Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids

Front Cover
Tom Gehrels, Mildred Shapley Matthews, A. M. Schumann
University of Arizona Press, 1994 - Science - 1300 pages
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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Contents

IMPACT DELIVERY OF VOLATILES AND ORGANIC MOLECULES
9
V 721
55
THE IMPACT HAZARD
59
NEAREARTH OBJECT INTERCEPTION WORKSHOP
93
PRESENT SEARCH PROGRAMS
127
GROUNDBASED
149
DETECTION OF METEOROID IMPACTS BY OPTICAL SENSORS
199
WARNING TIMES AND IMPACT PROBABILITIES
221
Erlich A 199
707
COMPUTER SIMULATION OF HYPERVELOCITY IMPACT AND
711
CONSEQUENCES OF IMPACTS OF COSMIC BODIES ON THE SUR
721
TSUNAMI GENERATED BY SMALL ASTEROID IMPACTS
779
ENVIRONMENTAL PERTURBATIONS CAUSED BY IMPACTS
791
EXTRATERRESTRIAL IMPACTS AND MASS EXTINCTIONS
827
Powell J 1089
828
Rahe J 597
855

J 463
238
PREDICTING CLOSE APPROACHES OF ASTEROIDS AND COMETS
241
THE ROLE OF GROUNDBASED RADAR IN NEAREARTH OBJECT
259
THE POPULATION OF EARTHCROSSING ASTEROIDS
285
671
305
THE FLUX OF PERIODIC COMETS NEAR EARTH
313
COLLISIONAL LIFETIMES AND IMPACT STATISTICS OF NEAR
337
CRATER SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS AND IMPACT PROBABILITIES
359
THE RECORD OF PAST IMPACTS ON EARTH
417
ARE IMPACTS CORRELATED IN TIME?
463
CLIMATE
479
Bowell E 149 285
523
Chodas R W 241
529
IMPLICA
537
CLASSIFYING AND MODELING NEO MATERIAL PROPERTIES
551
PROPERTIES OF COMETARY NUCLEI
597
A CURRENT WORKING MODEL OF A COMET NUCLEUS
635
MISSIONS TO NEAREARTH OBJECTS
651
DoD TECHNOLOGIES AND MISSIONS OF RELEVANCE TO ASTER
671
HUMAN EXPLORATION OF NEAREARTH ASTEROIDS
683
FAUNAL CHANGE FOLLOWING THE CRETACEOUSTERTIARY
879
DEFLECTION AND FRAGMENTATION OF NEAREARTH ASTER
897
Rather J D G 93
925
DEFENDING THE EARTH AGAINST IMPACTS FROM LARGE
929
THE COUPLING OF ENERGY TO ASTEROIDS AND COMETS
955
TERMINAL INTERCEPT FOR LESS THAN ONE ORBITAL PERIOD
1013
VEHICLE SYSTEMS FOR MISSIONS TO PROTECT THE EARTH
1035
SPACE LAUNCH VEHICLES
1065
THE ROLE OF NUCLEAR THERMAL PROPULSION IN MITIGAT
1073
APPLICATIONS OF NUCLEAR PROPULSION TO NEO INTERCEP
1089
NONNUCLEAR STRATEGIES FOR DEFLECTING COMETS
1111
ISSUES FOR THE FUTURE
1135
USE VERSUS MISUSE OF TECH
1145
COST AND BENEFIT OF NEAREARTH OBJECT DETECTION
1157
THE COMET AND ASTEROID IMPACT HAZARD
1191
EVALUATING SPACE RESOURCES IN THE CONTEXT OF EARTH
1213
CAN A DEFENSE AGAINST
1225
EARTHCROSSING ASTEROIDS
1233
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