43 PM
www.usefulcharts.com
COMET ME, BRO
 
2013-02-27 12:54:08 PM
Excellent headline, subby. Love Niven, at least his early stuff.
 
2013-02-27 12:56:46 PM

Lizard_SF: Gods, it took me like ten minutes before the poorly-indexed database that is my brain figured out the reference in this. I only read the book, like, 20 times or so. (I was poor. We didn't have a lot of books, so I got everything I could out of the ones I had.)


Protector?
 
2013-02-27 01:04:55 PM

Isildur: Ha, cool! I didn't have very high hopes this would get greened; I mostly just figured a few TFers would get a chuckle.


You win this morning's Internet.
 
2013-02-27 01:08:23 PM

LewDux: [www.usefulcharts.com image 350x350]
COMET ME, BRO


Looks like someone already did.
 
2013-02-27 01:11:21 PM
in before King Ghidorah
 
2013-02-27 01:18:35 PM

StopLurkListen: , but it's possible that any water ice in the comet that hadn't exploded or vaporized would remain frozen, then sublimate.


Well, it's not only that, but either a) The water evaporated quickly and thus could not have formed channels and rocks, or b) did not evaporate and hung out for a VERY long time, which undermines his argument that there weren't rivers on Mars (he put "rivers" in quotes.)
 
2013-02-27 01:24:10 PM
Hmm, is Jupiter missing one of its Moons?
 
2013-02-27 01:27:38 PM

LewDux: [www.usefulcharts.com image 350x350]
COMET ME, BRO


Why does he have a penis on the top of his head?
 
2013-02-27 01:35:14 PM
If that's the case, we'd better start looking for high-order fusion exhaust in the direction of Sagittarius.
 
2013-02-27 01:36:25 PM
It isn't going to be enough water to do any good on Mars if it did hit, plus the resulting dust kicked up would be a mess. What will be interesting will be even if it is just a near miss, the resulting kick/course change that the comet will get will be very hard to predict since even a small change will result in a large difference.  Add in the fact that it might break up during the close encounter, and it could be very interesting.
 
2013-02-27 01:48:40 PM

Ed Grubermann: LewDux: [www.usefulcharts.com image 350x350]
COMET ME, BRO

Why does he have a penis on the top of his head?


Because if he wears it anywhere else, it chafes.
 
Displayed 50 of 86 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report