Speaking on Dreamland on May 9, 2014, Dr. Robert Schoch said that Planet Earth along with the rest of our solar system is entering a region of space that contains more debris than the region we have been in for the past 10,000 years. Although accurate worldwide statistics are not available, there have been an unusual number of meteor reports since, with an apparent increase in recent months. On March 15, a spectacular meteor crossed Europe, lighting up the skies over at least six countries and producing a thundering sound as it descended.
Earth seems to have had a number of lucky escapes recent years; several asteroids have passed uncomfortably close to our home planet, and one exploded without warning in 2013 over Chelyabinsk in Russia, causing injuries to residents and extensive damage to buildings.
Now another piece of space debris has been identified as a potential risk, as scientists reveal that a mountain-sized asteroid could be on a collision course with planet Earth.
Prophets and soothsayers have been predicting the end of the world for thousands of years, with possible extinction-level events cited as super-volcanoes or earthquakes, giant solar flares, pollution, plague and pestilence, and the favourite of the 20th century, nuclear war. There is no doubt that planet Earth is currently under-going what Confucius would describe as ‘interesting times’, with all of these proposed threats simmering away ominously in the background as we continue our ordinary lives. One of the other threats which could end Life as we know it, and one which has been credited with extinguishing the dinosaurs millions of years ago, is if the Earth was to be struck by a sizeable asteroid, and it is this scenario which could occur in the not-too-distant future.
As Asteroid 2012 DA14 approached Earth, a significant meteor strike took place in central Russia. Most experts do not believe that the two events were related, and NASA has confirmed that the asteroid has not broken up. However, smaller debris is sometimes present near asteroids, and is not generally detectable, so it is possible that such debris comprised the meteor.