This Is What NASA Is Doing To Prevent A Disastrous Asteroid Strike.
According to President Barack Obama's chief science adviser John Holdren, the earth is still vulnerable to an asteroid strike, one that is potentially catastrophic.
So, just as a refresher, what exactly is an asteroid? An asteroid is an irregularly shaped object, usually made of rock or metal, that orbits the sun. Are they really dangerous? Well, asteroids, along with other things like debris, is believed to have caused the craters on the moon, and some theorize that the Chicxulub asteroid brought upon the extinction of the dinosaurs. So, yes, they can be dangerous in a collision on earth.
Details remain muddy for now, but Holdren noted that progress is being made during a discussion of NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) held at Goddard Space Flight Center on September 14.
'We are not fully prepared, but we are on a trajectory to get much more so.'
Read more about how the history of asteroids on earth and also about how NASA plans to deal with the threat below.
The Chicxulub crater is named after the Mexican town it is closest to. Its diameter measures to about 110 miles and while it's depth measures at 12 miles. Physicist Luis Alvarez and his son Walter Alvarez proposed that the event led to the extinction of many plants, animals, and dinosaurs, but this remains a subject of controversy among scientists.
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The Tunguska Event
On June 30, 1908, there was a huge explosion above a remote forest in Siberia. As a result, the fireball flattened an estimated 80 million trees. Thirty five miles away in the nearest town, windows shattered.
How powerful was the explosion?
Researchers say that this event produced nearly 185 times more energy than that measured in the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima.
The explosion did not occur over a populated city, and there were no reports of human casualties. Hundreds of reindeer, however, were burned to death.
What caused the event?
There is a general belief that the event was caused by an asteroid or commit. Some have entertained more creative explanations.
Unfortunately, scientists at the time did not immediately analyze the site, which probably led many to embrace alternative theories. At the time, bigger asteroids, ones large enough to cause extinction, were taken more seriously.
Threat of Asteroids Today
In the past, we've heard news of asteroid collisions and close calls. Three years ago, when a meteor strike in Russia and asteroid flyby occurred the same day, members of Congress to learn more about what NASA, White House, and Air Force officials were doing to work against these dangers.
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