Nov 8, 2017 in Geography

The Need for Asteroid Detection

Experts in New York City have found the need for creation of better detectors for asteroids. It is crucial to detect these rocks before they hit the earth surface, in order to prevent serious damages and injuries. This suggestion comes after a tremendous explosion of a space rock in Chelyabinsk city in Russia last month February 15. It is alleged that if the asteroid had hit the New York City, there could have been more casualties than in Russia where 1,500 casualties were found (Fountain). The city is densely populated, the reason for the need of an asteroid detecting- space telescope.

The asteroid explosion in Russia was caused by a meteor which was found to measure roughly 60 foot in diameter. The casualties were incredibly injured, most of the injuries coming from flying glasses as a result of shattered windows. Windows were shattered mainly due to the shock waves from the explosion, which in this case was estimated to be stronger; 30 times powerful than the atomic blast experienced in Hiroshima (Fountain). The hit only took one minute and a half, and it is believed that it was in the atmosphere. Had it been near the city of Chelyabinsk, more casualties and damage could have been experienced.

The meteor was not detected by any of the numerous ground telescopes in Russia. This was mainly because, the search programs at the ground concentrate on larger asteroids. From their results, numerous large asteroids have been detected, but none has been found that links to posing threat to the earth. However, due the Russian incident, these results should not be considered conclusive and detectors should be installed to prevent future asteroid explosions. There is evidence that some asteroids similar to the Russian meteor have not been seen, and alert is, therefore, required in the research stations (Fountain). Finding a meteor that poses threat to the earth early enough is essential because it gives time to take potential measures. In case, an asteroid is detected just before hitting the surface, little can be done; that is evacuating the city. However, if detected early, its trajectory can be changed.

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