What happens if an asteroid hits Earth?

What happens if an asteroid hits Earth?
What happens if an asteroid hits Earth?

The asteroid Dimorphos photographed by NASA during the DART mission conducted in 2022.
Credit: Handout / NASA/Jons Hopkins APL / AFP

An asteroid, about 50 meters in diameter, is on a trajectory that could cause it to crash into the earth on Valentine’s Day in the year 2046. Astronomers estimate that the celestial object, dubbed “2023 Dw”, would have a chance in 1.584 of landing on our planet. What would be the consequences of this impact?

“This is what is called a ‘city killer’, that is to say a city killer“explains Marie-Ange Sanguy, editor-in-chief of the magazine Space and Exploration. She specifies: “It’s basically a city, a region that will be destroyed by its impact. By the time we detect it and it arrives, we have time to carry out backup systems, among other things. evacuation of the entire area where he is supposed to arrive.”

A possibility that is made less certain by the high probability of impact in a sea or ocean. Recent examples of asteroid impacts, albeit smaller in size, give us some idea of ​​the consequences.

“The meteorite that arrived in Russia, in Chelyabinsk, did quite a lot of damage. For example, she shattered the windows, and depending on where it falls, it can kill people. But it will not cause massive destruction” explains Marie-Ange Sanguy. She concludes: “The smaller they are, the less it will cause massive destruction, and the more they will tend to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere before arriving. On the ground.”

The editorial staff recommends

The news by the editorial staff of RTL in your mailbox.

Thanks to your RTL account, subscribe to the RTL info newsletter to follow all the news on a daily basis

The article is in French

Tags: asteroid hits Earth