[ExI] Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Dec 23 20:27:45 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Amara Graps

> Subject: [ExI] Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit
> >  From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-
> >  bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Samantha Atkins
> >  ...fragment?...
> ...
> >  >
> >  > Ja, but it isn't clear to me what would cause the thing to
> >  > fragment...
> Spike I didn't read all of the threads (I'm with my family at this
> moment on Maui), so I don't know the details of the physical process
> proposed... Amara

I just returned from a walk, accompanied by a deep think on this subject.
The results so far are kinda discouraging: I realized the nuclear nudge idea
probably wouldn't work at all.  

Reasoning: the idea was, assuming we need to nudge the object a few m/sec to
the east, to fly directly toward the object, then set off a nuclear blast
while as close to and directly west of the object.  Then the west side of
the rock would be hot and would ablate to space.  Conservation of momentum
would push the object to the east.

But then I realized this scenario makes some possibly unreasonable
assumptions.  The most important assumption is that the rotation rate of the
object is slow.  If this is not the case, then we cannot expect the object
to be deflected east.  Assume we are able to guide the device spatially with
perfect precision and detonate the fusion device temporally with perfect
precision, the west side of the rock heats up as starts ablating violently,
carrying momentum west.  One half a rotation later, which might be one
second, that same hot side is facing east, pushing the object west.

So now the object is following a decaying sinusoid.  The first wave is
likely the largest, so it is deflected *slightly* east, but I thought of
another scenario based on the reverse thermal wave model.  This might apply
here, I don't know, but it could be that there are more volatiles under the
surface of the rock than at the surface (perhaps sorta related to Amara's
comment about comet P/Holmes brightening suddently.)  This could cause the
*second* hump (the negative side) of the first sinusoid to be larger than
the first, which could actually deflect the rock to the west.


But I have another idea, which would intentionally break up the rock,
without a nuke.  

More later.  I need to ponder deeper and do some calcs.


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