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DART and the Stability of Orbits

DART is short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. It’s a NASA mission to test kinetic impact technology intended for use in the advent of a head on collision between an asteroid and Earth. The idea is to knock an oncoming asteroid out of course so as to prevent a collision. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye. The test will also reveal how stable orbits are relative to theory.

Conventional theory sees orbits as purely gravitational. There’s no other force to consider than gravity, and orbits are therefore unstable. Orbits can easily be upset by kinetic impacts. The DART impact in the fall of 2022 is expected to send the targeted asteroid into a wider orbit around its twin. The change will be a straight forward widening that will take a long time to stabilize.

This is different from what we can expect if we include electrostatic considerations as proposed in my physics. Gravity and electrostatic repulsion work together to create stable orbits that will resist change.

Electric repulsion and gravitational attraction
Electric repulsion and gravitational attraction

The DART impact will have less effect on the binary system than conventional theory predicts, and there’s a chance that the two bodies will revert to their original orbit. There will be an initial widening of the orbit, followed by a retracement back to something closer to where things were prior to the impact.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. That’s two predictions in a week. La Palma volcano about to calm down, and DART not working. Hmmm.
    We are watching you, mister Nygaard, we are watching.
    By gods, wouldn’t it be something to have a better working theory than the half-assed dogma passing as science these days.

    1. Science without predictions isn’t proper science, nor is it much fun. We’ll see what comes of these two predictions. I’ll be delighted if I’m proven right, of course, but I won’t deny the evidence if it turns out differently.

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