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(Big Think)   NASA's DART mission is making its big asteroid impact today. Here's what makes asteroid redirection such a challenge   (bigthink.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Asteroid, Solar System, Near-Earth object, Earth, Jupiter, asteroid Dimorphos, NASA's DART mission, Tunguska-like event  
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564 clicks; posted to STEM » on 26 Sep 2022 at 10:34 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



34 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-09-26 10:38:59 AM  
Space dementia?
cdn-images-1.listennotes.comView Full Size
 
2022-09-26 10:40:59 AM  
I think our best bet would be to send a scrappy crew of roughnecks who would drill a hole and drop a nuke to split the asteroid.
 
2022-09-26 10:41:06 AM  
They're big.
 
2022-09-26 10:45:08 AM  
I wonder how certain they are that their experiment doesn't inadvertently put the target on an inevitable collision course with Earth?

/yeah, I know, big asteroid, tiny impactor, absurdly minute deviation
//butterfly effect, anyone?
 
2022-09-26 10:55:24 AM  
Y'all get your sexy with big brains Deep Impact gate passes yet?


/Nevermind ... uh, er ... just disregard what I was joking yeah joking about there
 
2022-09-26 10:56:09 AM  

KRSESQ: I wonder how certain they are that their experiment doesn't inadvertently put the target on an inevitable collision course with Earth?

/yeah, I know, big asteroid, tiny impactor, absurdly minute deviation
//butterfly effect, anyone?


100%, to lots of decimal places and over any relevant timescale.
 
2022-09-26 11:04:06 AM  
The results of this might be really interesting- OSIRIS-REX found out that the asteroid Bennu really isn't a solid.  When they went in for the sample the gas puff that was supposed to gather up the sample blew a ~8 meter crater into the thing.  The probe sank 30cm into the surface and it would have kept going into the asteroid if the spacecraft hadn't reversed course.

It basically acted like a liquid made of small rocks- if Didimoon is similar the probe is going to make a huge mess.
 
2022-09-26 11:13:41 AM  
Wouldn't it be easier to catch it with webb?
 
2022-09-26 11:17:16 AM  

Ivo Shandor: KRSESQ: I wonder how certain they are that their experiment doesn't inadvertently put the target on an inevitable collision course with Earth?

/yeah, I know, big asteroid, tiny impactor, absurdly minute deviation
//butterfly effect, anyone?

100%, to lots of decimal places and over any relevant timescale.


I like those odds.
 
2022-09-26 11:31:03 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid


Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.
 
2022-09-26 11:47:51 AM  

Ivo Shandor: KRSESQ: I wonder how certain they are that their experiment doesn't inadvertently put the target on an inevitable collision course with Earth?

/yeah, I know, big asteroid, tiny impactor, absurdly minute deviation
//butterfly effect, anyone?

100%, to lots of decimal places and over any relevant timescale.


Wait, you have a complete map of every single object in the solar system and you dont share?
 
2022-09-26 12:02:47 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-09-26 12:06:48 PM  

mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.


https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
 
2022-09-26 12:09:41 PM  
The biggest challenges of redirecting a dangerous asteroid is grounded in time and basic physics.  By the time we know we're on a collision course with one of these things, we don't have enough time or big enough things to hit them with to meaningfully impact their trajectory.
 
2022-09-26 12:21:43 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0


I'm aware of the movie. I'm saying the movie is stupid but nuking an asteroid might not be.
 
2022-09-26 12:29:13 PM  

mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

I'm aware of the movie. I'm saying the movie is stupid but nuking an asteroid might not be.


Yeah, it kind of is.  All you do is create more falling objects, all of which will now be radioactive. AND you still don't get any significant change in direction.
 
2022-09-26 12:38:17 PM  

A Cave Geek: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

I'm aware of the movie. I'm saying the movie is stupid but nuking an asteroid might not be.

Yeah, it kind of is.  All you do is create more falling objects, all of which will now be radioactive. AND you still don't get any significant change in direction.


If you could split an asteroid into two large chunks you might arrange for both of them to miss us even as the calculated center of mass went through our planet (cue the joke about the three statisticians hunting a rabbit). Very unlikely that everything would line up just right for this to be an option though. And the detonation would have to happen long before it was anywhere near the planet. 

The normal strategy for nuking an asteroid is to detonate near the surface to blow off a small amount of material and push the remainder onto a different path.
 
2022-09-26 12:44:41 PM  

A Cave Geek: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

I'm aware of the movie. I'm saying the movie is stupid but nuking an asteroid might not be.

Yeah, it kind of is.  All you do is create more falling objects, all of which will now be radioactive. AND you still don't get any significant change in direction.


If an asteroid gets broken up into small enough pieces most of the mass will burn up in our atmosphere.

The downside is risk of having multiple smaller (but still nuclear-bomb-level) impacts.
 
2022-09-26 12:53:10 PM  

krispos42: A Cave Geek: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

I'm aware of the movie. I'm saying the movie is stupid but nuking an asteroid might not be.

Yeah, it kind of is.  All you do is create more falling objects, all of which will now be radioactive. AND you still don't get any significant change in direction.

If an asteroid gets broken up into small enough pieces most of the mass will burn up in our atmosphere.

The downside is risk of having multiple smaller (but still nuclear-bomb-level) impacts.


So its good to boil the atmosphere and oceans instead of taking a shot to the face?

Or do you really believe thermal energy magically vanishes into the abyss with a storm of micro impact events?
 
2022-09-26 12:55:18 PM  

krispos42: A Cave Geek: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

I'm aware of the movie. I'm saying the movie is stupid but nuking an asteroid might not be.

Yeah, it kind of is.  All you do is create more falling objects, all of which will now be radioactive. AND you still don't get any significant change in direction.

If an asteroid gets broken up into small enough pieces most of the mass will burn up in our atmosphere.

The downside is risk of having multiple smaller (but still nuclear-bomb-level) impacts.


Having that much of the atmosphere heated up with that much energy is a bad thing regardless of how many solid chunks make it through to ground level.
 
2022-09-26 1:11:17 PM  

A Cave Geek: The biggest challenges of redirecting a dangerous asteroid is grounded in time and basic physics.  By the time we know we're on a collision course with one of these things, we don't have enough time or big enough things to hit them with to meaningfully impact their trajectory.


Depends on how early we see it, which is why detection is planetary defense priority #1.
 
2022-09-26 1:29:02 PM  

KRSESQ: I wonder how certain they are that their experiment doesn't inadvertently put the target on an inevitable collision course with Earth?

/yeah, I know, big asteroid, tiny impactor, absurdly minute deviation
//butterfly effect, anyone?


I would imagine such contingencies were calculated for any future collision and that "firing solutions" have been set in place for future generations.
 
2022-09-26 1:30:36 PM  

A Cave Geek: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: mrmopar5287: Chief Superintendent Lookout: a nuke to split the asteroid

Funny, but I thought nukes are an option to redirect an asteroid? Not by breaking it up, but by detonating it to deflect it if we do this long enough in advance. A nuclear weapon is a huge amount of energy we could use to alter the course of an asteroid.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

I'm aware of the movie. I'm saying the movie is stupid but nuking an asteroid might not be.

Yeah, it kind of is.  All you do is create more falling objects, all of which will now be radioactive. AND you still don't get any significant change in direction.


Why wouldn't it change direction?  Are you saying that all the energy would go into heating the thing or making it radioactive and  not applying momentum to it?  Also "lots of small parts" are far less dangerous to people than one or few big parts (breaking up a dino-killer probably wouldn't change the global climate catastrophe).  It would avoid big chunks hiatting the land or causing bigger tsunamis by hitting the sea

There are two main things with "missions to protect Earth from killer asteroid":

1.  You really want to detect and redirect as early as possible.  Give it a nudge at apogee or perigee and the thing will significantly change direction.  This is especially true if you are not using a nuke but using something like the DART craft with an ion engine (another ion powered craft holds the record for biggest changes in velocity among spacecraft, but did it over time with a zero to sixty time of 4 days).

2.  The most probable "Earth intercept course" for an asteroid involves a close encounter that which subsequently puts the asteroid on a collision course with Earth.  This is partly because any 'Earth slingshot redirection' will always cross Earth's orbit.  Another is that "close encounters" involve a vastly larger target than the Earth itself.  The big problem is that we can't always calculate the "post encounter" orbit (it gets harder and harder the closer it comes), so we only have as long as it takes to come for the "second try", we really can't know to launch the "DART for realzies" until the asteroid has passed the first time.
 
2022-09-26 1:44:49 PM  
What if we just collectively threw a bunch of rocks at the asteroid and then had all of the "MUH FREEDUMBS" yahoos fire their ARs, AKs, and shotguns at it.  Wouldn't that cause it to change trajectory?
 
2022-09-26 2:25:03 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: What if we just collectively threw a bunch of rocks at the asteroid and then had all of the "MUH FREEDUMBS" yahoos fire their ARs, AKs, and shotguns at it.  Wouldn't that cause it to change trajectory?


I support sending them into space to find out.
 
2022-09-26 3:44:32 PM  
Mr. Show - Blow Up the Moon
Youtube GTJ3LIA5LmA
 
2022-09-26 4:15:19 PM  
Watch a Live Feed from NASA's DART Spacecraft on Approach to Asteroid Dimorphos
Youtube -6Z1E0mW2ag


My prediction. Getting closer, getting closer, getting closer, *poot*
 
2022-09-26 4:21:13 PM  
We're gonna NEED it, sheeple !

i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2022-09-26 5:23:40 PM  

DoctorWhat: A Cave Geek: The biggest challenges of redirecting a dangerous asteroid is grounded in time and basic physics.  By the time we know we're on a collision course with one of these things, we don't have enough time or big enough things to hit them with to meaningfully impact their trajectory.

Depends on how early we see it, which is why detection is planetary defense priority #1.


Because we're so good at that, right?
 
2022-09-26 5:24:31 PM  

DoctorWhat: Chief Superintendent Lookout: What if we just collectively threw a bunch of rocks at the asteroid and then had all of the "MUH FREEDUMBS" yahoos fire their ARs, AKs, and shotguns at it.  Wouldn't that cause it to change trajectory?

I support sending them into space to find out.


Motion seconded.
 
2022-09-26 5:32:01 PM  
WE HAVE WORM!
 
2022-09-26 5:32:51 PM  

WelldeadLink: WE HAVE WORM!


Hmm. No, we have spinner.
 
2022-09-26 7:42:22 PM  
The last images were incredible.
 
2022-09-26 8:51:51 PM  

gbv23: We're gonna NEED it, sheeple !

[i.imgur.com image 400x400]


The last 20 years would have been a lot more exciting if that had been true.
 
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