The nonprofit Secure World Foundation will present a report to the United Nations this week proposing the creation of an “Information, Analysis and Warning Network” for Near-Earth Objects.
The report covers a variety of Near Earth Object (NEO) issues:
- The Complexity of Communicating the NEO Story
- Need for a Warning Communication Strategy and Protocol
- Risk Communication and the Framing of NEO Alerts and Warnings
- Communications Staff as Trusted Sources
- NEO Messaging
- The Lessons of Reentering Spacecraft
- Building the IAWN Communications Infrastructure
- The Threat, Mystery and Promise
- Outreach and Education
“Today no worldwide disaster-notification protocol of any kind exists. The closest analogy might be the cooperative early-warning system developed for tsunamis in the wake of the devastating inundation of the coasts of Southeast Asia in 2004.”
Since visuals seem to work so well, take a look at this video: it shows asteroid discovery from 1980 till 2011. Take a close look at HOW MANY RED and YELLOW colored asteroids there are – those would be Earth Crossers, and Earth Approaching asteroids.
The Earth WAS hit by an NEO, recently: In 1908, a comet exploded in the atmosphere over an uninhabited (thank goodness) region of Siberia. The pressure wave flattened an area of forest the size of Washington DC. It would have been much worse if the comet had made it to the ground.
Astronomer Carl Sagan talks about the Tunguska Event on his Cosmos TV series.
We can’t wait for the next one to hit, before we start thinking about how to avoid being hit by the next one.
Secure World Foundation
IAWN Report (PDF)