Asteroids and meteors enter Earth daily, throwing hundreds of tons of space debris into the planet's atmosphere. About every 2000 years or so, an asteroid the size of a football field strikes, causing massive destruction. According to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), between April 15, 1988 and February 1, 2019, at least 771 significant meteorological impacts were recorded worldwide. Asteroids threatening civilizations are however much rarer because they only strike every few million years.
But the main deadly asteroids hide in the dark depths of space and their potential impact could be cataclysmic.
But what exactly would happen if any of these killer asteroids hit Earth tomorrow? What would be the extent of the destruction?
Discovery Channel answered this question by simulating the impact of an asteroid on a 500 km wide space rock.
The terrifying video titled "The Simulation of a Large Asteroid" describes the ferocious disappearance of the planet from the moment of impact.
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Asteroid warning: this simulation shows the effect of a major asteroid striking the Earth
The video shows what would happen if the asteroid hit the planet in the Pacific Ocean just east of Southeast Asia.
When the video shows the asteroid above the Earth's surface, its colossal size clears the Sun and casts a shadow over entire cities.
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As the asteroid rushes toward the ground, the air surrounding it ignites under the effect of friction.
The apocalyptic rock then crashed into the Pacific, where the force of impact instantly removes more than 10 km from the Earth's crust.
The resulting shockwave throws a tremendous tidal wave in all directions from the point where the asteroid landed.
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Columns of fire and smoke appear in the video, propagating in an ever increasing radius of the asteroid.
The debris of the force of impact is pushed up into the low Earth orbit (LEO) and a storm of death and destruction invades the planet.
In the simulation video, nothing stands in the way of the fiery shock wave of the asteroid.
The day becomes night, life turns to death and the surface becomes uninhabitable.
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The video shows one by one the whole country collapsing and getting rid of the crust that is deteriorating rapidly.
The shockwave, which is now spreading across the world at a hypersonic speed, vaporizes all that precedes it.
We see a land once green and teeming with life transformed into an ocean of fire and rubble.
Of all the deadly asteroids that hit Earth in its violent cosmic past, the asteroid Chicxulub, the dinosaur killer, was the most devastating of all.
The giant asteroid, which struck the Earth about 65 to 66 million years ago, would likely only have a diameter of about 9.5 km.
However, a study published in 2017 in the journal Nature revealed that the asteroid was the ideal place in modern Mexico to eliminate dinosaurs.
The study states: "Recent studies have shown that this impact on the Yucatan Peninsula warms the hydrocarbons and sulfur contained in these rocks, forming soot aerosols and stratospheric sulphates and causing extreme global cooling and drought. .
"These events triggered massive extinction, including dinosaurs, and led to the subsequent macroevolution of mammals."
Asteroid Warning: Asteroid impact simulation shows that all life on Earth is dying
Asteroid Warning: Asteroid simulation involved a 500 km asteroid hitting the Earth
Fortunately, according to the NASA space agency, very few asteroids hide in the depths of space, which represents a real threat to the Earth.
NASA said: "Scientists are discovering with increasing regularity asteroids and comets with unusual orbits, which bring them closer to the Earth and the Sun.
"Very few of these bodies are potential hazards to the Earth, but the more we know and understand, the better we will be prepared to take appropriate action, if necessary.
"Knowing the size, shape, mass, composition and structure of these objects will help determine the best way to divert a rock from the space that lies on a path threatening the Earth."