Falcon84
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"Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:11 pm

Just got done watching "Deep Impact", on TNT. Not the world's greatest movie, but not the worst ever on TV. But a sobering one.

If you don't know about it, it's a scenario where a huge come is discovered to be on a collision course with the earth, and how the U.S. prepares for the possible disaster.

In the movie, you find out the Government knew two years before the comet was to hit that it was coming this way; that one year out, the story breaks, and from then, you see the preparation as to how to possibly destroy the comet, and the eventualities if it is not.

It's only a movie.

But what if such a scenario would become apparent? Who's to say that the governments of the world don't already know this (unlikely).

There would be many moral, ethical, political, religious and societal implications leading up to such a space object striking the earth:

-When does government have the responsibility to inform it's peoples? Immediately? Or when they have the tools to possibly destroy the incoming, and if they can't, to try and save some of the lives on this planet?

-In the case of this movie, the original comet was 7 miles in diameter: large enough literally to end life on the planet. And the U.S. has had only enough time to build an underground shelter in Missouri for 1 million Americans, 200,000 of which have been pre-selected because they're scientists, teachers, military-whatever. How do you choose the other 800,000 people? In the movie, they did it by random social security lottery.

-Would there be any way, a year out, to keep society from completely collapsing, and any way for government to keep control of their peoples? Remember, in the scenario given, the U.S. and Russia have planned an attack on this comet. But could you still keep society from utterly collapsing.

-For those people of Faith, how does this affect their religious beliefs, and how they could prepare for what could be the end of the world?


Again, just a few questions that my daughter and I were pondering while watching this movie.

Anyone have any thoughts on this type of "doomsday" senario?
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Mir
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:17 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Just got done watching "Deep Impact", on TNT.

You too, eh?  Smile I caught the end of it as the tidal wave was sweeping over New York - I thought it was "The Day After Tomorrow" at first (I've never seen either).

As far as doomsday scenarios - there's really no right answer to all those questions. But somehow I get the feeling that were the world to know the end was coming, by the time it actually arrived there would be no world left to destroy (at least as we know it). I'm not sure why - just a hunch.

-Mir
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andessmf
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:33 pm

Finished it here, too. The wife was sobbing at the end.

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Anyone have any thoughts on this type of "doomsday" senario?

Scenerios like this are best discussed one by one in an individual thread.
 
UAL747
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:46 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Just got done watching "Deep Impact", on TNT. Not the world's greatest movie, but not the worst ever on TV. But a sobering one.

If you don't know about it, it's a scenario where a huge come is discovered to be on a collision course with the earth, and how the U.S. prepares for the possible disaster.

"Deep Impact" and "huge come" in the same topic. Hmmm....

Anyway, personally I find that it was a more humanistic view of how things would happen on a global scale if an asteroid was headed for earth. If you remember, Armageddon and Deep Impact came out in the same year. It's focus is more scientific rather than the rather heroic Armageddon.

Personally, I found Deep Impact much more interesting and gripping.

UAL
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LTU932
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:26 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Anyone have any thoughts on this type of "doomsday" senario?

In such situations, I wonder what if Mars or Venus were habitable or at least in an advanced stage of terraforming. Would it be viable for over 6 billion people to move to those planets, if they were terraformed and Earth was in danger of a natural disaster such as a major asteroid hitting its surface?

I sometimes wish that Venus was a habitable planet, since it is basically Earth's sister planet. The planet has very similar characteristics of Earth in terms of composition and size, its surface gravity is almost the same, so if it wasn't for the missing plate tectonics, the hostile atmosphere, the huge greenhouse effect the planet suffers and the lack of magnetic field, etc., Venus might have been able to harbour life. The same for Mars, although even if terraformed, Mars has a lower gravity on the surface, which would make adaptation to the planet more difficult. However, since terraforming is nothing but a concept and would take centuries to even become possible, my hopes for survival in an extinction level event are crushed, whether these scenarios are just science fiction or not.
 
pelican
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:06 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 4):
Would it be viable for over 6 billion people to move to those planets, if they were terraformed and Earth was in danger of a natural disaster such as a major asteroid hitting its surface?

Definately not. Just imagine what time you would need to prepare an evacuation of 6 Billion people or more.
In less time with less effort it should be possible (by then) to alter the direction of the asteroid or comet.

pelican
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:45 pm

As much as I'd like to think otherwise, I believe that with the scenario from "Deep Impact" it's likely that society as a whole would collapse and fall into anarchy.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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AerospaceFan
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:23 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Anyone have any thoughts on this type of "doomsday" senario?

Thank you for a most interesting set of questions.

I have time right now only for the following:

If a comet or asteroid were to destroy large portions of the Earth, there would be many whose beliefs in God would be questioned. However, there would be others who would believe that God has simply rendered His judgment upon the world. I think that many people would lose their faith, but those who tended toward the strongest of faith to begin with, by and large, would become even more fundamentalist and radicalized.

I hope to comment more on this matter in the near future.
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KPDX
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:24 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Just got done watching "Deep Impact", on TNT.

Same here, except it was last night.  Wink

KPDX  Smile
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Mir
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:24 am

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 3):
"Deep Impact" and "huge come" in the same topic. Hmmm....

 rotfl   rotfl 

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
dl021
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:51 am

Given that much time I'd probably set myself up for the next two years somewhere up in the mountains with a small group of people I trust and love, and I'd see if we could survive rather than just give up.

As a matter of fact I've got just the place. I'd probably start with burying busses and empty trailers about 10 feet underground and covering them with liners and concrete. I'd follow up with planting a couple dozen propane tanks around the property and then laying in the supply of food and water needed (assuming the wells ran dry). Then I'd make sure that I had seed and spares to last, and plenty of toilet paper, and probably the contents of a small library in addition to my own. I'd declare myself Emperor of the Fiefdom, and allow polygamy (for myself only, of course, it's not normal for regular folk). When the dust settled I'd emerge from the compound and go pull the airplanes out (did I mention the airplanes I'll leave locked up in the hangar?) and search out any other survivors (I've already got a radio or two for that) and establish diplomatic relations with other survivors and plan out the rebirth of our world with them....as long as they accept me as king. If they don't I'd have to march on them and force them to submit to my despotic will and accept my benevolent tyranny for their own good.

Once all this was done I'd make sure to stake out all the beach front property that I'm sure would be present at the end of the Piedmont Plateau and start building condos.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 4):
so if it wasn't for the missing plate tectonics, the hostile atmosphere, the huge greenhouse effect the planet suffers and the lack of magnetic field, etc., Venus might have been able to harbour life.

and if it wasn't for that one little detail Mrs. Lincoln may well have really enjoyed that play!  Wink
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TedTAce
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:25 am

Well, I honestly don't think that the government could suppress knowledge of a object that will impact the earth. While a lot of astronomers are government funded, they are all civilians that I know of (at least the ones with the good kit). So the whole suppression thing is a joke. Now the next problem is how the public is going to react. I say this one is in the hands of the media. If the present it factually, most people will take whatever precautions possible in a rational manner for the time they have. I imagine a lot of corporations will sponsor preserving their emloyees as best reasonably possible. BUT If the Media takes the typical 'milk it for every rating point it's worth' (not that ratings will exist after the event) attitude I see lot of panic, anarchy, and reasonable people dying because un-reasonable people are reacting emotionally and will not survive the event anyway will do stupid things to them. I don't know if the Governments would use it as an excuse to empty their nuclear arsenals, but hey why not throw a few hundred war heads at the object and the few thousand left over at eachother? Either way, surface earth will un inhabitable for a long time. Actually I think the two events could be very complimentary Nuke the earth contaminate the soil, then let a meteor/comet/whatever bury it back again.
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GDB
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:23 am

Not very good films aside (we have a law called the Trades Descriptions Act in the UK, I always thought this film contravened it, having neither depth or impact), such an event is so rare not to worry about.

That's the good news, consider however 99 years ago, what happened in Siberia, that event, caused by an object from space, the vast tracts of land devastated, and this object never even made it to the ground, having exploded/broken apart in the atmoshpere.
Very lucky it happened to affect not only a tract of remote land, not an inhabitated area nor the ocean too close to a landmass.

Since then, the population, urbanisation has, pardon the pun, exploded, so next time........
Wasn't there a decent sized meteor impact in the empty quarter of what is now Saudi Arabia in the 1930's too?
Two in a century.

Why assume that there would be a decent warning time, for any object, large or not so large?
It's not a given this would be the case, though a full blown extinction object, would more likely be detected, maybe decades ahead.

We don't have to only be concerned just about the physical damage even a smaller object would cause either.
Count us lucky that an undetected object did not strike on, or near, the two large landmasses of the two protaganists of the 'Cold War', or their Allies, in other words, much of the world.
When they had massive nuclear forces primed on alert.
Even now, this issue while lessened, has not totally gone away.

What to do?
Have a space programme that is outward looking.
It just so happens that the space exploration infrastructure suitable for Moon and/or Mars manned missions, is well suited to explore asteriods, we do need to know more of their composition, of the various kinds this may entail.
Low Earth Orbit only space operations just don't cut it, in this event, the Shuttle may just as well stay on the ground, for all the good it would do.
But an outward looking programme, needs heavy lift lauch vehicles for a start, vital in countering an object, with a manned or unmanned mission.

Shooting a nuke at an incoming rock would likely just turn a shell into a shotgun blast.
The answers could include orbiting mirrors to beam sunlight onto an incoming object, causing as the focussed heat affects it, to no longer maintain it's collision course.
Or attach a motor to the offending rock, if you had plenty of warning, years ahead.
This is why we need answers about the range of ways these objects are structured.

So while the 'Deep Impact' mass extinction event is unlikely, it is worth remembering that the last one we know of, 65 million years ago, at the very least speeded the Dinosaurs demise.
They were the 'highest' life form on Earth then, but they did not have a space programme.

I would not place too much hope on induviduals going the survivalist route either, not in this day and age, not even in a nation with still very large tracts of land that maybe considered 'safer'.

Too many others would have the same idea for a start, government, including in the US, is more powerful, more invasive, in industrial, largely urban societies, and they would not welcome such efforts, seeing them as adding to an atmosphere of panic, making large scale social breakdown more likely, not less .
It's just not the 19th Century anymore
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:21 am

^^ Let's not forget that space rock, Apophis, destined to get really near us in 2029 or so. We need to keep on eye on it.
What's fair is fair.
 
sw733
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:24 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Just got done watching "Deep Impact", on TNT



Quoting Mir (Reply 1):
You too, eh?



Quoting Mir (Reply 1):
Finished it here, too

My girlfriend and I watched it drunk and still thought it was horrible  Wink

We found it ironic, living in Kansas, that the place of refuge was Missouri...we decided to choose death over 2 years in Missouri  duck 
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:01 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Just got done watching "Deep Impact", on TNT.

You too?

I don't think the world would be ready to deal with this type of scenario. Most of us aren't even ready for the threats we face in our own locales (i.e. Seattle is going to be a wreck when that big earthquake finally hits), so I'm extremely doubtful that a "Deep Impact" situation could be dealt with unless the threat is taken seriously.
 
AA787823
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:00 pm

Basically we dont really have the technology right now to stop a global killer comet. I dont think the governments would say sh*t either till the last moment. Basically we are done! If I did find out tough that a killer comet was headed our way I would get very drunk and have one hell of a party.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:04 pm

Quoting AA787823 (Reply 16):
Basically we dont really have the technology right now to stop a global killer comet. I dont think the governments would say sh*t either till the last moment. Basically we are done! If I did find out tough that a killer comet was headed our way I would get very drunk and have one hell of a party.

Given that there is so much apathy toward space science, sometimes I wonder whether where are minds are. Are we such a careless society that we won't expand into space -- hone our space technology -- even if this helps us defeat a planet-killer?

Arghh! What a world we live in.  Sad
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andessmf
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:30 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 17):
planet-killer?

You can't quite exaggerate like that. Our planet has survived thru countless catastrophes and radical changes. Not that long ago our ancestors made it thru 'global warming', right after the last ice age ended.

So what if another comet hits the earth? Many will die, but this planet will go on in a different direction. If we go thru life trying to avoid the next catastrophe to hit us, we will find ourselves not living at all anyway.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:37 pm

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 18):
So what if another comet hits the earth? Many will die, but this planet will go on in a different direction. If we go thru life trying to avoid the next catastrophe to hit us, we will find ourselves not living at all anyway.

True; maybe I should say, "civilization-killer" instead.
What's fair is fair.
 
stlgph
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:31 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Anyone have any thoughts on this type of "doomsday" senario?

Well ... I for one would shit myself.

That is all.
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dl021
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:40 am

Quoting STLGph (Reply 20):
Well ... I for one would shit myself.

 rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl 

honesty at it's finest!
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Adam T.
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:22 am

Out of all the big doomsday scenario movies i've always thought "Deep Impact" was probably the best and most realistic one with the exception of the landing on the the comet to destroy it.

Someone else mentioned earlier that it showed a more humanistic side to the story as opposed to being an action packed movie.......this is where I think the movie really was well done. To me, it did seem fairly realistic of what could happen if a comet were to come barreling towards Earth and even if it did hit earth (like when the small one hit off the eastern USA).

Very good movie.......much better I thought than Armageddon and The Day after Tommorow.
 
Falcon84
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RE: "Deep Impact": The Real-Life Scenario?

Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:28 am

Quoting SW733 (Reply 14):
We found it ironic, living in Kansas, that the place of refuge was Missouri...we decided to choose death over 2 years in Missouri

 rotfl 

My wife's from Missouri. She may not like that sentiment!  rotfl 
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