29 Apr '15, 7pm

How to Stop Killer Asteroids

How to Stop Killer Asteroids

Photo-illustration: Andrzej Wojcicki/Getty Images In a world of endless threats, the most worrisome are those that can kill you. And a large asteroid hurtling toward a catastrophic collision with Earth tops the list. Killer asteroids are part of a category of slow-emerging existential threats, such as global climate change, that, because they reveal themselves gradually, invite the attention of engineers, who are well suited to craft solutions from materials and technologies at hand. Slow-emerging threats aren’t easily thwarted, because there are honest disagreements about optimal responses. That’s the situation with rogue asteroids and comets. A staple of science fiction, these near-Earth objects (NEOs) are real. In 2013, an 18-meter-wide asteroid exploded—without warning—above a remote part of Russia. In January, a larger asteroid passed within 1.2 million kilometers (74...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/astrophysics/how-to-st...

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