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What is the risk of extinction by asteroid ?

Posted on Sunday, 24 March, 2013 | Comment icon 53 comments | News tip by: AsteroidX

Image credit: ESA

Asteroids have wiped out life on Earth before - what are the chances of another hit any time soon ?

In a comment certain to elicit a certain degree of trepidation, NASA administrator Charles Bolden remarked at a hearing on Tuesday that if an asteroid was on it's way with only a few weeks notice then the only thing that anyone could do was 'pray'.

"The odds of a near-Earth object strike causing massive casualties and destruction of infrastructure are very small, but the potential consequences of such an event are so large it makes sense to take the risk seriously," he said. "From the information we have, we don't know of an asteroid that will threaten the population of the United States, but if it's coming in three weeks, pray."

"Mr Bolden told US lawmakers that prayer was all that the US or anyone could currently do about unknown asteroids and meteors that may be on a collision course with Earth."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (53)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #44 Posted by Mikko-kun on 28 March, 2013, 2:25
Then a Moon-sized object colliding with the earth would be Mooneorite, right? At least we get the term right if it comes
Comment icon #45 Posted by brainiac on 28 March, 2013, 4:48
Obviously it was not asteroid but climate change have wiped out life on earth.
Comment icon #46 Posted by Lilly on 28 March, 2013, 9:04
If something that big (moon sized) slams into us it's not gonna matter too much what we call it...'game over' would be a good tag.
Comment icon #47 Posted by Frank Merton on 28 March, 2013, 9:59
One "mooneorite" and all debate on this planet is done with.
Comment icon #48 Posted by smokeycat on 28 March, 2013, 15:10
Comment icon #49 Posted by Junior Chubb on 28 March, 2013, 15:17
That's no mooneorite.... That's a Spacestationeorite!!!
Comment icon #50 Posted by Occams Razor on 29 March, 2013, 12:07
You can get ointment to neutralize asteroids from your doctor.
Comment icon #51 Posted by Mikko-kun on 29 March, 2013, 13:28
Maybe it will dodge us if we're polite and get the name right
Comment icon #52 Posted by Frank Merton on 29 March, 2013, 13:34
The earth, with a diameter of 8,000 miles, is an extremely small target in its orbit with a radius of 97 million miles. No wonder it doesn't get hit all that often.
Comment icon #53 Posted by spayneuter on 29 March, 2013, 16:43
Thank you everybody! This subject interests me now. I googled meteor and got too many options. Could you all recommend a reliable and understandable site?

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