According to a scientist, a LARGE asteroid hitting Earth could release a thousand times more energy than a nuclear bomb.
Speaking to the New York Times last weekastronomers have warned of the devastating effects a rogue space rock could have on our planet.
Most near-Earth asteroids big enough to wreak global havoc have been discovered by researchers.
Programs run by NASA monitor thousands of so-called near-earth objects (NEOs) that could pose a threat 24/7.
But, NEO’s Measuring about 460 feet across, numbers in the tens of thousands and could cause significant damage.
Half remain unidentified and can create explosions that destroy cities, “larger than any nuclear test ever conducted,” Megan Bruck Syal, a planetary defense researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, told NYT.
Earthlings are in for a “really bad day” even if an asteroid just 160 feet in diameter were to hit, she added.
One on June 30, 1908 near Tunguska in Siberia, a few hundred meters across, devastated 800 square miles of forest.
“That’s still 1,000 times more energy than the Hiroshima explosion,” said Dr. Bruck Syal.
It is believed that only one in ten near-Earth objects in this size range has been discovered.
Thousands of so-called near-Earth objects (NEOs) are being tracked by space agencies to give early warning if they are on a collision course with our planet.
Any object within 4.65 million miles of us is classified as “potentially dangerous” by cautious space organizations.
Earth has not seen an asteroid of apocalyptic proportions since the space rock that wiped out dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
However, smaller objects capable of leveling an entire city do crash to earth from time to time.
Luckily, Nasa doesn’t think any of the NEOs it’s keeping an eye on are on a collision course with our planet.
That could change in the coming months or years, however, as the space agency frequently revises the predicted trajectories of objects.
“NASA is currently not aware of any asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth, so the likelihood of a major collision is fairly low,” NASA says.
“As far as we can tell, no large object is likely to hit Earth for the next hundred years.”
Should a city-destroying asteroid threaten our planet, there’s not much scientists can do.
Astronomers analyze how nuclear weapons could one day be used to deflect or destroy dangerous space rocks.
Later this year, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test space mission will impact an asteroid to change its orbit around the sun.
The mission is intended as a test run for the day when we really need to knock a space rock out of Earth’s path.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8572539/dangerous-asteroids-powerful-hiroshima-nuke/ Dangerous near-Earth asteroids ‘could be 1,000 times more powerful than Hiroshima’s atomic bomb’