Asteroid’s has made several close contacts with the Earth in the past and if any collision happens, it could lead to mass extinction. There’s a possibility that some day Asteroid can hit Earth, something which is inevitable. The study of asteroids and their path is important since it will help to find ways to deflect any asteroid which could crash into Earth.
A near Earth asteroid named 1950 DA defies the laws of gravity and friction. Scientists are closely studying the asteroid. It could help astronomer’s deflect any asteroid which could hit the Earth.
An asteroid larger than 10 KM can be termed as devastating and may result in drastic implications on humans. A committee was set up in 1959, Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. One of their many aims is to collect information on such asteroids which are potentially dangerous for the Earth. The committee also suggest measures to be taken in such an eventuality.
The scientist’s at the University of Tennessee are claiming a revolutionary discovery which will help to deflect asteroids which could collide with Earth. The researchers have been closely observing the 1950 DA asteroid, which was first discovered by Carl A. Wirtanen at Lick Observatory way back in 1950. The scientists found that the asteroid defied the laws of physics and this phenomenon has not been seen in any other asteroid.
According to researchers the asteroid could be composed of loose mass of rubble and are held by friction and gravity. However the asteroid which was found is spinning so rapidly that it is defying the laws of friction and gravity. The scientists closely studied the thermal images as well as the orbital drift of the asteroid in a bid to find its bulk density and thermal inertia.
Ben Rozitis, an astronomer at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville said, “We found that 1950 DA is rotating faster than the breakup limit for its density. So if just gravity were holding this rubble pile together, as is generally assumed, it would fly apart. Therefore, interparticle cohesive forces must be holding it together.”
Earth has faced several close shaves with the Asteroid’s. Most meteors are small and are hardly seen or reported. However once in a while a large meteor also enters the Earth’s atmosphere and causes damage. In Feb. 2013, Chelyabinsk meteor, a near-Earth asteroid, entered the Earth’s atmosphere over Russia, travelling at more than 60 times the speed of sound. The near Earth asteroid was not detected even by the most sophisticated telescopes around the world. It caused immense damage in Chelyabinsk but thankfully there was no loss of life. The incident highlights the danger of asteroids which can hit Earth any time.