It might not be 'dinosaur destroying' but it's only a matter of time before an asteroid hits Earth

It may not be enough to take out the entire planet but an asteroid would still wipe out whole citiesJPL, NASA
  • Asteroids flying past Earth, even big ones, are now more common than before — especially since NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory can track these celestial objects.
  • Scientists believe that it’s only a matter of time before one of them eventually gets pulled into the Earth’s orbit.
  • That being said, it’s unlikely that anyone of them will be as catastrophic like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, but it may still be able to take out a whole city.
Last week, an asteroid the size of the Empire State Building passed 4.6 million miles from Earth but could’ve been 500 times more destruction than the atomic bomb that fell on Hiroshima had it actually hit.

Today, another asteroid the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza is going to skim by. On 6 September, Asteroid 2019 GT3 — bigger than Giza and the Empire State Building — is expected to pass by Earth as well.

Upcoming asteroids that will pass by closer to Earth JPL, NASA

Point being, these ‘near misses’ have become all too common. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) tracks these celestial objects to monitor them — not out of fear of collisions.

But, considering their frequency, scientists believe it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets pulled in by Earth’s gravity and plumments onto our planet’s surface.

Inevitable

The problem with asteroids, and the reason they need to be monitored, is because should they hit Earth, the resulting effects would be catastrophic.

Danica Remy, the president B612, told NBC News that it’s only a matter of time before Earth gets hit by a mega asteroid. He added that the impact of such an asteroid would out do even the impact of a nuclear explosion.

A scientist at the Cardiff University, Ian McDonald, also has similar views stating that “doomsday” asteroid hits aren’t confined to the past. “There are always rocks flying through space. Inevitably one of these will hit us and it will have pretty dramatic effects,” he shared on the BBC's Today program.

Even Neil deGrasse Tyson, the American scientist who has made his career explaining physics to the layman, also believes that eventually, the end of the world is probably going to be due a gigantic asteroid hit.

"It is an intriguing and under-appreciated fact that asteroids and comets may have been the bringers of life, if not the ingredients of life, but perhaps even life itself. And yet, they can also serve as harbingers of doom for the very life that they brought to the planet," said Tyson during his podcast, Cosmic Queries: Asteroids and Comets.

But, here’s the thing. Anything like the 7.5 mile wide asteroid that hit Earth and took out the dinosaurs hasn’t been spotted on any radar.

According to NASA, at least 95% of asteroids have been catalogued and none of pose a direct threat to Earth. But that doesn’t mean they’re completely benign. They might not wipe out Earth but some of them do have the power to destroy entire cities.
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