Employees of the Department of Celestial Mechanics and Astrometry NII PMM and colleagues from St. Petersburg State University, Keldysh Research Center, and Research Institute Sirius are developing measures to protect the Earth from potentially dangerous celestial bodies. With the help of supercomputer SKIF Cyberia, the scientists simulated the nuclear explosion of an asteroid 200 meters in diameter in such a way that its irradiated fragments do not fall to the Earth.
The way we propose to eliminate the threat from space is reasonable to use in case of the impossibility of the soft disposal of an object from a collision in orbit and for the elimination of an object that is constantly returning to Earth, – says Tatiana Galushina, an employee of the Department of Celestial Mechanics and Astrometry – Previously, as a preventive measure, it was proposed to abolish the asteroid on its approach to our planet, but this could lead to catastrophic consequences – a fall to Earth of the majority of the highly radioactive fragments.
TSU scientists with colleagues from other research centres have offered another solution to the problem. It is known that the majority of dangerous objects pass close to Earth several times before the collision. Therefore, there is a possibility to blow up the asteroid at the time when it is farther from the planet. This measure will be much more effective and safer.