The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Here, And Might Foretell Humanity’s Extinction
“The Perseid meteor shower, even with a near-full Moon to contend with, should be one of the year’s most spectacular meteor showers. When you look up, scope out the northwest skies after sunset (from the northern hemisphere) and look for fast-moving streaks radiating away from near the “W” in Cassiopeia. A few dozen bright streaks per hour, even in the worst-case scenario, should still await you.
But as you watch the skies, keep in mind that there’s an enormous comet responsible for this light show, and it returns every 133 years. In just a handful of orbits, it will come closer to Earth than any reasonable person should be comfortable with. Even if it’s not Swift-Tuttle, it’s only a matter of time before an object just like it comes for us, threatening the extinction of humanity and much more. We have a choice: we can let it come, or we can be ready. Extinction by comet strike is, for the first time ever, no longer an inevitability. We just have to invest in our own cosmic safety to avoid this catastrophic fate.”
When a meteor shower comes our way, you likely look up at the sky and marvel. After all, why wouldn’t you? It’s one of the night sky’s most beautiful and natural sights. In the case of the Perseids, whose peak is just around the corner, it’s the most spectacular show of the year. Even when there’s a near-full Moon to contend with, like this year, it’s still worth taking a look at one of nature’s most wondrous occurrences.
Too bad that this one, in particular, may foretell the demise of not only humanity, but the overwhelming majority of species on Earth. The comet that created the Perseids is still coming, and it’s more dangerous than ever. Find out why.
5 Killer Events From Space That Could Wipe Out Human Life On Earth
“4.) A supernova: these have affected Earth many times, but we have endured without significant harm.
A Type II supernova must occur within <25 light-years of Earth to endanger us, an extremely uncommon occurrence.”
When we look ahead to the challenges we face as a species, our survival seems largely threatened by terrestrial causes, such as problems of our own making. But don’t count the Universe out yet! There are many ways that events from outside our own planet could cause catastrophe and even extinction for humanity, and asteroid/comet strikes are only one of them.
Here are 5 killer events from space that definitely occur, and they could wipe humanity out. One possibility may be just a few thousand years away!
Sorry, Doomsday Forecasters, Earth’s Mass Extinctions Occur At Random
“Unfortunately, it’s human nature to seek patterns wherever things occur, but in this case, the evidence is far too weak to bet against randomness in any way. It’s important to remember that just because we don’t see evidence for periodic events doesn’t mean they don’t occur, but it’s important to not go chasing after a phenomenon that doesn’t have the evidence supporting its reality. Asteroid and comet strikes may have increased likelihoods at certain times, and there may be a periodic effect for CO2 levels and the carbon crustal cycle, but neither one has any evidence linking them to mass extinctions. When it comes to catastrophic events for the planet, and the species that inhabit it, randomness is as good as it gets.”
We’ve all wondered, at some point, if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs isn’t a phenomenon that might not have been completely at random, but rather caused by a periodic, cosmic occurrence. Could our motion through the galaxy cause asteroidal or cometary impacts to occur more frequently at certain times? Would those times be periodic? And if so, could it make a mass extinction event more likely at certain times? This doesn’t need to be restricted to asteroids, but could be related to periodic geological or climatic changes as well. Fortunately, we know how to analyze this type of data, and to look for patterns in whether these extinction events appear at random or at uniform spacings. In 2013, the best analysis ever of this was undertaken by Fabo Feng and Coryn Bailer-Jones. As they conclude, in their own words: “…the time distribution of mass extinction events is consistent with being randomly distributed in time. There is no need to resort to anything more exotic.”
If you wanted to forecast our natural doomsday, the Universe isn’t going to help you out. Earth’s mass extinctions occur at random, and we’ve got the scientific evidence to back it up!
The Comet That Created The Perseids Might Bring An End To Humanity
“Every object in our Solar System that takes the plunge from out beyond Neptune to our inner reaches, where the rocky planets lie, will become a comet. As it nears the Sun, its ices melt, creating the tails we associate with them, and also creating a debris path that can create meteor showers if they cross Earth’s orbit. For thousands of years, the most consistent, spectacular meteor shower has been the Perseids, created by Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.
At its incredibly large size (26 kilometers across) and speed, it contains nearly 30 times the energy of the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs. Over the next few thousand years, it will come perilously close to Earth. If Jupiter — which it also passes by — gives it just the slightest gravitational kick, it could be flung into the Sun, ejected from the Solar System, or hurtled directly into our world. If this were to happen, and it’s a real possibility some 2400 years from now, it would mark the largest mass extinction our world has seen in hundreds of millions of years.”
Enjoying the Perseid meteor shower this year, as perhaps you do every August? As you look up, the great cosmic show might have a lot more to offer than mere streaks of light, due to cometary debris brightly burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This year, Jupiter has slightly disturbed the debris stream, resulting in an increase in the number of meteors-per-hour, as the stream passes quite centrally through Earth’s location. Someday, unless we continue to get lucky, Jupiter just might have that same effect on the comet that spawned the Perseids: comet Swift-Tuttle. Only, instead of an enhanced shower, we’d get struck by this comet. With a top speed of 60 km/s and a size of 26 km in diameter, this would result in an impact 28 times more energetic than the impactor that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Comet Swift-Tuttle is the single most dangerous object known to humanity. Come enjoy our continued existence and learn about our possible future demise, while you still can!
Are Mass Extinctions Periodic, And Are We Due For One?
“If we start looking at the craters we find on Earth and the geological composition of the sedimentary rock, however, the idea falls apart completely. Of all the impacts that occur on Earth, less than one quarter of them come from objects originating from the Oort cloud. Even worse, of the boundaries between geological timescales (Triassic/Jurassic, Jurassic/Cretaceous, or the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary), and the geological records that correspond to extinction events, only the event from 65 million years ago shows the characteristic ash-and-dust layer that we associate with a major impact.”
65 million years ago, a catastrophic impact from outer space caused the last great mass extinction on Earth, destroying 30% of the species that lived on our world at the time. These mass extinction events happened many times in Earth’s past, and the Solar System also passes through denser stellar regions of space periodically, as determined by the orbit of the Sun and stars in the Milky Way. It’s a combination of facts that might make you wonder whether the extinction events are also periodic, and if so, whether periodic impacts are predictable. If so, then shouldn’t we be aware of whether we’re living in a time of increased risk, and prepare ourselves for that possibility accordingly? After all, the dinosaurs didn’t have a space program or the capability of deflecting a dangerous object like the one that wiped them out.
But before we go that route, we should take a good look at what the data shows. Are mass extinctions periodic? Are we due? Let’s find out!