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Scientists study nuke effect on asteroid.





*****My tin-foil hat thinking suggests that they wouldn't be studying shit like this unless they knew something was coming. The question is; if something IS coming, would you want to know?*****



A well-placed nuclear explosion could actually save humanity from a big asteroid hurtling toward Earth, just like in the movies, a new study suggests.

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a United States Department of Energy facility in New Mexico, used a supercomputer to model nukes' anti-asteroid effectiveness. They attacked a 1,650-foot-long (500-meter) space rock with a 1-megaton nuclear weapon — about 50 times more powerful than the U.S. blast inflicted on Nagasaki, Japan, to help end World War II.

The results were encouraging.

"Ultimately this 1-megaton blast will disrupt all of the rocks in the rockpile of this asteroid, and if this were an Earth-crossing asteroid, would fully mitigate the hazard represented by the initial asteroid itself," Los Alamos scientist Bob Weaver said in a recent video released by the lab. [Video: Nuclear bomb takes out asteroid]

In the 3-D modeling study, run on 32,000 processors of the Cielo supercomputer, the blast went off at the asteroid's surface. So the nuke likely wouldn't have to be deposited deep into a threatening space rock, a dangerous job Bruce Willis and his astronaut crew tackled in the 1998 film "Armageddon."



Weaver stressed that nuclear bombs would likely be deployed only as a last resort, if an impact loomed just months away. And other researchers caution that a nuclear blast might have negative side effects, such as sending a hail of many small space rocks toward Earth instead of a single big one.

If humanity had more notice of an impending impact, there are several other asteroid defense strategies we might be able to employ, scientists have said.

For example, we could send a robotic probe out to rendezvous and ride along with the potentially dangerous asteroid. The spacecraft's modest gravity would exert a tug on the space rock as the two cruise through space together. Over months or years, this "gravity tractor" method would pull the asteroid into a different, more benign orbit.

We have the know-how to pull off such a mission. Multiple probes have met up with rocks in deep space, including NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which is currently orbiting the huge asteroid Vesta. And in 2005, Japan's Hayabusa probe plucked some pieces off the asteroid Itokawa, sending them back to Earth for analysis.

Humanity could also simply slam the rendezvous craft into the asteroid, relying on brute force rather than a gentle gravitational tug to push it off course. This impactor approach would not be as precise as the gravity tractor technique, researchers say, but it could still do the job under certain circumstances.

We've demonstrated the ability to accomplish this more aggressive mission as well. In 2005, for example, NASA sent an impactor barreling into the comet Tempel 1 to determine the icy object's composition.

Discussions about asteroid deflection aren't just academic exercises. Huge impacts are a part of our planet's history; one wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and it's just a matter of time before another big space rock lines Earth up in its sights, astronomers say



http://news.yahoo.com/nuclear-bomb-could-save-earth-asteroid-153603758.html


Added: Mar-13-2012 Occurred On: Mar-13-2012
By: fresnopete
In:
Science and Technology
Tags: armageddon, deep impact, bruce willis can't save us, neither can robert duvall
Location: Houston, Texas, United States (load item map)
Views: 3641 | Comments: 42 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • no we study this shit because it's happened multiple times throughout Earth's existence, it's a statistical inevitability that it will happen again. So we'd be stupid not to prepare.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Scientists have been saying for many years that an asteroid strike is inevitable. It is just a matter of time. Technology will allow a good amount of warning, so I imagine they are just trying to prepare for that day.

    If it was coming, yes I would want to know. I am a survivor, not a sheep that just sits, waits, and does nothing to protect my family.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Yup, I'd want to know.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Would I want to know? YES... would i want everyone else to know? Absolutely not... way too many unstable people who aren't spiritually or emotionally mature enough to deal with that.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @Foster777 and this is why the government wouldnt say anything.. and im ok with that...People need to be so selfish when looking at this matter...look outside the box, most people who disagree with us are the ones that would loot society if such a tragedy were on its way to Earth

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • I really think I would rather be hit by a bunch of small pieces than one big one

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • It must be a lot easier to deflect a huge asteroid than destroy it. I suppose it all depends whether we could rendezvous with it on time.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Even better, nudge the asteroid just a little so that it lands at a specific region in the world....the ultimate weapon. I have my own preference where I'd aim it at.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • I want a front row seat.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • If past history is accurate then maybe they should atleast come up with a plan to cover our asses.
    And hell yeah I'd want to know about it. Cant do anything personaly about it except have one hell of a party.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'bellend' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @bellend
      Then one of the first country of the religion of peace will become the country of the religion of pigs, like all of us progressed men in the rest of the world. Not bad if you sell ham and sausages.

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'bellend' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Robert Duvall can ALWAYS save us.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • "other researchers caution that a nuclear blast might have negative side effects, such as sending a hail of many small space rocks toward Earth instead of a single big one" Isn't this a good thing?

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • just think...i wonder if there is giant astroids in deep space just roaming aroubnd the size of say a sun.... with no orbit just flying through space....where did all this matter come from is the main question

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @Noalias
      There is 0,000000000000001% possibility to have a roaming asteroid with no orbit of the size of the Sun.

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @Lolling There are hundreds of Earth crossing asteroids orbiting the Sun and millions of oort cloud objects that occasionally get disturbed and fall inwards as comets.

      There are a great many known potentially hazardous objects:

      http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/Dangerous.html

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Yay! Apophis is comin', Apophis is comin'!

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • fuck that, go out with a big bang.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'T0M65' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • With shit like this sneaking up on us, they well better have their ducks in a row.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46647666/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.T1-j2PWcAYA

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @mugo Hmm, that's pretty friking close, but it is their closest estimate remember, there's still uncertainty, it could miss by more. It is notable that we know about it with a year of advanced warning.

      It is also important to realize that this is not an extinction class asteroid. It's impact would be the equivalent of a large nuke going off in a random location.

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @dorbie Yep, it's not an extinction level asteroid, but, it could land anywhere. That' a big ol' roll of the dice for sure.
      Scary thing is, it comes back around relatively soon....and it just may smack us then.

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • There is something coming. Arriving in 2040. Most likely not hitting us but we need to keep an eye on it.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Months away. what happens if they dont it until its hours away

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @jay333dee Then we're pretty much fucked. The good news is the larger it is the easier it is to spot.

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @jay333dee
      Emergency launch of a dozen nukes! I rather chance the uncertainty of failure than the absolute certainty of mass destruction.
      One gives hope. The other is just sticking your head between your legs & kissing your ass goodbye.

      Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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    • @dorbie yeah there was one not long ago that was only spotted 18 hours away. Thing is, they dont have to be that big to have a simlar impact to hiroshima

      Posted Mar-15-2012 By 

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    • @jay333dee We're not as worried about Hiroshima sized impacts. They are unlikely to impact a population center. Even if they do it's probably only going to kill a few hundred thousand to a million people or 0.1% of the population. A climate changing impact however could kill billions if not all of us.

      Posted Mar-17-2012 By 

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  • There are lots of things coming, some may and some may not hit us though.

    But, sooner or later there will be something that does.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • We all know something is coming our way someday. That there is no doubt. It seems prudent to test proof of theory in preperartion of that day.

    Not all activity has a sinister intent. Only fear mongers spin those.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'Fahstahoahn' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • probably something to do with the 3 trillion dollars that "disappeared" i while ago ;)

    Posted Jun-6-2012 By 

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  • Bullshit. If something was coming they'd be investing in systems to stop it and push it away. They'd tripple or quadruple NASA's budget overnight.

    This is just normal science. The only reason we have speculation like yours is the empirical science that has preceeded these studies. this is prudent work to figure out what would be effective if and when we ever really need to do something about an Earth crossing rock.

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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  • bump one thing with an explosion in space could disrupt the path of another and you could theoretically cause a bigger problem than the one prior..

    decisions decisions decisions...

    Posted Mar-13-2012 By 

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