A few days ago, astronomers discovered an asteroid have grown closer to the Earth from the Apollo family. Its diameter is about 50 meters. Scientists estimate that at its next turn, exactly one year later a heavenly body, which was named 2012 DA14, fly very close to us, at a distance of 27,000 kilometers. This is below the geostationary orbit, which is operated basic constellation. If the trajectory of the asteroid's orbit will change slightly, the researchers did not exclude a collision with our planet.
Apollo family asteroids
By sweeping the Earth asteroid the size of the Tunguska-like. These days, astronomers at Pulkovo Observatory have confirmed the approach of a body with a complex named 2012 DA14. Exactly one year later an asteroid with a diameter of 50 meters, fly at an altitude of 26,000 kilometers, below the orbit of satellites. Its trajectory can still change, and a collision with our planet is not excluded.
"We have to keep track of each particular body and the consequences of a collision with the body. That is until we are ill prepared for this. Speaking of dangerous bodies of more than 50 meters in diameter, our knowledge is limited by only one percent of such bodies, "- says Boris Shustov, director of the Institute of Astronomy.
A huge part of the small objects in space standards, which tend to not notice the earth, even with the most advanced telescopes - meteor showers come from the Sun and not visible at optical wavelengths. They're called Taurids. Perhaps because of such a flow burst body, which fell in the Tunguska River in 1908, the year.
"It is possible that in this thread there is a body, may be even larger, and in this regard the Taurids have to learn. While no one was doing "- says Sergey Barabanov, Chief Zvenigorod Observatory of the RAS.
2012 DA14 asteroid trajectory
In 2002 this body was almost brought disaster. The so-called Vitim bolide fell seven hundred kilometers away from Irkutsk. Scientists suggest that it was not a meteorite, a fragment of a comet, which consisted of a mixture of ice, dust and frozen gases. After his fall, formed toxic substances harmful to humans.
"Vitim bolide is not as big, but it never happened when he was flying. Asteroids and comets whose orbital inclination is large, we simply do not know "- tells Elena Bakanas, Fellow of the Institute of Astronomy the fall of bodies from outer space do without casualties.
But this - yet. The largest - the size of 20 kilometers once fell into the territory of South Africa. Now - it's Vredefort crater with a diameter of 300 kilometers, with the towns and villages inside. But the comet collided with Earth in the Mexican Yucatan peninsula, turned the course of history.
"It happened 65 million years ago and is usually associated with this dramatic change in the Earth's biosphere, since 80 percent of all deaths at that time. The fall of bodies larger than 1 km lead to global consequences, no matter where it falls, will not find anyone "- says Boris Shustov, director of the Institute of Astronomy.
Humanity still has a chance to explore these unwelcome invaders. In 2036, the year the Earth will meet with the already created quite a stir Apophis. 400 meters in diameter, more than an aircraft carrier.
"We must be ready for this, we should be able to investigate it, very quickly. We need to advise what action to take, what to do with it - or try to deny, or destroy or evacuate and wait for the attack, prepare to minimize the consequences "- says Sergey Barabanov, head of the Zvenigorod Observatory of the RAS.
Federal Space Agency is ready to take control of space killer. In the interior design department developed a plan to send Apophis first beacon, and then the spacecraft, which could reject an asteroid on a trajectory.
"It will be necessary, above all, bring back radio beacon, which would have allowed us to determine its position accurately. And second, of course, solve the second problem - the study of Apophis as a celestial body, it is also very interesting "- says Maxim Martynov, Deputy General Designer of NPO. Lavochkin.
In order to successfully predict the asteroid and comet threat to our country is preparing a network of telescopes for continuous monitoring of the entire celestial sphere. It will be Russia's contribution to the security of the planet called Earth.
"No country alone can hardly cope with a major, major challenge. Because each country is limited to a certain area, it is natural global monitoring with only one country does not work. And in general quite expensive, difficult both theoretically and practically, this problem, plus the financial and capacious "- explains Gennady Raykunov, CEO TsNIIMASH.
This year, contrary to many predictions, the collisions with large asteroids are expected. But space is unpredictable. In September, the Earth is waiting, as experts say the "perfect solar storm" - an unprecedented release of solar energy. Worsen the health of people, many devices can be damaged.
"With a powerful flash can make a wire transmission line. I'm not talking about the less-studied problems of the impact on the biosphere, humans. There are many not fully clear, but it can also affect the increase in the number of heart attacks, suicides, "- said Vladimir Obridko, head of the Laboratory of IZMIRAN heliophysics.
Yet a global catastrophe in the near future, scientists are not waiting. Apocalypse on the Mayan calendar, to which the whole world is so actively preparing, in December of this year, it seems, will not happen. This postponement of mankind owes to use.
Original text in Russian: http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=18755
Images, Text, Credits: ROSCOSMOS PAO / TV Studio Space Agency / ESA - Medialab / Orbiter.ch / Translation: Orbiter.ch.