Comet Much Larger Than the Asteroid That Wiped Out the Dinosaurs Could Be Heading Our Way One Day

Comet Much Larger Than the Asteroid That Wiped Out the Dinosaurs Could Be Heading Our Way One Day
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Many are wondering how the world will end. If humanity isn’t still around after 5 billion years when the Sun’s heat and volume will become unbearable, there are plenty of apocalyptic scenarios to consider.

A nuclear and large-scale war, getting attracted into a black hole or a quasar, as well as the impact with a devastating comet or asteroid, could all lead to the end of the human race and of all life on Earth. But although nobody enjoys speaking about such subjects, it’s time to take the last scenario into account a bit.

Comet Swift-Tuttle could be heading our way one day

According to New York Post, the Comet Swift-Tuttle (officially known as 109P/Swift–Tuttle) is 16 miles wide, and it could be heading to our planet one day. That measurement makes it twice as big as the space rock known as Chicxulub that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs roughly 66 million years ago.

The Perseids meteor showers from July and August might be beautiful, but they are caused by the Swift-Tuttle comet. The huge space rock orbits our star once every 133 years.

Judging by astronomers’ calculations, there’s no use being afraid that the comet will hit Earth in the next few thousands of years. But at the same time, there’s a chance that the comet’s trajectory might be influenced in a dangerous way by another object of our Solar System.

Paul Chodas from NASA explained for Space.com:

Its orbit passes very close to the Earth’s orbit so that it has been viewed as a hazardous object over the years,

Now, we know its orbit very well, well enough to say that we are safe from an impact for many thousands of years.

The chance of an impact of the Swift-Tuttle comet with our planet is less than 1 in a million, which pretty much means that we’re all safe and free to worry about anything else.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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