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Scientists tackle 'Earth-killer' asteroid


Posted on Saturday, 16 August, 2014 | Comment icon 14 comments

It may be possible to prevent a collision. Image Credit: NASA/Don Davis
A huge fast-moving space rock has the potential to bring about the apocalypse in the year 2880.
Despite it still being several centuries out, scientists have been attempting to learn as much as possible about asteroid 1950 DA which, with a diameter of 3,280 feet and a speed of 37,900 miles per hour, would cause untold devastation were it to actually hit us.

With the chance of a collision estimated to be around 1 in 4000, the highest of any known asteroid, the force of the impact would be the equivalent of 44,800 megatons of TNT exploding all at once.

"Following the February 2013 asteroid impact in Chelyabinsk, Russia, there is renewed interest in figuring out how to deal with the potential hazard of an asteroid impact," said Dr. Ben Rozitis.

The key to stopping asteroid 1950 DA could lie in its remarkably fast rotational speed which by all rights should have torn it apart by now. Scientists believe that the space rock is being held together by interparticle cohesive forces which means that even a small impact on its surface may be enough to break it apart while it is still far out in space.

"Understanding what holds these asteroids together can inform strategies to guard against future impacts," said Dr. Rozitis.

Source: New York Post | Comments (14)

Tags: Asteroid, Earth

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Peter B on 17 August, 2014, 0:09
So in 865 years this could be a global killer? I'd bet on a few Tungusta sized disruptions before then....and pandemics, deforestations, extinctions of familiar animals, etc. I give present day humanity 50 years tops before the natural world is wiped out as we know it. And what are you going to do about it? Sit back and enjoy the pleasures of a First World existence and thus contribute to these problems, or warn people of the dangers and help them find ways of preventing disaster?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sundew on 17 August, 2014, 1:33
IF we do not wipe ourselves out before then and technology and information keeps advancing and the doubling time keeps shrinking, it is quite possible we will have the ability to alter the path of the object, if not destroy it outright. Advances in LASERs, robotics, propulsion and the like may come into play. In fact in 800 years so much will have changed technologically that this asteroid might be only an annoyance.
Comment icon #7 Posted by kiwitina948 on 17 August, 2014, 4:21
Oh my god best we panic now then! So what if it wipes this planet out? We can't do anything to stop it so why worry about it? The illuminate AGENDA-make the sheeple live in fear. Mission accomplished. Corexit will have killed this planet long before any asteroid is going to get here to finish the job.
Comment icon #8 Posted by coolguy on 17 August, 2014, 5:30
Well it won't be in our life time unless we are all reborn to see it happen But if earth gets hit before this by. An asteroid that comes out of no where.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Harte on 17 August, 2014, 10:42
It will never hit Earth. Our mighty global warming shield will repel it. Harte
Comment icon #10 Posted by DieChecker on 17 August, 2014, 19:27
This sounds like a project that has "Start in 200 years" written all over it.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Hawkin on 18 August, 2014, 2:15
This asteroid (1950 DA) would be of no concern yet since it's hundreds of years in the future but this asteroid (99942 Apophis) is just around the corner. It will come close in 2029 and 2036 since it's a NEO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99942_Apophis
Comment icon #12 Posted by crypto-ufologist on 18 August, 2014, 2:33
UT Research Uncovers Forces that Hold Gravity-Defying Near-Earth Asteroid Together It's also possible that the accepted theory of gravity is incorrect and that there is a 'dark matter' or 'exotic matter' involved. The current theory of gravity is tenuous and dwarf galaxy studies prove that it's likely to be wrong.
Comment icon #13 Posted by John Wesley Boyd on 18 August, 2014, 3:31
And what are you going to do about it? Sit back and enjoy the pleasures of a First World existence and thus contribute to these problems, or warn people of the dangers and help them find ways of preventing disaster? Well, what are you going do while sunning yourself on the southern ocean and knocking back a brace of Fosters? Ride your high horse and snipe at the yanks some more?
Comment icon #14 Posted by DieChecker on 18 August, 2014, 6:02
They should just build a ramp off of CERN up a Swiss mountain and fire off small projectiles at it. Building a accelerator cannon shouldn't be too hard if you already have an accelerator. They could call it ADAM (Asteroid Destroying Accelerated Materials).


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