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Christopher Low

Asteroid 2002 NT7

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Before anyone starts getting worried regarding the latest asteroid scare, let me just calm your nerves. It's pretty obvious that the various news channels have picked up on preliminary information regarding the orbit of asteroid 2002 NT7. You might be aware that news reports recently have been suggesting that this asteroid will hit the Earth on 2019 February 1. However, this must have been based on a VERY early orbit calculation, and these are subject to HUGE amounts of uncertainty. The latest data that I have from the IAU Minor Planet Center in Massachusetts (based on an observational arc of 15 days) indicates that the asteroid will misss the Earth (closest approach on 2019 January 24) by 0.17 AU (AU means ASTRONOMICAL UNIT, and is the distance between the Earth and the Sun). Now, this distance is equivalent to approximately 150 million kilometres, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that 0.17 AU is equal to 25.5 million kilometres. To put this in perspective, this means that asteroid 2002 NT7 is currently calculated to MISS the Earth in 2019 at no less than 66 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon !!!Yes, that's right. This asteroid will now come nowhere near Earth in 2019. Panic over.Quite how the news channels received this information is uncertain. If it was freely given to them by NASA or some other institution, then whoever did this was being exceptionally irresponsible. Anyone who is familiar with the calculation of orbits will know that lots of observations spread over a considerable length of time are required to obtain a high degree of accuracy. Releasing information like this based on only a few days of observations is TOTALLY RIDICULOUS.Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Yes i saw th report also. There is also another one that will supposedly hit in 800 years. I don't know about you but i'm not that worried about it LOL :) :) :) :) That one will undoubtatly miss. So no need to worry and ask for :-zhelp or fear that :-halo isat our door.

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Ha ha!!we`ll have the USS Enterprise-WXYZ by then with a captain who has fought the klingons etc etc..why should we be worried???Tractor beam or a couple of quantum torpedoes should do the trick..followed by a lick of a phaser!!

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Chris- You're my new best friend :-lolI always catch the tail end of these news stories, so I always get the impression death is iminent. You have calmed my jittery nerves! (Asteroid 'attack' is one of my greatest fears)

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I read about it in the morning papers, and the way they put it, it was almost certain that it would hit us...The media always makes everything sound soooo spectacular.

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Since your nerves need "re-igniting" here, let me just tell you about a lovely little asteroid called HERMES. This object was seen in October 1937 as it passed by Earth at around 800,000 kms (twice the distance to the Moon). At the time it was the closest recorded approach of any object to the Earth. Unfortunately it was never seen again, which means that the orbit hasn't been calculated with any degree of accuracy. Based on the brightness, it is estimated to be around one kilometre in diameter........plenty big enough to cause massive amounts of damage.I wonder where it is now ?Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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nice to see there is a fellow Treker in here. :-lol :-hah Live Long and Prosper beam me up scotty :-spacecraft :-abduct

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Damn Chris, I was using that asteroid as an excuse to finally get into action to clean my house and do something with my life...now, no need!Oh, well...maybe something else will come along in the next 17 years to get me off my fabulous butt.Besides, With the name of NT, Bill Gates would have sued it out of the sky for copyright infringement.

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A fellow English astronomer!! I haven't seen much of this breed for a while! I haven't seen the stars and sky for a while considering I'm not allowed out after 10PM, and thats when it gets dark! So all I can see is Vega and Arcturus and Venus :(! I wanna see Antares andthe Milky Way, but NOOOOOOOOOOO! Anyway, I've become a 2 season guy with Astronomy in the Winter (when its darker earlier and more things are out) and a Plane Spotter in the summer (I use my astro binocs for my plane spotting, its damn good too)LOL! Bill Gates sues asteroid...AND WINS! The geeks shall inherit the Earth!Anyways *scuttles away into distance*

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Hi there,While I have more than a passing interest in astronomy, I amDanish, not English. There is not much that beats a winter-night in a dark patch. I am not religious, but could an asteroid not be considereda creation of God(s), and thus precede MS by billions of years?;-)Also, the southern hemisphere is all but unchecked, and that'swhat you get for living in a world like this. We are the firstspecies on Earth that would actually have a fighting chance,and what do we do? Nothing. Roll on dinosaurs.Fly safe,-Niels Christiansen

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Niels,The asteroid will indeed have been around for a VERY long time, but it is only this year that it was given the (temporary) designation of 2002 NT7.Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Dan,The following list provides you with information regarding currently visible passes of ISS (the International Space Station).Date Time---- ----Jul 29 22.41Jul 30 21.44 23.20Jul 31 22.22 23.58Aug 1 21.25 23.01Aug 2 22.04 23.39Aug 3 22.42Aug 4 21.45Aug 5 22.23Aug 6 21.26Aug 7 22.04Aug 9 21.44Aug 11 21.25As you can see, a few of the times are before 10 p.m. !Best Wishes,Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Hehe, I'd go out tonight, but its WAY too hot outside (26!!) and besides, I've only got Boxer Shorts on cos its that hot, but I love seeing the ISS, and all the grannies going to church saying "Oh, we have progressed much, they've made stars move for *******!" And all that Jebus shizzat

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"Since your nerves need "re-igniting" here, let me just tell you about a lovely little asteroid called HERMES"Gee... thanks for that. I think it's time I take away your "friend" rating! :-lolYeah, to me, asteroid collision would be the worst. If they knew it was coming, and told us, it would be massive panic. People might try to evacuate the crash zone, but if the asteroid is big enough, it wouldn't matter, because the whole earth would be affected. Climate change, disease, and crime would overtake. Uugh, it's not something I even like to think about. I hardly think I could cope if it truly happened.On the other hand, nuclear weapons or 'dirty bombs' don't bother me much. Biological warfare is slighty concerning to me, but nothing compares to my fear of getting squashed from above.(8-|

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The orbit of Hermes isn't accurately known, but the really amazing part about this is that the orbital elements that I have for this object indicate that it will make another close approach to Earth on October 31 of THIS YEAR !Don't worry though. Like I said, the orbit isn't known with any real accuracy....................Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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