We certainly know that we were hit 65 million years ago by a very large rock from space. Hollywood made two blockbusters, “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact,” so it must be true.
It was really interesting, in ’95, Spielberg sent his minions to a conference to where a number of us were attending about this particular hit and indeed, there is a great danger out there. We are surrounded by asteroids, some become Earth-crossing. Jupiter has a way of perturbing comets and sending them from stable orbits to Earth-crossing orbits. We will get hit again. How big the hit will be is only a matter of time until we get something the same size that killed off the dinosaurs, should humanity last long enough, that is.
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But that size hit looks like only once every 100 million years, or more. We haven’t had a hit that size for the last 500 million years. So, it does look like it is a rare event to have something that big – a 10 kilometer asteroid hit us.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.