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Britain in list of countries ‘most at risk’ if an asteroid strikes

June 30, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

Britain has been identified among a host of countries scientists believe would be worst affected in the event of an asteroid strike.
Scientists have named Britain among a list of countries most at risk from an asteroid strike

Scientists have named Britain among a list of countries most at risk from an asteroid strike Photo: AP / NASA

Experts at Southampton University have drawn up a league table of countries most likely to suffer severe loss of life or catastrophic damage should a large asteroid hit Earth.

The list is largely made up of developed nations including China, Japan, the United States and Italy, on the basis that the size of their populations would mean millions of deaths.

The US, China, Indonesia, India and Japan are most in danger on this basis. Canada, the US, China, Japan and Sweden are rated most at risk in terms of potential damage to their infrastructure.

The report comes after a rock the size of a house came within 7,500 miles of Earth earlier this Read more…

Astronomy: “The Taurid Stream: A Cosmic Trail With Destruction In Its Wake”

February 8, 2011 2 comments

by Nick Nuttall

“Over the next few weeks the Taurid stream, a procession of vast cosmic rubble and dust that snakes around the Sun and out towards Jupiter, will swing through Earth’s orbit for the first of its bi-annual crossings. Within the stream are probably thousands of bodies including asteroids, mountain-and island-sized boulders, smaller meteoroids, Encke’s Comet and assorted fragments of celestial refuse.

The exact number, size and location of objects, however, remains a mystery and according to Dr. Mark Bailey, research Fellow in astronomy at Manchester University, it is likely that for every object which is confirmed, there are nine others that have so far eluded detection. All that is certain is that the rubble, believed by some astronomers to have been formed by a collision in the asteroid belt of a defunct comet which was captured by the solar system up to 30,000 thousand years ago, will bisect Earth’s orbit in late June and again in November. 

According to astronomers such as Dr. Victor Clube, of Oxford University’s Department of Astrophysics, the coming and goings of the Taurid stream should be a source of concern to politicians, planners and anyone who cherishes life on Earth. A ”catastrophist”, Dr. Clube is one of many astronomers who are convinced that Read more…