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What Science Says: How Big An Asteroid Could Kill Life On Earth?

Asteroid collision on Earth proves to be very destructive. 65 million years ago, an asteroid just a little more than 11 kilometres had wiped out three-quarters of life from the world. Scientists say that to end life on Earth, a very large asteroid would be required.

An asteroid hitting the Earth can end all life here. (Representational photo: Shutterstock)

1. Asteroids have spread destruction by colliding with the earth earlier also.
2. 6.5 million years ago, an 11-12 kilometre large asteroid caused maximum devastation in the world.
3. An asteroid 8-9 times bigger than this would be needed to wipe out all life.

Every day there is news of asteroids coming towards the earth and people want to know whether an asteroid or meteorite is going to hit the earth somewhere. NASA has prepared a special system for this, which monitors which bodies are coming towards the Earth and also it is announced how close this asteroid will pass from the Earth. But will an asteroid hit the Earth, then how big does it need to be to end life on Earth. Let us know what science says about this?

Asteroids have collided before too
It is not that asteroids have never collided with the Earth. Smaller asteroids have collided with the Earth in the past as well and they have also caused massive destruction. That’s why people have been afraid of celestial calamity since ancient times. So far, most of the destruction caused by the asteroids that fell on the earth had happened when human beings had not developed on the earth.

How big was it?
6.5 million years ago, a huge asteroid collided with the earth, which completely destroyed all the species of dinosaurs that could not fly. Dinosaurs are one of the most interesting animals in the history of the earth to humans. The size of that asteroid was about 11 to 12 kilometres. It is considered to be the largest asteroid ever to have fallen on Earth.

What was the impact of
that asteroid that fell on today’s Gulf of Mexico, there were many changes on the earth simultaneously and a process of great destruction started in which about 75 per cent of the living beings on the earth were destroyed. Due to the collision, the whole earth was covered with dust, due to which the sunlight stopped reaching the earth, the temperature had increased a lot earlier and the incidents of tsunamis and volcanoes had also increased a lot.

6.5 million years ago, the great destruction that came from the asteroid collision had ended three-fourths of life. (Representational photo: Wikimedia Commons)

What a big asteroid
if such an incident happens on the earth today, then billions of people will die at once and most of the plant life on the earth i.e. trees and plants will also be destroyed. But even then the population of those who survive will not be very less. But on how big an asteroid should collide with the Earth that the entire life of the Earth would end, scientists have estimated that its size should be about 96 kilometres in width.

How will the destruction happen
but even small rocks can cause huge destruction. According to a scientific assessment, the collision of only a 0.8 km big asteroid is equal to the explosion of 100 billion trinitrotoluenes. While at a speed of 48 thousand kilometres per hour, an asteroid the size of a house will turn into dust all human structures made up to one mile. At the same time, a 20-storey building destroys everything up to 8 kilometres.

To completely eliminate life on the whole earth, a very large asteroid would have to hit directly. (Representational photo: Shutterstock)

The effect of where the collision will take place also
depends a lot on where the collision of the asteroid will take place. For example, falling into the ocean and colliding with a mountain or plain on land can have different effects. At the same time, the collision of an asteroid with a dormant volcano can be a very destructive event. In many places, this collision can bring a big earthquake and even a disastrous tsunami.

At present, there is no such asteroid in the near future that can cause such a devastating event on the earth. For this, two conditions must be fulfilled. One is a big size and the other is a definite collision, the probability of which is very less. The next big asteroid will pass near the Earth on 26 October 2028, which will pass at a speed of 48 thousand kilometres per hour at half the distance between the Earth and the Moon.


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