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Archive for the ‘asteroid/comet impacts’ category: Page 4

Nov 20, 2021

Calls grow for US to bolster defense against asteroid threat

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, government, law

Experts are sounding the alarm about the threat of asteroids to life on Earth — and warning that the United States does not have a clear plan to prevent catastrophe.

Though NASA says the odds are literally one in a millennium, no US agency is explicitly responsible if space rocks are headed our way.

“No one is tasked with mitigation,” former Air Force space strategist Peter Garretson, an expert in planetary defense told Politico. “Congress did put in law that the White House identify who should be responsible, but fully four subsequent administrations so far have blown off their request.”

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Nov 20, 2021

NASA is tracking a 1,000-foot-tall asteroid that’s headed towards Earth

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

NASA scientists have issued a warning about a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” (PHA) that will fly close to earth in mid-December. The asteroid is larger than 90 percent of asteroids, according to Daily Record, but still smaller than some of the larger reported asteroids. Thankfully, the asteroid won’t come close enough to our planet to do any damage. Near passes like these happen somewhat frequently. But the term “near” is relative when you’re talking about the infinite vastness of outer space.

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NASA predicts that the massive asteroid will pass by Earth on December 11, just a month and a few days from now. The asteroid has been classified as 4,660 Nereus, and NASA does consider it very hazardous. The organization says that the asteroid is almost three times the size of a football pitch — roughly the size of the Eiffel tower.

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Nov 17, 2021

To Save Earth, NASA Is Testing Hitting An Asteroid With A Spacecraft

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, satellites

“We know of no asteroids that are coming in to hit the Earth,” Rivkin emphasizes. DART, he says, is part of a multi-pronged effort to examine the asteroid collision problem. “Asteroid impacts are really the only natural disaster that humanity can see coming years or decades in advance and do anything about.”

NASA calls DART its “First Planetary Defense Test Mission.” Rivkin is the DART investigation team lead at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, which is running the experiment for NASA.

Full Story:

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Nov 11, 2021

Researchers recreate deep-Earth conditions to see how iron copes with extreme stress

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Far below you lies a sphere of solid iron and nickel about as wide as the broadest part of Texas: the Earth’s inner core. The metal at the inner core is under pressure about 360 million times higher than we experience in our everyday lives and temperatures approximately as hot as the Sun’s surface.

Earth’s planetary core is thankfully intact. But in space, similar cores can collide with other objects, causing the crystalline materials of the core to deform rapidly. Some asteroids in our solar system are massive iron objects that scientists suspect are the remnants of planetary cores after catastrophic impacts.

Measuring what happens during the collision of celestial bodies or at the Earth’s core is obviously not very practical. As such, much of our understanding of planetary cores is based on experimental studies of metals at less and pressures. But researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have now observed for the first time how iron’s atomic structure deforms to accommodate the stress from the pressures and temperatures that occur just outside of the inner core.

Nov 6, 2021

Asteroid the size of Eiffel Tower heading for Earth in December

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Dubbed 4660 Nereus, or 1982 DB, this vaguely egg-shaped asteroid has a size making it taller than the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Washington Monument. It is set to pass by the planet on December 11 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers and at a speed of 6.578 km/s.

For comparison, the distance between the Earth and the Moon is about a thousandth of that – around 385,000 km. As such, despite being classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) due to its size and close proximity to Earth, it seems unlikely to pose a threat to the planet.

Nov 5, 2021

NASA Is Launching Its New DART Spacecraft. To Deflect Asteroids?

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, space travel

In a concept test for an advanced planetary defense solution.

We are vastly unprepared for the event of an impending, potentially civilization-ending asteroid impact. Knowing this, NASA is developing planetary defense solutions to add to its arsenal of space technologies.

One of these technologies, NASA’s DART spacecraft, is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 10:20 Pacific time on November 23 a press statement reveals. … See more.

Nov 1, 2021

Live Q&A with NASA Planetary Defender

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

NASA planetary defender Dr. Kelly Fast has a hard and fast rule: “Find asteroids before they find us.” Working in NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, Kelly is helping send the #DARTMission to test “nudging” an asteroid in space. DART, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous near-Earth object. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space. NOTE: the target asteroid is currently not a threat to Earth.

Get all the info on our #DARTMission: https://www.nasa.gov/dart

Oct 21, 2021

A Second Object Crashed into Jupiter in Just One Month (video)

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

According to astronomers, several asteroids with diameters more than 10 meters collide with the surface of the solar system’s largest planet every year, causing explosions visible from Earth. Previously, such collisions were registered in 1,994 2009, 2,010 2012, 2,016 2017 and 2019.

If confirmed, this will be the ninth recorded impact on Jupiter since the first in July 1,994 when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 shattered into several smaller pieces, sinking one after another into the giant’s gas shell, leaving dark marks on the clouds of Jupiter, some of them the size of our planet.

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Oct 21, 2021

NASA’s ‘Armageddon’-style asteroid deflection mission takes off in November

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, satellites

NASA has a launch date for that most Hollywood of missions, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which is basically a dry run of the movie “Armageddon.” Unlike the film, this will not involve nukes, oil rigs or Aerosmith, but instead is a practical test of our ability to change the trajectory of an asteroid in a significant and predictable way.

The DART mission, managed by the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (!), involves sending a pair of satellites out to a relatively nearby pair of asteroids, known as the Didymos binary. It’s one large-ish asteroid, approximately 780 meters across — that’s Didymos proper — and a 160-meter “moonlet” in its orbit.

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Oct 17, 2021

Planetary Defense: Physicists Propose New Way To Defend Earth Against Cosmic Impacts

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, physics

Is Planetary Defense PI in the Sky?

In February of 2,013 skywatchers around the world turned their attention toward asteroid 2012 DA14, a cosmic rock about 150 feet (50 meters) in diameter that was going to fly closer to Earth than the spacecraft that bring us satellite TV.

Little did they realize as they prepared for the once-in-several-decades event that another bit of celestial debris was hurtling toward Earth, with a more direct heading. On February 15 2013, the Chelyabinsk meteor, a roughly 62-foot (19 meter)-diameter asteroid exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, as it entered Earth’s atmosphere at a shallow angle. The blast shattered windows and damaged buildings, and nearly two thousand people were hurt, though thankfully no one died.

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