Asteroids represent one of the greatest existential threats to the continued survival of people. And that is not unjustified. A good part of the main incidents that have annihilated life on Earth seem to originate from mbadive impacts of asteroids. So great is the danger that we have even more than a few apocalyptic films warning of the possibility. But, the real threat does not come from the planetary killers we hear about. Those are frightening, sure, but they are big enough for us to see them coming. Instead, scientists worry about the killers of the countryside or the city. And if you're faced with one, we're probably in a very bad state.
Beginning more than a decade ago, Congress commissioned NASA to track 90% of near-Earth objects that are about 450 feet or more. However, we are a little behind in that goal. The thing is that even these asteroids are much bigger than something like the Chelyabinsk event that detonated with the force of a moderately powerful nuclear weapon, about 30 times the force of the Hiroshima bombing. As impressive as it was, that rock was only 60 feet wide. And, if it had arrived somewhere like New York, it would have been a cataclysm as the modern world has rarely seen.
In a new report from the US National Science and Technology Council UU., The team badesses the lack of preparedness among US officials and institutions. UU And its goal is to accelerate its tracking, badysis and response capabilities to help defend the country from the unpredictable, but potentially devastating threat posed by space objects.
A good part of that plan includes increasing the tracking capabilities of current telescopes, which allows them to more accurately distinguish the size of the asteroid and its possible impact.
"Since 2005, the number of NEOs cataloged in this range has almost tripled, while the total number of NEO cataloged has increased almost five times," the report says. "However, according to a 2017 report from NASA's NEO Scientific Definition Team, current observing capabilities are adequate to find only less than half of all 140-meter objects by 2033, and the planned improvements are not yet they will reach the timeline that Congress directed. "
In addition, the group wants to coordinate with FEMA and other organizations to help implement the National Strategy for the Preparation of Near Earth Objects and the Action Plan. All of these steps are important steps to create a new response team that would help finalize a plan to respond and serve those affected if something sudden and gloomy actually happens.
For now, however, we are a bit spineless. Chelyabinsk was lucky that the rock exploded before it hit the ground and was far enough away that there were only a thousand wounds and widespread destruction of property. Given the extent of the explosion, however, it is difficult to imagine what could have happened.
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