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The only thing that prevents a major catastrophe caused by an asteroid the size of a city is pure luck

Yesterday, a non-profit organization that’s focused on studying celestial bodies, released an animation that illustrates the number of asteroid collisions on Earth from the past 13 years. You will be amazed (and possible frightened) to learn that in that specific time frame, our planet was hit by many asteroids, some of them creating an impact with a magnitude that’s similar to the Hiroshima bomb released in 1945 (15 kilotons).

The non-profit organization that initiated this endeavor is named B612 Foundation and their goal is to find and detect asteroids hitting Earth in time, so we can make a plan to divert their trajectory. In this regard, they’ve launched a partnership with Ball Aerospace to build Sentinel, the infrared space telescope mission. Once it gets on the solar orbit, closer to the Sun than the Earth, the Sentinel will use infrared waves to detect hundreds of thousands of objects that are larger than 140 meters in diameter, asteroids that are still unknown to us.

Although many of these collisions remained under the radar because they took place in remote areas, they were detected by a warning network designed to detect nuclear explosions. The collected data shows that the impact of an asteroid is not a rare event at all and it occurs 3 to 10 times more often than it was previously thought.

The fact that none of these impacts shown in the video above has not been previously detected shows that we are not prepared, and the only thing that prevents a major catastrophe is pure luck.

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