Some of the last words uttered by renowned physicist Stephen Hawking before his death was about the global population being rendered extinct in the next millennia. It would happen, he contended, because of things like Donald Trump, global warming, or those sneaky asteroids. Okay, well, we’ve been told since grade school that these space rocks took out the dinosaurs, and Hawking believed that humanity was running out of luck when it came to another one crashing into Earth. He thought we might meet one of those fiery bastards face-to-face in the not so distant future. And, he might have been onto something, too.
Not only have we experienced more UFO sightings in 2020 than in years past, but it also seems that we’ve been hearing a lot more about asteroids. Those who stand on the side of religion might say that this is just the Master of the Universe’s way of staging a “Come to Jesus” moment for all of humanity. It’s trying to let us know that we’re all damned, doomed, and will undoubtedly spend eternity burning in Hell. However, those with any common sense understand that the odds of one of these blazing rocks giving us the old dinosaur treatment is just a roll of the dice. But what exactly are the odds of one killing us dead?
The latest headlines have shaken Americans to the core by suggesting that an asteroid will hit Earth right before the November election. Some believe that they could be incinerated or possibly even drowned by massive Tsunamis long before they ever get to cast a ballot for their puppet of choice.
Come on, folks, you’ve got to know that humanity would never be lucky enough to meet extinction right before the second coming of a political apocalypse. This election is just too slimy to shut down in the 11th hour. Whoever is up in the sky running the show at this moment, they want us to suffer. Rest assured, our demise will be a slow one, and it’s not likely to come from an asteroid either.
According to a report from Science Focus, the space rock barreling toward Earth (called 2018 VP1 ) has roughly a .41 percent chance of hitting us on November 2nd. And even if it does, the damn thing is only about the size of the average man – around six feet long. It will burn up well before it has a chance to destroy anything. So, don’t worry about this rock putting an end to civilization.
But the next one, well, it could fuck things up.
There are presently 23,600 Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that have the potential to jump off track and make an impact with our tiny, insignificant planet. Any object within 130 million miles of the Sun (the big and small) is considered a NEO. Some of these things are comets, but most are asteroids. It should be noted that not all of these rocks pose a threat to Earth in a way that we have seen in the movies. But some do. NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) classifies any rock 450 foot long or longer as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” (PHA). There are about 2,100 of these bad boys being watched like a hawk at this very moment. Still, that’s not to say that the smaller asteroids can’t cause trouble if they make their way to Earth. Some of the ones that have connected with us over the past few years have hurt people and caused property damage.
But anything marked a PHA, well, that could be catastrophic, the experts say. Just don’t wait around for one to come. Because while smaller asteroids might hit Earth every 80 years or so, the larger ones, those deemed PHAs, come down “only once every 20,000 years,” says Dr. Paul Chodas, director of CNEOS.
And the asteroids the size of what killed the dinosaurs are even less common. They strike once every 100 million years.
So how much time is left before we get the dino-treatment?
Well, considering that the dinosaurs went extinct around 65 million years ago, none of us should have to worry about a disastrous asteroid sending us to the grave. It could still be millions of years yet before anything that substantial sets its sights on this planet. In reality, there’s more of a chance that humanity will have found a way to take itself out long before another massive rock does it for them. Hawking warned that we’ve already hurt the planet so extensively that we’d probably have an easier time inhabiting another one than trying to fix the damage we’ve done. So if you are stressing about asteroids right now, don’t. You can rest easy. There are plenty of other tragedies that could come for our eternal souls long before a celestial body.