Smashin' asteroids, Hollywood style: could nuking an asteroid save the Earth?

Feb 2, 2023
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So far, the question about the "success of NASA's DART mission" remains open. At least until the publication of three articles in Nature, which were announced as "submitted" in references to reports at the expected conference https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2023/technical_program/#20230314
I hope that in these publications, when analyzing the results of observations of the difference between the moments of mutual asteroid eclipses, the influence of a one-sided and optically dense cloud of “mini-satellites” (consisting of relatively large asteroid fragments that were ejected into orbit around Dimorphos as a result of impact) will be taken into account. The point is that, according the estimations this cloud could lead to near half-hour optical-geometric distortions in the measurements due to the displacement of the photometric center with respect to the center of gravity.
 
Dimorphos is just one type of potential Earth impacting space object. It seems to be just a collection of rocks and dust that is loosely bound by its own gravity, without any cohesion inducing processes to make the fragments stick together - but maybe there is a bit of ice acting as binder. Comets might behave differently when impacted, apparently being something like dusty snow balls. Metallic asteroids might behave differently from either.
 
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