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Old 8th September 2019, 11:31 AM   #1
Meadmaker
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An Asteroid is Going to Kill Us!!! (Sensational asteroid headlines)

I get my news primarily from News.google.com.

Other significant sources include my car radio, and sometimes someone starts a thread in this forum that prompts me to look up something, but google news is really the primary source.

In the "science" section, I frequently see headlines about asteroids that might kill us all, or at least that's what the headlines suggest. They might be "near miss as asteroid grazes Earth" or "Newly discovered asteroid might hit earth this weekend." The source is usually something called Express from the UK, or occasionally the International Business Times. Upon inspection, the "near miss" is usually around 3 million miles. For those who don't keep up on these things, that's more than 10 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

If it is an actual "might hit Earth this weekend" story, it's inevitably a very small rock with a 0.1% chance of hitting Earth.

Today's headline, from International Business Times, Singapore edition, is "NASA Confirms New Asteroid Heading Toward Earth; Will it Pass By or Destroy the Planet." I haven't clicked on the article yet. I figured I had better alert all of you so that you have a chance to start your end of the world preparations before it's too late. However, I suspect that if I do click, I'll find that NASA is pretty sure it is in the "pass by" category, and is certainly not in the "destroy the Earth" category. If there was even a slim chance of Earth destruction, I'm pretty sure it would be covered by some other news source.

I've gotten to the point that I feel reluctant to click on the articles at all, because I hate to encourage click-bait style "news".

I wonder if these headlines have any real effect. Do they cause anxiety in real people? When survivalists stock up on supplies, do they add "asteroid survival" to their list of reasons to put bottled water in their cabin cellar, just after "nuclear holocaust", and ahead of "coming race war"?

Oh, I'll probably click on the article, just for the amusement of finding out what the truth is behind the "We're All Going to Die!" headline, but I really wish Google would stop pushing these headlines, and replace them with some reputable science news.

But then again, why should they? Clicks is clicks. I'll report later on whether I succumbed to temptation and became Part of the Problem.
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Old 8th September 2019, 11:44 AM   #2
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My guess - they noticed you click this kind of thing and use such stories to sell their advertising to you? Do you have AdBlock on?

Call me a cynical old fool if you want
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Old 8th September 2019, 12:35 PM   #3
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http://www.spaceweather.com/

Closest pass recently was Sept 5th, already gone, only 10 meters.

There are 7 larger NEOs on the list, none of which are coming close.

There are an unusual number of 2019 discoveries, but I haven't been paying attention lately. Dangerous asteroids come in from the direction of the Sun and can be missed until they are close. I'll have to see if there is a new one in that direction.


Speaking of targeted ads, OMG I looked up something a couple days ago and that very day got an email ad for the same thing.
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Old 8th September 2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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OK this is weird:

https://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-asteroi...-earth-2810043
Quote:
The agency noted that the asteroid has a diameter of around 180 feet and has a velocity of 10,400 miles per hour. CNEOS estimated that 2019 ON will fly past the planet on Aug. 1 at around 11:23 am ST.
That's more than a month ago.

BTW, NEOs are reported in meters. Not sure where they got feet out of it.

There are too many to find which one the OP is referring to if it is new.
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Old 8th September 2019, 12:47 PM   #5
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This was relevant:
Quote:
NASA confirms new asteroid heading toward earth; Will it just pass ...
https://www.reddit.com/r/savedyouacl...avedyouaclick: *Don't click on that, we already did.* Fighting news media clickbait for better journalism.
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Old 8th September 2019, 01:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
BTW, NEOs are reported in meters. Not sure where they got feet out of it.

All sources seem to agree it was 180 (or so) feet.
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Old 8th September 2019, 01:41 PM   #7
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I have a similar thing going - Google News likes to alert me when a particular German pop singer, whom I do find pretty, has posted revealing, raunchy photos on Instagram which half enrage, half enthrall here fandom. But then I check - and it is really only just a girl in a tank top. Disappointing.
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Old 8th September 2019, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
All sources seem to agree it was 180 (or so) feet.
That would make it the one that passed Earth a month ago and it was actually meters.

Or 33 meters, not very big. Either way, there's no correlating object that hasn't already passed by.
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Old 8th September 2019, 04:02 PM   #9
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Not sure what you're trying to say.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That would make it the one that passed Earth a month ago and it was actually meters.
Yes, the one you cited that passed by a month ago and you found to be "weird" for some reason. I don't know what you mean by "it was actually meters".

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Or 33 meters, not very big.
Possibly 33 meters. 180 feet is what the article you cited said and that value is also possible.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Either way, there's no correlating object that hasn't already passed by.
What's a "correlating object"?
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Old 8th September 2019, 04:05 PM   #10
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Really RY? What I posted was that confusing?
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Old 8th September 2019, 05:40 PM   #11
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An Asteroid is Going to Kill Us!!! (Sensational asteroid headlines)

You forgot to phrase it in the form of a question.
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Old 8th September 2019, 06:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
An Asteroid is Going to Kill Us!!! (Sensational asteroid headlines)

You forgot to phrase it in the form of a question.
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Old 8th September 2019, 06:24 PM   #13
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AN ASTEROID ALREADY KILLED US! DID YOU NOTICE?
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Old 8th September 2019, 07:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I get my news primarily from News.google.com....

In the "science" section, I frequently see headlines about asteroids that might kill us all, or at least that's what the headlines suggest. They might be "near miss as asteroid grazes Earth" or "Newly discovered asteroid might hit earth this weekend." The source is usually something called Express from the UK, or occasionally the International Business Times. Upon inspection, the "near miss" is usually around 3 million miles. For those who don't keep up on these things, that's more than 10 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.
The Daily Express. You can safely ignore them. I've told Google to stop showing me anything that comes from the Express.

IBT I'm less sure of, but it seems sketchy to me, based on the WP article.

Fred
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Old 8th September 2019, 08:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
The Daily Express. You can safely ignore them. I've told Google to stop showing me anything that comes from the Express.

IBT I'm less sure of, but it seems sketchy to me, based on the WP article.

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Old 8th September 2019, 08:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
IBT I'm less sure of, but it seems sketchy to me, based on the WP article.
Fred
What is "WP"?


The IBT article seems fine to me, but I can understand knowledgeable people being annoyed by the headline. But given the vast majority of people on the planet are woefully ignorant of these things I think the headline is perfectly fine. Got a better way to expose people to facts?
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Old 8th September 2019, 08:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
What is "WP"?
In the context of media, it's usually the Washington Post.
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Old 8th September 2019, 09:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In the context of media, it's usually the Washington Post.
Thanks. Not getting that here though.
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Old 9th September 2019, 03:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
What is "WP"?
Sorry, Wikipedia.

International Business Times

Fred
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Old 9th September 2019, 05:50 AM   #20
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Nice article there, Nowhere Man. I get this stuff constantly on my Google News as well, and it shows up as “news” on Quora.
I always wondered why the “Business Times” would be so worried about asteroids....
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Old 9th September 2019, 02:29 PM   #21
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The problem here seems to be that people use Google news.

Secret: Google knows what you want to read before you do. Or is it that they are training you to read what they want you to?

Solution: don't use Google. Ever.
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Old 9th September 2019, 03:05 PM   #22
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Well this is going to go on my list! I have a Worry List. At the top of the list is loss of a loved one. Down the list starts with things like natural disasters and health issue.

The earth being hit by an asteroid is down somewhere on the list with being abducted by aliens.
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Old 9th September 2019, 07:28 PM   #23
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The Earth being hit by an asteroid is WAAAAAAYYYYYY more likely than you being abducted by aliens.

Of course, that still doesn't make it very likely.
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Old 9th September 2019, 08:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The Earth being hit by an asteroid is WAAAAAAYYYYYY more likely than you being abducted by aliens.

Of course, that still doesn't make it very likely.
You have to put some size qualifiers on that. And specify whether burning up in the atmosphere qualifies as a hit. Car sized asteroids hit Earth every year. Tunguska was a potential city killer. Meteor crater, certainly a city killer, possibly a state killer, happened 50K years ago, well within the time span of our species.
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Old 9th September 2019, 08:52 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You have to put some size qualifiers on that. And specify whether burning up in the atmosphere qualifies as a hit. Car sized asteroids hit Earth every year. Tunguska was a potential city killer. Meteor crater, certainly a city killer, possibly a state killer, happened 50K years ago, well within the time span of our species.
No, you really don't have to put any qualifiers on that at all. The chance of being abducted by aliens is effectively zero.
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Old 9th September 2019, 08:54 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
No, you really don't have to put any qualifiers on that at all. The chance of being abducted by aliens is effectively zero.
It's the final sentence that needs the qualifiers.
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Old 9th September 2019, 09:14 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
It's the final sentence that needs the qualifiers.
Got it, but I still don't think it really requires qualifiers. The context is clear.
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:54 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Got it, but I still don't think it really requires qualifiers. The context is clear.
The context is clear, but "that still doesn't make it very likely" isn't actually true: the earth being hit by an asteroid is very likely.

Also, interesting fact, I think your chance of being killed by a giant asteroid on the order of the one that killed the dinosaurs is higher than your chance of being killed by a shark.
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:58 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Well this is going to go on my list! I have a Worry List. At the top of the list is loss of a loved one. Down the list starts with things like natural disasters and health issue.

The earth being hit by an asteroid is down somewhere on the list with being abducted by aliens.

NASA discovery prompts insurer to offer alien invasion cover (Insurance Business Magazine, Mar. 21, 2017). That is really money for nothing if you're the insurance company. You don't need a meteor impact insurance, Does homeowner's insurance cover meteor impact? (Quora, Dec. 5, 2018), but ...

Quote:
Tulane University earth sciences professor Stephen A. Nelson published a paper in 2014 that made the effort. He put the lifetime odds of dying from a local meteorite, asteroid, or comet impact at 1 in 1,600,000.
(...)
Nelson put the risk of dying from a large, global asteroid or comet impact at 1 in 75,000.
(...)
Astronomer Alan Harris made a similar calculation, finding that a human being has a 1 in 700,000 chance of getting killed by an impact from space in their lifetime, with most of the risk coming from a large-scale event.
What Are the Odds a Meteorite Could Kill You? (National Geographic, Feb. 9, 2016)
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Old 9th September 2019, 11:00 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
... your chance of being killed by a shark.

"1 in 8 million for a shark attack," according to the NatGeo article.
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Old 9th September 2019, 11:46 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The context is clear, but "that still doesn't make it very likely" isn't actually true: the earth being hit by an asteroid is very likely.

Also, interesting fact, I think your chance of being killed by a giant asteroid on the order of the one that killed the dinosaurs is higher than your chance of being killed by a shark.
And both very considerably higher than your chance of being abducted by aliens, which was the thing that I was actually saying.
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Old 10th September 2019, 12:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
And both very considerably higher than your chance of being abducted by aliens, which was the thing that I was actually saying.
I suppose it largely depends on how much time you spend close to the border...
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Old 10th September 2019, 12:08 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
I suppose it largely depends on how much time you spend close to the border...
The border of... space?
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Old 10th September 2019, 01:11 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
"1 in 8 million for a shark attack," according to the NatGeo article.
I got from here that there were 4 deaths by shark attack in 2016. Assuming that's a typical year and that you are a typical person, that would be close to 1 in a billion chance of being killed by a shark. Both of those assumptions could be wrong, but I wouldn't expect the rate of shark attacks to vary all that much year to year.

Giant asteroid strikes like the one that killed the dinosaurs probably happen on the order of 1/100 million to 1/billion years. So, similar order of magnitude.

If your number is correct then I'm off by a couple of orders of magnitude.
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Old 10th September 2019, 01:15 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
And both very considerably higher than your chance of being abducted by aliens, which was the thing that I was actually saying.
Sure. No one disagreed with that.
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Old 10th September 2019, 03:41 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The Earth being hit by an asteroid is WAAAAAAYYYYYY more likely than you being abducted by aliens.

Of course, that still doesn't make it very likely.
Which is more likely?

You will die in an asteroid impact this year.

The MegaMillions lottery ticket you purchased will be the grand prize winner.


I'm not certain, but I think the asteroid is more likely. (MegaMillions is approximately 1 in 300 million.)
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Old 10th September 2019, 04:33 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I get my news primarily from News.google.com.

Other significant sources include my car radio, and sometimes someone starts a thread in this forum that prompts me to look up something, but google news is really the primary source.

In the "science" section, I frequently see headlines about asteroids that might kill us all, or at least that's what the headlines suggest. They might be "near miss as asteroid grazes Earth" or "Newly discovered asteroid might hit earth this weekend." The source is usually something called Express from the UK, or occasionally the International Business Times. Upon inspection, the "near miss" is usually around 3 million miles. For those who don't keep up on these things, that's more than 10 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

If it is an actual "might hit Earth this weekend" story, it's inevitably a very small rock with a 0.1% chance of hitting Earth.

Today's headline, from International Business Times, Singapore edition, is "NASA Confirms New Asteroid Heading Toward Earth; Will it Pass By or Destroy the Planet." I haven't clicked on the article yet. I figured I had better alert all of you so that you have a chance to start your end of the world preparations before it's too late. However, I suspect that if I do click, I'll find that NASA is pretty sure it is in the "pass by" category, and is certainly not in the "destroy the Earth" category. If there was even a slim chance of Earth destruction, I'm pretty sure it would be covered by some other news source.

I've gotten to the point that I feel reluctant to click on the articles at all, because I hate to encourage click-bait style "news".

I wonder if these headlines have any real effect. Do they cause anxiety in real people? When survivalists stock up on supplies, do they add "asteroid survival" to their list of reasons to put bottled water in their cabin cellar, just after "nuclear holocaust", and ahead of "coming race war"?

Oh, I'll probably click on the article, just for the amusement of finding out what the truth is behind the "We're All Going to Die!" headline, but I really wish Google would stop pushing these headlines, and replace them with some reputable science news.

But then again, why should they? Clicks is clicks. I'll report later on whether I succumbed to temptation and became Part of the Problem.
I've seen a few headlines recently. All are near misses, but there is one that just might in the latter part of the 22nd century, it's name is Bennu.
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Old 10th September 2019, 07:47 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
The Daily Express. You can safely ignore them. I've told Google to stop showing me anything that comes from the Express.

IBT I'm less sure of, but it seems sketchy to me, based on the WP article.

Fred
Yes, The Daily Express's crap keeps showing up on my Google News feed. Most of the headlines seem to be either about how an asteroid is going to destroy the Earth, or an imminent eruption of the Yellowstone volcano is going to kill us all.
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Old 10th September 2019, 04:40 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Yes, The Daily Express's crap keeps showing up on my Google News feed. Most of the headlines seem to be either about how an asteroid is going to destroy the Earth, or an imminent eruption of the Yellowstone volcano is going to kill us all.
I don't get the volcano ones. I guess I never clicked on that one.

I tried selecting the "ignore this source" option, but when I go to manage my sources, it says I haven't ignored any, and the asteroid headlines are still there.

The truth is that I would like to click on stories like "A 10 meter asteroid will make a near Earth approach this weekend", but I'm a bit tired of the ones that suggest that doom is imminent.
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Old 11th September 2019, 02:45 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The border of... space?
There are aliens and there are Aliens.
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