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Asteroid Destruction Headed toward Neighboring Mars

 In 1908 a space object hit near the Tunguska River in Siberia, causing an explosion equaling 20 mega tons of TNT or 1000 times stronger than the atomic blast in Hiroshima Japan. Whether it was an asteroid or comet was contested until recently where scientists found little evidence of material that would make up a comet.

Today, a similar event could happen on the Mars surface according to researchers in NASA’s NEO Program (Near Earth Objects.) The finding is significant because only in the last few years have scientist been able to detect and confirm objects that might be termed celestial weapons of mass destruction.

JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) scientists place the likelihood of the Mars impact at 1:300.  Because of the limited atmosphere on Mars, the impact would send dust and debris high into the atmosphere. Depending on the location, it may be visible from Earth’s telescopes. 

The dust and debris in a similar Earth hit could cause a global warming scenario at which the former vice president Al gore would cringe. This type of event is what many scientists believed killed off the dinosaurs and accounts for the particular interest of NEO’s to Astronomers today.

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