The day the earth stood still: Scientists simulate ‘doomsday’ scenario

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On September 28, 2018, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California carried out a disturbing experiment. Using the world’s most powerful lasers, they blasted a small target with the force of a thousand suns. In just a few seconds, the target went from being a block of solid ice to a rapidly expanding cloud of superheated plasma.

The experiment was intended to simulate what would happen if a giant asteroid were to hit the earth. The results were sobering.

The impact of an asteroid the size of the one that struck the earth 65 million years ago would be devastating. The blast would release the energy of a hundred million nuclear bombs and would vaporize anything in its path. The resulting shockwave would flatten buildings and forests for thousands of miles. The dust and debris hurled into the atmosphere would block out the sun, causing widespread famine.

It would be, in short, the end of civilization as we know it.

Fortunately, the chances of an asteroid this size hitting the earth are very small. But the risk is not zero. And as our technology improves, we may one day have the ability to deflect or destroy an incoming asteroid.

Until then, we can only hope that the day the earth stands still is never more than a simulation.

1 Comment

  1. This is a very sobering experiment with frightening implications. It’s hard to imagine the devastation that would result from an asteroid of this size hitting the earth. Fortunately, the chances of this happening are very small. But as our technology improves, we may one day have the ability to deflect or destroy an incoming asteroid. Until then, we can only hope that the day the earth stands still is never more than a simulation.

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