Tag Archives: asteroid avoidance mission

Will Halloween 2015, Truly Be The Scariest Until 2027?QA x

29 Oct
A photo illustration featuring an arc of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) entering the Earth's orbital path. — Photo illustration: D a v i d J o h a n s on

A photo illustration featuring an arc of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) entering the Earth’s orbital path. — Photo illustration: D a v i d  A  J o h a n s o n

Multimedia eLearning program by: D a v i d A. J o h a n s o n ©

The author is a multimedia photographer, CTE instructor and a former Boeing scientific photographer. For an alternative graphic presentation of this program, please visit: http://BigPictureOne.wordpress.com

Last night I was inspired to take photos of a dramatic moonrise appearing above the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. It was an exceptionally clear evening, which enabled the luminous clarity of the moon to reveal its turbulent history.

In fact, the Earth shares some frightening historic parallels with all of its neighboring planets within our solar system. Indeed, of all world’s collateral past and future events, it is the asteroid or comet nemeses which present a potential close encounter of the worst kind!

Ignorance Is Bliss

Since the beginning of time, on a nearly daily basis, these extraterrestrial objects known as an asteroid come perilously close (relative to celestial distance) to our planet Earth. NASA scientists developed a method of categorizing Near Earth Objects (NEO) for tracking the orbital path of asteroids and comets. The space agency’s Near-Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Program, often referred to “Spaceguard” tracks and catalogues celestial objects coming to within 30 million miles (96,560,400 kilometers) of Earth. Ground and space-based telescope resources are used for increased surveillance and tracking of these unwelcome space nomads.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHAs) is what NASA currently uses for its parameters to gauge an asteroid’s potential impact threat to the Earth. If an asteroid is projected to travel within the moon and Earth’s orbit, it’s considered a potentially Earth-impact threat and depending on its specific trajectory, it is then placed into groups (Athen, Apollo Amor) for enhanced analysis. If a PHA were detected, it should not be assumed that an imminent Earth-collision is about to happen, however, understating or ignoring this catastrophic potential could lead to an early and permanent retirement of most life on Earth.
2015tb145_s
Blinded By The Light of Day

On February 15, 2013 the asteroid 367943 Duende was long-predicted to approach and pass dangerously close to Earth. On that morning, just after sunrise near Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia a 20 meter sized meteor exploded as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere from a shallow angle. A radiant superbolide meteor blast occurred at an elevation of just under 30 km (18 miles) creating an intense light brighter than the Sun.

The estimated energy released was equivalent to approximately 500 kilotons of TNT, upwards of 30 times the explosive energy of the atomic bomb detonated above Hiroshima. Regional hospitals treated approximately 1,500 people for injuries and at least 7,000 buildings were damaged in half a dozen cities as an indirect result of the meteor’s shock wave.

The Chelyabinsk asteroid literally snuck under the radar as not all 15 meters wide, near-Earth objects are tracked and catalogue. The trajectory of the asteroid aligned so close to the Sun that it was not visible to the instruments responsible for locating such objects.

Within 16 hours after this unexpected event, the forecasted asteroid 367943 Duende perilously flew past Earth by 27,700 km without incident. In the days that followed, there were increased sightings of bright meteors streaking through the night sky. International space agencies and sources concluded that due to the divergent trajectories of the two celestial objects, they could not possibly be related. Consequently, this event illustrates how unprepared the World community currently is for developing essential contingencies to mitigate the range of potential dangers that asteroids present.

 NASA illustration

— NASA illustration

A Sobering Series Of Events

By coincidence, the Chelyabinsk event is cited as the second largest asteroid to impact the Earth’s atmosphere in recorded history. The larger, 1908 Tunguska event was caused from a 50 meter wide asteroid strike, which detonated at a 28,000 foot elevation. In an instant this event leveled approximately 800 square miles of Siberian forest that contained 80 million trees. The subsequent fireball is estimated to have released the energy equivalent of 185 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

The mother of all meteors to have collided with the Earth is the infamous Chicxulub asteroid, which impacted Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula 65 − 66 million years ago. This mammoth asteroid caused a 10 mile wide crater and was from a 60 km (37.28 mile) fragment associated with the larger 170 km wide parent body. It is estimated the Chicxulub impactor released the equivalent 100 teratons of TNT, which also qualifies as the largest explosion to happen on the planet. This asteroid’s impact is credited with the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, causing the worldwide extinction of most dinosaurs.

Size Does Matter

To put the potential horrific effects of asteroids into perspective, we can use past asteroid encounters to determine the likely scale of catastrophic damage that would likely occur.

An asteroid about 40 meters in width could level the largest cities on the globe. An asteroid or comet of 400 meters, similar in size to the asteroid which NASA has forecasted to come near the Earth on Halloween, would cause serious geological damage to an entire continent.

An asteroid about 1000 meters or larger, would likely end most life on Earth.

Trick Or Treat

Doomsday preppers are exceptionally excited regarding what NASA scientists are tracking and forecasting for asteroid 2015 TB 145. This 400 meter-wide (1,300 feet) is tracked using optical observatories and the radar technology of NASA’s Deep Network at Goldstone, California. Known as the ‘Great Pumpkin’ Halloween Asteroid, it is predicted to safely travel slightly beyond the moon’s orbit on October 31 at 10:05 a.m. PDT., before returning back on its circular journey into the vast realm of our solar system.

According to the Minor Planet Center, which catalogs Near-Earth objects (NEOs) this Halloween’s asteroid visitor is the closest known approach by any substantial celestial object until asteroid 1999 AN10 – which is a massive 800 meter sized object, whose orbit will return it near our moon in August 2027. ~

Resources And References Relating To This Subject Matter.

Halloween Asteroid a Treat for Radar Astronomy — http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news190.html

The Tunguska Impact — 100 Years Latter  — http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/30jun_tunguska/

Near-Earth Object Program — http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/

Near Earth Object Groups — http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/neo/groups.html

NEO Earth Close Approaches — http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ca/

Chicxulub Crater

Asteroid to narrowly miss Earth on Halloween — http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/21/us/asteroid-earth-nasa-halloween-feat/

Asteroid that could wipe out London — http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/592987/End-of-the-world-asteroid-Blood-Moon-September-apocalypse-armageddon-comet-meteor

Reflections From A Future Hawaii: Can A Tropical Paradise Become A Portal To Deep Space?

28 Feb

Honolulu, Hawaii 2054: Launch gateway to L4 & L5 space stations, Tranquility Moon Base and the Mars Frontier.

Honolulu, Hawaii 2054: Launch gateway to L4 & L5 space stations, L2 Lunar Hub and the Mars Frontier. Illuminated aircraft and monorail tubes bring early commuters into the City as twilight transitions to dawn. 

Multimedia essay by: David Johanson Vasquez © All  Rights

Waikiki, on Hawaii’s Island of Oahu is a Cross Roads of the World. The allure of this tropical city attracts millions of vacationing pilgrims from across the globe. Steady infusion of foreign and domestic investment creates a dynamic and often futuristic looking metropolis.

Digital display at the Galleria.

Digital display at the Galleria.

  On my last visit to Waikiki in November, I came across an ultramodern, duty-free, fashion and clothing store  located on its main boulevard. Entering this multiplex shopping site felt like being on the sci-fi movie sets for Spielberg’s Minority Report or  Ridely Scott’s Blade Runner. My son-in-law commented as he left the “Galleria” — “it was a sensory overload experience,” and headed back to the hotel to sleep it off. Hawa_Futr_BPP_121116_a38 . .

Portal entry to Waikiki's Galleria.

A hall portal entry to Waikiki’s Galleria.

Entering the Galleria is exciting and dynamic for those who are ready  for a hyper-sensory encounter while shopping for fashion and cosmetics products.

Honolulu’s Dynamic Style of Architecture

Honolulu encompasses Waikiki and has a rich, vibrant range of architectural styles, including its own unique “Hawaiian Architectural Style. Within Waikiki, the new architecture blends modern and Japanese style. 

Modern Hawaiian architectural style.

Modern Hawaiian architectural style.

Honolulu skyline with natural vegetation in foreground.

Honolulu skyline with natural vegetation in foreground.

From our condo balcony we could see a night panorama of Honolulu, which inspired  this essay’s theme of — a reflections from a future Hawaii. 

Waikiki_Pano_BPP_ewp_44

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Massive walls of electronic  projection frame the entry environment in Waikiki's Galleria.

Massive walls of electronic projection frame the entry environment in Waikiki’s Galleria.

The Sky Is No Longer The Limit For Digital Displays

Contemporary marketing and advertising have embraced electronics LED’s to capture our attention and stimulate our senses. We can expect the future will sustain sensory overload for the marketing of products, services and ideas on a global scale.     

 

Multimedia environments are more common in the 21st Century. As natural environments are increasingly altered or replaced by new ones, projections of “paradise lost” will attempt to fill an expanding void.

Honolulu skyline with natural vegetation in foreground.

Honolulu panorama

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A Scenario For Things To Come

Advances in artificial intelligence [AI] and remote-control technology continues expanding its role in automating transportation industries. Seamless, point-A-to-point-B travel provided by auto pilot features in ground and air transportation standard— World travel  becomes even more assessable and affordable. 

A futuristic Boeing pilotless passenger jet with personal projection systems ( PPS).

A futuristic Boeing pilotless passenger jet with personal projection systems ( PPS).

Both Work and play  amenities can be extended to just about any  cabin environment for an enhanced travel experience.

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South Point (Ka Lae) – Naalehu, Big Island, Hawaii +18° 54′ 39.96″, -155° 40′ 52.00″ “The Pan Pacific Launch Site” — Gateway To Lunar And Deep Space Exploration

↑As international space exploration matures, greater consortiums and partnerships develop between countries and corporations to create  space operations staging points near Earth’s orbit.

NASA Illustration of Lagrange Ponts of Earth-Sun System (not proportion to scale)

NASA Illustration of Lagrange Ponts of Earth-Sun System (not proportioned to scale)

The Lagrangian Points: of L2, L4 and L5 are  locations relatively close to Earth, which provide stable orbits for building hubs to assist in lunar, deep-space and asteroid exploratory missions. 

 

                   

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

The Big Island of Hawaii's South Point ( Ka Lae) is in the neighborhood of 1,400 miles from the  Equator,  which requires less fuel for launching rockets into orbit.

The Big Island of Hawaii’s South Point ( Ka Lae) is in the neighborhood of 1,400 miles from the Equator, which requires less fuel for launching rockets into orbit.  On the right, a SpaceX rocket has lifted off from the Pan Pacific Launch Site, on its journey to an international L2 Lunar Hub – Photo illustration: David Johanson Vasquez © 

Rocket view looking back towards Hawaii's Pan Pacific Launch Site.

Space view looking back towards Hawaii’s Pan Pacific Launch Site. Photo by: David Johanson Vasquez ©

Locations of previous NASA Apollo Manned landing sites. Photo illustration courtesy of NASA.

Locations of previous NASA Apollo Manned landing sites. Photo illustration courtesy of NASA.

Section view of International L2 Lunar Hub in stable platform orbit. Prime contracting consortium: Boeing, Mitsubishi HI, AviChina, Hindustan Aeronautics and ST Engineering.  — Photo illustration: David Johanson Vasquez ©

Section view of International L2 Lunar Hub in stable platform orbit. Prime contracting consortium: Boeing, Mitsubishi HI, AviChina, Hindustan Aeronautics and ST Engineering. — Photo illustration: David Johanson Vasquez ©

"Asteroid 1" - artist concept of asteroid mining mission to an Earth approaching asteroid.NASA sponsored a study on space manufacturing held at Ames Research Center (ARC) June1977, commissioned painting by - Denise Watt.

Asteroid 1″ – artist concept of asteroid mining mission to an Earth approaching asteroid.
NASA sponsored a study on space manufacturing held at Ames Research Center (ARC) June 1977, commissioned painting by – Denise Watt.

Digital post cards from the Martian Frontier.— Photo illustration: David Johanson Vasquez ©

Digital post cards from the Martian Frontier.
— Photo illustration: David Johanson Vasquez ©

Digital post cards from Mars - mining operations on the "Red Planet."  — Photo illustration: David Johanson Vasquez © All Rights.

Digital post cards from the Martian Frontier – mining operations during a “Red Planet”sunset. — Photo illustration: David Johanson Vasquez © All Rights.

Links & Resources:

http://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=4926

University of Hawaii Manoa Small-Satellite Program Selected for NASA launch

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http://www.universityofhawaiiinnovation.com/features/readying-for-liftoff/

University of Hawaii innovation article about UH College of Engineering Satellite Program –  by: Jolyn Okimoto Rosa

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHdNSS85c5M

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Please view this window into the future, with a marvelous video of a low Earth orbit (LEO). Watch in full view mode, with the volume turned up.

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