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Could a Comet Hit Mars in 2014? [merged x2]

mars comets impact comet c/2013 a1 comet siding spring

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#31    shaddow134

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:19 AM

View PostWaspie_Dwarf, on 15 March 2013 - 03:34 PM, said:





That would depend on where on Mars it hit.

Surely if the Comet is as big as they say then if it hits,even on the opposite side of the planet,the shock would travel the entire circumference of Mars.

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#32    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:10 AM

View Postshaddow134, on 16 March 2013 - 02:19 AM, said:

Surely if the Comet is as big as they say then if it hits,even on the opposite side of the planet,the shock would travel the entire circumference of Mars.

There is a huge difference between shock waves travelling around a planet and those shock waves being powerful enough to destroy a rover thousands of miles away. The Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia produced shock waves in the atmosphere that were detected over the entire planet even though the damage was local. Remember Mars has a much thinner atmosphere than Earth's so the atmospheric shock waves will be considerably less powerful than they would be here.

As for seismic shock waves, again these are likely to travel around the whole planet, but then that happens with large earthquakes on Earth. If the impact is close enough these could damage a rover (if you are too close the fireball will incinerate you before you even have to worry about the seismic waves). But the seismic waves will not flatten everything on Mars. When the Earth was hit by the Chixulub object that wiped out the dinosaurs the extinctions were not caused by the impact itself, it was the result of the massive forest fires which followed (not a problem on Mars) and the smoke and dust which obscured the sun for4 years causing plants to die.

If such a dust cloud formed on Mars it could spell the end for Opportunity as it is solar powered, but Curiosity is nuclear powered and would not be aversely affected.

So, as I said, it depends on where the comet hits.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 16 March 2013 - 11:11 AM.

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#33    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:40 PM


ScienceCasts: Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars

Visit http://science.nasa.gov/ for breaking science news.

A comet is heading for Mars, and there is a chance that it might hit the Red Planet in October 2014.  An impact wouldn't necessarily mean the end of NASA's Mars program. But it would transform the program along with Mars itself.

Source: Science@NASA - YouTube Channel

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 27 March 2013 - 06:41 PM.
video re-released. Applied new link.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#34    Abramelin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:16 PM

Waspie, the video you posted is private.

But I found another one on YouTube:




#35    Abramelin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:38 PM

View PostAndromedan Starseed 333, on 11 March 2013 - 10:52 PM, said:

Nuclear weapons definitely not!!! It might pollute the earth's atmosphere and so on after they blow it up. It might somehow direct the radiation back to earth. But sometimes I say certain things that seem harsh, but this is an honest question here. Do we really need for something to happen in order to react, or do we see the potential dangerous side effects and effects of anything???. I mean, come on people, asteroids and comets and nuclear weapons are just bad news overall. Weapons do not protect the earth and life is not dangerous as we are taught to think. Should we stop using common sense and intelligence?  Of course not, nor be ignorant either. There are forces at work and behind the scenes, but its not what most may think, though. Another thing I have noticed about humanity is everything is in a crisis these days!!!

What are you trying to say here?


#36    Abramelin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:45 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 11 March 2013 - 01:53 PM, said:

I think a comet hitting Mars would be great.  It would create a brand-new crater, that no doubt would become a prime target for detailed study, both at collision and later.

There are times I think that 65 millions of years ago some far away civilization was watching an asteroid impacting on earth, and cheered while watching the spectacle.


#37    Frank Merton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:56 PM

More than likely the comet (in the unlikely event it does hit Mars -- we are talking about something that hasn't happend and probably won't) will throw a lot of debris into space, and some of it will come our way and land in a few million years on some ice sheet where our posterity can pick it up and study it for signs of life.


#38    Abramelin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:00 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 March 2013 - 02:56 PM, said:

More than likely the comet (in the unlikely event it does hit Mars -- we are talking about something that hasn't happened and probably won't) will throw a lot of debris into space, and some of it will come our way and land in a few million years on some ice sheet where our posterity can pick it up and study it for signs of life.

The debri could also end up here in just a couple of years, depending on the position of the Earth relevant to the position of Mars when the impact occurs.

.

Edited by Abramelin, 26 March 2013 - 03:04 PM.


#39    Frank Merton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:08 PM

I worded it as in millions of years and on ice sheets for a specific reason.


#40    Abramelin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:13 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 March 2013 - 03:08 PM, said:

I worded it as in millions of years and on ice sheets for a specific reason.

So did I when I said it could be just a couple of years.

We are now having an eye on Mars and the comet that might impact on Mars.


#41    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:16 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 26 March 2013 - 02:16 PM, said:

Waspie, the video you posted is private.

That's odd, it wasn't when I posted it. NASA have removed it for some reason.

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#42    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:08 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 26 March 2013 - 03:13 PM, said:



So did I when I said it could be just a couple of years

That is extraordinarily unlikely.

It takes a huge impact to be able to through rocks into space fast enough to reach escape velocity to start with (I really don't know if this impact would be large enough to do that, it would be less powerful than the Chixulub impact).

Even if this impact DOES throw rocks into space your scenario requires the rock to not just be accelerated to Mars escape velocity, which is 5kms-1 but would need it to be accelerated to velocity consistent with a Hohmann transfer orbit and that requires a velocity of 33 kms-1.

Even in the unlikely event of that happening it would still require an astronomically unlikely coincidence of the rocks being thrown into exactly the correct orbit to intersect the Earth on their first ( maybe second) orbit of the sun.

As I've said, I don't know if the impact would be large enough for any Martian meteorites to be formed, but if it was Frank's scenario is plausible, yours isn't.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#43    Abramelin

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:26 AM

Because no one can say for sure - at this moment - if, where, and in what angle the comet will impact on Mars, we'll have to wait for a moment close to October 2014 for more accurate data.

Btw, do you know what event on Mars was probably the cause of meteorites landing on Earth (Antarctica for instance) in the past?


#44    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:31 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 27 March 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

Because no one can say for sure - at this moment - if, where, and in what angle the comet will impact on Mars, we'll have to wait for a moment close to October 2014 for more accurate data.
It doesn't matter what angle or speed the impact occurs at, for the reasons I have already given your scenario is so hugely improbable that it can be discounted.

Your scenario has an even bigger flaw. As I have pointed out you need the rock to be accelerated to speeds of several ten of kms-1 in order for it to be on a trajectory that will intercept Earth in as little as two years. Mars has an atmosphere. Whilst it may be thin it would will present a barrier to smaller objects reaching the surface. Now it doesn't matter if you are travelling down through the atmosphere or up through it you still have to pass through all of it and there fore experience the same amount of friction. Worse still your rock will encounter the thickest part first. At the speeds your scenario needs small pieces of rock are likely to encounter enough friction to vaporise them. Even if they did survive the atmospheric friction would have slowed them requiring an even greater initial velocity to be imparted by the impact. Frank's scenario requires far lower velocities allowing for the rocks to survive their journey through the atmosphere.

Frank's scenario fits with the observed facts. The famous Alan Hills meteorite, for example, arrived on Earth about 13 thousand years ago, but was blasted of off Mars some 16 million years ago.

View PostAbramelin, on 27 March 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

Btw, do you know what event on Mars was probably the cause of meteorites landing on Earth (Antarctica for instance) in the past?
Martian meteorites are of varying ages and compositions and so several different impact event must have been responsible and must have not yet been tied in with a specific impact event.

At least some of the Martian meteorites known as shergottites are believed to have originated in the impact event that cause the Zunil crater on  Cerberus Fossae (see this wikipedia page: Zunil (crater)).

ALH84001 has been connected with a crater in the Eos Chasma ( see this New Scientist article).

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#45    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:42 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 26 March 2013 - 02:16 PM, said:

Waspie, the video you posted is private.

NASA have re-released the video. All very strange.

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