Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP). A space rock even bigger than the meteor that exploded like an atom bomb over Russia could drop out of the sky unannounced at any time and wreak havoc on a city. And Hollywood to the contrary, there isn’t much the worlds scientists and generals can do about it, according to a report from The Associated Press.
However, some former astronauts want to give the world a fighting chance.
Let’s put this story into prospective so the reader understands what all the sudden attention is focused on meteors and asteroids and their close encounters with the planet Earth.
The asteroid was an expected event that scientists world-wide were watching as the monster sized hunk of space rock hurled past earth from about 117 thousand miles out. That is close when considering other such close encounters. However, while watching this monster, about half the size of a football field do its fly by, something altogether unexpected happened. It was, according to scientists, in no way connected to the asteroid, its orbit and trajectory were not even the same. A meteor came out of no where and exploded over Russia. Windows shattered, people injured, and in general throwing everyone into a panic and running for cover.
Scientists are hopeful that Friday’s cosmic coincidence – Earth’s close brush with a 150 foot asteroid, hours after the 49 foot meteor struck Russia will draw attention to the dangers lurking in outer space and lead to action, such as better detection and tracking of asteroids.
Todays event, according to (AP), over the Ural Mountains was estimated to have been 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during WWII. It blew out thousands of windows, causing Kaos in the streets, injuring thousands as people in Chelyabinsk, a city of one million. And yet, no one saw it coming; it was about the size of a bus.
Most readers I am sure are aware of the efforts made by NASA to track asteroids, but meteors are more difficult to track. It as if they come out of nowhere, and when discovered it is too late to do anything but watch as it hurrles its way into the earth atmosphere, usually exploding more than often over areas uninhabited. However, in some cases over major cities like the events of today.
That is why many scientists are saying that we need to do more than talk, and start taking action, because, one day they will be predicting that instead of a fly by we would be in for a direct hit by an asteroid perhaps even bigger than what we saw today. And, will suddenly realize that we are not prepared, and not capable of doing anything about it. In short it might then be too late. The effects on Earth as well as all mankind might be catastrophic, as well as, if you will, terminal.
Perhaps today’s events will prompt that kind of new commitment to take a closer look at this obviously real problem. A problem that affects every living creature upon this earth.
That’s my point of view. I look forward to your insights on this issue as well as other issues of the day. Meanwhile, have a great day, and as usual….God Bless America!