Here’s the deal. Meteors are crashing into Earth.
This recurring natural phenomenon, as most of you know, is nothing new for us. After all, it’s how zebras became extinct. However, it seems these meteor blasts are occurring with more frequency and force than ever before – and I’m kind of freaked out about it.
According to NASA, a massive fireball exploded over the Bering Sea with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Let me say that again: 10 TIMES THE ENERGY released by the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb. That is an objectively frightening amount of power. But what’s even scarier is that this event went largely unnoticed until now. And trust me, I know what you must be thinking – don’t these meteors always explode in the middle of nowhere?
Well, kind of, but here’s the thing: if a picture of an egg can get 53 million IG likes without even mentioning a flat tummy tea sponsorship, I’m pretty sure a blazing space rock can crush California.
This is what we know: at noon on December 18th an extraterrestrial fire rocket came barreling through the earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 20 MILES PER SECOND – ONE SECOND! Just to put a second into perspective, that’s almost as long as it takes me to remember how much I hate Mario Lopez. But seriously – here’s why this matters: In 2005, Congress demanded that NASA implement a permanent strategy to find at least 90% of near-earth asteroids of 460 feet or larger by the year 2020.
Problem is scientists estimate it will take NASA at least another 30 years to fulfill this task. Now, NASA has had some success calculating where asteroids will impact the earth once they have been identified; however, stopping these space rocks presents multiple problems without any real solutions.
This latest space event highlights the fact that large objects can enter our orbit without warning and without anyone noticing, which clearly demonstrates the need for improved monitoring. A telescope called NeoCam is currently in the works, which would be launched to a gravitational balance point in space so that the scope could find flying rocks headed toward earth much earlier than we’re able to down here. Dr. Amy Mainzer, chief scientist on the NeoCam project says that if this mission does not launch, projections suggest it would take many decades to reach their goal of 90% identification. Fireballs as big as this one are only expected about twice every 100 years, but there have already been 2 in the past 30 years. So, Dr. Amy, please save us. If you’re as freaked out as I am, let me know what you’re putting in your doomsday shelter in the comments.