Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An asteroid the size of a 9-storey building flew past Earth

Between the Earth and the Moon flying asteroid the size of a 9-storey house - why are we not told about this in advance? This appears to be a reasonable question occurs from the hype that has been raised recently in the media.

In the Pulkovo Observatory near St. Petersburg, all anxious citizens hastened to reassure a stir because of alleged sudden and dangerous proximity to our planet a large asteroid came out of nowhere. Yes, the outer body diameter of about 30 meters is really flown between the Moon and the Earth a few days ago. But there was no real danger to our planet this event is not represented, told reporters a senior fellow observatory Sergey Smirnov.

The asteroid, he said, flying away 90,000 miles above the earth. This is about a quarter of the distance from Earth to the Moon. At such a distance and size of the asteroid can only assume that the gravitational field of the Earth has played the role of the magnet and to some extent changed the trajectory of the heavenly visitor. How much and in what direction - these are estimates and should be engaged scholar. They also have to give an answer to the question of whether earthlings wait, and if so, how soon, is a celestial body to a new level.

The mere fact of the close - in lunar orbit - closer asteroid with the Earth is definitely worth considering, say experts we interviewed. This is a fairly rare event. Much more often, astronomers reported the approach of the asteroid, which is called, has long taken a pencil - they orbit and weight-dimensional characteristics are set, calculated and stored in computer databases for general use.

Then what happens? Respected nuclear scientists and experts of some allied industries (including astronomers and rocketeers) insistently called for a global system of Earth asteroid defense. And some of the leaders are ready to agree to their logic. But these are astronomical; even on the first estimates, spending on verification may be completely meaningless. We will design heavy missiles, attack units for crushing large and "very dangerous" asteroid or just build a space tug to quietly, without nuclear explosives to pull off a dangerous orbit to secure all the "extra" that, in our understanding, the Earth threatens or be in danger. And when we start to make insanely expensive facilities for start-launch with an eye on a specific date to catch intruders in the most suitable point for us, out of nowhere appears something "unplanned" like the recent Kamenyuki size of a 9-storey house .

Consequences to finish everyone can. In some ways they may not coincide. But the search for an antidote to this alien scourge - literally and figuratively - will be too late.

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