Imagine this: an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. Not good. Now imagine that we’re able to blow it up, but it re-forms in, say, a few hours. Not good at all.
The latter is what Don Korycansky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Catherine Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico discuss in their paper, “Re-aggregation times of potentially hazardous object fragments after a hazard mitigation impulse.”