On February 15, 2013, a previously undetected near-Earth asteroid slammed into the Earth. The object, weighing about 14,000 tons, ripped through the air at a shallow angle, saving the planet from catastrophe. The meteor then exploded over a populated area, sending thousands to the hospital. This was a warning shot.
The Chelyabinsk meteor is the single-most dramatic impact of an asteroid with Earth ever captured on film. A similar blast in Tunguska, Russia over a century before flattened 2,000 sq/km of forest.
These were warning shots from the solar system. Our planet remains critically vulnerable to asteroid impacts, especially if they approach from out of the Sun, where our telescopes cannot see.
Such events are a staple of science fiction. What makes them frightening is that they really can happen, and we will have no way of preventing them in some cases. Too large an object, or too little warning means the planet will be hit and much of the life on Earth could be wiped out within minutes.
For this reason, NASA has entertained several academic projects to decide how best to handle such a crisis. Solutions have ranged from blowing the object up in space, to changing its orbit using solar sails, a gravity well or some other means. But these solutions require time.
What if there is no time? No time to launch a rocket, or to prepare a space-based solution. How would nations react?
The answer is, they might not react at all. There would be minimal attempts to save people because saving them would be pointless. Life would continue uninterrupted until the day of impact. The only people who would be whisked away to safety would be those in the highest levels of power, who have the money to buy bunkers, and those who are privileged enough to be given a warning.
You would be left to pray, and die.
Is Earth in danger today? Absolutely. NASA thinks such an impact is inevitable.
NASA continues to track objects which are on a near-collision course with Earth. On a nearly daily basis, something passes close to Earth. This shows us how densely populated with asteroids our solar system is. We think of space as empty and barren, but actually the space around us is filled with small, rocky objects, some of which we have not yet detected. Some of which can kill us.
NASA continues to monitor these objects, but if they find one on a collision course, there is no guarantee they will tell us.
It is arguable that this is the event predicted in Revelation chapter 8.
8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
Is the seventh seal about to open? Are the end times near, ready to begin with a meteor impact on Earth?
Each day about half-a-dozen small asteroids pass close to Earth. Any one of these asteroids can cause destruction should they impact over a populated area. But any NASA official will admit there may be many more we have yet to detect. And it is impossible to detect any that approach from the direction of the Sun.
There are telescopes that look at the Sun and Earth from distant angles, but these telescopes are not designed to hunt asteroids.
It remains well within the realm of possibility that an object is hurtling toward the planet right now with the destructive potential described in the Bible. In fact, most astronomers will tell you this is a near-certain possibility. However, we don’t know when such an event will occur. It could happen today, tomorrow, soon, or in thousands to even millions of years from now.
But it will happen. And the question is, will you be ready when the day arrives?