Researcher want to 'slice and dice' deadly asteroids with rocket-powered bombs, new paper says


"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
I am not at all happy with this suggestion, without knowing more about the target asteroid. In the first place, the resulting pieces might still be very dangerous. Bearing in mind it is started:

"The resulting shower of debris could still cause damage to structures and humans down below, the authors said. But this damage would be negligible compared with the impact of a large asteroid, like the 62-foot wide (19 m) meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February 2013 with roughly the strength of 30 Hiroshima bombs. (The resulting shockwaves could have killed millions of people had the meteor exploded directly over a major city, but the blast occurred over a broad area outside the city of Chelyabinsk, resulting in damage and injuries but no fatalities)." My emphasis.

The Chelyabinsk object, as stated, could have caused major damage had it exploded over a city - but this object was tiny - 62 feet wide compared with Chicxulub object which was apparently about 6 miles (11 km) across. Bombing a "Chicxulub object" could produce many, many "Chelyabinsk objects", a number of which might still be headed in our direction.

There is also the possibility that the target object might be loosely aggregated, in which case a bomb would not be directional, and one/some fragments might be directed towards us with increased velocity.

Whilst remedial action may be successful in some cases, there are some instances - notably large asteroids - where there is no alternative but to vacate Earth. The danger of this is statistically rare, but also statistically terminal, so it is up to the human race to decide whether or not the risk is worth the long term planning.

Cat :)

P.S. A meteor is defined as an object which burns up in the atmosphere, as opposed to one which survives to hit Earth as a solid object. Exploding above ground seems to be an intermediate case, so calling it a meteor when it could do the damage described seems to be underestimating it somewhat.
A bolide is an alternative description:

"A bolide is normally taken to mean an exceptionally bright meteor, but the term is subject to more than one definition, according to context. It may refer to any large crater-forming body, or to one that explodes in the atmosphere. It can be a synonym for a fireball, sometimes specific to those with an apparent magnitude of −14 or brighter." Wiki.

Mod Edit - FTFY 11km)
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