Category Archives: Science

ASE Calls for Asteroid Defense

Earlier last week a group of space explorers from the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) held a meeting with the UN in which they highly recommended an international defense in case a dangerous object such as an asteroid were to be headed toward Earth. It’s been 65 million years since such an event. In 2004 there was a scare with the asteroid Apophis which was recalculated to not be a threat. ASE has predicted there will be an immediate threat within the next 15 years.

Schweickart, an astronaught working with the ASE, says that they do not expect the UN to carry out an space missions, they just want somebody in charge of decision making. He says, When you have an asteroid threatening Earth, it’s uncertain where it’s going to hit until the last minute; the decision to take action has to be coordinated by the international community…. We’ve developed a program to get the international community prepared to make timely decisions so the technology we know we have can be used to protect life”

There have been several proposals in the past years on how to deflect an asteroid. The main proposal by the European Space Agency would involve sending up two space crafts. The first craft would plow into the asteroid while the second craft would check for a change in trajectory.


xPirate offers his thoughts: I’m still deciding whether I see asteroids as a direct threat to Earth right now. I think, given the 65 million years since the last major impact, that we’re probably due for something soon, right? Or not. Either way, it’s important to have a plan in case there was such a threat. The problems I see are that any asteroid that’s going to cause a big threat wouldn’t be easily moved by an man-made spacecraft. Perhaps if there is an asteroid headed to wipe all of us out, maybe it’s just our time to become extinct and we should accept that. Of course, scientists would never go for that.

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End of the World Halted due to Technical Errors

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest particle accelerator ever built that resides near Geneva. The collider’s purpose is to smash two protons together at extremely high speeds in an attempt to simulate the conditions created moments after the Big Bang. This has worried many of the world’s citizens as it is supposed to create a series of small black holes. It has been labeled on the internet as the “THE END OF THE WORLD!”

However, due to a recent helium leak, work with the LHC has been halted for another year. Scientists say the leak occurred after a faulty electrical connection shorted on the magnets that guide the protons. The helium keeps the magnets cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero (-273 Celsius). In order to fix the problem the room has to be slowly heated back up, the electrical error needs to be fixed, and then it needs to be slowly recooled. This will take up to the time when the lab closes for the winter season. Scientists have claimed the collider will be up and running again by April of 2009, if everything goes according to plan.

xPirate’s thought on the topic: The thing you’re probably all dying to hear is, do I think the LHC will be the cause of the end of the world? Well, if it keeps facing technical difficulties until 2012, then just maybe! We shouldn’t be worried too much about the LHC. If the world’s top physicists aren’t worried, then we have no reason to be. I mean, the atom bomb was supposed to set the atmosphere on fire. So who do we trust, a bunch of internet crazed maniacs who post pictures of a CERN physicist that looks like a Half-Life 2 character, or some of the brightest minds in the world?

What we really need to be worried about is what is going to happen in 2012 when the magnetic field reverses and the north and south pole suddenly switch places. The entire world flipping upside down in a matter of seconds? That’s TRUE danger if you ask me. Or maybe we need to be worrying about the collapsing economy. But I suppose that’s for another blog.

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