2017 In the fall, the White House came to an intimidating memory. In this was It is written in black and white that our planet is rotating asteroid.
True, the message sent by NASA scientists in red letters was decorated with the inscription "exercise", writes Space.com. The end of the world will still have to wait for the people, and the memories of the US leaders have come to better prepare for the greatest tragedy possible.
Although there was no risk of collision, the data were based on the trajectory of a real asteroid running nearby. A few weeks ago the analysis of the exercise showed what we could and should do differently to create the best conditions to prevent the journey of space stones to our planet.
"More importantly, this is the first time we have tried to respond to the potential threats of all government structures, including the White House," Space.com Journalists told the University of Arizona, Vishnu Reddy, a planetary security expert.
Researchers decided to take the tests in 2017. earlier this year – then the search for a suitable candidate began. It was decided to simulate the situation when the Earth was crushed in 2012. Asteroid detected not very graceful called 2012 TC4. The scientists who have just seen it estimated that, next to the sky of our planet, the body will fly in 2017. October
"We knew that the asteroid was not a threat, but it was the most suitable candidate for the date of orbit and near drowning. It is true that when it was discovered, it became clear that the orbit of the asteroids was somewhat unstable, so even though we knew which was somewhere nearby, we needed to identify where it was.However, nearly five years have passed since the last observation, "Michael Kelley, a scientist with NASA's planetary protection program, recalled.
Monitoring the sky is an essential part of defense. The space is so large that finding an asteroid in it can be equated with the effort of finding a basketball on the surface of the moon. So every time the scientists updated their TC4 data for 2012, they transferred them to the authorities. Likewise, the situation must be in danger of being in danger.
"To get the correct data, you need to make very detailed observations because the actual position of the trajectory is only visible after a long observation. Stopping the asteroid stops can make a big mistake at first, "Kelley noted.
After the exercise, it was discovered how many small details can completely stop attempts to find out where the asteroids are. For example, initial observations should be made using a radio telescope in Puerto Rico. However, a few weeks before the start of the observation, the island was hit by a hurricane that destroyed the equipment.
Backup – Hawaii. Three nights were spent in the observations, but the last day of observation on the power grid was a tree. The failure of the Hawaiian telescope stopped working, so the results of the observations were not complete.
"It turns out that the fate of mankind may eventually end up in the hands of a careless woodcutter," quipped Reddy. According to him, there is no reason to believe that minor and similar things do not happen in the face of a real threat.
The video below shows newly discovered asteroids in the last 20 years.