Spitzer Blitzer News

By: Makenzie O, Olivia L, Josh C, and Malachi L

Meteors V.S. Asteriods

Asteroids are bigger and are heavier while meteors are smaller but can go faster. Asteroid is a large rocky body in space, in orbit around the Sun. Meteoroid is a much smaller rocks or particles in orbit around the Sun. The difference is that asteroids are somewhat bigger than meteors normally by things like a mile to a minimal of a few feet.

Impacts on Earth

There are a lot more small rocks than big ones. So while Earth is constantly being "hit" accumulating over 100 tons of matter every day -- most of this is in the form of dust or tiny sand-grain sized meteors that appear as shooting stars. By comparison, school bus-sized asteroids may hit every thousand years or so, medium sized (say 300 meter) asteroids might be once every 50,000 years, and extinction level events only every billion years. And those estimates are going down.

The reason why there is a picture of a dinosaur and a asterioid hitting Earth is because asteriods impacted Earth millions of years ago, when dinosaurs were still alive. There is evidence that a large object collided with Earth about 65 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

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The purpose of this picture is to stop the asteroids/meber

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Solutions to stop an asteroid

One way to stop an Asteroid is kinetic impact. Kinetic impact is when you crash to things into each other. Another way to stop an Asteroid is to have gravity trajectory. This is when you put antigravity on an Asteroid. The finally way is to steam the asteroid. The way to do this is by pointing a really high powered laser on the asteroid. Another way to stop an Asteroid from hitting Earth is by sending nuclear missile at it. Also the net material would act like a solar sail, increasing the amount of solar radiation absorbed and emitted by the asteroid. Strategically positioned mirrors could concentrate solar rays. Another way to stop the asteroid is to have little robots munch on the asteroid.

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Safety Precautions

Clearly these types of collisions do not happen very often, but when one does come along, what do we need to do to be ready? The more time that we have to prepare a plan of action the better. Under ideal circumstances we would have years to prepare a strategy on how to destroy or divert the object in question. Surprisingly, this is not out of the question.

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This picture shows a picture of the asteroid Scheila in the sky with its labels.

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This is an illustration of an asteroid moving rapidly towards Earth.

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close up of an astroid floating in space


Asteroid: a small rocky body orbiting the sun.

Meteor: a small body of matter from outer space that enters Earth's atmosphere.

Scheila: An asteroid