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posted by janrinok on Wednesday September 08, @03:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Asteroid Traveling Through Space at 21,000 MPH Classified As Potentially Hazardous, Will Pass Earth This Month:

Somewhere out there amongst the stars is 2021 NY1, another asteroid actively hurtling towards Earth at insane speeds. While it's on track to pass the planet, it's still close enough for NASA to classify it as a potentially hazardous "Near-Earth Object" (NEO), allowing the outfit to keep an extra eye on its future trajectory.

As of now, experts believe 2021 NY1 is moving through space at nearly 21,000 miles per hour despite its size, somewhere between 427 and 984 feet wide. The asteroid is expected to pass Earth on September 22nd with its closest point coming within 930,487 miles of the planet. While that may seem like a significant amount, NASA defines NEOs as "an asteroid or comet that approaches our planet less than 1.3 times the distance from Earth to the Sun[*]."

In comparison, from Earth to the moon is roughly 240,000 miles, hence the NEO status.

"Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood," NASA's official NEO website says of the cosmic objects. "Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago."

[*] 1 AU is the average distance of the Earth to the Sun. So 1.3 AU would be ~120 million miles (195 million kilometers).

Also at Gadgets 360


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Tork on Wednesday September 08, @03:53PM (7 children)

    by Tork (3914) on Wednesday September 08, @03:53PM (#1175906)

    As of now, experts believe 2021 NY1 is moving through space at nearly 21,000 miles per hour despite its size, somewhere between 427 and 984 feet wide. The asteroid is expected to pass Earth on September 22nd with its closest point coming within 930,487 miles of the planet.

    Don't do that... don't give me hope.

    --
    Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Wednesday September 08, @04:21PM (6 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday September 08, @04:21PM (#1175916) Homepage
      Yeah, but the punditry also says: "2021 NY1 is probably between 0.127 to 0.284 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller."

      If they think a school bus is that size, who knows how far out the numbers might be!
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Tork on Wednesday September 08, @04:37PM (5 children)

        by Tork (3914) on Wednesday September 08, @04:37PM (#1175925)
        hehehe. I didn't notice that. For our American audience it's up to nearly 3 football fields, and is travelling at a rate of 12 parsecs.
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday September 08, @07:40PM (4 children)

          by HiThere (866) on Wednesday September 08, @07:40PM (#1175974) Journal

          A parsec is a unit of distance, not velocity, despite Star Wars.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday September 08, @07:44PM (3 children)

            by Tork (3914) on Wednesday September 08, @07:44PM (#1175977)

            Sigh. Was hoping my subject line made it clear that was intentional. My fault, tho, I didn’t achieve funny.

            --
            Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
            • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Wednesday September 08, @08:32PM (2 children)

              by istartedi (123) on Wednesday September 08, @08:32PM (#1175990) Journal

              Sir, I've been trying to tell you. The humor-space drive is disabled. We can't achieve light lightheartedness.

              • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday September 08, @08:37PM (1 child)

                by Tork (3914) on Wednesday September 08, @08:37PM (#1175992)

                I knew replacing my dilithium crystals with Folger's crystals would come back to haunt me.

                --
                Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, @04:21PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, @04:21PM (#1175915)

    The Sweet Meteor of Death! It approaches, to bring the cleansing fire to all! Yea, the day of blessing is at hand!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, @07:41PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, @07:41PM (#1175975)

      What Me Worry? I've got my N95 mask.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @02:30AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @02:30AM (#1176479)

        Jesus, first "it won't block teh virus" now "it'll block an asteroid!"???

        Get yer stories straight

    • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Wednesday September 08, @07:56PM

      by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 08, @07:56PM (#1175980)

      It's pretty big, but it's not an extinction level event (think Chicxulub 65 million years ago). Oh, it'll cause a huge amount of destruction, but it won't kill all of us.

      --
      Dealing out the agony within
    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Thursday September 09, @02:10AM (3 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Thursday September 09, @02:10AM (#1176070)

      Great, just great. First Trump, then Covid, now a killer asteroid. Now I'm just waiting for the sea to turn into locusts or it to rain firstborn children...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, @04:42PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, @04:42PM (#1175926)

    So, is this a real story or someone thinking a Superman story is real?

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday September 08, @05:02PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday September 08, @05:02PM (#1175930) Journal

      I'm assuming the /irl/ part of the url is for "In Real Life".

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday September 08, @05:26PM (3 children)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday September 08, @05:26PM (#1175938)

    The way this usually works is we observe an object and get a few measurements and project its path with a huge cone of uncertainty. Then everyone gets excited, points telescopes at it, we get really good measurements, and find it's unlikely to hit us.

    This used to happen a lot. The folks at JPL got tired of doomsday asteroid headlines and split the high certainty & low certainty data sets.

    The High certainty impact risk list is Sentry: https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/sentry/ [nasa.gov]
    The Low certainty impact risk list is Scout: https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/scout/#/ [nasa.gov]
    This object appears on neither list.

    Retrieving its data from https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2021%20NY1;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=1#cad [nasa.gov] shows the close approach at 1,500,000 kilometers away. That is super crazy close for a space object, but still very far away, about 3 times farther away than the moon.

    On a related note, act now to get your "Giant Meteor 2024" election themed merchandise: https://amzn.to/3hfqcoH [amzn.to] (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday September 08, @07:43PM (2 children)

      by HiThere (866) on Wednesday September 08, @07:43PM (#1175976) Journal

      OTOH, what about its next pass? Or the one after that? It's coming close enough that it needs to be watched, lest some minor twitch to it's orbit shift things a little. (Of course, there's no way to predict major shifts without mapping every possible asteroid collision, but those are a lot less likely.)

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Thursday September 09, @02:53AM (1 child)

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Thursday September 09, @02:53AM (#1176083)

        The third link has a chart of upcoming close approaches. Based on current observations, it comes back every 20 years-ish until a 0.2 AU approach in 2105. The caveat to that is that longer time periods increase the possibility of unknown unknowns and increase the size of the uncertainty cone. Part of the Sentry program is they check in on known objects like this one to see if their orbits have changed.

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday September 09, @03:00AM

          by HiThere (866) on Thursday September 09, @03:00AM (#1176084) Journal

          And that's what they should do, so that's good. It's something to be watched, not alarmed about.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Wednesday September 08, @07:33PM

    by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 08, @07:33PM (#1175973) Journal

    There's an asteroid with your name on it!

  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday September 09, @12:03AM

    by Immerman (3985) on Thursday September 09, @12:03AM (#1176043)

    >moving through space at nearly 21,000 miles per hour despite its size

    Either the author knows nothing about space, or they're being intentionally deceptive for the sake of sensationalism.

    I mean yeah, that's pretty fast by normal human standards, but nothing terribly impressive by orbital standards. The Earth (which is just *slightly* larger) is moving around the sun at 67,000mph, as are all the asteroids that share our orbit. So I can only assume this is an asteroid that gets much closer to the sun, and slows way down as it climbs toward us.

    It's not even like such a relatively small initial speed will make much a huge difference in the impact force if it hit. Earth's escape velocity is 25,000mph, and that works both ways. If something started at roughly 0 mph relative to the Earth got caught in our gravity and pulled to the surface, it would be going 25,000mph by the time it hit. Even if it started at 21,000mph directly at us, it would only add another 70% to its kinetic energy, raising its impact speed by only about 8,000mph to ~33,000mph.

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