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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...roid-will-pass-an-astronomical-hairs-breadth/

Terribly written article, much worse that is the usual for PM. Example: the trajectory is uncertain, the flyby can happen at 1.5 million miles or 11.000 miles.
If they can be sure of 1 million miles how can be sure or 11,000 distance (versus 0 miles, for example). Another one: the object is 100 feet in diameter versus 60 feet for Chelyabinsk meteor. So, according to the article, the explosion would be twice as big. According to a simple math it would be 5 times as great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The variance you're talking about in distance is showing EXTREMES. It'll almost certainly happen somewhere in the middle of that (basically it'll miss).

As for the damage difference there's more to how much damage is caused than just size ... composition has every bit as important as a role. So while this asteroid might be five times larger it also is significantly more ice.
This is very very simple, no point in making it complicated:
1. If one shows an uncertainty spread, both sides must be to the same decimal points. Elementary honesty. So if the best they can determine is within 500,000 miles (1 1/2 million miles in the report), then the other side can't be within 1000 miles accuracy (11,000 miles in the report). So it is dishonest. Now we all know they always lie (and want to avoid panic), so I would have chuckled and let it go. But...
2. If Russian "meteor" was 60 feet in diameter, and the new one 100 feet, then the explosion would be 5 times greater, not 2 times greater. This particular lie is outrageous (and unnecessary). And the composition has nothing to do with this, since they can't possibly know it. The power would also depend on angle, but the can't possibly know that either.

And if I would rely on past experience with NASA (they underestimated explosive power of Russian meteor by 500 times, this new asteroid would be 3 miles in diameter instead of 100 feet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Angle of entry is extremely important as well. Given a very shallow entry it's likely to burn up before getting low enough to damage anything (or at least significantly shrinking in size before it impacts/explodes), or even just ricocheting back out.
Much more complicated then this (even though the angle MIGHT be important):
last year there were a "bolide" on south to north trajectory, which was flying at ZERO angle (horizontally). It flew for 3000 miles, never striking the Earth and just disappeared north of Canada (no witnesses there).
 
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