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20. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 16, 2013, 01:07 Creston
Observatories simply for near earth or middle earth objects? No.

I agree. It probably wouldn't even cost that money to monitor everything (in government terms, anyway, considering NASA currently spends less than 10 million on it.) But what's the point? So you can see them coming? And then what? Contrary to Hollywood's belief, there really isn't anything we can do to stop an asteroid from hitting Earth.

Shooting a nuclear weapon at them will cause more damage and cost more lives from the fallout in the atmosphere than an asteroid impact of the size that's small enough to be destroyed by a nuke. And that's IF there is a nuke that can be launched at it to intercept it, which isn't a given.

The only benefit an observation system would have is for warning purposes, but it's not like people really have a place to go to evade an asteroid strike, unless they have or live near a nuclear bomb shelter. The thing that hit today did little more than break glass, and people aren't going to listen to a warning to stay away from windows anyway.

And that's not even considering the fact that these thing typically break up in the atmosphere and thus are very liable to alter their course by hundreds of miles, at which point your warning is wasted.

There's really no point in watching for something if you can't do anything about it. It's just wasted money.

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