Perseid meteor shower: Swift-Tuttle comet could DESTROY life on Earth | Science | News


The Perseids meteor shower will peak this weekend between the night of Saturday, August 11, and the morning of Monday, August 13.

While the people of Earth will be treated to a dazzling display of a meteor shower, the comet responsible for the shooting stars might not be as kind to us in the future.

The 16-mile-wide Comet Swift-Tuttle is leaves behind a trail of meteors which cause the Perseids meteor shower.

But there is a chance the huge space rock could strike Earth in the future and if it does, the power would be 30 times greater than the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

An impact like this would surely wipe out ALL life on Earth.

Experts warn that in the future, Jupiter, which the comet also passes, could gravitationally pull on it, changing Swift-Tuttle’s direction and putting it on a collision course with our planet.

Forbes’ resident scientist Ethan Siegel wrote: “If Swift-Tuttle were to strike Earth, it would release more than one billion megatons of energy: the energy equivalent of 20,000,000 hydrogen bombs exploding all at once.

‘Without a doubt, the comet that gives rise to the Perseids is far and away the single most dangerous object known to humanity.

“It would mark the largest mass extinction our world has seen in hundreds of millions of years.”

However, we are safe for now.

The next time Swift-Tuttle will be within a million miles of Earth will be August 5, 2126 and August 24, 2261.

However, it is the passing in 4479 when we will not be 100 percent safe.

Even then, there is only a one in a million chance it will hit Earth.

Conditions this year are expected to be ideal thanks to the darkened New Moon keeping the skies dark thought the shower.

The Perseids arrive each year in the night skies when the Earth passes through the cosmic trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The meteor shower always starts around mid-July and wraps towards the end of August, peaking about mid-way through.



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