Study finds nuking an asteroid could prevent a surprise apocalypse

A new study has found that nuking an asteroid is 'very effective' at stopping its collision with Earth, preventing an apocalypse.

1 minute & 3 seconds read time

A new study has explored the possibility of having limited time to react to an asteroid that is on course with Earth.

Study finds nuking an asteroid could prevent a surprise apocalypse 01

The researchers behind the study performed calculations on what Earth would need to do to save it from impact with an asteroid that's 328 feet in diameter, which is around a fifth the size of the famous asteroid Bennu. The study found that a 1-megaton-yield nuclear bomb would be a "very effective" way of preventing a catastrophic impact. Researchers performed the simulation on five different asteroids and multiple time frames for impact.

According to the researchers, if an asteroid 328 feet in diameter was heading to Earth and we had just two months before its expected arrival, a nuke would be able to reduce the destruction it would cause to 0.1% of what it originally would have caused. Additionally, if a larger asteroid was on its way and Earth had six months to react, a nuke would still be able to reduce its impact mass to just 1%.

Physicist Patrick King from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland said, "We focused on studying 'late' disruptions, meaning that the impacting body is broken apart shortly before it impacts. When you have plenty of time - typically decade-long timescales - it is generally preferred that kinetic impactors are used to deflect the impacting body."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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