DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asteroid deflection. Artwork of a spacecraft firing nuclear weapons into an Earth-bound asteroid. This method of destroying an asteroid is not thought to be viable due to the danger of fragmenting the asteroid into numerous smaller bodies without altering their Earth-bound trajectory. A collision with Earth would cause massive tsunamis if it hit the oceans and block sunlight due to the huge quantities of dust thrown in to the stratosphere. It is thought that the extinction of the dinosaurs around 65 million years ago was caused by an asteroid impact. An asteroid, comet or other large body posing a danger to Earth is known as a Near- Earth Object (NEO).
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