NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced at the Planetary Defense Conference in Washington D.C. that a devastating asteroid could well collide with the Earth within the next 60 years, issuing a stark warning to all those who believed that such a catastrophe was something confined to the realms of sci-fi and disaster movies.
And no, this is not a joke, nor the plot to the next big summer blockbuster. An asteroid may, indeed, collide with Earth in sixty years. Such was the prediction made by NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, at the Planetary Defense Conference on 29th April 2019.
An event that is too often trivialised
"We have to make people understand that this is not Hollywood," said Jim Bridenstine. He believes that people have become desensitised to the real danger of an asteroid hitting the earth thanks to apocalyptic Hollywood movies. "These events are not uncommon, they happen," he recalled, after mentioning the main objective: "It's ultimately about protecting the only planet we know, right now, to welcome life, and that is planet Earth."
Predictions that contradict observations
What is surprising is that the alarmist statement made by NASA's administrator contradicts the observations made by his own agency. As mentioned by Numerama, the site mentions that "no asteroid or comet's trajectory is currently leading to a collision with Earth". Still, Jim Bridenstine's fears are shared by Lindley Johnson, the head of NASA's asteroid monitoring program, who pointed out that "we may have to deal with a significant impact with no, or little time to react." So look up at the sky, and be careful...