The Earth is under constant bombardment. Each year, many fragments of debris hit our planet. Fortunately for us, most are so small that they burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere.
However, there are hundreds of larger asteroids orbiting near the Earth. Many scientists now believe that one of these hit the Earth 65 million years ago, killing the dinosaurs, along with 90% of all life on the planet. What is more, it is only a matter of time before the Earth is hit again.
Experts warn that nuclear weapons might not destroy an approaching asteroid. But Jay Meloch thinks he can use the power of the Sun to nudge an asteroid away from the Earth.
A violent Solar System:
Until recently, no one took the asteroid threat very seriously. Yet the evidence that we are in danger is on our own doorstep. We need only look at the cratered surface of the Moon to realise that it has been pounded by impacts throughout its history.
Why then, if collisions were common, was the surface of the Earth not scarred in a similar way? Unlike the Moon, the geography of the Earth is constantly changing, as continents move, and the landscape is constantly reforming. However, scientists realised that many features they had once dismissed as extinct volcanoes could in fact have been made by asteroid impacts.
Then in 1994, something happened which brought home how immediate the danger is. Astronomers realised that comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was heading straight for the planet Jupiter. The spectacular - and violent - impact created an explosion the size of planet Earth, and was the first time a collision between two astronomical bodies had been observed. If Jupiter had been hit, then the Earth could be next.
Title: Averting Armageddon
File Size: 450 MB
Video Length: 00:45:55
Video Codec: DivX5
Video Resolution: 720x544
VIdeo Bitrate: 1388 kbit/s
Audio Bitrate: 160 kbit/s
Audio Codec: MPEG Layer-3