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Saturday, January 20, 2018

“30 thousands of miles above the Earth blew up an asteroid”

Russian scientists have averted the collision with the earth the huge asteroid. More precisely, they computer modeled the destruction of a celestial body above the Earth by a nuclear blast. “MK” interviewed one of the authors, an employee of the Department of celestial mechanics and astrometry NII of Applied mathematics and mechanics, Tomsk state University Tatiana Galushina.

photo: morguefile.com

This work was collective: a project to develop preventive measures to protect Earth from potentially hazardous celestial bodies participated the research Institute of economy, St. Petersburg state University, Research center. Keldysh and the Institute “Sirius”. Tomsk scientists had on the SKIF Cyberia supercomputer to simulate nuclear explosion without adverse consequences for earthlings.

We simulated different versions of blast, – says Tatiana, – and in a frontal collision of the rocket with the asteroid, and when you shot a nuclear warhead at him “tail”. The best option turned out to be a blast, hosted by after 4, 5 hours after closest approach of the body to the Ground.

– Tell us, what was the convergence? How many tons of explosives you “used”?

In our work we used the model approach to Earth real asteroid Apophis. It needs to fly past us in 2029, the year, and then in 2036. now, according to our findings, the asteroid threat have to beat not in “head” and “tail”, after he pulls away. And it should be done, without waiting for the second fatal visit. Thus, we produced our virtual explosion in 2029, after the asteroid with a diameter of 200 meters flew 30 thousand km from the Earth’s surface. The power of a nuclear warhead was such that the explosion also gave birth to the energy of one megaton of TNT.

– And what such an explosion was different from the explosion of the missiles launched towards the asteroid?

– The fact that almost all the pieces, except one or two, flew forward on the path of a celestial body, and not on the Ground, besides threatening her destruction and radioactive contamination.

– And those that flew to the Earth?

The asteroid broke up into pieces not more than 10 meters each. This means that entering from the atmosphere, they are either completely vanished (if the asteroid was made of stone), or if the body was iron, is dropped on the surface of our planet in the form of 3-4 cm pebbles.

– How fast was flying asteroid?

– The speed of the asteroid at the moment of approach in 2029, the year would be about 7.5 km per second.

– And the missile would catch up with him?

– Over the implementation of the project involved the specialists from different regions – experts in the field of celestial mechanics and ballistics. According to their calculations went, that you can. After all, if we know the trajectory of the approaching asteroid, you can always calculate the place where it’s convenient to catch them.

– Have you already patented your idea?

– While we have written to the relevant article in the scientific journal.

Comment leading scientific employee of Institute of astronomy RAS (INASAN) Alexander BAGROV:

-The spread of fragments in the explosion of a receding body would really have been almost zero. But, in my opinion, the work does not make sense… the fact that the asteroids to Earth is not falling. Anything already on the Ground large craters were formed by comets. But if we assume that we are facing a collision with an asteroid, I think, will be very difficult to coordinate the time of missile launch to it. If the 200-meter giant will fall, the crater would be several kilometers. Its depth is also about a kilometer, and a shock wave ten times will envelop the entire planet.


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