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Witnessing the destruction of an asteroid

The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is not like the messy debris field in the movie ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. It may contain millions of rocky and metallic objects, but the distances that separate them are vast and collisions are rare.

Witnessing the destruction of an asteroid
When the asteroids break, they leave a telltale trail of debris and dust. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

This is what makes the P / 2016 G1 such an exciting object. Seen through the asteroid belt in early 2016, this object had a strange orbit and a layer of dust that resembled a comet. Through careful analysis of the telescopic images, the scientists identified several showers of debris that shot from its surface, the kind that could only be produced by an impact.

What they found was not a comet, but the immediate consequences of the murder of an asteroid.

By March 6, 2016, an asteroid at least 400 meters in diameter was running its own business when another space rock weighing about 1,000 kilograms hit the largest asteroid at about 18,000 kilometers per hour. This is about five times faster than a bullet fired from a sniper rifle. The projectile was destroyed after impact; The target then split into stages in the coming months before it became unseen.

Without this collision, these two small objects would remain forever anonymous. Instead, scientists got an accidental view of the destructiveness of asteroids, which could help defend the earth against future asteroid hazards. After all, “the best way to see how hard a thing is, is to break it,” he said. Olivier Hainaut, astronomer of the European Southern Observatory and lead author of the study published earlier this year in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Astronomers discovered the P / 2016 G1 with the Pan-Starrs1 telescope, in Hawaii, on AprIil 2016. Stepping back through archived images, astronomers realized that it had been visible the previous month for the first time as a centralized collection of rocky clusters: the fractured remains of the asteroid surrounded by a thin cloud of dust, probably the immediate debris was discarded by the impact.

Over the next few weeks, an expanding ring of debris could also be seen emerging from the object. Computer simulations revealed that this was the beginning of a high rubble cone, a hallmark of an impact event.

After the initial debris cloud was created, the crater process lost energy and subsequent debris flows were more slowly excavated into the new asteroid scar. On Earth, this ring of debris would land around the crater. But on a small, low-gravity asteroid, this ring of debris simply flew into space, expanding as it advanced.

There is no clear date when the asteroid disappeared.

Dr. Hainaut said:

Documenting the disappearance of the P / 2016 G1 was like tracking a drop of milk on your coffee. The pieces scatter and disappear individually. However, by December 2018, the asteroid could no longer be seen.

Although the asteroid may have disappeared, the data collected may be useful in the future. With sufficient warning time, an asteroid heading toward Earth would ideally be deflected by colliding with a spacecraft at remarkable speeds. But an overzealous impact could break an asteroid into fragments that could still disastrously fall to Earth.

Knowing what types of impacts cause deviations and interruptions is essential for protecting the earth from wandering asteroids. That makes the disappearance of the P / 2016 G1 a vital source of information, he said. Megan Bruck Syal, a planetary defense researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who did not participate in the study.

This spectacularly documented event may not be so rare for much longer. Increasingly comprehensive sky sweep surveys, including the Large Synoptic Research Telescope in Chile will capture many of these camera impacts, giving planetary defense researchers more data to study in cutting-edge simulations.

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Space

NASA published pictures of two giant asteroids

NASA published an amazing image of two giant asteroids traveling in the asteroid belt, both of which are larger than some of the cities in the world.

The American Space Agency shared a snapshot that tracks the movement of the large asteroids Lina and Klotho, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The Lina is about 37 miles (60 km) in diameter and has more than 2,000 days in orbit around the Sun. Klotho is slightly larger, having 50.9 miles (82 km) in diameter and has a 1596-day orbit around our main star.

NASA observed space rocks using the NEOWISE telescope. He also states on his official website:

“appearing as rows of orange dots, the brightest sets of dots belong to the asteroids of Klotho and Lina. Both rotate in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, while smaller and more distant asteroids can also be seen on this image ”

These space objects were photographed by NEOWISE as part of the Wise mission (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) asteroid hunting project. 

Cosmic stones within the asteroid belt supposedly pose almost no danger to the Earth, due to the role that Jupiter plays in the solar system. The giant planet has such a powerful gravitational attraction that it actually helps to keep the asteroid belt in place, so objects do not travel throughout the system.

If Jupiter did not use its gravitational pull on these objects in the belt, the inner planets would be constantly at risk of collisions with large asteroids.

“The presence of Jupiter actually protects Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars from repeated collisions with asteroids!”, The NASA statement said.

The probability of a major asteroid colliding with the Earth is one in 300,000 chance. However, such a prospect is possible, NASA says.

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A “Meteorite” falls in Nigeria destroying more than 100 houses and leaving a huge crater

On the morning of Saturday 28 March 2020, a large meteorite crashed in Akure (Nigeria), destroying more than 100 houses and leaving a 21-meter crater on the ground. Experts from the Awbaowo University of Obafemi (Nigeria) denied the local police who initially claimed that a bomb explosion had created the 21-meter crater.

According to Nigerian sources, the explosion destroyed the Akure-OVO road and seriously damaged dozens of houses, from 50 to 100, as well as schools and churches.

It is interesting that initially the authorities denied the meteorite’s fall and claimed that the cause for the explosion was a truck with explosives, which was transported to a neighboring state. Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said the blast was an accident.

Then the version changed and the truck was no longer just transporting explosives, but it was supposedly a terrorist act.

Now, a team of experts and scientists came to the conclusion that everything that happened was a fall of a large meteorite.

The blast that shook Akure, the state capital of Ondo, on Saturday, was caused by a giant cosmic rock, a team of experts concluded.

Led by Adepelumi Adekunle, a professor of geophysics and seismic engineering at Obafemi Avolovo University, the team said that the meteorite entered the atmosphere of our planet at a “43 degree angle”.

Adepelumi Adekunle’s report reads:

“My research team conducted a detailed analysis of the impact site. A round impact crater was discovered with a diameter of 21 m and a depth of 7.8 m, which indicates a natural phenomenon.

– It was found that water is oozing from the edges of the crater. Preliminary field studies of vibration, noise, seismicity, analysis of water, radioactivity, rocks and soil were carried out.

“Our findings suggest that the impact of the explosion covers a radius of 1 km from the vicinity of the crater.” No signs of fire or burning were found in the vicinity. “

“No signs of radioactive radiation were found within the crater and in the immediate vicinity of it. Field data indicate that a meteorite from the asteroid belt was moving at high speed from space, and fell at an angle of 43 degrees in the southwestern part of the country “

A local source said that after the incident, no one was missing and no one was killed. The most interesting thing in the report is the mention that “unusual stones and strange metal objects” were found inside the crater. So what actually fell in Nigeria – a meteorite or a UFO?

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Space

Something strange is happening with the interstellar comet 2I / Borisov

When astronomers see something in the Universe that at first glance seems to be one of a kind, this will certainly cause great excitement and attention.

This mysterious guest from the depths of space first attracted the attention of celestial observers at the end of August 2019, when it was officially discovered sweeping through the solar system along a trajectory indicating interstellar origin.

After analyzing the object, astronomers identified it as a comet called Comet 21 / Borisov, which is the first identified comet and the second observable interstellar alien after the infamous Oumuamua, who arrived here from another star.

NASA claims that they do not know where and when the comet began to move towards our Sun. Gravity of the Sun slightly deflects its trajectory, but cannot capture it due to the shape of the orbit and its high speed of about 160,934 km / h.

Hubble showed that the comet’s heart, a loose accumulation of ice and dust particles, was probably no more than 975 meters across, about the length of nine football fields.

Now, this month, astronomers have discovered that something strange is happening by checking the object.

In the next video, nemesis maturity explains what happens to this mysterious interstellar guest.

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