According to scientists, every 100 million years fromAt least one large asteroid collides with the Earth. We are talking about space objects, the fall of which can cause global catastrophes with the subsequent death of people and animals. There is always a risk of falling asteroids, so professional astronomers and amateurs are constantly monitoring the events taking place in space. Sometimes potentially dangerous asteroids are discovered suddenly. So, in January 2022, astronomers from the Mount Lemmon Observatory located in the US state of Arizona noticed an asteroid with a diameter of up to 70 meters. According to their initial calculations, referred to as "2022 AE1", the object could collide with the Earth on July 4, 2023. So what, in the future, humanity is waiting for a catastrophe associated with the fall of an asteroid?
Dangerous asteroid 2022 AE1
At first, the space object did not cause muchanxiety, but within seven days of observation, the researchers were frightened in earnest. To assess the degree of its danger, scientists used the asteroid orbit determination system (AstOD) - an automatic system that tries to predict whether any celestial body will collide with the Earth or not. The results showed that there is a probability of a collision, and a very high one. On the Palermo scale, which is used to assess the potential danger of near-Earth objects, the asteroid 2022 AE1 received the highest rating.
The researchers immediately concluded thatthe fall of asteroid 2022 AE1 to Earth could cause a serious catastrophe. The diameter of a space object is approximately 70 meters - this, of course, is not the height of a skyscraper, but also a lot. It was even suggested that the impact of an asteroid with the Earth would have the same consequences as the fall of the Tunguska meteorite. Let me remind you that the Tunguska phenomenon of 1908 ended with a powerful explosion, the wave of which was noticed by all seismographs in the world. The roar was heard at a distance of about 1000 kilometers. Fortunately, there were no residential buildings at the crash site and no one was injured. Also, after the explosion, a magnetic storm began, which lasted 5 hours.
In almost ten years of work, I have never seen such a dangerous object, - admitted astronomer Marco Micheli (Marco Micheli) from the Coordination Center for Near-Earth Objects (NEOCC).
Probability of an asteroid hitting Earth
Scientists were in suspensefor a long time, because for a whole week after the discovery of a potentially dangerous object, the full moon blocked any views of this asteroid from Earth. Fortunately, they were later able to accumulate enough information about the asteroid's flight path and learn that the probability of its collision decreases over time.
After the discovery of the object, astronomers were tensebecause they did not know the exact information about its movement - the assumption of its danger was based only on the data that were issued by the computer. At first, scientists saw the asteroid as a static point in the night sky, but then they learned in which direction and at what speed it flies through outer space. This information was used for computer simulations of its movement and, fortunately, it showed that the impact with the Earth is practically zero.
See also: The most dangerous asteroid that can destroy the Earth - what is it?
Asteroid 2022 AE1 will fly past the Earth
According to the simulation results, in early JulyIn 2023, the asteroid 2022 AE1 will not collide with the Earth, but will fly by at a distance of about ten million kilometers. This means that at the peak of its proximity to our planet, the asteroid will be at a distance of 20 times more than the moon. According to astronomers, if the danger of asteroid 2022 AE1 was confirmed, they would use all possible observatories to study it as much as possible. Now there is no need for this, but amateur astronomers can continue to observe the object.
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How would scientists be engaged in saving the Earth fromasteroid is not clear. At the moment, technologies for the destruction of dangerous space objects are under development. Recently, researchers from China's National Space Science Center have come up with an intriguing way to save our planet from the asteroid Bennu, which could reach us by the year 2300. According to Chinese experts, it is possible to change the trajectory of this object with the help of 23 Changzheng-5 missiles, each of which weighs 900 tons. With the help of rockets, the trajectory of the asteroid Bennu can be deflected by as much as 9,000 kilometers. We talked about how Chinese scientists can save humanity from disaster in this material.