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(C|Net)   "Pop quiz, hotshot: 500-meter asteroid, approaching Earth fast. What do you do?" "Nuke it in orbit. It's the only way to be sure"   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, asteroids, Earth, Deep Impact, Los Alamos National Laboratory, burnup, meteors, nukes  
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1666 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 May 2013 at 1:36 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-05-31 10:39:08 AM  

Shadow Blasko: Yep, if you want to do the worst possible thing, sure.

All that energy is still coming at us...Now it's just gonna hit 1000 places instead of 1.

The idea is to do this far enough out that most of the rubble misses.

It would play absolute havoc with our orbital infrastructure, though.

wxboy: Wouldn't spreading out the impact over a larger area be better, by lessening the effect at any one point? Also, the smaller pieces might have a better chance of disintegrating before reaching the ground.

It depends on the size of the pieces.  If the fragments are still going to hit and they're big enough to not be seriously impeded by the atmosphere it's a bad thing to do.  Not counting the atmosphere chopping an inbound into 8 pieces will double the damage it causes.

Doing this to a BIG rock would be a very bad idea.  It won't save us from the next dinosaur killer.  With enough lead time you could save a city, though.
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