What is the likelihood that the Earth would be struck by a large asteroid or comet like the one believed to have killed off the dinosaurs? How have meteorites changed our view of the Universe? Let us find out the answers to all these questions.
We all have seen the Jurassic Park movie. It is interesting to know that the Earth had such gigantic creatures before. We cannot imagine dinosaurs in today’s world because they would destroy our planet. There are tall buildings everywhere and chances are that they would rip of the building and eat all the humans. It is not a pleasant sight and we only love to see them in movies. However, there is an interesting story behind the extinction of dinosaurs. It was 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs got extinct. What really happened? According to historical and scientific research, an asteroid had hit the planet in which most of the dinosaurs died. It was 65 million years ago in Yucatan Peninsula. The Scientists said that the asteroid was 15 kilometre across and the meteor crater is 180 kilometre from rim to rim. They believe that the impact of the asteroid hitting the planet was massive. It would have harmed the plants which the herbivore dinosaurs used to eat. Once the plants got destroyed, the herbivore dinosaurs may have starved to death. The damage done was so massive that most dinosaurs got extinct.
With proper research, it is becoming clear that the 15 kilometer in diameter asteroid had hit. It was the worst possible place for the asteroid getting hit. It was like several nuclear bombs being hit on the crater but some dinosaurs died later. If you have seen the movie, ‘Ice Age’, you must know it is not made just for fun. It was a period when the earth cooled down. Since the dinosaurs were cold-blooded, they could not have survived the harsh cold weather. How would the dinosaurs survive on a planet where the plants have been frozen? They would die of starvation as well.
What would happen if an asteroid would hit the Earth right now ? It does not sound pleasant because Earth has a huge population and all the people on it would die if an asteroid hit the planet. Several movies have been made to show the consequences of asteroids hitting the planet. Do note that they are movies but they are based on true science. It is a possibility that asteroids could fall on our planet. The Earth has been hit by an asteroid before and it is possible that it shall happen in the future.
There are craters on Planet Earth which is a proof that our planet has been hit by an asteroid before. Chances are that it will be hit again. According to research, in the year 2028, the asteroid will come close to the planet but it shall miss hitting it. However, if it does hit the planet, there are chances that will wipe out all the life forms that exist on Earth.
If the asteroid is as big as 20 floor building, it would be like nuclear bombs being thrown to the planet. Do you know about the Hiroshima bomb incident? The Asteroid would have an energy which would be 10 million times stronger than the nuclear bomb. Just in case the asteroid hits the planet, it would be an extremely bad day and it would probably wipe out an entire city. Scientists say that it is possible in the year 2028 or 2029; an asteroid would hit our planet. It would be a Friday and it would 13th April. It will be so close to Earth that it might cause asteroid avalanche. Whatever the day may be, the human beings are not as thrilled about it and it is possible that there would be no damage as only time can tell.
What do you know about the meteorites? We know that they come from the Asteroid belt. If you are a stargazer, you would probably see a wishing star in the sky. Think again! Is it really a wishing star? A flash of light is seen across the dark sky. It may not be a wishing star or shooting star but a meteorite. Do you know that every year tonnes of rocky materials from the space lands on our planet? These rocks are nothing but meteorites. Scientists have found many meteorites on the planet. They have studied the meteorites carefully to understand the age of the universe. Some say that they come from the moon or the red planet, Mars. Most of the meteoroids burn in the space before reaching the Earth but some of them is bombarded on our planet.
Study of the meteorites is important. Why? They may be leftovers or just rocks from outer space for the common man. The Scientist studies the meteorite and examines the chemical composition of the solar system. It is not just a rock. There are studies which show that these may be coming from the Moon or Mars. Astronomers are going for expeditions to Mars to find whether life exists or not. Does the planet Mars have life? We would only get to know that with passing time.
It is possible that the meteorite that you are holding may be a piece of the Red Planet. We get to know about the atmosphere and geology of another planet. Study of meteorite is important because it helps us to know many facts about the Red Planet or the moon. We can also learn as to how our solar system has evolved over the period of time. Most scientists consider the meteorites to be a treasure. It comes like a blazing fireball on our Earth. Studying them can help you know the age of the solar system. If you ever find a meteorite, do not take it lightly and give it to a scientist or your teacher. It is an important rock which could help you understand how the solar system evolved. Now the next time you see a, ‘shooting star’, you would know that it is more than just a wishing star.