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A new study shows that the movie's idea of blowing up the asteroid is way off

If Bruce Willis' ability to destroy life-threatening asteroids put your mind at ease about the end of the world, here's a study to bring you back to reality.  
 
Michael Bay's 1998 hit movie Armageddon depicted Bruce Willis and a team of oil drilling heroes setting off nuclear bombs on an asteroid that was rushing toward Earth, thus saving all of humanity from the end of the world -- aka Armageddon. 
 
A class of physics students from the University of Leicester in the UK decided to look into whether this kind of scenario would ever be possible. The short answer is no, but they provided some evidence as to why. 
 
To debunk this mystery, the class first gathered basic information about the asteroid itself (which were mentioned in the film), such as the total volume of the asteroid pieces, the clearance radius (radius of Earth plus 400 miles), its distance from Earth at detonation, the asteroid's pre-detonation velocity, and the density of the asteroid pieces. 
 

Harry Stamper is not amused
 
Using this information, they created a formula to find the total amount of kinetic energy needed to blow the asteroid to smithereens. As it turns out, 800 trillion terajoules of energy would be needed to break the asteroid into two pieces, allowing it to bypass planet Earth. This means that any bomb used would have to be a billion times stronger than any bomb ever detonated on Earth.
 
FYI -- the largest bomb ever detonated on Earth was the Soviet Union's "Big Ivan," which was a 50 megaton hydrogen bomb that only had an energy output of 418,000 terajoules. 
 
From there, issues arose with the time needed to detect the asteroid in order to be able to successfully blow it up. It would need to explode at the point in which it is detected at 8 billion miles. 
 
"A series of assumptions must be made due to limited information in the film," said the class paper titled, 'Could Bruce Willis Save the World?' "First, the asteroid is approximated as a spherical object 1000km in diameter (the asteroid is quoted being the size of Texas) that splits into two equal-sized hemispheres. The asteroid in the film reaches a clearance either side of the Earth of 400 miles (640km) which is the assumed value for our calculation." 
 

Source: Network World



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RE: All-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper
By perspicacity on 8/10/2012 8:32:11 AM , Rating: 4
There's what's wrong with American politics. It's not about the ideals of the party you associate with, but with what groups associate with the party.

You can't infer that you're a Republican, without some jackass assuming you are a right-wing religious extremist... or that you're a Democrat, without some other jackass assuming you are a left-wing socialist.


RE: All-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper
By Dr of crap on 8/10/2012 9:46:51 AM , Rating: 4
Which is why you shouldn't associate with EITHER party!

WHY does everyone NEED to be hooked to some political party?? Is it like facebook, if your not in with everyone then your nothing?

I refuse to be linked in any way to ANY political party, especially to the Reps or the Dems!


RE: All-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper
By invidious on 8/10/2012 12:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
Our country has a two party government and not supporting either party is equivilant to sticking your head in the sand. If moderates don't take part in either party then the only people in either party will extremists. This will only serve to worsen partisan deadlock.

Try thinking your world views out to their logical conclusions before you start preaching them.


By jRaskell on 8/10/2012 12:43:29 PM , Rating: 4
On the flip side, joining either party is basically just becoming a part of the problem.

Sorry, the system just can't be fixed from the inside. I don't believe it can be fixed at all. I'm not sticking my head in the sand so much as acknowledging it's a lost cause.


RE: All-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper
By JediJeb on 8/10/2012 3:21:22 PM , Rating: 4
George Washington said we should never have political parties and there were none active until after he left office. That was probably the best eight years of this countries political history.

As for needing to be a part of one of the two major parties (there are many more, just none carry any clout, yet) that really isn't so. The major parties have changed more than once since the country began. If a party goes terribly left or right, an new one will form and the old one will die out. I myself register as Independent only because to register I had to choose a party, otherwise I would have left it blank. The only thing I lose is the ability to vote in a primary election. I can still be politically active behind what ever candidate I wish and if I wish to support candidates from multiple parties I can, say a Democrat for Senate and a Republican for the House. I support whoever I believe is the best person for the job, not what their political party may be.

My biggest gripe with the media is when they put the party designator beside peoples names when they show them on tv. It should just say Harry Reid if they are interviewing him not Harry Reid(D). If I like what he says I will support him, if I don't like what he says then I won't. The media probably does more to promote there only being two parties than anyone else. If we had ten parties of near equal parity in power, then the media would not have anyone to rally behind as a group. I think people are beginning to become fed up with how the two parties currently are becoming more and more alike in policy since there are now more people registered as Independents than ever before. There will be a tipping point soon that will start the rise of a third party or the replacement of one of the current ones just as has happened in the past.


RE: All-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper
By amosbatto on 8/10/2012 5:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
George Washington said we should never have political parties and there were none active until after he left office. That was probably the best eight years of this countries political history.

What? Have you ever heard of Shay's rebellion? What about Alexander Hamilton being killed by Aaron Burr? Basically these events which should have been channeled through political parties. When there are no political parties to give voice to people's conflicts over policy, people turn to violence. The problem in these cases was that the poorer classes had nobody representing their interests. With political parties, the Democrats would have taken the side of the Western Massachusetts farmers like Daniel Shay who were loosing their farms and the working people how hated Hamilton's bank. The Republicans would take the side of Washington and Hamilton and the conflict would not have turned to violence.

The problem is that the US has horrible winner-take-all system which prevents more than 2 political parties, and those political parties have been corrupted by money and special interests, so they no longer represent the views of the majority of Americans. People feel that there is no point in voting, because the parties have been bought. When most Americans feel alienated from the political process and feel that it is corrupt, it creates a real crisis for the republic, which could eventually bring it down.


By jeffkro on 8/11/2012 1:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
Corruption and political machines have been entrenched in US politics going almost all the way back. Its nothing new.


By JediJeb on 8/13/2012 1:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Basically these events which should have been channeled through political parties. When there are no political parties to give voice to people's conflicts over policy, people turn to violence.


Well the Civil War happened after we had political parties, so maybe they don't do that much for us after all. Without political parties you deal with small groups who disagree, with them you deal with large groups who disagree and through their bonding together even when they do not completely agree on ideas but simply to support their party they cause gridlock within the system.

Without political parties you would have something similar to what Europe has with their multiple parties where on certain topics you would see temporary alliances form around the topic with people of similar ideas (though truthfully it should be representatives who constituent's ideas are similar) to work together until that topic is settled, then the disband. When another topic comes up more alliances form representing the public's ideas and the situation repeats. Permanent alliances such as we have now with the two party system leads to the public's voice not being heard clearly since the representatives feel they should support the beliefs of their party more than the beliefs of their constituents if the people they represent do not feel the same as their party does. In the current Democratic Republic we currently have when the elected representatives strictly follow party lines instead of the will of their constituents then they have failed in their duty to represent the people who have sent them for that purpose. Being free of a political party frees the representative to truly represent the will of the people.


By jeffkro on 8/11/2012 1:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
Moderates determine elections as their vote can be won. Die hards for either party just always vote for their own party, so they can be taken for granted.


By kattanna on 8/10/2012 1:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can't infer that you're a Republican, without some jackass assuming you are a right-wing religious extremist... or that you're a Democrat, without some other jackass assuming you are a left-wing socialist.


thats because 2 things RARELY ever meet

Thinking.. and posting on the internet


By corduroygt on 8/10/2012 4:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I know that he is one, that's why my reply was to him and not to Reclaimer77 who is also a republican.


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