Asteroid may ‘wipe out human life’ – in 867 years’ time

Humanity could be wiped out by a massive asteroid that is hurtling towards earth at a speed of around 38,000 miles an hour, scientists have warned. The 1950 DA asteroid has a good chance of colliding with earth on 16 March 2880, according to experts at the University of Tennessee. Researchers initially believed that the asteroid had a one-in-300 chance of hitting earth, but revised the odds to one-in-4,000.

Understanding what holds these asteroids together can inform strategies to guard against future impacts.

Ben Rozitis, researcher

If the asteroid collides with earth, it will strike with the force of around 44,800 megatonnes of TNT – the equivalent of every nuclear weapon in the world detonating simultaneously, six times over. Scientists say the impact would cause cataclysmic earthquakes and tsunamis, that would result in climate change that would entirely destroy human life. Researchers are now looking at ways they can break the asteroid apart.