People are often concerned about the devastation of a man-made crisis.
However, nature itself can cause even greater suffering.
Now NASA believes a natural catastrophic event might be on the horizon.
Two billion years ago, an asteroid hit Earth and created the Vredefort crater in South Africa that stretches 190 miles wide.
According to NASA, another giant asteroid is headed our way this fall.
The chances of impact are very low, but NASA said, “If an asteroid is indeed going to come very near the Earth then a collision cannot be ruled out early on.”
The asteroid, named Asteroid FT3, is expected to fly by Earth on October 3rd.
Since Asteroid FT3 will be in our orbit, NASA believes it will fly by Earth 165 times between 2019 and 2116.
The odds of impact on each pass are infinitesimally small, however NASA states impact probability is still greater than zero.
And as the Vredefort crater illustrates, such impacts do happen.
Asteroid FT3 is 1,115 ft in diameter, which is almost the length of four football fields.
Its estimated weight is believed to be 121 billion lbs. and its entrance velocity into our atmosphere would be over 45,000 mph.
Asteroid FT3’s impact would be equivalent to 2700 megatons of TNT.
That’s 150,000 times the strength of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.
NASA projects that the next possible pass by Asteroid FT3 will be on October 2, 2024 and October 3, 2025.
The space agency first observed the rock on March 20, 2007 and have tracked its orbit, spotting it 14 more times.
While giant asteroids like FT3 are a menace, smaller asteroids can present more immediate danger.
Their impact isn’t nearly as great, but they can still do a lot of damage.
Smaller rocks disintegrate upon entry into Earth’s atmosphere, but resulting explosions can cause carnage on the ground.
Such an explosion over Russia in 2013 led to roughly 1,000 injuries due to broken glass.
The European Space Agency (ESA) notes that the increase in discarded satellites and other debris floating in space contributes to the threat of smaller asteroids causing explosions within our atmosphere.
According to researchers at NASA, there are nearly 800,000 known asteroids, so there’s always a minuscule threat of an asteroid heading directly toward us.
There isn’t much to be done about a giant asteroid speeding toward Earth if you live anywhere in the impact radius and an asteroid like FT3 would cause global fallout.
The best you can do is stay apprised of what’s happening and give yourself the best chance of surviving the aftermath.
As for smaller rocks that explode in the atmosphere, there are some precautions you can take against the damage and impending chaos that ensues.
Be prepared to hunker down for however long that’s necessary.
Regular services could be suspended, and daily items may not be easily accessible.
And there’s bound to be panic, which creates its own safety concerns.
So stay calm and control the things that you can.