Asteroid probe

Asteroid probe

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This image is part of the feature Killer Asteroid

Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Asteroid probe. Artwork of a space probe orbiting an asteroid. Probes such as this may be deployed if an asteroid is spotted travelling on a trajectory towards Earth. The probe can analyse the size, composition and spin rate which will influence the method of asteroid deflection strategy. For example, if an asteroid made of loosely packed rubble is directly hit with a nuclear weapon, it may separate into hundreds of smaller, but equally dangerous bodies. A collision on Earth would have catastrophic consequences causing massive tsunamis and block sunlight. It is thought that the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was caused by an asteroid impact. Asteroids, comets and other large bodies posing a danger to Earth are known as Near-Earth Objects (NEO).

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Keywords: approaching, armageddon, artwork, asteroid, asteroid attack, asteroid deflection, asteroid impact, asteroid probe, asteroid strike, astronomical, astronomy, catastrophe, collision, crash, danger, disaster, doomsday, earth rescue, earth threat, exploration, flying, global threat, illustration, impact, impact hazard, mass extinction, natural disaster, near earth object, neo, orbiting, planetary defence, probe, research, space craft, spacecraft, spaceflight, technological, technology, worldwide danger

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