With the knowledge that an asteroid caused the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, along with 75 percent of the other life which also existed on Earth, scientists have been concerned that an asteroid impact like this could occur again, and are now demanding action to stop the threat of another apocalyptic asteroid strike on Earth.
As The Express reports, many scientists will be attending a meeting in Vienna in April as part of a conference set up by the organization Asgardia, who were originally set up in part to research and propose rules that may need to be implemented once humans eventually colonize space.
Even though the odds are very low that there could be another apocalyptic asteroid strike on Earth, scientists are deeply concerned about not just these, but also near-earth objects (NEOs). Scientists have noted that over the last century, NEOs have struck Earth three times, with some of these much more powerful even than an atomic bomb.
In fact, after one such meteor strike in December — which occurred over the Bering Sea — scientists believe now more than ever that the threat of asteroids and NEOs must be dealt with swiftly, as it’s only a matter of time until one strikes a region inhabited by many people.
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Both scientists and politicians would like NASA and the ESA to expand their efforts to track asteroids and NEOs and work harder to look for ways to somehow stop these from striking Earth. Once such a system is set up and in place, scientists believe that the same will need to be done for both the moon and Mars, should humans one day find themselves there.
“Governments around the world must realise that NEOs pose a serious, even cataclysmic, threat to human civilization and that action must be taken now to identify levels of risk and develop the technology to protect this and future generations. If the Earth were an apple, the skin of the apple would represent the thickness of our atmosphere. Our lives depend on this unbelievably thin shield,” explained Jay Tate, one of Asgardia’s top scientists.
Tate also noted that besides asteroids and NEOs, Earth is also at the mercy of both solar storms and coronal mass ejections, which could theoretically destroy many telecommunication systems throughout the world, along with electrical grids and many other technologies that are necessary for human survival.
NASA has already tracked 900 enormous asteroids that could have greatly put the Earth in peril if they had struck our planet, and scientists have stated that this number jumps up markedly to 19,000 when combined with much smaller, yet still deadly, asteroids.