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Space & Astronomy

New mountain-sized asteroid discovered

December 10, 2014 | Comment icon 9 comments



The Earth frequently runs a gauntlet of large space rocks. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
A Russian scientist has identified a huge asteroid that crosses the Earth's orbit every three years.
The threat posed to the Earth by objects from space was brought in to sharp focus back in 2013 when a meteor the size of a bus exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia.

While the damage was minimal compared to what it could have been had the space rock been much bigger, the event prompted an increase in asteroid hunting efforts and a greater emphasis on finding ways to protect the planet should something of a much larger scale ever be found heading in our direction.

Now astrophysicist Vladimir Lipunov from the Moscow State University has revealed the discovery of an asteroid the size of a mountain that appears to cross the Earth's orbit every three years.
"We need to permanently track this asteroid, because even a small mistake in calculations could have serious consequences," he said.

While there doesn't appear to be any immediate risk of a collision, the find still emphasizes how little we know of the objects that are crossing our path on a regular basis.

Even a relatively small asteroid could cause widespread devastation were it to to hit us and there are countless thousands of them out there that we don't know anything about.

"Every couple of days new ones are being discovered," said Natan Esmant of Moscow's Space Research Institute. "Scientists have increasingly powerful tools to do this work, but there's a lot still to be done. Every object that crosses the Earth's path can be a potential threat."

Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by highdesert50 8 years ago
A high probability for collision with a large object could be a formula for cementing humanity into a common need for survival instead of the idiotic fighting over arbitrary boundaries.
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
I agree, for the most part, but you'd still have the looters and other people who think they can survive the strike.
Comment icon #3 Posted by jarjarbinks 8 years ago
when was the last time some asteroid hit us and wipe the civilization ? i guess i'll win loto before one hit us again
Comment icon #4 Posted by toast 8 years ago
when was the last time some asteroid hit us and wipe the civilization ? Never. But that means nothing.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Misanthropic 8 years ago
In the event that an Earth smasher was to... smash Earth, well, it's been a good run. (Edit: Damn autocorrect!)
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sundew 8 years ago
A high probability for collision with a large object could be a formula for cementing humanity into a common need for survival instead of the idiotic fighting over arbitrary boundaries. Doubtful. The developed nations would get together long enough to blow it up and then go back to squabbling. And there is a purpose for boundaries. After all, I don't want my country overrun with low skilled, uneducated, future welfare recipients, who will take a share in an ever shrinking job market. Oh, wait, never mind, what was I thinking....
Comment icon #7 Posted by Wickian 8 years ago
A high probability for collision with a large object could be a formula for cementing humanity into a common need for survival instead of the idiotic fighting over arbitrary boundaries. That'll never happen. We're too tribal and competitive to ever become a unified species. If we ever reach the point of colonizing other planets, I can see individual countries staking claim to entire worlds, but not much more than that.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Calibeliever 8 years ago
Yikes!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Atuke 8 years ago
Find Harry Stamper asap


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