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Jan 29, 2023

Scientists Warn Giant Asteroid Is Actually Swarm, Nearly Impossible to Destroy

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Researchers have found that some asteroids that are largely made from small pieces of rubble could be very difficult to deflect if one were to ever hurtle towards Earth, a terrifying finding that could force us to reconsider our asteroid defense strategies.

It’s an especially pertinent topic considering NASA’s recent successful deflection of asteroid Didymos by smashing its Double Asteroid Reduction Test (DART) spacecraft into it last year, a proof of concept mission meant to investigate ways for humanity to protect itself from asteroid threats.

Jan 27, 2023

“Extraordinary” video shows asteroid passing “extremely” close to Earth

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

An astronomer has captured “extraordinary” footage of an asteroid that made an “extremely close” approach to the Earth on Thursday.

The space rock, known as 2023 BU, zoomed over the southern tip of South America yesterday, while it was only around 2,200 miles above the surface of the Earth.

This is one of the closest approaches of an near-Earth object ever recorded. Data from NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies showed that the flyby of 2023 BU was the fourth-nearest of more than 35,000 past and future Earth close approaches in the 300-year period from 1900 to 2200.

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Jan 25, 2023

“Rubble pile” asteroids may be surprisingly hard to destroy — study

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

When Japan’s Hayabusa mission traveled to asteroid Itokawa, it collected samples. These successfully reached Earth in 2010.


Near Earth asteroid Itokawa is a rubble pile that formed more than four billion years ago, a new study found. So, these asteroids might be resilient to demise.

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Jan 24, 2023

Dust particles from an asteroid could save Earth from doomsday

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, particle physics

Destroying an Earth-killing asteroid is not always possible, here’s what we can do instead.

Do you know what size asteroid would be enough to end all life on Earth? According to the experts at NASA, a space rock only 96 km wide can do the job.

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Jan 8, 2023

Dinosaur Legs Grown On Genetically Modified Chicken Embryos In World First

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, evolution, existential risks, genetics

Sixty-six million years ago, the age of the dinosaurs came to a dramatic close as a huge asteroid impact accelerated them on a path towards extinction. Not all of them died out, however; those that survived went on to become today’s birds.

Scientists are still trying to carefully map out the anatomical changes that occurred between dinosaurs and birds during this time, and there’s arguably no better way to do this than to engage in a little “reverse evolution.” With this in mind, a team of researchers has grown “dinosaur legs” in chicken embryos, as revealed in their study in the journal Evolution.

Remarkably, previous research manipulating chickens into “becoming” dinosaurs has already taken place. Back in 2015, a study showcased that chickens that had been tweaked during embryonic development could grow a dinosaur-like snout. A year earlier, a more low-tech study demonstrated how a few strategically-placed weights could make a chicken walk along like a Tyrannosaurus rex.

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Jan 4, 2023

NASA’s plan to identify dangerous asteroids takes a major step forward

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, economics, existential risks

The NEO Surveyor will be able to detect individual asteroid heat signatures.


NEO Surveyor is, as the name implies, a satellite specifically designed to survey objects near the Earth (NEO). One of its primary contributions will be to look for asteroids and other small bodies that are potentially on an eventual collision course with Earth but are invisible to typical NEO survey missions because of their location in the solar system.

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Jan 3, 2023

Chicxulub crater might be the smoking gun for the dinosaurs’ end of days

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Forged 66 million years ago, an enormous impact crater near Chixculub, Mexico, was left undiscovered until only a few short decades ago. But what caused it?

Millions of years ago, a dramatic mass extinction wiped out the dinosaurs.

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Dec 2, 2022

Megatsunami on Mars linked to an asteroid strike 3.4 billion years ago

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, mapping

The event is likened to the Chicxulub collision on Earth.

A study has found that the megatsunami that swept Mars around 3.4 billion years ago was caused by an asteroid strike on one of its oceans. The event is compared to the likes of the Chicxulub collision—which is believed to have wiped out dinosaurs from the face of the earth about 66 million years ago.

Researchers, led by Alexis Rodriguez of the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, have also suggested that NASA’s Viking 1 Lander, which was deployed on a mission to find evidence of life on Mars in 1976, could have landed near the crater of this megatsunami.

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Nov 27, 2022

Cause of Cambrian Explosion — Terrestrial or Cosmic?

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, evolution, existential risks, genetics

We review the salient evidence consistent with or predicted by the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe (H-W) thesis of Cometary (Cosmic) Biology. Much of this physical and biological evidence is multifactorial. One particular focus are the recent studies which date the emergence of the complex retroviruses of vertebrate lines at or just before the Cambrian Explosion of ∼500 Ma. Such viruses are known to be plausibly associated with major evolutionary genomic processes. We believe this coincidence is not fortuitous but is consistent with a key prediction of H-W theory whereby major extinction-diversification evolutionary boundaries coincide with virus-bearing cometary-bolide bombardment events. A second focus is the remarkable evolution of intelligent complexity (Cephalopods) culminating in the emergence of the Octopus. A third focus concerns the micro-organism fossil evidence contained within meteorites as well as the detection in the upper atmosphere of apparent incoming life-bearing particles from space. In our view the totality of the multifactorial data and critical analyses assembled by Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and their many colleagues since the 1960s leads to a very plausible conclusion – life may have been seeded here on Earth by life-bearing comets as soon as conditions on Earth allowed it to flourish (about or just before 4.1 Billion years ago); and living organisms such as space-resistant and space-hardy bacteria, viruses, more complex eukaryotic cells, fertilised ova and seeds have been continuously delivered ever since to Earth so being one important driver of further terrestrial evolution which has resulted in considerable genetic diversity and which has led to the emergence of mankind.

Nov 20, 2022

Ancient global ocean on Mars may have come from carbon-rich chondrite meteorites from the outer solar system

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

A team of researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Star and Planet Formation, working with colleagues from Université de Paris, ETH Zürich and the University of Bern, has found evidence suggesting that most of the water that made up an ancient global ocean on Mars came from carbon-rich chondrite meteorites from the outer solar system. The study is published in Science Advances.

Prior research has suggested that at one time, Mars was either mostly or entirely covered by a watery , and that the water came from gases seeping from below the surface and liquifying as they cooled. In this new effort, the researchers suggest the water more likely came from another source—meteorites traveling from the outer solar system.

The researchers came to this conclusion after studying fragments flung from the surface of Mars after asteroid strikes, which made their way to Earth as meteorites. The researchers studied 31 of them, looking most specifically for chromium isotopic fingerprints. Chromium-54 does not occur naturally on Mars; thus, its presence in crust samples from Mars would indicate that the surface had been struck by material from somewhere else.

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