Perhaps anybody who’s at least a bit interested in astronomy already knows that the Solar System is full of asteroids that hurtle around. NASA seems to be doing its best in monitoring the sky for any global threats, but the Universe has frequently proven to all of us how unpredictable it can be.
Asteroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere quite often, but the vast majority of them are too small to be noticed. Due to air friction, they barely make it to the surface intact. But what about the really big “wiseguys” out there, such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs tens of millions of years ago? Those are the ones that concern us.
What if ‘Chicxulub 2.0’ hits Earth today?
The New York Post writes about what would happen if an asteroid large as the one that killed the dinosaurs long ago paid us a visit nowadays. The publication cites the words of Britt Scharringhausen, who’s an associate professor of physics and astronomy from Beloit College. The scientist declared for Inverse:
All of the ash from the fires and all of the finer-grain debris from the impact will hang out in the atmosphere for a long time, and we get what’s called an impact winter.
It’s going to block the sunlight, and all that ash falling into the ocean acidifies the top layers.
So you burn things, kill everything in the ocean, and freeze the Earth, and it goes through about two years of constant winter.
Surprisingly enough, Scharringhausen believes that not all life forms will perish due to the impact and that there is hope for survival. He also said as the same source quotes:
Not everything will die. If we’re thinking about people, the way to survive would be to get underground.
You could maybe ride it out in a bunker if you’ve got the supplies to make it through that period of winter where you can’t grow any edible food.
What do you think about the surprising claim of the scientist? Let us know in a comment!