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    Re: Not exactly Navigation, but close...
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2008 Apr 21, 21:04 -0700

    Dear Robert:
    
    > To those of you on the list who are laying awake at night fretting about 
    global warming, here is more > immediate threat to add to your worries.
    > One can only hope that our scientists get this sorted out before the appointed hour...
    
    They did.
    My information is based on the lecture of Freeman Dyson at Purdue
    University, perhaps 10
    years ago. (For those who don't know, he is a great physicist,
    mathematician, and one
    of the top scientists who is interested in these problems). The
    lecture was titled
    "Detection and deflection of Earth colliding bodies".
    Shortly speaking, scientists DO monitor these bodies. The bodies that
    are on
    the "possible collision course". They are able to detect any such body
    many years in
    advance. If a really dangerous one is detected this will be known, and
    we DO have means
    to deflect it. The main problem is how much in advance we know. Modern
    technology
    (and moderate expenses) permit to detect really dangerous bodies about
    20 years in advance.
    There are technologies with permit us to deal with this danger in 20
    years period
    (including research and development).
    I can be more specific, but I afraid this is very far from the main
    topic of the list.
    (I can describe some details off the list, of course).
    
    Anyway, my personal conclusion from this lecture was that "there is
    nothing to worry about"
    in comparison to the REAL dangers facing us. Roughly speaking, the
    risk of a serious collision
    (in terms of the number of victims and the chance that this happens)
    is comparable to the risk
    of a major earthquake). All this is negligible in comparison with the
    real dangers we face:-(
    
    Alex.
    
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