When we think of space, one of the most common things that come to mind other than planets and the solar system are asteroids. You know, those rock-like masses huge enough to completely destroy your town but small enough to be considered a planet on their own?
Asteroids look a bit like regular ‘hollow’ rocks, to the untrained eye. They may even look weak and fragile based on some depictions. Contrary to popular belief though, asteroids are actually much harder to destroy, as reported by a recent study conducted by NASA.
For years, scientists have tried to find out the best way to destroy asteroids that are in danger of hitting the Earth. Before, many used to believe that asteroids can be simply broken down into pieces, or even ‘forced’ out of its way by a strong impact. Unfortunately, the recent study from NASA revealed that this just isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Charles El Mir, a lead author of the study, asks in a press release, “Are we better off breaking it into small pieces, or nudging it to go a different direction? And if the latter, how much force should we hit it with to move it away without causing it to break?”
Looks like NASA has another set of questions left to be solved.