Will a Giant Asteroid Kill Us All in 2182?

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Mike Agliolo/Corbis

That’s right, there’s another potential cause for the end of the world.

We were previously told that, due to the Mayan calendar, the world would end in the year 2012. Subsequently, we can expect climate change to cause another ice age, or lead to extinction, that is, if the sun hasn’t burned out and plunged us into cold and darkness.

The future isn’t looking bright, (ahem….) but here’s a doomsday theory even skeptics can’t totally deny: a massive asteroid, named the 1999 RQ36 was discovered in 1999 and has a width of over 1,800 feet. Scientists have said that this asteroid’s impact could have a similar effect to that which allegedly wiped out the dinosaurs. Great.

However there are potential theories on how to prevent the collision. Scientists have a number of different ways of deflecting or destroying an approaching object intent on causing the world’s destruction. The highlights involve using mirrors to attempt to vaporize the asteroid’s surface using the sun’s rays, crashing spaceships into it to alter the path, and a nuclear blast. The scientists have said that an attempt to divert the asteroid would need over 100 years preparation to have any realistic chance of success.

The good news is that there is only a 1-in-1,000 chance of the asteroid hitting the earth before 2200, and even if it does, it’s our grandchildren’s problem now. (via MSNBC)

- Zander Sharp

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