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The Rosetta Project … like throwing a dart from Sydney to Perth and hitting the bullseye

November 28, 2014

Many commentators in Australia claimed that the Philae landing was:

This is equivalent to hitting the bullseye of a dartboard in Perth from Sydney. With a billion euro ($1.4bn) dart. While blindfolded (as the mission was powered down for almost the entire journey). ABC The Drum

Did they get the maths right?

Inner bullseye of dartboard = 12.7 mm

1 Dartboard

67P comet = 4.1 km = 4,100 m at widest point

Distance comet from earth = 520 million km

 Actually, hitting the 67P comment was more like roulette as the Rosetta mothership swung into orbit. And, as the earth and the comet are moving, the distance constantly changes, but you can watch the distance changing here.

Fabulous Graphics from the Daily Telegraph

Fabulous Graphics from the Daily Telegraph

In the Dart Throwers Universe

We will assume someone can stand on earth and throw a dart at the comet … Yes! They would need very big triceps.

3  Dart throwers universe correction

 

So the commentators aren’t even close. It would still be a feat hitting a bullseye with a dart from 160km, but that would be from Sydney to, um, Nowra on the coast. 

WHY?

Comet vs bullseye ratio mathspig

Mt Everest RAtio

4 Dart Throwers universe 3

The distance from Sydney to Perth is 4100 km. At best the commentators would be talking about throwing a dart from Brisbane to Adelaide is 2044km (below).

Brisbane to Adealide

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3 comments

  1. But of course a dart does not have a navigation system.


    • Hello MrSiderer,

      Ha! Ha! Too true. But one day there will be darts with GPS. Be ready my friend. We already have guided golfballs.
      Cheers
      Mathspig


  2. […] The Rosetta Project … like throwing a dart from Sydney to Perth and hitting the bullseye […]



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