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 [quote="Zag"]Well, their estimate will get more accurate as it gets closer (assuming they are always able to track its position). The problem moving slowly is that gravitational pull of smaller objects whose mass they don't know precisely have more time to have an affect. They can see that an asteroid will pass close by, and they know that the asteroid is between 6 and 8 tons, the difference between the high and low estimates on its mass can have a real difference in the velocity of the probe after the asteroid has gone by. If the probe were moving faster, then the estimated asteroid is not going to be close enough long enough for that difference to matter much.[/quote]
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Zag
Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: 1

Well, their estimate will get more accurate as it gets closer (assuming they are always able to track its position). The problem moving slowly is that gravitational pull of smaller objects whose mass they don't know precisely have more time to have an affect. They can see that an asteroid will pass close by, and they know that the asteroid is between 6 and 8 tons, the difference between the high and low estimates on its mass can have a real difference in the velocity of the probe after the asteroid has gone by. If the probe were moving faster, then the estimated asteroid is not going to be close enough long enough for that difference to matter much.
Courk
Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:15 am    Post subject: 0