As our view of space and our solar system improves, astronomers have realized that space is a dangerous place. Space travel requires considering the many ways astronauts can be harmed when they leave Earth’s protection. It isn’t just cold and radiation and the damaging effects of weightlessness, but our solar system is full of rock material left over from the creation process. NASA must keep in mind the possibility of an asteroid strike from space.
NASA has plotted 1000 known “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids” (PHAs). These are documented boulders of rock and ice over 140 meters across that will pass within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth (about 20 times the distance to the Moon). Were a giant asteroid to strike Earth, the result would be catastrophic. There is evidence that this has happened in the past, probably causing mass extinctions on our planet.
NASA used the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission in 2022 to explore the possibility of redirecting an asteroid away from the Earth. We are talking about a large object, not the small pieces of rock and dust that strike the Earth every day, producing meteor displays and fireballs. NASA designed DART to find a way to prevent a catastrophic asteroid strike from space.
NASA has concluded that none of the asteroids known to astronomers will strike the Earth for at least the next 100 years. God created our planet in such a way that we are protected from destructive agents from outer space. The more we learn about space, the more we see the design and planning involved in creation.
The threat to humanity is what we do to ourselves, not any failure in the design of our planet. God has also given us a way to protect ourselves from each other, and we see that in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Read Matthew chapters 5-7, and you will see what Jesus told us. The selfishness and greed of humans threaten our existence individually and collectively. Human self-destruction is far more likely than a catastrophic asteroid strike from space.
— John N. Clayton © 2023
Reference: NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day for June 30, 2023