13 February 2013

Saving Earth from hazardous asteroids

By Mischa Vickas

If an asteroid was on path for a collision, what could we do? Here are some of the proposals – both the sensible ones and the wild.

On February 15, an asteroid 45 metres across will pass between the Earth and our ring of satellites – the closest asteroid flyby in recorded history. Although we face no danger from this particular asteroid, it is a stark reminder of an ever-present danger. To date, researchers NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program have catalogued more than 1,000 asteroids that have a small chance of colliding with Earth at some point in the future. And, as we found out from the dinosaurs, a collision with an asteroid only one kilometre across can have catastrophic global consequences.

Is there anything we could do if we did discover an asteroid heading for a collision with Earth? Here are some of the proposals dreamed up by scientists to deflect it from its course.

Read more: Saving Earth from hazardous asteroids | COSMOS magazine.

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