Asteroids can and do strike Earth.
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Between 2000 and 2013, a network of sensors that monitors Earth around the clock listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations detected 26 explosions on Earth ranging in energy from 1 to 600 kilotons – all caused not by nuclear explosions, but rather by asteroid impacts. These findings were recently released from the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, which operates the network.
To put this data in perspective, the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with an energy impact of 15 kilotons. While most of these asteroids exploded too high in the atmosphere to do serious damage on the ground, the evidence is important in estimating the frequency of a potential “city-killer-size” asteroid.
A list of the impacts shown in the video can be found here. For more information on this data, please check out our Impact Video FAQ. You can read or download the press release about today’s event here.
B612 Press Conference at the Seattle Museum of Flight: B612 Foundation unveiled a new video showing the surprising number of asteroid impacts on Earth during the last decade, and discussed how we can prevent future impacts.
In partnership with Ball Aerospace, the B612 Foundation will build, launch, and operate an infrared space telescope to find and track the hundreds of thousands of threatening asteroids that cannot be tracked with current telescopes.
We have brought together a world-class team of astrophysicists and aerospace engineers, along with an outstanding business leadership team to design, build and operate the Sentinel Infrared Space Telescope to look for Near Earth Asteroids.
In October 2001, a group of like-minded scientists informally convened at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. And with it began perhaps the biggest environmental project was first imagined.
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