Asteroid impact avoidance comprises a number of methods by which near-Earth objects (NEO) could be diverted, preventing destructive impact events. A sufficiently large impact by an asteroid or other NEOs would cause, depending on its impact location, massive tsunamis, multiple firestorms and an impact winter caused by the sunlight-blocking effect of placing large quantities of pulverized rock dust, and other debris, into the stratosphere.

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  • Asteroid impact avoidance comprises a number of methods by which near-Earth objects (NEO) could be diverted, preventing destructive impact events. A sufficiently large impact by an asteroid or other NEOs would cause, depending on its impact location, massive tsunamis, multiple firestorms and an impact winter caused by the sunlight-blocking effect of placing large quantities of pulverized rock dust, and other debris, into the stratosphere. A collision 66 million years ago between the Earth and an object approximately 10 kilometres (6 miles) wide is thought to have produced the Chicxulub crater and the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, widely held responsible for the extinction of most dinosaurs. While the chances of a major collision are low in the near term, there is a certainty that one will happen eventually unless defensive measures are taken. Astronomical events—such as the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts on Jupiter and the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor, along with the growing number of objects on the Sentry Risk Table—have drawn renewed attention to such threats. In 2016, a NASA scientist warned that the Earth is unprepared for such an event. In April 2018, the B612 Foundation reported "It's 100 percent certain we'll be hit [by a devastating asteroid], but we're not 100 percent sure when." Also in 2018, physicist Stephen Hawking, in his final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions, considered an asteroid collision to be the biggest threat to the planet. Several ways of avoiding an asteroid impact have been described. Nonetheless, in March 2019, scientists reported that asteroids may be much more difficult to destroy than thought earlier. In addition, an asteroid may reassemble itself due to gravity after being disrupted. (en)
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  • Asteroid impact avoidance comprises a number of methods by which near-Earth objects (NEO) could be diverted, preventing destructive impact events. A sufficiently large impact by an asteroid or other NEOs would cause, depending on its impact location, massive tsunamis, multiple firestorms and an impact winter caused by the sunlight-blocking effect of placing large quantities of pulverized rock dust, and other debris, into the stratosphere. (en)
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  • Asteroid impact avoidance (en)
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