Scientists have proposed a new way to obliterate asteroids: nuclear bombs.
Researchers at Tomsk State University, Siberia, conducted several experiments to see what it would take to blow up a 200-metre-wide asteroid.
Using a supercomputer, they found that a nuclear device with energy equivalent to a million tons of TNT could destroy the asteroid. This is equivalent to 66 Hiroshima bombs, the Independent reports.
The bomb would not only turn the asteroid into a cloud of liquid gas and droplets, it would also leave behind fragments no bigger than 10 metres in diameter.
Tatiana Galushina, a scientist at the university, said: "Previously, as a preventive measure, it was proposed to destroy the asteroid on its approach to our planet, but this could lead to catastrophic consequences - a fall to Earth of the majority of the highly radioactive fragments."
"It is worth adding," she also explained "that the nuclear explosions in space are prohibited by international treaty, but in the case of a real threat to humanity," an exception could be made.
The concern around the potential threat of asteroids to Earth has been growing among the scientific community.
On June 30 2015, Asteroid Day launched in the UK to help raise awareness about what can be done to protect the planet.
Brian May pioneered the launch along with several scientists, including leading astrophysicist, Martin Rees.
May told the Huffington Post UK: "One day it (Asteroid Day) may save the world."Suggest a correction