NASA Researcher Says Earth is Long Overdue for 'Extinction-Level' Cosmic Event
Dr. Joseph Nuth of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center presented his research during the American Geophysical Union's 49th annual meeting, held this week in San Francisco.
"The biggest problem, basically, is there's not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment," Nuth said, according to the Guardian.
Nuth believes that Earth is overdue for an "extinction-level" cosmic event.
During his presentation, Nuth cited a "close encounter" with a comet in 1996, and again in 2014, when a wayward comet traveled within "cosmic spitting distance of Mars."
The 2014 comet was discovered 22 months ahead of its arrival, Nuth said.
"If you look at the schedule for high-reliability spacecraft and launching them, it takes five years to launch a spacecraft. We had 22 months of total warning," he said, according to the Guardian.
Nuth wants NASA to build an interceptor rocket — a way to ensure that an asteroid or comet doesn't crash into Earth.