Protecting the planet main content.

Protecting the planet

Part of Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites.

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In the unlikely event that astronomers discovered a civilization-ending asteroid or comet destined to impact Earth in a month, we wouldn't have enough time to stop it. But with more warning, we should be able to deflect a doomsday rock.

The most commonly suggested strategy so far is a nuclear explosion to blast the object aside. However, if the asteroid was a loosely bound collection of rubble instead of a dense solid mass, it might absorb the explosion's energy.

Other proposed schemes include attaching a nuclear-powered or sol