El paso del asteroide

RUSIAParece que esta vez nos libramos. Astrofísicos aseguran que el asteroide 2012 DA14 que hoy pasará “rozando” la Tierra, a 27.700 kilómetros distancia, no impactará con ella, lo cual es un alivio, pues la caída de un pedrusco como este, 50 metros diámetro, provocaría un cráter de 1,5 kilómetros diámetro, su efecto expansivo podría causar daños graves, especialmente si cayera sobre una zona urbana. Tranquiliza saber que esta vez asteroide descubierto hace 1 año se comporta como se esperaba, no tanto descubrir algo que, por ser desconocido, está fuera de nuestros cálculos cotidianos de riesgo: que ahí afuera, merodeando a nuestro alrededor, hay más de 500.000 objetos celestes de entre 50 metros y 1 kilómetro de diámetro. La estadística indica que cada 40 años pasa un asteroide como DA14 cerca de la Tierra, e impacta en ella cada 1.200. Cuanto mayor es, peores son los daños, claro. En Arizona hay un cráter enorme de asteroide de 75 metros que impactó hace 50.000 años. Y, llegados a este punto, resulta inevitable pensar en los dinosaurios, esas entrañables criaturas que, de seguir viviendo entre nosotros, no nos lo parecerían tanto, probablemente se extinguieron, junto otras muchas especies, por el impacto de asteroide de 10 kilómetros de diámetro. Pero eso ocurrió hace 65 millones de años. En realidad, impactan objetos celestes con cierta frecuencia, pero, por debajo de 15 metros, la atmósfera los neutraliza. El choque los desintegra, y como mucho pueden llegar a la tierra los fragmentos como los que cayeron sobre el desierto de Sudán el 6 de octubre 2008. Sin embargo, Don Yeomans, el mismo científico de la NASA que nos tranquilizó respecto del asteroide que hoy se nos acerca, aseguró también que la probabilidad de morir por el impacto de uno de estos objetos celestes es una entre 40.000. Ciertamente parece improbable, pero no tanto si lo comparamos con la probabilidad de ganar esta semana el bote, de 52 millones de euros, Euromillón, que es 1 entre 116.531.800. Sin embargo, jugamos. Disquisiciones probabilísticas aparte, la ventaja de especular sobre asteroides es que nos ilustra, nos distrae de esas otras grandes sacudidas como la de la corrupción, cuyas ondas expansivas no paran de crecer. (Fuente: El Pais.com – 15/02/2013)

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

3 Responses to El paso del asteroide

  1. For 20 years, Luis Bárcenas toiled in obscurity for Spain’s governing Popular Party, working as a bookkeeper and treasurer. These days when he walks the streets of Madrid in his signature chesterfield coat, strangers lash out at him with just one word: “Envelope!” While Spaniards suffer with the sacrifices of government-imposed austerity, Spain’s top politicians, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, have been accused in a widening scandal of pocketing envelopes of cash sometimes amounting to nearly $35,000 a year for nearly two decades. Mr. Bárcenas is suspected of distributing the illicit payments in an elaborate scheme to finance the party and enrich its leadership. Having started as a low-level case, the scandal has now reached the very top of the political pyramid, with fresh disclosures emerging almost daily, directly threatening Mr. Rajoy’s government and rattling financial markets. It has fueled public anger among Spaniards — like their southern European counterparts in Greece and Italy — who have seen traditions of institutionalized graft exposed by the downturn in Europe’s economy. The scandal has also shined an uncomfortable light on how the political parties operate and their clubby relations with a corporate elite in an alliance that stifles competition throughout the economy — to the detriment of the middle and lower classes. “In Spain, there is a perverse system in the way that political parties are financed,” said Jorge Trías Sagnier, a former conservative lawmaker. “It was public knowledge that there were ‘envelope salaries’ for the parties.” In an effort to quell the clamor, Mr. Rajoy publicly recently released his tax returns — a first for a prime minister here — and called for a vigorous internal investigation of the party’s finances. But critics charge that Mr. Rajoy showed no interest four years ago in pursuing accusations that party members had amassed wealth beyond official salaries, benefiting from a decade-long property boom and the largess of construction companies that provided cash, luxury Patek Philippe watches, Caribbean vacations and birthday parties in return for no-bid contracts and development rights. According to a person familiar with the Swiss banks who asked not to be named, the investigation quietly lapsed after the Spanish authorities failed to clarify a request made to their Swiss counterparts to comb bank accounts in search of money held by Mr. Bárcenas. The request was reactivated only in 2011 by Pablo Ruz, a judge from Spain’s national court, finally revealing last month that Mr. Bárcenas, the former treasurer, had stashed away $29 million in Swiss bank accounts in the name of shell companies (…..)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/world/europe/bookkeeper-at-center-of-spanish-graft-inquiry.html

  2. You asked us great meteor questions, readers, ones that went beyond the mere fact of the seriously cool video coming from all over Russia. But we wanted to give you a deeper look at the science behind bombardments from space, so we called in a respected source to help. Clark R. Chapman is a senior scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and a pioneer in the field of asteroid threat assessment. He is co-author of the 1989 book, “Cosmic Catastrophes,” with David Morrison, a senior scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif (…..)

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/answering-readers-questions-about-the-meteor-strikes/

  3. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: …”A: This is an unusual strike. It will take a while for analysis of the videos, and presumably of the seismic records of the explosion, before we can estimate the size of the projectile. I’m guessing it’s a once-in-a-decade kind of event”. Right. This is also referred as a black swan event like the Wall Street meltdown of 2008/9. The only problem is that such kind of ‘rare events’ are happening with some frequency lately….

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/answering-readers-questions-about-the-meteor-strikes/

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