Science UK

Monster apocalypse asteroid linked to Japan ‘fireball’ could hit Earth

Humanity could face extinction if the doomsday space rock smashed into our planet (Image: Getty)

A fireball that exploded in the sky over Japan could be linked to a huge asteroid that’s destined to smash into our planet.

That’s the warning from scientists who have been trying to work out the origins of a tiny, ping-pong ball-sized object which went kaboom as it burned up in Earth’s atmosphere in 2017.

The tiny meteor posed absolutely no threat to humanity as it lit up the sky over Kyoto Airport.

But Japanese astronomers have claimed it actually broke off a monstrous space rock called 2003 YT1 that’s more than a mile wide.

This object is so huge that is has it’s own moon. For comparison’s sake, it’s believed the asteroid which killed the dinosaurs was between seven and 50 miles in diameter.

It has a 6% chance of hitting Earth at some point in the next 10 million years.

In a paper published on Arxiv, astronomers said their analysis has ‘identified a likely parent [of the Kyoto fireball], the binary near-Earth asteroid (164121) 2003 YT1.

If humanity was still around to witness a cataclysmic impact from this apocalypse asteroid, we could face extinction or, at the very least, endure death and carnage on a global scale.

The impact would cause a fireball which would wipe out everything within a radius of hundreds of miles, throwing so much dust into the air that crops would fail around the world and mass starvation would threaten our species’ future.

Writing about an impact from a similarly sized object in a post on Quora, mathematician and space expert Robert Walker wrote: ‘it would produce a crater 46 kilometres in diameter.

‘The firestorm including debris thrown up and landing and starting up new fires would extend to 600 km from the impact point.

‘There would be regional earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunami (if it hit the sea). Skies darker than the darkest cloud cover from the dust thrown up into the upper atmosphere, global temperature drops 8 degrees celsius for a week and moderate global effects for months. No summer that year.

‘Plant growth is disrupted for years and there are some global crop failures and some regional extinctions. We get hit by one of these roughly every half million years on average.’




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