Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

from Phys.org

Are asteroids humanity’s ‘greatest challenge’?

by Mariëtte Le Roux

Close encounter: NASA graphic showing asteroid 1998 QE2, which caused a brief scare when it skimmed past Earth in 2013. But one Close encounter: NASA graphic showing asteroid 1998 QE2, which caused a brief scare when it skimmed past Earth in 2013. But one day a space rock is bound to be on target, say worried scientists

Throughout its 4.5-billion-year history, Earth has been repeatedly pummelled by space rocks that have caused anything from an innocuous splash in the ocean to species annihilation.

When the next big impact will be, nobody knows.

But the pressure is on to predict—and intercept—its arrival.

“Sooner or later we will get… a minor or major impact,” Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, told AFP ahead of International Asteroid Day on Friday.

It may not happen in our lifetime, he said, but “the risk that Earth will get hit in a devastating event one day is very high.”

For now, there is little we can do.

And yet, the first-ever mission to crash a probe into a small space rock to alter its trajectory suffered a major setback when European ministers declined in December to fund part of the project.

[ click to continue reading at Phys.org ]

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »