How big does an asteroid have to be to wipe out all life on Earth?

Very small asteroids, compared to Earth, have hit our planet in the past, which have caused massive destruction; naturally, the most notable example is the one that caused the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

Scientists estimate that this object must have been between 7 to 8 miles wide., a very small size compared to Earth, however, when it hit the planet, it created a huge column of dust that completely covered the globe.

This plume of dust blocked out the sunlight and this raised temperatures in the surroundings so high that it literally cooked any living thing that could not be kept under immediate cover.

What would happen if that happened today?

If an asteroid hit Earth todayBillions of people would definitely die and so would the vast majority of our plant life, however there would be survivors.

Now, according to scientists, an asteroid would have to be about 60 miles wide to totally and completely eliminate life on our planet, an unspectacular size compared to the asteroids that roam our galaxy.

But of course rocks that are even smaller could still do massive damage. Brian Toon, a geoscientist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said a 0.5-mile-wide space rock would release energy similar to 100 billion tons of trinitrotoluene, or TNT.

Whereas an asteroid the size of a house, hitting the earth at 30,000 miles per hour, would pulverize all man-made structures up to half a mile from ground zero.

Space threats |  PeakD

A larger rock, say one the size of a 20-story building, would crush anything within 5 miles of the point of impact.

Fortunately, according to Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary sciences at MIT, there are no giant rocks in space that we know of that could grow large enough to completely wipe out life on Earth. At least not yet.

The next time an asteroid will pass very close to Earth it will be on October 26, 2028. It is projected to be about two and a half times the distance from the Moon to Earth at its closest point.

It is believed to be about a mile wide and traveling at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour. But NASA says it won’t affect our planet in any way.

Also read:
Meteorite exploded over Pittsburgh on New Year’s with energy from 30 tons of TNT: NASA
NASA rules out that an asteroid will collide with Earth in 100 years
They plan to create an elevator that connects the Earth with space

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