Scientists are studying how to knock an asteroid that’sheading for Earth out of its orbit. Spanish companyDeimos-Space, in its Don Quixote mission, plans to launch apair of probes called Hidalgo and Sancho towards a far offasteroid. One would hit the asteroid at extremely highspeed, deflecting it slightly from its orbit. The otherwould observe the asteroid and measure what happened to itafter the impact. This would tell scientists how hard theywould have to hit a real the asteroid heading for Earth inorder to deflect it safely.
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A huge crater has been discovered hundreds of feet beneaththe floor of the North Sea by seismic mapping equipmentdesigned for petroleum exploration. The 12-mile-wide crater,called Silverpit, is 60 to 65 million years old, going backto the end of the dinosaur era, and was created by theimpact of a massive meteorite. This means that not just one,but two, impacts killed off the dinosaurs.
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After further study, astronomers have decided that asteroidNT7 will not hit the Earth 17 years from now, but will flyharmlessly by instead. Dr. Don Yeomans of NASA says, “We cannow rule out any impact possibilities for February 1st,2019.”

But although it won’t hit us 17 years from now, it may stillhit the Earth in 58 years. Yeomans says, “While we cannotcompletely rule out an impact possibility for February 1st,2060, it seems very likely that this possibility will soonbe ruled out as well.”
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An asteroid was discovered a few weeks ago that astronomersthink will impact the Earth 18 years from now. The asteroid,known as NT7, has an orbit that’s on a collision course withEarth and if nothing changes, it will hit us on February 1,2019.

From its brightness, astronomers thinks it’s over a milewide, which is large enough to devastate a entire continent,if it strikes land. If it hits the ocean, it would producetidal waves that would engulf coastlines. Thedebris given off by the impact could significantly changeour global weather.
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