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Russian boffins blow up teeny asteroids with tiny laser... to work out how to nuke the real thing

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Edward Lambert
Mar 13, 2018 18:11
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We're told Bruce Willis is standing by

The next time a giant asteroid threatens the Earth, Russia may just know how many megatons of explosives are needed to blow the thing to smithereens.

Boffins from the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have been busy modelling the impact of a nuclear explosion on an Armageddon-sized asteroid by building miniature models of the space rocks and blasting them with laser beams.

Russia has history when it comes to asteroids: on 15 February 2013 a meteor exploded at 97,000ft over Chelyabinsk Oblast, in the Ural Mountains region, with a force of 26 to 33 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Minds have since been focused by the potential damage a much larger asteroid could cause.

There are two courses of action when faced with a civilisation-ending rock hurtling towards the earth at 20km per second – either deflect it or blow it into tiny pieces that will burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere.

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Edward Lambert
Mar 13, 2018 18:11
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