Someone had better keep Bruce Willis and his team of deep-core drillers on retainer: within the next 100 years, nearly 900 asteroids could collide with Earth.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), there are currently 878 asteroids at risk of hitting the planet over the course of the next century.
While a number of the asteroids will be relatively small, the agency warned that even a small one could lead to ‘serious devastation’.
In order to protect the Earth and catch the rocks before they make landfall, the ESA has joined together with other groups to search for asteroids.
The agency are also working to develop methods to divert space rocks and plant to discuss tactics at meetings in Europe over the next few days.
Will these ideas involve training up a crack team from an oil rig? Or will they bring in Captain Tanner to commandeer a ship to a comet? Who knows, only time will tell.
The agency’s warning comes after NASA said an asteroid bigger than the Empire State Building was passing ‘close’ by our planet this week.
The space rock, called the 2000 QW7 will, skim past the planet at more than 14,000 miles per hour on Saturday (September 14).
It’s not exactly scraping the atmosphere; it’ll pass by at around 3.3 million millions away, however NASA still consider that to be a ‘close approach’.
The asteroid’s diameter is estimated to be between 951m and 2,133m – which is pretty fucking big. To put that into context, any asteroid over half a mile wide could destroy an area the size of the US state of Virginia (which is 102,548 sq km).
With that in mind, it’s probably a good idea that NASA consider any fast-moving space object within 4.65 million miles of Earth to be ‘potentially hazardous’.
As reported by the MailOnline, the ESA said:
This ESA catalogue brings together all asteroids we know of that have a ‘non-zero’ chance of impacting Earth in the next 100 years – meaning that an impact, however unlikely, cannot be ruled out.
The first meeting is taking place in Rome today and tomorrow (September 13), where they will discuss a plan straight out of a 90s action blockbuster: they’re thinking about crashing its DART spacecraft into the 160-metre asteroid, Didymos-B.
They will also meet in Munich to discuss asteroid 2006 QV89, which missed Earth on September 9.
Then, on September 16 and 17, an emergency response workshop will be hosted in Darmstadt, Germany, with civil protection agencies from six countries including Germany, Switzerland and the US, as well as from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
The ESA added:
These three meetings illustrate the breadth of activity currently taking place across the globe to mitigate the risk of an asteroid impact, to ensure early warnings of such a threat, and to prepare on Earth in the unlikely event of a strike – planetary defence is heating up!
These warnings come after an asteroid specialist warned there is a ‘100 percent’ chance of the Earth being hit by an asteroid if humanity doesn’t act now.
The dire warning was given by Professor Greg Leonard from the University of Otago in New Zealand, in a new book called End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World.
In it, Leonard and science writer Bryan Walsh warn that, if humanity doesn’t take preventative action soon, the Earth will eventually be hit by an asteroid.
With all these asteroids flying towards the Earth, I’m sure the ESA and NASA don’t wanna miss a thing.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.