Wednesday April 24, 2019
Home Science & Technology Warning! Grow...

Warning! Growing Risk of Asteroids Hitting the Earth

A group of scientists has warned of the growing risk of a sizeable asteroid hitting the Earth

0
//
Earth
Taurids meteor shower lights up the sky. The risk of asteroids hitting the Earth has grown over the years. Wikimedia
  • Scientists have warned about the growing risk of Asteroids hitting the Earth
  • The warning comes from Czech scientists who analyzed a recent meteor shower with 144 fireballs
  • The meteor shower, known as Taurid, has shown greater activity since 2015

What are the Taurids?

The Taurids, associated with comet Encke, are an annual meteor shower known for lighting up the skies every November. Scientists and Astronomers from Czech Academy of Sciences analyzed the Taurids and its 144 fireballs (meteors that explode in the atmosphere) have concluded their study after observing a new branch with two asteroid measuring 200-300 meters in diameter. It has a well-defined orbital structure. The risk of asteroids hitting the Earth has grown.

What does it mean?

It means that there are numerous asteroids with even larger diameter present but yet undiscovered. Every few years the Earth encounters the branches of Taurids for a period of three weeks. Addition/ Formation of new branches indicates a growing risk of an asteroid collision with Earth.

The study says that the fragments could collide with the Earth in 2022, 2025, 2032 and 2039 during the Annual Meteor Shower (November time). The asteroids are otherwise fragile, but the large ones possess the ability to penetrate deep into the atmosphere.

Interestingly, this is not the first time we have been warned about the Taurid meteors. A hypothesis says that they were also part of the ancient collisions that led our planet into an ice age.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

Next Story

New Study Indicates, Life on Earth May Have Begun in Ponds But Not Oceans

"Our overall message is, if you think the origin of life required fixed nitrogen, as many people do, then it's tough to have the origin of life happen in the ocean," s

0
Earth
Nitrogenous oxides were likely deposited in water bodies, including oceans and ponds, as remnants of the breakdown of nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere. Pixabay

Challenging a common perception, a new study suggests primitive ponds may have provided a suitable environment for creating Earth’s first life forms, more so than oceans.

The findings published in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems showed shallow water bodies could have held high concentrations of what many scientists believe to be a key ingredient for jump-starting life on Earth: nitrogen.

ocean
Scientists believe there could have been enough lightning crackling through the early atmosphere to produce an abundance of nitrogenous oxides to fuel the origin of life in the ocean. Pixabay

“Our overall message is, if you think the origin of life required fixed nitrogen, as many people do, then it’s tough to have the origin of life happen in the ocean,” said lead author Sukrit Ranjan from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It’s much easier to have that happen in a pond,” Ranjan said.

Nitrogenous oxides were likely deposited in water bodies, including oceans and ponds, as remnants of the breakdown of nitrogen in Earth’s atmosphere.

Atmospheric nitrogen comprises two nitrogen molecules, linked via a strong triple bond, that can only be broken by an extremely energetic event — namely, lightning.

Scientists believe there could have been enough lightning crackling through the early atmosphere to produce an abundance of nitrogenous oxides to fuel the origin of life in the ocean.

ocean
In the ocean, ultraviolet light and dissolved iron would have made nitrogenous oxides far less available for synthesising living organisms. Pixabay

But the new study found that ultraviolet light from the Sun and dissolved iron sloughed off from primitive oceanic rocks could have destroyed a significant portion of nitrogenous oxides in the ocean, sending the compounds back into the atmosphere as nitrogen.

Also Read: Trump Considers Sending Detained Illegal Migrants to Sanctuary Cities

In the ocean, ultraviolet light and dissolved iron would have made nitrogenous oxides far less available for synthesising living organisms.

In shallow ponds, however, life would have had a better chance to grow, mainly because ponds have much less volume over which compounds can be diluted. As a result, nitrogenous oxides would have built up to much higher concentrations, the study said. (IANS)