An asteroid hitting Earth, resulting in a subsequent apocalyptic extinction event, is a popular theory for how the dinosaurs went extinct 65.5 million years ago. This scenario is also popular for science-fiction or action movies, and despite the varying scientific accuracy of these films, it is an interesting situation to think about. Could this happen to us? Will it? The short answer is yes, of course. Large asteroid impacts are fairly infrequent throughout history, but they do happen. Luckily, we know much more about asteroids than the dinosaurs did, and we can use this knowledge to help us in case that we are faced with an incoming catastrophe.
The video great above, made by It’s Okay To Be Smart, explains how likely we are to be hit by an asteroid in the near future, what the effects of such a hit would be, and how we might try to avoid such an impact if we knew it to be imminent. Don’t go posting to Facebook telling everyone to find the nearest nuclear bunker; we’re not in (near-term) serious danger. Science has taken us far enough to be able to roughly predict when these asteroid strikes will occur, and how much damage they will cause. An extinction-level collision seems unlikely, as is explained in the video, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to learn and be aware of the potential danger, however unlikely it is.