So an asteroid almost kissed the earth...

@vandana7 (68982)
India
February 16, 2013 9:24am CST
Yahoo tells me it was not very large... And it was very close...closer than the artificial satellites that we send up there..for our television, telecommunications, weather forecasts and as yet no war forecasts..lol Never mind.. My questions are.. a. When the asteroid is so small...then what made it escape the gravitational force? I mean...my idea of gravitational force is somewhat similar to the magnetic force. Gravity may not be enough to draw larger demons into our orbits and onto our planet...like the meteor in Ural mountains.. So...what made it escape the gravitational force...my mind is asking... Any guesses are welcome..after all, I am not a genius or a knowledgeable person. So I will be open to your suggestions..
2 people like this
7 responses
@dollar3235 (2063)
• India
16 Feb 13
There is something called momentum (mass*velocity) which I think caused it to escape our atmosphere and the earth's gravitational pull.
@vandana7 (68982)
• India
16 Feb 13
I am going to agree to this one. :) This seems a plausible explanation.
• India
16 Feb 13
Let me give you the details on this. Newton's 2nd Law says, rate of change of momentum of a body is equal to the force applied on it. F = m*a = m*(v-u)*t i.e. if the gravitational force is applied on this meteor, it's momentum will decrease and once the momentum is zero, it'll fall on earth. That's what has happened with the lighter meteors, however, as the momentum depends on the mass of the body, the heavier meteors will have more momentum and they will skip the earth's atmosphere before their momentum is reduced to zero. The gravitational force also depends on the mass of the object but if I start explaining everything here, I'm sure it won't make any sense.
@vandana7 (68982)
• India
16 Feb 13
We've returned to where we started.. Now..mass ...we dont know but we do know that it is fairly small and possibly lighter than the satellites we send into space... Given that...we have little choice but to presume that acceleration there is substantial...for it to have to escaped earth's gravitational pull. Now, if that is so...then chances are that there is some explosion close to our solar system, and some supernova type...which is spewing such asteroids and many more will cross our way in next 100 odd years..at least, logically speaking. lol We may not be lucky surviving them all, isn't it? I mean, logically, it would be naive to suggest that the cosmic debris is not likely to do severe damage to earth. We just had a close encounter in form of the meteor, which was not large but it did harm us in some way...and another close one...which luckily went out too fast... You certainly left me confused with your second post...lol
@free_man (7337)
• United States
16 Feb 13
Hi Vandana. What about the one that hit Russia it killed many. Seen this on the news this morning. Why didn't the bigger one hit the earth it wasn't Gods will that is why it didn't hit the earth is my thoughts.
@marty3888 (2359)
• United States
16 Feb 13
unless there is new news, I heard it didn't kill anyone, just caused alot of injurys.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Feb 13
I heard people were killed also. My family and I were discussing the news last night.
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
16 Feb 13
The asteroid that missed us, has been known for over a year. It has NEVER been in Earth's gravitational field, it is in the Sun's gravitational field, it has never escaped Earth's because it never was part of Earth's. Having said that, there is no doubt that this close encounter with Earth has further affected its trajectory. I heard scientists saying that on its next encounter, maybe 100 years from now, it might be more dangerous than it was this week. About the meteor that exploded over the Ural mountains... they didn't know about that one, it was quite the surprise. It may have, but probably was not, been an associate of the asteroid.
@vandana7 (68982)
• India
16 Feb 13
Yeah..it only goes to prove..we need to spend a lot of time doing research on space instead of fighting between us for whatever reason...its the question of human beings surviving...and not just any race or religion. In the emergency it is every hand to the pumps, right? Wish North Koreans, and Talibans, and several others would get real..
1 person likes this
• India
19 Feb 13
Hello my friend vandana7 Ji, Well, I know on ething in layman's language that havier the body in weight will be attracted and will come down much earler than lighter weight, provided the object is within it's effectve zone. If anything is out of zone, mass/weight has nothing to do. If asteroid whether big or small is within earth gravitional force, only time taken may be more for lighter bodies than comparitivel of more body. I am also not expert on this. May God bless You and have a great time
@thesids (22351)
• Bhubaneswar, India
17 Feb 13
I am not the techie around for this... but anyway, let me attempt my version This meteor was moving on its path, and somewhere earth came in between. So it got into the earths atmosphere(attraction). Now as the atmosphere has atoms, molecules and many other pollutants(though not much relevant in this case), there is friction. The speed at which the meteors travel and the friction cause heat and that caused the explosion(at least that is what I think) and broke the meteor into smaller parts.
• United States
16 Feb 13
This is my thought. The sun moves through the galaxy while the earth makes its revolutions around the sun. Right now the sun is moving through an area in space that is loaded with asteroids. I thank the gravity between the sun and the earth draws asteroids that happen to be in the path of our planet. That's just a guess.
@marty3888 (2359)
• United States
16 Feb 13
I think the aim was just off. They said it was 17,000 miles from the earth. They said I know that sounds like alot, but it's not as far as it sounds. But still, maybe it had been eight or nine thousand miles away, the gravity would have grabbed it. Remember, those things are traveling fast, too.