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TOPIC: Avoiding Collision / Destroying NEO


L

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RE: Avoiding Collision / Destroying NEO
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By 2019 there will be more than 10,000 objects ... with a non-zero probability of impacting earth ~ Russell Schweickart

This planet of ours is a strange and wondrous place but the dark void it spins in is a lot more mysterious To explain, earth has taken any number of knocks and remains constantly at risk of attack by interlopers from space called Near Earth Objects most of these being asteroids. Most of these burn harmlessly during their trip through the atmosphere. However, just as in some mediocre Hollywood offering like Armageddon, there is more than a zero chance that a large one will threaten earth in the near future.
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L

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Killer asteroids
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New Mexico scientist searches the skies for signs of killer asteroids.
As a kid, Eileen Ryan always liked the 1970s science-fiction movies where a dishevelled guy in a lab coat would show up at the last minute and save the planet from giant spiders and other threats.
These days, Ryan is an accomplished astronomer at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology who is helping NASA figure out which asteroids might hit the planet, potentially wiping out a major city or worse.

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L

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Near Earth Objects
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In the solar system, there are a number of asteroids and comets whose orbits intersect or pass close to Earth.
There is a possibility that some of these Near Earth Objects (NEOs) may impact on Earth at some point in the future.
The geological record shows that this has happened a number of times in the past.
This risk is attracting increasing attention from the public and the media.
Although the probability of an impact is quite low the consequences would be catastrophic.
What are scientists and governments doing to prevent such a collision? Can these objects be deflected, destroyed or even made use of?

Quentin Cooper is at the Open University in Milton Keynes to discover how scientists are monitoring NEOs.
He is joined by Professor of Earth Sciences, Simon Kelley who looks at the consequences of impacts, and John Zarneki, the OU's Professor of Space Science, who's more interested in how we might study NEOs in space and stop them from ever hitting; and Dr Benny Peiser a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University and member of Spaceguard UK who specialises in how catastrophic events influence contemporary thought.

LISTEN (30minute realplayer stream)

BBC Radio 4's weekly science programme The Material World  is  co-produced with the Open University and is designed to support the OU's Science in Context course, S250.
Program first broadcast on January 5th, 2006.

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L

Posts: 130163
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RE: Avoiding Collision / Destroying NEO
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Moves are afoot in the astronaut community to hustle the UN into adopting a treaty which would set a deflection mission in motion if Earth was threatened by a large asteroid impact.
A series of four meetings organised by the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) will seek to draw up a protocol which the UN can act upon when potentially Earthbound large objects are identified. The first is set for Strasbourg in May, and the invited group of space, engineering, legal and diplomatic luminaries will deliver its recommendations to the UN, which is following the discussions.

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A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are conducting research that could one day save humanity from asteroids threatening Earth.
UAH Laser Science and Engineering Group (LSEG), headed by Dr. Richard Fork, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is conducting research into characterizing and deflecting asteroids that may endanger Earth.
It sounds like science fiction, but Fork, who has a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and more than 40 years of experience working with lasers, said someday it could be possible to locate a laser in space or on the moon to look at the properties of asteroids and perhaps alter their trajectories away from Earth.

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L

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NGC Aerospatiale
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If planet Earth is besieged by a falling asteroid, a group of scientists in Quebec's Eastern Townships may help save the day.

NGC Aerospatiale, a company based in Sherbrooke, is developing technology to track and divert stray asteroids tumbling toward Earth.
The technology involves autonomous satellites, "intelligent" devices that rely on software to make decisions in space.
Autonomous satellites will be able to pinpoint potentially dangerous asteroids and act swiftly to knock them off track, without any assistance from ground control.

"(It's) just like when you play billiards. It makes an impact and it deviates the trajectory of the asteroid, so that it avoids the earth by a few thousand kilometres" - Jean de Lafontaine, NGC Aerospatiale company president.

The technology would rely on two satellites: an orbiter to analyse information about the asteroid, and an "impacter" that could travel up to 10 kilometres per second to strike the asteroid and disrupt its course.
In recent years, Lafontaine helped develop early versions of the satellite software for the Canadian and European Space Agencies. The latter has since hired Lafontaine's current company to build the autonomous satellites.
The threat of an asteroid striking Earth may seem like science fiction straight out of Hollywood, but Lafontaine said it's a genuine concern throughout the aerospace sector.

The planet already has geographical scars from past collisions with asteroids, which can be seen at about 150 different sites around the world.
Quebec is home to one of the most stunning asteroid craters, found in Manicouagan, about 200 kilometres north of Baie Comeau, in the province's northern region.
The Manicouagan Crater is 70 kilometres wide, making it one of the world's largest impact craters.

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L

Posts: 130163
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RE: Avoiding Collision / Destroying NEO
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Hum,
Here is a website with a bit of information, and updates for you to watch.
LINK:

Any big rocks out there are tracked by them.

(of course, for really big earth impactors they do find, they will withhold that information to the general public) :smile:



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Anonymous

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Hi
What is the best way to destroy near earth object (NEO) on collision course with Earth?
* Nuclear missiles
* Powerful rockets
* Giant lens / evaporator

At the moment there is no international organization to detect of small NEO, similar to the one that explode over Tunguska and Amazon (1930, 1935?),
The possibility of small meteor impact / explosion (50 m- 100 m) is approx. once every 100 years.
Is it possible for UN to establish such organization?


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