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Czech Republic hit by hypothetical asteroid in NASA simulation


Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic was the epicenter of an asteroid hitting Earth in a simulation led by NASA this week to examine how world players respond to an earth-shattering threat.

NASA simulation evaluates Earth’s response to asteroid threat

Led by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the hypothetical scenario gathered key defence players from around the world as part of the International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defence Conference 2021.

The global exercise kicked off on April 19, with the fake discovery of a large asteroid on potential collision course with Earth.

From initial discovery to ground response, key players virtually worked together throughout the week – with one day roughly representing a month in the simulated time-zone – and posting key updates on their website on the development and progress of the asteroid.

Chances of impact were estimated at about 1 in 2,500 at the start of the simulation, but the asteroid evidently had set its eyes on our planet: by day 3 of the simulation, it seemed clear the asteroid would hit Earth with a force similar to that of a large nuclear bomb (about 40 million tonnes of TNT).

Source: CNEOS

Czech Republic hit by asteroid the size of large nuclear bomb

Key actors and scientists initially estimated the asteroid would hit somewhere in Europe or north Africa, before narrowing down the striking zone somewhere in Central Europe, in a large area encompassing Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia and Croatia.

The final impact zone – only six days before impact – was pinpointed near the Czech city of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO Heritage site and well-known tourist destination in south western Bohemia, near the German and Austrian borders.

“Each time we participate in an exercise of this nature, we learn more about who the key players are in a disaster event, and who needs to know what information,” Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defence officer, said in a statement.

“These exercise ultimately help the planetary defence community communicate with each other and with our governments to ensure we are all coordinated should a potential impact threat be identified in the future.”

In real life, NASA and other organisations around the globe are focusing their research into coming up with the technology and spacecrafts which would be able to divert the asteroid mid-course and prevent it from hitting Earth in the first place.

Source: CNEOS