What prevents meteors from colliding with Earth and causing harm to people?

What prevents meteors from colliding with Earth and causing harm to people?

How does Earth protect itself from meteors and prevent harm to people?

Meteors, which are cosmic rocks from outer space, can sometimes fall into Earth’s atmosphere. These rocks can come from asteroids, comets, or even other planets. However, Earth has a defense system that helps prevent these meteors from hitting us and causing harm.

Sometimes, Earth passes through a trail of space debris left behind by comets or asteroids. This can cause a meteor shower, where meteors streak across the sky like shooting stars. While it may seem scary, these meteors don’t usually hurt us.

When a meteor enters Earth’s atmosphere, it encounters resistance from the air molecules. This friction heats up the meteor, causing it to burn and turn into vapor. This is what creates the bright streak of a shooting star. Our atmosphere is so effective at destroying meteors that around 90-95% of them don’t even reach the ground.

However, there are still some meteors that survive the atmosphere and make it to the ground. These meteors are called meteorites. Fortunately, most of the time, they land in the ocean or away from populated areas. There have only been two recorded instances of someone being hit by a meteorite in human history. The chances of being hurt by a meteorite are very low, about one in 700,000, compared to the one in 15,300 chance of being struck by lightning.

To further protect ourselves, astronomers use telescopes to monitor the skies for any large asteroids or comets that could potentially harm Earth. With our advanced technology, we can also take action to redirect dangerous asteroids. NASA has already demonstrated this with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) in 2022, where a spacecraft was crashed into a spare rock to change its speed and direction.

While the chances of a large meteor causing harm are low, it’s important to continue planning and monitoring for potential threats. Earth’s defense system, along with our own efforts, helps keep us safe from meteors.