Recently, Scientists issued an urgent meteor warning
The threat of a meteor or comet destroying our existence is real, and not just a high grossing storyline from Hollywood.
In fact, just in October 2016, a large asteroid came into the close vicinity of Earth. Fortunately, scientists detected that it wouldn’t hit the earth this particular time by using a new NASA computer program called Scout.
Nevertheless, these scientists are now gravely concerned that the odds are becoming more and more stacked against us. Horrifyingly, we indeed are due for another extinction level impact from a space rock.
NASA scientist expresses fears
Dr. Joseph Nuth, a researcher at NASA, recently expressed these concerns at an annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Nuth claimed that an extinction level event occurs every 50-60 million years. In other words, this means our time is running out for another one.
Occasionally, Earth does experience impact from smaller space rocks that manage to reach and hit the surface. However, many simply burn up when they hit earth’s atmosphere.
While threat detection technology has improved, no response plan exists. In fact, of all the space-rocks, the threat of a comet is the most unpredictable and menacing. Frighteningly, they can be randomly thrown off course and knocked into a path heading for earth.
Furthermore, their speed of impact surpasses the speed of other space rocks. Additionally, Earth has had a couple of near misses throughout the last couple of decades, the last one was as recently as 2014. Shockingly, scientists discovered it would have given only a 22-month deadline to create a spacecraft that could be launched to deflect it.
Alarmingly, that is an impossible time frame to build such a craft. In fact, such a build would probably take at least five years.
When asked about theoretical solutions, Nuth explained that there were a few. However, work on them must be started as soon as possible. The reality is that we could have as little as 18 months to prepare the next time such a comet would be detected.
Comparatively, we can survive the impact of an asteroid. But a comet traveling at over 200000 kilometers per hour would destroy us.
Nuth suggested NASA construct two spacecraft and store them. In this way, NASA would bring them out for use if a non-survivable comet were detected. Additionally, this would mean that NASA’s response time would be only 12 months, as opposed to 5 years.
Furthermore, Nuth theorizes utilizing one craft to observe and study the object, recording data about its trajectory. The other craft would be the interceptor, to either destroy the incoming rock or utilize technology that could at least re-direct it.
Other ideas include the creation of a laser system on earth that could alter the temperature of the space-rock. The laser would expel gasses from within the rock causing it’s trajectory to change. Scientists also considered the development and deployment of a nuclear device to re-route it.
Experts also suggested a proposal called “Cannonball technology” that would prove more useful than high explosives. To explain, anything that explodes the comet or asteroid could still prove dangerous. Shrapnel from the space-rock could still wreak devastation on earth.
Even relatively smaller meteors have wrought devastation that should come as ample warning to scientists and engineers to start working fast on solutions.
To illustrate, in 2013 a 20-meter-wide meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Consequently, the resultant shockwave literally knocked people off their feet. Glowing 30 times brighter than the sun, it caused burns to people’s eyes and skin. Additionally, the shockwaves blew windows in, and roofs collapsed within a 50-kilometer radius.
Let’s hope that NASA and the world governments will heed this dire warning, and start working on creating preventative measures immediately!