Stop what you’re doing, because human life as we know it could be about to come to an end. Or maybe it’s not. Either way, a giant asteroid is currently on a collision course with Earth, and if it hits then it could wipe out the planet.
If that’s enough to get your attention, then the fact that Asteroid 1950 DA apparently measures at 1,000 metres in diameter and could collide with Earth at around 40,000 miles per hour probably doesn’t bother you too.
According to the Daily Star, if the asteroid does hit our planet then it will cause such a huge explosion that “huge tsunamis capable of covering entire cities” will be triggered too. It’s also been revealed that the apocalyptic rock is traveling so fast at the moment that it is experiencing “negative gravity.”
Scientists have revealed that they regard any asteroid that measures in excess of 50 metres as a “city-killer,” so the fact that this one is 20 times the size of this warning has them increasingly alarmed. Another issue is that experts believe that it should have split up by now, but it is actually being held together by forces known as van der Waals.
A researcher from the University of Tennessee, Ben Rozitis has explained: “We found that 1950 DA is rotating faster than the break-up limit for its density. So if just gravity were holding this rubble pile together it would fly apart. Following the February 2013 asteroid impact in Russia there is renewed interest in figuring out how to deal with the potential hazard of an asteroid impact.”
He then added, “Understanding what holds these asteroids together can inform strategies to guard against future impact.”
However, those of you who have already started to build bomb-shelters and are beginning to pick which of their favorite friends and children will actually make it into their carefully structured, protective abode should probably cease their worrying because early predictions are that the asteroid will only strike Earth on March 16, 2880.
Odds that it will hit us on that date are currently at 300/1, while Charles Bolden, who is the chief at NASA, has admitted that the best defense against asteroids is prayer.
For the uninitiated, around 66 million years ago a huge asteroid collided with Earth in Mexico, and this led to the death of the dinosaurs as well as all of our plant life. This turned out to be good news for humans though, because a couple of million years later we profited from the demise of the T-Rex et al to become the dominant species of the planet.
[Image via Bing.com]