The Law of #UnintendedConsequences – NASA created atomic meteors by accident – #SMOD

I’m sure there is totally nothing to worry about…

DART asteroid-smashing spacecraft broke off 37 boulders that now have atomic bomb energy

Last year, NASA undertook its first planetary defense mission with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The goal was to divert the moonlet Dimorphos from its orbit, demonstrating that an asteroid could be redirected in the case of a catastrophic course toward Earth.

The spacecraft’s impact, while altering the moonlet’s orbit, also resulted in the dispersal of 37 boulders from its surface. Some of these space rocks are as wide as 22 feet off its surface.

The DART mission was watched intently across the globe on September 26, 2022. The spacecraft successfully shifted Dimorphos’s orbit from an original 11 hours and 55 minutes to 11 hours and 23 minutes post-impact.

Unexpected DART results
While effectively showcasing the capability of humanity to potentially avert an asteroid disaster, this dramatic event also inadvertently created a ripple effect in space. The aftermath of the mission has brought forth a revelation that’s both intriguing and concerning.

Potential dangers
David Jewitt, the leading astronomer behind the study, drew a vivid comparison to the aftermath. He likened the swarm of space rocks to a “cloud of shrapnel expanding from a hand grenade,” with velocities reaching up to 13,000 miles per hour.
“Because those big boulders basically share the speed of the targeted asteroid, they’re capable of doing their own damage,” explained Jewitt.
To put the potential dangers of these boulders into perspective, Jewitt mentioned that a 15-foot boulder, when colliding with Earth at such velocities, would unleash energy comparable to the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima during World War II.

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One response to “The Law of #UnintendedConsequences – NASA created atomic meteors by accident – #SMOD”

  1. […] The Law of #UnintendedConsequences – NASA created atomic meteors by accident – #SMOD […]

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