A Nasa scientist on Monday warned that humans are woefully unprepared for a surprise comet or an asteroid strike. It is being recommended by the researchers that Nasa must build an interceptor rocket, with periodic testing, alongside an observer spacecraft to stop catastrophic fireballs from hitting the Earth.
The Guardian reported that there had been two near misses of an asteroid hitting a planet in the Solar System, one in 2014 which was a significantly close distance to Mars and the another one closely hitting Jupiter in 1996. The report also revealed that as of now we don’t have such resources to potentially ‘deflect’ a mishap.
Dr Joseph Nuth, a researcher with Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center at a presentation with nuclear scientists into the prevention of Earth from cosmic dangers hurtling toward the planet. Nuth, at the annual meeting of American Geophysical Union, said that in comparison with the small comets that occasionally explodes in Earth’s atmosphere or hits its surface, the gigantic asteroids are extremely rare.
“The biggest problem, basically, is there’s not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment,” said Nuth. “But on the other hand they are the extinction-level events, things like dinosaur killers, they’re 50 to 60 million years apart, essentially. You could say, of course, we’re due, but it’s a random course at that point.”
It’s been long when rumours started surfacing and suggesting about a whopping asteroid, which will hit our planet and wipe out humans. Scientists believed that millions of years ago a similar scenario could have happened which destroyed dinosaurs.
Recently, researchers have found the first physical proof that a Goliath comet or space rock pummelled into Earth around 56 million years back, which has triggered the global warming. The prehistoric crash between the space rock and earth similar made the planet experiencing an unexpected warming period, which is kept on boosting over time.
If reports are to be believed then a half-mile wide asteroid is enough to shake the humanity on Earth. The impact itself will be equivalent to billions of tons of explosives. In addition, it will also create earthquakes worldwide which kill vegetation, animals and humans. Lack of food will kill remaining humans on Earth.
In order to prevent such a situation, the US space agency NASA has established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office which has developed the Asteroid Redirect Mission or ARM to protect humans.