June 16, 2024

Asteroid Armageddon: A New Reality for Earth and the Importance of DART Missions

1 min read
NASA Successfully Collides Rocket into Asteroid, Potential Debris Threatens Mars

In the future, Earth may face a significant threat from an asteroid that is as big as a football stadium. If it collides with a city, the destruction would be comparable to that of a non-radioactive nuclear bomb. Currently, there are around 25,000 asteroids in near-Earth space, with approximately 15,000 still undiscovered.

One potential solution to prevent asteroids from hitting Earth is to alter their course by colliding with them using a small spacecraft. In September 2022, a spacecraft the size of a van successfully deflected a 525-foot-long near-Earth asteroid named Dimorphos by crashing into it at 14,000 miles per hour. This experiment known as DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach.

Following the collision, scientists discovered that a swarm of boulders surrounded Dimorphos but posed no immediate threat to Earth. However, ongoing analysis revealed that these boulders will not disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere but will instead orbit the Sun for the next 20,000 years. Some of these boulders are projected to intersect with Mars’ orbit and potentially create crater-like scars on its surface up to 1,000 feet long.

The research findings published in a recent study by European Space Agency’s Near-Earth Objects Coordination Centre shed light on the long-term implications of the DART mission and highlighted the importance of developing strategies to protect Earth from future asteroid threats.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.