#52540
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GeorgiaSaint
Veteran
member9

Brulen, when I read your post, my first thought was, “What the %^&*! is he talking about?!?” But then I decided to do a search on your single line term, 2017 TD6, and disregarding the Land Rover returns (LOL!), the two best articles I found (but didn’t post here) were:

https://www.space.com/38502-bus-size-asteroid-2017-td6-earth-flyby.html

and

http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K17/K17U33.html

The 2nd one lists all of the actual sightings (top list on that page), and you’ll note that the first person to actually say, “Lookee here!” was on 11 October. Apparently they’ve “found” it on some other earlier images, looking back, but it wasn’t noticed if I’m correctly understanding the bottom chart on that page (had to look up a new word – ephemeris – in order to figure this one out). Somehow they’ve been able to go backwards and plot it starting 17 September, but nobody actually noticed it at that time. The space.com article has a reasonably decent explanation about it.

Just for gee whiz purposes, I did a little more figuring that gets interestinger and interestinger. Despite the space.com article and the article I posted in the previous post, the “chances” of anything serious happening are not as rosy as they say. Earth’s width is around 8,000 miles. The moon’s orbit is around 480,000 miles. Therefore it would only take 60 earths side by side to fill up the space within the moon’s orbit around the earth. We’ve already had 40 of these “rocks” fired at us this year that have passed within the moon’s orbit without hitting the earth. If that’s representative of the number whizzing past every year, the position of the earth versus one of those little beauties would seem to coincide a lot more frequently than every 100,000 years or so!

Putting it another way, if 60 people were lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, it would fill a space roughly 100 feet wide. If Paddock had simply sprayed back and forth across a 100 foot plot of ground, and one person was left in that space to run back and forth across the distance trying to avoid getting hit, it wouldn’t be too long before that lone target would get hit. That’s about the same proportions as the space rocks whizzing past us inside the diameter of the moon’s orbit. I don’t think many people would want to challenge Paddock with those odds by running back and forth along the same 100 foot line at which he was randomly shooting, regardless of the prize if they won the contest. It would indeed seem to be just a matter of a rather uncomfortably short period of time before said projectile hits said target. But ♫ don’t worry, be happy! ♪ :-)

GS
"Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."