Asteroids (Space rocks) are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. They may vary in size. Asteroids approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. Asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. According to a report published by spacetelescope.org, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. Asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
It is said that the Earth will reach to its end one day and one of the possible reason for this could be an asteroid. In the meantime, a large number of asteroids are hovering all around the Earth and we might get hit too sooner or later. A collision by one of these asteroids has been speculated by scientists on many occasions describing the massive devastation their impact would cause.
In his book ‘Brief Answers to the Big Questions’, Stephen Hawking talked about an asteroid collision being a massive threat to the human life and Earth as well. Recently, Neil DeGrasse Tyson also talked about the massive tsunami that will be caused by asteroid 99942 Apophis.
Neil De Grasse stated in a tweet said that "society’s refusal to heed the warnings of scientists" is the real threat.
Today, the greatest threat of extinction we face is not asteroids or climate change or disease or famine. It’s society’s refusal to heed the warnings of scientists.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) July 22, 2018
A massive asteroid will hit Earth and space agencies will not be able to do anything about it, warned Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla. “Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense,” Musk tweeted while responding to a news on the NASA is preparing for ‘colossal God of Chaos’ asteroid.
Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense. https://t.co/XhY8uoNNax— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 18, 2019
Whereas, space group B612’s President Danica Remy has claimed that the risk to Earth from asteroids is very small in the short-term but inevitable in the long-term. “It’s 100 per cent certain that we’re going to get hit, but we’re not 100 per cent certain when,” NBC quoted her as saying. Remy also claimed for the first time in human history that there is now the technology to help solve the problem.
"Asteroid Apophis is one of the asteroids that we are tracking and we know that it is not going to impact for the next few decades and will continue on trail,” Oxford scientist, Lewis Dartnell told Mashable India. He further noted that astronomers are looking for asteroids that might pose a threat but until now no such asteroid posing grave danger has been found.
This is why preparing defences against an asteroid impact event is of paramount importance. However, NASA is preparing to save the Earth from asteroid strike. Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is an undertaking by NASA for planetary defence which consists of a space probe that will use kinetic impactor technique to change the trajectory of an asteroid. Well, it is worth mentioning here that it seems that there are advances being made in the field of ‘Planetary Defence Against Asteroids’ and we all must be ready to face an asteroid impact. But, even if we are not, we could always count on a rag-tag team of diggers that work under Bruce Willis and a couple of astronauts to save us from ‘Armageddon’.