October 22, 2021

Most asteroids are crushed when they enter the atmosphere


According to the British Daily Mail, it appears in many science fiction movies that the Earth will face the crisis of asteroid collisions in the future, but in fact, the possibility of asteroid collisions causing human destruction is very low. At present, scientists are simulating based on the strength of meteorites on Earth. What will happen if some large space rocks collide with the earth?

The researchers “sacrificed” some rare meteorite samples to test the physical properties of asteroids, and found that asteroids are more easily broken than previously thought. Although space rocks often fall to the ground, they are rarely collected, which means that scientists are unwilling to crush them to study their composition and characteristics, so earth rocks are used for simulation tests.

However, the researchers questioned the environmental suitability of these space rocks. Researchers at the University of Arizona in the United States published this latest study in the recently published “Icarus” magazine. The research team hopes to discover the difference between meteorites and earth’s rocks to determine whether earth’s rocks can have the characteristics of asteroids.

Dr. Desiree Cotto-Figueroa from the University of Arizona crushed two meteorite samples with a width of 1 cm. One meteorite fell in Mexico in 1969, and the other meteorite was It fell in Morocco in 2008. Scientists discovered that these meteorite samples are as fragile as concrete.

They used micrometeorite samples to simulate larger space rocks and calculated that they came from the asteroid belt and were not as hard as earth rocks. Figueroa said: “Our research results show that the compressive strength of asteroid rocks is slightly lower than that of ordinary earth rocks. This discovery will be used to protect the earth from asteroid collisions.”

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The compositional properties of asteroids are very important, especially for calculating how to try to offset large asteroids close to the Earth. Researchers say that measuring the strength of the asteroid’s matter can help develop mitigation strategies for potential collisions with asteroids. It is reported that approximately 1,500 NEOs are discovered every year, and more than 13,500 NEOs have been discovered since 1998. NASA has now identified 90% of near-Earth objects with a diameter of more than 1 km. The fragile composition of asteroids means that when they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, they are likely to partially decompose and form fireballs instead of collision craters.

Core reminder : Researchers found that the hardness of asteroids is lower than previously expected by analyzing rare meteorite samples. It is very likely that some near-Earth asteroids will be crushed after entering the earth’s atmosphere and will not pose a threat to the earth.