Technology

A Spanish astrophysicist, on DART: “It is impossible for an asteroid to change course and become a threat to Earth”

found NASA achieved for the first time in history Kinetic impact collision of a spacecraft with an asteroid, A maneuver that represents a milestone in planetary defense, as it can provide us with very valuable information about how we should approach a potential future threat of a celestial body.

we talk about DartNASA missions—in which other international organizations participate—that intended to demonstrate that the kinetic effect of an artifact A spacecraft — in this case about 550 kilograms in mass and larger than the bus — can alter an asteroid’s orbit and, therefore, deflect it.

Dart will impact against asteroid Dimorphos “Fundamental to being able to overcome all pre-existing collision models”explained Adriano Campo Bagatin, a physicist with a doctorate in astronomy involved in the DART mission through the University of Alicante.

“In the event that there is a potential threat in the future, in the first place, we would already know what the impact of this type of impact would be, so we could scale the mass, momentum and remaining parameters according to the requirements – approaching According to the size, distance and speed of the asteroid Earth, You can also craft a series of probes and all you have to do is upload them to a rocket and point them at the target., Therefore, knowing this potential threat at least two years in advance, it may be possible to avoid it.”

However, many wonder whether this collision could have had an adverse effect. Is there any chance that with dart maneuvers we could radically change this currently harmless asteroid and become a threat to Earth?

“The answer is fundamentally no. There is no possibility of this happening, it is implicitly calculated,” he insisted. 20bits Astrophysicist Campo.



Measurement of the Dart spacecraft and the asteroids Didymos and Dimorphos.
Measurement of the Dart spacecraft and the asteroids Didymos and Dimorphos.
NASA

What would be the extent of damage in actual danger?

On 15 February 2013, An unknown asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded in Chelyabinsk, Russia, which exploded in the air and sent shock waves across six cities in the region. The explosion injured more than 1,600 people and caused an estimated $30 million in damage.

This was a clear reminder that potentially dangerous objects could enter Earth’s atmosphere at any time, and that even relatively small objects could be a concern. The size of the Chelyabinsk object is about 18 meters. was,

Table of damages that an asteroid could inflict against Earth, according to NASA.
Table of damages that an asteroid could inflict against Earth, according to NASA.
NASA

We’d have to be in the path of a 10,000-meter-diameter asteroid to happen before a total destroyer, although one in 1,000 may already lead to global catastrophe and possible collapse of civilization. The good news is that these types of objects are very rare and the frequency of their collision with Earth is 1 in every 100-200 million years.

Asteroid a few meters across will shatter when exposed to our atmosphereAnd, other than a certain brightness and a few meteorites due to the initial fragmentation, it would not have major consequences.

If a medium-sized asteroid like Dimorphos were to hit Earth, it would cause a total catastrophe of an area equal to a province., massive loss of life and property and a crater of 1-2 km diameter. The frequency of collision of such an object is about 1 every 20,000 years, but it is estimated that there are about 25,000 such celestial bodies hidden there.


On June 11, it will again pass close to the Earth.

sign up for us News bulletin And get the latest technology news in your email.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button