SOMETIMES HOLLYWOOD downplays REAL DANGER
We all remember the 90’s Hollywood apocalypse fads. Whether saved from it by Bruce Willis, or led to it in mass acquiescence by Morgan Freeman, death by dangerous asteroids was always the public’s favorite.
But according to Queen’s founding member, Brian May, who’s also an astrophysicist, it’s no laughing matter.
Yes, Brian May was among many scientists who have urged the global powers at be to increase our efforts to locate and track asteroids that could pose a serious danger to us Earthlings. According to this amalgam of astrophysicists, the search for dangerous asteroids should be hastened a hundredfold, if we are to take our hopes of surviving an impact seriously.
WHAT ASTEROID DAY IS FOR
Not just scientists, but astronauts as well participate in a rather morbid holiday known as Asteroid Day, which is host to debates and lectures aimed at spreading awareness about the dangers of faster-than-sound giant rocks zipping and zapping through space. Basically Earth exists in an interstellar shooting range, and only a small percentage of the sky is regularly scanned for dangerous asteroids.
NON-ROCKSTARS ARE WORRIED, TOO
Among May’s ranks are Lord Rees, Peter Gabriel, Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, Eileen Collins, and nearly one hundred thousand others who’ve called for world governments to take the threat of dangerous asteroids seriously.
THE 100X DECLARATION
Signatories of the declaration demand that available technology be used more fastidiously to detect and track near-Earth asteroids which pose a serious threat to human populations, so that we discover 100,000 annually over the next ten years. The signatories believe that the adoption of Asteroid Day is another way to spread awareness about this, and hopefully take steps toward this feasible goal.
EXCERPT FROM DECLARATION
“There are a million asteroids in our solar system that have the potential to strike Earth and destroy a city, yet we have discovered less than 10,000–just one percent–of them. We have the technology to change that situation.”
This Asteroid Day shares its anniversary with a major asteroid which struck in 1908 in Tunguska, Siberia. In that catastrophe, a 40-meter wide rock fell from space at about 33,500 miles per hour, exploding in midair and releasing the energy equivalent to a massive hydrogen bomb. Images of 2,000 square kilometers of flattened forest still send chills up one’s spine.
If a dangerous asteroid of similar proportions entered the Earth’s atmosphere over a populated area, it would literally be hell on Earth, causing humans to combust before it even makes landfall.