A meteor is about to hit the earth. World scientist: What should we do? This is the basis for the ESA article describing the hypothetical impact of the devastating meteorite.
ESA has just released a hypothetical scenario in which a dangerous meteor is about to hit the earth. He has launched a Twitter appeal to scientists around the world to seek immediate answers to destroy it or protect us before it is too late.
Every two years, asteroid experts from all over the world will gather together and pretend that an asteroid impact is about to occur.This is the second time ever European Space Agency Planetary Defense Conference You will post hypothetical impact scenarios on Twitter so you can hear the “news” like an expert. What will they do? what would you do?
This year’s asteroid: “PDC 2021”
Hemisphere of potential impact of PDC by 2021
- -An asteroid was discovered on April 19, 2021, Asteroid Center IAU named it “2021 PDC”.
- -On the second day after the discovery of the 2021 PDC, NASA and ESA “Impact Monitoring System” determined several future dates when the asteroid may hit the Earth. Both parties agree that the most likely potential impact is October 20, 2021, which is only 6 months away from us.
- The probability of this impact is about one in 2500. By tracking the subject for only two days, the likelihood of the impact cannot be better estimated.
- Little is known about the physical performance of PDC 2021, especially its size is very uncertain. Its “apparent size” indicates an asteroid about 120 meters. But its range may be 35 to 700 meters!
- Astronomers continue to track the asteroid every night after the discovery, and the possibility of impact is also increasing. By April 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021 Planetary Defense Conference), the probability of impact has increased to approximately 5%. The remaining stages will be carried out at the meeting.
Day 1: Encountering asteroids: what are the risks?
Occurrence rate: 5%
At present, due to the limited observations of asteroids, the uncertainty of the PDC path in 2021 is high.
The red dot indicates the possible 2021 PDC location on October 20, 2021, which was calculated using only one week of tracking data since the discovery.
Currently, 5% of the red dots intersect the earth, so there is a 1 in 20 probability of occurrence.
Object size: very uncertain.
Taking into account the current uncertainty, the fictional 2021 asteroid PDC may be as high as 700m or as small as 35m.
Potentially affected area: 2/3 of the earth’s surface
According to current orbital knowledge, the PDC in 2021 may affect any place within an area covering 2/3 of the earth’s surface, which is represented here in red/purple shades.
The worst case of 2021 PDC is that its size is 700m. A collision of such an asteroid with the Earth will have catastrophic results, although it is below the 1 km threshold for a possible global catastrophe. The best case? At 35 m, if the asteroid collides, if it ruptures in the atmosphere to a local devastating destruction, it will cause a big explosion.
A huge meteorite exploded over Antarctica without leaving a crater
The hazard caused by the explosion is the main hazard, while the heat and tsunami may cause damage, but the probability and severity are small.
If we use an average size of about 150m, what kind of damage will PDC 2021 cause? There could be anywhere between 0 and 86 million people affected. The hazard caused by the explosion is the main hazard, while the heat and tsunami may cause damage, but the probability and severity are small.
The size, severity and location of potential damage remain highly uncertain.
The main hazard is the blast/impact, which causes the “overpressure” of the explosion, thereby causing slight structural damage to potentially insurmountable levels.
The expected damage area has a radius of 0 to 500 kilometers, with an average of about 90 kilometers. However, the probability of impact is still very small, which means that there is a 97% chance that no damage will occur, and the possibility that an impact may affect thousands of people is very small.
Follow Twitter update in vivo ESA
This week, experts will be at #PlanetaryDefense Pretend to be an asteroid impact meeting. why? Therefore, in case this happens, we will be ready. ☄️
— ESA operations (@esaoperations) April 26, 2021
Day 2: New observations confirm that *fictional* asteroids will collide
In our hypothetical scenario, a week has passed and we are now on May 2, 2021. The new observations confirm that the fictitious 2021 asteroid PDC will hit Earth within six months. The areas at risk include Europe and North Africa. What will the international community do next?
Hit probability: 100%
Impact date: October 20, 2021, 17:13 UTC +/- 82 s
Object size: still very uncertain
Taking into account the current uncertainty, this asteroid may still be as high as 700m or as small as 35m.
Day 2 of the Planetary Defense Conference and our understanding of the path of asteroids has improved. Unfortunately, the fictional asteroid will hit somewhere in the red zone.
Covering most of Europe and extending to a certain place in the large area of North Africa. The highest risk countries are Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania. The region extends from Norway and Sweden in the north, Britain, France and Italy in the west, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria in the east, and Greece and Egypt in the south.
The size of the damaged area around the impact site: very uncertain
Depending on the size of the object, severe jet damage may range from “minimal” (a few kilometers) to “local” (tens of kilometers) to “area” (a few hundred kilometers).
What are our options for space missions?
The Space Flight Planning and Advisory Group of the International Space Agency Forum (SMPAG) is considering the feasibility of space flight as a coordinated international countermeasure against the PDC in 2021; the main problem is: time is limited and we have no clear idea about the size of asteroids idea.
Due to the very short period of virtual impact, our options are limited.Most options described in Twitter survey on day 1 They are most effective when used to gently push asteroids, and their direction will change significantly over time.
However, the force required to deflect the fictitious 2021 PDC asteroid from the collision with the Earth is so great that there is a danger of destroying the asteroid and may produce multiple large debris that may hit the Earth.
The currently available options are to send reconnaissance missions (to learn more about imaginary asteroids) and/or send missions with 4.5 million tons of nuclear explosive devices, that is, perform high-speed intercept missions.
However, some international laws exclude the possibility of using nuclear weapons in space. So what will the international community do?
In QUO.es, we will pay close attention to the response.