Scientists Warn Of Asteroid Tsunamis That Could Kill Thousands Of Brits

By @vitthernandez on
Asteroid 2012 DA14 Passes Through The Earth-Moon System
The passage of asteroid 2012 DA14 through the Earth-moon system, is depicted in this handout image from NASA. On February 15, 2013, an asteroid, 150 feet (45 meters) in diameter will pass close, but safely, by Earth. The flyby creates a unique opportunity for researchers to observe and learn more about asteroids. Reuters/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Hando

Thousands of Britons who live near the country’s coastline are at the risk of being killed by an asteroid tsunami, scientists at the University of Southampton warned on Monday. The researchers based their warning on a software they developed that could predict places where the asteroid would likely hit or fall.

A direct asteroid hit at Britain is unlikely, but an asteroid impact in the Atlantic or North Sea could be fatal on coastline residents, reports Reuters. There are around 500 asteroids in the solar system that could potentially hit Earth out of 13,000 asteroids discovered and logged, although the possibility is that there are millions of undiscovered asteroids.

ARMOR, the software program developed by PhD student Clemens Rumpf, calculates the risks of Earth being hit by asteroids and the places where it would likely land. Britain’s having a lot of coastline places the country at a high risk of an asteroid tsunami. The software also simulates what would happen if the asteroids are deflected through the deployment of a spacecraft to slow it down, said Hugh Lewis, Aerospace Engineering senior lecturer at the university.

Other European nations at high risk of an asteroid tsunami are Spain, France, Germany, Scandinavia and western Russia, according to a map prepared by the researchers. Other areas at high risk are Australia and Florida and Louisiana in the US. The researchers hope that global organisations, such as the United Nations, would use ARMOR to prepare for the impact of potential asteroid hits.

Siberia, the space rock with an energy of 1,000 atomic bombs, hit the Earth in 1980. It was the as major asteroid strike on the planet which felled 80 million trees covering an area of 830 square miles. But no human was killed because Siberia hit a sparse area.

If an asteroid would directly hit London, it could kill all people within the M25 motorway that surrounds the British capital city. A 19-metre-wide asteroid that hit Russia recently hurt 1,500 people, notes Mirror.

Lewis adds, “It is very easy to be flippant because of the Hollywood effect but it is a real risk,” quotes Telegraph.

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