TSU expert on asteroids potentially dangerous for the Earth


On April 12, the world celebrates the International Day of Human Space Flight. Humanity has been exploring space for 60 years, step by step, but it still has many surprises, one of which is asteroids. Predicting their appearance in near-Earth space is an extremely difficult task, and scientists in TSU’s Department of Celestial Mechanics and Astrometry of the Research Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics are engaged in solving it. Tatyana Galushina, a leading researcher and head of the Laboratory of Computer Modeling and Machine Analysis of Astronomical Data, spoke about how to predict the fall of an asteroid to the Earth, what factors affect its movement, and whether humanity can protect itself from a space guest.

- Tatyana Yurievna, what asteroids are considered potentially dangerous for our planet?

- Speaking about asteroids approaching the Earth, we often omit the word "potentially" and do not attach meaning to it. This is very important. Two factors matter when assessing a potential threat: the size of a celestial body and the distance, moreover, not even between objects (an asteroid and the Earth), but between orbits. If we talk about size, then it is difficult to estimate it, because when we observe an asteroid, we just see a dot. We can only estimate asteroids by their brightness. Potentially dangerous are those whose absolute magnitude is not weaker than the 22nd magnitude.

I'll try to explain what it means. There is a concept of albedo that means reflectivity.

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