"If, however, Apophis will fall on us, it will be about a regional catastrophe."
NASA astronomers have discovered asteroids that threaten our planet
FOUND 93 PERCENT "murderer"
Recent studies of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (English National Aeronautics and Space Administration, abbr. NASA) found almost next to our planet about 1,000 asteroids big enough to cause catastrophic damage if they fall to the ground, according to reuters. com.
This was reported professionals involved in the project "Spaceguard» (Spaceguard). It was formed by order of Congress, NASA in 1998. The purpose of the project — to find 90 percent of objects with a diameter of 1 km and that are likely to approach the Earth.
— Today found 93 percent of "killers" of the earth, — said at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco astronomer Amy Mainzer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
And with the recently ended his watch the U.S. space telescope WISE was found for about 20,500 asteroids are smaller — about 100 meters — near the Earth. But in general, according to experts, these "kids" should be from 36 thousand to 100 thousand.
— They could also harm our planet — says Mainzer — one such event is hardly likely. And the fall of a larger object still looks fantastic.
An asteroid or comet between 5 and 10 km in diameter, are thought to hit the Earth about 65 million years ago, causing global climate change, which led to the extinction of dinosaurs and other animals.
In order to prevent this happening again, scientists are now using the archive WISE, searching for potentially hazardous objects whose orbits are at a distance of 7.4 million km from Earth.
The most dangerous — Apophis
Mainzer sure that it is not open, no asteroid collision which would have been inevitable. Accordingly, there is no plan of action, if any show up. However, our astronomers with this point of view does not agree. So, in a conversation with me Head of Department of Physics, Institute of Astronomy of stellar systems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Professor of Moscow State University. MV University Oleg Malkov admitted that today raises serious concerns asteroid Apophis (see "manual" here).
It was opened in 2004. And it quickly became clear that this asteroid is dangerous for the Earth. Therefore, eggo meeting prepared, in contrast to foreign counterparts.
Convergence will happen to the planet in 2029, the year. But it certainly will not be a clash. It will pass close enough, at about the moon. And how it will be, how to change its orbit, and it will change a bit, astronomers would know that the next time the passage in 2036 held a collision with the Earth or not?
Astronomers do not exclude the possibility and hope that will be organized space mission, during which the asteroid will put sensor — radiomayachok. The earlier put the sensor, the more scientists learn that humanity is waiting for in 2036. Put Beacon — our team is not difficult. In the recent history of space in our country, there are several successful missions to small bodies of the solar system. So in 1980, when Halley's Comet was flying, it was sent a flotilla of different spacecraft, in particular, our cosmic couple stations — "Vega 1" and "Vega-2."
— "Vega" — an abbreviation for "Venus" and "Galley" — explained Malkov. — Since there were quite a few successful missions. Say, was an American mission that flew to the asteroid and launched a disc. In this pig faced with an asteroid. Flew substance. And the objective of this mission was to analyze the ejected matter is to understand which of the asteroid created. That is, for today we have a backlog. This is not exactly a new thing for us — to fly up to the asteroid and plant a beacon.
Apophis is a small asteroid. He only two to three times the size of the Tunguska body — two hundred meters. It may fall presumably — to the Atlantic Ocean, Central America, the Pacific, the Far East and the Urals. If you fall into the ocean — will be a tsunami. And if you still fall on us, we will be about regional disasters. Area the size of, say, France will be affected.
— I heard that there is a draft program for protection from asteroids and comets, — I asked the professor Malkova. — It's even in the government must soon discuss. That astronomers are going to offer?
— The idea is. All conceivable methods to combat asteroid threat can be divided into two groups: the withdrawal and destruction. If we know of the existence of the body for decades before the meeting, it is preferable to withdrawal of the body from orbit. This is important. We owe it to the body zapelengovat advance. It is very difficult to withdraw from the orbit of a body that's already flying at you. And after a month, it will fall down. Its hard to take away. And when it is still far away, a minor change in its direction of motion causes the body that whistles past the Earth.
Imagine you are shooting a gun. A target is far away. For the Kremlin. You just change the direction of the muzzle and the bullet fly by much. And if you have a target here, you need to change direction very cool to miss.
Disposal of the body can be several things. You can put it on a solid engine. And make it work. Let it be thin, but if it will work for decades, the body little by little come to this orbit. And after ten years will pass by the Earth. You can put a solar sail and under the influence of solar energy also take away the body of orbit.
Do we have the term "gravity tractor" — we are launching the spacecraft. He goes into orbit around the asteroid. With the engine running. And spacecraft out of orbit, now together, and drags for an asteroid. And if the body is closer to us than a few decades …
— Then you need to go to option "b"?
— Yes. Take away late. Need for him Jahan. But it is not so simple. In particular, there are estimates that say the following.
Let's blow up, spray the asteroid into smaller fragments. Of course, this will not be the dust and pieces. Relatively large. And what do we get? Instead of one large body in orbit so that's sweeping shrapnel, a set of large objects at the same rate, beats there, only affects a much larger area. There are calculations that show that under certain conditions, this medley, passing by the earth, for themselves and entice picks from Earth atmosphere. That is, our planet will be left without air. And there will be common kranty. Of course, these things will be computed. Want to destroy it so that the blast was directed to these fragments and from orbit blown aside.