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Giant asteroid on collision course with Earth could NOT be stopped by a nuclear bomb, NASA simulation shows



(Planet Today) An asteroid simulation exercise led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows that none of our existing technology can take down a hypothetical giant asteroid discovered six months before it arrives.

(Article by Virgilio Marin republished from

Indeed, the exercise suggests that even a nuclear bomb isn’t enough to break the asteroid apart because the rock is too big. It also shows that preparing a spacecraft to smash into the asteroid is not feasible given the small amount of time remaining before the collision.

What happens in the months leading up to an asteroid impact

NASA conducted the simulation exercise, which is called “Space Mission Options for the Hypothetical Asteroid Impact Scenario,” from April 26 through April 29 in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For the four-day drill, American and European scientists were given half a year to hatch a plan to stop a fictitious rock on a collision course to Earth.

Details of the scenario – such as the probability of impact and where and when the impact might occur – were given to the participants piece by piece over the course of four days to simulate how a real situation might play out.

On April 19, its first day, the simulation created an asteroid that could possibly threaten the Earth. Named 2021PDC, it was spotted 35 million miles away and estimated to have only a five percent probability of landing on the planet on Oct. 20.

But after receiving more data on the asteroid the next day, where the timeline was fast-forwarded to May, the participants found that the space rock actually had a 100 percent probability of making an impact. It would crash into either Europe or northern Africa.

The participants then started planning various missions to send a spacecraft to destroy the asteroid or deflect it off its path. But the team concluded that they wouldn’t be able to launch the mission given the short amount of time and limitations in technology.

They proposed nuking the asteroid to break it apart. But while computer models showed that a nuclear bomb could reduce the space rock to a less destructive size, the simulation stipulated that the asteroid could be anywhere from 114 feet to half a mile in size. This meant that there was little certainty a nuke could make a dent.

On day three, the exercise jumped to when the world was preparing for the collision. Data taken during the past few months showed that the asteroid’s expected impact region was somewhere around Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

On day four, there was only less than a week before the impact. With the space rock only 3.9 million miles from the planet, astronomers were able to determine that the asteroid was much smaller than previously thought. It had a 99 percent probability of landing near the border of Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria. By the time it arrived, it would explode and generate as much energy as a nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, all that the could be done was to evacuate residents of the affected regions.

Incoming asteroids are often detected too late

While the exercise gave the scientists several months to prepare, in reality astronomers often detect incoming asteroids merely days or even minutes before impact, such as the case of the Chelyabinsk meteor.

Known as the most destructive asteroid to hit Earth recently, the 56-foot-wide meteor exploded without warning above the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia in February 2013. The explosion was 30 to 40 times stronger than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 and generated shockwaves that injured thousands and shattered windows.

But destructive as it was, the meteor was spotted only when it entered the atmosphere, at which point it was only a matter of minutes before it exploded. 

In the years since the Chelyabinsk event, space agencies like NASA had ramped up efforts to protect the planet from a catastrophic asteroid impact. One such effort was conducting a simulation exercise.

“Each time we participate in an exercise of this nature, we learn more about who the key players are in a disaster event, and who needs to know what information,” NASA’s planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson said after the latest simulation activity.

“These exercises ultimately help the planetary defense community communicate with each other and with our governments to ensure we are all coordinated should a potential impact threat be identified in the future,” Johnson went on. has more about asteroid impacts and other cosmic disasters that affect life on Earth.

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There’s one last place Planet Nine could be hiding




A study recently submitted to The Astronomical Journal
continues to search for the elusive Planet Nine (also called Planet X),
which is a hypothetical planet that potentially orbits in the outer
reaches of the solar system and well beyond the orbit of the dwarf
planet, Pluto.

The goal of this study, which is available on the pre-print server arXiv,
was to narrow down the possible locations of Planet Nine and holds the
potential to help researchers better understand the makeup of our solar
system, along with its formation and evolutionary processes. So, what
was the motivation behind this study regarding narrowing down the
location of a potential Planet 9?

Dr. Mike Brown, who is a Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of
Astronomy at Caltech and lead author of the study, tells Universe Today,
“We are continuing to try to systematically cover all of the regions of
the sky where we predict Planet Nine to be. Using data from Pan-STARRS
allowed us to cover the largest region to date.”

Pan-STARRS, which stands for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid
Response System, is a collaborative astronomical observation system
located at Haleakala Observatory and operated by the University of
Hawai’i Institute of Astronomy. For the study, the researchers used data
from Data Release 2 (DR2) with the goal of narrowing down the possible
location of Planet Nine based on findings from past studies.

In the end, the team narrowed down possible locations of Planet Nine
by eliminating approximately 78% of possible locations that were
calculated from previous studies. Additionally, the researchers also
provided new estimates for the approximate semimajor axis (measured in
astronomical units, AU) and Earth-mass size of Planet Nine at 500 and
6.6, respectively. So, what are the most significant results from this
study, and what follow-up studies are currently being conducted or

“While I would love to say that the most significant result
was finding Planet Nine, we didn’t,” Dr. Brown tells Universe Today. “So
instead, it means that we have significantly narrowed the search area.
We’ve now surveyed approximately 80% of the regions where we think
Planet Nine might be.”

In terms of follow-up studies, Dr.
Brown tells Universe Today, “I think that the LSST is the most likely
survey to find Planet Nine. When it comes online in a year or two it
will quickly cover much of the search space and, if Planet Nine is
there, find it.”

LSST stands for Legacy Survey of Space and Time, and is an
astronomical survey currently scheduled as a 10-year program to study
the southern sky and take place at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in
Chile, which is presently under construction.

Objectives for LSST include studying identifying near-Earth asteroids
(NEAs) and small planetary bodies within our solar system, but also
include deep space studies, as well. These include investigating the
properties of dark matter and dark energy and the evolution of the Milky
Way galaxy. But what is the importance of finding Planet Nine?

Dr. Brown tells Universe Today, “This would be the 5th
largest planet of our solar system and the only one with a mass between
Earth and Uranus. Such planets are common around other stars, and we
would suddenly have a chance to study one in our own solar system.”

Scientists began hypothesizing the existence of Planet Nine shortly
after the discovery of Neptune in 1846, including an 1880 memoir
authored by D. Kirkwood and later a 1946 paper authored by American
astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh, who was responsible for discovering Pluto in

More recent studies include studies from 2016 and 2017 presenting
evidence for the existence of Planet Nine, the former of which was
co-authored by Dr. Brown.

This most recent study marks the
most complete investigation of narrowing down the location of Planet
Nine, which Dr. Brown has long-believed exists, telling Universe Today,
“There are too many separate signs that Planet Nine is there. The solar
system is very difficult to understand without Planet Nine.”

He continues by telling Universe Today that “…Planet Nine explains
many things about orbits of objects in the outer solar system that would
be otherwise unexplainable and would each need some sort of separate

“The cluster of the directions of the orbits is the best know, but
there is also the large perihelion distances of many objects, existence
of highly inclined and even retrograde objects, and the high abundance
of very eccentric orbits which cross inside the orbit of Neptune. None
of these should happen in the solar system, but all are easily
explainable as an effect of Planet Nine.”

More information:
Michael E. Brown et al, A Pan-STARRS1 Search for Planet Nine, arXiv (2024). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2401.17977

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‘October Surprise’: Russia To Launch Nukes in Space




The ‘national security threat’ announced on Wednesday is
about Russia planning to launch nuclear weapons in space, causing some
to speculate whether it’s really an election year ploy.

The panic began when House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner
(R-Ohio) asked President Biden to declassify information about a
“serious national security threat”. reports: The weapon would reportedly be designed to be used to take out satellites.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) responded by telling reporters he wanted “to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm.”

The big, scary threat is serious business and involves a space-based nuke controlled by evil dictator Putin, but it’s also “not an immediate crisis,” according to what three members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee have told Politico.

Okay, then. Just for election season, is it?

Zero Hedge reports: “So, the question is – was this:

a) a distraction from Biden’s broken brain, or

2) a last desperate attempt to get more funding for anything-but-the-US-border, or

iii) a path to pitching Putin as the uber-bad-guy again after his interview with Tucker Carlson.”

Just by coincidence, Mike Turner recently returned from Ukraine having lobbied for billions more in weapons and aid for Zelensky’s government.

Some questioned the timing, suggesting it might all be a deep state plot to keep American voters afraid when they hit the ballot box.

Speculation will now rage as to whether this is “the event,” real or imagined, that billionaires and elitists the world over have been building underground survival bunkers in preparation for.

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