In Mars could crash into an asteroid?


23/12/2007

Astronomers observe the trajectory of the asteroid 2007 WD5, which should at the beginning of next year to cross the orbital path of Mars. An asteroid with a diameter of about 50 meters can fly at a distance of about 48,000 kilometers from the surface of Mars at about 6 am January 30, 2008.

But there is 1 chance in 75 that the asteroid 2007 WD5 will crash into Mars. Scientists can not give a more accurate prediction, as to the end remains unclear the exact orbit of the asteroid. If an asteroid and Mars fall, the impact would have somewhere to the north of the place where the works rover Opportunity. You can watch the video, created by NASA, which shows the path of the asteroid.

"Right now asteroid is located halfway between Earth and Mars. Velocity of motion is about 45,000 km / h (about 27,900 miles per hour)," says Don Emans (Don Yeomans), manager of Near Earth Object Office.

In the photo the approximate path of the asteroid is visible (indicated by the blue arrow) on January 30, 2008. The orange bar indicates the region through which the asteroid will be possible. As you can see, Mars can be attacked an asteroid, but can also avoid the collision.

According to scientists, asteroids, Mars attack about every thousand years. If 30 January 2007 WD5 asteroid will cause a blow at a speed of 45,000 km / h on the surface of the planet formed a crater almost a kilometer! Mars rover Opportunity is now exploring a crater just such diameter.

Such a collision is equivalent to a nuclear explosion capacity of three megatons. Scientists compare the possible blow to the fallen in the 1908 Tunguska in Siberia. But then, on the site of the Tunguska explosion is not a crater. The meteorite broke up in the atmosphere, but the blast wave reached the surface of the Earth, knocking trees over a large area. The Martian atmosphere is much more tenuous than the Earth, so the space object of this size would almost certainly will reach the surface and cause a devastating blow.

Asteroid 2007 WD5 was first discovered Nov. 20, 2007. It brought to your watchlist dangerous space objects, as it flying in the vicinity of the Earth. Further observations have shown that it does not threaten the Earth, but is able to crash into Mars. For the asteroid watch a little over a month, so there are doubts in the exact direction of its movement. Scientists hope that within the next five weeks of observation, will be able to gather more information on the exact trajectory of 2007 WD5. The popular news portal talk about what’s going on in the world.

Original: Science.nasa.gov


At the dwarf planet Makemake is no atmosphere
Astronomers have discovered an interesting nebula
Scientists: sooner or later the Sun "absorb" the Earth
Best "space photography", indicated by astronauts and scientists
100 explosions on the Moon