The Atlantic

Earth Is Probably Unprepared for a Comet Strike

The U.S. should invest in an interceptor spacecraft before we detect a dangerous object, say government scientists.
Source: Gene Blevins / Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO—In a beige room on Monday, in the center of a sprawling corporate conference center, lifelong government researchers described one relatively quick and sudden way that the world as we know it could come to an end.

Luckily, they also had a plan to stop it.

For most of human history, “comets were portents of impending catastrophe, not the catastrophe itself,” said Joseph Nuth, a career geochemist at NASA. “That was until [Walter] Alvarez, in 1980, suggested that a comet or asteroid collision could wipe out the various species on the surface of the earth.”

In response to that paper

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