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If we blow up an asteroid, it can sit back together

March 8, 2019 Science 0 Views Future prospects for a significant asteroid shot against the earth and the cause of doom have humanity come up with different answers. Hollywood may think that the best way to destroy a wrong space rock is with nuclear weapons. This is rarely the preferred option for experts, but using a kind of spacecraft system to crush an asteroid into small, harmless pieces, it is seen as a real opportunity. A new study, looking at a giant space rock-on-space mountain conflict, suggests how completely ineffective this type of asteroid murder attempt might be. Using computer models, scientists simulated a 4,000-foot asteroid that struck into a 1 5.5-mile asteroid at 11,200 miles per hour. Shortly after the collision, the large asteroid cracked significantly, with debris flowing outwards as a cascade of Ping-Pong balls. Despite some deep fractures, the asteroid's heart was not completely damaged. Over time, the gravitational trajectory of the resilient core of the asteroid coalesced to retract extended slits. It seems that asteroids do not only absorb scary damage, but as previous work has been antithetical, they can also rebuild themselves. [ Sign up to receive space and astronomy event reminders on your calendar .] Charles El Mir, studying asteroid extermination at Johns Hopkins University and is a paper-leading author , said his findings "could be interpreted as an argument against" blowing up "an asteroid as a defensive strategy." Asteroid collisions and demolitions have been simulated many times over the past few decades. Previous…

Future prospects for a significant asteroid shot against the earth and the cause of doom have humanity come up with different answers.

Hollywood may think that the best way to destroy a wrong space rock is with nuclear weapons. This is rarely the preferred option for experts, but using a kind of spacecraft system to crush an asteroid into small, harmless pieces, it is seen as a real opportunity. A new study, looking at a giant space rock-on-space mountain conflict, suggests how completely ineffective this type of asteroid murder attempt might be.

Using computer models, scientists simulated a 4,000-foot asteroid that struck into a 1

5.5-mile asteroid at 11,200 miles per hour. Shortly after the collision, the large asteroid cracked significantly, with debris flowing outwards as a cascade of Ping-Pong balls. Despite some deep fractures, the asteroid’s heart was not completely damaged. Over time, the gravitational trajectory of the resilient core of the asteroid coalesced to retract extended slits. It seems that asteroids do not only absorb scary damage, but as previous work has been antithetical, they can also rebuild themselves.

[ Sign up to receive space and astronomy event reminders on your calendar .]

Charles El Mir, studying asteroid extermination at Johns Hopkins University and is a paper-leading author , said his findings “could be interpreted as an argument against” blowing up “an asteroid as a defensive strategy.” Asteroid collisions and demolitions have been simulated many times over the past few decades. Previous studies suggested that large asteroids are full of internal scars due to their violent history, and that a sufficiently rapid impact would completely crush them.

The new study, published in the month of the journal Icarus, tried another simulation. [19659002] KT Ramesh, Head of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, said Andy Tonge, a former graduate student, had developed a computational model that looked at how materials such as bulletproof vests respond to effects. Realized that Dr. Tonge model could simulate asteroid events, merged the team with another model that also replicated the effects of a large asteroid gravity.

This hybrid model allowed them to realistically see how an asteroid responds to being hit by a powerful projectile. It was previously caught missing but important small-scale details, including where cracks would occur and exactly how they would spread.

Michele Bannister, a planet star at Queen’s University Belfast, described the research as “a nice upgrade of the modeling of the complex physical realities” of the solar system’s enigmatic rocky monsters.

The study has limitations. Both asteroids are modeled as single, non-rotating rock pieces, while real asteroids are much more variable. In addition, the larger asteroid, even though it had a start of fractures, did not have a history of several effects that true asteroids would. A large space rock that strikes into a humongous space rock also differs from a missile attack or an atomic bomb that explodes on or under an asteroid surface while a popular rock band plays.

The study does not exclude the use of projectiles to destroy an incoming asteroid, Dr. El Mir. But, he added that crushing a large asteroid can lead to more problems than it solves. Beating a cannonball in shotgun shell fragments can still lead to Armageddon if the crushers hit the ground.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which watches asteroids and comets one day pass near the Earth, suggests replacing a space rock path by giving it a small push in advance to reach our world. NASA and others strive to test this strategy in 2022 with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, where a spacecraft will intentionally crash into the smaller part of a binary asteroid system in an attempt to change its orbit around the larger body. The choice between deflection and destruction depends largely on how quickly an incoming asteroid is seen.

“A successful deflection becomes more difficult to implement when warning time decreases,” said Megan Bruck Syal, a planetary defense researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “For shortest warning times, robust interruption and spreading of the fragments can be the only feasible option to prevent impact.”


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