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Mirrors the Best Defense against Asteroids

Flying mirrorsA network of mirrors harnessing the destructive power of the sun might save the world from disaster, space experts believe.

If an asteroid should be discovered on a catastrophic collision course with our planet, researchers at Glasgow University say mirrors are the best way to save us from annihilation.

The orbiting mirrors would be used to focus sunlight on an area of the asteroid between 0.5 and 1.5 metres wide, heating the rock to around 2,100C - hot enough to melt the surface of the asteroid and create a thrust which would nudge it off course.

The team found that the orbit of an asteroid measuring 150 metres across could be sufficiently modified by a network of 100 mirrors in a few days. For an asteroid the size of the one believed to have wiped out Earth's dinosaurs, a 5,000-strong fleet of spacecraft would need to focus a beam of sunlight on the surface for three or more years.

Source: Scotsman
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