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.

16 February 2009

Napier and Asher Journal Article on NEOs Commenting on Threat from Comets

Napier and Asher talk about the threat from both asteroids and comets. Their preprint is available online.

"The Tunguska impact event and beyond"
Bill Napier and David Asher
Astronomy & Geophysics
Volume 50 Issue 1, Pages 1.18 - 1.26
Published Online: 16 Jan 2009

Current strategies for dealing with the impact hazard are geared towards the detection and deflection of near-Earth asteroids, which typically have approach speeds ∼20 km s−1 and involve decades of warning. However, galactic signals in the age distribution of well-dated impact craters suggest that the globally destructive impactors (diameters between 1.5 and 2 km and upwards) ultimately derive from the Oort cloud. Warning times are then measured in months or days, and characteristic approach speeds are ∼55 km s−1. Concentrations of sub-kilometre debris in meteor streams may also be a significant regional hazard. Intersection with the debris of a large short-period comet may account for the widespread biological and cultural dislocation in North America around 12 900 BP.

Link: Preprint (PDF)

Link: Astronomy & Geophysics Citation

Link: COSMOS Magazine Article ("Earth under threat from dark comets," Monday, 16 February 2009, Heather Catchpole)

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