[meteorite-list] A Plan To Place An Asteroid In Earth Orbit

From: Sterling K. Webb <sterling_k_webb_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 18:01:46 -0500
Message-ID: <AEBED33785CF4EFFA34971C30A30FE3A_at_ATARIENGINE2>

Hi, Bernd, List,

A mere 10-meter spherical asteroid? (To a physicist,
everything is spherical at the first approximation...)
That's 523.6 cu. meters. At a rock density of 2 to 3
metric tons per cu. meter, that's somewhere between
1047.2 and 1570.8 metric tons.

As a disaster, it's on a par with dropping a grand piano
on a cartoon coyote. It would be a slow approach and
MIGHT drop 10 kilos of meteorites, but probably not
unless it grazed the atmosphere at the correct angle.
However, a 10-meter asteroid is a tiny playground.

What if it were a 100-meter asteroid, ten times bigger,
and lots of surface (and about 1,000,000 tons). If you
accidentally dropped that object on the Earth, you'd
have a 250-meter crater and 0.2 MegaTon blast.

Too big to play with.

A 33-meter asteroid? Airbursts at 14 kilometers and
splatters a lot of fast fragments, but no craters. From
this I conclude that the 10-meter asteroid grab is a
Modest Proposal.

Unless, of course, it's an iron...

Sterling K. Webb
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bernd V. Pauli" <bernd.pauli at paulinet.de>
To: <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2011 4:51 PM
Subject: [meteorite-list] A Plan To Place An Asteroid In Earth Orbit

> "Interesting idea. What could possibly go wrong?"
> What if the nudge is a little bit too strong?
> What if the Moon interferes?
> What if this NEO is thus sent hurtling toward planet Earth?
> - utter devestation
> - millions of people killed
> - wildfires
> - tsunamis
> - earthquakes
> - tons and tons of material ejected into the atmosphere
> - etc., etc.
> Bernd
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Received on Mon 29 Aug 2011 07:01:46 PM PDT

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