If you think of meteors hitting the Earth, you might be thinking of ones like the Chicxulub impactor that killed off the dinosaurs. Good news: scientists have been tracking meteors of that size and we are safe for at least the next few centuries.
But what about smaller ones, like the one that hit Chelyabinsk and caused significant damage? Those we may not be so safe from. Indeed, if they hit a major city, the destruction could be catastrophic.
That’s why NASA has launched the DART mission. It’s goal is to see if it could stop an asteroid and prevent an asteroid apocalypse. That piece in Scientific American on what is involved is fascinating. It’s not merely a matter of putting a major explosive on an asteroid and blowing it to bits. Go read the article and you’ll see what I mean.
For more on the. Chelyabinsk Meteor, click here.