The Taurid Meteor Shower is a well-known event that happens every year in October and November, and people generally like to try and watch them, as they can be beautiful. The light shows are remnants created by Encke’s Comet, which
On the other hand, scientists are now warning that the Taurid Meteor Shower could be hiding unwelcomed news that went undetected for a long time.
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A paper accepted for the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics is available on arXiv.org in which researchers from the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Science describe two potentially dangerous asteroids (2015 TX24 and 2005 UR) that are residing in a previously-unknown branch of the Taurids.
Even worse, these space rocks range from 650-980 feet across and these, along with other smaller space rocks that are surrounding them, could be headed for a crash course with the Earth in the near future.
Even smaller space rocks can cause a lot of damage, and experts also fear that there may be more of these undetected asteroids out there, tangoing right along with these guys, and experts don’t know if they’re larger or smaller than the ones we’ve already found.
“Since asteroids of sizes of tens to hundreds of meters pose a threat to the ground even if they are intrinsically weak, impact hazard increases significantly when the Earth encounters the Taurid new branch every few years,” the researchers write in their paper.
Citing both the disastrous Chelyabinsk and Tunguska events, which were believed to have been caused by space rocks of the Taurid breed, even space rocks that are just tens of feet across can have devastating impacts on the world around us, flattening lands, shattering windows, and causing potentially lethal injuries to thousands (or millions) of individuals.
Fortunately, neither of these space rocks made it through the Earth’s atmosphere without burning up, but since we don’t really know how big the mystery space rocks are, they have the potential to reach the Earth’s surface and cause even more damage. Unfortunately, we won’t really know until they’re all identified.
Earth swings through some of these dangerous branches of the Taurid debris every few years while it orbits the Sun, and close encounters are expected in 2022, 2025, 2032, and 2039.
For now, all we can really do is try to monitor the elusive branch and see if we can’t discover any hidden space rocks that have slipped under the radar of our space observatories for all these years.
With a few crossed fingers and a glimmer of hope, there’s always a chance that nothing will strike the Earth after all.