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Comet-Earth-Crash

Comet Responsible for Perseid Meteor Shower Might HIT Earth In 2,400 Years Resulting In Extinction of Humanity

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The Perseid meteor shower comes around every year, all thanks to an icy space rock known as Comet Swift-Tuttle – but, thousands of years from now, that same comet could bring on the worst mass extinction Earth has seen in hundreds of millions of years.

This weekend, the night sky is set to dazzle with up to 150 shooting stars per hour as the Perseid meteor shower moves into its peak.

The phenomenon comes around every year, all thanks to an icy space rock known as Comet Swift-Tuttle – but, thousands of years from now, that same comet could bring on the worst mass extinction Earth has seen in hundreds of millions of years.

Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle completes its orbit around the sun every 133 years, and roughly 2,400 years from now, this will bring it ‘perilously close’ to our planet.

While the likelihood of it slamming into Earth is extremely low, experts say there’s a small chance that its orbit will be offset by a ‘gravitational kick’ from Jupiter, causing an impact with 30 times the energy of that which killed the dinosaurs.

In a new post for the Forbes blog Starts With a Bang, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel explains that the sheer size and speed of Comet Swift-Tuttle would set our planet up for major catastrophe if a collision were to happen.

The fast-moving comet is massive; at 16 miles wide (26km), it’s 260% the width of the ‘dinosaur-killer.’
But, according to Siegel, Swift-Tuttle’s orbit is no great mystery to scientists, and they’ve already determined where it will be for upwards of the next 2,000 years.

It hasn’t crossed into the inner solar system since 1992, and isn’t set to do so again until 2126.

According to Siegel, scientists’ calculations of its orbit show Earth is ‘100% safe’ from the comet for thousands of years to come – but, in the year 4479, it will come terrifyingly close.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it will strike, Siegel explains, but the possibility does exist.

Once the comet makes its close approach about 2,400 years from now, ‘there’s still a 99.9999% chance it will miss us,’ Siegel writes.

‘But with every pass into the inner solar system, there’s a chance that one of the gas giant planets will influence this comet’s orbit.

‘There’s a chance that, just like the Perseid stream was thrust into Earth’s orbital path this year, someday in the future, this comet will achieve a collision course with Earth.’

Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle completes its orbit around the sun every 133 years, as illustrated above in the graphic from Teaching Stars. And according to Siegel, its orbit is no great mystery to scientists, who've already determined where it will be for upwards of the next 2,000 years

Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle completes its orbit around the sun every 133 years, as illustrated above in the graphic from Teaching Stars. And according to Siegel, its orbit is no great mystery to scientists, who’ve already determined where it will be for upwards of the next 2,000 years

The comet is moving four times faster than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, according to the astrophysicist, and the resulting impact would release 28 times as much energy – or, the equivalent of 20,000,000 hydrogen bombs exploding.

For the next 2,000 years, this particular comet poses little threat to Earth and its inhabitants, Siegel assures.

But, eventually, a gravitational nudge from Jupiter could push it off its course, resulting in a number of possible scenarios.

It could be sent hurtling into the sun, or even be ejected from the solar system, Siegel explains.

Or, it could end up plunging toward Earth.

‘One tiny, almost imperceptible gravitational tug could be the end of the era of the mammals,’ Siegel concludes.

‘After tens of millions of years of relative peace within our galaxy, one errant comet could do us all in.’

HERE IS THE LOW DOWN:

THE COMET THAT COULD END IT ALL
For the next 2,000 years, Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle poses little threat to Earth and its inhabitants, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel assures.

But eventually, around the year 4479, it will come ‘perilously close’ to Earth, and a gravitational nudge from Jupiter could push it off its course, resulting in a number of possible scenarios.

It could be sent hurtling into the sun, or even be ejected from the solar system, Siegel explains.

Or, it could end up plunging toward Earth.

The comet is moving four times faster than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, according to the astrophysicist, and the resulting impact would release 28 times as much energy – or, the equivalent of 20,000,000 hydrogen bombs exploding.

QUICK FACTS ON THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER:

WHERE AND WHEN TO SEE THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER

The Perseid meteor shower occurs each year between 17 July and 24 August, peaking between 9 – 13 August.

The best time to watch them is Saturday night (the 12th).

They are mainly visible from the Northern Hemisphere.

Catching a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower will very much depend on your location, though the best time to watch the sky for these shooting stars will be around midnight.

Because meteors can be quite faint, it is best to look out for them in a dark sky, free of moonlight and artificial lights.

CHEYENNE MACDONALD
DAILYMAIL


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EDITOR’S STRONGLY RECOMMENDED READ

Increase in Large Earthquakes Expected Globally in 2018 as Earth’s Rotation Slows
IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS PLEASE DO SO AND PERHAPS EVEN TAKE SOME STEPS TO PREPARE SOME TYPE OF PRECAUTIONARY EMERGENCY PLAN BEFORE THE NEW YEAR SO YOU CAN BE PREPARED IN THE EVENT THAT THIS WERE TO HAPPEN IN YOUR AREA.

DID YOU KNOW…

The founders of Google were willing to sell Google for $1 million to Excite in 1999, but Excite turned them down. Google is now worth $527 Billion.
*UPDATED WEEKLY
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