(photo Courtesy NASA)
Jupiter was recently hit by a destructive and powerful asteroid or comet. The impact was
discovered by amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley 19 July 2009 from
his backyard in small town, Murrumbateman, Queensland Australia.
Using his telescope he photographed a dark scar in Jupiter's clouds.
(Photo is infrared and dark scar shows as bright white spot).
NASA astronomers confirmed the hit. It has been estimated that the killer asteroid was the size of several football pitches. The force of the explosion was thousands of
times more powerful then the asteroid which exploded over the Tunguska
River Valley in Siberia in June 1908, since known as the Tunguska Asteroid.
The scar on Jupiter's cloud tops is about 6,000 miles long by 2,000
wide. Considering the distance between London and Sydney Australia is a
little over 10,000miles, if this meteoroid had struck the Earth, its
impact effect would stretch almost halfway round the world. We have
serious reasons to be concerned.
Impacts and events
like this are important to astronomers, but also highly important for
residents of Earth. if such an object struck the Earth it would cause
catastrophic damage and death. Global communications would be
disrupted, medical aid would be minimal and disease would spread
killing survivors. The air at the impact site would be turned into
Plasma. A plume of debris, molten rock and large boulders would be
spewed into the atmosphere and rain down killing more people.
Particles of fine dust would linger high in the stratosphere
filtering sunlight affecting Earth's climate and possible cause
Killer asteroid heading to Earth. picture courtesy Big FutureRight now heading our way is 'asteroid 2002 N7' and is due 1st February 2019. Striking the Earth at 64,000 mph would cause an explosive force of 1.2 million megatons of TNT.
Impacts involving comets or asteroids over half-mile-wide (1 km) can cause widespread destruction and destroy 95% of living life, including humans. The '2002 N7' asteroid heading our way is double that size at 1.2 miles-wide (2km).
NASA have said that
there is only a slim chance of 2002 N7 striking the Earth and have
put the odds at 250,000 to 1. However NASA's department of Near Earth
Objects (NEO) has identified 448 other serious potential threats,
with 37 being Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). No government of
the world has seriously considered or funded ways of defending the
Earth and although The United States Congress budgets $3 million a
year for the NEO programme, it falls far short of what is needed. In
spite of this NASA have developed a detection system named Sentry, an
automatic Impact Monitoring System. For each
Near-Earth-Asteroid (NEA) approaching us, Sentry detects it and the
NEO department assigns a number from zero to ten according to the
threat level. They use a system of measurement called the Torino
Impact Hazard Scale. Zero shows a small chance of collision, while
ten is certain. Asteroid 2002 N7 has been given a 1 ranking, meaning
it needs careful monitoring. I would keep my
eyes open tonight for that bright object in the sky might just be
about to vaporise you.