We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Asteroid Does Near Pass 2013
The good news is that we know it
is out there.The bad news is that we
are as yet unable to do much about it.The worse news is that many have passed by over the years and we have
been blissfully unaware.All this will
be rectified during the next forty years.
In fact we will likely make it a
point to cleanse our orbit of risky objects simply because we can.
This object could still surprise
us and create a nasty blast somewhere.The probability of real damage is small but it is not zero.
I am looking forward to having
magnetic field reclusion vessels (Google my blog for MFEV) to work with as that
would make the job easy.
Blast it or paint it: Asteroid to threaten Earth in 2013
Published: 03 March, 2012, 22:32
Edited: 05 March, 2012, 03:33
A dangerous asteroid heading to the Earth was spotted by stargazers
three years after it had got onto its current orbit
To avert a possible catastrophe – this time set for February 2013 –
scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint or big
guns. The stickler is that time has long run out to build a spaceship to carry
out the operation.
NASA's data shows the 60-meter asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers
in February, will whistle by Earth in 11 months. Its trajectory will bring it
within a hair’s breadth of our planet, raising fears of a possible collision.
The asteroid, known as DA14, will pass by our planet in February 2013
at a distance of under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is closer than the
geosynchronous orbit of some satellites.
There is a possibility the asteroid will collide with Earth, but
further calculation is required to estimate the potential threat and work out
how to avert possible disaster, NASA expert Dr. David Dunham told students at Moscow’s University
of Electronics and
“The Earth’s gravitational field will alter the asteroid’s path
significantly. Further scrupulous calculation is required to estimate the
threat of collision,” said Dr. Dunham, as transcribed by Russia’s
Izvestia. “The asteroid may break into dozens of small pieces, or several
large lumps may split from it and burn up in the atmosphere. The type of the
asteroid and its mineral structure can be determined by spectral analysis. This
will help predict its behavior in the atmosphere and what should be done to
prevent the potential threat,” said Dr. Dunham.
In the event of a collision, scientists have calculated that the energy
released would equate to the destructive power of a thermo-nuclear bomb.
In response to the threat, scientists have come up with some ingenious
methods to avert a potential disaster.
Fireworks and watercolors
With the asteroid zooming that low, it will be too late to do anything
with it besides trying to predict its final destination and the consequences of
A spaceship is needed, experts agree. It could shoot the rock down or
just crash into it,
either breaking the asteroid into debris or throwing it off course.
“We could paint it,” says NASA expert David Dunham.
Paint would affect the asteroid’s ability to reflect sunlight, changing
its temperature and altering its spin. The asteroid would stalk off its current
course, but this could also make the boulder even more dangerous when it comes
back in 2056, Aleksandr Devaytkin, the head of the observatory in Russia’s
Pulkovo, told Izvestia.
2012 DA14 orbit diagram
Whatever the mission, building a spaceship to deal with 2012 DA14 will
take two years – at least.
The asteroid has proven a bitter discovery. It has been circling in
orbit for three years already, crossing Earth’s path several times, says space
analyst Sergey Naroenkov from the RussianAcademy of Sciences. It
seems that spotting danger from outer space is still the area where mere chance
reigns, while asteroid defense systems exist only in drafts.
Still, prospects of meeting 2012 DA14 are not all doom and gloom.
“The asteroid may split into pieces entering the atmosphere. In this
case, most part of it will never reach the planet’s surface,” remarks Dunham.
But if the entire asteroid is to crash into the planet, the impact will
be as hard as in the Tunguska blast, which in 1908 knocked down trees over a
total area of 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles) in Siberia.
This is almost the size of Luxembourg.
In today’s case, the destination of the asteroid is yet to be determined.