How would Earth protect itself from asteroid impact?
Astrophysicist Dr. Jay Melosh responds
- Duration 3:38
- Date Feb 15, 2013
Astrophysicist Dr. Jay Melosh responds
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I've icons in the exact same day that a meteor slammed into Russia -- usually is this.
Packaging in the -- -- Astro physicist and professor at Purdue University he's -- preeminent expert on what needs to be done to divert an asteroid.
Headed for a direct impact with earth you're the guy NASA calls when they say.
-- doctor Julie if the street makes a turn and comes -- us.
An unexpected way.
What do we do is we could do -- There -- a number of things that we could do.
The simplest thing might be a run a heavy spacecraft into it and deflected.
Veer a number of other proposals we don't have to be Bruce Willis -- news use nuclear weapons.
Although that might be effective.
But all of these deflection techniques depend upon knowing about asteroids they had a time.
And that to me is what's encouraging about this asteroid as we did know about it.
A year ahead of time week if it were going to hit the Europe.
We might have been able to do something about it even something as ordinary and down to earth is just civil defense of evacuating the impact site.
While so we eat we know.
Exactly if this and we're gonna hit we would know exactly where it was gonna -- are pretty close.
We -- in fact would know very well we we know that you position is passing through the brink of satellites to.
Better than a mile or two so we would have had a pretty good -- of where it was going to hit the Europe if it were to hit but it's not going to -- -- that one.
That's good to hear that and UN -- an agreement on that so.
So we look -- we will survive this one.
When you -- it's gonna pass within the ring of satellites are talking about sort of the media satellites -- television you know other -- that have been sent into outer space any interference you expect in terms of television or other things that we rely on satellites for.
Well the satellites are in the ring around the Earth's equator and this asteroid -- -- video may have shown that.
Is going to pass right through the ring so it's possible it may and throughout some of the the the -- of -- information coming down from the satellites are you -- jokingly tell my neighbors if somebody seems to hang up on you this afternoon maybe it's the asteroid not the person you're talking to.
-- left so good so if we if we suddenly go off the air in sixty minutes the odds are were alive.
But there's been some satellite interference now I ask you about what happened on Iraq -- -- ask you what happened about what happened in Russia today where this meteorite came down.
And it's about a thousand people or so injured but no one killed because it came down in a remote area.
Russia keep getting hit with these in his big one that hit nineteen LA came down his -- now this one what's the deal with -- Russia in these meteorites.
Well rush -- -- is a big continent and there's a lot of area and that's the best I can do.
Would be these kinds of impacts probably -- somewhere on the Europe over the ocean in even more remote areas.
A few times every decade and we wouldn't know about it in that case do we need to worry about our friends in Russia and radiation as a result of this meteorite that -- no there is no possibility that radiation is a problem.
From the -- OK so nothing nothing to worry about so we'll we'll meet and -- -- -- No me meteors tester are not radioactive.
The year in space the cosmic rays produce a tiny amount of radioactivity.
That we eagerly measure to find out how long they've been in space but.
They they do not have any significant radiation.
That's much it's so great hearing your expertise on and off I can impose on you to stick around and be available in sixty minutes because you know just in case to case would be nice to have you look.
In the meantime thank you sir and we will be right back with some.