It’s even harder to destroy asteroids than we thought

The new study, led by recent Ph.D. graduate Charles El Mir from the Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, makes use of both recent advancements in understanding about the way rock fractures, as well as improved computer code to model what happens when you smack an asteroid with something big. “Our question was, how much energy does it take to actually destroy an asteroid and break it into pieces?” El Mir said in a press release.

The answer to that question, it turns out, is “that asteroids are stronger than we used to think and require more energy to be completely shattered,” he said.