According to scientists, while NASA has already shown that asteroids can be deflected from their path towards Earth, they have now come up with a plan B – a nuclear bomb. Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California […]
According to scientists, while NASA has already shown that asteroids can be deflected from their path towards Earth, they have now come up with a plan B – a nuclear bomb. Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California are using artificial intelligence to simulate the impact of a nuclear bomb’s explosive power on the surface of an asteroid and explore the possibilities of preventing a collision.
The simulation they developed shows bombs landing on the asteroid, exploding, and sending their powerful energy through the cosmic object. Two possible scenarios emerge from these simulations: either the asteroid is diverted from its trajectory towards Earth or it disintegrates into small fragments that would miss our planet.
Mary Berkley, the leader of the research, explains that nuclear weapons are highly effective because they possess the highest energy density of all technologies. This makes them valuable tools for mitigating asteroid threats. While NASA has already demonstrated its ability to deflect an asteroid’s path, in the case of larger dangers facing Earth, a nuclear bomb could be crucial.
To predict the effectiveness of such a mission, scientists are studying multi-physics simulations of depositing X-ray energy into the asteroid and the resulting material disruption. The simulation encompasses a wide range of physical factors and includes materials similar to those found on asteroids, such as rock, iron, and ice. The complexity of this model allows for its application in many potential asteroid scenarios.
Although the probability of a large asteroid striking Earth during our lifetime is low, the consequences could be catastrophic. In the event such a threat arises, this simulation model could be crucial for prompt action and the saving of millions of lives.
1. Can a nuclear bomb prevent an asteroid impact?
A nuclear bomb is considered one of the possible methods for diverting or breaking up an asteroid to prevent an impact on Earth. Simulations using artificial intelligence help scientists study the effectiveness of this strategy.
2. How likely is it that Earth will be hit by a killer asteroid?
The probability of a large asteroid impact during our lifetime is low, but the consequences could be catastrophic. That’s why scientists are focused on developing strategies to prevent potential impacts.
3. How are simulations of asteroid deflection and fragmentation conducted?
Simulations are conducted using artificial intelligence and encompass various physical factors. These simulations enable scientists to study the effects of a nuclear bomb on an asteroid and assess its effectiveness in diverting or breaking up the asteroid.