“At the moment, there is no large asteroid with an orbit to collide with our planet,” reassures a professional journalist

A large asteroid passed close to Earth on Sunday March 21 at a distance equivalent to five times the distance between Earth and the moon. Olivier Sangui, editor-in-chief of Space News at Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse, explained on franceinfo that “At the moment, there is no large asteroid with a collision orbit with our planet“But NASA in particular.”Think seriously To the scenario that we can apply, if any“A large asteroid was heading towards Earth, just like it was 66 million years ago. Result.”Perhaps total destruction, the end of our civilization“, Confirms.

franceinfo: Sunday’s asteroid passed two million kilometers. Wasn’t that dangerous?

Olivier Sanjoy: 2 million kilometers is just over 4 to 5 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. It is very wide. Now in astronomy the dimensions are somewhat relative. NASA, for example, has a service looking for potentially dangerous asteroids. Once they have passed less than 7.5 million kilometers, they fall into the category of potential danger. The bigger they get, the more we can see them coming from afar. This is reassuring. Usually, the orbits are relatively stable. So far, there are no large asteroids that have a collision orbit with our planet.

What can be done to avoid a collision?

The good news is we’re really thinking about it, because at the end of the year, there’s a NASA mission going to take off. The goal is to hit, not an asteroid directly, but a small moon of another asteroid and see what that will give it to the level of orbit disturbance. We are not taking any chances. He will not send this moon home. But we will accurately measure the orbital change. We’ll have data to tell ourselves if there is an asteroid threatening us tomorrow, what can we do to deflect it? Perhaps the idea, in particular, is simply to influence it with a spacecraft. A very small patch, decades later, would be a correction large enough to comfortably pass the object away from our planet. In fact, asteroids about a hundred meters high can be the most dangerous, and strangely enough, which we will see come too late and which can do harm. In the English language, they are called “city killers.”

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It should be remembered that it is an asteroid that wiped out 75% of life on Earth, 66 million years ago.

In fact, you are right to point out. It is the potential for destruction. It’s not how often it happens because, fortunately, it’s fairly rare. But on the other hand, when that happens, the possibility could be complete devastation, and the end of our civilization. This is why space agencies say to themselves: Step one, we watch and identify the threat. Step two, we’re doing it, thinking about the scenario we could apply if we had bad news.

80 to 100 tons of dust or small meteorites fall on the Earth every day. It looks phenomenal.

We are constantly bombarded. Fortunately, it is small, so it burns up in the atmosphere. Basically, any asteroid 7 meters or less wide burns up completely in the atmosphere. In fact, we have a natural shield which is the atmosphere. After 7 meters, it begins to pass and is able to impact the ground. The width of the asteroid that passed on Sunday was one kilometer. We are in a state of regional destruction, even at the level of a country. For dinosaurs, it was closer to 10 or 15 km in diameter. Fortunately, it is very rare. But one kilometer, for example, estimates that it could occur every 300,000 to 500,000 years.

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