Natalie Starkey is a Cosmochemist concerned about Protecting Earth for future generations and is the author of the 2018 book "Catching Stardust". Inside, Dr Starkey discusses how asteroids – the millions of small rocky bodies that lurk within the inner solar system – could one day end life on Earth. NASA is constantly scanning the Cosmos and categorizing any Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) as Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHO).
However, if a distant space skirt does manage to slip through the space agency's defense,
Dr Starkey wrote last year: "If we have very limited time, then we need an approach that can work in a few weeks." months.
"How about using a nuclear weapon?
" How about using a nuclear weapon? It is sound like total madness but, believe it or not, scientists are looking at the possibility of firing a device at a space
Natalie Starkey has warned of raining nuclear rocks
Millions of space rock inhabit the
"It may sound
Dr Starkey went on to explain how to create a nuclear weapon at the same time.
She explained: "The resultant shrapnel from search at explosion, however small, where
"This would almost certainly be the case if we blew up the object in a short notice. If the object was one of those passed Earth, it would never blow, and then it would blow up in a pre-emptive strike on one of its previous close-Earth visits [more]
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" In this way, any radioactive
"It may sound like a relief that, whatever happens, ther e is a strategy. "
Despite this, Dr Starkey raises a valid point on the policy behind nuclear weapon in space.
[detailed]" First, according to The Outer Space Treaty
"Perhaps in an additional circumstance – such as a major threat to Earth – an exception could be made to save us from impending doom.
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"Second, a modern-day nuclear warhead probably would not survive the impact." Energy associated with this course of action.
"Instead, it would be known as a nuclear stand-off explosion . "
Asteroid 101955 Bennu, formally known as 1999 RQ36, is a PHO listed on the Sentry Risk Table with the second-highest cumulative rating on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale.
According to a study by scientist Maria Eugenia Sansaturio, the 1999 asteroid may impact the Earth.
They told Universe Today in 2010: "The total impact probability of asteroid 1999 RQ36 can be estimated as 0.00092, approximately one-in -a-thousand chance, but what about this chance (0.00054) to 2182. "
However, NASA has a less destructive move for Bennu.
The space agency is currently running a mission with its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to find out more about the rock.  The spacecraft spent two years chasing Bennu down, before orbiting it for another two years and taking samples.
Then, in 2023, it will blast back to Earth to allow scientists from around the world to study it.
Bennu – dark, primitive and apparently carbon rich –
It wants to help scientists to refine the odds of a strike on Earth .