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Which “mysterious hero” repeatedly helps humanity avoid extinction?

During its 4.5 billion year history, Earth has witnessed many mass extinction events caused by collisions between planets. However, in these times, no extinction is more famous than the end of the “dynasty” of the dinosaurs. It was the Cretaceous – Paleogene extinction from 66 million years ago that resulted in the extinction of 76% of the world’s species of organisms.

The reason is that the asteroid Chicxulub crashed into Earth at a speed of up to 70,000 km / h. After the collision, the Earth appeared a crater more than 190km wide and also caused a giant tsunami. Or the collision between the comet and Earth about 13,000 years ago caused the extinction of the mammoth species and ushered in the Stone Age.

The danger of humanity being wiped out comes from outer space

So the question is, is it possible for us humans to experience a similar event? The answer is yes. In fact, in 1994, the Earth nearly crashed into an interstellar collision unprecedented in the universe. Although humanity has escaped this collision for nearly 30 years, every time scientists recall it, scientists are still scared to sweat.

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There have been many extinction events in the history of the Earth. (Photo: Baidu)

The story begins on March 24, 1993, astronomers including Carolyn Shoemaker, Eugene M. Shoemaker and David Levy discovered the 9th comet with the 0.4-meter Schmidt telescope at the Mountain Observatory at the Mountain Observatory. Palomar, California, USA. They quickly found that the comet was nothing like the known comets. They named it comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 or SL9.

Comet SL9 flies at extremely high speed towards the solar system. The size of this comet is quite large, up to 5 km in diameter, which can also be considered the largest of its kind in the comet world. According to astronomers’ calculations, if SL9 follows its orbit, it will collide with Earth in July 1994. This collision could be the end of the world. Therefore, since realizing the appearance of SL9, astronomers have been observing it extremely carefully.

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The most famous is the collision with the asteroid Chicxulub that caused the dinosaurs to be wiped out. (Photo: Baidu)

In fact, comets in space have hit the Earth many times. As a result of those collisions, craters of different sizes are found on Earth’s surface. NASA scientists have also predicted, if our Earth is hit by comet SL9, nearly 1 billion people will disappear in an instant. In addition, other activities such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions after the collision will continue to take place, making the lives of survivors seriously affected.

The most frightening thing is that dust in the atmosphere will rise, affecting the reception of light on Earth. Over a long period of time, the Earth’s vegetation will be significantly reduced. Humans will not be able to cultivate. Survivors will face difficult situations such as lack of food, lack of energy. Even humanity is likely to be wiped out.

Mysterious “hero” saves the Earth from destruction

Fortunately, SL9 wandered through the solar system, when it passed through Jupiter’s orbit, it was attracted by Jupiter’s gravity, so it changed its orbit. SL9 quickly passed the Roche limit (which is the closest distance the two objects have) and broke into 21 pieces. Astronomers have calculated that this comet debris will still collide with Jupiter in 1994 because this is inevitable.

Although comet SL9 is no longer a threat to humans thanks to Jupiter, their collision event is a rare opportunity to witness this historic moment in the universe. They believe that through this collision, they will have more bases to determine more about the cause of the extinction of dinosaurs on Earth.

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After being attracted to Jupiter, comet SL9 changed its orbit to no longer rush towards Earth. (Photo: Baidu)

Between July 16 and 22, 1994, fragments of SL9 at 60 km/s crashed into the atmosphere in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere. 21 fragments of SL9 crashed into Jupiter’s surface causing craters. These fragments have been marked in the order of the English alphabet A to W. Months after the collision, the fragments of SL9 left numerous circular black marks on Jupiter’s surface.

Although comet SL9 has been fragmented, their impact on Jupiter is also very deep and wide. According to a survey of experts, the impact marks left behind are even larger than the diameter of the Earth. It is hard to imagine how these comet fragments would affect humanity if they collided with Earth. The consequences will certainly be much more serious than the extinction of the dinosaurs.

According to NASA, The debris smashed into Jupiter with the power of 300 million atomic bombs, creating huge plumes of smoke from 2,000 – 3,000 km high and heating the atmosphere with temperatures as high as 30,000 – 40,000 degrees Celsius. This number really surprised many people. From this number, it is possible that Jupiter “saved” the Earth and humanity from doom.

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Humans on Earth have avoided the danger of extinction thanks to Jupiter. (Photo: Baidu)

So why is comet SL9 attracted to Jupiter and not other planets? The reason is because Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, its volume is 1,300 times larger than Earth and 318 times the mass of Earth. Because Jupiter is so large, it became the planet with the largest gravitational force and it attracted comet SL9. In fact, Jupiter has prevented countless comets, meteorites, and minor planets from hitting Earth. And we can completely consider Jupiter as a “protective cloak” of the Earth.

In addition, with the development of science and technology, in the future, humanity will certainly be able to deal with the dangers coming from outer space. Astronomers will issue early warnings to give us enough time to prepare a plan to bombard meteorites, comets or asteroids before they reach Earth.

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