Asteroids can save Earth by moving it from orbit! Scientist reveals how

An Iranian scientist claims Earth can be saved from rising temperatures by using asteroids to move Earth from its orbit

| Updated on: Jan 25 2022, 11:26 IST
Iranian scientist believes the solution to Global Warming is altering Earth’s orbit (Flickr)
Iranian scientist believes the solution to Global Warming is altering Earth’s orbit (Flickr)

Can asteroids save Earth from global warming? a scientist has come up with a bizarre method! He has claimed that a sure-fire way of saving Earth from global warming is very much there and all it takes is for it to get hit by an asteroid. This will alter its orbit around the Sun. The controversial theory suggests that astronomical communities should come together to plant special rockets on asteroids to change their direction and make them pass close to Earth which can hypothetically push the planet farther away from the Sun and reduce global temperatures.

Astrophysicist Dr. Sohrab Rahvar, working at the Sharif University of Technology in Iran has published a paper online where he claims using asteroids to save planet Earth is a viable strategy. In his four-pager abstract titled ‘Gravity-Assist as a Solution to Save Earth from Global Warming', he has outlined how his hypothetical strategy will pan out.

Cooling Planet Earth With An Asteroid

Naming the strategy ‘Gravitational Billiards', Rahvar explained that the entire process will take place in three steps. The first step will be identifying large asteroids in the asteroid belt of our solar system present between the orbits of planet Mars and Jupiter. In the second step, solar sails will be strapped onto the identified asteroids. In the final step, these solar sails will be used to propel the asteroids in the direction of the Earth. For the uninitiated, solar sails are reflective sheets which are propelled by using the Sun's radiation and act as thrusters to push an astronomical body in the desired direction. This, according to Rahvar will solve the global warming crisis.

Speaking to The Sun, Rahvar said, “We need a series of asteroids to [pass close to] Earth to have effective temperature loss.”

The idea behind it is that when a series of large asteroids will pass Earth, the gravitational pull of the asteroids will slightly pull Earth out of its existing orbit and onto a new one which can be placed thousands of kilometers away. “In order to decrease the Earth's temperature to one degree, we need to move it away from the sun in the order of 150,000 miles,” he added.

Also known as gravity assist, this phenomena is already used by space agencies to accelerate or redirect a spaceship. These ships use a planet or other astronomical bodies to give it a direction change or boost without using any fuel.

According to the astrophysicist, it would take more than 70 years to bring this idea to reality.

What does the scientific community think

Experts are largely bewildered on this suggestion and believe this can potentially cause a huge disaster if even one of the asteroids gets pulled by Earth's gravity and crashes into the planet.

Calling the calculations dodgy, Dr. Jonathan McDowell from Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told The Sun that Rahvar “completely fails to follow through with discussing the implications of his results.”

The plan has met with similar reactions throughout the scientific community and the consensus is that this is not feasible at all. But if nothing else, this theory has shown the creativity scientists execute while figuring out a plan to deal with global warming.

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First Published Date: 14 Jan, 18:15 IST