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  • Ian: [off cam] Hey Pat?

  • Pat: Yeah?

  • Ian: Two weeks ago you wrote "Pat's Special Surprise" in the idea doc.

  • Pat: Yeah? What about it?

  • Ian: What is that?

  • Pat: Ian. Picture this.

  • a theatrical episode of Life Noggin!

  • Ian: No

  • Pat: Titled "Life Noggin On Stage"

  • What do you think!?

  • Ian: Pat did you already do it?

  • Is that where you've been going at night?

  • Ian: Pat!?

  • Hey There! Welcome to Life Noggin!

  • 65 million years ago, an asteroid about 10 kilometers wide struck the surface of the

  • Earth and killed off the dinosaurs.

  • This obviously wasn't great and now, people and organizations are working hard to prevent

  • this from ever happening again.

  • The last thing we want is for humans to be wiped out.

  • because then, who's gonna watch our videos?

  • There's actually a chance that an asteroid called Bennu that's about 500 meters in

  • diameter will strike Earth in about 200 years, which is pretty soon when you think about it.

  • Sure, it's only a one in 2,700 chance, but scientists are beginning to prepare for the worst.

  • Bennu is one of many potential threats in our solar system.

  • There are about 15,000 Near Earth Asteroids catalogued by NASA and while the chance of

  • any of them hitting is small, NASA's Office of Planetary Defense has 3 pretty viable options

  • in their tool belt to protect us.

  • The first is the Gravity Tractor approach.

  • A spacecraft would fly up to an asteroid and set up shop right beside it.

  • After a few years, the presence of a nearby object would alter the gravity of the asteroid,

  • shifting it's trajectory, and rerouting it away from Earth!

  • We wouldn't even need to touch it.

  • Another idea is a bit moreviolent than the Gravity Tractor method.

  • Enter the Hyper-velocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response, or HAMMER.

  • Is there, like, a committee of cool people who chooses these names?

  • The idea is that we'd launch a spacecraft equipped with its very own nuclear weapon.

  • If a big asteroid starts to approach Earth, we'd be able to detonate the nuclear warhead,

  • blowing off a chunk of the asteroids surface, changing its direction to save Earth!

  • The last is the Kinetic Impactor technique.

  • This seems to be the most straight forward plan and would only require us to nudge an

  • asteroid in just the right way to shift its path.

  • It's so simple and thankfully, we were already able to do this on a small scale with a comet in 2005.

  • And that is definitely promising, but a comet is actually quite different than an asteroid.

  • Asteroids are made up of rocks and metals, while comets are more ice, gas, dust and rock.

  • The size of asteroids range from just 2 meters to 1,000 km!

  • Comets are typically less than 10 km wide.

  • Both objects orbit the sun, but comets are further out.

  • They often have tails behind them because as they orbit closer to the sun, the ice and

  • dust they're made of begin to vaporize, creating that trail we can sometimes see from Earth.

  • Another type of space object we see down here are meteors.

  • When a small part of an asteroid breaks off after a collision and is vaporized in Earth's

  • atmosphere, streaks of light appear in the sky.

  • This is what people often mistake for shooting stars, but it's purely part of an asteroid

  • burning up above us.

  • How beautiful!

  • There's always a lot of space activity going on around our beautiful planet, and most of

  • the time, it's harmless, but threats do exist.

  • Before we can protect ourselves, we need to know the threats are there.

  • The International Asteroid Warning Network is dedicated to finding, following and analyzing

  • Near Earth asteroids and just last year, a group of astronomers successfully carried

  • out the first international asteroid tracking exercise and it went really well.

  • Once we know about any dangerous asteroids, space agencies can decide how to respond in

  • order to save you and your planet.

  • What other space questions do you have for me?

  • Let me know in the comment section below.

  • Click here to subscribe and hit the bell button, so you're notified every time we post a new video.

  • and check out this video here!

  • Thank you so much for watching!

  • As always, my name is Blocko, this has been Life Noggin, don't forget to keep on thinking!

Ian: [off cam] Hey Pat?

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How Do We Stop Asteroids From Destroying Us? | Life Noggin On Stage!

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    Samuel posted on 2018/06/29
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