Meteor clean-up operation

Russian authorities have reportedly sent a 20,000-strong team to the Ural Mountains to help with the rescue and clean-up operation after a meteor struck the area.

View all 27 updates ›

Meteor collision research 'needs more money'

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki from the University of Sydney said not enough money is being spent on researching a researching meteor collision. Speaking on the BBC Radio World Service, he said:

Chillingly we spend more money on making movies about rocks that can hit the earth than we do about looking for the actual rocks.

Dr Kruszelnicki said there were two possible ways to averting a potential meteoric disaster: painting the meteor white, so that the sun exerts more pressure on it, thus pushing past earth, or using a rocket to push it out of the earth's path. He explained:

We send a whole lot of people who normally spend their time painting the whole surface white, over a few years that pressure might nudge it off by a few thousand kilometres over a few years and that would just miss us as opposed to just hitting us.

If we have less time, then we have to think about getting up there with rockets. Pushing the rockets hard against the rock and then firing it and trying to nudge it off with sheer Newtonian mechanics.

More on this story