US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The scientist proposing this method is not at all joking.
Our planet is in close proximity to thousands of near-Earth objects (NEOs), some of which are potentially dangerous asteroids (PHAs) and carry a risk of impact on the Earth, which can lead to devastating consequences and death of people.
One possible way to prevent the collision of PHAs with the Earth is to bombard the asteroid with nuclear or thermonuclear charges. However, this method is fraught with the fact that our planet will be in the rain from radioactive fragments.
The new softer method, developed by Flavian Wenditti from the Arecibo Observatory and the University of Central Florida, proposes to change the trajectory of a potentially dangerous asteroid by linking it with a strong cable to another small celestial body. According to Venditti, the center of gravity of such a system will shift, and, consequently, the orbit of the PHAs will also shift.
Researchers tested their idea using a computer model. The object for it was the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, who with a probability of 1: 4000 could collide with the Earth in the second half of the XXII century. Calculations showed that the cable system is really capable of changing the trajectory of a celestial body without additional energy costs.
One of the likely drawbacks to this method is that it may take longer to complete than many high impact impact methods that quickly deliver kinetic energy to PHAs to knock it out of orbit. So, according to the calculations of researchers, in order to change the orbit of Benn, it will take decades.
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