The former post was dedicated to activists passively wishing an asteroid would wipe out the earth, while doing nothing active so that their wishes might come true.
Of course we don’t mean it in a literal sense, as in actively directing asteroids towards earth, but metaphorically, as in actively looking for viable ways to stop the suffering. Ideas like these for example.
But there is an active aspect even in the case of asteroids.
As we wrote in the former post, unfortunately the chances for an asteroid hit of the sort to have annihilation potential, are very low according to current data. For this reason we haven’t written about this option in our practical documents. But before we get to the operative angle, some basic background is required.
A methodical sky mapping for possible near earth objects was started in 1998, but since it is not done yet (currently it is estimated that about 90% of over one kilometer in diameter asteroids, which is considered by scientists as the minimum size for a potential global effect, are mapped) there is a chance that out of the unmapped asteroids out there (currently some of the 10% left are not observable because of areas blinded by the sun) some are relevant for annihilation and might at some point collide with earth’s orbit. And although none of the currently mapped over kilometer asteroids seem to be on earth’s course in the visible future, asteroids’ orbits can change, mainly by random collisions or planet gravity, and even heat from the sun that can knock them into a different course.
Still, asteroids’ orbits are relatively stable and easier to monitor, but apart from them there are comets, which are much more unexpected. They origin from farther regions of the solar system, and are harder to detect and predict, since they don’t become bright enough to observe, until they are about six months away from hitting earth. Also, just as in asteroids, factors like collisions, planetary gravity and the sun’s energy play a role (the sun role is even stronger in their case since they contain a lot of ice which is released as steam that can change their orbit), all of these factors make comets even less expected and give less time for humanity to respond.
Comets are also potentially more dangerous than asteroids of the same mass because typically they are twice as fast and the collision effect goes up as the square of the velocity. In other words a comet smaller than 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) across holds the potential for a sufficient energy burst to initiate a global climate disaster.
The odds of an asteroid or a comet strike causing the desired effect are very small, but the potential consequences of such an event are so great that it makes sense to take the chance seriously. Like in the case of volcanoes (and even the climatic options we have briefly covered), it is not the initial strike but its potential consequences that interest us. Besides the immediate impact zone, a powerful enough strike, would set off a chain of events such as shockwaves, huge tsunamis, earthquakes and the most significant one – an impact winter caused by the billions of tons of debris that would loft into the sky and would block the entire atmosphere with a thick optic layer.
The combination of the initial impact and its expected global outcomes would make this planet a totally different place after the hit. Hopefully without any sentient life.