The danger of asteroid impact is not only the inspiration for Hollywood directors. Scientists discuss options for saving the planet from the threat. And, apparently, we can look ahead with optimism. The actual disposal of fatal flying mountains will be like a little movie, but one thing the writers are right to be put on nuclear weapons. To date, NASA has identified more than 90% of all near-Earth asteroids of sufficient size to cause a global catastrophe, that is, a diameter of 10 kilometers or more. Fortunately, none of them in the foreseeable future must face our planet. But this is not enough for complete peace of mind.
Interesting simulation performed David Dearborn, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It turns out that a nuclear explosion with 300 kilotons, produced on the surface of the 270-meter asteroid in just 15 days before the attack on his Earth (pilgrim will be outside the orbit of the Moon), is able to reject the object enough to the collision happened. – 97% resulting from the explosion debris pass by Earth, – says David. And the farther away the point undermining, the stronger the scattered fragments, the less they fall into the planet. And of radiation at a distance and say nothing. So all in such a scenario, it looks good. However, in some cases, as the results of another fresh research, the explosion ripped the asteroid may in a few hours to meet again, and get rid of it will not work. But a lot depends on the structure and composition of celestial rock.
By the way, recently the Japanese and American Scientists opened the capsule, brought from the asteroid, so that in this field of science you can count on going forward. 270 meters, for comparison, this is a dangerous size of Apophis, for which there is a chance of 1 in 250 000, that in 2036 he would hit in our planet. Such a “stone” can destroy a metropolis. And if scientists determine that the course leads him on a collision than a nuclear strike effective options we have virtually no remains. The slow methods such as rejection long-term asteroid bombardment powerful laser, the installation of solar sails, designed to divert the asteroid to the side, or work around the celestial mountain gravity tractor – not effective enough. Especially when it comes to more larger asteroids, and the time is still not enough. On the other hand, if prior to the crash remains a few years, the possible options. And even all the same nuclear explosion should work a little differently then .