Asteroid strike a remote possibility

The number of asteroids likely to collide with Earth and cause huge damage is smaller than expected, scientists said on Wednesday.

    Near-Earth flying objects fascinate scientists

    A computer simulation developed by scientists in Britain and Russia shows that asteroids with a diameter of 200 metres will hit the Earth's surface once every 160,000 years, instead of every 2500 years.

     

    Bland and Natalia Artemieva of the Russian Academy of Sciences used the computer simulation and existing data on impacts to reach their estimates which are reported in the science journal “Nature”.

       

    "Fewer asteroids (than expected) will make it to the surface of the Earth," said Dr Phil Bland, of Imperial College in London.

     

    Impact

       

    If a massive near-Earth object measuring more than a kilometre in diameter slammed into the planet it would cause global devastation and kill an estimated quarter of the world's population.

       

    But scientists believe an event of that size would only occur about every 700,000 years.

       

    Hollywood films such as "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" raised public awareness of the threat of near-Earth objects and prompted calls for early warning systems.

       

    A collision with the Earth 65 million years ago is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs by changing the global climate. A smaller asteroid is credited with levelling 1000 sq km of the Siberian forests in 1908.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?