A unique cosmic test awaits us on Monday. Humanity has never experienced this

Dimorphos has a diameter of about 170 meters, orbits around 800 meters of Didymos and does not threaten us at all. At the time of the collision, it will be approximately 11 million km from Earth. The DART mission is mainly to check if we are able to hit the asteroid with the vehicle sent from Earth and if the asteroid will change course after the impact. NASA wants the speed of 23,000. km per hour a car the size of a car moved Dimorphos, reducing its driving time around Didymos by 10 minutes. Currently, Dimorphos orbits the largest asteroid in 11 hours and 55 minutes. A 10-minute reduction in this time will be recorded by ground-based telescopes.

A few weeks ago the LICIACube satellite, which follows in its footsteps, separated from the DART mission. After the impact, LICIACube will accompany the Dimorphos-Didymos system and send us its photos, on the basis of which the specialists will evaluate the effects of the collision. Furthermore, the start of the European Space Agency’s Hera mission is scheduled for October 2024. Two years later, Hera will meet Dimorphos and carry out detailed measurements. As part of it, a miniature lander must land on Dimorphosa.

There are billions of comets and asteroids in the solar system. A small part of them are NEOs (objects close to the Earth), which are objects close to the Earth. An object whose perihelion – the closest point in orbit to the Sun – is less than 1.3 AU is considered NEO. The Astronomical Unit (I) is the distance between the Earth and the Sun, it is 150 million km. This is because 1.3 AU from the Sun means that such an object can be 0.3 AU (45 million km) from Earth.

We currently know (as of 21 September this year) 29 801 NEO. It is known that asteroids with a diameter greater than 20 m can, if they fall into the Earth’s atmosphere, cause serious local damage. Of course, the larger the asteroid, the more dangerous it is for us. Asteroids with a diameter greater than 140m are considered very dangerous, and asteroids with a diameter greater than 1km can cause a worldwide catastrophe.

Among all the NEOs known to us there are 10,199 objects with a diameter of over 140 m and 855 with a diameter of over a kilometer. Experts believe that we know almost all NEOs with a diameter of more than one kilometer. We also know that no such object will threaten the Earth in the next 100 years. However, the defense scenarios are already in preparation.

Because if we could detect such a large object and study its orbit would show that it would likely hit Earth, we would need decades to defend ourselves. If we wanted to modify the path of such an object, taking into account its enormous mass, we already know that the vehicle sent from Earth, hitting the asteroid, would only slightly change its trajectory. A collision would therefore have to take place decades before the expected impact on Earth for this minimal change to accumulate over time and for the asteroid to bypass our planet.

There will be some really big NEOs near Earth this year. The first will be the asteroid 2022 RM4, 330-740 m in diameter, which on 1 November will fly 2.3 million km from us. Three weeks later, 2019 QR1 with a diameter of 180-410m will be three times farther from Earth and on December 2 and 3 objects with a diameter of 320-710m and 150-330m will fly at approximately 5 million km respectively. .

As for asteroids with a diameter greater than 1 km, we will have two such encounters in the next 12 months. On February 16, 2023 an asteroid 199145 (2005 YY128) with a diameter of 570-1300 meters will be located about 4.5 million km from Earth and on April 13 436774 (2012 KY3) with a diameter of 540-1200 meters will pass us at a similar distance. For the visit of a real giant we will have to wait until September 2, 2057. Then, at a distance of 7.5 million km, we will be overtaken at a speed of 48,492 km per hour. asteroid 3122 Florence with a diameter of 4.9 km.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.