We are not in a science fiction movie with Bruce Willis but in reality. November 24 in NASA You’ll send a rocket at a double asteroid to try to make it veer off course. At least that’s what you hope.
The DART mission will fly aboard a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket on November 23. Only 10 months later, the rocket hit its dual target, Didymus and Demorphos (a moon orbiting around it), with a length of 780 and 160 meters, respectively.
The missile will hit Demorphos at a speed of 24,000 km / h. The satellite that will accompany the rocket will then be responsible for studying the reaction of the two celestial bodies. Observations from ground-based telescopes revealed that Demorphos circled Didymus in 11 hours and 55 minutes. The period will be measured again with these same telescopes.
These observations will allow scientists to know what force we would have to use if such an asteroid hit Earth. Isn’t it a dangerous experience? To move an asteroid on its way? “It’s a very safe experiment,” said Andy Cheng of Johns Hopkins University, who is collaborating with NASA on this mission. The two bodies are located about 11 million kilometers apart, and then the effect on the gravitational relationship between Didymus and the Sun will be so insignificant that it cannot even be measured.
The total cost of the mission is estimated at $330 million.
The last time an asteroid hit Earth? NASA explains that we are bombarded with things of all kinds. But our atmosphere often collapses before impact. The last time a celestial body touched the Earth was in 2013, in Siberia, but the collision had no real effect. In the long run, it’s very hard to tell, because soil erosion doesn’t really allow to know for sure.
It is estimated that 23,000 asteroids near the ground. Perhaps the most dangerous of them is Bennu, a celestial body with a diameter of 500 meters. By 2300, he has a 0.057% chance of hitting us.
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