Common sense tells us that all you need to deal with a huge comet or asteroid heading for Earth is an impressive arsenal of nukes. But even common sense is wrong sometimes. Humanity may need to come up with much more clever ideas to deal with such a threat, and everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, explains why.
We can see in an interview why deGrasse Tyson is not a fan of blowing up asteroids. One of the reasons is that we wouldn’t know where the pieces left behind by the explosion will end up.
Behold the interview:
However, no asteroid or comet is threatening Earth for the moment, but this doesn’t stop astronomers from being cautious. NASA prepares to crash craft to see if it can deflect an asteroid’s trajectory.
Neil deGrasse Tyson explained in the video, as quoted by RawStory.com:
So, if you look in movies about this sort of thing, what they want to do is blow the sucker out of the sky,
We’re very good at blowing stuff up because we have no end of weaponry to do this. But that’s not the wisest path. All engineering calculations tell us if you blow something up, while we’re good at blowing it up, we’re not as good knowing where the pieces will end up. So, it’s safer and it’s more controlled to deflect an asteroid from harm’s way.
However, detecting all the possible space rocks that can pose a threat to Earth is next to impossible, even though NASA is doing its best. The Universe is way too huge for any potential threat to be detected by humanity.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is well-known as one of the most influential astrophysicists out there, and he is also frequently present in the media.