• Scientists explained the importance of studying previous asteroid impacts on Earth
  • The asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs was not a rare event
  • An extinction-level impact event on Earth is inevitable

Scientists discussed the importance of studying past impact events to understand what asteroid strikes can do to Earth. According to one of the scientists, a major asteroid impact is inevitable and once it happens, it could wipe out almost all life on the planet.

The grim scenario was discussed in Discovery Channel’s series “Strip the Cosmos.” In the program, scientists from different fields discussed the impact asteroid strikes have on Earth.

Scientist Peter Schultz of the Ames Laboratory in California explained that studying previous impact events can provide valuable information regarding the effects of an asteroid strike on Earth. Through scientific investigations, Schultz learned that the asteroid that hit 66 million years ago in an area that is now known as Chicxulub, Mexico was not the first of its kind.

“Asteroids have changed the Earth, they have changed the life on Earth, the Chicxulub impact was not that rare of an event,” he said in the program according to Express.

As noted by other scientists, several impact events have already occurred on Earth over the course of millions of years. Some of these events were big enough to form large craters and even cause extinction events. Despite their size, many of these craters aren’t visible anymore due to the effects of Earth’s weather and geological activities.

For Laura Danly, the curator at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Earth’s history with asteroid impacts indicate that a similar catastrophic event will happen again. Although determining exactly when an impact event will happen is a bit complicated due to a number of factors, Danly noted that a major asteroid strike is inevitable.

Once this happens, Danly said the Earth might experience the same disastrous events triggered by the asteroid impact 66 million years ago. In other words, a collision between the planet and a massive asteroid would trigger extreme environmental effects that would kill off more than half of all life on Earth.

“There’s no question that at some point in the future, an asteroid will strike the Earth with enough energy to extinguish most life, if not all,” she said.

Asteroid Impacts
A new report indicates that a total of 26 nuclear-level asteroid impacts have hit Earth since 2000. Donald Davis