|Astronomers call for more funding to counter asteroid threat|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 08 October 2008 11:34|
Astronomers have called on the Australian government to increase spending on asteroid detection in the southern hemisphere, after an asteroid detected on Monday morning was discovered to be on a collision course with Earth within a period of twenty-four hours. The asteroid measured only around a few metres in diameter, and burned up in the skies above Sudan at 2:46 am on Tuesday morning. The objected was spotted by the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. Within hours NASA experts had computed its orbit and published details of its expected trajectory through Earth's atmosphere. Although the asteroid was small and would most likely disintegrate well before impact, astronomers feared that the fireball could be mistaken for a ballistic missile, and so sought to ease tensions by publishing the information well in advance. It is the first time in history that scientists have been able to predict a meteor strike on Earth before it has taken place. But many experts believe that up until now we have been relatively lucky, and that had this particular asteroid been any bigger, it could have posed a serious threat to a city or nation.
Quote: "Professor Francis says most large near-earth objects have been mapped, but astronomers have identified only about 10 per cent of medium and small-sized asteroids. He says the Australian hunt for unidentified near earth objects has begun again, thanks to American funding. But it's only a small operation. "Well we've probably got lucky. We probably got lucky in the sense that we didn't search and nothing hit us since," he said. "But if in two years a city gets destroyed by a southern asteroid, then the government's decision will look pretty stupid. But we may have got lucky."
This time last year, a meteor that was estimated to be around 10 feet in diameter struck a remote village in Peru, leaving a impact crater around six metres deep and thirty metres wide. Locals reported hearing a thunderous roar and seeing a fireball flash across the sky. Many of the locals experienced nausea and vomiting after going to visit the site. Yesterday's meteor strike may be the first that was predicted in advance by mankind, but there is another that has been forecast to hit the earth. It's size and trajectory has already been mapped out, and the destruction caused by the impact already recorded. The book of Revelation predicts that a meteor, probably around a mile wide, will make impact in the sea (possibly the Mediterranean). A third of sea life will be wiped out, and a third of the ships will also be destroyed by the tsunami that will follow. The only detail that is not recorded for us is the date that this will occur. As we saw recently, astronomers are already calling for the United Nations to make preparations for such a scenario. Whether we will be able to predict this impact in advance or not, we are not told. But even if we could detect this asteroid in advance, there is no guarantee we could do anything to stop it. Have you made adequate preparation for this event? I'm not talking about taking out life insurance. When I was young I could never understand how life insurance worked. I used to think to myself, how can you pay money to someone to guarantee that you won't die? Now I realize that money goes to your relatives in the event that you do die. Life insurance won't save you in the day of judgement. I'm talking about taking out life assurance. There is only One Person that can give you that, and the price has already been paid in full. His name is Jesus Christ. He gave His life on the cross for you. He bore God's punishment for your sins, so that you could be forgiven and could have the assurance of eternal life in heaven. He is coming again to take all those who have trusted in Him for salvation, to be with Him where He is (John 17:24). Why don't you trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation today.