When a massive asteroid with a diameter of 10 kilometers 65 million years ago, fell to the Yucatan peninsula, it has changed the face of life on Earth. Raised in the explosion of dust covered the sun, making the Earth a dark and cold. Then the climate warmed dramatically — and all of these changes have erased from the face of the planet 70% of all living beings.
Can such an asteroid strike again? Of course. Only now does not suffer the dinosaurs, and people. Scientists have discovered more than 70% of the so-called killer asteroids — larger than a kilometer. And found out that none of them crash into the Earth in the next 100 years. However, there are about 10 million asteroids smaller. They will not destroy mankind, but can cause large-scale damage, for example, wiped out the big city. And since they have not yet been identified, it can crash into the Earth with absolutely no warning.
Search large asteroids is relatively simple and inexpensive, tell scientists. But if the question is about the possibility of a collision in the near future, it is necessary to be afraid of smaller ones.
Most asteroids composed of rock, but about three percent — of metals such as iron. Of very varied sizes — from small boulders up to several kilometers in diameter.
In the 1990s, NASA has adopted a program of Spaceguard, having the aim to detect up to 90% of large near-Earth asteroid by 2008. Today this problem is 70%. Keep track of the smaller asteroids is almost impossible, mainly because too many of them — up to 10 million only in the vicinity of the Earth. And according to scientists, more than any asteroid with a diameter of 50 meters, is a tremendous threat to the place where the falls. And if a stone falls, for example, in New York — the town just nothing left.
Battery News, 17.04.2004 10:17