NASA Has a New Plan for Stopping Hypothetical Asteroids That Could Bring the Armageddon

NASA Has a New Plan for Stopping Hypothetical Asteroids That Could Bring the Armageddon
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There’s no need to be a scientist to figure out that events such as the one that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs could happen again someday. And if creatures so massive, big, and strong as the dinosaurs didn’t survive the asteroid’s impact, what chances do we humans have?

Potentially hazardous asteroids frequently get close to Earth, but most of them pass by our planet. For instance, only for January 2022 that’s almost over, NASA warned the world about five asteroids coming near our planet.

It’s not even impossible sometimes to see some of the asteroids through a telescope! This was recently achievable.

But the big question arises: what would NASA do if a huge asteroid had our planet’s name written on it? There could be a compelling answer, and Bruce Willis is not in the scenario this time.

NASA upgraded its asteroid hazard software

According to The Sun, NASA has a new plan for tackling the hypothetical “doomsday asteroid” issue, and it implies new changes to the space agency’s asteroid hazard software. The changes are supposed to help the software better detect space rocks that could pose a threat to our beloved planet.

There’s a new algorithm that NASA hopes will make the software more reliable by regularly scanning a table of known asteroids, and it’s called Sentry-II. The software will further calculate if any of the space rocks from the table could pose a threat to Earth.

The Yarkovsky effect will also be taken into account, which could be the exact game-changer of the whole scheme. It refers to when sunlight is absorbed by an asteroid and gets further emitted as heat. Since the heat can have an effect on the path of the space rock itself, the chances of hitting Earth could increase or decrease.

Davide Farnocchia, a navigation engineer from JPL, emphasizes the importance of the software’s upgrade by declaring, as The Sun quotes:

The fact that Sentry couldn’t automatically handle the Yarkovsky effect was a limitation.

Luckily enough, there’s no asteroid capable of destroying humanity that’s on its way to Earth, as far as astronomers know. However, NASA keeps looking to the sky using its powerful gears just in case.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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