posted on May, 29 2003 @ 07:39 PM
Asteroid 1950 DA is heading our way and is due to hit the Earth on March 16, 2880. Since 70% of the Earth is covered with water, it will probably land
in the ocean, causing huge tsunami waves to spread out from the impact and drown coastal areas. A computer simulation of an asteroid impact tsunami
developed by California scientists shows waves as high as 400 feet sweeping onto the Atlantic Coast.
Researcher Steven Ward says, "From a geologic perspective, events like this have happened many times in the past. Asteroids the size of 1950 DA have
probably struck the Earth about 600 times since the age of the dinosaurs."
Ward and colleague Erik Asphaug are trying to conduct an assessment of upcoming asteroid impacts. The laws of orbital mechanics make it possible for
scientists to predict an impact if they are able to detect the asteroid in advance. "It's like knowing the exact time when Mount Shasta will
erupt," Asphaug says. "The way to deal with any natural hazard is to improve our knowledge base, so we can turn the kind of human fear that gets
played on in the movies into something that we have a handle on."