Our great grandkids are toast!
April 5, 2002 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Our great grandkids are toast! A one kilometre-wide chunk of space rock could strike the Earth in 2880, say astronomers... "This is not something to worry about," said Jon Giorgini, a senior engineer at the American space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory... "That's plenty of time to consider the options - 35 generations, in fact."
posted by y0mbo (12 comments total)
The question is, after the nuclear holocaust, will the surviving few remember and be able to do anything about it?
posted by daveadams at 12:12 PM on April 5, 2002

Might as well knock off work for the day, then: whatever I do isn't going to really count for much in the end anyway! :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 12:36 PM on April 5, 2002

they'll just have to call Bruce Willis great grandkids, then
posted by matteo at 12:43 PM on April 5, 2002

"We're showing that searches with optical telescopes and follow-up observations with radar telescopes can provide us centuries of advance notice about potential close encounters of asteroids with Earth."

Thus I believe humanity itself is life's adaptation to past cataclysmic events-for the first time life could possibly avert one of these nemeses-of course for us to be the actors-we have to make it through another 800 years first-but if not us-a subsequent species will accomplish the task. A step that must be critical to life's long range plans, whatever they may be.
posted by quercus at 12:54 PM on April 5, 2002

Reminds me of a Homer Simpson quote when their town is going to be destroyed by a comet:

"What's everyone so worked up about? So there's a comet - big deal. It'll burn up in our atmosphere and what ever's left will be no bigger than a chihuahua's head"
posted by jaden at 4:03 PM on April 5, 2002

what about right now ?!?
posted by gkr at 4:46 PM on April 5, 2002

Somehow I get the feeling that tomorrow's New York Times is going to have an article blaming this on the Republicans.
posted by mikegre at 5:46 PM on April 5, 2002

Our great grandkids are toast!

So, I guess being hit by a comet will cause our descendants to mutate into bread-based lifeforms?
posted by kindall at 6:00 PM on April 5, 2002

Serves `em right. The little fuckers never visit me, anyway.
posted by dong_resin at 6:03 PM on April 5, 2002

"Chicken Little was an optimist."
The Laws of the Year 2000 may apply here too.
The Rocky Mountain Survival Group reminds us the Chicken Little scenario is only one of many ...
An overly responsible Australian editorial?
An astronomer explains why he chose to alert the public.
posted by sheauga at 8:45 PM on April 5, 2002

Surely someone will have invented a railgun powerful enough to knock these suckers out.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:18 PM on April 5, 2002

If you read the article, there's actually a fairly revolutionary proposal -- changing the asteroid's reflectivity, either less or more, so that over the next 800 years it speeds up or slows down based on the strength of the sun's light. This trick is not, of course, available to your newly-discovered planet-killers, but for this ilk it may be just the ticket, and not outside the bounds of current technology.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 PM on April 5, 2002

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