Una serie de acotaciones al margen a medida que voy leyendo algunos libros... A series of annotations whilst reading interesting books... A collection of notes on books about science, SciFi, history, others topics... Una colección de notas sobre libros de ciencia, ciencia-ficción, historia, otros...

01 April 2012

Doom's Name: 2011 AG5

Asteroid 2011 AG5: a football-stadium-sized rock to watch carefully

It seems that Apophis will still hit the Earth in 2036 (by 49 million Km, pufff!). But there is another medium size kid in the block. Not a planet killer but big enough: asteroid 2011 AG5. Bad Astronomy has a good article in evaluating the options for start planning a mission to potentially change the orbit of the asteroid.

Before scaring anyone it is god to remember that NASA estimates very low the probability of an impact in a recently update: Asteroid 2011 AG5 - A Reality Check. Ranked "1" in the Torino Scale...

With something with so low probability to happen (crash into Earth) and only one agency from one country maybe considering it (NASA/US) I cannot see the people deciding where to expend the budget to invest some money on a close up mission and a potentially deflecting one.

But it would be nice just for 2 other things even if it is downgrade to Torino level "0":
  1. the scientific value of a mission like this
  2. it will be cool to follow the news of a mission to deflect an asteroid, even just for practice!
The 2nd option I think it's more important: if really we have to deflect an asteroid, I'm sure we will not do it correctly the first time, so some practice will come handy (and we can put some military-oriented minds on shooting at something useful for all mankind)

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