The more you read about planet killers and particularly ones that could kill Earth, the more amazing it seems that we have survived this long.
There are several theories. First, there is the obvious asteroid strike, beloved of movie executives and involving Bruce Willis managing to push that Earth killer off course in the nick of time. But asteroids are no laughing matter. We know that one did for the dinosaurs. We also know that one missed us last weekend by what NASA called a ‘cosmic hair’s breadth’ or 1,830 miles. It was only the size of a car but a car travelling at 27,600 miles an hour would be some collision.
Imagine a bigger asteroid that was 1,830 miles to the left and that would do it. Goodbye and thanks for all the fish.
Another potential planet killer is what goes on in space itself (rather than the rocks that fly about randomly). The stars themselves, being raging balls of extraordinary volatility and heat are good candidates. Scientists now believe that one such stellar explosion a mere 650 light years away caused a massive ‘extinction event’ about 359 million years ago, at the end of the Devonian Period.
Betelgeuse, our nearest neighbour at around 600 light years from Earth is the biggest threat – and did something rather strange recently. It dimmed. And scientists and Hubble experts now think that it ‘sneezed’ and the cloud that was the, er, product of the sneeze came our way and so the effect was a dimmer Betelgeuse. It was a traumatic event and could very easily mean that a star within killer range is becoming unstable.
Another, perhaps less mainstream but nonetheless popular idea (if the death of our planet is a popular idea) is that aliens have been lurking in unlikely places and are about to spring out of Uranus and launch a deadly attack. Indeed, the video below, filmed from the International Space Station does seem to show three UFOs flying (in a straight line, not in orbit) past it. And they are not the only UFOs to have been filmed recently. There have been cubes near the sun, UFOs that seem to fly through the sun and even the US Navy is now declassifying their own sightings of UFOs.
It could be that we are making the Earth warm enough for aliens, who are preparing to come and negotiate a rental deal.
After all, it could soon be available. Scientists at MIT are now convinced that we are committing suicide by not doing enough to stop humans producing so much damned heat. Everything we do produces heat and a telling recent event was the sheering off of the last big ice sheet in North America. At the same time, Death Valley in California recorded the highest temperature, ever.
Whichever way you look at it, and whichever option you think is most likely to turn out to be the planet killer that kills us, all the arguments seem to be pointing to the conclusion that our time is already borrowed. It is not looking good.