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Archive for the ‘asteroid/comet impacts’ category: Page 6

Feb 1, 2022

Humanity Could Survive A ’Planet-Killer’ Asteroid, A New Study Says

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

About 66 million years ago, a “planet killer” — a 10-kilometer-wide rocky asteroid — hit Earth. The Chicxulub impact caused a mass extinction on a planetary scale, killing off an estimated 76 percent of all species living on Earth at the time, including the dinosaurs. According to a study published by Philip Lubin and Alexander N. Cohen, both physicists at the University of California in Santa Barbara, there is a chance that humanity could survive such a similar impact happening in the near future.

There currently are about 1,200 asteroids on a publicly available asteroid risk list, but all are smaller than one kilometer. The probability of a Chicxulub sized asteroid (5 to 15 kilometers across) hitting Earth is once in a billion years — very low, but not impossible.

Jan 24, 2022

Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner)

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, climatology, Elon Musk, existential risks, sustainability

It’s wild.

A global apocalypse could be closer than you think.

According to astronomers, in five billion years or so, the sun will run out of hydrogen in its core completely and expand, possibly engulfing the earth. Now that’s a bright future you don’t want. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted that the expansion of the Sun would result in the extinction of all life on the planet, making interplanetary living a necessity. Musk said this in response to a paper warning about mass extinction caused by human activity, arguing for the necessity of working on ways to move off-world. However, while we lack the technology to live on other worlds just yet, we may have a more immediate catastrophe at hand — climate change and global warming. a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed, Sohrab Rahvar, proposes using gravity assist by the asteroids to change the orbit of the Earth.

Continue reading “Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner)” »

Jan 22, 2022

SpaceX Starlink: Why humanity needs to act now before it’s too late

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

We will soon need to make some difficult choices.


Given current trends, that number will be reached within a year or so. There are ways to mitigate the effect of these streaks. Painting the satellites and adding reflective panels could reduce their brightness, particularly at infrared wavelengths that are important for near-Earth asteroid detection.

But the study points out that the mitigation strategy currently proposed by Starlink won’t be sufficient to avoid an impact on astronomy.

Continue reading “SpaceX Starlink: Why humanity needs to act now before it’s too late” »

Jan 14, 2022

Lightyears 101: Are We Watching the Stars In Real Time?

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

In our solar system, Saturn is the farthest planet from Earth that can be seen with the naked eye. And if it is destroyed by an asteroid while you are watching it (with or without a telescope), the ringed planet would still be visible to you for around 80 minutes, on average, even after it’s in bits and pieces. This happens because the average distance between Saturn and Earth is 0.00015 light-years, which means that the light from Saturn takes approximately 80 minutes to rea… See more.


A lightyear is a unit that denotes the distance of objects from Earth in space. But how did it come to be and how does it help us in space travels?

Continue reading “Lightyears 101: Are We Watching the Stars In Real Time?” »

Jan 5, 2022

A Giant Asteroid Bigger Than The Empire State Building Is About to Zip Past Earth

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

A large, rocky asteroid is going to fly by Earth next week.

At 1 kilometer (3,280 feet) long, it’s roughly two and a half times the height of the Empire State Building, and it’s been classed a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” due to its size and its regular close visits to our planet.

But don’t worry, this month’s visit is going to have a very safe clearance, with the asteroid zipping by at a distance of 1.93 million kilometers (~1.2 million miles) away from Earth – that’s roughly 5.15 times more distant than the Moon.

Continue reading “A Giant Asteroid Bigger Than The Empire State Building Is About to Zip Past Earth” »

Jan 3, 2022

NASA raises warning of 5 asteroids heading towards Earth in January, 2022

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

An asteroid as large as Big Ben will be approaching Earth in January, 2022. However, it is not the only asteroid heading towards Earth.


The year 2022 has just started and here we are with dire NASA warnings of potentially hazardous asteroids heading for Earth. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has reported that as many as five asteroids are coming towards the Earth in the first month of the year. An asteroid around the size if a bus will approach the Earth in the first week of January itself.

Asteroids, comets, and meteoroids are large rocks in space that orbit the Sun and occasionally vary their orbits due to the gravitational attraction of planets. When these space rocks do collide with any planet, it’s usually a disaster. That’s why, even when an asteroid with a diameter of more than 150 metres approaches Earth, NASA classifies it as a potentially hazardous asteroid and monitors it closely.

Continue reading “NASA raises warning of 5 asteroids heading towards Earth in January, 2022” »

Dec 31, 2021

Scientists Are Working to Bring Back Dinosaur-Like Traits with Chicken

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

We thought that all the dinosaurs went extinct when an asteroid hit the earth some 65 million years ago until recently. Now we know that some of the dinosaur species, mostly avians, survived and become birds. Scientists are trying to tweak chicken DNA to produce atavistic, dinosaur-like, traits that are embedded in the genes of birds for years.

A research team led by Yale paleontologist and developmental biologist Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar and Harvard developmental biologist Arhat Abzhanov conducted the first successful reversion of a bird’s skull features back in 2015. The team replicated ancestral molecular development to transform chicken embryos in a laboratory to turn its beak into a snout and palate configuration similar to that of small dinosaurs such as Velociraptor and Archaeopteryx.

“I wanted to know what the beak was skeletally, functionally and when this major transformation occurred from a normal vertebrate snout to the very unique structures used in birds,” Bhullar said.

Dec 24, 2021

NASA’s Next-Generation Asteroid Impact Monitoring System Goes Online

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

The new system improves the capabilities of NASA JPL’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies to assess the impact risk of asteroids that can come close to our planet.

Dec 22, 2021

Scientists solved the mystery of comet’s green shade

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

But strangely, this green shade disappears before it reaches the one or two tails trailing behind the comet.

Astronomers, scientists, and chemists have been puzzled by this mystery for almost 90 years. In 1930, it was suggested that this phenomenon was due to sunlight destroying diatomic carbon. The carbon is created from the interaction between sunlight and organic matter on the comet’s head. However, due to the instability of dicarbon, this theory has been hard to test.

Scientists at UNSW Sydney have finally found a way to test this chemical reaction in a laboratory – and in doing so, has proven this 90-year-old theory correct. They solved this mystery with the help of a vacuum chamber, a lot of lasers, and one powerful cosmic reaction.

Dec 18, 2021

Meteorites that produce K-feldspar-rich ejecta blankets correspond to mass extinctions

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

Meteorite impacts load the atmosphere with dust and cover the Earth’s surface with debris. They have long been debated as a trigger of mass extinctions throughout Earth history. Impact winters generally last 10 years, whereas ejecta blankets persist for 103–105 years. We show that only meteorite impacts that emplaced ejecta blankets rich in K-feldspar (Kfs) correlate to Earth system crises (n = 11, p 0.000005). Kfs is a powerful ice-nucleating aerosol, yet is normally rare in atmospheric dust mineralogy. Ice nucleation plays an important part in cloud microphysics, which modulates the global albedo.

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