Some scientists think the giant asteroid that went on to strike the Earth — and lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs — initial broke up in the major asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
About 30,000 objects are floating close to Earth that could strike it someday — 1,600 of which NASA has labeled “potentially hazardous.”
An influence by 1 could mean anything from broken windows to international extinction, which is why scientists are working tough to uncover and, if required, deflect or destroy these rogue space rocks.
Though a significant strike has a low likelihood of taking place, the consequences would be huge, according to Nahum Melamed, a project manager with the Aerospace Corporation.
Melamed not too long ago spoke at an event for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Manhattan Beach, California, about what scientists refer to as planetary defense, and Tech Insider was in the audience.
Here’s what asteroids have done in the previous, and what scientists at NASA and other institutions are carrying out to mitigate their threat in the future.