When the Sky Falls Down
Popular science story combines facts and fiction
Small celestial bodies - meteorites - often fall to Earth. Larger objects - asteroids and comets – occasionally whiz past but rarely hit the Earth’s surface. However, the threat from space is real and the fatal consequences of such a collision obvious. The most pressing question today is, can future collisions with giant space rocks be predicted and, more importantly, intercepted?
Based on current research, this book tells the story of collisions throughout Earth’s history in a comprehensible manner using unique illustrations.
The reader is invited to travel through time across the forever changing globe, to learn about life and death on our planet over the last 500 million years. During that time, continents have shifted and changed form and species have developed and then been wiped out by powerful asteroid collisions, as was the case with the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. At the same time, however, life has continued to sprout from Earth’s cracks, accompanied at times by heat and at others by ice.
The book touches upon three dramatic events that have taken place in contemporary times: Tunguska in 1908, Halley’s Comet in 1910 and Chelyabinsk in 2013. Questions about existential risks are raised: can the threat of an asteroid be prevented? Are the dangers coming from space comparable to the risk of a nuclear disaster? Can human life on Earth be destroyed by climate change? In an attempt to get some answers, a journey is carried out into the future, to the year 2121.
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