Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Asteroid Day

June 30th is Asteroid Day. Why? Because on in the morning of June 30, 1908, a large meteor or comet impacted near the Tunguska River in Siberia. The first person to make a systematic investigation of the event was Leonid Kulki in 1927. What he found was unlike anything that anyone else had ever seen before in history.

Trees where knocked over in a pattern radiating from the center of the blast zone. Some 80 million trees over an 800 square mile region were damaged or destroyed.

It wasn't until 1945 that humanity witnessed another scene like this in the atomic bomb blasts in Japan.

Calculations indicate that the meteoric body responsible for the blast witnessed in Tunguska exploded with the force of around 4 megatons of TNT. That's the force found in a sizable hydrogen bomb. occurred over a city, the city and its population would have been destroyed.

Impacts like this are bound to happen again. In fact, it may be one 66 million years ago that's responsible for our rise. The reason dinosaurs are the top species today is that they didn't have a space program. We have one and need to be doing more with it to protect ourselves from extinction.

An event like this could be the end of humanity. Image from the BBC.
 Asteroids are more likely to be a source of resources and wealth than destruction, if humanity takes positive action. Organizations like the B612 Foundation are trying to prevent the worst aspects of asteroids while organizations like Planetary Resources is trying to take advantages of the best side of asteroids. Asteroid mining is going to take a coimbinationation of robotics and astronautics. So I encourage every school to add these topics to their curriculum. Who knows, you could be saving Earth or making a future trillionaire.  

There are over one million millionaires today and over 1,000 billionairs. But the are no trillionaires yet. I bet this is how we get the world's first trillionaire.

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