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Deflect an asteroid from Earth

How many times during an apocalyptic science fiction film have we heard pseudo-scientific notions on how to prevent the eventual impact of a meteorite with our planet? The solutions proposed by Hollywood directors have been the most disparate over time: from sending Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis directly to the asteroid for it to explode to completely ignoring the problem, arousing the disappointment of Leonardo Di Caprio.

Among the various solutions to the impending apocalypse we find the interesting idea which involves diverting the trajectory of the asteroid through the use of explosives, or in any case a powerful enough impact that allows the meteorite to move. And this is precisely the test that NASA has decided to do to understand if in the future we will be able to defend ourselves from this type of threat.

On September 26, the DART mission, Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which aims to study the effects of the impact between an asteroid and a spacecraft, will be implemented. We don’t know exactly what will happen, but the results will be extremely useful for physicists who can use them to make more accurate (and empirical) calculations on how to defend ourselves if such an event actually materializes. Obviously, the asteroid that NASA has chosen as its target is not on the Earth’s trajectory and is far enough away not to foresee risks for our planet.

Therefore, on 26 September it will be possible to follow the event around 19:00 (Italian time) on the Facebook channel: NASA, NASA Solar System Exploration, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab