TIME astronomy

The Next ‘City-Killer’ Asteroid Could Be Closer Than We Think

Asteroid Hit
Yekaterina Pustynnikova—Associated Press A February 15, 2013 photo shows a meteorite contrail over the Ural Mountains' city of Chelyabinsk in Russia.

Asteroid impacts on Earth are three to ten times more common than we imagined, new data shows, with researchers saying that only “blind luck” is preventing a disastrous strike from a "city killer" asteroid

Asteroids as powerful as atomic bombs may hit the Earth more often than we previously thought.

New data shows how and where 26 asteroids collided with our planet from 2000 to 2013, according to research released in a video by the B612 Foundation.

“It shows that asteroid impacts are not rare, but actually three to ten times more common than we previously thought,” said Edward Lu, a member of the B612 Foundation, which was founded by two former astronauts to raise money for a space telescope to spot asteroids heading toward Earth.

“The fact that none of these asteroid impacts shown in the video was detected in advance, is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck,” he added.

B612 Impact Video 4-20-14 H264 from D Josh Rosen on Vimeo.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team