Existential datings

28-Sep-2019 19:02

Neglecting physical destruction and non-gravitational effects, about one in ten centaurs in Chiron-like orbits become Earth-crossers, often repeatedly (Horner 2004a, b, Napier 2015): an example is shown in figure 1.The rate of arrival of ≥100 km centaurs into short-period, Earth-crossing orbits is of order one per 30 000 yr (Napier 2015).asteroids), centaurs are cometary bodies, composed of volatile ices as well as silicates, which cross or approach the orbits of one or more giant planets and are therefore dynamically unstable.

The disintegration of such giant comets would produce intermittent but prolonged periods of bombardment lasting up to 100 000 years.

Programmes such as NASA's Spaceguard observations seek to map near-Earth objects (NEOs) as a way to quantify the risk to Earth.

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