This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

21 December 2007

Planetary Society Blog Update on 2007 WD5 (with additional Chesley comments)

From the Planetary Society Blog (Emily Lakdawalla):

"WD5 is approximately 50 meters in diameter, so if it did hit, it would be a good-sized bang, producing a crater about a kilometer in diameter. (This is pretty close to the size of Victoria crater, Opportunity's haunt.) Chesley estimates that such a bang happens on Mars about once every thousand years."

"However, Chesley says that this size of an impact should create a dust plume that could be detected by one of the orbiters; even the rovers could detect a change in the dust component of the sky. And of course a 1-kilometer crater would be a pretty big target for HiRISE and CRISM on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter -- in fact, that's quite big enough to be an interesting target for all the cameras on all the orbiters at Mars. You'd probably need to spot it first with one of the lower-resolution cameras, then zero in for a detailed look with one of the higher-resolution ones."

Link: Planetary Society Blog Entry 21 December 2007: "Alert the Martian Defense Force!"

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