Dr Robert Massey, Royal Astronomical Society
Robert Massey returns with a roundup of news from the Royal Astronomical Society. This month; The history of astronomical imaging, Near Earth Objects and Auroras above northern Britain...
Part of the show Meeting MIRI and Detecting Dark Matter from the 25th Jan 2012
I am a little confused about a subject that often comes regarding the different techniques that might be applied.
Earth gets hit once or twice a century with an object, maybe 1 to 10 meters in diameter. Then the effect really depends on where it hits. Oceans (tidal waves?) Rural, or the very few highly concentrated urban areas.
Imagine the politics of one big hit and some possible diversion but not avoidance!
I do not think one trillion dollars would buy enough anti matter to zap an asteroid considering the rate at which it is produced at present. syhprum, Sat, 28th Jan 2012
If the Earth was at stake I suppose I would expect there to be a few more missiles heading towards the offending target then ONE! Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket....... Then the question might be, what levels of radiation can we treat as acceptable in such a scenario.
Capturing an object would require both altering the course, and slowing it down significantly. Perhaps using lunar slingshot to dump velocity into the moon. Could you use atmospheric braking without breaking up the object, or loosing it?
A 10 Km diameter size asteroid would be perfect for building an orbital space station on. Even better if it had some ice present and other useful resources.
Moving an object that is 1021 kilos would not be easy.
How big does an asteroid need to be so that when you blow it up, its own gravity pulls it back together? Chemistry4me, Sun, 29th Jan 2012