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Could Another Chelyabinsk-Scale Meteor Hit Us

asteroids meteors chelyabinsk

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:55 PM

Could Another Chelyabinsk-Scale Meteor Sneak Up on Us?


Scientific American said:

When a 17-meter asteroid barreled into Earth’s atmosphere over central Russia on February 15, releasing a powerful shock wave that injured more than 1,000 people, many observers wondered how such a momentous event could arrive unheralded. The fact is, the object that exploded in a fireball over Chelyabinsk, releasing hundreds of kilotons of energy, was small potatoes. There may be millions of comparably sized objects in the inner solar system, only a small fraction of which have been discovered. The searches to date have been focused on tracking much larger dino-killers and other potentially catastrophic asteroids and comets—those objects larger than about one kilometer. So the door has been open to unpleasant but ultimately survivable asteroid surprises.

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#2    shaddow134

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:13 AM

With just over 100 years since Tunguska,it seems these could be quite regular events.I believe the energy release from this latest event has just been recalculated at 500 megatons,a direct hit would have been catastrophic.

Edited by shaddow134, 22 February 2013 - 02:13 AM.

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#3    GreenmansGod

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:05 AM

Once every hundred years, doesn't mean I couldn't happen tomorrow. That is an average, it really doesn't change the odds. Kind of like hurricanes it a crap shoot.

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#4    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 23 February 2013 - 12:05 AM, said:

Once every hundred years, doesn't mean I couldn't happen tomorrow. That is an average, it really doesn't change the odds. Kind of like hurricanes it a crap shoot.
Exactly. You could go a thousand years without one and then have three in a week. That is the nature of random events.

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#5    Frank Merton

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

Just what are the chances a given spot on the planet will be hit by a meteor that big?

What I think you are referring to is the gambler's fallacy -- something having just happened is seen to reduce or increase the chances of another just like it.  (Gamblers like to have it both ways).  Of course those rocks orbiting out there have no knowledge of what the other rocks are doing.






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