Some scientists say that an asteroid is going to hit the earth 30 years from now. Is this true? Can we protect ourselves by sending nuclear weapons into space to destroy the asteroid? How big does a comet/asteroid have to be in order to destroy the Earth? What's the biggest a comet/asteroid could be and still burn up in our atmosphere?
There has been talk that the asteroid 1997XF11 will crash into the Earth in the year 2028. This asteroid poses no threat to the planet Earth in the next century. But, it will pass by the Earth over and over again in the next centuries, so it is worth knowing what we could do if it ever gets too close!
Right now, we have the technology to blow up a comet or asteroid coming towards the Earth. We would need some advanced notice (10 years would be a nice minimum notice). If we were to discover an object coming towards the Earth with only 1-2 years notice before impact, our technologies might not be good enough. So the best plan right now is to continue searching for Near Earth Objects so that we will know where these asteroids and comets are.
An object that's about the length of an American football field could make it through the atmosphere. Bodies longer than 5 football fields would certainly come through the atmosphere and would cause global disaster. The only thing we can compare such an impact to is that of nuclear war. Fortunately, impacts by such large bodies are extremely rare.
Submitted by Amber (Fargo, North Dakota, USA)
Submitted by Ann (Toronto, Canada)
Submitted by Phillip (Ottawa, Canada)
Submitted by Sam (Aaland Islands, Finland)
(June 29, 1998)
You might also be interested in:
What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?...more
Have you ever been on an Easter egg hunt? Well some people hunt for things other than eggs! NASA astronomers Robin Evans and Karl Stapelfeldt have hunted through 28,000 Hubble telescope images. What did...more
Not too long ago, many people thought that comets were a sign that something terrible was about to happen. People didn't understand about how objects in the sky moved, so the sight of a comet must have...more
Asteroids are small bodies that are believed to be left over from the beginning of the solar system 4,600 million years ago. They are rocky objects with strange shapes up to several hundred km across,...more
What is the diameter of the Moon in Kilometers? By how much is the Earth heavier than the Moon? How far is the Moon from the Earth? How old is the Moon? What is the internal structure of the Moon? I was...more
*Please note that this page is a student project written by Nicole Turner. It was not written or edited by Windows to the Universe scientists.* From Harriet Quimby (the first licensed woman pilot,) to...more
Here they are! Submitted by Ardith and Ashley (January 26, 1999) ...more
Wind does not have an effect on radio waves. Wind cannot affect radio waves because the air particles associated with wind are far too small for the radio wave to bounce off of. Radio waves can only bounce...more