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    Nuke 200 times more powerful than Hiroshima bombs are needed to stop asteroid apocalypse

    A NUCLEAR weapon with the power of 200 Hiroshima bombs would be needed to stop an apocalyptic asteroid — like the one believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs.
    That’s according to top scientists who have modelled the process of destroying a 200-metre wide space boulder.
    Russian scientists made the discovery by creating miniature asteroid models and then blasting them with a laser.
    The results were then scaled up to work out how much force would be needed to deal with a major asteroid threat.
    The idea is that by blowing up an asteroid, it will break up into smaller pieces.
    Most of these would either miss us, or burn up as they enter Earth’s atmosphere.
    To destroy a large asteroid that measures just over 200 metres across, you’d need a nuke that can deliver the energy equivalent of three megatons of TNT.
    That’s around 200 times the power of the 15-kiloton bomb that the United States detonated over Hiroshima in Japan on August 6, 1945 during World War II.
    The Hiroshima bombing killed 20,000 soldiers and somewhere between 70,000 and 126,000 civilians.
    Hiroshima — and the Nagasaki bombing that took place three days later — remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.
    The good news is the chances of us having to deploy a space nuke to kill an asteroid are very slim right now, according to Russia’s atomic energy corporation Rosatom and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, who worked on the study together.
    Study co-author Vladimir Yufa said: “At the moment, there are no asteroid threats, so our team has the time to perfect this technique for use later in preventing a planetary disaster.
    “We’re also looking into the possibility of deflecting an asteroid without destroying it and hope for international engagement.”
    Earlier this week, the Nasa Hammer was unveiled — a bold plan for space scientists to neutralise incoming asteroids with nuke-toting spacecrafts.
    The Hammer spaceship would fly into smaller asteroids and nudge them offcourse.
    And for bigger boulders, Hammer would detonate a nuclear weapon to ensure the asteroid didn’t hit Earth.

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