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Asteroid the Size of 112 Camels Zoomed By Earth on Wednesday

Asteroid the Size of 112 Camels Zoomed By Earth on Wednesday

NASA confirms that crashing a spacecraft into an Earth-bound asteroid could prevent impact. Sweet Meteor of Death hardest hit.

As of the preparation of this report, Asteroid 2023 DQ has already completed its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of just 2.3 million kilometers, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The Jerusalem Post had a fun take on the size of the Near Earth Object, expressing its size in camels.

A massive asteroid the size of 112 Dromedary camels is set to pass by Earth on Wednesday, the holiday of Shushan Purim, according to NASA’s asteroid tracker.

The asteroid in question has been designated 2023 DQ, having been discovered fairly recently this year, according to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Its arrival also coincides with Shushan Purim, which is when Purim is celebrated in a select few cities, such as Jerusalem.

Asteroid 2023 DQ is pretty large, all things considered, with NASA estimating its maximum diameter at 270 meters.

For comparison, the average Dromedary camel, meaning the large single-humped camels, can grow to be around 2.4 meters in height. This means that the diameter of this asteroid is as much as over 112 Dromedary camels stacked atop one another foot to hump.

While 2.3 million miles may seem like a clear miss, it is still close enough. Therefore, I can report some good news: NASA’s DART testing (which we have covered at Legal Insurrection) has confirmed that crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid could alter its trajectory, protecting Earth from a potential doomsday scenario.

…[O]n March 1, four papers published in the journal Nature elaborated on how this type of mission — a “kinetic impactor” — could be effective at altering the trajectory of an asteroid.

A key element to this technique is early detection. Unlike the movie “Armageddon,” in which the asteroid was discovered last-minute, crashing into an asteroid works best when that rock is years, preferably decades, from striking the Earth.

“The results demonstrate how successful the kinetic impactor technique can be — paving the way for a bright future for planetary defense,” Jason Kalirai, civil space mission area executive at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory that led the DART investigation team, said in a news release.

The authors of the first paper published March 1 note that the DART spacecraft’s ability to hit the asteroid autonomously is a critical first step toward making these planetary defense missions a reality.

The second paper determined that Dimorphos’ orbit was changed by 33 minutes, plus or minus 1 minute. This larger-than-expected change in orbit suggests that recoil from material flung off the asteroid and ejected into space also contributed to changing the asteroid’s orbit.

The third paper, calculating change in momentum, found the spacecraft slowed the asteroid’s speed along its orbit by about 2.7 millimeters per second.

The final paper examines how crashing into Dimorphos created an “active asteroid,” which is a space rock that orbits like an asteroid but has a tail of material like a comet.

The new protection might save Valentine’s Day 2046.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office said they have been tracking a new asteroid named 2023 DW that has a very small chance of impacting Earth on Feb. 14, 2046, when it passes the planet at a distance of about 1.1 million miles.

According to NASA, asteroid 2023 DW is roughly 162 feet wide (roughly as wide as an NFL football field) and will take 271 days to complete one solar orbit.

The new asteroid protection system is good news for everyone except the Sweet Meteor of Death and those who would welcome it!


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So that’s what that smell was.

Danger significance falls like the square of the miss distance, meaning this is a nothing. The number of ways to miss grows like the square of the miss distance, in other words, vs a fixed number of ways to hit (given by earth radius).

Sane volema kara rara kamelo venas. (Esperanto palindrome)

A healthily wishful dear rare camel is coming.

When you stack camels, you should calculate based on the camels being stacked by one camel’s belly being placed on top of the lower camel’s hump, not feet on the hump of the camel underneath. Stacked the proper way, I would estimate this meteor as being about 375 camels in height. This article greatly misstates the size of the meteor.

The Gentle Grizzly | March 9, 2023 at 6:11 pm

Did the satellite walk a mile for a camel?

A small boulder the size of a large boulder?

Lol! 112 camels??? Did a Bedouin come up with that?

Well that’s pretty interesting news since we found out that Bruce Willis apparently has dementia as bad as the pedophile in Chief so he can’t save us this time.

Morning Sunshine | March 9, 2023 at 8:00 pm

I understand engines measured in horse power, and horses measured in hands. I understand nautical miles measured in fathoms. But I have never heard of using “camels” as a unit of measurement….

If humankind ever manages to prevent an extinction-level event by knocking an asteroid off a collision course with earth, the feat will be worth all the money ever spent on science (and I mean all of science), because its value will be incalculable.

    The most effective place to hit a camel-sized asteroid is directly on the hump. Every rocket scientist worth his/her salt knows that.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to DaveGinOly. | March 9, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    What if we do the opposite? The only plausible way to destroy Russia without warning or possibility of retaliation is to direct 3 or more mile-sized asteroids (or fragments) to collide with that country. The objects would have to come from the direction of the sun so they would not be seen (and objects are easiest to divert at closest approach to the sun). Then one fateful morning, the rocks would impact Russia in a row as the sun rises over its different time zones, and completely incinerate the enemy. At the same time, our subs would be silently sinking their boomers to preclude the possibility of retaliation.

      Valerie in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | March 10, 2023 at 7:00 am

      Don’t give them ideas. They’re bad enough already.

      Except you also have to determine the timing precisely, since the Earth rotates. Precisely speeding up or slowing down the rocks is a much harder task than diverting its course.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | March 10, 2023 at 2:54 pm

      May I commend to your attention an old [I read it as a kid] but excellent science fiction novel by the late, great Robert A. Heinlein title “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”. The warning time is covered by the proximity of the launch site, and yes, rocks are thrown.

      Subotai Bahadur

    henrybowman in reply to DaveGinOly. | March 9, 2023 at 8:42 pm

    Except if governments are in charge, because you know they will be more likely to nudge it into a MORE dangerous trajectory than they will be to deflect it AWAY from us. BecAuSe tEh SCieNCe!

How many camels is the national debt?

How many camels does it take to produce as much crap as Biden does?

Obama would know what that means.. Good thing that it wasn’t just three wise men.

Surely Mecca was the destination.

thalesofmiletus | March 10, 2023 at 12:25 am

Anything to avoid using the metric system.

“2.3 million kilometers” isn’t “2.3 million miles”. It is something like 1,400,000 miles.

E Howard Hunt | March 10, 2023 at 8:51 am

I’d walk a light-year for that asteroid.

“completed its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of just 2.3 million kilometers, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).”
LI: “While 2.3 million miles may seem like a clear miss, it is still close enough.” (No, should be about 1.4 million MILES.)
NASA: “…tracking a new asteroid named 2023 DW that has a very small chance of impacting Earth on Feb. 14, 2046, when it passes the planet at a distance of about 1.1 million miles.”

And so the new one isn’t significantly closer, OR this one was “as significant”?

    henrybowman in reply to cbt. | March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Maybe it would be a little clearer to mention that it will be a tad under five times as far away as the moon. Do we all feel better about that?

Can someone convert the size to elephants?

The objects in the article are measured in camels and in football fields. Oh, the lengths we will go to disdain the metric system!

Hmmp. Or Hmmp Hmmp.