What are the chances of a huge meteor smashing us flat?:
every year, about 150 meteors are hardy enough to survive the friction of passing through the atmosphere and actually strike the ground. At that point, they become “meteorites.” Most of them are small and do no damage whatsoever–the Earth is a fairly good sized planet, after all, and the chances of a meteorite landing in a populated area are comfortably remote. It’s estimated that a a meteor strike causing 100 or more fatalities could only occur once in 100,000 years, a striking causing more than 1,000 deaths once in every million years.
The largest meteorite ever found checked in at 132,000 pounds; happily, it struck a remote region of southwest Africa in prehistoric times. The biggest meteor crater in the U.S. is near Canyon Diablo in Arizona, measuring about one mile across and 500 feet deep. The Chubb Crater in northern Quebec, now a lake, has a circumference of seven and a half miles, still narrow enough to spare the suburbs had it landed in, say, downtown Chicago. And of course one must acknowledge the hypothesis, as yet unproven, that a giant meteorite strike in prehistoric times brought about the end of the dinosaurs. So what I’m saying is, a giant meteorite is probably nothing to worry about. But it could mean the end of life as we know it.
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