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Alabama Scientists Consider Asteroid Impacts

By Associated Press

Huntsville, AL – You probably don't spend much time worrying about the possibility of a huge asteroid hitting the Earth. But some Alabama researchers are working to reduce the chance of that very thing happening.

A group of students and an engineer at the University of Alabama at Huntsville are developing a laser system that could detect and maybe even change the flight path of an Earth-bound asteroid.

Richard Fork and a group of about 10 researchers are developing a laser system to study ways to detect asteroids. And they're considering whether short pulses of laser light could be used to change their flight paths.

While the chances of a disastrous asteroid collision may be small, experts say they are still real. Fork says that's why it's important to find a way to detect asteroids and accurately predict their flight paths.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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