Experts demand action to prevent asteroid strike

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December 4, 2014

TV physicist Professor Brian Cox is backing the campaign, as is Queen guitarist Brian May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics.

He said: "The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it becomes that the human race has been living on borrowed time.”

December 4, 2014

TV physicist Professor Brian Cox is backing the campaign, as is Queen guitarist Brian May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics.

He said: "The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it becomes that the human race has been living on borrowed time.”

The group has called for a rapid increase in the discovery and tracking of near-Earth asteroids so that 100,000 can be discovered each year.

There are believed to be millions of asteroids in the Solar System but only around 10,000 have been found to date.

The group wants June 30th next year to be declared Asteroid Day to promote efforts to prevent an impact.

It was on that date in 1908 that around 800 square miles of forest in Tunguska, Siberia, was destroyed by an asteroid strike.

A similar impact now could wipe out an entire city.

Brian May said:  "We are currently aware of less than 1% of objects comparable to the one that impacted at Tunguska, and nobody knows when the next big one will hit. It takes just one."

Musician Peter Gabriel and tweeting astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield are also among those backing the campaign.

So is Jim Lovell who, in 1970, commanded the failed lunar mission Apollo 13.

Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees is another supporter.  He said: "The ancients were correct in their belief that the heavens and the motion of astronomical bodies affect life on Earth – just not in the way they imagined. Sometimes those heavenly bodies run into Earth. This is why we must make it our mission to find asteroids before they find us."

In February 2013 a meteor exploded in the skies above Chelyabinsk in Russia.

Although nobody was killed it did cause widespread damage.

Many scientists also believe that an asteroid or comet impact wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.


Courtesy: SkyNews