“If the object was one that passed Earth frequently, moving ever closer to impact with each orbit, then it could be blown up in a pre-emptive strike on one of its prior close-Earth visits before the one that was predicted to cause total annihilation, nuking it as it was heading away from Earth.
“In this way, any radioactive fallout from the destruction wouldn’t affect life on Earth.
“It may sound like a relief that, whatever happens, there is a strategy.”
However, Dr Starkey warned that using a nuclear weapon in space could have severe consequences to world politics.
She continued: “There are some further complications.
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