Asteroid as powerful as 10 billion World War II-era atomic bombs caused the extinction of the dinosaurs has been discovered by the scientists. The massive asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago and caused 75 per cent of life on the planet to become extinct, according to research led by the University of Texas and published in the PNAS journal. The study suggests that the asteroid caused wildfires over 900 miles away.
"For me personally, successfully collecting the cores from the peak ring of the Chicxulub crater was the fruit of years of proposal writing and planning made reality. It was a truly exciting moment when we first encountered the sediments from the impact itself and moreover when we realized we were seeing events in such detail," CNN quoted Professor Sean Gulick as saying.
It is also known to the scientist that 800,000 years ago, a one-kilometre long asteroid crashed into Southeast Asia which our ancestors had already survived.
However, it is still a matter of study how the humans at that time survived such huge impact. It may be because humans are much smarter than dinosaurs gave them a edge when it comes to surviving asteroid attack.
According to a Space Telecope report, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. It further added that asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has already warned that a massive asteroid will hit Earth and space agencies will not be able to do anything about it.
"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 the ‘colossal God of Chaos’ asteroid.
Another asteroid will fly-by Earth on September 14 is 2010 CO1. The space rock is 260 metres wide and 120 metres long and is traveling at a staggering speed of about 51,696 kmph. Asteroid 2010 CO1 was first spotted on January 31, 2010. However, this asteroid has been classified by NASA as an Apollo Asteroid, as it is a Near-Earth Asteroid with very wide orbit with a perihelion distance less than 1.017 AU, and semi-major axis greater than 1 AU.
In 2016, a NASA scientist warned that the Earth is unprepared for such an event. In April 2018, the B612 Foundation reported "It's 100 per cent certain we'll be hit [by a devastating asteroid], but we're not 100 per cent sure when." Also, in 2018, physicist Stephen Hawking, in his final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions, considered an asteroid collision to be the biggest threat to the planet.
Asteroid impact avoidance comprises a number of methods by which near-Earth objects (NEO) could be diverted, preventing destructive impact events. A sufficiently large impact by an asteroid or other NEOs would cause, depending on its impact location, massive tsunamis, multiple firestorms and an impact winter caused by the sunlight-blocking effect of placing large quantities of pulverized rock dust, and other debris, into the stratosphere.
According to expert testimony in the United States Congress in 2013, NASA would require at least five years of preparation before a mission to intercept an asteroid could be launched.