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An asteroid strike on Earth is just a matter of time: experts (Hindu)

It is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen, says Alan Fitzsimmons

An asteroid strike on the Earth is just a matter of time and such events could destroy major cities, experts warn.

According to Alan Fitzsimmons from Queen’s University Belfast in the U.K., it is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen.

The warning comes ahead of the upcoming Asteroid Day on 30 June. On that day in 1908, a small asteroid exploded over Tunguska in Siberia and devastated over 2,000 square kilometres.

This year, discussions and presentations will be streamed live from Luxembourg on June 30.

Experts, including Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott, will answer questions from social media followers.

Fitzsimmons warns that a similar unexpected strike in today’s world could easily destroy a major city and a larger asteroid could be more dangerous.

“It is important to know that scientists and engineers have made great strides in detecting Near-Earth Asteroids and understanding the threat posed by them,” said Fitzsimmons.

“Over 1,800 potentially hazardous objects have been discovered so far, but there are many more waiting to be found,” he said.

“Astronomers find Near-Earth Asteroids every day and most are harmless. But it is still possible the next Tunguska would take us by surprise, and although we are much better at finding larger asteroids, that does us no good if we are not prepared to do something about them,” he added.

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