Asteroids, comets threaten humanity: protection system is much-needed

The meteorite, which exploded in the sky above Russia’s Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013, has confirmed the need to create a protection system from asteroids and comets, head of the theoretical physics department of the Chelyabinsk State University, Alexander Dudorov, says.

“The main issue is that astronomers cannot see such objects in advance. Special high penetration wide-angle cameras and systems for orbit trajectory changes are needed. This is very-very expensive. But I think that people have started to realize now that this is necessary,” Dudorov said Thursday at a news conference in Yekaterinburg.

The Chelyabinsk meteorite made scientists revise the existing opinions of how often meteorites fall, lecturer of the theoretical physics department of the Chelyabinsk State University, Sergei Zamozdra, said.

“Estimates exist that bodies of such size, about 20 meters, fall once every 100 years. Now a guess emerges that such events occur more frequently. Probably five times a hundred years,” Zamozdra said.

Over 1,600 people were injured after the last year explosion of a large meteorite in the sky above Chelyabinsk and the total damage amounted to about one billion rubles. The largest fragment of the meteorite was found in the Chebarkul Lake. Its weight is about 600 kg (1,323 lbs).

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