Friday, March 1, 2013

Asteroid-busting lasers powered by sun could soon protect Earth

The meteorite that crashed over central Russia recently sent shock waves around the world. The damage done by a mere 10 ton meteorite that unleashed 300 kiloton of energy makes scientists and astronomers to shudder with panic as this was just a very small piece of spacely body.

Can you image what if Asteroid 2012 DA 14 that skirted past us had landed on earth?  It weighed 330,000 tons, was 150 feet wide, capable of generating 2.5 mega ton of energy or one thousand times the energy produced by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Well that is the scary part - the good news is that the researchers in USA say that sun-powered lasers could protect Earth from any more asteroids judged to be flying too close.

As per the findings of the study, solar powered space defences could vaporise an asteroid as big as the one which flew past Earth on Friday night, 15th February, in 60 minutes.

The researchers also claim that the same system could destroy asteroids 10 times larger in about a year, with evaporation starting at a distance as far away as the Sun.

The researchers claim that the concept, dubbed Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids an exploRation, or DE-STAR, is 'a realistic means of mitigating potential threats posed to the Earth by asteroids and comets.'

Described as a 'directed energy orbital defence system', DE-STAR is designed to harness the vast power of the Sun and convert it into a massive phased array of laser beams. They claim that DE-STAR 4 – at 10km in diameter, about 100 times the size of the ISS – could deliver 1.4 megatons of energy per day to its target, said Professor Lubin, obliterating an asteroid 500m across in one year.

So we have a hope for the future if the DE-STAR finally becomes a reality to avert an Armageddon like situation.

Read more about it at: Mail Online


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