We constantly read that there is asteroids that come dangerously close to Earth and we immediately wonder if in the event of a possible crash our planet could be in risk of disappearing. Although they are the least, the POT believes that we should not be so distressed by large celestial bodies, but by those that still have not been detected by telescopes.
According to NASA, there are a few 17 thousand asteroids 140 meters wide (on average) that have not been located and that could represent a problem in case of colliding with the Earth. In the case of large asteroids, that is, those that are more than a kilometer wide or more, fortunately they have already been precisely identified.
Megan bruck syal, planetary defense researcher of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said in an interview with The New York Times that the attention of the scientific community is rather on those smaller rocks, which are abundant in space and that at any moment they could come out of nowhere and already be dangerously close to Earth.
And it is that these relatively small asteroids are sometimes not detected and when they identify them they already represent a danger, said the scientist. Proof of this was the 60-meter-wide meteorite that fell into a Siberian forest and whose blast wave destroyed more than 2,000 square kilometers of green area.
How to prevent a small meteorite from damaging the Earth?
Bruck Syal explained to the US media that due to concern about asteroids that have not been detected, scientists made a simulation in which a 100-meter colossus was approaching the Earth and the solution to avoid crash, it was deflect it by hitting it with a nuclear device.
This plan was recently published in The Planetary Science Journal and it is explained that the idea is that a small unmanned spaceship ram the asteroid to fragment at least 99.9 percent of its total mass; then the pieces of the asteroid would be scattered far from Earth. It will be next year when NASA realizes this deviation project through the space mission Double Asteroid Redirection Test (Dart, for its acronym in English).
However, this nuclear explosion would only work with relatively small asteroids that were detected at least two months away for the possible collision, since if the ship were to hit a large one, at the time of fragmentation, the remains of the The celestial body could be large enough to impact our planet.
Although this deviation would have to be the last resort to avoid an asteroid colliding with Earth, scientists believe that if there were no option, they would have to carry out the nuclear explosion. This idea would sound far-fetched, but already at the time the tycoon Elon musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, had already said that it was necessary to build large rockets to hit the rocks that threaten life on Earth.
With information from The Planetary Science Journal and The New York Times
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