Most estimates of the mortality risk posed by asteroid impacts put it at about the same risk as flying in a commercial airliner. However, you have to remember that this is like the entire human race riding the plane - it is one of the few risks that really could wipe us all out.
Sooner or later, we will face a catastrophic threat from space. Of all the possible threats, only a gigantic asteroid hit can destroy the entire planet. If we prepare now, we better our odds of survival. The dinosaurs never knew what hit them.
An asteroid could hit us at any moment. This is not - and also, the most successful kind of life on this planet is not us, it's microbes. They're the ones who greatly outnumber us, and may eventually destroy us.
After once having made the mistake of watching television news, I had worried for a while about an asteroid hitting the earth and wiping out human civilization. The anchorwoman had said it was not merely possible but probable. At the end of the report, she smiled.
It would be great if we were on multiple planets, but I think that's unrealistic. Hawking says we have to be on multiple planets so an asteroid could come and you'd still have some humans left. It's a nice idea. It satisfies the multiple-eggs-in-multiple-baskets concept.
The chunks of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 were so large, and were moving so fast, that each hit Jupiter with at least the equivalent energy of the dinosaur-killing collision between Earth and an asteroid 65 million years ago. Whatever damage Jupiter sustained, one thing is for sure: it's got no dinosaurs left.
Because our lungs regularly deal with carbon dioxide, they see nothing wrong with absorbing its cousin, SiO2, which can be fatal. Many dinosaurs might have died this way when a metropolis-sized asteroid or comet struck the earth 65 million years ago.
The future is about wings and wheels and new forms of space transportation, along with our deep-space ambition to set foot on another world in our solar system: Mars. I firmly believe we will establish permanence on that planet. And in reaching for that goal, we can cultivate commercial development of the moon, the asteroid belt, the Red Planet itself and beyond.
Global warming, along with the cutting and burning of forests and other critical habitats, is causing the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That event was believed to have been caused by a giant asteroid. This time it is not an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc: it is us.
It is interesting to observe with what singular unanimity the farthest sundered nations and generations consent to give completeness and roundness to an ancient fable, of which they indistinctly appreciate the beauty or the truth. By a faint and dream-like effort, though it be only by the vote of a scientific body, the dullest posterity slowly add some trait to the mythus. As when astronomers call the lately discovered planet Neptune; or the asteroid Astr