Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on Earth

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Wiley, Sep 22, 1997 - Science - 328 pages
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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 Earth

User Review  - Not Available - 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 ... Read full review

Review: Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on Earth

User 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


Fiddling While Rome Burns
The Swarm around Us
Catastrophic Scenarios

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About the author (1997)

DUNCAN STEEL, Ph.D., is a space researcher with wide experience in the field of asteroids, comets, and meteors. He is currently Director of Spaceguard Australia and Vice President of the International Space-guard Foundation.

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