• 2010 ST3: A near miss.

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    After all the twaddle that is talked about “global warming” caused by that most deadly destroyer of planets, CO2 here are two astronomical photographs taken 15 minutes apart of an asteroid, with the unromantic title, 2010 ST3.

    This tiny speck is a small asteroid some 500 feet in diameter. If the greenies want to observe a “planet destroyer” – although this would not destroy the planet but it would cause catastrophic loss of life – wherever it hit – look no further than the heavens above. It is a fact that this planet has been struck by asteroids considerably larger than 2010 ST3 in the past and it will be hit in the future. Unless that is we can spot them in time and send a spacecraft to deflect it – by accelerating it to cause it to cross the earth’s orbital path before the earth reaches it – and not by sending up Bruce Willis and an H Bomb!

    It will pass within four million miles of Earth in mid-October. By cosmological standards that is a hair’s breadth. It was discovered using the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) PS1 on 16th September (the Editor’s birthday), when it was about 20 million miles away. It is the first ‘potentially hazardous object’ (PHO) to be discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey, using a new telescope designed to scan the skies for dangerous asteroids.

    The reason why this lump of space rock could cause so much damage is simple: Mass x Velocity. The mass will be in the order of hundreds of thousands of tons. It speed is roughly – easily calculated thus: 20 million miles a month equals 66,666 miles a day which equals 27,777 mph. That is around the escape velocity of earth’s gravity.

    It is a very good thing that the money has been found to set up this early warning system as it is needed. The British Gazette is firmly of the opinion that instead of needlessly worrying people about CO2 and forcing them to pay every higher electricity bills by having their electricity generated by ludicrously ineffective wind turbines, our politicians should be devoting resources to safeguard us from real dangers such as 2010 ST3. There is one politician that has in the past sought to raise this issue. This is Lembit Öpik Liberal Democrat member for Montgomeryshire from 1997 until he lost his seat in the 2010 General Election. Mr Öpik is now bravely seeking work as a stand up comedian in clubland. Do not mock. This is no easy career.

    Mr Öpik and the British Gazette may not see “eye to eye” on many things but at least we are in agreement on this.

    • If my school physics is properly remembered it is a much worse prospect than described……is not the kinetic energy found by a function of the speed squared? That is some energy!

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