Paint could be Used to divert asteroids from Earth

A new solution I read in an article today, proposed by Sung Wook Paek, says that if we had enough advanced notice of an asteroid headed towards earth, we could send it off course using white paint,
This theory is based on the fact that, by painting the asteroid white, it would reflect more sunlight and therefore the Suns photons would bounce off it and create ‘Solar Radiation Pressure’ which would eventually cause the rock to go off-course.
Sung Wook Paek, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came up with this idea. However, other scientists have come up with very different ideas, which involve destruction of the asteroid, instead of diverting it.
These ideas include the famous ‘launch a rocket at it’ theory, or even using a spacecraft’s gravity to divert it.
However, Paek improved the idea of releasing a cloud of pellets at the asteroid by suggesting they would be filled with paint powder.
But, there is a flaw to his idea. He worked out that the pressure on one of the painted asteroids could take up to 20 years to divert it from Earth. This would need a LOT of notice.
He also said that, if it doesn’t work as intended, ‘you could just paint the asteroid so you can track it more easily from Earth’.
Many scientists agree that Paek’s idea is innovative and new, as using solar radiation pressure had not previously been thought of as a valid idea.
I think that the use of non-destructive ideas to divert asteroids is fantastic, as ideas such as launching a rocket at an asteroid could lead to the shrapnel from the explosion hitting various locations on Earth, but with a lesser effect than the entire asteroid. However, as Paek’s idea has the time period flaw, I think there is still work to be done.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: