While there are no known significant asteroids on a collision course with Earth, an asteroid impact is considered inevitable in our planet's future. The potential impact could still be millions of years away, but NASA and ESA have been working now to prepare for the inevitable.
Over the course of the week commencing April 26, members of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) and the ESA participated in a “tabletop exercise” to see how an asteroid strike would play out.
The participants of the event had no idea about the asteroid and were given cues by external sources throughout the week, with each day meant to represent a month.
The event, led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), determined a hypothetical large asteroid was on its way to Earth.
The hypothetical asteroid was dubbed 2021 PDC and was estimated to be anywhere between 35 metres and 700 metres in size.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Asteroid simulation by NASA and ESA confirms Earth not prepared for major strike (Image: GETTY)
While there are no known significant asteroids on a collision course with Earth, an asteroid impact is considered inevitable (Image: GETTY)
On day one of the conference, using entirely fictitious scenarios, NASA and ESA discovered there was a five percent chance it would hit Earth.
The tabletop exercise then determined the asteroid would hit Earth somewhere in Europe.
However, by day three of the conference, which was held entirely online, the team 'discovered' the asteroid to be 160 metres, give or take 80 metres either side.
A collision of a space rock that size would have enough force to cause an explosion equivalent to a powerful nuclear bomb.
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The hypothetical asteroid was 160 metres (Image: GETTY)
The ESA said: "As would be the case if a real asteroid were on collision