Re: asteroids and energy

Massie (
Mon, 15 Mar 1999 08:46:41 -0800

Doug Franks wrote:
> About incoming asteroids -
> If we start by guessing some numbers and do a little calculating on the
> back of an envelope we get the following: It seems reasonable that
> incoming asteriods arrive at something in excess of the escape velocity of
> the earth, maybe 30 000 meters per second. If a million kilograms of space
> rock fell to earth, the earth would need to absorb 2E16 Joules of kinetic
> energy (20 million billion Joules). (Probably alot more space debris that
> one million kilograms could be imagined by the asteriod bombardment being
> suggested.) With a rough consideration of the specific heat and heat of
> vaporization of H2O maybe 2E13 liters could be vaporized by that energy.
> It would be some time before the earth's radiant energy budget would get
> back into equilibrium with space, especially considering the transparency
> of the atmosphere could be changed by all the new particulates, etc.
> possibly pushing the earth to a new equilibrium point.
> Whether it is fortunate or not, we seemed to be closed in to being
> speculative about early mechanisms. Genesis one refreshes my spirit, but
> it is not alot of help in describing the particulars of the beginning.
> More like a short postcard from a tourist for writing a history of China.
> I imagine playing (in reverse) a video tape that has been recorded since
> the beginning. The flow of events for the last half century would be
> fairly conherent from my perspective. I do not think there would be any
> sudden discontiuities like houses appearing that had not been built or
> crops that had not been planted. Even miracles that I have been close to
> would not look discontinuous. A friend recently had had a massive heart
> attack. The doctors lost him. His family and a group of 15 at the
> hospital were allowed into the OR to pray. He revived and was in church
> the next Sunday. The hospital staff want to know about the gospel, but
> this event on the tape of history would not look discontinuous. The only
> thing that would appear on the tape would be a lot of people rejoicing as
> Bob woke up.
> Would we see discontinuities around Joan of Arc or other events? I don't
> know. Phillip disappearing on the Gaza road and appearing in Azotus would
> appear discontinuous on the tape. The first century in Israel would have
> alot of places where the continuity of the tape was corrupted.
> Physicists say that the tape would rewind for 20 billion years without
> discontinuity, every frame a logical extension of the proceeding one. Such
> theorizing is quite exhaustively reasonable and conherent, but I do not
> feel that the tape must play that way. Axes would float and fires burn
> from nothing. Other things would tear at the fabric of the tape's
> continuity. (Yet, I would not expect to see a wave of asteroids striking
> the earth in a period of months during the last 5 or 6 millenium.) I talk
> with Physicists and read quite a bit, yet can offer them nothing to improve
> on their theories.
> I think we are incurably ignorant, yet amazing in our failings. All that
> we have been able to do by dancing electrons around, and yet we do not know
> them. A particle, (well, not a particle, a localized wave packet). It has
> charge (what is that??) You can make a pair of such with opposite charge
> from pure energy. So they, electrons and positrons, are some kind of
> condensed energy. That almost says something, but what is energy???
> Stuff that you take account (a count) of and it is always there.
> Physically, we are the complex interplay of the electrical forces
> contributed by multitudes of electrons in the chemistry of body, including
> brain. We are packed with organization and information that cannot have
> arisen from random mixing of primordial hydrogen atoms. Not in my
> imagination.
> Must run
> Douglas Franks
> Christopher Dock Mennonite High School
> 1000 Forty Foot Rd
> Lansdale, PA 19446
> 215 362 2675 wk
> 215 362 2943 fax
> 215 721 4324 hm
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Great. Except that the incoming velocities may be more like the orbital
velocity of the Earth added to the escape velocity. In any instance, an
enormous amount of energy in a 40 day period. Bert Massie