We Can Survive Killer Asteroids — But It Won’t Be Easy

Celebrity astro-physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson shares some advice on how to guard against pesky Near-Earth Objects (like the meteor that lit up California and Nevada last weekend), in Wired Science:

The chances that your tombstone will read “Killed by Asteroid” are about the same as they’d be for “Killed in Airplane Crash.”

Solar System debris rains down on Earth in vast quantities — more than a hundred tons of it a day. Most of it vaporizes in our atmosphere, leaving stunning trails of light we call shooting stars. More hazardous are the billions, likely trillions, of leftover rocks — comets and asteroids — that wander interplanetary space in search of targets.

Most asteroids are made of rock. The rest are metal, mostly iron. Some are rubble piles — gravitationally bound collections of bits and pieces. Most live between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and will never come near Earth.

[continues in Wired Science]

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    I say another round of tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity ought to finish off those pesky asteroids.  Look what it’s done for Britain.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/business/global/british-economy-slips-back-into-recession.html

    • Water Music

      Hey, didja know that England’s socialist experiment (ca. 1950s -1980s) was funded largely by American capitalists?

      Ironic, but it’s trufax. Read “Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism” by Joshua Muravchik for the details. 

      • Liam_McGonagle

        Maybe they should pay again.  Capitalists used to pay a 70% top marginal rate in the U.S. before someone decided that the tax burden should be shifted to the segments of society least able to meet the cost.

        You know, in 1965.  When America was a 3rd world power with trillion dollar deficits and over 10% real unemployment. . . Or was that . . . today?

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    It’s a little surprisng that asteroids have as much chance as killing you as an airplane crash. I thought the odds were better than that. This link is interesting in regard to asteroids http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torino_Scale

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