Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on Earth
Could a giant asteroid or comet crash into the Earth and destroy life as we know it? Many astronomers who formerly discredited the risks are now convinced there is a grave danger. In Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets, astronomer Duncan Steel explores the scientists' fascinating and often chilling findings. Director of one of three global asteroid and comet search programs, Steel is one of the world's leading experts. He tells the intriguing story of the scientific detection work that pieced together mounting evidence to uncover a stunning history of impacts. Massive comet and asteroid impacts scarred our planet frequently in the past - a comet was almost surely responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Recent advances in telescope tracking technology show at least 2,000 objects now orbiting the Earth that are large enough to hit with the force of a nuclear weapon. Based on the best calculations, it is certain that the Earth will sooner or later find itself on a disastrous collision course once again. In the event of a collision, evidence suggests outcomes such as three-mile-high ocean waves capable of obliterating coastal communities worldwide, a massive conflagration and a cloud of dust and ash blocking all sunlight and making agriculture impossible. With consummate authority, Steel explains and evaluates these prospects and the plans researchers have proposed for the search and destruction of oncoming celestial bodies, including Edward Teller's provocative call for a nuclear bomb. Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets is a compelling account of the threat posed to life on Earth from outer space, and of scientists' response. Killer comets and asteroids populate the cosmos ingreater numbers than we have ever imagined. But for the first time, humankind is in a position to prevent calamity. This book makes a compelling case that to waste that opportunity would be both perilous and foolhardy.
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Rogue asteroids and doomsday comets: the search for the million megaton menace that threatens life on EarthUser Review - Book Verdict
Here is a recipe for a fascinating literary dish: Take the history of comet impacts on Earth. Add the latest scientific findings from astronomers and geologists. Stir in related theories about the origin of Stonehenge and the extinction of dinosaurs. Mix well with statistics on the chances of future terrestrial collision and the evidence from the recent comet explosion on Jupiter. Spice liberally with science fiction-like images of catastrophic scenarios. Bring to a simmer with government plans for detection and interception of an approaching "death star." Serve immediately to horrified millions. The result is guaranteed to satisfy the appetite of interested lay readers for all the facts, scientific beliefs, and uncertainties about the danger of comets and asteroids crashing into Earth. The head chef is author Steel, an Australian astronomer and world authority on comet hazards. The appetizer is a foreword by Arthur C. Clarke. Gourmet reading!--Valerie Vaughan, Western Mass. Regional Lib.
Review: Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on EarthUser Review - Ross - Goodreads
Written in the mid-90s, this book reports on the potential threat to Earth from unfriendly asteroids, and our complete ignorance of them. A good enough account, but no longer the current, as there have been a number of advances in tracking near-earth objects. Read full review
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