May 22, 2022 8:37 am

Dangerous asteroids, are we ready to avoid a catastrophe?

Jose Antonio Maldonado 4 min
In recent times, several missions are being carried out with the aim of deflecting asteroids that may collide with Earth.

66 million years ago, a gigantic meteorite, about 10 kilometers across
diameter called Chicxulub hit the Earth.
in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), and it was of such magnitude that wiped out the dinosaurs, as well as with three quarters of the existing animals and plants, although it could not with the bacteria.

In addition, It gave rise to a devastating tsunami that produced waves of thirty meters in height. Dinosaurs appeared in the Triassic period and remained until the end of the Cretaceous.

Several recent shocks

There are several recent examples of dangerous meteorites that have impacted or passed very close to Earth. One is from Tungusca, one of the most damaging, releasing up to 300 times more energy than the Hiroshima bomb on June 30, 1908 in Russia, near the Podkamennaya River, that is, relatively recently, although there is no consensus regarding to this event.

Hobba is newer still than the previous one, since it dates from 1920. It weighed 60
tons, was over four meters long and fell over Namibia (Africa).
In view of the above, it is clear that there is a not insignificant risk of an asteroid colliding with our planet.

In fact, in the early days of 2022, a meteorite of modest size If we compare them with the previous ones, entered the atmosphere at about 48,000 km/h and fell in Sierra Morena, in the surroundings of a small town in Ciudad Real and shortly after, on January 18, a giant asteroid passed “close” to Earth.

dart mission

In 1999 NASA detected a dangerous asteroid named Bennu that, according
your calculations, could impact our planet in the year 2135, and whose weight is 70 tons. But measures have already been taken to prevent it from causing a serious problem to our descendants.

Bennu has a speed of 100,000 Km/h, and we can see it every six years. NASA prepared a plan to divert it in case it got dangerously close to us, but in case this plan failed, he launched another last year with the name of Mission DART.

On November 24, 2021, it took off with that name from the base of
Vandenverg (California) la nave DART aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, whose first mission is to collide with the asteroid Dimorphos in September 2022 to try to change its orbit and thus prevent it from reaching Earth, and if it works, repeat it with other asteroids that may pose a threat.

The spacecraft is expected to collide with the small asteroid Dimorphos in September, throwing its trajectory off course.

Because a direct impact from Bennu would be similar to the one that destroyed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. We will have to be very vigilant in the coming months.

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