Space objects: not “if”, but “when”
Red and Blue Nebulas: captured in a star-forming region of the Large Magellanic Cloud
Original image credit: ESO: eso.org
When you find time to free up your mind, and escape from your daily routine, drive to the nearest mountain, walk to the highest point you can reach, away from humans and their lights, throw a blanket on the ground, sit back and look up at the sky.
If you’re lucky, you can catch a few shooting stars passing by.
If you’re curious, research a space event to observe [ NASA SKYCAL – NASA Space Calendar – Sea & Sky Calendar of Celestial Events ], get a telescope, and enjoy the ride.
It’s simply amazing.
It might not be as romantic as a sunset at the beach, calm, colorful, and relaxing. But it’s definitely mysterious and attractive.
There are billions and billions of objects around us in the universe. And maybe billions and billions of universes.
We know very little, yet, we feel strong enough to ignore that vast “endless” black dotted matter, our tiny, very tiny planet, swims in.
Yes. Space is not empty, quite, nor safe. But we don’t really have time for it right now; we’re killing each others.
Meteors, Solar storms, Gamma rays, and other surprises await Earth on every orbit, from every angle. NASA, through the NEO program, is tracking around 3,000 objects heading towards Earth; those are the ones we know of.
But don’t forget the “oops we didn’t see that one coming” incidents [ near miss – September 2013 ] [ hit – February 2013 – Russia ]. There’ll be a lot of those. And a meteor or gamma ray blast can hit us at any moment [ Modern Era Impacts ].
What’s our plan to ensure the survival of the species?
Well, we don’t have much to offer but theories [ Asteroid Impact Avoidance ]. Humans are investing more in their destruction than in space programs and preventive plans. So until we have time to define what’s more important for us, we’re completely exposed and under constant threat.
It happened before, and it will happen again; it’s a matter of time.
It could be tomorrow, it could be in a 100 years: are we prepared?
That’s the question we should be asking ourselves the next time we look up.