Our little blue planet has always been prone to encounters with asteroids. One of the most notable was the celestial object that crashed into Earth 65 million years ago, putting an end to the reign of the dinosaurs. However, according to the European Space Agency (ESA), a large number of asteroids could strike the Earth again in the next century.
According to the ESA, as of 2019, 878 asteroids have been detected and classified as having the potential to collide with us. However, they want to reassure everyone: it is still highly unlikely that they will, in fact, do so but, the probabilities, although low, cannot be totally ruled out.
Risks for the Earth
If an asteroid - even smaller than the one that decimated 75% of life forms during the Mesozoic era - were to crash into an inhabited area, it could result in the destruction of entire cities. This is why astronomers from all over the world, including those from the ESA and NASA, meet on a regular basis to find viable solutions in the event of a certain impact. They even take part in simulations to train themselves on how to deflect such a catastrophe.
In 2017, astronomers and world space powers had to work together to remove a (fictitious) rock mass. But after poor communication and thought, the trial ended in the destruction of New York City... Luckily, scientists still have time to think about solutions to save our planet in case of emergency. Although unlikely, this hypothesis requires us to keep our eyes on the stars.