Asteroids aren’t projected to collide with Earth anytime soon, but space agencies are on the lookout for them just in case.
An asteroid impact might be an extinction-level event, depending on the space rock’s size, and experts have constructed models to assess how awful it could be.
If you’ve watched the Netflix video Don’t Look Up, you’re probably worried about asteroid collisions.
Not all asteroids, though, would spell the end of humanity.
The space rock would have to be rather enormous to kill us all.
According to scientists, the asteroid that took off the dinosaurs was around 7.5 miles wide.
First Impact Consequences
If an asteroid of such magnitude impacted Earth today, everything would change suddenly due to the impact’s power and its effects on the ecosystem.
Experts predict flames, shock waves, heat radiation, a giant crater, acid rain, and massive tsunamis if the asteroid strikes the water.
According to Britt Scharringhausen, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Beloit College said that all of the ash from the fires and the finer-grained debris from the impact will linger in the atmosphere for a long period, resulting in what is known as an impact winter.
It will obstruct sunlight, and the ash that falls into the water will acidify the upper layers.
“So you burn things, kill everything in the ocean, and freeze the Earth, and it goes through about two years of constant winter.”
Scharringhausen does not believe that a giant asteroid collision will wipe out all life on Earth.
Some little inventors survived the dinosaur-killing asteroid attack.
Humans may be able to live if they take the necessary safeguards.
Scharringhausen elaborated that nothing will perish; if we’re talking about humans, the best way to survive is to go underground.
He said you might perhaps ride it out in a bunker if you have enough supplies to get through the winter when you can’t produce any edible food.
“Maybe the finicky crops that humans like to grow won’t come through it so well, but there’s that seed repository, so if those are well-protected enough, you could get agriculture restarted.”
Plans to Protect the Earth from Asteroids
Some researchers are concerned that Earth is not yet prepared to protect itself against potentially lethal asteroids.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, previously raised concerns by tweeting, a massive rock will strike Earth sometime & we presently have no defense.
However, Nasa is investigating various defense techniques.
It has just completed its Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission.
According to NASA, DART is the first-ever mission devoted to researching and proving one asteroid deflection technique by modifying an asteroid’s trajectory in space by kinetic collision.
In September, the DART probe is scheduled to collide with a tiny asteroid dubbed Dimorphos, with the goal of deflecting it.
In other news, Nasa has updated its asteroid hazard program with some significant enhancements that should allow it to identify potentially harmful space objects more accurately.
In addition, the US space agency is aiming to launch a ‘golden asteroid’ probing expedition this summer.