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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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