A big ben size asteroid is going to skim past the earth tonight, NASA told. The asteroid named 2014QJ33 could be of the same size as Big Ben of London.
Big Ben size asteroid
It will be around 15.9mn away from Earth when it passes. In astronomical science, this is quite a close encounter. NASA terms it as a ‘close approach’. However, the chances of 2014QJ33 hitting earth are very low.
The chances of an asteroid impact on earth are never ruled out. NASA has time and again warned about the impacts that could be seen in the future. There is NEO insurance at a place to minimize the impact.
The NEO scientists put round the clock efforts to find the asteroids and start tracking them. The motion into the future is also tracked. NASA says that it is the best kind of defense.
However, the Space Research Agency has developed many counter mechanisms to divert the asteroid course. A nuclear weapon fusion is one of the technologies. This changes the velocity of the asteroid without fracturing it.
“High-speed neutrons from the explosion would irradiate a shell of material on the surface of the asteroid facing the explosion. The material in this surface shell would then expand and blow off, thus producing a recoil upon the asteroid itself. “A very modest velocity change in the asteroid’s motion (only a few millimeters per second), acting over several years, can cause the asteroid to miss the Earth entirely. However, the trick is to gently nudge the asteroid out of harm’s way and not to blow it up.”
However, in case the asteroid is blown up, it creates an even larger problem. All the pieces start entering the earth.
Large solar sails on a small threatening object can also be used. This increases the pressure of the sunlight which changes the course of the asteroid.