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Asteroids Strike on Earth is Inevitable, Likely to Affect Millions of People: Study

Over 1800 Potentially Dangerous Objects Have Been Identified Near Earth

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Earth is susceptible to asteroid attacks and it’s just a matter of time when it is going to happen. Pixabay
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  • It is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen
  • The asteroid warning comes ahead of the world asteroid day on 30th June
  • A Czech scientist who has analyzed 144 fireballs from meteor showers has already warned that the risk of a big-sized asteroid hitting earth surface is pretty high

June 23, 2017:

Earth is susceptible to asteroid attacks and it’s just a matter of time when it is going to happen. Any asteroid attack or outer space stuff on any major city could do a significant damage and millions of live would be affected.

Alan Fitzsimmons from Queen’s University Belfast in Britain, said “it is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen.”

The asteroid warning comes ahead of the world asteroid day on 30th June. It is so because, on 30th June, 1908, an asteroid of small size exploded over Siberia which even out 2000 sq kilometres of area.

However this year’s world asteroid day would contain discussions and presentations which will be live streamed from Luxembourg in which Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott will answer questions from people on social media.

ALSO READ: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft begins 2-week search for Earth-Trojan asteroids

Mr Fitzsimmons told that scientists have worked at great lengths to recognise near earth asteroids and how much damage they can yield upon striking. He also told that over 1800 potentially dangerous objects have been identified near earth and many more are to be found.

However, he has said, “Astronomers find near-Earth asteroids every day and most are harmless. But it is still possible the next Tunguska would take us by surprise, and although we are much better at finding larger asteroids that does us no good if we are not prepared to do something about them.”

A Czech scientist who has analysed 144 fireballs from meteor showers has already warned that the risk of a big-sized asteroid hitting earth surface is pretty high.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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NASA’s Probe Discovers Signs Of Water on Asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid's gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain.

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This Nov. 16, 2018, image provide by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu. NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has discovered ingredients for water on a relatively nearby skyscraper-sized asteroid, a rocky acorn-shaped object that may hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, scientists said on Monday.

OSIRIS-REx, which flew last week within a scant 12 miles (19 km) of the asteroid Bennu some 1.4 million miles (2.25 million km) from Earth, found traces of hydrogen and oxygen molecules — part of the recipe for water and thus the potential for life — embedded in the asteroid’s rocky surface.

The probe, on a mission to return samples from the asteroid to Earth for study, was launched in 2016. Bennu, roughly a third of a mile wide (500 meters), orbits the sun at roughly the same distance as Earth. There is concern among scientists about the possibility of Bennu impacting Earth late in the 22nd century.

 

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx. Flickr

 

“We have found the water-rich minerals from the early solar system, which is exactly the kind of sample we were going out there to find and ultimately bring back to Earth,” University of Arizona planetary scientist Dante Lauretta, the OSIRIS-REx mission’s principal investigator, said in a telephone interview.

Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists believe asteroids and comets crashing into early Earth may have delivered organic compounds and water that seeded the planet for life, and atomic-level analysis of samples from Bennu could provide key evidence to support that hypothesis.

“When samples of this material are returned by the mission to Earth in 2023, scientists will receive a treasure trove of new information about the history and evolution of our solar system,” Amy Simon, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in a statement.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid
This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. The rocky remnant from the dawn of the solar system may hold clues to the origins of life. VOA

“We’re really trying to understand the role that these carbon-rich asteroids played in delivering water to the early Earth and making it habitable,” Lauretta added.

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid’s gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain. From there, the spacecraft will begin to gradually tighten its orbit around the asteroid, spiraling to within just 6 feet (2 meters) of its surface so its robot arm can snatch a sample of Bennu by July 2020.

Also Read: Wintertime Ice Growth in Arctic Sea Slows Long-Term Decline: NASA

The spacecraft will later fly back to Earth, jettisoning a capsule bearing the asteroid specimen for a parachute descent in the Utah desert in September 2023. (VOA)