quick question for astronomers

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amaranth

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I was told by a friend that we fired a missile at either a comet or an asteroid that was on a collision course for Earth. The only information that I could find was for the Deep Impact mission, which launched a probe into a comet. Does anyone have any other information?
 
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lucas_900

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I've never heard anything about this, except in movies. I think the whole blowing up an earth crosser is generally considered a bad idea as the pieces would rain down on earth - unless the explosion did not destroy the object, but was used to nudge it into a different, non-earth smashing orbit, or the distance was great enough.<br />Here's some information on th epros and cons of using a missile to save the earth from disaster. <br />I think your friend must be thinking of Deep Impact, unless there's some big government cover up.
 
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qso1

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There have been no asteroids or comets detected on a collision course with Earth. Some false alarms but no confirmed detection of such. There is also no program operational to intercept such bodies to the best of my knowledge. There were some studies years ago. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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phobophile

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You might have read a story also concerning a potential other moon of Earth that turned out to be only a spent saturn V booster stage that found it's way into a stable orbit after the apollo days were over. Thats where I suspect the idea about a rocket booster in your post may have come from too. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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