As if the already-looming fear of getting wiped out by an asteroid weren't bad enough, it turns out we should’ve been 10 times more worried than we thought. This isn’t good.
A new report published by Nature has determined that Earth is 10 times more likely to be hit by an asteroid than scientists had originally theorized, a discovery that sends an catastrophy-sized twinge of fear down our collective spines.
The findings were exemplified by the recent meteorite that exploded over Russia. That space rock was just 62 feet wide — well below the 100-feet-or-larger standard currently employed by NASA’s tracking program — but that seemingly “small” meteorite still exploded over the planet with the force of approximately 40 Hiroshima-level atom bombs.
The scary part? That explosive power was nearly twice as much as researchers had initially estimated. So we’ve been underestimating these things for years. If that meteorite, or a similarly sized rock we never even saw coming, were to hit a major city or metropolitan area, it could potentially kill millions of people. Uh-oh.
Though an Armageddon-style mission to save the Earth sounds cool on paper, it’s obviously a pretty far-fetched option. Best-case scenario: We find a way to pump the appropriate resources into some more accurate tracking and early warning systems, build very deep shelters, and pray we see it coming.
So, yeah. Happy Monday?