Asteroids are the small rocky bodies in the inner solar system that orbit the sun. Millions of them fly through space and their collisions – so-called impact events – have shaped many planets significantly. NASA constantly observes the sky and categorizes near-earth objects (NEOs) as potentially dangerous objects (PHOs) if they could pose a threat to life on Earth. In defense of the Space Agency various desperate measures are taken to save life on earth.
Dr. Natalie Starkey unveiled one of the far-fetched options in her new book, Catching Stardust.
She wrote last year: "If we have very little time, we need an approach that can work in weeks or months.
" So, there could be a more drastic method of avoiding an impact on the Earth which can be applied to any object regardless of its composition.
NASA has a plan to blow up an asteroid
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"How about a nuclear weapon? It may sound like total madness, but believe it or not not, scientists are exploring the possibility of firing such a device at a space object, to break it into tiny pieces and possibly even to reduce it to a cloud of gas and liquid droplets.
] "It may sound like a great solution, but there is a potentially big problem."
The Cosmochemist sent a serious warning to the Boffins at NASA if they chose this path.
She explained, "The resulting shrapnel of such an explosion, small as it may be, would be highly radioactive, and it is unlikely to rain on the planet."
"This would almost certainly be the case if we were to blow up the object in the short term, when it was on the way towards us.
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"If the object passed the Earth frequently and approached the impact with each orbit, then it might be during one of its previous visits Being blown up near the earth before the impact It was predicted that it would lead to total annihilation by being thrown off the earth.
"In this way, a radioactive fallout of destruction would not affect life on Earth.
"That may sound like a relief Whatever happens, there is a strategy. "
Dr. Starkey warned, however, that the use of a nuclear weapon in space could have serious world political consequences.
She continued: " There are some more complications.
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"Perhaps under exceptional circumstances – such as a great threat to the earth – an exception could be made to save us from the impending demise.
"Second, a modern nuclear warhead would probably not survive the impact energies associated with this approach.
"Instead, it would most likely have to be detonated near the space object, lest the nuclear explosion energy drive it another way, also known as a nuclear detonation blast. " 05] Asteroid 101955 Bennu, officially known as the 1999 RQ36, is a potentially dangerous object listed in the Sentry Risk Table with the second highest cumulative rating on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale.
Researchers have already warned the space agency that it could be devastating if they did not act.
According to a study by the scientist Maria Eugenia Sansaturio, the 1999 asteroid could affect the Earth.
Dr. Sansaturio A report from Icarus magazine for the solar system warned that the likelihood of an asteroid attack is high.
She told Universe Today in 2010: "The 1999 AQ RQ36's total collision probability can be estimated at .00092, about one in one-a-thousand chance, but what's most surprising is that more than half this opportunity equals (.00054) 2182.
NASA, however, has a less destructive move for Bennu.
Four asteroids that could hit Earth
The spacecraft tracked Bennu for two years before circling and sampling him for two years.
Then it will fly back to Earth in 2023 to enable scientists from all over the world to study
The mission team is particularly interested in learning the role, the asteroids like Bennu – dark, primitive and apparently carbon-rich – in creating life In addition, it will help scientists to refine the chances of a strike on Earth.