Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 1 month ago

What are the chances that an asteroid (large enough to destroy Planet Earth) will crash into planet earth sometime in the next 10 years?

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  • 1 month ago

    The rule is that it is not the one you see coming

    But the one that you don't

    Quick... Duck !!!

    Attachment image
    Source(s): My Slide Rule was in that Car
  • 1 month ago

    Good question.  I spent the better part of a half an hour moving my slide rule back and forth.  The result of your question...drum roll please.... is 50 50.  To translate into simpler non technical terms, either it will or will not happen.

  • 1 month ago

    Mercury has a crater (Caloris Basin) 1000 miles across on a planet with a diameter only 3010 miles.  The Moon, 2160 miles diameter, has Mare Orientale at 600 miles.  Mars at 4260 miles has Hellas Basin at 800 miles.  Callisto at 2995 miles has Valhalla Basin at 1300 miles.  There is no asteroid larger than 20 miles that ever comes within 15 million miles of Earth.  There is NO chance of ever "destroying" Earth with an asteroid.

  • 1 month ago

    Other answers are overly optimistic when dealing with so many unknowns.  And when others say "65 million years ago, not going to happen again for a long time."  Remember, Mother Nature does not run like on a train schedule.  Spacing between wipeouts is not very regular.  Like earthquakes, could be anytime,  but will be on us sooner or later.  Not "if".  More like "when".  Could be decades, or ten minutes from now.

    --NASA and Space Guard and several other efforts to track large NEOs (dangerous space rocks) have found 90% of the estimated total.  Still leaves 10% unknown.  And it is unknown if the estimated total is too low.  The number of people who actively look for threats would be shorthanded on running a single McDonald's for one shift.

    --Effect of a sizable chunk is estimated but observations show that we may be barking up a very short tree.  Bits of Shoemaker Levy Comet hit Jupiter 25 years ago with 22 impacts. Each one created a blot in the atmosphere bigger than Earth.  Quite a spectacle and astronomers are glad that they were half a billion miles from it.

    --Not only asteroids.  Comets come and go as they will, some with very short notice from discovery.  A center of one could be miles across (as spacecraft Giotto showed us about Halley's Comet).  That could end life on Earth, or at least modern civilization.

    --Mercury is in an orbit that has stability only on the short term (compared to the history of the solar system).  It could wander away from its orbit, skim past Venus and then where?

    --Visitors from afar like `Oumuamua and another more recent interstellar rock zoomed through our area.  Did miss us by quite great distances--just lucky.  Not detected in time to see anything but tail lights as they moved on out at millions of miles per hour.  No way to estimate or predict those.

    --GRBs or gamma ray bursts could extinguish surface life, ozone in atmosphere, lead to starvation by survivors.  Not predictable.  May have happened in distant past to our planet.

    --CME or coronal mass ejection from our star could wipe electronics everywhere, put us back into the 1880s.  Not possible to feed more than a billion people.  The other 7 billion?  Tough times.

    --Pandemic even worse than what we got.  At least we know how to beat this one.  If we could only buckle down and do that.  Other ones--maybe not.  Remember Native Americans and small pox?

    --Super volcano eruption to destroy large areas of food production.  Yellowstone caldera has done that several times over a period of a couple million years, and could do it again.  Mammoth Mountain, Sundar Strait (Krakatoa) and a few other hot candidates are ways to end life for most.

    --Collapse of our societies due to too much growth.  Happened before on Easter Island, Aztecs, Mayans, some SE Asians long ago.  We think we are so smart with crowded cities, huge farms with just a few crops, cutting forests, polluting air and oceans, burning carbon like no tomorrow.  Guess what?  There will be no tomorrow soon.  Read "Limits To Growth" from 1972 by Club Of Rome at www.clubofrome.org

    The predictions by computer 50 years ago are right on track today.  And in 20 to 30 years, POOF!  No way for most to survive that.  Educate your children and grandchildren so they might have half a chance.

    Which do you want to bet on?  I think the last one is surest, since humans collectively are too stupid to prevent it.  Longer than 10 years (maybe?).  But falling off a log easy.  Just continue "business as usual".  As Greta Thunberg says "The house is on fire.  And you argue about how much water to put in your bucket."

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  • 1 month ago

    Zero. If such a large asteroid was near earth, astronomers would have seen it long ago. 

  • 1 month ago

    Not likely. Though I must respectfully disagree with "nineteenthly". Remember, the oumuamua object came out of nowhere and did a "fly by" last year. We really don't know what's bumping what towards Earth in the kuiper belt or what we're heading towards on the other side of the Termination Shock.

  • 1 month ago

    Zero.  There is no asteroid large enough within range.

  • Manuel
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Not for the immediate future, the space agencies (around the world) are actively scanning space for any threat(s). Be safe.

  • 1 month ago

    Zero. Look up project NEO and do some reading.

  • 1 month ago

    During Earth's early history, a planet-sized body approximately the size of Mars smashed into the Earth, and it did not destroy planet Earth. The collision instead produced our Moon. It would take a collision with a planet the size of Venus or larger to destroy the Earth, I would think. We don't see any rogue Venus-sized asteroids roaming out there, so I will have to say zero chance. 

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