Scientist Robert Walker said if a 10-kilometre wide asteroid, led to the end of the dinosaurs, hit the Earth today, we would be more likely to survive thanks to our ability to use basic tools and make shelter, according to reports.
“As long as we retain at least stone age technology, there isn’t much that could make us extinct…Even if we have to go back to beach-combing and surviving on shellfish, which was a staple of early human diet in cold places such as Canada and Scotland, one way or another some humans would survive,” Walker wrote on Quora.
Walker added that it would have to take a massive asteroid, one which literally boiled the planet, to wipe out humans.
He said: “I know some say humans would go extinct after a 10-kilometre asteroid impact. I don’t see that. I don’t think that could make us extinct.
“It would have to be much larger, large enough so there are no habitats for humans on Earth and nothing for us to eat for long enough for us all to starve or die.
“It would be large enough if it boiled the oceans and melted the continents.”
Even if the asteroid obliterated Earth, it would likely not destroy all life.
Walker said: “An asteroid 100 kilometres across would be seriously bad news for Earth. Still, microbes would be likely to survive deep below the surface if nothing else, and others sent off into space in the debris. So I’m not sure that even that would end all life on Earth.”
Meanwhile, reports suggest asteroid 2019 OU1, the space rock would be travelling towards Earth on Wednesday at a staggering speed of 29,000mph. According to NASA Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), asteroid 2019 OU1, at its closest approach, will be just 640,000 miles or 0.00688 AU from the planet centre. One AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun, so coming within just 0.00687 AU is perilously close.
It is worth mentioning here that 2002 JR100 is an Aten asteroid. As it orbits the Sun, this asteroid frequently intersects with the path of Earth as it approaches its farthest distance from the giant star.
According to a report published by spacetelescope.org, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. Asteroids are mainly found in an area called the main belta, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.