[ExI] Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit
sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Dec 23 12:45:49 UTC 2007
On Dec 22, 2007, at 4:52 PM, spike wrote:
>> That way if the course correction is not sufficient then you still
>> have a
>> mass to target and not a swarm of smaller chunks which could impact
>> us in
>> multiple collisions...
> Ja, but it isn't clear to me what would cause the thing to
> fragment. The
> surface heats up and boils away violently. I suppose individual
> could come flying off, but I don't see that as a major problem.
Doesn't it depend quite a lot on the composition of the mass? Given
that the vast majority of meteors break up to some degree in
atmosphere I would think there is some worry of breakup from a high
yield fusion explosion near it. I would think this is even more
likely the less uniformly dense the object is and partially depending
on its primary composition. A comet would be the most fragile of all.
>> Would the radioactivity created by the blast create a serious
>> threat when
>> it burnt up in the atmosphere? Gary
> No the scenario I imagine would deliver almost no radioactivity to
> the earth
> at all, for the radioactive particles continue flying into space on
> the same
> trajectory as before the blast. A tiny amount I suppose might imbed
> in the rock itself and return to earth, but compared to the amount of
> radioactivity from all those nucular* tests, it is nada.
In the context of a massive rock headed our way that is a serious
enough threat to justify employing major nukes to deflect it I doubt
very much any residual radiation on the rock itself would rate any
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