Preventing Armageddon - Hype or Reality

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J. Johnson-Freese; J. Knox (2000), JBIS, 53, 173-179

Refcode: 2000.53.173

The name Near-Earth Object, or NEO, is given to an asteroid or comet ranging in size from a few tens of metres to several kilometres or more in diameter whose orbit crosses the Earth's and which, over time, has the potential to impact the Earth. In 1998 two movies, namely Deep Impact and Armageddon , were released dealing with NEOs on a collision course with the Earth. The lament that we voice in this paper concerns not the films, but the willingness of most people to accept the fictional aspect of the films as fact: specifically that today options are available to mitigate against global disaster. Unfortunately none is available. How much is protecting against the extinction of mankind worth? People for the most part get what they want from government. On this issue, government has been lethargic at best. It is now time for the public to speak up.


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