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Asteroids Can Hit Earth Without Warning, Asgardia Scientist Says

Oct 18, 2016 05:40 AM EDT
NASA Probe Collides With Comet Tempel 1
A scientist said that potentially harmful asteroids can hit the Earth without being detected.
(Photo : NASA/Pat Rawlings via Getty Images)

Remember scenes from the movies "Armageddon" or "Deep Impact"? It seems like the threat posed by asteroids are real. And with the vastness of outer space, some scientists believe that the Earth is not safe from the devastating effect of space rocks that could potentially hit the planet without warning.

Scientists say that the Earth's defense system and asteroid-predicting capabilities are not enough to protect the planet from space rocks. To prove their point, they said that the Earth is constantly being bombarded by smaller and less devastating debris from space.

"Every day, Earth is bombarded with more than 100 tons of dust and sand-sized particles," a NASA official said in a press release.

NASA explained how asteroids could affect the planet. Based on the agency's report, there's one chance in every few million years that a potentially harmful space rock will hit the Earth. But on a regular basis, the smaller once have a bigger chance of hitting the planet. The smaller space rocks of about 25 meters in size are rarely felt because they burn up upon contact with the Earth's atmosphere. While the bigger rocks that are larger than 25 meters and are smaller than one kilometer can already create damages to the impact site.

But the alarming ones are the space rocks that are bigger than one kilometer. It can already cause damages that can be felt worldwide, according to NASA. The space agency also identified one potentially devastating asteroid called Toutatis, which is believed to be 5.4 kilometers in diameter.

Read: How an Ancient Comet Collision Could Have Caused Global Warming 56 Million Years Ago

Scientists issued a warning by saying that the Earth has an insufficient defense system to detect approaching space rocks, according to a report. The announcement was done during a Paris conference where Asgardia or the new space nation was announced. The chance of asteroids hitting the planet without anyone knowing it is a scary possibility according to the same report.

"The fact is there is no protection," Asgardia founder Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli said in a statement. "Protection is non-existent and is only at a theoretical level."

The scientists went on to explain how some asteroid managed to hit the planet without anyone detecting it.

NASA ,however, is unfazed by the threat and is continuously making efforts to ensure the planets safety by trying to understand space rocks better. Currently, an asteroid-mapping spacecraft OSIRIS-REx was launched to space in order to study the surface of an asteroid and to collect samples. The data that will be gathered by this mission will help mankind understand asteroids better and it will also enhance NASA's capability to predict and detect approaching asteroids.



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