What are the chances of an asteroid impact?

WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY, Ohio (WDTN) — As students make their way from class to class on Wright State’s campus one professor is often watching something else, the skies.

Doctor Jason Deibel teaches physics at Wright State but also has a passion for astronomy.

He says the asteroid that passed closer to Earth than the moon on Sunday wouldn’t have led to widespread destruction if it had entered our atmosphere.

He tells us it would have been an event like what happened last year when a meteor exploded over Russia.

“It could be devastating to a building but it’s not going to take out an entire city,” Deibel says.

But Deibel thinks more funding should go toward monitoring objects like the one that passed so close to Earth Sunday.

It wasn’t spotted until about a week before its close call.

“We definitely have to be ahead of the game on this, but we’re nowhere near the panic stage,” Deibel says. “We need to keep an eye out and maybe add a few more eyes out there.”

He says the next step is to experiment with what could be done if an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth.

He tells us it wouldn’t be like the movies where the asteroid would be blown up.

“Just push it out of the way,” Deibel says. “Just a little bit of a nudge and orbital mechanics can save the Earth. It’s not going to be as spectacular but maybe you can still put a soundtrack to it.”

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