|Researchers warn asteroids could trigger tsunamis|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Monday, 04 May 2009 08:44|
|This is old news that has been republished in a recent article on the internet, but it is worth repeating nevertheless. Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are calling for an asteroid advance warning system to be set up, after assessing the scale of the threat posed by an asteroid impact on one of Earth's oceans. Astrophysicist Jack Hills presented his findings at a news conference and a scientific session at the Washington, D.C. meeting of the American Astronomical Society. That news conference was held in 1998, six years before the Asian tsunami occurred, when the world was suddenly awakened to the sheer devastation that a tsunami can unleash. Hills used computer models, combined with historical data from previous tsunamis, to simulate the effects an asteroid impact on one of Earth's oceans. He found that an asteroid of roughly three miles in diameter impacting in the Atlantic ocean could devastate the coastlines of several continents. Most of the east coast of the United States would be affected, with Delaware, Maryland and Virginia being completely inundated with water. The coastline of western Europe would also be devastated. But although asteroid impacts of that size are few and far between, Hills found that even relatively small asteroids posed a significant threat should they land in the sea. |
Quote: "According to Hills, fewer than 10 percent of all Earth-crossing asteroids more than 1 kilometre in diameter have been found. A much smaller fraction of objects 100 meters to 1 kilometre in diameter have been found. These "Swords of Damocles" can hit Earth at any time with almost no warning. But mathematical modelling has given researchers a much clearer picture of what happens when they do hit: objects 100 meters in diameter, for example, would cause blast waves that could flatten the largest cities on Earth if they impacted near them, Hills said. Stony asteroids larger than 200 meters in diameter cause even greater blast damage, but most of their kinetic energy is deposited on impact with the ground rather than being dissipated in the atmosphere. Hills said these objects will produce impact craters if they hit solid ground and tsunami if they impact the ocean. They would also produce earthquakes. If they are larger than about 1 kilometre in diameter they will eject enough dust above the atmosphere to cause significant-to-total darkness around Earth. For objects with diameters ranging from about 200 meters to a few kilometres, the most serious form of damage is likely to be tsunami.
The idea of an asteroid impact devastating the earth has been popularised of late by secular films such as Armageddon and Deep Impact. And scientists are now warning that the threat posed by these space objects is significant enough to warrant developing early warning systems and devising methods for dealing with possible impact scenarios. But nearly two thousand years ago the apostle John was given a vision of what many believe will be a real asteroid that will impact the earth. John, through the Holy Spirit, accurately describes the characteristics of an asteroid impact, and records for us the resulting devastation that ensues. And today astrophysicists are proving just how accurate John's account is in the book of the Revelation.
Few of us will forget the devastation caused by the Asian Tsunami in December 2004. An earthquake, initially measuring 10 on the Richter Scale and lasting for around 10 minutes, caused a tsunami which devastated the coastlines of around a dozen countries within the space of just a few hours. The quake created a gash in the Earth's surface over 900 miles long, permanently altering the shape of the Earth's magnetic field. Islands in the Pacific ocean were moved dozens of feet as the Earth's tectonic plates shifted their positions. The entire planet wobbled on its axis, such was the magnitude of the earthquake. And over a quarter of a million people lost their lives. It's horrific to think of it. But that is nothing compared to what the Bible says will come to pass during the tribulation period. The Lord Jesus Christ prophesied that in the last days, nations will be in distress at the cataclysmic events that will be unfolding during this time.
The wonder is that more people don't heed the warning. It's like the lung cancer patient who is addicted to cigarettes. He knows the cigarettes are killing him. It even tells him so on the packet. But he enjoys smoking too much to quit. In the same way, people are addicted to sin. The Bible tells us what will happen to us if we die in our sins. But people enjoy their sin too much to do anything about it. Just as the cancer will catch up with the chain smoker, so the Bible warns of a day in which our sin will catch up with us if it hasn't been forgiven (Numbers 32:23). The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of a time when people would seek Him for salvation but it would be too late...
Jesus Christ is coming back again for all who have believed on Him for salvation, to take them to be with Him where He is (John 14:3). But if you have not trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, then make no mistake about it, where He is you cannot come. Don't wait until it's too late. "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near", Isaiah 55:6. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).