40 years ago Stephen Hawking predicted that black holes emit a special kind of radiation. Consequently black holes are theoratically able to shrink and even vanish. This radiation arises when virtual particles (pairs of particles developing because of quantum fluctuations inside the vacuum; usually they nearly instantly destroy each other) are near the event horizon. Then the virtual particle pair gets divided: one disappears in the black hole (and its quantum mechanical information) and the other one becomes real. Thus the black hole radiates but unfortunately this radiation is so low that astronomical observations are nearly impossible. Therefore scientists have to simulate black holes to get empirical evidence. The physicist Jeff Steinhauer of the Technion, the University of Technology of Haifa in Israel exactly did this. He realized an idea of physicist Bill Unruh with an acoustical event horizon. He uses a fog made of rubidium atoms which is only slightly above the absolute zero. Because they are trapped inside an electromagnetic field these atoms become a Bose-Einstein Condensate. Inside of this condensate the acoustic velocity is only a half millimeter per second. With the help of accelerating some above this speed an artificial event horizon is created. The low temperatures lead to quantum fluctuations: pairs of phonons develop. In the simulation these pairs also get divided: one gets caught by the supersonic event horizon; the other one becomes some kind of Hawking radiation. It is still not sure if this experiment really simulates black holes. According to Ulf Leonhardt it does not proof for sure that the two phonons are entangled. Thus it is not sure if the pairs arised out of one fluctuation. Leonhardt even doubts that the fog of atoms is a real Bose-Einstein Condensate. Leonard Susskind thinks this experiment does not reveal the mysteries of black holes: for instance it does not explain the information paradox, because acoustic black holes do not destroy information.
I had this idea while thinking up stuff for a fanfiction I’m doing and decided to make it into a X Reader imagine fic for all of you~
are dating Fuyuhiko. You’ve been dating a while, but you won’t let you meet his
family, not even his sister who lives on campus in the reserve course knows
you’re dating, or even who you are! You discuss your concerns with your best
friend, (BF/N), who happens to be the Ultimate Yandere and-since they don’t
have any love interests currently-focuses their yandere tendencies towards you
with protection and possession. They aren’t happy you have a boyfriend in the
first place, not wanting anyone to overtake them, but it made you happy so they
relented to a degree.
embarrassed of you. Or maybe he’s seeing another person and you’re the side
girl/guy. You should dump him.” (BF/N) suggested, you rolling your eyes and
off, he wouldn’t do that.” You tell them, but secretly you’re scared they might
confront Fuyuhiko about it later that day.
you introduce me to your family, or even tell your sister I exist?!” You
demand, frustrated with him. Fuyuhiko looks away and rubs his neck.
don’t think it’s a good idea (Y/N).” Fuyuhiko tells you, crossing his arms as
he won’t look at you.
I just don’t think so.” Fuyuhiko huffed, frowning at you.
you think so? Are you ashamed of me?” You suggest, Fuyuhiko looking at you wide
course not, you idiot!” Fuyuhiko shouted.
there someone else?"
course not! I wouldn’t do that to you!"
I FUCKING SAID SO ALRIGHT?!” He yelled at you before turning and storming off,
leaving you fuming.
day, he comes to apologize for yelling at you, but you stand up and leave
without a word. He rolls his eyes at how pouty you’re being, and at first decides
to leave you alone, thinking you’ll get over it soon enough.
But after 2
or 3 days, you still aren’t talking to him, and it’s really starting to get to
him. He tries everything to stop the silence and get you to talk to him,
flowers, gifts, notes, chocolate, anything that might get you to stop and pay
attention to him already. But you reject all of it, ignoring him outright and
refusing to take them when Peko brought them.
By the time
a week is up, he’s gone practically insane from the lack of contact with you,
snapping at anyone who comes close to him that isn’t you, Peko, or his sister.
He finally catches you, grabbing you by your wrist in the middle of the
PRETENDING I DON’T FUCKING EXIST ALREADY (Y/N)!!” He screamed at you angrily.
You frown and look him dead in the eyes for the first time in a week and say:
when you do.” Before yanking your wrist away and turning to leave, Fuyuhiko
growling in frustration before storming away.
day, Fuyuhiko’s sister comes up to you.
“I saw what
happened in the courtyard earlier.” She stated, crossing her arms, “What did
you do to my brother? Who are you, and why is he so upset?" You
debate telling her, since you really want Fuyuhiko to tell them himself, but
before you can decide Peko comes up with another gift from Fuyuhiko-this time a
stuffed bear with a heart-and his sister quickly puts 2 and 2 together, walking
away without another word.
much longer before she shows up again, handing you a letter inviting you to
dinner with the Kuzuryuu family.
when Fuyuhiko sees and hears about this, he begins freaking out and is very
IDIOT! I WAS TRYING TO PROTECT YOU!” He yelled at you as he paced back and
forth, your eyes trailing as he does, “MY FAMILY IS NOT GENTLE WHEN IT COMES TO
DATING SOMEONE, WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY’LL DO?! ESPECIALLY IF THEY DON’T APPROVE OF
YOU!” You shrug and cross your arms.
were planning to break up with me, I would have had to meet them at some point.
And I doubt It’ll be that bad.” You tell him. Your relaxed attitude only seems
to make him more frustrated, hearing him growl and yell in frustration before
comes and you’ve dressed yourself up a tad to make a good impression. When his
parents first see you, they seem to be…less than impressed. Fuyuhiko is the
most nervous you’ve ever seen him and looks very uncomfortable, looking at you
often with worry in his eyes. You, however, are very calm, determined to get
them to like you by the end of the night-or at least prove to Fuyuhiko he was
wrong to keep you away from them.
while of light conversation, his mother stands and invites you to join her in
the kitchen, though the tone suggests it’s not really a request so much as a
demand. Fuyuhiko looks alarmed, and more so when you calmly and happily agree.
Fuyuhiko stands and says he’d like to come too, but his dad takes his shoulder
and sits him back down.
mother have some alone time with her/him.” He tells Fuyuhiko, the Ultimate Yakuza
panicking as he watches you go with his mother. When inside, his mother starts
to talk to you.
(Y/N), there’s a lot of danger in getting involved with the Yakuza, especially
as a significant other of the head of a clan or a clan’s heir.” She tells you,
grabbing a knife from the counter, then turning to you, “If a person who
becomes romantically involved with the head of a clan or the heir is weak, that
endangers the whole clan. You can get hurt or be taken captive, and then the
head or heir can start making stupid decisions. They get hurt through you. I
want the best for my son, someone tough enough to keep up with the clan and not
give in.” she looks at you with a frown, “And I don’t think that’s
another word, you see her arm draw back and then the flash of silver racing
towards you before the knife passes half a millimeter from your cheek, burying
itself in the wall.
flinch, or even blink, and she looks at you shocked.
you scared?! You didn’t move at all!” She yells at you.
I’m not scared.” You reply calmly.
She demands, frowning deeply.
you were really gonna stab me, they would have shot already.” You tell her
simply. His mother’s eyes widen in shock before she whirls around, face-to-face
with the barrel of your best friend’s gun. You figured they had followed you,
and now they had the gun aimed and a finger on the trigger, a scowl on their
lips. She blinks at them for a second before smiling and laughing.
you’re tougher than you look. Especially with this one around.” She laughs out,
“Maybe you can keep up after all.” You smile and laugh as well.
(BF/N), lower the gun and go please.” You request politely. (BF/N) frowned but
sighed and leave, but you have a sneaking suspicion they aren’t really
come back with her, Fuyuhiko is sitting at the table still, silent with his
head down, looking depressed.
okay?” You ask him, his eyes widening with shock when he hears your voice and
his head raising, seeing his mom with an arm wrapped around your shoulders
quite a keeper here Fuyuhiko. Don’t let her/him go.” His mother advised,
parting and sitting next to a slightly shocked Mr. Kuzuryuu, “The girl/boy is
tougher than they look, believe me."
relieved as you sit down next to him, immediately taking your hand under the
table and holding it tightly. He leans over and whispers in your ear:
thought I lost you (Y/N)…” You turn slightly and give a smirk, squeezing his
know me better than that by now.” Then you begin eating, Fuyuhiko smiling at
you for a moment before turning to his food as well.
The rest of
the dinner goes well, the Kuzuryuu’s getting to know and like you well
enough-though his sister didn’t seem crazy about you being so close to him and
having passed his mother’s test-and soon enough it was time for you to go,
telling them all you hoped you could see them soon.
you know the second you left, his Mother turned to him and said:
long’s it gonna be before you lock them down?” with a smirk. Fuyuhiko turned
bright red, mouth opening and closing as he searched for words before he felt
something hit his chest, fumbling before catching it.
It was a
bright red as he looked up to his dad-who had been the one to throw it at
him-who was smiling before patting Fuyuhiko’s head.
move fast, don’t want someone else snapping (Y/N) up.” He advised before
walking off with Mrs. Kuzuryuu, leaving a blushing and stuttering Fuyuhiko
alone with the ring box in his hands.
should have been worried about her meeting his family for a different reason…
Well, not really talked. He thinks. He and Keith had fallen asleep tangled in a bed, limbs overlapping. Lance could barely remember the dream once he woke up. Sitting up, he had rubbed his eyes and then gently rubbed Keith’s hair, thinking back on the dream.
The moon, she’d been there. Said something. Smiled at him, he could remember that. What had she said?
That was it. A snatch of conversation, one smile, then darkness. Quietly, he leaned down and pressed a hazy kiss to Keith’s forehead.
First results from search for a dark light
By Manuel Gnida
The Heavy Photon Search at Jefferson Lab is looking for a hypothetical particle from a hidden “dark sector.”
In 2015, a group of researchers installed a particle detector just half of a millimeter away from an extremely powerful electron beam. The detector could either start them on a new search for a hidden world of particles and forces called the “dark sector”—or its sensitive parts could burn up in the beam.
Earlier this month, scientists presented the results from that very first test run at the Heavy Photon Search collaboration meeting at the US Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. To the scientists’ delight, the experiment is working flawlessly.
Dark sector particles could be the long-sought components of dark matter, the mysterious form of matter thought to be five times more abundant in the universe than regular matter. To be specific, HPS is looking for a dark-sector version of the photon, the elementary “particle of light” that carries the fundamental electromagnetic force in the Standard Model of particle physics.
Analogously, the dark photon would be the carrier of a force between dark-sector particles. But unlike the regular photon, the dark photon would have mass. That’s why it’s also called the heavy photon.
To search for dark photons, the HPS experiment uses a very intense, nearly continuous beam of highly energetic electrons from Jefferson Lab’s CEBAF accelerator. When slammed into a tungsten target, the electrons radiate energy that could potentially produce the mystery particles. Dark photons are believed to quickly decay into pairs of electrons and their antiparticles, positrons, which leave tracks in the HPS detector.
“Dark photons would show up as an anomaly in our data—a very narrow bump on a smooth background from other processes that produce electron-positron pairs,” says Omar Moreno from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, who led the analysis of the first data and presented the results at the collaboration meeting.
The challenge is that, due to the large beam energy, the decay products are compressed very narrowly in beam direction. To catch them, the detector must be very close to the electron beam. But not too close—the smallest beam movements could make the beam swerve into the detector. Even if the beam doesn’t directly hit the HPS apparatus, electrons interacting in the target can scatter into the detector and cause unwanted signals.
The HPS team implemented a number of precautions to make sure their detector could handle the potentially destructive beam conditions. They installed and carefully aligned a system to intercept any large beam motions, made the detector’s support structure movable to bring the detector close to the beam and measure the exact beam position, and installed a feedback system that would shut the beam down if its motions were too large. They also placed their whole setup in vacuum because interactions of the beam with gas molecules would create too much background. Finally, they cooled the detector to negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the effects of radiation damage. These measures allowed the team to operate their experiment so close to the beam.
“That’s maybe as close as anyone has ever come to such a particle beam,” says John Jaros, head of the HPS group at SLAC, which built the innermost part of the HPS detector, the Silicon Vertex Tracker. “So, it was fairly exciting when we gradually decreased the distance between the detector and the beam for the first time and saw that everything worked as planned. A large part of that success lies with the beautiful beams Jefferson Lab provided.”
SLAC’s Mathew Graham, who oversees the HPS analysis group, says, “In addition to figuring out if we can actually do the experiment, the first run also helped us understand the background signals in the experiment and develop the data analysis tools we need for our search for dark photons.”
So far, the team has seen no signs of dark photons. But to be fair, the data they analyzed came from just 1.7 days of accumulated running time. HPS collects data in short spurts when the CLAS experiment, which studies protons and neutrons using the same beam line, is not in use.
A second part of the analysis is still ongoing: The researchers are also closely inspecting the exact location, or vertex, from which an electron-positron pair emerges.
“If a dark photon lives long enough, it might make it out of the tungsten target where it was produced and travel some distance through the detector before it decays into an electron-positron pair,” Moreno says. The detector was specifically designed to observe such a signal.
Jefferson Lab has approved the HPS project for a total of 180 days of experimental time. Slowly but surely, HPS scientists are finding chances to use it
Scully insisted on salad for dinner. In the interim
while Mulder napped in reaction to his pretty purple pill, she contemplated
what she’d had for her 1am snack and declared that there would be healthy food
consumed that night. Leaving Mulder a note on his chest, she went and bought
them diner chicken salads, hers grilled chicken, his crispy, along with yogurt,
ice tea no sugar and several pieces of fruit for dessert.
By the time she returned, he was in a half-groggy,
cranky state and his mood did not improve when he saw the green leaves through
the clear plastic containers, “salad? Really?”
“Yes, Mulder. Every so often, your body needs a
green vegetable and today is that day, bucko, so suck it up and enjoy.”
“You need some ice cream.”
She stopped mid-low-fat dressing drizzle, “oh, that
sounds really good.”
“Can we have ice cream for dessert?”
“I have oranges and apples.”
“Okay. Can we each eat an orange and an apple, then
go get ice cream?”
Grogginess cleared and crankiness on the run, he tilted
that wild-haired head of his at that unbelievable adorable 45 degree angle and
raised one eyebrow half a millimeter, engulfing her in a bubble of
undeniability that she never knew how to fight.
He was going to get his damn ice cream.
That spell-working genius of an Oxford graduate.
Finishing her dressing application, she ate
precisely one forkful of salad before, “I think I will have room for ice cream
Dropping back to his pillow, arms raised in victory,
“the head-tilt and eyebrow pulled it out once again! Whoo-hoo!”
“Shush it. You’re going to make the neighbors wonder
what we’re doing in here.”
“Don’t care. We getting ice cream later.”
“I can’t believe I have no defense against the
head-tilt and eyebrow.”
“Which is why you’ll never know when I’m going to
use it. Too much and it becomes useless, but in the right circumstances, gold,
baby, pure unadulterated gold.”
Stabbing another mouthful, she did her best not to
smile, “I could still stay no.”
He attacked his salad with gusto, now that he knew
what came after, “you wouldn’t dare. You want that ice cream just as badly as I
She ignored him.
But lost her battle with her smile.
Scully commandeered a wheelchair from the hotel desk
and rolled Mulder to the nearest ice cream parlour, which, luckily, was only a
few blocks down. Once they had eaten, extoled virtues and headed back to their
room, Mulder got himself settled in for the evening, shuffling pillows,
wiggling hindquarters, straightening his now twisted shirt. Switching on the
TV, the first thing Scully saw was an ad for stroke medication, which of course
triggered, “have you called your mom lately?”
Mulder, chocolate ring around his lips, which he
half-heartedly licked at every minute or so, savoring as long as possible the
best ice cream cone he’d had in weeks, hands down, muted the TV, “I called a
few days back but she was napping. When’s the last time you talked to Maggie?”
“Just after we got to Mexico.” Leaning over to
retrieve her phone from the nightstand, “she’s going to want an estimate of
when we’re getting home.”
Finally using his t-shirt sleeve to remove the rest
of the stickiness from his lips, “before the 4th of July but
definitely after this Tuesday.”
Dialing, “that is not helpful.”
“Best I can do considering I’m not the one driving
About to answer him, Maggie said ‘hello?’ on her end
and the next twenty minutes were consumed by stories of antics, casts, National
Parks and news from home.
Mulder half-listened until he heard the phrase, “are
you serious? How in the world did that happen?” All ears after that, he gleaned
what he could and came up with the conclusion that he had no idea what they
were talking about, so he decided to poke her until she finished talking.
It wasn’t 1000 pokes of death or anything truly
annoying but simple, light finger pressing into her thigh muscles or the curve
of her elbow or her cheek while she waved her hand at him every few pokes, like
swatting at a fly you don’t really see but know is there.
Finally, she hung up, “curious as hell, aren’t you?”
“What gave it away?”
“Your fickle phalange.”
Giving his fingertip an appraising look, “that
sounds much better than my annoying finger.”
Sliding down on the pillows, she grinned at the
popcorned ceiling, “you will never guess who came over to mom’s for dinner?”
“The Pope, Walter Skinner, Abraham Lincoln or the
Her head rolled slowly in his direction, “really?”
“You told me to guess.”
“Frohike, Langley and Byers.”
Studying intently the empty space before him, he
turned to Scully, nodding his head, “I can see that.”
“How do you see that?! In what universe is that even
“Well, this one apparently, although I would like to
know how the planets aligned to cause it.”
Launching her story post haste, “mom was over at my
place, getting mail and whatnot and the guys let themselves in, scaring my
mother out of her mind. She screamed, Frohike screamed, Langley fell over
backwards and Byers seems to have looked at everyone, shook his head and shook
my mother’s hand ‘hello’.”
“Can totally see that, too. Continue.”
“They were there to do their monthly bug sweep and
after several minutes of explanation and eventual understanding, Mom asked if
they’d like to come back to her house once they were done for card night.
Langley, apparently, was the first to say yes and Byers nodded politely and
Frohike asked how much liquor they should bring. My mother, being my mother,
was delighted,” touching Mulder on the arm, “because any friends of yours are
worthy of being friends of hers.”
“I need to get some cleaner friends.”
“So she stayed while they looked for nerd tech with
their own nerd tech, then they followed her to the house, where they appear to
have delighted Betty and Janet and the rest of the ladies. Frohike and Betty
got along wonderfully, both knowing every word to every song ever recorded
before 1978. Mom had to cut both Betty and Frohike off from the wine.”
“And Byers did the dishes and Langley has a date
with Janet’s daughter this Friday.”
Mulder choked on his own spit, “he what?”
“I guess Janet gave him her chat name and they’ve
been talking ever since.”
Wiping a non-existent tear, “my boys are growing
“Your boys are probably just hoping for a second
“They’ll undoubtedly get one.”
Shaking his head, he yawned, “wonders never cease.”
Shifting so she lay closer beside him, they both
stared some more at the popcorn ceiling until, “I miss them.”
He scooted his head closer, temples connecting, “all
“Yeah. I even miss Skinner, if you can believe it.”
His finger crawled in her direction, poking her hip,
then moving up slightly to wind in the elastic band of her pajama pants,
knuckle against bare skin, “ready to start heading home then?”
“No, but yes.” Turning her head, her nose ran into
his, “I don’t want to get used to sleeping alone again.”
Shifting his head up, he pressed his lips on her
skin above her eyebrow, “I don’t either.”
THE TARDIGRADE, OR WATER-BEAR, IS AN EIGHT-LEGGED MICRO-ANIMAL ABOUT HALF A MILLIMETER LONG. THEY CAN SURVIVE COLD TEMPERATURES APPROACHING ABSOLUTE ZERO AND HOT TEMPERATURES ABOVE THE BOILING POINT OF WATER. THEY CAN SURVIVE THE VACUUM OF SPACE, PRESSURES FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN, AND DOSES OF RADIATION TEN TIMES STRONGER THAN WHAT WOULD KILL A HUMAN. TARDIGRADES CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER FOR 10 YEARS.
The latest episode of Shelf Life introduces viewers to foraminifera, microscopic marine organisms known informally as forams.
Although foraminifera are single-celled creatures, they have tiny shells that come in an amazing array of shapes. Forams are usually tiny, about half a millimeter long, but larger specimens can measure up to 20 centimeters—about the length of a guinea pig. (Yes, you read that correctly—a single-celled organism the length of a guinea pig.)
Though there are more than 10,000 recognized species of forams, these organisms can be broken down into two main groups: benthic forams, which live in deep ocean habitats, and planktonic forams, which live in warmer waters closer to the surface.
He is sitting at the edge of the sandbox, clearly miserable, digging a pointless hole and throwing the sand whichever way, moping over the fact that Liam went off with his skateboard and that he still doesn’t have one because, supposedly, he’s not bloody old enough.
The fourth scoop of sand he carelessly throws behind himself brings a very offended, and quite brassed off, ‘Hey!’. Next thing he knows a little blonde with her braids flying wildly around her is in his face, jabbing her finger in his chest and demanding to know what was he thinking, throwing dirt at people!
If Killian Jones has been taught one thing by his big brother and his mum, it’s how to be a gentleman thus the sputter of apologies that follows the girl’s outburst. He almost reaches out to brush away some of the sand that is still in her hair but then thinks better of it, drawing his hand back and eyeing her carefully.
For her part, Emma Nolan gives him a quick once-over, making Killian squirm uncomfortably under her green eyes that are noting the fact that he is alone, very much bored and very much not throwing dirt at people just for the fun of it.
“I’m Emma,” is all he gets as an indication that he is apparently out of the doghouse he accidently got himself into as the blonde plops down next to him, eyeing his pathetic looking hole for all of five seconds before declaring that they are climbing the nearby tree and heading there without waiting to see if he will follow.
They are five when he gets a bike for his birthday.
In the edition of Space, Euronews correspondent Jeremy Wilks reports from the Observatory of the Côte d’Azur in the south of France on a unique mission to deflect an asteroid.
Asteroids have the potential to cause a catastrophe – a small asteroid could wipe out an entire city, while a large one could mean the end for us all.
It’s a threat we’re aware of, and which scientists and engineers are working to overcome. Among them is leading expert Patrick Michel, from the Observatory of the Cote d’Azur.
“An asteroid is a small rock which is one of the bricks left over from the formation of our planets. Some of them are dangerous, because although most are out there between Mars and Jupiter, in what we call the asteroid belt, there are some that have a trajectory that crosses that of Earth. And those are the ones that pose a threat,” he points out.
It’s a threat that’s limited – a sizeable asteroid strike only happens every ten thousand years or more- but it’s a threat to be taken seriously.
“Even if the frequency of impact is very low, like the probability of winning the lottery is very low, but there are those that do win,” adds Patrick Michel.
With that threat looming above us, the world’s space agencies are swinging into action.
Just recently two missions, one American, and one Japanese, set off to visit asteroids, and bring back samples to be studied on Earth.
Now ESA and NASA are planning to try something that’s never been tried before in a joint project called AIDA.
“AIDA is I think the most audacious mission after Rosetta. It’s a mission where we plan to test for real a mitigation technique called kinetic impactor, to actually test if we can deflect asteroids. This is the main objective of this international cooperation between ESA and NASA,” explains Ian Carnelli, AIM project manager.
The mission outline goes like this: ESA’s AIM spacecraft launches in the year 2020 to an asteroid system called Didymos, in which a large asteroid is orbited by a small asteroid dubbed Didymoon.
It surveys that moon, and then six months later NASA’s DART spacecraft arrives and smashes into Didymoon, while AIM records what happens.
“The impact will be spectacular. DART will arrive at about 6 kilometres per second. AIM will be at about 100 kilometres distance to make sure we’re away.
‘The difference that DART will make is to change the speed of the moon around the main asteroid by about half a millimeter per second. This is very small. But it will generate a change in time of about 10 minutes over 11 hours, and this we can measure very accurately,” he stresses.
Before that can happen there’s a lot to learn.
At ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands the engineers are simulating the scene that the AIM spacecraft will encounter when it arrives at the asteroid.
Right now we know that the small Didymoon orbits the larger asteroid, but we don’t know much else.
“We have a rough idea of how it looks like, and from what we’ve observed this is how we think it more or less looks like, but the operative word is on ‘more or less’, we’re not entirely sure. And we won’t be sure until we get there,” says Irene Huertas, Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer, SERCO for ESA.
Irene uses this facility to set up the spacecraft’s camera to be ready to do a thorough job of observing the impact.
“We can shoot different scenes with darker asteroids, lighter asteroids, a very rocky surface, a very smooth surface, a combination of both. A darker moon, a lighter main body.
‘What AIM will do after this impact has taken place is it’s going to take more images, and it’s going to see what happens, what it looked like before the impact, what it looked like after the impact, and see how much this orbit around the big asteroid has changed, how much have we displaced the little moon,” she says.
This double asteroid system was chosen because it comes close to Earth but poses no threat to our planet
However objects the same size as the little moon could mean trouble if they’re heading in our direction.
“Didymoon is about 163 metres in diameter, and this is a very interesting size, because it’s representative of a type of asteroid that if it were to hit the Earth would generate casualties, independently of the impact point. So if it’s in the middle of the ocean it would generate a tsunami, and if it’s any place on surface, on the ground it will reach inhabited areas, so it’s a very important type of asteroid,” explains Ian Carnelli.
Back in Nice and asteroid expert Patrick Michel underlines that this mission is a true experiment.
We’ve made simulations, but we really don’t know if we can deflect an asteroid.
“The response of an object to an impact depends a great deal on its internal structure. If my target is a metal bar the response won’t be the same as if my target is a sponge. So thanks to the AIM spacecraft we’ll know exactly what this object is made from, and we can validate all the digital simulations of the impact, and better interpret the results of it,” says Patrick Michel.
What follows, it’s hoped, will be a whole raft of asteroid deflection missions, perfecting out technique so we’re ready when a true menace appears on the horizon.
“Asteroids are a genuine threat to consider, because even if we don’t have to worry in the short term, it’s the only threat from nature that we can predict, and against which we can do something.” concludes Patrick Michel.
A fairyfly wasp of family Mymaridae. Among the smallest insects in the world, some members of this wasp family can be less than half a millimeter in length, often relying on air currents to travel by drifting upon their bizarre, ‘feathered’ wings. Photomicrograph credit to Spike Walker.