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Earth struck by big asteroids 'all the time'

Posted on Sunday, 20 April, 2014 | Comment icon 23 comments

Are we more at risk than we think ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Three former NASA astronauts are set to reveal some unsettling data on how vulnerable our planet is.
The claim is based on data recorded by a nuclear weapons warning network suggesting that "the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a 'city-killer' sized asteroid is blind luck."

According to the data, asteroid impacts have resulted in 26 atomic bomb sized explosions over remote locations on our planet within the last 13 years, a figure that is three to ten times larger than the officially established rate at which such events are believed to take place.

The team are now working on what is known as the "Sentinel Infrared Space Telescope Mission", an endeavor designed to better detect and warn against incoming threats from space.

"This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts," the team stated in a press release. "The goal of the B612 Sentinel mission is to find and track asteroids decades before they hit Earth, allowing us to easily deflect them."

Source: | Comments (23)

Tags: Asteroids

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Frank Merton on 21 April, 2014, 11:00
The reason is that what has hit us, at least for the last couple billion years, just has not been quite big enough.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Frank Merton on 21 April, 2014, 11:01
Space is big, even in the solar system it is almost all empty; it is not like billiards; these collisions happen very rarely.
Comment icon #16 Posted by cyclopes500 on 21 April, 2014, 13:47
Asteroids don't bother me. Its comets I'm more worried about. Not only are they unpredictable, they moving a hell of a lot faster and can hit asteroids as well as the arth. Nobody expected Hale Bopp for example. Copied from Wikipedia. The estimated probability of impacting Earth in future passages through the inner Solar System is remote, about 2.5 x 10−9 per orbit.[33] However, given that the comet nucleus is around 60 km in diameter,[1] the consequences of such an impact would be apocalyptic. A calculation given by Weissman[33] conservatively estimates the diameter at 35 km... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by The Black Ghost on 21 April, 2014, 17:33
I would say that since most of what they are classifying as "asteroids" explode in the atmosphere, the risk of damage to us on the ground is minimal.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Calibeliever on 21 April, 2014, 18:21
I had no idea they were that frequent. Even if most of these explosions are occuring high in the atmosphere it's still pretty astonishing that there are explosions a couple of times a year of that size and people don't see more of them. I guess the odds are in our favor because of the fact that people only inhabit a small fraction of the planet but still...
Comment icon #19 Posted by David Thomson on 22 April, 2014, 0:39
Asteroids of this size were not frequent until the solar system entered an Interstellar dust cloud in 2002. NASA seems to be hiding this fact for some reason. Instead of telling it as it is, they are inventing history by saying this has been happening all along but we haven't noticed. If these kinds of events have been happening all along, they would have been noticed a long time ago. We have been monitoring gamma ray bursts, have satellites in space monitoring the atmosphere, had space stations observing Earth, and have airplanes all over the planet in the air all the time. And now they o... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by taniwha on 23 April, 2014, 8:50
You can watch the visualisation now here... Maybe future Sentinels might even destroy or repel the most dangerous asteroids.
Comment icon #21 Posted by toast on 23 April, 2014, 11:06
Are you talking about the LIC (Lokal Interstellar Cloud) here? If not, can you pls provide a reliable source that will back your claim? No NewAge/shaman/hippie sources please.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Calibeliever on 23 April, 2014, 16:36
I'm no expert but I try to stay current on astronomy. This is the first I've heard about an increase in asteroids. I would think NASA would be shouting this as loud as they could to get funding to beef up their observation programs. I would also like to see some sources for this revelation please.

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