Watch PBS NOVA's "Asteroid—Doomsday or Payday?"

Nov 22, 2013 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
An asteroid, docile in space but deadly to Earth. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Last night, the US PBS television stations aired a new show from the series NOVA, "Asteroid—Doomsday or Payday." It portrayed the two sides of asteroids: if a large asteroid collides with Earth, it could set off deadly blast waves, raging fires and colossal tidal waves. But on the other hand, some asteroids are loaded with billions of dollars' worth of elements like iron, nickel, and platinum, and companies like Planetary Resources are trying to figure out how to take advantage of those elusive resources in space.

You can watch the entire episode below. As with previous shows, viewers in other countries might have difficulty watching the show.

For additional reading, here's a great article by PBS's NOVANext about why more isn't being done about detection and deflection.

Planetary Resources has some info about why mining asteroids will fuel human expansion into the cosmos (read here)—watch their video, below:

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Asteroids' close encounters with Mars

Nov 19, 2013

For nearly as long as astronomers have been able to observe asteroids, a question has gone unanswered: Why do the surfaces of most asteroids appear redder than meteorites—the remnants of asteroids that ...

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

Dec 19, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

Dec 19, 2014

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

Dec 19, 2014

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.