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Asteroid Hunters (TED Books) por Carrie…
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Asteroid Hunters (TED Books) (original 2017; edição 2017)

por Carrie Nugent (Autor)

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One of the top scientists in the field of asteroid hunting explains how, for the first time, humanity could have the knowledge to prevent a devastating asteroid impact. --
Título:Asteroid Hunters (TED Books)
Autores:Carrie Nugent (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster/ TED (2017), 128 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:53: GMLO (New): 2BC (Left) 2S (Bottom), Astronomy, Science

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Asteroid Hunters (TED Books) por Carrie Nugent (2017)


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Me: “Is that a bijou two-up two-down, or is it a mansion in the country..??”

Nugent: “No. It's superman (..again!)”

Me: *bored*

Me: “An asteroid of that size could easily be deflected using the butterfly effect. Everybody whose on the side of the Earth which is closest to the asteroid, are given the correct direction and in unison they blow as hard as they can for a few moments., of course those on the opposite side of the planet would have to blow in the opposite direction to counter the push from the other side, (cause and effect, getting a bit scientific I know, but trust me). The resulting airflow would deflect the asteroid and humanity would be saved Hurrah!!!”

Nugent: “I think I may have detected the flaw in your otherwise excellent plan...”

Me: “What?? If I remember correctly, the real threats are better deflected than destroyed. To do that we'd need to mount some kind of drive on it as it passes on the previous orbit. You then have a few years to gradually move so it misses next time round. All that depends on having very good information of the orbits of all major near earth asteroids. So better observation is probably the best place to put funding. On the other hand, nuking this thing into shingle would be pretty awesome. Besides, we don’t shit like this!”

Nugent: “The longer we as a species delay the deployment of a truly robust asteroid detection system (space-based radar?) and deflection hardware ready years/decades in advance of an actual emergency, we remain sitting ducks for catastrophe and possible extinction. The laws of physics make last-minute heroics -- as portrayed in the movies -- impossible. As any space scientist will confirm, an earth impact is not a question of "if" but "when. The question is: how can we go about implementing it."

Me: “First nationalise space rock by sending probe into space with nuclear bomb, claiming it as ours. Then sell space rock for a few dollars to any private consortium, preferably an old mate from school. When space rock returns on collision course with earth, blackmail governments into spending a few billion in destroying doomsday object. That's how it works right...?”

Nugent: “Don’t be a flippant sod, Manuel. Fortunately this rock will miss the gravitational "keyhole". If an orbiting body passes close enough to earth at a critical distance on its next orbit is will hit the earth. I think we are getting a break this time around. Assume the body is 50 meters in diameter. An impact of a hunk of iron that big will not be an extinction level event but it will do a lot of damage if it collides with the ground or hits the water near an inhabited coastline. It is just a matter of time before another colliding body as big as the one that killed off the dinosaurs hits the planet.” ( )
  antao | Aug 31, 2020 |
Asteroid Hunters by Carrie Nugent is a highly recommended quick look at asteroids. This is the published version of a TED talk that would be a good choice for anyone interested in learning more about asteroids, from as young as age 10 to adult. This book could be the foundational inspiration for future asteroid hunters/researchers.
Nugent provides her information about asteroids in accessible easy to comprehend language. She covers what they are and where they come from, but also the bigger question: what would happen if one hit the Earth? We know they have hit the Earth in the past and many adults remember Shoemaker Levy 9 hitting Jupiter. Elementary school children will know that a meteorite was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. I think most people who are interested in asteroids will remember the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia on February 15, 2013. There were numerous videos available online and they can still be found today with a quick search. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpmXyJrs7iU)

Nugent discusses the different telescopes used to find asteroids, including the infrared NEOWISE, the project on which she is working. "The successful hunt and mapping of asteroids could mean nothing less than saving life on earth." Most asteroids live in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and stay in a stable orbit. Why scientists are busy identifying those asteroids, they are also looking at any whose orbit takes them close to Earth. By the end of 2011, scientists had found "over 90 percent of asteroids bigger than one kilometer across that get close to Earth" and since then even more have been found. Asteroid hunters are continually searching for even smaller, but still potentially destructive asteroids.

This is a short, easy to read and follow look at Nugent's job as an asteroid hunter. As someone who has spent more than one night watching the sky during meteor showers I guess the one drawback for me was the lack of real pictures in the book. You don't forget seeing a fireball or an especially active shower. There are illustrations, probably made for the TED talk, but it would be nice to see some real photographs. This is especially true of some big events that I recall being in awe over - Shoemaker Levy 9 hitting Jupiter and the Chelyabinsk, Russia meteor. 4.5 stars

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2017/03/asteroid-hunters.html ( )
1 vote SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 19, 2017 |
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To the next generation of scientists, who have so much to discover
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I want you to imagine the solar system.
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One of the top scientists in the field of asteroid hunting explains how, for the first time, humanity could have the knowledge to prevent a devastating asteroid impact. --

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