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File Title Astroids

NASA Announced that Apophis will hit Earth in 2029

Bryner 11(Michelle Bryner, MSNBC reported,, 2/4/2011) In 2004, NASA scientists announced that there was a chance that Apophis, an asteroid larger than two football fields, could smash into Earth in 2029. A few additional observations and some number-crunching later, astronomers noted that the chance of the planet-killer hitting Earth in 2029 was nearly zilch. Now, reports out of Russia say that scientists there estimate Apophis will collide with Earth on April 13, 2036. These reports conflict on the probability of such a doomsday event, but the question remains: How scared should we be?Technically, theyre correct, there is a chance in 2036 (that Apophis will hit Earth)," said Donald Yeomans, head of NASAs Near-Earth Object Program Office. However, that chance is just 1-in-250,000, Yeomans said.The Russian scientists are basing their predictions of a collision on the chance that the 900-foot-long Apophis will travel through whats called a gravitational keyhole as it passes by Earth in 2029.The gravitational keyhole they mention is a precise region in space, only slightly larger than the asteroid itself, in which the effect of Earth's gravity is such that it could tweak Apophis' path.The situation is that in 2029, April 13, (Apophis) flies very close to the Earth, within five Earth radii,so that will be quite an event, but weve already ruled out the
possibility of it hitting at that time, Yeomans told Lifes Little Mysteries. On the other hand, if it goes through what we call a keyhole during that close Earth approach then it will indeed be perturbed just right so that it will come back and smack Earth on April 13, 2036, Yeomans said.The chances of the asteroid going through the keyhole, which is tiny compared to the asteroid, are minuscule, Yeomans added.The more

likely scenario is this: Apophis will make a fairly close approach to Earth in late 2012 and early 2013, and will be extensively observed with ground-based optical telescopes and radar systems. If it seems to be heading on a destructive path, NASA will devise the scheme and machinery necessary to change the asteroids orbit, decreasing the probability of a collision in 2036 to zero, Yeomans said.There are several ways to change an asteroids orbit, the simplest of
which is to run a spacecraft into the hurtling rock. This technology was used on July 4, 2005, when Deep Impact smashed into the comet Tempel.

Earth was slammed by an asteroid 65 million years ago destroying the entire dinosaur population,8599,36882,00.html In the most famous example of rock-on-rock catastrophe, the Earth was slammed 65 million years ago by a massive rock formation that created an enormous crater in the Yucatan Peninsula and probably caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Everyone recognizes the devastating effect of the dino-death asteroid, Jaroff points out, but many people are still hesitant to assign any real significance to asteroid studies. "The scientists who began looking for information back in the
1970s were hamstrung by a general lack of funding. They were greeted in Congress by giggles."

There are over 200 astroids more than a kilometer away from the Earths orbit, must act now,8599,36882,00.html
This reaction, while not uncommon, is not realistic given the history of serious collisions, says Jaroff, and the possibility of future events.

"We now have a catalog of 200-odd asteroids more than a kilometer across whose trajectories bring them very close to Earth's orbit. A piece of rock that's a kilometer or larger would have worldwide consequences if it hit the planet." Specifically, the sky would go dark with ash, plant life would die and existence would be generally much less enjoyable. And even if a relatively small asteroid were to make contact with a major metropolitan area, Jaroff says, the resultant injury would not be wholly dependent on the rock's size. "An asteroid 300 yards across would cause immense damage in a large city. The speed at which these things travel means that if one came to a sudden stop, as in a collision, the energy of the speed would be converted into almost inconceivable amounts of heat."

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New telescope technology (CCDs) emerging around 1990 increased the discovery rate of all asteroids and confirmed the above theory on the abundance of asteroids (based on solid statistical sampling rates). In fact, the latest estimates project that there are about 300,000 near-Earth asteroids over 100 meters in diameter, and about 2000 over 1 kilometer in diameter. If an asteroid of size 200 meters hit the ocean (which covers 70% of the Earth), the tsunami (i.e., giant wave) it would create would inflict catastrophic destruction of coastal cities and substantial worldwide human casualties along coastlines. If an asteroid of size 1 kilometer hit Earth, it would cause a dust cloud which would

block out sunlight for at least a year and lead to a deep worldwide winter, exhausting food supplies. The latter is what caused the dinosaur extinction, as well as other major extinctions of smaller creatures in geologic time scales.
The 200 meter asteroid hits, which are far more common than the 1 km+ hits, wouldn't show up much in geologic histories on a global scale.

Astroids turn into dangerous explosions, destroying much of earth

Strobel 10(Nick Strobel, Astronomy Professor,, June 4 2010) Obviously, something this big hitting the Earth is going to hit with a lot of energy!Let's use the energy unit of 1 megaton of
TNT (=4.2 1015 Joules) to describe the energy of the impact. This is the energy one million tons of dynamite would release if it was exploded and is the energy unit used for nuclear explosions. The largest yield of a thermonuclear warhead is around 50--100 megatons. The kinetic

energy of the falling object is converted to the explosion when it hits. The 10-kilometer object produces an explosion of 6 107 megatons of TNT (equivalent to an earthquake of magnitude 12.4 on the Richter scale). The 1kilometer object produces a milder explosion of "only" 6 104 megatons (equivalent to an earthquake of magnitude 9.4 on the Richter scale). On its way to the impact, the asteroid pushes aside the air in front of it creating a hole in the atmosphere. The atmosphere above the impact site is removed for several tens of seconds. Before the surrounding air can rush back in to fill the gap, material from the impact: vaporized asteroid, crustal material, and ocean water (if it lands in the ocean), escapes through the hole and follows a ballistic flight back down.Within two minutes after impact, about 105 cubic kilometers of ejecta (1013 tons) is lofted to about 100 kilometers. If the asteroid hits the ocean, the surrounding water returning over the the hot crater floor is vaporized (a large enough impact will break through to the hot lithosphere and maybe the even hotter asthenosphere), sending more water vapor into the air as well as causing huge steam explosions that greatly compound the effect of the initial impact explosion.

Astroidcollision lead to tsunamis

Strobel 10(Nick Strobel, Astronomy Professor,, June 4 2010) The oceans cover about 75% of the Earth's surface, so it is likely the asteroid will hit an ocean. The amount of water in the ocean is nowhere near large enough to "cushion" the asteroid. The asteroid will push the water aside and hit the ocean floor to create a large crater. The water pushed aside will form a huge tidal wave, a tsunami. The tidal wave height in meters = (distance from impact)-0.717 (energy of impact)0.495/ (1010.17). What this means is that a 10-km asteroid hitting any deep point in the Pacific (the largest ocean) produces a megatsunami along the entire Pacific Rim.

Astroids lead to Acidic Rain

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Strobel 10(Nick Strobel, Astronomy Professor,, June 4 2010) The heat from the shock wave of the entering asteroid and reprocessing of the air close to the impact produces nitric and nitrous acids over the next few months to one year. The chemical reaction chain is: N2 + O2 > NO (molecular nitrogen
combined with molecular oxygen produces nitrogen monoxide) 2NO + O2 > 2NO2 (two nitrogen monoxide molecules combined with one oxygen molecule produces two nitrogen dioxide molecules) NO2 is converted to nitric and nitrous acids when it is mixed with water. These

are really nasty acids. They will wash out of the air when it rains---a worldwide deluge of acid rain with damaging effects: destruction or damage of foliage; great amounts of weathering of continental rocks; the upper ocean organisms are killed. These organisms are responsible for locking up carbon dioxide in their shells (calcium carbonate) that would eventually become limestone. However, the shells will dissolve in the acid water. That along with the "impact winter" (described below) kills off about 90% of all marine nanoplankton species. A majority of the free oxygen from photosynthesis on the Earth is made by nanoplankton. The ozone layer is destroyed by O3 reacting with NO. The amount of ultraviolet light hitting the surface increases, killing small organisms and plants (key parts of the food chain). The NO2 causes respiratory damage in larger animals. Harmful elements like Beryllium, Mercury, Thallium, etc. are let loose

Impacts of Astroids lead to sun blockage

Strobel 10(Nick Strobel, Astronomy Professor,, June 4 2010) All of the dust in the air from the impact and soot from the fires will block the Sun. For several months you cannot see your hand in front of your face! The dramatic decrease of sunlight reaching the surface produces a drastic shortterm global reduction in temperature, called impact winter. Plant photosynthesis stops and the food chain collapses. The cooling is followed by a much more prolonged period of increased temperature due to a large increase in the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is increased because of the increase of the carbon dioxide and water vapor in the air. The carbondioxide level rises because the plants are burned and most of the plankton are wiped out. Also, water vapor in the air from the impact stays aloft for awhile. The temperatures are too warm for comfort for awhile.
In the early 1990s astronomers requested funding for an observing program called Spaceguard to catalog all of the near-Earth asteroids and short period comets. The international program would take 10 years to create a comprehensive catalog of all of the hazardous asteroids and comets. The cost for the entire program (building six special purpose telescopes and operation costs for ten years) would be less than what it costs to make a popular movie like Deep Impact or Armageddon.

And, the Impact would be equivalent to 2000 standard-size hydrogen bombs

Kunich 97(Liutenant Colonel John C.Kunich, associate professor of law, B15&key=fe8687d4035b24e64437b36a6953bed3, 1997) If you were standing on Kosrae Island off the New Guinea coast on February 1, 1994, you would have seen a blast in the sky as bright as the Sun. This was caused by a small meteor entering Earth's atmosphere at 15 kilometers per second (roughly 33,500 miles per hour). Fortunately for you and everyone else nearby, the meteor exploded at high altitude, over a sparsely populated region; the blast had the force of 11 kilotons of TNT. This was not your first neardeath experience. On March 23, 1989, an asteroid about 800 meters in diameter narrowly missed the Earth (by about 6 hours' difference in relative position). If this asteroid had struck the Earth, the impact would have released energy equivalent to about 40,000 megatons of TNT, or 2,000 standard-size hydrogen bombs. 2 On an even larger scale, on December 8, 1992, a large asteroid named Toutatis missed hitting this planet by only two lunar distances. This was a very lucky day for everyone on Earth, because Toutatis is nearly 4 kilometers in diameter. 3 If it had hit us, the force of the collision would have generated more energy than all the nuclear weapons in existence combinedapproximately 9 million megatons of TNT. Is there anything that can be done about these monumental hazards, other than worry? Recently, there has been some discussion about taking positive steps to protect the Earth. Planetary defense is the shorthand term for an interrelated cluster .

Asteroid that will hit earth in 2200 will Destroy the Earth

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AstroBio 10(Planetary Science Institute, Institute based upon scientific research,,10/27/10)

A gigantic asteroid is on course to make contact with Earth by 2200, potentially destroying all life on the planet. The asteroid has a one in 1000 chance of making contact with the Earth, with September 24, 2182 the most likely contact date. 1999 RQ36, the name of the asteroid, is larger than 1,800 feet across, according to the Daily Mail. The asteroid will need to be confronted 100 years before it arrives, so by 2082, if we are to have any chance of stopping it.This is a tail risk scenario that might be something to pay attention to over the next two centuries.

Astroid crashing destroys the Ozone Layer AstroBio 10(Planetary Science Institute, Institute based upon scientific research,,10/27/10)

An asteroid crashing into the deep ocean could have dramatic worldwide environmental effects including depleting the Earths protective ozone layer for several years, a Planetary Science Institute researcher has found. This could result in a huge spike in ultraviolet radiation levels and hamper efforts to grow crops, as well as affect other life forms on Earth. A medium-sized asteroid -- between 500 meters and one km in diameter -- smashing into Earths deep oceans would send vast amounts of seawater into the air, said ElisabettaPierazzo, PSI senior scientist. In the past, the interest in the effects of oceanic impacts of medium sized asteroids have focused on the danger of regional tsunami, but Pierazzos new approach, published recently in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has used computer modeling scenarios to look at the effects such a strike would have on the atmospheric ozone. Working with a team of atmospheric scientists, she looked at two asteroid impact scenarios: 500 meter and one km diameter asteroids impacting an ocean 4 km deep. This work represents the first attempt at combining impact simulations with a three-dimensional shock physics code and atmospheric simulations using a general circulation model with interactive chemistry, she said. The results suggest that mid-latitude oceanic impact of one km asteroids can produce significant global perturbation of upper atmospheric chemistry, including multi-year global ozone depletion comparable to record ozone holes recorded in the mid 1990s. The modeling depicted how rapidly ejected seawater, included as water vapor and compounds like chloride and bromide that hasten the destruction of the ozone, would affect atmospheric chemistry, said Pierazzo, the papers lead author and project principal investigator. The removal of a significant amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere for an extended period of time can have important biological repercussions at the Earths surface as a consequence of increase in surface UV-B irradiance, she said. These include increased incidence of erythema (skin reddening), cortical cataracts, changes in plant growth and changes in molecular DNA.

Destruction of Ozone Kills most of life on Earth AstroBio 10(Planetary Science Institute, Institute based upon scientific research,,10/27/10)

While technology does not currently exist for diverting or destroying an asteroid headed for Earth, with enough lead-time and preparation the long-term consequences of such an impact can be diminished, she said. Farmers could plant crops with higher tolerance to UV radiation to make up for the types that would not thrive, or survive, because of the breached ozone layer, she said. Food could be stored to prepare for a few years of reduced productivity, both on land and in the ocean. Earth's ozone layer protects life on our planet from harmful UV radiation originating from the Sun. Credit: NASA/Soho The spike in UV radiation would also affect humans and animals, she said. The ultraviolet index, or UVI, is a scale used to indicate the intensity of UV radiation at the Earths surface, and the higher the number the greater chance of damage to the skin and eyes. A UVI of 10 or greater tends to be dangerous, resulting in burns to people with fair skin in a few minutes exposure, she said. The highest UVI recorded on Earth has been 20, she said. The results of a 500-meter asteroid impact could see the UVI jump to values above 20 for several months in the northern subtropics, and an impact by a 1 km asteroid would see the UVI rise up to 56, with levels exceeding 20 for about two years south of about 50 degrees latitude in both hemispheres, she said. A level of 56 has never been recorded before, so we are not sure what it is going to do, she said. It would be produce major sunburn. We could stay inside to protect ourselves, but if you go outside during daylight hours you would burn. You would have to go outside at night, after sunset, to avoid major damage. The research was funded by a NASA Exobiology grant.


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The Earth is over populated, has depleted rain forests, deteriorating ozone layer, global warming, and is a stressed out planet.
Villanueva 10(John Carl Villanueva, writer on Universe Today,, March 30, 2010)
Although Earth is abundant with natural resources, these natural resources are not unlimited. This is why practically all space programs include space colonization among their long-term goals.Space colonization refers to the setting up of a self-sufficient human habitat outside planet Earth. The nearest candidate is the Moon. This is followed by Mars and then perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star from our Sun. Signs that the Earth is feeling the pressure of the ever mushrooming

population are everywhere. Depleted rain forests, deteriorating ozone layer, uninhabitable rivers, and Global Warming are evidences of a stressed-out planet. Sure, there are solutions to these problems. But the fact remains that, pretty soon, the demands of our growing population would be too much for this planet to handle.The Apollo Program has shown us that it is possible to land and even walk on the Moon. Building structures there is not an impossible task.However, there is one main concern the presence of water. For the Moon or any celestial body to be habitable, it has to
have water. If possible, that water has to be in liquid form.

Space is the Only way for Humans to Survive in the Long Term
Kazan 09(Casey Kazan, writer for Daily Galaxy,, April 16, 2009) Humans have always been fascinated by the idea of space travel. Some even believe that colonizing new planets our best hope for the future. The popular idea is that well eventually need some fresh, unexploited new worlds to inhabit. In a recent Galaxy post we wrote that Stephen Hawking, world-celebrated expert on the cosmological theories of gravity and black holes who holds Issac Newton's Lucasian Chair at Cambridge University, believes that traveling into space is the only way humans will be able to survive in the long-term. "Life on Earth," Hawking has said, "is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers ... I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space." Galaxy-S Another of his famous quotes reiterates his position that we need to get off the planet relatively soon. "I don't think the human race will survive the next 1,000 years unless we spread into space."

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Energy Is not a problem in Space

Villanueva 10(John Carl Villanueva, writer on Universe Today,, March 30, 2010) With water, people can grow plants, which can then serve as sources of food. Energy is not a problem since Solar energy is readily available on the Lunar surface. Since there is no atmosphere on the Moon, energy from the Sun can reach solar panels unhindered. Solar panels are already being used to power satellites and even the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity, so theres no question to their reliability. Spirit and Opportunity are two mobile robots that are currently
exploring the surface of the Red Planet.

Water is not a problem in space

Villanueva 10(John Carl Villanueva, writer on Universe Today,, March 30, 2010) As with regards to the water problem, a possible solution may lie in the water ice deposits found in some polar craters on the Moon. Data gathered by the LCROSS lunar impact mission presented proofs of the presence of water ice there. If space colonization on the Moon is not possible, then theres always Mars.

Mars is a good candidate for colonization


Villanueva 10(John Carl Villanueva, writer on Universe Today,, March 30, possesses many attributes that make it a very good candidate for colonization. Mars has a similar axial tilt to the Earths, giving it seasons similar to ours. It has a thin atmosphere that can partially shield inhabitants from solar and cosmic radiation. Best of all, like the Moon, Mars also has water ice deposits on its surface. Many of us may still be alive to witness the first stages of space colonization. Russia intends to send cosmonauts by 2025 in order to
establish a manned moon base there. Still think the Apollo missions, particularly the lunar landings, were part of an elaborate hoax?