Images: NASA/Hyland, D. et al. Illustration: Wired

How to Deflect Killer Asteroids With Spray Paint

02.07.136:30 AM

A fresh paint job might be all that’s needed to prevent a giant asteroid from raining destruction upon our planet.

Though strange-sounding, the strategy would make use of a real-world phenomenon known as the Yarkovsky effect, named for the Russian engineer who discovered it in 1902. The effect results from the fact that asteroids heat up as they bask in the sun’s light.

“The coat of paint would be a very thin, almost like a Saran Wrap layer,” said aerospace engineer David Hyland of Texas A&M, who leads a team that has been studying this method for several years. “If we push it in the right direction, we can get the asteroid to cease crossing Earth’s orbit and completely eliminate the threat.”

Read more: How to Deflect Killer Asteroids With Spray Paint | Wired Science |

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