(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to a new research, comets are a bigger threat than asteroids to life on Earth, and there is a possibility that one could randomly head toward our planet. The looming threat of asteroids has long since been on our mind. With all the close encounters on holidays, scientists have considered the possibility of dangerous collisions.
Fortunately, there have been no threats detected for the next century at the very least. However, researchers from the Armagh Observatory and the University of Buckingham have directed their attention in the outer planetary system. It appears that there are certain celestial bodies that could change their trajectory toward our planet.
And with them, carry a huge impact that will cause destruction upon Earth.
Researchers directed attention to massive comets in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, called “centaurs”. These centaurs are between 50 to 60 miles, made of ice and dust, that usually cross paths with planets such as Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn. And there is where the problem stands. Due to those planet’s huge gravitational fields, researchers fear that one of the centaurs might ricochet and head toward us.
According to their findings, such incidents occur every 40,000 to 100,000 years, and it is possible that one of them will be to the detriment of our planet. In fact, geologists and paleontologists believe there is a distinct possibility such a comet might hit Earth around 65 million years ago. It would have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, and fits the multiple theories surrounding such celestial bodies.
It is indeed a rare event, but it is a possibility. While there is no reason to panic, it should also not be taken for granted. If they are right in their findings, then these centaurs have a major change of significantly affecting the Earth, and life as we know it upon our planet. It could be a serious hazard, but there’s fortunately time to understand them better.
The issue is in their unstable orbit and giant mass. According to one of the researchers, professor Bill Napier, each centaur has a mass that is equal to the sum of all the asteroids that have passed near-Earth. A collision could have catastrophic consequences. If a comet manages to enter our planet’s atmosphere, it would cause heavy meteor showers, and likely trigger an even harsher climate change than we are already expecting.
Humanity might just follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs, so it will take ample of research and understanding in order to assess the proper chances of that happening.
Image source: 3tags.org
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