So Uh, We May Have Slightly Underestimated the Chance of a Massive Asteroid Hitting Earth

Whoa.

NewsFeed

No need for alarm yet, folks but we just thought we’d let you know: your chances of being pulverized by an asteroid colliding with the Earth are greater than previously thought…like, 10 times greater.

Scientists who studied the Chelyabinsk meteor, which exploded in the skies over Russia last February, made observations of the size, trajectory and impact of the space rock and determined that it weighed 12,000 to 13,000 metric tons, nearly twice as much as earlier estimates and packing lots more punch — about 500 kilotons of TNT (the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were about 15-20 kilotons). The risk of similar flying space rocks hitting earth is increasing due to the millions of smaller sized objects roaming the solar system, according to studies released in the scholarly periodicals Nature and Science.

“The residual impact risk — from asteroids with yet-unknown orbits — is shifting…

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