New Study Claims A ‘Planet Killer’ Asteroid Hitting Earth Is Unlikely, But It’s Not All Good News

asteroids - planet killer 1000 years


New research on the chances of a “planet killer” asteroid hitting Earth in the next 1,000 years claims it is “extremely unlikely.”

That’s the good news.

“As far as we know, there’s no impact in the next 1,000 years,” lead author of the study, Oscar Fuentes-Muñoz from the University of Colorado, told MIT Technology Review.

The study, published in The Astronomical Journal, cataloged kilometer-sized (0.6 miles wide) Near-Earth Objects (as classified by NASA) to see if any of them could possibly cause a global mass extinction event.

Almost 1,000 of these asteroids were studied and only one, Asteroid 1994 PC1, was determined to have any real chance of passing within the orbit of the moon in the next 1,000 years.

“It’s still not likely that it’s going to collide,” said Fuentes-Munoz. “But it will be a very good scientific opportunity, because it’s going to be a huge asteroid that’s very close to us.”

The bad news is that smaller space rocks can “still cause a lot of damage,” said planetary scientist Áine O’Brien from the University of Glasgow.

Also, NASA’s catalog of asteroids larger than 140 meters across (459 feet) is only about 40% complete.

If an asteroid that size were to smash into Earth it could destroy an entire city.

“But it depends on how many there are, which is really uncertain. We’re not sure. But there’s hope that new surveys of the sky will give us a much higher completeness rate,” said Fuentes-Munoz.

One approximately 200 foot diameter space rock flattened 830 square miles of Siberia forest in 1908, reports Live Science.

Another one, approximately 59 feet in diameter, blew out windows and damaged buildings in Chelyabinsk, Russia, injuring almost 1,500 people in 2013.

Interestingly, in November of 2022, scientists discovered 1.5 kilometers wide (0.9 miles) Asteroid 2022 AP7 hiding in the glare of the sun, so there are still plenty of planet killer asteroids lurking out there in space that we aren’t even aware exist.

The previous month, an asteroid almost collided with Earth on October 24th and no one, not even NASA, knew it was coming.

Asteroid 2021 UA1 came the third closest an asteroid has ever approached the planet without actually colliding with it.

This is why NASA and the European Space Agency recently blasting their Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft directly into an asteroid and why Japan bombed an asteroid: to see if we can alter the orbit of one of these space rocks should they become a threat.

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Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.