Remember that bumper sticker from before the election, “Giant Meteor 2016 – Just End It Already”? Well, NASA reminds us that we’re overdue to be hit by a large comet.
“Dr. Nuth pointed out that extinction-level collisions tend to happen 50 to 60 million years apart. We’re “overdue” because the last one is believed to have happened 65 million years ago.” – Fusion
Comets fit into that category of natural disasters that are common enough that we can measure their frequency, random enough that they can happen at any time, and powerful enough to create major extinction or at least massive damage. We are in the age when we can first: recognize the threat, identify the threat, and mitigate the threat. Now that we have rockets, understand orbital mechanics, and have many powerful technologies we can do something about threats that would otherwise be disasters. Comets and meteors come in a variety of sizes from dust to moons. We just have to hope that we exercise our abilities and create our defenses before we need them, not only after we see something coming. The good news: The last major event was 65 million years ago. That’s only 10% late. What’s a few million years error band? Only a few billion human lives are at stake.
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