Inflated monster asteroids are not so big in sci-fi movies, but it can be harder than we thought if we ever have a Deep Impact situation on our hands.
Asteroids have now turned out to be more difficult to break than scientists once thought (and science fiction suggested). Trying to split them into pieces may not be our best option, as suggested by a recently published Johns Hopkins University study published in Icarus magazine. If there is ever an incoming force of destruction, this new understanding of how these mega-stones break when they collide with another massive object can help us live.
“We used to believe that the bigger the object, the easier it would break, because larger objects are more likely to have flaws. However, our results show that asteroids are stronger than we used to think and require more energy to be completely fragmented” explained researcher and team leader Charles El Mir from Johns Hopkins University’s engineering department.
While former scientists believed they had an understanding of the asteroid composition on the lab scale ̵
1; which essentially reduces these cruel objects to the size of the average human fist – it has proved much more difficult to understand them as space behemoths they really are. The idea used to be that asteroids of that size would completely disintegrate from the headland.
“Our question was how much energy it takes to actually destroy an asteroid and break it into pieces,” El Mir said. 19659006] Video of Asteroid Collision Model Phase 2: Reaccumulation by Gravity