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Scientists warn that Earth is at threat from a million untracked asteroids

Scientists warn that Earth is at threat from a million untracked asteroids

Scientists, astronauts, Nobel laureates and Dr Brian May from the rock group Queen came together yesterday to warn the world about the danger of a million untracked asteroids that could hit the Earth at any point. They all urge for increased monitoring measures.

In a bid to increase preparedness, experts have designated June 30, 2015, as Asteroid Awareness Day. The date is also the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska event which saw a massive object crash into Russia causing huge damage, scientists hope to raise awareness of the ‘very real threat’ of a repeat incident occuring.

“We need all nations to cooperate,” said Queen lead guitarist Brian May, who is also an astrophysicist. “This is not just an American problem or a British problem; this is a world problem which is avertable. That’s our message.”

RT reports:The goal of the campaign is to educate the public worldwide about what asteroids are, how frequently they hit Earth and how humanity can protect itself from potential disasters.

May, Queen’s founding member, hosted a press conference at the London Science Museum together with Lord Martin Rees, the UK Royal Astronomer. Lord Rees read the 100x Declaration, which resolves to “solve humanity’s greatest challenges to safeguard our families and quality of life on Earth in the future.”

The Asteroid Day will be held on the anniversary of an asteroid strike in Tunguska, Siberia in 1908, which was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

The inbound space rock, some 80 meters across, exploded in the air with the force of a large hydrogen bomb. The impact destroyed an area of 800 square miles. To put this in perspective, London’s urban area is 671 square miles.

Th experts are calling for a massive investment to locate and track a million potentially deadly asteroids currently not on any radar but which pose a huge risk to Earth, said the Express. They also report that research scientist and US astronaut Rusty Schweickart said it is “only a matter of time” before one hits. He warned it is out there “with our address on it”.

He said an asteroid 65 million years ago was not only responsible for killing off the dinosaurs but 70 per cent of other species on the planet.

He said: “Asteroids hit, and they hit the Earth, these impacts really do happen and when they do they can really kill, and kill big.

“In the 90s the realisation was that they still happen and they happen quite dramatically

Budget cuts at NASA, announced in April, put an end to most asteroid research for the time being.

For more information and  updates visit the Asteroid Day website at  http://www.asteroidday.org/