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Last February’s atmospheric explosion of a meteor over Russia injured 1,500 people, mostly from glass broken by the blast, whose force was estimated at 30 times that of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Is NASA worried? Sufficiently so that it has announced an asteroid Grand Challenge, inviting ideas from the global scientific community about how to spot and stop asteroids that threaten our planet.
How exactly does one stop an asteroid? First, says CAS Associate Dean and Professor of Astronomy Jeffrey Hughes, we should distinguish between planet-killers—asteroids so massive that we could kiss our posteriors good-bye—and smaller, potential city-killers like the Russian meteor. Read the full BU Today article.