Like me, you have probably never really spent any time worrying about the whole "world gets demolished via asteroid strike" scenario. now unlike you, I didn't do it because I'm too busy living for the now, wasting not one of my precious fleeting moments on inane thoughts that most likely will never come to fruition (in my lifetime anyway). No, no, no... I have a file cabinet filled with various elaborately drawn out contingency plans for a variety of "End of Days" scenarios. It's just when it came to asteroid strike, I had always kind of assumed that should one come up, the governments of the world would form a multinational team (lead, of course, by Bruce Willis) which would go into space and simply nuke the asteroid.
Turns out, it is not s easy as I had once thought...
Big brains Don Korycansky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Catherine Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico simulating blowing up asteroids measuring at least one kilometer across on a computer and came up with staggering results.
Asteroids can reform.
"The high-speed stuff goes away but the low-speed stuff reassembles [in] 2 to 18 hours," Korycansky says. The simulations were presented last week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas.
Now ain't that a bitch. Even if we direct hit the world killing projectile, there is still a relatively good chance that the asteroid might actually reform and continue coming at us. It’s like an interstellar version of Jason!
Thankfully, a study last year determined that it would take at least a 900 kiloton nuclear device to disperse a one kilometer asteroid, so at least we do stand a fight chance.And if Hollywood has taught us anything, a chance is all we need...