NASA, United Nations Grow Increasingly Concerned Over Asteroid Strike
For most people, the idea of an asteroid colliding with a populated, urban area, remains a far-fetched idea. However, the United Nations fears that we may be lulled into a dangerously complacent state. June 30th was officially asteroid day, a day where some media outlets chose to acknowledge the current threats while noting asteroid collisions with earth from the past.
If the past is our teacher, we should understand the threat of an asteroid colliding with earth is valid. Only a few weeks ago, NASA officials declared asteroids to be a real threat to our society.
NASA and the United Nations are equally concerned that earth’s defense systems, including military, aren’t prepared to deal with an asteroid strike. Clearly, you and I can’t do too much to prepare for a major asteroid event. That said, it’s always a good idea to have a general prepper plan established. If an asteroid takes out the power grid, you’re left to your own devices. You don’t want to depend on the government or neighbors to provide for you.
That said, the general population can’t physically stop an asteroid strike. We have to depend on the powers that be to do so. There are a number of concepts in the works, including blowing up asteroids that pose authentic threats. But even that method comes at a risk given that asteroid shrapnel will become a new, more “shotgun” type threat to our planet.
There are a number of asteroid threats to discuss, but let’s focus on two main ones. The first being the most concerning (obviously).
Doomsday Asteroid – Bennu
Probably the most popular asteroid threat we know of, Bennu, commonly termed the ‘doomsday asteroid,’ is larger than the Empire State building. Worse more, NASA claims they have no real way to stop the doomsday asteroid from striking earth.
Look at the below graphic and get an idea of the sheer scale of this gigantic, dangerous asteroid.
Bennu has a 1 in 2,700 chance of colliding with our precious planet. If it does strike us, it does so with 80,000 times the force of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The ‘1 in 2,700’ may sound like long odds, but when put into perspective, they aren’t that long at all. NASA agrees as they’ve been developing strategies that they hope could thwart the doomsday asteroid impact. NASA carried out a study that explores ideas to stop Bennu’s collision with earth.
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2010 RF12 – Projected To At Least Pass Closer Than Our Moon
Tumbling through the universe at a speed of 117,935kph, 2010 RF12 could impact earth at the end of the century. Right now, path prediction models are troubling. Many have 2010 RF12 breezing by earth in closer proximity than our moon. Yes, the moon you can visually see in the sky would be further away than a dangerous, colossal asteroid flying through space.
The good news is that 2010 RF12 isn’t huge. If you’ve seen video from the meteor that crashed into Chelyabinsk in 2013, that’s the scale we are talking about.
But all the same, if that same meteor collides with an urban area like New York City, the damage and harm to life would be far greater than the Russian event.
Here’s a closer look at the potential threat.
The total weight of RF12 is just at 500 tons. Believe it or not, in asteroid sizing, that’s not huge. It’s projected to make a closer pass August 13, 2022, when scientists hope to get better visuals on the asteroid threat. It is expected that 2010 RF12 will make a number of closer passes to earth before the threat of actual impact. This gives scientists and researchers more exposure to it’s construct.
The smaller size of the asteroid means the odds of an impact with earth are slim. In fact, 2010 RF12 could explode into pieces upon entry into the earth’s atmosphere, reducing the severity of an impact. The Sentry Risk Table gives 2010 RF12 a 5% chance of striking our planet.
Asteroids Remain Unknown Science
The truly bad news with asteroid science is that we can’t find them all. Yes, there are likely to be asteroid surprises. This science is simply not settled. There have been numerous cases of asteroids hitting earth by surprise, including the Russian event. That’s another reason that NASA and the United Nations are increasingly concerned over asteroids. We can’t predict all of them.
All we can do is remain vigilant.
How Can We Prepare For An Asteroid Strike?
In short, we can’t. But you knew that. Having a prepper plan that includes stored water, food, and ammo, remains the best way to survive any calamity. We can’t shut an asteroid down that’s flying through space, but we can make sure if a power grid is struck, or infrastructure is compromised, our basic needs are met. Being prepared for any disaster makes sense for you and your family.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.