A leading astrophysicist has warned the next asteroid strike is just a matter of time as thousands of potentially threatening objects circle Earth. Dr Alan Fitzsimmons has said it is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen, with more asteroids being discovered every day. An unexpected strike in today's world could easily destroy a major city and a larger one could potentially wipe out humanity, the expert warned. Dr Alan Fitzsimmons is highlighting the threat for Asteroid Day, a global event next Friday. On that day in 1908, a massive explosion ripped through the sky over the Tunguska region of Siberia, flattening trees nearly 31 miles around.
An asteroid that could potentially wipe out life as we know it is due to fly'close' to Earth this Saturday. While Nasa is keeping an eye on the space rock, which is 230 metres (755 feet) in diameter, it says it won't come close enough to our planet to pose a threat. However, last week a leading astrophysicist warned the next asteroid strike is just a matter of time as thousands of potentially threatening objects circle Earth. Nasa says an asteroid is set to make a'close encounter' with Earth on Saturday. The asteroid – named 441987 (2010 NY65) – is 230 metres in diameter (stock artist's impression) While Nasa is keeping an eye on the space rock, which is 230 metres (755 feet) in diameter, it says it won't come close enough to our planet to pose a threat.
Researchers at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) presented a mission plan today at the European Planetary Science Congress that would allow scientists to observe hundreds of asteroids over the course of just a few years. Their plan is to send 50 nanoprobes -- small space instruments -- into the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter to take images and chemical measurements of around 300 large asteroids. "Asteroids are very diverse and, to date, we've only seen a small number at close range. To understand them better, we need to study a large number in situ. The only way to do this affordably is by using small spacecraft," FMI's Pekka Janhunen told Popular Mechanics.
An astrophysicist has warned that Earth could be hit with a surprise asteroid strike, according to news reports. Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at the Queen's University Belfast Astrophysics Research Centre highlighted the threat ahead of Asteroid Day on June 30, according to Phys.org. Fitzsimmons reportedly warned that it is a case of when, rather than if, an asteroid collision will happen. June 30 marks the 109th anniversary of the "Tunguska event" in Siberia – the largest-ever recorded explosion of a space object plunging to Earth. The blast, which was later attributed to a comet or asteroid fragment, is generally estimated to have been about 10 megatons.
A catastrophic asteroid impact big enough to wipe out humanity is only a matter of time, according to one top scientist. Humanity has next-to no defense against such an impact, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons said, which threatens to end life on Earth. Speaking to the BBC, the astrophysicist warned that the planet is at risk of a deadly disaster if protective measures aren't put in place. "We will get a serious asteroid impact sometime," said Professor Fitzsimmons, of Queen's University in Belfast. "It may not be in our lifetime, but mother nature controls when that will happen. "We will need to do something about it.