posted on Mar, 11 2018 @ 08:25 PM
Um, just a moment.
Nuclear weapons are “valued”, if you will for their ability to produce enormous explosions; just the the thing to shatter, vaporize, or, at least
deflect, potentially life-ending asteroids before they can hit our Earth.
Or could they?
Let’s consider the primary effects of a nuclear detonation. There are three: the blast (propagated by the shockwave), the intense heat, and high
Everyone seems to be assuming that an asteroid speeding through the vacuum of space would be as vulnerable to the intense crushing shockwave of a
nearby nuclear blast as large building might be.
But in space, there is no air to propagate the shockwave from a nuclear blast, the blast effect would be significantly less for any given yield when
compared to what would be expected on Earth.
Unless you expect to launch the equivalent of a Tsar Bombe at an extinction-level asteroid, don’t expect to have much “impact”!
Heat is another factor reduced by the lack of air in space. Yes, nuclear detonations produce enormous amounts of heat, but heat does not conduct well
in a vacuum. If detonated on the surface of an asteroid, you might get some relatively minor melting, temporarily.
And radiation, not very effective against an asteroid that has been bathed in radiation (cosmic rays) it’s entire life.
edit on 11-3-2018 by
Bhadhidar because: (no reason given)