(New Scientist) Between 2000 and 2013, 26 asteroids packing at least the energy of 1 kilotonne of TNT hit Earth or exploded in its atmosphere. That's up to 10 times as many as you would expect from existing models of the frequency of asteroid strikes.
These strikes were partially detected by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Detection Network, which monitors for the covert testing of nuclear weapons. Now the B612 Foundation, which is building the first privately funded asteroid-hunting space telescope, has turned the underlying data into a visualisation.
B612 is releasing the animation today, Earth day, as a call to action on asteroid monitoring. However, it is not clear whether the updated value for the rate of asteroid strikes represents a perceptible increase in the risk these objects pose to Earthlings – since the chance of being hit is still vanishingly small.
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