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Space Earth

Asteroid Impacts Bigger Risk Than Thought 172

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-build-space-lasers dept.
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The B612 Foundation, a U.S.-based nuclear test monitoring group, has disclosed that their acoustic sensors show asteroid impacts to be much more common than previously thought. Between 2000 and 2013 their infrasound system detected 26 major explosions due to asteroid strikes. The impacts were gauged at energies of 1 to 600 kilotons, compared to 45 kilotons for 1945 Hiroshima bomb."
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Asteroid Impacts Bigger Risk Than Thought

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  • by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @12:18PM (#46824527)

    70% of the time over the ocean, 99.99% of the time over somewhere that isn't populated. It's a 1 in 10,000 occurrence that this happens over a populated area. Given a rate of 2 a year, that means once every 5000 years on average, and many of these will not do any damage. So I'd say this is pretty much pure hype.

  • Re:risk (Score:5, Insightful)

    by almitydave (2452422) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @12:39PM (#46824811)

    Right - if we find out that these are happening much MORE often than previously thought, and yet damage is rare, then it seems like they're LESS of a risk than previously thought. Sort of like finding out that when you swim at the beach, sharks are close by more often than you realized - meaning the risk of them attacking you is lower. If anything this indicates that the Earth's natural asteroid defenses are more robust than previously realized.

    Besides, I remember reading that kiloton-scale atmospheric asteroid detonations happened once every month or two, but this indicates it's less often than that, so they're actually LESS common than I thought. I could have misremembered that stat, though.

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