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Old January 23 2013, 02:16 PM   #20
Yelp for People
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Re: Apophis - Could Stirke Earth in 2036

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Besides that, turning it into smaller rocks blasting in every direction would make it more dangerous. Good job.
No it wouldn't. The shower of smaller fragments would have considerably greater surface area, allowing for both more complete burnup in the atmosphere (less mass reaches the ground) and lower impact velocity for those fragments that DO reach the ground. It would be slightly more dangerous to orbiting spacecraft and satellites, but considerably less so for anyone on the ground.
You're turning an asteroid that definitely won't hit Earth into a gazillion of smaller ones that will hit Earth.
If you make them small enough, most of them will burn up and hit nothing.

In any case, if you have an asteroid big enough to cause an extinction-level event, you are better off doing anything you can to blunt the impact, which leaves two options:

1. Change its course so it doesn't hit Earth at all (this would be difficult to impossible, depending on the situation)
2. Blow it up into as many small pieces as you can

Option 2 means that, yes, some populated areas will probably be hit, and people will die, but if the choice is that or the extinction of most life on Earth, is that even a choice?
Five stars!
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