Around 66 million years ago, an asteroid apparently measuring six miles in diameter hit the earth and resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. Since then, asteroids with such devastating power has never hit the blue planet. However, space experts like Dr Iain McDonald and physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson strongly believe that catastrophic asteroid hits are not confined to the past, and it may happen in the future too.
Now, Prof. Alan Fitzsimmons of Queens University, Belfast has revealed that another deep impact from space is unavoidable, but scientists could not predict its date and time. "We will get a serious asteroid impact sometime. It may not be in our lifetime but mother nature controls when that will happen. We will need to do something about it. We'll need to move that asteroid so it misses us and doesn't hit us," he said.
If Nature decides, what defense we have
Fitzsimmons made this remark while talking exclusively to BBC. During the talk, he also added that effective action plans should be formulated to prevent the cataclysm before the arrival of a dangerous space rock capable enough to wipe out life from the earth's surface.
A recent study had found that asteroid impacts are much more common than previous assumptions. Scientists who took part in this research concluded it so after analyzing a 2,900-ft deep impact crater located in Western Australia.
Previously, it was believed that this collision took place around 300,000 years ago, but the new research found that this deep impact from space actually happened around 120,000 years ago.
Planetary defense weapon or nuclear strike?
NASA, the United States space agency, in collaboration with private space companies like SpaceX is now developing a planetary defense weapon that is aimed to deflect the asteroid from its current collision course trajectory. However, a section of space experts argues that this weapon will not be effective to protect the earth from giant asteroids.
As per these experts, a nuclear strike will be the best option to combat a doomsday asteroid hit. These experts claim that conducting a pre-emptive strike will help to destroy dangerous asteroids without elevating the chances of radioactive rain.