The Universe is an unimaginably huge portion of space where there’s no telling how many dangerous events are lurking. Our planet is just a tiny dot in the Milky Way galaxy, but at least space agencies are making efforts to detect some of the potentially ‘unwanted guests’.
Or some people might say that the space agencies are making fewer efforts now since there had been over 100 major telescope closures in the last several weeks. Therefore, is Earth in danger now in the face of huge asteroids hurtling in our cosmic vicinity?
There is a backup plan
The astronomers’ efforts towards asteroid detection are remaining online, providing plenty of hope that the situation is under control. The planet’s top asteroid-hunting instruments are still active and aware.
Among the Earth’s current defense choices we can mention the three Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) telescopes in Arizona and the twin Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) telescopes from Hawaii.
Ken Chambers, who is the director of the Pan-STARRS Observatories in Hawaii, declared the following:
We are an essential service, funded by NASA, to help protect the Earth from [an] asteroid impact,
We will continue that mission as long as we can do so without putting people or equipment at risk
Unfortunately or not, the sky is insanely big, and even with its full ‘armor,’ Earth still doesn’t have the right tools to locate and eliminate all the potential threats coming from outer space. But for the moment, things are under control.
However, not everybody is convinced about the efficiency of the current tools humanity can use for defending against NEOs (Near Earth Objects). The Chelyabinsk event was caused by a 20 meter-sized asteroid that hit Russia in 2013, and astronomers didn’t see it coming.
Luckily for us, the “Russian” asteroid from 2013 was a tiny one, but many are worrying that a much bigger one can come one day and not be detected on time.