The Discovery Channel released a CGI simulation of what would happen to Earth if the largest asteroid in the Solar System collided with our planet. The horrifying video shows mass devastation as an asteroid with a diameter of 500km hits the Pacific Ocean. At the moment of impact 10 km of the Earth’s crust “peels off the surface.”
The commentary continues: “The shockwave travels at hypersonic speeds.
“Debris is blasted across into low Earth orbit, and returns to destroy the surface of the Earth.
“The firestorm encircles the Earth, vaporising all life in its way.”
According to the US space agency, NASA, asteroids “as big as cars” are already entering Earth’s atmosphere every year and turning into “spectacular fireballs”.
Asteroid collisions can cause serious damage that even “modern technology cannot save”.
Such an encounter can easily turn our “peaceful life into a disaster movie”.
There is already evidence of what can happen when a stray asteroid crashes into the planet.
Most scientists believe that the asteroid that fell near the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico caused the most disastrous impact in the history of Earth.
PhD Meteorite specialist, Helena Bates, explained: “The Yarkovsky effect is basically when the Sun heats up one side of the rotating body so the asteroid is rotating as it orbits the Sun.
“And as one side heats up, it kind of absorbs heat and then, as it rotates, that side will begin to face away from the Sun and will radiate that heat outwards.”
She said: “That basically acts like a small thruster to push the asteroid into a slightly different orbit.
“And because the amount of heat that the asteroid absorbs is to do with things like composition, what the asteroids made of, which we don’t know, that means it’s really really hard to predict the effect of the Sun.”
These asteroids can sometimes be in the solar system absorbing Sun for billions of years. Scientists have discovered that this sometimes makes big differences to their trajectories.