Monday, March 15, 2010
Nukeing an Astroid may not work afterall...
Don't bother calling Bruce Willis and his Roughnecks if a life threatening astroid is heading our way. The first instinct is to launch some nukes at it, but Don Korycansky of the University of California, Santa Cruz and Catherine Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico think otherwise. After multiple simulations of blowing up asteroids 1 km across, they discovered that after an explosion with a conventional nuke, the astroid would re-form itself under its own gravity within 2 to 18 hours and continue it's course.
On a lighter note, David Dearborn of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory led a different study which showed that a 900 kiloton nuke would properly destroy said 1km astroid... Get Bruce Willis back on the phone!
Another way of saving the Earth would be to nuke the asteroid from one side a couple of times and hope that the blast would push the projectile just enough out of trajectory from slamming into us.... just sayin'