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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 Ringold on 8/10/2012 3:01:06 PM , Rating: -1
More powerful storms have made landfall and not gone that way, and Alabama next door got just as heavily damaged and had none of the problems.

Katrina was a man-made disaster, and the culprits were the governor and its mayor. The governor outright refused to relinquish control as long as she could.

Democrats like to forget there are different levels of government and individual states, only a supreme federal monarch, but states do exist and they do have their own responsibilities. Hell, half the local cops abandoned their jobs! Some even joined the looting. Blame that on Bush too though, sure.

Florida took Andrew on the chin though, with much less safe building standards. Guess what though? Homestead wasn't a mass grave because they were smart enough to GET THE F--- OUT OF TOWN, even though it had extremely poor parts.

RE: All-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper
By anactoraaron on 8/10/2012 8:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Blame that on Bush too though, sure.

quote:
Democrats like to forget there are different levels of government and individual states,

You seem to imply somewhere from something that I have said that I am a Democrat. I am not.

The post I replied to was:
quote:
Given who's in charge we'd never get off the ground anyway.

which, giving who it was from and based on their history of posting political statements, made me interpret that was some kind of shot at the current president. I was not the only one to interpret that so as the first reply was someone taking a shot at (D) Harry Reid and President Obama.

So my response was to show neither party these days could actually get anything done, let alone in the face of some catastrophe. Thus my saying:

quote:
As long as any of the political blowhards this generation of politicians are seemingly aspiring to be (dem or rep) are running the show we're all doomed.

But what you say is true though
quote:
but states do exist and they do have their own responsibilities

which is why I don't understand with how volatile the weather has been in recent years the decision was made to not improve the current levy system.

RE: All-go-no-quit big nuts Harry Stamper
By Reclaimer77 on 8/10/2012 9:25:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
which is why I don't understand with how volatile the weather has been in recent years the decision was made to not improve the current levy system.

I'm from New Orleans, which pretty much has a tradition for crooked Governors. Trust me, money has been given to New Orleans for levy improvements for decades and decades before Katrina.

Now what that money actually went to, well, I'll let you figure that out. However a project was underway years before Katrina to upgrade the Ninth Ward floodwall, one that gave way after a runaway barge collided with it and caused flooding. Guess what? Residents complaining about the noise sued to have the project stopped! DOH! Good going. If it was fully upgraded it might have held.

As you can imagine, Katrina is a sore subject for me. Seeing your hometown almost destroyed is bad enough. Watching it become a political chew toy and seeing it used by the media and the Democrats to somehow blame the President before the bodies were even cold...unacceptable.

So no offense, but when I see some jackass make some Bush-bashing comment about Katrina, it's not appreciated. Katrina would have played out exactly the same, no matter who was in office.

Here are more facts about what actually happened to cause the flooding. Not the usual media spin. Katrina was a systematic failure of the local and state bureaucracy.

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/...

By anactoraaron on 8/11/2012 3:28:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
So no offense, but when I see some jackass make some Bush-bashing comment about Katrina

Sorry for offending you in such a personal way. My intent was to show exactly what you also said :
quote:
Katrina would have played out exactly the same, no matter who was in office.

So would Armageddon (which was my point in my op). So would a lot of other things (we got Osama! etc). Whoever is in office gets to take the praise or persecution of whatever happens regardless of their involvement. What truly goes on is the works of a great many people behind the scenes and out of the media spotlight. So bashing specific Dems or Reps is silly, as these days almost all politicians are crooked and no good.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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