Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids

Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids

5.0 1
by T. Gehrels
     
 

ISBN-10: 0816515050

ISBN-13: 9780816515059

Pub. Date: 02/01/1995

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

In 1993, the U.S. Department of Defense declassified information dealing with frequent explosions in the upper atmosphere caused by meteoric impact. It is estimated that impacts have occurred of a magnitude equivalent to the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima. Not all such space voyagers meet their end in the atmosphere, however; huge craters attest to the

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Overview

In 1993, the U.S. Department of Defense declassified information dealing with frequent explosions in the upper atmosphere caused by meteoric impact. It is estimated that impacts have occurred of a magnitude equivalent to the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima. Not all such space voyagers meet their end in the atmosphere, however; huge craters attest to the bombardment of earth over millions of years, and a major impact may have resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. An impact in Siberia near the beginning of this century proves that such events are not confined to geologic time. Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids marks a significant step in the attempt to come to grips with the threats posed by such phenomena. It brings together more than one hundred scientists from around the world, who draw on observational and theoretical research to focus on the technical problems related to all aspects of dealing with these hazards: searching for and identifying hazardous comets and asteroids; describing their statistics and characteristics; intercepting and altering the orbits of dangerous objects; and applying existent technologies—rocket boosters, rendezvous and soft-landing techniques, instrumentation—to such missions. The book considers defensive options for diverting or disrupting an approaching body, including solar sails, kinetic-energy impacts, nuclear explosives, robotic mass drivers, and various propulsion systems. A cataclysmic impact posing a threat to life on Earth is a possibility that tomorrow's technology is capable of averting. This book examines in depth the reality of the threat and proposes practical measures that can be initiated now should we ever need to deal with it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816515059
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
02/01/1995
Series:
Space Science Series
Pages:
1300
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.50(d)

Table of Contents

Collaborating Authors
Preface
Early Impacts: Earth Emergent from Its Cosmic Environment3
Impact Delivery of Volatiles and Organic Molecules to Earth9
The Impact Hazard59
Near-Earth Object Interception Workshop93
Near-Earth Objects: Present Search Programs127
Earth-Crossing Asteroids and Comets: Groundbased Search Strategies149
Detection of Meteoroid Impacts by Optical Sensors in Earth Orbit199
Warning Times and Impact Probabilities for Long-Period Comets221
Predicting Close Approaches of Asteroids and Comets to Earth241
The Role of Groundbased Radar in Near-Earth Object Hazard Identification and Mitigation259
The Population of Earth-Crossing Asteroids285
The Flux of Periodic Comets Near Earth313
Collisional Lifetimes and Impact Statistics of Near-Earth Asteroids337
Crater Size Distributions and Impact Probabilities on Earth from Lunar, Terrestrial-Planet, and Asteroid Cratering Data359
The Record of Past Impacts on Earth417
Are Impacts Correlated in Time?463
Hazards Due to Giant Comets: Climate and Short-Term Catastrophism479
Physical Properties of Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for the Hazard Issue537
Classifying and Modeling Neo Material Properties and Interactions551
Properties of Cometary Nuclei597
A Current Working Model of a Comet Nucleus and Implications for Neo Interactions635
Missions to Near-Earth Objects651
DoD Technologies and Missions of Relevance to Asteroid and Comet Exploration671
Human Exploration of Near-Earth Asteroids683
Computer Simulation of Hypervelocity Impact and Asteroid Explosion711
Consequences of Impacts of Cosmic Bodies on the Surface of the Earth721
Tsunami Generated by Small Asteroid Impacts779
Environmental Perturbations Caused by Impacts791
Extraterrestrial Impacts and Mass Extinctions of Life827
Extinctions at the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary: The Link to the Chicxulub Impact859
Faunal Change Following the Cretaceous-Tertiary Impact: Using Paleontological Data to Assess the Hazards of Impacts879
Deflection and Fragmentation of Near-Earth Asteroids897
Defending the Earth Against Impacts from Large Comets and Asteroids929
The Coupling of Energy to Asteroids and Comets955
Terminal Intercept for Less Than One Orbital Period Warning1013
Vehicle Systems for Missions to Protect the Earth Against Neo Impacts1035
Space Launch Vehicles1065
The Role of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion in Mitigating Earth-Threatening Asteroids1073
Applications of Nuclear Propulsion to Neo Interceptors1089
Non-Nuclear Strategies for Deflecting Comets and Asteroids1111
The Impact Hazard: Issues for the Future1135
The Deflection Dilemma: Use Versus Misuse of Technologies for Avoiding Interplanetary Collision Hazards1145
Cost and Benefit of Near-Earth Object Detection and Interception1157
The Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazard in Perspective1191
Evaluating Space Resources in the Context of Earth Impact Hazards: Asteroid Threat or Asteroid Opportunity?1213
The Lesson of Grand Forks: Can a Defense Against Asteroids be Sustained?1225
Appendix: Earth-Crossing Asteroids1233
Glossary1239
Acknowledgments1269
Index1273

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Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has it all. Everything you could ever want to know about comets and asteroids. A collection of workshop results, the book focuses specifically on hazards from space, their overall global impact and how we are currently dealing with those hazards. Though heavy in math and physics, the book nonetheless is well worth reading. The definitive book on the subject.