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Small Rocks

Small Rocks

We know about the location of many large and medium sized asteroids, but we also know that we have not yet located all of the smaller rocks that may pose threats to life on Earth. Finding them is problematic and getting funding for the search is only the first step. The Tunguska explosion in Siberia in 1908 is believed to have been caused by the airburst of an asteroid about 40 meters in diameter and delivered the equivalent in energy of nearly 200 Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs.

Earth could be blindsided by asteroids, panel warns – [newscientist.com]

Existing sky surveys miss many asteroids smaller than 1 kilometre across, leaving the door open to damaging impacts on Earth with little or no warning, a panel of scientists reports. Doing better will require devoting more powerful telescopes to asteroid hunting, but no one has committed the funds needed to do so, it says.

Hunting Asteroids (and Money) – [centauri-dreams.org]

We end up with the possible existence of a population of slow objects orbiting the Sun close to the Earth-Moon system. Based on their simulations, the authors estimate the population of ’slow NEAs’ as roughly fifty percent more than the fraction of known slow NEAs. The definition of ’slow NEA’ is a near-Earth asteroid with a potential lunar impact velocity of less than 11 kilometers per second. These are objects, in other words, that are nearly co-orbiting with the Earth.

Near Earth Object Program – [nasa.gov]

The Tunguska Event–100 Years Later – [nasa.gov]

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