Scientists to figure out how to stop hypothetical asteroid impact
This mosaic image composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on Dec. 2, 2018, and provided by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu. The tiny asteroid regularly crosses Earth's orbit and will come perilously close to Earth in about 150 years. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona via AP)
If the odds of an asteroid hitting Earth were 1 in 100, how would humans stop it?
It’s a questions scientists are hoping to work out as they gather Monday in Washington D.C. at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is live-tweeting the event, and have been active on social media this weekend presenting possible theories to prevent asteroid impact, such as a “kinetic impactor” and a “gravity tractor.”
“This topic has been the theme of many epic films and TV series,” said the ESA on Twitter. “But what really are the chances of an asteroid impact and what are our options?”
“Bruce Willis unfortunately isn’t on Twitter.”
NASA developed the exercise along with FEMA “to investigate how NEO observers, space agency officials, emergency managers, decision makers and citizens might respond to an actual impact prediction and evolving information.”
Space enthusiasts can follow along on Twitter to see what solutions and protocols to the asteroid impact will be presented at the conference, which runs from April 29 to May 3.