Thought for the month

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Origin uncertain, usually attributed as a Chinese Proverb.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Paint your asteroid

Last month was quite worrying with a meteor striking the earth and an asteroid passing close by. Not everyday events but potentially very life changing.  One new idea from Texas A&M University to deflect earth bound asteroids involves using paint. It is all due to the Yarkovsky effect, a force, on a body in space caused by the anisotropic emission of thermal photons that carry momentum. Apparently spraying dry paint powder onto a spinning asteroid could generate unequal heating effects with the photons imparting sufficient momentum to cause the asteroid to change course. Bruce Willis is on call if Plan B is required.

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