from taking into account the planetary threat to the kamikaze mission Hera

UNTIL – SATURDAY 6 AOÛT À 22 H 35 – DOCUMENTAIRE

Charmantes, les étoiles filantes? If it is, in fact, small asteroids that consume the atmosphere, the possibility that the larger ones hit the Earth is neither a view of the mind nor of science fiction, as he recalls le seul inédit de la soirée devoted to the Night of Stars, qui se tient du 5 au 7 août.

Diffusé après l’excellent Einstein-Hawking, l’Univers dévoilé, who mirrors the discoveries of one on relativity and the other on quantum mechanics, Asteroid alert revient ainsi, dans une première partie, sur la collision, here are 65 million years, between the asteroid of 50 kilometers in diameter and the Earth, at the origin of the disappearance of 80% of terrestrial animal species.

Avec force violoncelles, images of syntheses et time lapse magic (on the construction of Dubaï, sortie du sable, or on the celestial vault rotating around Berger’s star), the film follows the explosion of an asteroid 50 meters in diameter, in 1908, at 9 kilometers of altitude above a tribe of reindeer herders, near the Toungouska river in Siberia, destroying 60 million trees. Détail qui n’en est pas un : si l’astéroïde était tombé cinq heures plus tard, il fappait Saint-Pétersbourg.

Anticipate to protect yourself

De quoi rendre attentive à la suite, dedicated to the study of these celestial bodies with erratic trajectories, thanks to more and more perfected telescopes and pioneer scientists, such as José Luis Ortiz Moreno, an Andalusian astrophysicist, who studies the surface de la Lune, particularly instructive, or Patrick Michel, from the observatory of Nice, planetologist responsible for Hera, the first planetary defense mission of the European Space Agency jointly with the astrophysicists of NASA.

Lire notre entretien avec Patrick Michel : Article reserved for our subscribers “The study of asteroids provides the recipe for the formation of planets”

Pour beaucoup d’entre eux, the trigger event dates from July 1994, when the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed on Jupiter. Then followed the asteroids of 2006, 2008… In 2013, an asteroid disintegrated at 30 km altitude and released an energy equal to thirty times that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Grosse leçon d’humilité : il n’a été détecté sur aucun écran.

Since then, the scientific community has progressed, convinced that the best way to protect oneself is to anticipate. NASA has thus retained the proposal, as an experiment, of the John-Hopkins University of Maryland to send a kamikaze probe to hit Dimorphos, the satellite of the asteroid Didymos, in order to try to divert its trajectory.

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