Armageddon may not be that far off in the future, if we figure from what has happened in the past! It is quite rare when a space object strikes Earth’s surface. However, it may not be that rare, as believed earlier. According to a new study, the chances of a destructive asteroid colliding with the Earth are many times higher than expected earlier.
Informing about the same, a report by Weather.com stated. “The findings came to light when James Garvin, chief scientist of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, presented his work last week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Garvin and his colleagues used high-resolution satellite imagery to identify large rings around three impact craters and one probable impact crater that are 1 million years old or younger.”
Garvin believed the rings represented craters tens of kilometres wide, which means that the asteroid-striking events must have been far more violent than the craters itself suggested. “And we’re talking ten times more violent than the largest nuclear bomb in history, more than enough to blow a part of the Earth’s atmosphere into space,” the report further added.
It can be noted that the timeframe of 1 million years was selected because the past 1 million years have some of the best-preserved history of near-Earth object impact events, in terms of deposits and associated crater landform features.
While these couldn’t have been as destructive as the asteroid strike that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, they would have been sufficient to hinder the climate and cause local extinctions. “It would be in the range of serious crap happening,” Garvin said, as quoted by the report.
Based on the parameters of testing, Garvin and his team have found that a 1-kilometre-wide or larger asteroid or comet strikes Earth every 600000 to 700000 years. “This would mean that in the past million years alone, four 1 km-wide objects pummeled the continents. With two-thirds of the planet being covered by water, that would equate to nearly a dozen such asteroids striking Earth in that time frame,” the report added.
Notably, to put things in perspective, it was a massive asteroid, whose collision with Earth ended the era of dinosaurs.