In the vast universe, there are millions of celestial bodies such as asteroids and comets orbiting the Sun, most of which often crash into Earth. However, because they are so small and destroyed as they pass through the atmosphere, they do not pose a major danger.
Disasters caused by asteroids and comets
Astronomers consider near-Earth objects a threat if they measure at least 140 meters in diameter and are about 7.4 million kilometers from our planet.
According to predictions, if the above celestial objects crashed into Earth, it could destroy an entire large city and cause serious havoc in the region.
In particular, larger asteroids – around 1 km in diameter – will have a global impact, even causing mass extinction.
A small asteroid can wipe out an entire city
A small asteroid can wipe out an entire city. (Illustrative photo: Igorj).
In the past, 65 million years ago, the Earth was destroyed by a celestial body 10 km in diameter crashing into an area of what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, wiping out most of the plant and animal species of the planet (including the extinction of the dinosaurs). .
In 1908, in Siberia, its power “razed” more than 80 million trees over an area of 2,100 square kilometers.
More recently, in 2013, a 20 meter wide blast exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere approximately 32 km from Chelyabinsk, Russia. The power of the explosion released energy equivalent to that of around thirty nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, injuring more than 1,100 people and causing $33 million in damage.
Orbits of thousands of planets
The orbits of thousands of planets (in blue) intersect the orbits of planets (in white), including Earth (Photo: NASA).
Scientists estimate that on March 11, 2023, Earth could collide with an asteroid about 50 meters long.
However, the possibility of a large cosmic body “attack” The Earth is very small, but if this happens, it will cause an extremely terrible disaster.
The US government recognizes the danger of these threats and has tasked NASA with searching and tracking approximately 90% of near-Earth objects.
To protect Earth from disasters from space, the United States Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed many different scenarios, including “interception” asteroids from space.
As expected, 11 million km from Earth at 6:14 a.m. on September 27 (Hanoi time). This is part of it plan “Twin Asteroid Redirection Test” (DART) from NASA. This is the first planetary protection mission carried out in this way by NASA.
Using a spacecraft to crash into the binary asteroid Didymos and its moon (which currently poses no threat to Earth) would cause them to veer off course.
To date, NASA has only tracked about 40% of asteroids. Scientists say that in the past the Earth has suffered catastrophic disasters caused by objects in space, and this will certainly happen in the future.
Therefore, testing the DART mission can help humanity avoid disasters on Earth.
As of September 18, NASA has identified approximately 29,724 near-Earth asteroids, including approximately 10,289 objects with a diameter of 140 meters and 855 asteroids with a diameter of at least 1 km.
Therefore, to protect Earth from the risk of asteroid collisions from space, scientists say that early detection is the key to prevention.
Crater near Flagstaff, Arizona
The crater near Flagstaff, Arizona, was created when an asteroid measuring about 50 meters in diameter crashed into Earth about 50,000 years ago (Photo: UGS).
NASA’s DART mission is a key test for deflecting an asteroid. A camera on the DART spacecraft recorded the above process and sent images back to Earth up to the moment of impact.
Along with this, on September 11, a small satellite deployed by NASA as part of the mission will be responsible for capturing the moment of impact and sending the data back to Earth for scientists to study and save.
It can be seen that the impact of asteroids on Earth will cause extremely severe destruction and damage, even causing the literal extinction of humanity.
Therefore, investing in protecting the planet from dangerous space objects can bring some peace of mind to humanity, while avoiding possible disasters.
Article source: Dan Tri
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In the vast universe, there are millions of celestial bodies similar to asteroids and comets orbiting the Sun, most of them often crash into the Earth….