Researchers simulate defense of the Earth against asteroid impact
The world's first comprehensive planetary defence test against probable asteroid impacts on Earth is being conducted by NASA as part of the (DART) mission
Researchers from the University of Bern and the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS have now demonstrated
the impact of the DART mission on its target could render the asteroid virtually unrecognisable rather than leaving behind a relatively tiny crater.
Rubble instead of solid rock
According to study lead author Sabina Raducan of the Institute of Physics and the National Center of Competence in Research PlanetS at the University of Romania
Contrary to what one might imagine when picturing an asteroid, direct evidence from space missions like the Japanese space agency's (JAXA)
Hayabusa2 probe demonstrate that asteroid can have a very loose internal structure—similar to a pile of rubble—that is held together by gravitational interactions and small cohesive forces."
Widen horizon of expectations
As part of the HERA space project, the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch a space probe to Dimorphos in 2024.
The objective is to visually examine the impact aftermath of the DART investigation
According to Martin Jutzi, a co-author of the paper from the Institute of Physics and the National Center of Competence in Research PlanetS, "to make the most of the HERA mission
we need to have a good grasp of probable implications of the DART impact."
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