Asteroids are rocky bodies that revolve around the Sun. There are millions of such objects, and their falling has played a significant role in the formation of the planets of the solar system. At the same time, they represent a huge danger to life on Earth.
Dr. Natalie Starkey has conducted research on what will happen on planet Earth if one such asteroid does not fall onto the ground but on a large open area covered with water. According to her, if scientists do not find a way to deal with these objects, the consequences of the collision will be disastrous.
The fall of an asteroid into the ocean, for example, the Atlantic Ocean, will lead to a tsunami, which will devastate all coastal territories. In this case, one can only guess about the number of victims, but the death number will certainly be several million.
Imagine ripples that form on the water surface if a stone is thrown into a pond. If there are no obstacles, the ripples will spread to the very shores of the pond. Of course, this will not lead to the destruction around the pond, but with a sufficiently big stone and a small size of the pond, the water will certainly spill along the bank.
Now, imagine an asteroid several kilometers in diameter that falls into the ocean at a speed of 60,000 km/h. The effect of the fall will be the same as the ripples but on a larger scale. However, unlike the pond, around which bushes grow, the ocean leads to cities with complex infrastructure and millions of people. The power of the shock wave will be enough to ruin cities.
One of the potentially dangerous asteroids that may reach Earth is 101955 Bennu (1999 RQ36). According to the Palermo scale of the danger of asteroids, 101955 Bennu takes the second place. Dr. Maria Eugenia Sansaturio believes that this asteroid has a very good chance of falling to Earth, about 1 in 2,700. Currently, this asteroid is being studied by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft which was sent by NASA in 2016. In 2023, it will send back recorded data with samples of this asteroid to Earth, with the help of which the expert plans to develop a program that will protect our planet.