Purdue Celebrates Asteroid Day

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Today marks the first ever annual “Asteroid Day” to pay tribute to an asteroid that hit earth in Tunguska in 1908, and with modern technology today experts say that detection is more important than deflection.

That from Purdue Professor H. Jay Melosh, who co-investigated NASA‘s 2005 Deep Impact mission where they were successfully able to hit a comet hit a spacecraft.

Melosh says that about 90% of asteroid large enough to end civilization as we know at have been, and so far nothing has proved to be a threat.

Still , he says small asteroids are the biggest concerns as they are higher in number and can go undetected.

He says investing more in telescopes could help scientists evacuate areas that are directly in the path of these small, but possibly devastating alien bodies. He says the biggest issue scientists have is that there are not any ways to track asteroids as they cross parts of the earth facing the sun.

Melosh is also the co-creator of a tool called “Impact: Earth!” which allow scientists to put in information about incoming asteroids in order to estimate the consequences of its impact. In 1908 an asteroid headed for the earths surface exploded about 6 miles into the atmosphere above Siberia.

The event was enough to kill wildlife and fatten forest for miles, but no crater was ever found.