Some voices say that an asteroid might hit the Earth in 2029. And, regardless of the bombastic title, the news is worth looking into, as there are theories that attest certain hypotheses regarding the periodicity of asteroid strikes on Earth.
Hypotheses of Periodic Asteroid Strikes on Earth
Scientists have spent decades debating whether asteroids and comets hit the Earth at regular intervals. At the same time, a few studies have found evidence that the large extinction events on Earth—such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 66m years ago—repeat themselves every 26m to 30m years. Given that there’s good evidence that an asteroid triggered the dinosaur extinction, it makes sense to ask whether showers of asteroids could be to blame for regular extinction events.
Over the decades, scientists have debated on the possibility of periodic comet and asteroid strikes on Earth. But there have been very few studies and evidence to support the idea that a meteor—as big as the one that wiped out dinosaurs—would be a recurring event. Nonetheless, the question is of uttermost importance.
And while researchers around the globe—from NASA to ESA (the European Space Agency)—have found more precise methods of detecting asteroids, it is still much work left to do in order to fully prevent such kind of a disaster.
There are approximately 190 impact craters from asteroids and comets on Earth. They are all marks of the periodicity of asteroid strikes on Earth. Some craters vary in size, from a couple of feet long to miles and miles long. And their age varies too: from a couple of years old to as much as billions of years of age.
One hypothesis put forth by scientists would be the fact that the Sun has a brother, which astronomers call “Nemesis”. It is said that every 20-30 million years, the “Nemesis” would change the trajectory of meteors and asteroids (debris left over from the formation of the galaxy) and send them on Earth’s way.
One other hypothesis would be to attest for the periodic asteroid strikes on Earth based on a similar age. If specific and accurate measurements were to be made, these measurements could attest for the periodicity of the asteroid strikes on Earth.
However, while the first hypothesis was infirmed due to lack of evidence, the other one is yet to be confirmed by future research.
Image Source: Flickr
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