Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

Brian and Brian join Near Earth Object spotter crusade


Scientists are trying to raise awareness about planet-killing chunks of flying space rock with today's Asteroid Day.

Among them are ex-Queen guitar man and astrophysicist Brian May and meedja celeb Brian Cox.

Asteroid Day accompanies a call for a 100-fold increase in the detection and monitoring of asteroids, called the 100x Declaration. The fear is that not enough is being done to catalogue and track near-Earth objects, known as NEOs.

Apollo 9 astronaut and Asteroid Day expert panel chair Rusty Schweickart reckons we are finding NEOs of 65 feet and bigger at a rate of 1,000 a year. It will take more than 1,000 years to find one million NEOs that potentially threaten the Earth, he reckons.

Those signing the 100x Declaration include the University of Manchester's Cox, former International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield, and Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute.

Asteroid Day is an international event that centres around the opening of a new IMAX film, 51 Degrees North, about the consequences of an asteroid strike on the Earth and the ramifications for humans.

Asteroid Day is the brainchild of May and others. May also provides the sound track to 51 Degrees North. June 30 was picked for Asteroid Day because it marks the anniversary of the Tunguska impact in Siberia, an explosion that laid waste to 800 square miles of forest. The rock that hit Siberia was thought to have been 120 ft across.

It travelled at 33,500mph, heated the air to 44,500°F and exploded 28,000 feet above the ground with a force 185 times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Besides flattening a lot of pine and silver birch trees, few – if any – humans were physically hurt.

Since then, however, there’s been the asteroid that burned up over Chelyabinsk, also in Russia, in February 2013. That was around 65ft across and it popped at 28 miles with the force of 500 kilotonnes of TNT. The shock wave injured 1,600 people and blew out windows.

You can read more about Asteroid Day here. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022