The Nuclear Weapons Test Warning Network has detected 26 multi-kiloton asteroid hits since 2001. Based on these figures, asteroids impacting with Earth are 3-10 times more common and more likely in the future than scientists previously believed. Luckily for us these hits have been in remotely populated areas. That however is nothing more than luck…and if impacts of that magnitude continue to bombard Earth then one day soon we will find that our luck has run out.
Ed Lu CEO of The B612 Foundation which runs the Sentinel Mission to find and track asteroids says:
“This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts. It shows that asteroid impacts are NOT rare—but actually 3-10 times more common than we previously thought. The fact that none of these asteroid impacts was detected in advance is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck. The goal of the B612 Sentinel mission is to find and track asteroids decades before they hit Earth, allowing us to easily deflect them.”
Video of Chelyabinsk Asteroid Impact
The Chelyabinsk asteroid was just 62 feet across, well below the 100 feet plus asteroids that were hunted by NASA, who have now lowered the threshold for the size of space rocks they hunt. It exploded with the force of 40 Hiroshima sized atomic bombs.
The Chelyabinsk asteroid roared through Earth’s upper atmosphere at an initial speed of around 19 kilometres per second — more than 50 times the speed of sound. At an altitude of between 45 and 30 kilometres, the heavily fractured, and hence rather fragile, body broke into pieces and finally burst into gas and dust at around 27 kilometres altitude.
“Luckily, most of the kinetic energy was absorbed by the atmosphere,” says Jiří Borovička, an asteroid researcher at the Astronomical Institute, part of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Ondřejov, near Prague. ”A more solid rock that might have blasted closer to the ground would have caused considerably more damage.”
Three former astronauts will be part of the team that presents the findings from the Nuclear Test warning Network on Tuesday, April 22nd at the Museum of Flight, Seattle at 11:00 PST. You can watch the presentation for free by clicking here at that time.
If a 62 feet wide rock explodes with the force of 100 times the Hiroshima bomb can you imagine the damage that would be caused of something like that made it just a few miles further through the atmosphere, it’s energy undissipated? New York, LA, London or any other city would be reduced to rubble, and the only thing between us and such an event is, by the admission of scientists, “blind luck”.
This does not fill me with confidence. The asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk—injuring more than 1,000 and damaging buildings in six cities—was a shocking reminder that Earth is a target in a cosmic shooting range. From the width of a football field to the size of a small city, these space rocks have the potential to be killers. In a collision with Earth, they, depending on their size, have the ability to set off deadly blast waves, raging fires and colossal tidal waves.
Originating in the asteroid belt far out in the solar system, these lumps of rock can be pulled into different orbits by the gravitational pull of the outer planets and their trajectory can be altered by forceful collisions with other asteroids. Once on a path through space, which is a vacuum, the asteroids will carry on down that same path unless they are knocked off course by something. Impact craters on the Moon show that there have been many thousands of impacts, many of those would have been destined for Earth had the Moon not been in the way.
There are several well preserved strike sites in the United States, once again they are in relatively remote areas.
Meteor Crater is a meteorite impact crater approximately 43 miles (69 km) east of Flagstaff, near Winslow in the northern Arizona desert of the United States. It is the largest impact crater yet discovered in the United States. Because the United States Board on Geographic Names commonly recognizes names of natural features derived from the nearest post office, the feature acquired the name of “Meteor Crater” from the nearby post office named Meteor. The site was formerly known as the Canyon Diablo Crater, and fragments of the meteorite are officially called the Canyon Diablo Meteorite. Scientists refer to the crater as Barringer Crater in honor of Daniel Barringer, who was first to suggest that it was produced by meteorite impact. The crater is privately owned by the Barringer family through their Barringer Crater Company, which proclaims it to be “best preserved meteorite crater on Earth”.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!