Home LATEST NEWS No imminent asteroid threat to Earth, but we prepare for it

No imminent asteroid threat to Earth, but we prepare for it

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There is a very slight risk of discovering an asteroid whose trajectory could cross that of the Earth in the future.said Paul Wiegert, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University in London, Ont.

There are a lot of objects whirling around in space, both in our solar system and in the even larger universe, says Wiegert.

We predict that there are probably only about 25,000 asteroids that pose a risk, which seems like a very, very large number. […] But considering the size of our solar system’s space, these asteroids are really, very, very rare.

A quote from Paul Wiegert, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University

Most space rocks are also not big enough to destroy our planet.

Sara Mazrouei, from Ryerson University in Toronto, saysan asteroid a kilometer in diameter, this might only happen once every half a million years.

Smaller asteroids and meteorites are more common and pass through Earth’s atmosphere on a monthly or even weekly basis.

Sometimes we see them as shooting stars, we make a wish, continues Ms. Mazrouei. So we’re more likely to see those than something that will end humanity on Earth.

Dart mission to save humanity

Scientists keep their eyes open and prepare for any eventuality, just like in the movies.

NASA sent a 24,000 km / h spacecraft into space a month ago against an asteroid, hoping to be able to change its course and help humanity protect itself from a potential collision in the future.

The impact with Dimorphos, an asteroid 160 meters in diameter, is scheduled for September 2022.

On a black and starry background, a cubic-shaped spacecraft, equipped with two solar panels, approaches an asteroid of uneven shapes.

Illustration of NASA’s DART probe approaching the binary asteroid Didymos-Dimorphos

Photo: NASA / Johns Hopkins APL / Steve Gribben

It’s not about using explosive force to blast incoming threats, but getting them out of the way.

For Mazrouei, scientists are also exploring other innovative approaches, such as sending massive spacecraft to exert gravitational pull on asteroids to deflect them from their path or firing lasers at distant space rocks.

Researchers around the world are constantly scanning the skies, and while we only know about 40% of near-Earth objects, Mazrouei says NASA and other teams have listed up to 90% of the largest, most of which are still years or decades away, leaving humanity time to prepare.

If we spot an asteroid coming towards us tomorrow, there’s no way we can do anything with a mission like DART, she said. We must therefore plan well in advance.

According to the report by Lauren Pelley (New window) by CBC News

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