Near Earth Objects: Too Close for Comfort
Mankind is fifty years into the space age and we have made many strides in increasing technology and insuring the safety of the human race. Satellites and probes have provided valuable information in many fields such as exploration of other planets, GPS systems, and global communication. Recently NASA has explored the topic of near-earth objects and they are currently trying to track down potential life threatening asteroids. Scientist’s inability to foresee near Earth objects poses an extremely large threat to large populations and humanity. Since the beginning of time, asteroids have been floating around the solar system aimlessly; a network of satellites that can track them down may one day save the human race. The recent Russian meteorite that shattered thousands of windows and caused damage to a large population of people has proved that this is a serious problem and more money is needed to help prevent another incident from occurring.
On February 15, 2013 a meteor entered Earth’s atmosphere and flew over Russia. As the meteor gained speed in the stratosphere, it went super-sonic and hurtled through the sound barrier creating a cosmic boom that shattered thousands of windows injuring hundreds of citizens. This event proves that not all meteors and space objects are tracked by space agencies, leaving everything up to chance for the people of Earth. When an extraterrestrial object enters Earth’s atmosphere it compresses the air around it causing it to heat up. The objects that do not burn up become fireballs that soar through the air and build up speed. These fireballs create a flash of light brighter than the sun and an explosion that can be heard up to thirty miles away (Robert Britt). When the object finally hits the ground, the immense force creates a crater that can be twelve to twenty times the objects original size (Robert Britt). For example, if an object the same size as Russia’s most recent encounter...
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