[meteorite-list] Asteroid warning, future impact, and panic

From: stan . <laser_maniac_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:31:29 2004
Message-ID: <Law10-F102pOmwRG7Wo0002ee2a_at_hotmail.com>

> What you've got to remember is that even the most sophisticated
>computer modeling is, at heart, just highly refined
>guesswork! Not only do we not have actual experience with impacts, if one
>actually happened tomorrow, there would be
>nobody on hand to observe it scientifically, take measurements of pressure
>waves, etc.
> We guess by scaling up from observed nuclear events and scaling down
>from inferences drawn from the remains of great
>impacts of the past.

I think you make impact modeling sound alot more guesswork than it actuall
is, or may be.

What we know of the effects caused by large explosions are based upon,
without any exageration, the results of literally thousands of sets of
experimental data. we can predict how such impacts will scale pretty darn
regularly. Sure there are variables at play such as the type of impact site
(bedrock vs water for example) angle of incidence, ect, but for an event
such as this, surely those in the know would take account for such variables
in their attempts to predict the outcome. while such estimates are not
absolute predictions, they are quite likely to be 'close enough for the
women i date' as the saying goes..

rememeber, essentially everything in science is an estimation. we can only
estimate the force of gravity to within the accuracy of the instruments we
use, but that estimation is still enough to allow us to calculate how much
it will hurt when we slip on a pach of ice and hit our head on the ground,
at least to an accuracy that is good enough for the situation at hand.

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Received on Sat 28 Feb 2004 03:26:00 PM PST


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