New Asteroid Discovered -
Possible Collision Path With Earth
From Jack Sarfatti

From Denis Meloche 8-22-1
Jeff - Check this orbit simulation for 2001 PM9 for June 2 1970. I know it is not accurate out to decades but it is interesting. Within .02 AU and the object has tracked through our orbit dragging debris in the past.
From Stephen
Dear Jeff,
If Asteroid 2001 PM9 avoids contact with Earth, it's going to hit Mars on
January 3rd 2040
I've been running through the Orbit Simulation Software at:
Please enter the date: Jan 3rd 2040 and use the scroll bars to animate
the path of the asteroid in the days leading up to Jan 3rd 2040 and you can
see the two objects are right over the top of each other. This doesn't look
like a near miss to me, but at least it's Mars and not the Earth.
I have attached a screenshot of the image in the Orbit Simulation
Regards, Stephen
Attachment converted: G4:2001PMS-MARS.jpg (JPEG/JVWR) (00091047)
I have since checked up on this with an expert and there is nothing to get panicked about.
My very reliable source wrote:
"I checked the IAUC and MPEC sites:
and there's nothing about it there, which is where I'd expect to hear about a potential impactor. They got so badly burned in the scare a few years ago, however, that they're probably inclined to be extra careful before publishing anything.
Note that on the NEODyS page:;main
the minimum possible distance for the close appeoaches is never less than 0.015 AU. Now an AU is 149,597,870 km, so that's a miss distance of 2,243,968, more than 350 Earth radii, so at first glance it doesn't look like there's anything to worry about. With such objects you can't really rely on osculating elements, especially those derived from only 8 days of observation; only with additional observations over a longer arc and numerical integration will really accurate predictions emerge.
There is a process for rating potential impactors on the "Torino Scale" based on closeness of approach and size. We'll have to see how this one is rated.
The one that gets us will probably hit on the daylight side like Tunguska, having never been observed beforehand. This is why we need a complete inventory of everything bigger than 1 km, so we can spot them well in advance.
for more details."
Mark Lambird wrote:
I read what was on about the asteroid. I was just curiuos how you came up with this info and how sure you are of what is in it. I don't want to sound mean but I just wondered if you could give me some back ground.
Mark Lambird
DE reporter
If this is for real, it means trouble.
If it's real, then forget protesting Bush's ABM with the "BAN SPACE WEAPONS" slogan - we need to get an effective space force up there now and hope we can blast the thing with nuclear tipped ICBMs launched from space platforms unless someone has a better idea? Even if this one misses, the problem will not go away and it must be faced! wrote:
Ok, Jack, now you have a readiness target date.
****** Forwarded Message Follows *******
Sorry to be the one to break this news, but a new Earth Impactor Asteroid has just been announced by NEODys, and this one...
1) Is very big
2) Is on the same order of magnitude of impact probability as 2001AV43
3) Will possibly impact the Earth in the very near future!
Let me introduce you to Asteroid 2001PM9.
a) Discovered on August 11, 2001 and observed up until August 16th. Its orbit was computed and posted today.
b) It's Absolute Magnitude suggests it is anywhere from 530m to 1.2km in diameter...that's up to nearly 3/4 of a mile in diameter!
c) It will make a relatively close pass to within .089AU on May 10, 2003. The first possible impact date calculated and the one with the highest probability of occurring is set for June 17, 2005. If it misses Earth on that pass there are another 28 possible impact dates calculated between 2005 and 2079.
Dear Readers, following are some facts that ought to set you right back in your chair, grow you some grey hairs - or cause a certain amount of lost sleep.
If 2001PM9 impacts the Earth...
1. It will be the kind of impact event that only happens once every 25,000 to 500,000 years.
2. It will impact with a force of somewhere between 100,000 to 800,000 Megatons
3. It will be somewhere between a "Large Sub-Global Event" to a "Nominal Global Effect Threshold" Event.
4. It is estimated that an impact of this order would result in the loss of anywhere between 500,000 and 1.5 Billion lives (depending on exactly where it hit).
Ladies and Gentlemen, if and when 2001PM9 impacts the Earth...
a) If it hits in the Ocean tsunamis could reach "global scale".
b) If it hits land it could completely destroy an area the size of California
c) Could raise enough dust to affect the climate and freeze crops.
d) Create a crater up to 30 km in diameter (18 miles around).
e) Cause ozone layer destruction on a global scale.
If you worried a little about 1998OX4 and very concerned about this one.
We really need to push the button on this one (get the word out and get a lot more information).
This message has been edited by Tom (edited 08-17-2001).
The orbit simulator is interesting.
On June 3, 2003 we will be in the area of the solar system where 2001PM9 was 10 days before. If this is as big a rock as you say then it probably has a lot of baggage. A more serious concern is that 2001PM9 has a low inclination orbit that might reach the asteroid belt. It is almost there now but i am not sure if the orbit goes out that far. I can't remember if the asteriod belt is closer to Mars or closer to Jupiter. If it does travel through the belt, then it really could have a lot of baggage. Thanks for the info. Charlie
Here are the NEODys pages......
2001 PM9;main
Earth Impact Possibilities;main
Asteroid 2001 PM9 Orbit Simulation
From Kim Burrafato
Not good. If you look at this official JPL orbit simulation, you can see that on that date, June 17, 2005, there is a high likelyhood that this object will be caught in Earth's gravitational field and, well, you know the rest...
By Alfred Lehmberg
I'm just wondering if this is not something that Humanity will very tragically miss the point on. Must these near Earth asteroids be ONLY the "Planet Killers" we paint them to be? These big rocks that sail down so close to Earth orbit seem to me to be something else, entirely.
On the orbit simulations animator the reader can find at the aforementioned NASA URL, the slowly tumbling potential bolides resemble simple stones across an inky brook of interplanetary space. They are merely places for humanity to more easily step and stand as it strides away from the planet. They are habitat in the form of eventual slingshots to the stars. They are huge collections of concentrated wealth not taken from the bosom of an abused planet mother. They are GIFT more than they are THREAT!
They are a BOON, and not a catastrophe. They are a BLESSING and not a curse. They are an OPPORTUNITY to excel and not an impossible hurdle to crash over! They are SALVATION! They are DELIVERANCE! They are REDEMPTION! Astonishingly, this is not hyperbole.
I'm disgusted with an aggregate humanity that stands around wringing its petulant little hands and whining every time one of these things sails by. I'm embarrassed by an aggregate humanity apparently oblivious to the wealth that they more than abundantly indicate. Moreover, I'm angered by the non-elected leadership allowed by an aggregate humanity that encourages this kind of shortsighted cultural behavior!
What's everybody so worried about anyway, unless we just LET these asteroids smash into us like we were deer, stunned frozen on the highway in approaching cosmic headlights... and then that's just nature's way of letting us know how cowardly and stupid we were... cheer up!
No, say what you want about Humanity, but it is life after all, and life finds a way!
We were BORN to capture these things like they were wooly mammoths. We were made to steer these things around the sky like beasts of heavy burden. In that noble pursuit we've nothing to lose and everything to gain for our boldness... besides, our boldness will likely bring mighty forces to our aid!
Get REAL, people! This much maligned cloud looks to me to be virtually ALL silver lining... if we want it to be. Read on!


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