Asteroid tracking organization B612 Foundation recently released a really cool visualization showing observable asteroids as they hit Earth’s surface over the last 13 years.
B612, which refers to itself as a sort of planetary defense unit, used data collected from a global nuclear weapons test network to create the visualization. The network was intended to track instances of nuclear explosions and such, but as you can see in the video embedded below, of the 26 massive explosions the network picked up, all were actually asteroid impacts — meaning there are more asteroids hitting the planet than we realize.
The organization lists each of the asteroid impacts the network picked up, as well as each asteroid’s impact location and weight. The explosions ranged from 1 kiloton to 600 kilotons.
“To put this data in perspective, the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with an energy impact of 15 kilotons,” the organization explained in regards to the visualization. “While most of these asteroids exploded too high in the atmosphere to do serious damage on the ground, the evidence is important in estimating the frequency of a potential ‘city-killer-size’ asteroid.” An asteroid capable of destroying an entire city hits the earth about once a century, the video explains.
That said, I feel much better knowing B612 is around to defend the planet.
Check out the video below for a closer look at the visualization.