This month of September started unusually. Florence, a three mile wide asteroid, passed closely by the Earth on September 1, 2017. Luckily, Florence did not strike the Earth. If Florence would have collided into our planet, she would have been a meteor. When an asteroid comes crashing, it is not beautiful like a shooting star. Instead, it looks like a big white rock lacking the luminescence of a star. No two asteroids are alike, some are big while others are small. Of course, the bigger the asteroid the more dangerous it becomes if it smashes into the Earth.
Even before the existence of man, there were asteroids. One of the theories explaining the extinction of dinosaurs is that an asteroid hit the Earth and eliminated these prehistoric creatures.
Astronomer Guiseppe Piazzi discovered the first asteroid, Ceres, in 1801. Sir William Herschel was the astronomer who came up with the word asteroid. Coming from the Greek word for “star-like,” an asteroid is a star like and star shaped rock.
As astronomers study the impact of asteroids analytically, artists have used their imagination to portray asteroids in pictures of doomsday. There are so many science fiction films about asteroids. There are also movies about natural disasters that result in the end of mankind. One of these films is (1977) End Of The World that shows how natural disasters destroy humanity and our planet. Even though the movie is not about an asteroid demolishing our planet, the end of the film shows the Earth exploding as if it was hit by an asteroid.
If you are worried about an asteroid hitting the Earth, you can rest assured that NASA is working hard to protect us. NASA is constantly observing asteroids and the potential that they have to hit the Earth. If NASA knew that an asteroid was going to crash into our planet, they have the technology to detonate it and save humanity.