All you have to do is hurtle a few comets at Earth, and its orbit will be altered. Our world will then be sent spinning into a safer, colder part of the solar system.Well, that's alright then ... !
Greg Laughlin, Don Korycansky and Fred Adams of the Nasa Ames Research Center in California came up with the plan, which involves carefully directing a comet or asteroid so that it sweeps close past Earth and transfers some of its gravitational energy to Earth, nudging it slightly away from the Sun. Since life on Earth is able to thrive thanks to the planet's position in our solar system's Goldilocks Zone ("not too hot, not too cold"), shifting it around to control temperatures isn't that crazy. Actually, scratch that - read further into the article and you'll soon realise just HOW crazy it actually is ...
Engineers would have to be very careful about how they directed their asteroid or comet towards Earth. The slightest miscalculation in orbit could fire it straight at Earth – with devastating consequences.
It is a point acknowledged by the group. ‘The collision of a 100-kilometre diameter object with the Earth at cosmic velocity would sterilise the biosphere most effectively, at least to the level of bacteria,’ they state in a paper in Astrophysics and Space Science. ‘The danger cannot be overemphasised.’
There is also the vexed question of the Moon. As the current issue of Scientific American points out, if Earth was pushed out of its current position it is ‘most likely the Moon would be stripped away from Earth,’ it states, radically upsetting out planet’s climate.