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Asteroid collision with Earth inevitable, could destroy major cities: Experts

The warning comes ahead of Asteroid Day on June 30.

world Updated: Jun 21, 2017 16:29 IST
This computer generated handout image taken on May 15, 2015 and released by the European Space Agency (ESA) on May 15, 2015 shows the impact of the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) projectile on the binary asteroid system (65803) Didymos observed by the AIM (Asteroid Impact Mission) satellite.
This computer generated handout image taken on May 15, 2015 and released by the European Space Agency (ESA) on May 15, 2015 shows the impact of the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) projectile on the binary asteroid system (65803) Didymos observed by the AIM (Asteroid Impact Mission) satellite. (AFP File Photo)

An asteroid strike on the Earth is just a matter of time and such events could destroy major cities, experts warn.

According to Alan Fitzsimmons from Queen’s University Belfast in the UK, it is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen.

The warning comes ahead of the upcoming Asteroid Day on June 30. On that day in 1908, a small asteroid exploded over Tunguska in Siberia and devastated over 2,000 square kilometres.

This year, discussions and presentations will be streamed live from Luxembourg on June 30.

Experts including Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott will answer questions from social media followers.

Fitzsimmons warns that a similar unexpected strike in today’s world could easily destroy a major city and a larger asteroid could be more dangerous.

“It is important to know that scientists and engineers have made great strides in detecting Near-Earth Asteroids and understanding the threat posed by them,” said Fitzsimmons. “Over 1,800 potentially hazardous objects have been discovered so far, but there are many more waiting to be found,” he said.

“Astronomers find Near-Earth Asteroids every day and most are harmless. But it is still possible the next Tunguska would take us by surprise, and although we are much better at finding larger asteroids, that does us no good if we are not prepared to do something about them,” he added.