As humanity has always been worried about ‘unwanted visitors’ from deep space, the truth is that there’s no telling how bad can things get. Although the Universe is loaded with cataclysmic events that can obliterate us in a split second like black holes, supernovas, and quasars, asteroids and comets are representing the bigger concerns.
A newly discovered asteroid named 2020 GH2 will pass close to our planet Wednesday, within the orbit of the moon. This approach will be about 223,000 miles away from our planet. Besides the fact that the asteroid will successfully miss our world, it’s only between 43 and 70 feet wide.
Should we ever worry about a ‘global killer’?
We should be thankful to Nature for allowing our existence in a very safe area of the galaxy and of the solar system. There are no supernovas, quasars, pulsars, or black holes existing dangerously close to us, although the Universe is loaded with them. Furthermore, the planet Jupiter acts like a vacuum cleaner of our solar system, attracting most of the asteroids and comets that are roaming around in our vicinity. This happens due to the planet’s tremendous gravity.
However, all these fortunate facts don’t rule out entirely the possibility of our planet getting hit by a catastrophic asteroid capable of killing all the life forms. We shouldn’t forget that a similar event happened in the past when the dinosaurs got extinct. The violent collision left behind a crater of 150 km in diameter, raising enormous amounts of ashes into the atmosphere. The life forms that didn’t die because of the impact were extinct after the event because of the lack of oxygen. With the ashes blocking the sunlight for about one thousand years, plants died, and there weren’t enough ‘oxygen factories’ left.
Whether we like it or not, the threat of a ‘global killer’ will always be there somewhere.