MIT Shows How to Deflect Killer Asteroid, Report

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 26, 2020

United States space agency NASA has spotted another asteroid traveling towards the Earth's orbit.

Examination of the asteroid known as 99942 Apophis for the Egyptian God of disarray once indicated that its 2029 zip by would carry it through a gravitational keyhole, a situation in Earth's gravity area that would tweak the asteroid's route so that on its subsequent flyby in the year 2036 it would seemingly render a shattering influence. Space rocks have rained down on Earth long before humans were here, and they're not going to stop now. Tracking an asteroid and working out ways to deflect it involves a huge number of variables, some of which can't be known all that precisely. It's like a preemptive strike, with less mess.

MIT researchers have devised a framework for deciding which type of mission would be most successful in deflecting an incoming asteroid, taking into account an asteroids mass and momentum, its proximity to a gravitational keyhole, and the amount of warning time that scientists have of an impending collision. The researchers also found that these two asteroids have an orbiting time of 45 to 50 hours.

In a study published this month in the journal Acta Astronautica, researchers at MIT applied their hypothetical deflection methods to the astroids Apophis and Bennu, an asteroid now being targeted by a NASA mission to return a sample of its surface material to Earth in 2023. No one has looked at the problem this way before.”.

A better option would be to use a 'kinetic impactor, ' such as a rocket or large projectile to knock the asteroid off course, similar to hitting a billiard ball with a cue.

These new mission possibilities include a basic kinetic impactor to deflect the asteroid off-course, sending a scout first to measure the asteroid before building a projectile to hit it away, and sending two scouts - one to measure and one to hit it slightly off its path before a larger projectile is launched.

They say time is the most important factor in determining which method would be best. The tests showed that with five or more years, the best course is to send two scouts and then the projectile. Scientists at MIT believe that the best option by which earth can be saved is by nudging an approaching asteroid from its collision course trajectory. However, if it passes through its keyhole in one year or less, it may be too late according to the researchers. Between two and five years, the most reliable option is to send one scout followed by a projectile from earth.

“Even a main impactor may not be able to reach the asteroid within this timeframe, ” Paek says.

An asteroid will not hit the earth anytime soon-at least not as far as scientists are concerned. Like other asteroids that belong to this group, 2020 BW13 follows a unsafe orbit that occasionally intersects Earth's path as it makes its way around the Sun.

But as scary as it sounds, the chances of impact are pretty remote, and experts say everyday citizens shouldn't be too anxious.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE