Space scientists from across the globe are being warned about future meteor and/or asteroid strikes.
The message came during Monday’s International Academy of Astronautics’ Planetary Defense Conference in Washington, D.C. The messenger was NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Check out his speech here — start watching around the 2:20 mark;
Bridenstine says, according to NASA’s models, significant and dangerous meteor and/or asteroid strikes will happen “about once every 60 years.”
They’ve happened with more frequency than that in recent years.
We’ve reported on one that occurred back on December 18th, 2018. It exploded over the Bering Sea.
Of course, no one can forget the massive meteor strike from just 6 years ago in central Russia. That space rock crashed through the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, lighting up the sky and then — BOOM!!! Windows crashed — buildings toppled — and initial reports indicated more than 1,000 people were injured.
On a very eerie side note:
The same day the Chalyabinsk meteor hit, another asteroid zipped by Earth in what astrophysicists would consider a “near miss” — 17,000 miles into space.
So the head of NASA says we need to take these events more seriously. He says we need to develop better methods of protecting ourselves.
Scientific experts at this week’s Planetary Defense Conference have even put out a statement on the issue.
As for the current solutions proposed, there really isn’t much to offer. Bridenstine says we could try and deflect an incoming space rock (although — it’s hard to say exactly how we would do that). We could also just focus on evacuating the affected area.
What’s even more concerning — is that NASA can’t see a lot of these things. For instance — no one saw the rock coming that blew up over the Bering Sea. You have to wonder how many more might get past us…
Generally speaking, we do have time on our side, but again — unfortunately — detecting incoming space rocks most likely is not near the top of any government’s priority list right now.