No risk of collision with an asteroid in the next 1,000 years, really?

66 million years ago, an asteroid crossed Earth’s path. The collision ended the reign of the dinosaurs. And the misfortune could repeat itself. Not in the coming years, however, the researchers reassure us.

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It has happened before and it will happen again for sure! A day will come when an asteroid will collide with Earth again. As late as possible. We all hope so. Because even if NASA has just shown that we have now acquired the ability to deflect the trajectory of an asteroid, humanity does not seem quite ready to face this terrible eventuality.

The impact of a giant asteroid on Earth would wipe out humanity

Many objects called NEOsNEOs — because their trajectory may cross the orbit of our Earth; English speakers call them NEO for Near-Earth Objects — are now under close surveillance. In particular those whose diameter exceeds the kilometer. NASA estimates that it has identified 95% of them so far. Because if one of them were to crash into our planet, the damage would be colossal. The dead would number in the hundreds of millions. But astronomers from the University of Colorado (United States) reassure us today on this subject. No mileage NEO poses a significant risk for the coming century. Not even for the millennium to come, first.

Many threats not yet identified

This conclusion, they draw it from a different method from that used so far to determine the trajectories of asteroids – because these are rather difficult to predict over a long time, as they can be disturbed by small modifications of the ‘environment. What the researchers estimated this time is how close each of the 1,000 known NEOs will approach Earth. And for the next 1,000 years.

By dint of simulations, the astronomersastronomers have even identified one or the other asteroidasteroid most at risk. One of them, 1994 PC1, would present a 0.001 51% chance of approaching closer to our planet than the Moon during this millennium. It’s both incredibly weak. And ten times more likely than any other asteroid.

Test the impact of an asteroid in your area!

In conclusion, the researchers point out that the danger could also come from smaller asteroids. The object that crossed and exploded above Chelyabinsk (Russia) 10 years ago, in 2013, was only 20 meters in diameter. It left more than 1,000 injured. From 140 meters in diameter, an asteroid is deemed capable of razing an entire city. And to date, NASA estimates that it has not identified more than 40% of this type of object…

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