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Risk of asteroid hitting Earth higher than thought, study shows

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 02:00

April 23 - A group of space explorers say the chance of a city-obliterating asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed. Deborah Gembara reports.

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***EDITORS PLEASE NOTE***This edit has been updated with more accurate video animation. Please use updated version of this story. The chances of an asteroid hitting earth and destroying a major city --- higher then you might think. SOUNDBITE: ASTRONAUT TOM JONES, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF SPACE EXPLORERS (ASE), SAYING: "We asked the UN to consider five new measures to protect earth from asteroid strikes." Scientists who monitors nuclear weapons detonations, says they've detected 26 asteroids between 2000 and 2013. One explosion over Russia last year left more than 1,000 people injured by flying glass and debris. Steps can be taken to prevent even more serious injuries say scientists. Number one --- using a $250 million dollar infrared space telescope to detect them. SOUNDBITE: ASTRONAUT TOM JONES, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF SPACE EXPLORERS (ASE), SAYING: "To put this telescope in space and find the one million dangerous asteroids out there that are big enough to wipe out a city on our planet. That telescope is an essential part of this current warning that we need to expand." Former astronaut Ed Lu heads the B612 Foundation, the group that is raising money for the telescope as well as awareness about the threat. SOUNDBITE: ED LU, FORMER ASTRONAUT AND PRESIDENT OF OF ASSOCIATION OF SPACE EXPLORERS: "Finding and building a map of the entire solar system to protect planet earth costs about as much as building a freeway overpass. People sometimes think, how can you do this if we can't solve other global problems like poverty and environmental problems or education. I don't know how to solve those problems, I would love to solve those problems but they are quite a lot larger in scale. This is the only global scale natural disaster I personally know how to prevent so that's what I am going to do." While NASA already has a program that tracks asteroids larger than one sixth of a mile, Lu says smaller ones have the potential to wipe out an entire city.

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Risk of asteroid hitting Earth higher than thought, study shows

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 02:00