The probability of a large asteroid colliding with the Earth may be much higher than is commonly believed, writes Science.org. James Garvin, Chief Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, reportedly expressed this idea at a recent science conference.
In his opinion, in the history of the Earth over the past million years there could be cases of such a catastrophe so far unknown to science.
The space agency analyzed a new catalog of high-resolution satellite images and found a new (i.e., previously unknown) suspected large impact crater 1 million years old or even less, a NASA scientist said.
In addition, around the three already known such craters, it was possible to notice additional, even wider rings. This means that the fallen celestial bodies were larger and more massive than expected.
According to the researcher, they were not comparable to the famous “dinosaur killer” asteroid, but could still lead to global climate change and mass extinctions.
Based on these considerations, NASA suspects that large asteroids fall to Earth much more often. Meanwhile, it is on the basis of the statistics of such events that estimates of the probability of their recurrence in the near future are made.