Asteroids Strike Earth More Often Than We Think

SEATTLE — Hurtling space rocks like the one that traced a blazing streak across the Russian sky last year slam through Earth’s atmosphere on a regular basis, according to data from a system used to detect nuclear weapons explosions. And there’s no way to tell when the next one is coming.

The bright flare of the Russian meteor was hard to miss, and left 1,200 people injured in February 2013. What the human eye missed was two separate high-altitude explosions that occurred over Argentina and the North Atlantic Ocean just months later. That’s according to data from an infrasound network used to track nuke tests, released Tuesday by the B612 Foundation.

Right now, we can only know about these incoming asteroids after the fact, the foundation said.

“Because we don’t know where or when the next major impact will occur, the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’-sized asteroid has been blind luck,” said B612 co-founder and CEO Ed Lu, a former NASA astronaut.

The following two tabs change content below.