Asteroids Can Re-Form After Being Nuked, Still Take Earth Out

One of the theoretical solutions to an asteroid hurtling towards Earth is to nuke it so it breaks up into many small, harmless pieces. But that won't work if it can just reform in two hours.

Yes, if the nuke used is too small, the asteroid will break up into pieces that will fly apart so slowly that they'll just reform together due to their mutual gravity. How long will that take? Oh, two to 18 hours.

So yeah, it's good we realised this before trying to save ourselves with a nuke. We'd celebrate for a couple of hours before being really, really pissed. Yikes. [New Scientist]