Sunday, November 24, 2013

Could we prevent an asteroid collision?

In its early life, the Earth would have been peppered nearly continuously with asteroids and debris. Today, the Earth still receives thousands of tons of matter from space, but this is in the form of microscopic dust particles. Fortunately, a large asteroid colliding with the surface of the Earth is very rare. Nevertheless, it does happen from time to time. You probably heard about the Russian Chelyabinsk meteor which hit in February of this year. It entered at a shallow angle at 60 times the speed of sound, and it exploded in an air burst. The size of this body of rock (before it burnt up and shattered) was estimated to be around 20 m across and weighec13,000 metric tons. This isn"t large by any means, but it was enough to injure over a thousand people and damage nearly 20,000 buildings.

Lucky for us, larger impacts are very rare. Most notable of all these larger impacts is the 10 km sized object that is widely believed to have initiated the dinosaurs" extinction some 65 million years ago. But what would happen if we were faced with such a threat today?

Read all about this at:

Image source:

No comments:

Post a Comment