El suceso Cheliábinsk

El suceso Cheliábinsk

Hace 7 años, el 15 de febrero de 2013, un cuerpo menor del sistema solar, probablemente un asteroide o cometa ingresó en la atmósfera terrestre a 18,6 km/s, desintegrándose cerca de la ciudad de Cheliábinsk, ubicada en Rusia, en la zona sur de los Urales.

Estela del bólido de Cheliábinsk. Crédito: Europa Press

La explosión de este objeto, que tendría unos 18 metros de diámetro y 10.000 toneladas de masa, fue brutal. Se calcula que alcanzó los 450 kilotones de potencia, lo que viene siendo treinta veces la explosión de la bomba atómica que destruyó Hiroshima en 1945.

Desde el impacto de Tunguska en 1908, la Tierra no había sido testigo una colisión espacial tan destructiva.

Afortunadamente para los habitantes de Cheliábinsk el objeto explotó a 23,3 kilómetros de altura. Y, pese a ello, más de 1500 personas resultaron heridas por la onda de choque.

Estela del meteorito avistada en Ekaterimburgo.

La lección de Cheliábinsk es clara: hay un sistema solar peligroso ahí fuera y, de momento al menos, carecemos de cualquier tipo de sistema de defensa contra objetos con rumbo de colisión contra nuestro planeta.

De hecho a la mayoría de ellos ni siquiera podemos detectarlos con tiempo suficiente para alertar a la población, una deficiencia que intentará corregir el observatorio NEOSM, recientemente aprobado por la NASA.

Pedro Francisco Acosta Melo

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