#NASA #Asteroid – NASA, FEMA prepare for asteroid attack on Los Angeles in 2020, prevention of mass causalities : A team of NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are considering all possibilities of an asteroid attack on Earth, especially the region around Los Angeles. The team recently conducted a planetary protection exercise.
The possibility of an asteroid attack on Earth has been described in several Hollywood flicks released so far. Although the chances are rare, NASA and FEMA did team up recently to to assess the consequences of such a calamity and the level of preparedness, according to New York Times.
The planetary protection exercise took place in October. The team especially conducted the drill to figure out what devastation a 330-foot long asteroid could bring to Earth, if it hits Los Angeles.
The specially-designed simulation looked at the pros and cons associated with an asteroid strike in 2020, which is estimated to level all structures and buildings within a diameter of 30 miles. The impact from such an asteroid hit could potentially lead to thousands of casualties and trigger an urgent need to conduct mass evacuation.
However, the present generation should not be afraid of such an asteroid hitting Earth in the near future, according to Paul Chodas of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena. Chodas says that there are no significant chances that an asteroid causing such an extensive damage would strike Earth at least in the next 100 years.
This observation id based on data derived from several special telescopes places around the world, especially the one placed in Catalina Sky Survey at University of Arizona. These telescopes track the path of asteroids and comets around Earth and identify any potential threats in advance.
So far, more than 650 asteroids close to Earth have been identified. However, the chances of them hitting Earth in the next century are next to nil. The team of scientists continue to explore all possibilities of an asteroid hitting Earth in the near future, despite what the data says. Source: hngn