Hollywood has been depicting the scenario of an asteroid on its way to destroy Earth for decades. Who could forget the heroics of Bruce Willis in 1998’s Armageddon? His character made the ultimate sacrifice while blowing up an asteroid to save the planet.
Even though this was a fictional plot for the big-screen, asteroids threatening Earth are real. NASA has released a new video showing just how real the threat is, and it might frighten you.
Will asteroids threaten life on Earth?
NASA launched the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (Neowise) in 2009. It’s an infrared-wavelength space telescope that is used to search for asteroids and calculates their measurements.
Now, the space agency has released video evidence of 97 previously unknown celestial objects that are in Earth’s vicinity. There are 10 newly discovered objects that are considered potentially hazardous to the planet, based on size and orbit.
Two of the newly found asteroids have diameters of up to 1,000 feet. Czech scientists said this week that asteroids of this magnitude could threaten life on Earth if they made impact.
The following NASA video shows asteroid activity captured by Neowise. The data in the video was collected in a little over three years, from December 2013 through February 2017.
Since December 2013, Neowise has been able to characterize almost 700 near-Earth objects. A NASA researcher said, “Neowise is not only discovering previously uncharted asteroids and comets, but it is providing excellent data on many of those already in our catalog. It is also proving to be an invaluable tool in refining and perfecting of techniques for near-Earth object discovery and characterization by a space-based infrared observatory. ”
It’s nice to know that NASA is keeping an eye on these massive asteroids. Who knows, maybe Bruce Willis will be able to put his planet-saving skills to use again some day.