Science

A New Study Reveals Destroying Asteroids is Not Easy as Previously Thought

In the future, it may be difficult to destroy Apocalyptic asteroids moving towards Earth. It is very easy to crack an asteroid, but it is extremely difficult to smash the large space rock. So NASA’s new program to save earth from incoming space rocks is gaining more importance. NASA’s Double Asteroid Test (DART) program, currently in development phase, will soon become the final line of defense. In the upcoming time, DART would protect Earth from hurtling space objects. Researchers studying the way to deal with a dangerous space rock discovered that the asteroids are stronger and harder than thought. The new finding could assist to develop weapons for diverting asteroids. It would help for making useful asteroid mining approaches.

Charles El Mir is a fresh Ph.D. graduate from Johns Hopkins University and leading author of the study. Charles says they previously believed that it will be easy to destroy an object with a larger size. Researchers thought bigger objects have a higher degree of flaws. But those firm asteroids will require more energy to get completely crushed. Scientists used a new perception to know the breaking of rocks. They also used a new computer simulation method, that would assist them for modeling crash between asteroids. The simulation included two phases. Firstly, a short-timescale fragmentation phase and secondly, a long-timescale gravitational reaccumulation phase.

The first part accounted for the activities which start after asteroid hit. Those are the processes that take place within fractions of seconds. While the second one estimates the impact of gravity on the fragments that fly off the asteroid’s surface after the collision. Researchers discovered that the first phase results in the formation of cracks on the surface of an asteroid. Pieces of space rock flowed like sand and resulted in the formation of the crater. The new model also revealed that an impact cannot break the asteroid totally. Instead, the move damaged the core of asteroid which released a strong gravitational force. Charles said it may sound like a fairy tale but a great deal of research considers asteroid impacts. The research, which analyzed the significant framework, will appear in the journal Icarus on 15th March 2019.

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