Researchers from the University of Alicante warn of the proximity of three asteroids to Earth

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Researchers from the University of Alicante warn of the proximity of three asteroids to Earth

Researchers from the University of Alicante, involved in the international NASA project that seeks to protect the Earth from possible asteroid impacts, have already detected the presence of three other rocky objects spacecraft that in all likelihood will approach our planet within a month, approximately between November 25th and December 27th.

Although the director of the The Planetary Sciences group of the UA, Professor Adriano Campo Bagatín, specifies that the proximity of these asteroids does not have to be so close. imply impact hazard, because the expected distance of the space rocks is similar to that of the Earth to the Moonin two of the cases, and somewhat higher in the third, yes. admits that they give an idea of ​​how important it is to continue researching in this line, because the presence of nearby asteroids confirms that it occurs to a much greater extent than we may initially think “and reminds us that we must be alert ”, he points out.


The precision of the measurements carried out by this research group of Astronomy and Astrophysics of The AU, members of the aforementioned NASA mission, have represented a revolution for the world projectsince they have far surpassed the possibility of diverting the orbit of these objects and avoiding their impact with the Earth.

What has been achieved is encouraging, a good deviation has been achieved

Adriano Campo

Astronomy and Astrophysics Researcher, UA

or provoked, encrypted and initially programmed in 73 seconds, has finally reached 33 minutes , which implies a resounding success for the mission, although scientists continue to exercise extreme caution in the absence of analyzing in detail the mass, the internal structure and all the possible effects of the collision. n caused this September on the surface of the asteroid Dimorphos as part of this mission that made it collide with the surface of the DART spacecraft.


Adriano Campo admits, however, that what has been achieved is “hopeful” because “a good deviation” has been achieved.

Now, insists the professor from Alicante, it is time to continue studying the system as a whole from the reaction of the asteroid Dimorphos to the collision, from its internal structure, to also be able to assess if it can be extrapolated to other asteroids and to what extent. period.

We will be able to assess the efficiency of the deviation of the asteroid's orbit in case of a future threat

Adriano Campo

Astronomy and Astrophysics Researcher, UA

The impact of the DART spacecraft with the asteroid Dimorphos, with 160 meters in diameter, occurred at 23,400 kilometers per hour. The researchers, based on their measurements on the orbit deviation and the images that were taken, will now publish their results and end this particular mission in September 2023.

“ With the complete results of our collaboration in defense against the impact of asteroids, when we will be able to know what we are capable of doing in a situation of this type in the future, already with precision. Not or with a certain approximation”, values ​​Field.


At the end of 2024 it will be given. a new step in the collaboration of UA researchers in astronomical science.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is expected to send its Hera spacecraft,precisely designed to measure all the mentioned characteristics, mass, internal structure and effects of the collision on the surface of Dimorphos. In this phase you will also play The Planetary Sciences team of the University Institute of Physics Applied to Science and Technology at the UA will play an essential role.

in a couple of years and then it will be possible. really enter into a deep understanding of the system and the reactions from the measurements”, points out the researcher from Alicante.

So that when the researchers involved in this mission do the accounts of everything observed “we can begin to assess with a certain margin of error what the efficacy is”, and how far it can go in the asteroid deflection “in the event of a future threat”, concludes the professor.

This first success of the international mission therefore marks the course to follow in the event of a future situation that could threaten the survival of planet Earth.

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