Almost any deflection effort requires years of warning, allowing time to build a slow-pusher or explosive device to deflect the object.
An impact by a 10 km asteroid on the Earth is widely viewed as an extinction-level event, likely to cause catastrophic damage to the biosphere. Depending on speed, objects as small as 100 m in diameter are historically extremely destructive. There is also the threat from comets coming into the inner Solar System. The impact speed of a long-period comet would likely be several times greater than that of a near-Earth asteroid, making its impact much more destructive; in addition, the warning time is unlikely to be more than a few months.
Finding out the material composition of the object is also necessary before deciding which strategy is appropriate. Missions like the 2005 Deep Impact probe have provided valuable information on what to expect.
Read more about this topic: Asteroid Impact Avoidance
Other articles related to "deflection efforts":
... A number of potential threats have been identified, such as (99942) Apophis (previously known by its provisional designation 2004 MN4), which had been given an impact probability of ~3% for the year 2029 ... This probability has been revised to zero on the basis of new observations ...
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“Those great efforts of intellect, upon which the mind sometimes touches, are such that it cannot maintain itself there. It only leaps to them, not as upon a throne, forever, but merely for an instant.”
—Blaise Pascal (16231662)