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Asteroids are much harder to destroy than scientists who originally believed

SCIEPRONuking an asteroid out of the sky to protect the earth is a good feed for the silver screen. However, new research suggests that just exploding a threatening space rock may not simply save us as we expect. Researchers find rogue asteroids that often roam our solar system &#821 1; just last month they discovered one who could beat the earth – and one way to deal with these potential threats is to influence them, knocking them of course. NASA is currently planning an asteroid redirection mission where it will send a kamikaze spacecraft to the moon by an asteroid called Didymos, which barreling into the rock to shoo it off. Nevertheless, we have not had many opportunities to study asteroids closely, so we cannot estimate exactly how they are structured or how they can be destroyed. It is believed that larger asteroids can be easier to destroy because they would be more likely to have cracks and weaknesses that make them easy to inflate. What should we do if an asteroid threatens our peaceful existence? "Are we better off breaking it in small pieces or nudging it to go in a different direction? And if the latter, how much power should we beat it by moving it away without it breaking?" Charles El Mir, lead author of the study, in a press release. These questions are exactly what he and a team at Johns Hopkins University responded to. Their results, published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Icarus,…

 Asteroid approaching Earth, artwork
SCIEPRO

Nuking an asteroid out of the sky to protect the earth is a good feed for the silver screen. However, new research suggests that just exploding a threatening space rock may not simply save us as we expect.

Researchers find rogue asteroids that often roam our solar system &#821

1; just last month they discovered one who could beat the earth – and one way to deal with these potential threats is to influence them, knocking them of course. NASA is currently planning an asteroid redirection mission where it will send a kamikaze spacecraft to the moon by an asteroid called Didymos, which barreling into the rock to shoo it off.

Nevertheless, we have not had many opportunities to study asteroids closely, so we cannot estimate exactly how they are structured or how they can be destroyed. It is believed that larger asteroids can be easier to destroy because they would be more likely to have cracks and weaknesses that make them easy to inflate. What should we do if an asteroid threatens our peaceful existence?

“Are we better off breaking it in small pieces or nudging it to go in a different direction? And if the latter, how much power should we beat it by moving it away without it breaking?” Charles El Mir, lead author of the study, in a press release. These questions are exactly what he and a team at Johns Hopkins University responded to.

Their results, published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Icarus, are based on computer simulations of asteroid effects. They connected parameters that digitally recapitulated a small asteroid, about 1 kilometer wide, which affected a large asteroid, about 25 times larger, while driving at 5 kilometers per second.

An earlier model showed that the large asteroid was obliterated by this type of collision – but the Johns Hopkins team found a completely different endgame. According to their modeling, the asteroid will significantly break in the fractions one second after a stroke.

In the simulation, an asteroid splits from each other but is contracted back by the force of gravity. This animation has increased – this phase occurs over many hours.


Johns Hopkins University / YouTube

During the hours following an impact, the team showed that the large asteroid collapsed into smaller pieces, but did not become completely obliterated as previous research showed. The fragments that flew off the asteroid are then pulled together by the damaged asteroid core due to the overwhelming effect of gravity.

Thank you, gravity.

“We used to think that the bigger the object the easier it would break, for larger objects are more likely to have defects,” says El Mir. “Our results show, however, that asteroids are stronger than we used to think and require more energy to be completely fragmented. “

The strength of the asteroid to resist such an impact makes it possible to preserve its gravity pressure, which can lead to chaos if we were to blindly fire rockets at an incoming stone. Understanding these interactions better prepare us for the decisions that must be taken if an asteroid was to collide with the earth.

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Faela