In the wake of recent events there have been renewed calls for defensive measures against asteroids.
The devastation wrought over Russia by a meteor just 50ft across has brought in to focus the apocalyptic potential of a larger impact on our planet. To help defend against such disasters in the future a group of scientists has developed a new concept for a defensive weapon called DE-STAR (Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids). The system would harness energy from the Sun and use it to focus a laser blast at an approaching rock to either deflect or evaporate it.
"This system is not some far-out idea from Star Trek," said researcher Gary B. Hughes. "All the components of this system pretty much exist today. Maybe not quite at the scale that we'd need - scaling up would be the challenge - but the basic elements are all there and ready to go."
The hazards of asteroid impacts are starkly clear in Russia, where more than 900 people were injured and hundreds of buildings damaged by the shockwave from the meteor's explosion in the atmosphere, according to press reports.
View: Full article | Source: Yahoo! News
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