December 12, 2012, the date the Mayans described as the end of the world. The Earth will be struck by an asteroid and so it will explode, burning every trace of life on it. Fortunately, it never happened.
Technically, the prediction of space-fallen bodies hitting Earth had already been traced in the history for about roughly sixty-five million years ago. It was during the time in the history when gigantic reptiles rule the Earth. It was their extinction that paved way for us, human beings to reign superior of the world.
In this day and age, with the ever changing climate and frequent destructive phenomenon, some people have sensed another apocalypse. Another catastrophic impact from an Earth-bound asteroid may also occur, yet again, leaving us extinct. This time, it’s not dinosaurs, but us, humans.
Megan Bruck Syal, a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who works on the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) is on the verge of discovering how to survive an asteroid-caused extermination. She said that it’s not a matter of if an asteroid will impact again, but when. The planetary defense began to be an issue when more and more near-Earth asteroids began to be discovered, she added. The challenge is to figure out how to avert disaster before it happens. For the first time, she will test the effectiveness of a kinetic impact in altering the course of an Earth-bound asteroid.
Recently, two walnut-sized meteorites are now in possession of Bruck Syal for research and observation. These rocks were formed about 4.6 billion years ago, survived the asteroid belt, and made an impact on our planet. Scientists and researchers found them in Antarctica, sorted and classified at NASA Johnson Space Center, then mailed first-class to Bruck Syal. The goal is not to destroy the inbound rocks, but to alter their trajectory, just enough to miss the atmosphere of the earth. However, it is difficult to know the best way to deflect these rocks since each asteroid differs from one another.
Bruck Syal warned of close calls, like the Chelyabinsk meteorite in Russia. It was small yet destructive. Since then, such kind of catastrophe had reminded the world of its force to obliterate. No one saw that one coming, an apocalypse in the making.
Hopefully, our technology would be able to decipher how to prevent another annihilation caused by these damaging rocks, as soon as possible.