# Theoretical - Could we deflect a rogue plutino?

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#### BenS1985

##### Guest
This is a theoretical discussion. I'm not the savviest with physics, so I thought I'd pitch the question here.

You've probably seen the CGI mock-ups of a rogue plutino striking earth, causing the entire planet to be destroyed of life as we know it.

Now, as unlikely as that scenario is (which is essentially as likely as shooting a bullet to hit another bullet many miles away), I am wondering:

Given current technology (or assumed prior to it striking earth), could we deflect a massive object.

Here are the parameters for the scenario:

A highly eccentric plutino has been discovered 60 AU away. Upon further refining of its orbit, it is found to be the most elliptical object that we know of, if not a rogue plutino traveling through our solar system. At said distance, (60AU) we find that it will pass through and strike Earth in a proverbial head on collision. There is a 100% probability that it will strike Earth without man-made action being taken on the object.

Data concerning the object (based on similar characteristics to Sedna):

Distance to Earth : 59 AU (about 8.8 billion KM)
Mass Density: 2.0g/cm3
Velocity: 15.0 km/s
Axial Tilt: 120* (similar to Pluto)
Time to Impact: 18.66 years

Given these parameters, and a budget that is within reason (e.g. within current global economic capacity), could such an object be deflected before impact? What would it take? What would it cost?

Or is this question too difficult to answer?

Thanks!

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#### MeteorWayne

##### Guest
No, it's easy. The answer is no.

An object on such an eccentric orbit would be traveling 41 km/sec by the time it gets to earth, and with a head on collision in the works, we would not have the time or the capabilty to (significantly) change a thing for such a massive object.

That is the really bad scenario for us. Even a much less massive comet on such a path would not give us time to do anything.

The advantage with asteroids (that we are searching for and discovering) is that they are generally traveling around the sun in the same direction as we are, we can predict their path with reasonable precision, and we also have many orbits to change the path. For objects like that, only a tiny change of orbital parameters or velocity can lead to a miss.

Under the scenario you described, it's big trouble in River City

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#### BenS1985

##### Guest
Interesting.

I was thinking that may be the case, as an object with such a large mass would require an immense amount of energy to change its course.

I assume nuclear stockpiles would not put a dent in the object?

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#### MeteorWayne

##### Guest
They might dent it, but would not significantly alter the course of the mass....

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#### Solifugae

##### Guest
I'm guessing absolutely none of us would be able to live through this if it hit. Even assuming that effects such as "impact winter" from an asteroid hit have been misrepresented/over-exaggerated, with something that large it is the initial impact that will wipe everything on the planet out. If you were on the exact opposite side of the planet all you have to do is wait a while for the most intense earthquake and the fastest winds mankind has ever witnessed.

I say we best use the 18 years by trying to set up at least a small base on the moon, which is self sustaining, and possible to expand using the resources up there. Mars might be better in theory, but I don't think 18 years is enough to set up an infrastructure on the red planet, even with money becoming a complete non-issue in light of impending doom.

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