Scary New Asteroid Impact Map Shows Space Rocks Hit Us ‘All The Time’

new bolides

If you’re the sort of person who worries about asteroids, a new map from NASA’s Near Earth Object Program is unlikely to offer much reassurance. It shows that during the 20-year period from 1994 to 2013, the Earth’s atmosphere was hit by small asteroids resulting in fireballs (bolides) on at least 556 separate occasions–or essentially “all the time,” the agency said in a written statement released in conjunction with the map.

(Story continues below map.)

Most of the asteroids that came our way burned up harmlessly before hitting the ground–evidence that the atmosphere “does a great job of protecting Earth from small asteroids,” program executive Lindley Johnson said in the statement. The notable exception was the so-called Chelyabinsk meteor event, in which an asteroid measuring 17 to 20 meters in diameter exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, 2013.

The Chelyabinsk meteor blew out windows and injured more than 1,000 people. But that event would pale in comparison to the devastation an even bigger asteroid strike could bring.

Just how worried should we be?

“Asteroid impacts are an extremely unlikely event, but a large one can have potentially bad consequences,” Dr. Amy Mainzer, deputy project —> Read More Here


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