Astronomers find INDESTRUCTIBLE asteroid that can smash into Earth
An asteroid, no more than a pile of rubble, is extremely hard to destroy. Astronomers believe that if the Earth were ever to face the threat of being struck by it, defending our planet would be impossible.
When it comes to defense against asteroids, scientists have some methods that they believe they can rely on. Recently, NASA carried out the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) to see whether a spacecraft colliding with an asteroid can push it away. Another method includes using nuclear weapons to destroy an asteroid. However, astronomers have discovered a class of asteroids, which are indestructible. This means if the Earth ever came face to face with this type of asteroids, a devastating strike is almost inevitable.
According to a report published by EurekAlert, the study conducted by an international team of researchers led by the Curtin University in Australia involved study of three dust particles collected from the surface of 500-meter asteroid named, Itokawa, returned to Earth by the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa 1 probe. It was revealed that Itokawa is a rubble-pile asteroid, meaning it will act like a cushion when anyone tries to destroy it and can withstand or absorb almost any force applied against it.
The indestructible asteroid
The 500-meters wide asteroid Itokava has an interesting story. It was formed 4.2 billion years ago and despite constant bombardment by other asteroids, it has remained entirely intact. The reason behind its durability is that it is not a single piece of rock but a huge collection of dust and small pebble sized rocks. As a result, no matter what hits it, it is capable of spreading the impact force across its entire surface, almost like a spongy pillow, and quickly regaining its shape afterwards.
So, if one such asteroid was threatening to hit the Earth and it were struck by a nuclear weapon or a NASA DART-esque spacecraft, it will almost certainly be ineffective against it.
This is still not the worst part of this new revelation. The scientists involved in the study have stated that this rubble-pile type of asteroid is quite common across the asteroid belt and near-Earth than any other type. So, if an asteroid attempts to strike the Earth, it will likely be this.
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