Monday , June 21 2021

How would you save the planet from a killer asteroid?

Gravitational Tugboat

The wonderful thing about space is that physics becomes a strange and idealized job. If you imagine that you are trying to extract a stone of more than a billion tons out of the Earth's road, it seems almost impossible. But in space, friction ceases to exist. Bodies move as dictated by gravity. So, if you put something closely close to the asteroid, you can pull it out of the track.

This method occurs slowly. It will only change the course of the asteroid with a rate of millimeters or centimeters per second a year. So you need a lot of time in time. But if we need to find a monster with an asteroid that goes to us for a hundred years in a row, this method is the safest and easiest way to reject it.

As a reversible storm, scientists also consider the ion beam pasty. This basically means to fly the aircraft together with the asteroid and to stick to the plasma and thus to move away. Of course, the spacecraft should constantly approach closer at the same time, or the effect of "equal and opposite reaction" in physics, simply, will have the spacecraft to be loaded equally. Similar to the gravity method of a tractor, this is a slow but predictable and possible use of technology that already exists.

Or, as a simpler version of this idea, other scientists have suggested simply painting a white asteroid to increase its reflexivity. This is equal to multiple photons from the sun that rises from its surface, and the additional pressure will serve to gradually move from the course.

Dismantling on the asteroid

There are other, abusive methods, too.

For example, we can explode with a laser. The goal here is not really to destroy the stone (although that would be part of it), but rather to accelerate it with a laser and use battles that will decrease to help further move the asteroid away from the laser. But since we do not currently have giant laser space, this method requires little more planning.

Another option is usually called a massive driver. This takes "an equal and opposite reaction" to its logical conclusion. In its most basic form, imagine a catapult throwing rocks off the asteroid. Physics dictates that as you throw small rocks to Earth, the asteroid will get off us.

All these methods require prior warning. The good news is that asteroids large enough to put an end to life on Earth are large enough to notice, so that we will have enough time for panic and planning.

Korea Haynes is Astronomy contributed by the author.

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