Meteorite Disasters from space could end us all

Asteroid hitting Earth

There are so many things that nature can throw at you, including meteorites, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, storms, and more.  In each one of these cases, people can survive. Especially if they take precautions.

For example, in the case of a tornado, people are building underground bunkers that are tornado proof. In the case of a drought, people are building irrigation systems that allow them to continue to water their crops.

Look at the most recent natural threat, the Covid-19 Corona virus.  It ended up killing hundreds of thousands of people. Already we are experimenting with a host of vaccines to protect us from future outbreaks.

The deadliest of them all a meteorite

But there is one natural threat that could destroy human life in a few minutes or even a few seconds.  I am referring to an asteroid hitting the earth at about 25,000 MPH.

This has already happened before, and most likely will happen again. Without warning, we could be struck by an asteroid. There would be no time to plan and no place to hide.

About 50,000 years ago a meteorite estimated to be about 160 feet in diameter, struck in Arizona. Some scientist believes that it was traveling about 45,000 MPH.

Today you can visit the meteorite impact site about 37 miles east of Flagstaff.

In January 2020, scientists reported new evidence that the extinction of dinosaurs was a result of a meteorite impact. 

Maybe you are thinking that this is just a fluke or a one-time incident, but there are more than 190 confirmed craters listed in the “Earth Impact Database.”

Since the earth is mostly covered by oceans, there are many more meteorite crater impacts yet to be discovered.

So what is it like when one of these hits the earth?  The Sudbury Basin, also known as the Sudbury Structure, is a major geological structure in Ontario, Canada. It’s the third-largest known impact crater on Earth, as well as one of the oldest. The crater formed 1.849 billion years ago.

The basin is located on the Canadian Shield in the city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario.

Of course, no one was around to record or describe that it was like when this happened, but it has been discovered that debris from the impact was scattered over an area of 620,000 sq mi. Rock fragments were thrown more than 500 miles away, as far as Minnesota.

All life forms within several hundred miles of the meteorite impact were killed instantly.

The Vredefort crater in South Africa is the largest verified impact crater on Earth. More than 190 miles in diameter.

It is named after the town of Vredefort, which is near its center. Although the crater itself has long since been eroded away, the remaining geological structures at its center are known as the Vredefort Dome or Vredefort impact structure. The crater is calculated to be 2.023 billion years old.

You may think, “OK that was billions of years ago, why should I be concerned now”

Well the point I am making is that we do not have any control over avoiding this phenomenon, and that it will happen again. When it does, we might not have any warning whatsoever.  Even if we were warned, what would you do?

Since our technology has advanced, we now can track many asteroids that have a collision course, or a near miss for earth.

NASA has a database of more than 15,000 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs).

A near-Earth asteroid is defined as one whose orbit periodically brings it within approximately 1.3 times Earth’s average distance to the sun — that is within 121 million miles.

There is also something called NEO (Near Earth Objects) which includes asteroids and comets.

Near earth objects in space

How serious is this? In 2005, Congress directed NASA to detect, track, catalogue and characterize 90 percent of the near-Earth objects equal to or greater than 140 meters, or about 460 feet, in diameter by the end of 2020. That was before NASA was defunded, so now of course, they are way behind in this goal.

Currently, two NASA-funded NEO surveys — the Catalina Sky Survey and the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) in Hawaii — account for about 90 percent of new NEO discoveries. Both projects upgraded their telescopes in 2015, improving their meteorite discovery rates.

They are finding an average of 4 to 5 new Near Earth Objects every day.

If a large meteorite were to hit a populated area, it could vaporize millions of people instantly, plus cause an Atomic-like winter storm that could reduce or even eliminate crops for many years.

People who weren’t lucky enough to die instantly from the impact would eventually suffer by starving to death.

So up until now, we have been talking about the dangers of being hit by a large asteroid or meteorite. So I ask the question, what else could be falling from space?

What about the other end of the spectrum?  What about the tiny fragments that fall into our atmosphere every day?  We call them shooting stars, but what are they?

Some meteorites are made of ice.

Ice , that could harbor a virus from space. I am talking about life from another planet.

Life does not necessarily have to be big enough to see, life can also include bacterial organisms and viruses.

Is it possible for a virus to be introduced to earth by an icy meteorite?

Some scientist have said it’s more than just possible; some say it has already happened.

It’s the study of the Panspermia hypotheses which propose that microscopic life-forms can survive the effects of space can become trapped in debris ejected into space after collisions between planets and small Solar System bodies that harbor life.

Some organisms may travel dormant for an extended amount of time before colliding randomly with other planets or intermingling with protoplanetary disks.

Under certain ideal impact circumstances, into a body of water, for example, and ideal conditions on a new planet’s surfaces, it is possible that the surviving organisms could become active and begin to colonize their new environment.

This would explain where new viruses and diseases come from.

Because of a tiny fragment from another planet. We could all be exposed to a deadly virus that completely wipes us out.

Something carried billions of miles through space, locked in a small fragment of ice no larger than a jellybean.

I hope this episode of the Creepy Show finds you safe and well, and that you find it thought-provoking and entertaining. Keeps an eye on the sky, look out for those meteorite fragments.