# Talk:2328: Space Basketball

I don't understand why there's any debate about the terminology. He is specifically talking about something that "falls through the hoop". While it's *falling* and while we're talking about it passing through a hoop that is *10 feet away from the ground*, it is unambiguously a meteor. We can talk about the likelihood of it becoming meteorite in the (near) future if you want, but in the comic he's talking about a meteor and uses the correct terminology.172.69.69.206 19:41, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

I'd just like to point out that this assumes cueball's odds of sinking a basket remain at 30% after hundreds/thousands of shots. One would think he would improve with practice. 162.158.62.75 23:53, 3 July 2020 (UTC)Duban

- Randall expresses as much in the title text. --NotaBene (talk) 00:00, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
- The psychological factor is another problem. The pressure of having reached a large number of shots will change how a person performs. Considering how sensitive the overall probability is to small variations in the success rate, this could have a dramatic effect, even if the overall free throw percentage doesn't change. 172.69.70.15 05:23, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

Cueball's odds of 30 consecutive baskets are 0.3^30 = 2.06*10^-16. Earth is hit by about 6100 meteors per year, and a basketball hoop has a radius of 9 inches. Using that it will be hit about once every 5.09*10^11 years. In order for it to be even, Cueball would have to do approximately one trial every 55 minutes. Since he'll start over each time he misses, it works out to once attempt every 38.6 minutes. DanielLC (talk) 00:36, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

(?Almost) no-one in recorded history has been killed by a meteor, so the estimate of 1 in 250,000 is based on a very small chance of a very large number of people dying from something like a "Dinosaur Killer" object, which would not fit through the hoop.

Ok. Area of hoop: 0.166 square meters. Area of earth: 510 million square kilometers, or about 3x10^15 hoops. The Planetary Science Institute thinks 500 meteorites per year; Cosmos magazine think 6100 per year (which will essentially all be small enough to go through the hoop). So we get 5x10^11 or 6x10^12 years for space to score. If Cueball had to do multiple sets of 30 throws and wait until one of those sets was all successes he'd take 5x10^15 attempts, so 1000 or 10,000 attempts per year for a fair game. Which seems ok.

On the other hand, suppose that any 30 consecutive success counts. In that case the waiting time is shorter, but not much shorter. [This](https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/893941/distribution-of-maximum-run-length-of-independent-multinomial-trials) suggests the average time for any 30 consecutive is the same as the average time for batches of 29 when you need to get all 29 in a batch. So the difference is smaller than uncertainties/approximations we're already ignoring

Since almost all meteors are incinerated and reduced to dust upon contact with the earth's atmosphere, it stands to reason that there may already be a (teeny-weeny bit of a) meteor already passing through the hoop. RAGBRAIvet (talk) 02:40, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

Technically it's still a meteor as it's being put through the hoop. The definition of a meteorite is a meteor that has *reached the surface* and made it through the atmosphere. The basketball hoop is not the surface. It is still a point in the atmosphere. Magma at any arbitrary point before it flows or erupts out of a vent (10 feet before the vent, for example, the same height as the rim of the basket on a regulation hoop) is still called magma and not lava. Therefore the entry should note this and refer to the meteors as such and not improperly as meteorites as the current note does. 108.162.216.124 07:32, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

- This is what I was going to say, more or less. Though with the additional pondering of hoop-height to atmosphere depth (roughly) proportional to chance of a hoop-scorer attaining "-ite" status soon after. And then *something* *something* about the inherent status of a rim-shot (the chances being an interesting additional function of hoop diameter and the (surviving) cross-sectional width - and what if the latter exceeds the former?)... 162.158.154.71 10:01, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
- There seems to be some debate about the terminology. I can find definitions that would make it a meteor (meteoroid in space, meteor in the atmosphere, meteorite on the ground) or a meteoroid (if a meteor is the light show rather than the rock itself). Angel (talk) 12:52, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

According to https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/pettit_chron_10.html a 2001 study estimated the meteorite fall rate to one meteorite per million square kilometers per year, which yields an expected value of ~6e+12years to score for space. The Cosmos magazine article mentioned above may draw from the same source.

What about micrometeors? As I understand, they are a lot more common. Divad27182 (talk) 16:46, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

The explanation currently says "there are approximately 6 quadrillion seconds remaining in the expected lifetime of the Sun (5 billion years)". I don't understand where this comes from. My math says 5 billion years is around 158 quadrillion seconds. Pascal (talk) 00:52, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

The age of the universe isn't in the order of 8 billion years, should it be replaced with trillion or age of solar system?

- 13.8 billion years is close to 8 billion (factor of 1.7x), not one trillion (factor of 72x). --NotaBene (talk) 15:18, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

Harhar, *exercise* in futility.--162.158.92.154 21:07, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

I would like to take a moment to thank the multicellular Colonial organisms whose efforts lead us to the fireworks shows in the USA the day after this strip was published. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 22:45, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

Oh, and don't forget that the meteor might bounce off the backboard, that'll increase the chances. Or does that turn it into a meteorite and thereby invalidate it? Jkshapiro (talk) 02:14, 10 January 2021 (UTC)