Can Asteroids pose a threat to Earth? NASA expert reveals the truth
NASA scientist says that asteroids have hit the Earth in its long history and it can happen again.
Do you think asteroids will ever hit the Earth? After all, there are many instances of asteroids smashing into Earth, or exploding in its atmosphere, a long time ago in the past and very much so recently too - just recall the recent Chelyabinsk asteroid.
However, at the moment, NASA says that there are no known impact threats from asteroids. Having said that, tiny meteorites break into Earth's atmosphere all the time and hit the ground.
One just hit a woman in the chest while she was having coffee in her balcony! It was small and had hit the roof before falling on her.
What do scientists say?
Dr. Kelly Fast, planetary defense expert and a manager in NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office explains. Dr. Fast said, “Asteroids have hit Earth over the course of its history, and it will happen again.”
According to the report by NASA, space dust, meteoroids, and even small asteroids hit Earth all the time and they create the meteors or “shooting stars” that you see as they disintegrate in the atmosphere. But impacts of asteroids that affect the surface are much rarer and happen on time scales of hundreds to thousands to millions of years.
However, there are asteroids that escape detection and the threat stems from them. For instance, just a few weeks ago, an asteroid passed threateningly close to Earth and no one even knew about it till it had passed our planet.
The only solution available is the early detection of asteroids that pose a threat to Earth is crucial. This will provide sufficient warning and help in taking measures against it if needed.
Fortunately, larger asteroids are more readily detectable, and the number of such asteroids in our solar system is relatively smaller, which is reassuring.
At the moment, NASA has experimented with its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and successfully managed to change the orbit of an asteroid in motion. Asteroid Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos were targeted by NASA. A spacecraft was crashed into the latter and this altered their course appreciably. However, that required an immense amount of time and preparation, something that may not be available when the next asteroid catches astronomers by surprise.
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